Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mark-Paul and Me

Dear World,

Why is Jason Collett trying to be Bob Dylan for the first half of his newest album?

For the same reason that throughout Dan (Destroyer)Bejar's latest, Trouble in Dreams, he stumbles all topsy-turvy in the drunken shadow of David Bowie. Not that David Bowie's shadow is particularly drunk.

(I'm a terrible drunken ghost!) Maybe Dan Bejar just got it drunk so it would tell him all it's secrets.

I enjoyed Dan's last album, Destroyer's Rubies, so much more. Maybe because of the production seemed so much more...I don't know...lush? It was full of sound, full of landscape, a landscape full of color and texture and light. Trouble in Dreams just seems so bare. I need to give it a few more turns, I think.

Back to Jason. Idols in Exile was disjointed and jubilant. Each song had it's own unique subject drowned or enveloped within an intense emotion. Each was a glipse into a day in the life and no matter how bi-polar those days were, each one, each song, viewed on it's own was valid and beautiful in it's own way.

So the new record. The first half is so rolled up in the Dylan with rambling vocals and low-grade sound that it is actually incredibly boring. But the second half. Beauty.

Once when I worked in the record store in Illinois, there was a young man who often came in to buy records. He thought he was Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zach from "Saved by the Bell") and had an obsession with Chris Farley. Once he bought the Dukes of Hazzard soundtrack and discovered when he arrived home and gave it a listen that it was not exactly the same as the TV show theme song. He kept calling me about it over and over and over. Each time he would call, he would watch the beginning of his videotaped episode of Dukes of Hazzard, watch it to listen to the theme song and take note of the rather large "Yeehaw" sound at the end and then listen to the record, which did not include the yeehaw... Each time I explained that although it is different on each recording, one would not change to accomodate the other at any time, no matter how many time he played them side by side. "How can I make them change, Sara?"

"Magic, Mark-Paul."I replied. (We called him Mark-Paul, even though his real name was Joseph.) (He truly believed that he was the actor.)

He called me fifteen times that night. The next day he brought the soundtrack in and exchanged it for another one, reasoning that it was defective. I let him do this two more times, reasoning with him each time that there was nothing defective about the actual recording and just because something is one way on TV, it don't mean that it's the same on CD. He finally gave up. He brought the Dukes of Hazzard soundtrack in to the store one last time and I told him that he could exchange it for another CD. After two hours of deliberating (with an ice cream break in the middle) he brought me the Poison Double Live CD set. "Mark-Paul, I told you that you could exchange it for something of equal value. That cd set is almost double the price."

"I know, Sara Miller. I know. I just want half of it."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I'd say the first half of Here's to Being Here is boring. It's certainly derivative, but he's very good at playing the role of a 21st-century Canadian Dylanesque character. Now the album's title, that's boring. Is that supposed to be poetic or poignant or something? It's something I'd expect to find wedged in the hole where the poopy comes out. And he calls himself an artist ...