Friday, December 19, 2008

quitting hating places

I was about to pointlessly throw the Pitchfork top 50 list under the bus, but then I hadn't heard Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson's arch lonely-dude rock, and wouldn't have were it not on one of sublists, so there. And Robinson's multi-tracked hoarse holler reminded me of Richard Buckner's Since (lala), which I haven't listened to in ages.

Richard Buckner, and this record in particular, helped me process the Seattle I experienced surrounded by yahoos with no home training, whose unfunny take on irony spilled out into their corporatized lives and resulted in cheap shots like this editoral about Aretha Franklin being too fat to sing at Obama's inauguration. Buckner is of this imposing place and he flew the flag of emotional resiliency and fragility that I wish I had experienced more often directly from its people. I have had "Six Years" from his debut Bloomed in my head for a week now, and cannot find it, but "Ocean Cliff Clearing" from Since will do. Here he is performing it in Asheville, NC, a city declared by many to be the best place to live in the country

In Seattle and Kansas City, I learned to quit hating the South and realized it is a bigger part of my makeup than I had thought, and in the five years after moving back, I've learned to quit hating those places I hated so much when I was there. To quote the undersung, Buckner-esque Chris Mills in "All You Ever Do" - Why you gotta hate your hometown, honey? Them folks brought you up, but all you ever do is put 'em down.

And home is where you are, and if home doesn't feel right then find one that does and leave the other hometowns be. Annnnnnnnyway.... Buckner namechecks Felt (lala), the finest among flawed cult favorite bands, on "Ocean Cliff Clearing" and it is in their Spanish houses and crystal spires that I will place myself today.

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