KID SHIRT

Saturday, December 01, 2007

NILSSON SCHMILSSON!

Been down w/ the flu most this week, drowning in a tsunami of tsnot and tself-pity...

tso, here's tsomething to tide you over til I can get my tshit together:



I confess that Harry Nilsson has been a great source of comfort and sanity to me over the last couple weeks. The question, as ever, is: how to translate lassitude into forward motion. Nilsson evolved a set of interesting strategies during his career that enabled him to navigate around all sorts of physical, emotional and intellectual obstacles as if they were coated in butter and he was an eel: he makes effort appear effortless; and effortlessness seem frictionless, like moving in a vaccuum, unencumbered by such trifles as gravity, people, etc. His own songs are little more than vague sketches, half-completed ditties w/ (if yr lucky) a verse and a chorus to be fleshed out by talented, non-slacker collaborators like Richard Perry or Paul Buckmaster. Nilsson elevates goofing-off into some sort of Zen-like art-form, tho his scattershot approach to song-writing and his seeming disregard to captialise on commercial success made him an irritant to major record labels and a friend to fellow flakes everywhere. And darned if he didn't sing "Everybody's Talkin'" and also write "The Daddy Song" for The Monkees. Damn fine singer too; tho no one ever mentions that.

(Harry photographed below, rather appropriately, in dressing-gown, stalking the kitchen in the small-hours like a lost soul - something I can particularly relate to)



Still, having said that, "Jump into The Fire" rocks like a bastard: a dubbed-out Glam-Stomp that thumbs its nose at early-70s FM radio play-lists as it stretches out into a druggy extendo-mix morass of Cosy Powell drum break-downs, fretwankery and ever-descending bass-lines that sound as if they're specifically mixed for cloth-ear'd cokeheads (there's a wrongness in the levels that reminds me of Tha Mac's "Tusk").

See what he did there? Harry's faux-idle songsmithery sucker-punched me out of my own lethargy. 14 years after he died and 35 years after he sang "Gotta Get Up" Nilsson got me up and out of my own bed.

"C'mon, baby let the good times roll..."

Chin, chin.