Thursday, January 18, 2007

January 18, 2007 Bonus Blog
Henry Beck sent me some very interesting musings on the borderlands, which he thought I might appreciate since The Top Secret Project deals with that subject in some detail. Some of the phrasing was quite profound, for example: "una herida abierta," which is Spanish for an open wound, which is how this guy from Lubbock describes the Mexican border. He also describes the people who live along the border as "the squint-eyed, the half-breed, the half-dead," who dream "cross-bred dreams of apocalypse" and speak in "motley tongues." Wow. So, I Emailed Henry back and said, "Who is this guy?" And that prompted the following reply:

Allen is for the most part from Lubbock, does sculpture--really all kinds of art--casts a huge net, and he's known and respected in the really thin-air world where performance art and graphic art meet--installations, opera, very accomplished guy, who at the same time writes and sings and pretty much self-produces--infrequently--indy country music, starting with the album Juarez. His pals are Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale GIlmore, Butch and Wayne Hancock, Robert Earl Keene, the late Lowell George, David Byrne (Talking Heads), Lloyd Maines, the steel pedal-playing father of the Dixie Chick with the strong opinions--

The thing is, he's very solid--not in any way hard to approach musically for C&W fans--his ideas and his singing and lyrics have real teeth, but are also funny at times. There's nothing arty or effete about him--he's got serious balls, and some of the stuff is violent and dark--maybe with touches of David Lynch--mostly Wild At Heart.

Maybe his high water mark is the double album 'Lubbock On Everything'

One song:

Terry Allen
Lyrics for Song: Truckload of Art
Lyrics for Album: Lubbock (On Everything)

Once upon a time…
Sometime ago back on the east coast
In New York City, to be exact…
A bunch of artists and painters and
sculptors and musicians and
poets and writers and dancers
and architects
Started feeling real superior
to their ego-counter-parts
Out on the West Coast…so,
They all got together and decided
They would show those snotty surfer upstarts
A thing or two about the Big Apple
And…they hired themselves a truck
It was a big, spanking new white-shiny
Chrome-plated cab-over
With mudflaps, stereo, tv, AM & FM radio,
Leather seats and a naugahide sleeper…
All fresh
With new American Flag decals and "ART ARK"
Printed on the side of the door
With solid 24 karat gold leaf type…
And they filled up this truck
With the most significant piles
And influential heaps of Art Work
To ever be assembled in Modern Times,
And it sent it West…to chide
Cajole, humble and humiliate…the Golden Bear.
And this is the true story of that truck…
Sung (kind of a 3/4 time Texas waltz):

A Truckload of Art
From New York City
Came rollin down the road
Yeah the driver was singing
And the sunset was pretty
But the truck turned over
And she rolled off the road

Yeah a Truckload of Art
is burning near the highway
Precious objects are scattered
All over the ground
And it's a terrible sight
If a person were to see it
But there weren't nobody around


Yeah the driver went sailing
High in the sky
Landing in the gold lap of the Lord
Who smiled and then said
"Son, you're better off dead
Than haulin a truckload
full of hot avant-garde
Yes…an important artwork
Was thrown burning to the ground
Tragically…landing in the weeds
And the smoke could be seen
Ahhh for miles all around
Yeah but nobody…knows what it means
Yes…a Truckload of Art
Is burning near the highway
And it's a tough job for the highway patrol
Ahhh they'll soon see the smoke
An come runnin to poke
Then dig a deep ditch
And throw the arts in a hole
Yeah a Truckload of Art
Is burning near the highway
And it's raging far-out of control
And what the critics have cheered
Is now shattered and queered
And their noble reviews
Have been stewed on the road

End of Henry Beck Edifying Email.

"A woman's tale, a spinster's lot, they say time heals, but I never forgot."
—Jon Chandler

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