"We do terrible things to heroes / we pay 'em well to die young and free"
Some people were born to work on a farm. Some people wish they were never born. Other people long for a life they may never have. John Lindenbaum (Rust Belt Music, the Lonelyhearts) was born to speak through my stereo speakers, further defining my own personal faith - faith in songwriters, faith in dreams, faith in doing what you love. At best, this is how I feel about the whole scheme of things gathered on The Christmas Day EP.
I personally don't know if John's father built ships in Richmond for the war ("t-shirts") [this just in: he did not], only to lose this job forcing the family to relocate for a lesser developed area ("where the rent was cheaper"), but Lindenbaum - alone with guitar and a tracked backing 'chant' - is so convincing in his delivery I feel as though I lived the situation myself. Another stunner (there are 8 in all here - the full EP) is "the good news", where John traces the distant friendship of 2 would-be (could-be) lovers over many years of passing:
know it sounds false but I've been in love with you since I was fifteen
It will take more than one full listen to catch much of what John has placed on here, for your mind will bend with how one man can take such bare instrumentation and inject each songs with such cleverness, wit and imagery. On "I'm gonna tell it like a murder mystery", he recalls finding the local preacher drunk in the church van and all he could mumble was "summer in the city". See - I've ruined what is an absolutely perfect example of what Lindenbaum does best - I'm a dick. You'd be best to listen - and listen well and in multiples (the stripped version of "Ntozake Nelson" should sit you on your ass), for this guy is certainly blessed and I can't be more excited to know that John is doing exactly what he was put on the fragile green fields of Earth to do.
Limited to a numbered set of 50 in hand-stitched casing with 3-color print - "it" rarely gets any better than this. Stick my mentally ill shell on a desert island with John's collection of holiday EP's (this makes the seventh, I believe) whenever you feel like it - I will survive.
Big up to MC Billy Ocean - we are a loathsome breed.
k :: ( 02.16.2006 )