Saturday, June 14, 2008

the kind of musical giddiness this blog is really for

Don Chaffer is insane. I mean that in the sense that he's doing something really crazy, all out, and I LOVE IT. I mean, it's conceptual, it's performance art, it's no-holds-barred, it's (literally) kind of epic. Don says this about the attempt within the context of his usual Christian audience (although I am loathe to label his audience "usual"),

"The broader problem with broad swaths of evangelical subculture is dishonesty at an emotional level," Chaffer adds. "I was at a point in my life where I couldn't afford that. I had to get this stuff down."

Let's back up, before I left on my trip I mentioned that I was going to commit some more time/effort to listening to Don Chaffer's latest offering "The Khrusty Brothers" (likeminded blogpost here).

The Khrusty brothers is a concept piece centered around a fictional group of brothers in Appalachia. Like most good art, you sort of have to get into it to understand. Eventually Don wants to turn the concept into an off broadway rock musical. The play sounds AMAZING. Not only does the whole idea just make my head want to explode but the songs are SO GREAT for this story, not to mention the story would incorporate "Both of Us Will Feel the Blast" which I was just reflecting on the other day what an amazing song that is. If you were here I would be jumping up and down and trying to incoherently explain why everything about this is so awesome.

This is one of those moments where my friends claim they feel a lot of pressure when I'm like, "LISTEN TO THIS SONG IT'S AMAZING." Then I rave about why I think it's utterly unique and indispensable to the human deposit of art and then just look at whoever it is. (Liz. Claire.) They look back at me, uncomfortable. "Um, it was a good song." I sigh.

But I do it anyway.

So.

I LOVE THE BEGINNING. This song is funky from the beginning and draws you in right away, I think it captures the whole album the most easily if I had to pick a single song. The scene is set so well. Danny busts into the room and angels stop him in his sputtering anger.

Jesus says he can see him face to face if he thinks he's got the balls. YES! I love that! I really feel like that's true to Life! There is so much truth in this song!

The other part I think is just utterly wonderful is when Jesus pours himself a drink (I just shake my head in wonder at how artfully this is put together.) and explains that his fiancee is supposed to speak His mind and just doesn't get it. I so resonate with that, it's so earthy.

Then when Danny says he just gives up and the ANGELS SING IT UNDER THEIR BREATH- HALLELUJAH, HALLELUJAH. To me that little bit might be the most crafty part of the song because it's really the moment of revelation and the angels are rejoicing even though the narrator doesn't even really see what's going on.

With that you just have to try to appreciate it. This is from the CD release show including an intro from Cowboy Jesus (interestingly I've had a note on the side of my comp for a few years now to spark a poem and it just says "Jesus in red cowboy boots.") and then "Sympathy for Jesus" live.



I came stumbling into church with a hot gun in my hands.
I was ready to talk to Jesus, to tell him my demands.
Jesus ain't no fool, he's seen this kind of thing before,
And he had a couple of angels stop me at the front door

I said now come on, that ain't fair, you should be accessible to all.
He said, "everybody gets a secretary even just to take their phone calls.
So address me to my face if you think you've got the balls
but i ain't playing around boy at all."

Well this is not what i expected so i stiffened in my stance
and tried hard to remember every single shitty circumstance
then i quivered like a victim with his predator in sight
I was ready now to vindicate, I was ready to start a fight

Now you can stand right there and judge me.
Shoot, you can send me straight to hell.
I now you've got the power, I know that fact full well.
But before you do explain to me, why suffering? and why death?
and why did i pray all those years and waste all that good breath?

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

the angels sang it under their breath by the door

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I give up, I can't go on like this anymore.

"Well I appreciate your kind," he said, and then Jesus poured a drink.
For my face must have looked funny 'cause he said, "it's not like you think
you see I'm saddled with the job, oh, of interpreting my dad
to a bunch of frightened people, frightened or just mad."

"most of them think they've got it right,"
and then he threw some ice cubes in,
"but most of them are just dead wrong
about death and life and sin."

"And then I've got my fiancee, she's supposed to speak my mind,
sometimes she's just chicken and then she messes it up other times."

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

the angels sang it under their breath by the door.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah


I give up, I can't go on like this anymore.





A great article about the Khrusty Brothers live.


More evidence why I think you have to listen to any of Don's songs at least ten times before you can start to appreciate them. I've been listneing to "You Were At the Time for Love" recently. Between that and learning more about this album I decided I couldn't go any longer without having "What You Don't Know." Thoughts to come MUCH later (like after I've listened to the album at least ten times.)

1 comment:

morganleigh said...

yeah, this convinced me to buy the Khrusty Brothers album. I am still sans Alli Rogers and 100 Portraits.