Mockingbirds

April 18, 2006 at 2:25 am (Uncategorized)

Here’s a strange random thought: Grant-Lee Phillips’ name has the major Civil War Generals from both sides in it. Huh. I don’t think I ever noticed that until like 10 minutes ago.

And so ok, I can’t wait to see Grant get some bigtime lines in the season finale of Gilmore Girls (note the lack of a “the” there?). The poor guy has been shuffling through episodes now (as town troubador) for nearly 5 years, so it’s about time. Other than Albert Pujols, Stan Musial, and Ray Davies, one of my biggest man-crushes is reserved for Grant-Lee. He’s a damned music genius.

Hilariously, E! online has a story about the finale in which Mr. Phillips gets some big play, which is nice…but then they also mention that the finale will have “punk rocker” Joe Pernice. Someone needs to get the folks at E! a couple of Joe Pernice or Scud Mountain Boys CD’s, stat. Joe Pernice is wonderful and everything, but “punk rocker” isn’t even a remote description of a guy who writes some of the most beautiful music on the planet…

…and speaking of which, understandably enough, I’m going through a big Grant-Lee phase right now. Back in the day, when Jubilee came out, I think I heard the big guitars and huuuuge drums and really threw that album under the bus, and unjustifiably so. Returning to it now with some perspective, I think it might be as good as Mighty Joe Moon, which is saying something. Yeah, “Truly” was a big FM radio hit, and I think that sort of threw me. But hey, it deserved to be a radio hit. That is one fantastic song.

As nifty a tune as “Truly” is, it isn’t even remotely my favorite song from Jubilee. I mean, “Change The Tune”, “8 Mile Road”, and “My My My” are just as good, if not better. And then there’s “The Shallow End”. If there’s never another Grant Lee Buffalo album (and with GLP doing fine as a solo artist, there probably won’t be), “Shallow” might be able to assume a place at the table of the greatest “farewell” songs of all time. I honestly can think of few other songs occurring in the rock idiom that can approach “The Shallow End” for sheer beauty; the song is just so fragile and perfect with it’s slide guitars and diminished seventh chords that words cannot come close to describing it. Even the chorus of “Hold me close and tell me that I’m not alone for once/Hold me close and tell me that I never really was…” is just staggeringly lovely. Jubilee is as close to a classic U2 album as any American performer has ever come, and the entire career of Grant Lee Buffalo is as close to an American Pink Floyd as we’re ever likely to see.

And then there’s the GLP solo career, which continues hopefully later this year with a new disc. Can’t wait!

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