Friday, November 20, 2009

Love? Life? You? Zero? Infinity?

Adam Carroll - Lookin' out the Screen Door (listen) I saw Carrroll perform a few weeks back and then last night Slaid Cleaves tore through his "Race Car Joe" and another song and I got to thinking Adam Carroll might just be the guy. Like the guy you have that can whip through the NY Times crossword, or the guy you have to help you get that old lawnmower to start, or the guy you know to call when you need to find a globe at a yard sale (I have such a guy and have utilized him in precisely that capacity.) Adam Carroll is the guy you have that writes those great songs nobody has ever heard that are nothing less and not a morsel more than great songs. And many of them are about beer.

Richard Buckner - Devotion+ Doubt (listen) I drove home after the Red Dragon show listening to this record, wondering whether that "+" in the title is really a plus or just a graphic designer's decision, if devotion is truly augmented by doubt as a plus sign implies rather than what an open ampersand marriage would offer. What is on the other side of the equals of devotion + doubt? Love? Life? You? Zero? Infinity?

Then I started thinking about what a hypotenuse on a right triangle means. The length of your slanted part can be determined by how much you run and how much you rise, things you think define you but really the math of life is in the hypotenuse. Your rising and your running are just little components that figure into the big picture. This is the kind of stuff that singer-songwriter music makes me think of, which in turn makes me think I would be the worst singer-songwriter, trying to cram word problems into songs when what the good singer-songwriters do is just let problems be songs and not spend much time on solutions.

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