Thursday, January 20, 2005

Colin Meloy

In the spirit of the Decemberists' vast and polysyllabic vocabulary, I'm struggling to come up with a word for what Colin Meloy is. The whole time we were at his solo show at Schubas last night, I was looking for a word that could encompass his sweet stage presence, his frighteningly nimble command of the English language, his little boy/dime-store adventure novel trashy narrative sensibility, his silliness, his generosity, his somewhat English major-y self-conscious gravity, and his (oh yeah) bad-ass guitar chops.

(Sidenote: brutha can play. In my tendency to fixate on the mind-blowing perfection of lyrics like "I know every yardarm/from main mast to jib sheet/ but sometimes I long to be landlocked/and work in a bakery" or "until at last she's satisfied the lot of the marina's teeming minions, in their opinion" or, hell, the entirety of "Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect," I often overlook just what an accomplished musician he clearly is. He nailed that hypnotic repeating pattern from "The Gymnast, High Above the Ground" without batting an eyelash and played the entirety of "California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade," solo, without sacrificing any of the languid dreaminess of the first part, the pensive swooniness of the middle bit, or the intricate, driving intensity that charges headlong into "we're calling all bed wetters. . . !" And, I don't know much of anything about guitar tech stuff, but, as BAK pointed out, agog, last eve, I don't think there was a bigger thing in the room than the sound he got out of his 12-string.)

So, if anyone has any suggestions on what this word might be, please let me know.

Also, you can all now envy me, since I am the proud owner of one of the limited edition "Colin Meloy sings Morrissey" EPs. Geek-factor aside, it's worth it for Carson Ellis's sleeve art alone.


Anonymous said...

Felus: though i can't help you with your vocab quest to capture Mr. Meloy, i seek some wordy help from you re. the Decemberists. thanks you your musical discipleship of them, putting RR Ankle on your gorgeous '04 mix, Case-man and i would like to stick the lyrics of first verse on somekind of printed wedding paraphenalia - the back of the program, the placecards, the napkins, etc.
i can get most of colin's poetry from listening, but the only phrase that trips past my ears without painfully beautiful clarity is:
and how it whispered--------to me, for we are bound by symmetry/whatever differences our lives have been/we together make a limb.
(or, is the whole venture tacky and insulting to these artists? the napkins are a joke, btw...)
tanx, bridesmaid. love, bridezilla

allison said...

"And how it whispered, 'oh, adhere to me for we are bound by symmetry...'"