So a good friend of mine from Liberal Icebox sent me a copy of Andrea Gibson's spoken word album “Yellowbird.” Now, normally I'm not so big on spoken word stuff, and poetry, well, poetry is all well and good so long as it is Omar Khayyam or Nico Kazantzakis or some such, but frankly I find a lot of poetry to be boring, masturbate, and valueless. It's like, “I feel strongly about things, but am misunderstood.” Either that, or it's a poem about how great poetry is. Meaningful stuff there master poet. I needed to hear that.
Of course, I do have the Norton Anthology of poetry out on my desk most days and am probably just a terrible snob, thinking less of some poetry because it was written less than fifty years ago. Probably terribly assholish of me, but Dear Reader, I've never said I didn't have a my faults.
But this is getting off topic(Shocking considering I'm in the middle of working ann night-shift directly after working a day-shift. Woo for the eighteen hour day, woo for the heat.).
I actually really like this Andrea Gibson album. Even if it isn't true, I'm going to pretend that a lot of her super duper, begging, insistent earnestness is ironic. Otherwise the album is a little too personal for my taste.We all got to have one or two secrets, right? If she actually doesn't have any irony, then I think so of the tracks might be a little crowding, might need a little distance before I could honestly engage them.
But oh man, the lesbian love poetry. I was shocked to find that that's something I really needed. Certainly over here I maintain a somewhat lonely and entirely sexless existence, but friends, this album put a knife right in my heart reminding me of the existence of love and sex and all the weird honest interpersonal relationships that just don't live out here. I swear, the tracks “Pole Dancer” and “Name That Meat” made me want to get back to Liberal Icebox, to find that girl I'm waiting for, to build a life and a home and all that amazing bullshit.
Oh man, working night-shift right after working day-shift. I'm sleepy, and a little bit lonely, but it'll be Ok.
I guess I can't talk about with album without saying something about the track “The Pursuit of Happiness.” This is a pretty utterly anti-US Military In Iraq speech. It says some intense things about what we're doing over here. It focuses of the suffering of the Iraqis, of the stupidity of America.
If Gibson had not also focused on the suffering of the soldier, and the suffering of the soldier's family, this track would anger me, I think. It she had villanized the individual young men and women who are caught up in this mess, I would have no time for her. It bothers me a lot when people uninvolved with the military decided to start talking about the morality of individual soldiers. Without knowing these folks stories, I don't think you have any right to attack them.
But she pretty much saves her attacks for the wider America, the system itself, the beliefs of Americans of all stripes who sent us over and keep us here and will send us into the next bullshit police action and the one after that. The system is a monster, and that's just the truth. There are some people, some leaders who ride that monster and use it to drive their crusades and causes, use that monster to build up their fortunes. I have no use for such people.
I don't know if I would say all the things she does in “Pursuit of Happiness,” but I don't hold it against her. It's a hard mess, and Gibson seems to understand that to a point.
Anyway, this album in no Abby Road or London Calling but if you get a chance it is worth a listen.