Monday, October 4, 2010

you put your fingers in the thing

The ghost of sandblasters on the Morganza spillway

I, Brute Force, Confessions of Love
Douglas Leedy, Entropical Paradise
Mississippi Public Broadcasting radio
Fyodor Dotsoyevsky, Notes from the Underground
Stephen Elliot, The Adderall Diaries

I went to Natchez on assignment Saturday night and decided to come back in the dark of night down Highway 15, the river highway snaking the west side of the Mississippi to see what is out there and survived to report that there is nothing out there but darkness and the occasional massive river flow correction structure. I did spy two little bars - bike nite/pool tournament kind of places that are outside the loose purview of my research so I motored by, only stopping at some late night gas station restaurant in the back end of New Roads.

I figured that if I eavesdropped on the conversation between the three people in there at 1:20 AM a novel or at least a gripping short story would emerge; lonesome river highways are the lonesomest and they get you talking. AM radio barely works out there, probably due to the UFO activity I assume goes down every night  in these deserted acres. I bet those three at the restaurant were all, "Check out what that space alien motherfucker I work for had me doin'; cleaning out the probe tank! I was all no-way dude, I ain't goin in there. You can stare at me with them big grey reflective eyes all you want!" Nick Spitzer interviewing Sonny Rollins on American Routes on the Delta traveler's friend, late-night Mississippi public radio kept me shiny side up, greasy down.

That and this song: Brute Force was a madcap one-man pop factory and friend of Beatles who in 1969 released "King of Fuh," what is now the rarest single on the Apple label. John though it was a hoot - it plays on the "Fuh King" pun throughout most of the song - but only 2,000 were printed and it is a crate digger's holy grail that is finding a re-release soon. The song is insipid, but it's B-side "Nobody Knows" is a low-budget, creepy, psychedelic treasure, like 78 out of 96 tears good. I played it over and over as I made my way through the dark. Here they both are, but really, skip forward to the 3:00 mark.

The song that got me up there on the Highway 61 side was Douglas Leedy's brilliantly simple "The Harmonium" - 19 minutes of low frequency hum that realigns your biorhythms. Remember when people had biofeedback meters? Didn't they have these just lying around, like you put your fingers in the thing and a little meter registered something? Am I just now finding out I grew up in a cult? Anyway suddenly at the end of the Douglas Leedy piece, a noodly synth line emerges like a flower finally busting through its casing, like this gigantic moonflower did in our yard this morning. Gorgeous stuff. Thanks again ROOT BLOG!
Thanks again aliens and cult family! Thanks Nick Spitzer! Have a great week!


  1. The west side of the river is a really interesting drive. I'd like to explore it a bit more for sure.

  2. I believe there to be treasure up in them hills north of Vidalia, but haven't found any reliable indicators of where in them hills it might be.

  3. I can tell you all about the area north of Vidalia, I have visited there many times. My mom comes from the wilds above Vidalia.