David Bonetti, Part Three

One of David’s superb characteristics is that he made sure if you hung out with him you would learn art information that was exciting and important to you. During that same St. Louis visit, he ensured we went to what he called the most essential exhibit in the city for me. Turned out to be a small gallery featuring a bunch of early drawings by Jim Nutt (one of the most perfect artist names, ever) including most of the items on this page.

I was captivated and transported. I knew nothing of Nutt (love the phrases that happen spontaneously) barely more about The Hairy Who than they had a super-cool name. Now we’ve got three books about Nutt and the Hairys and a lot more savvy about a major part of early Pop Surrealism. Thanks to David.

Oddities Noted on Today’s Workout Walk

Baffling Slogan of the Year (so far):

BRICKHOUSE MOVERS — “You Won’t Believe What We Do.”

Then why on earth would I ever hire you?

Lesson Taught by Age: Although I’d seen it several times before, today I understood with a new profundity why a specialty medical-shoe store would be right next to a large retirement complex.

R.I.P.: Mark E. Smith

He had a great Fall and I think he’d appreciate this non-obit obit.

I tried to write an obit in the manner of his lyrics — “Now he’s dead. Can’t get him outta your head-uh.” — but even incorporating as many actual phrases from his songs as possible, I didn’t have the chops to pull it off. (Or it was a misguided project, period.) The key problem was that it could be read as a mockery of his mannerisms. You couldn’t stick in some dopey explanation that it was an homage, since that would ruin everything. But in this touchy age, it would certainly be read as a satiric attack on a guy who just died, you jerk.

Expert Witness Comment for the Week

Sounds in the air today: Umphrey’s McGee, Zonkey

Initial brilliant stroke: the title.

Very clever again and again. First three tracks in particular. Those insanely in love with their record collections will be most appreciative. For ages I hoped there would be one more grand mashup album, and this is a performance, not studio sorcery.

Most pointed “joke”: Mutual strangulation of Ted Nugent and the Beastie Boys (at least someplace I can enjoy the guitar structures without guilt/fury).

Sad reminder: the weakest numbers by far are the originals.

PS: “Elvis’ Greatest Shit”

Since I happen to be playing the LP tonight. I’ve written this before, but it needs repeating:

Elvis knows how rancid these tunes are. Imagining he has the power to refuse stuff he thinks is “below” him is the mistake some observers make. He was not operating from a position of traditional pop-star command.

And, frankly, the on-the-cross live rendition of “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” belongs on every best-of.

“Are you lonesome tonight? I’m lonesome in a way nobody will ever begin to understand. Because I became Elvis before anyone else.”