Holley, Lonnie – “Keeping a Record of It” – [Dust-To-Digital]
This record is a wonderful combination of down-home-comfort-music and what-the-fuck-is-this? Holley is a soulful singer from Alabama (and a sculptor as well) who writes songs and accompanies himself with spacy keyboards and percussion. There are some guests on this record, doing vocals and drums and maybe some other stuff. So far, so good. But wow are Holley’s songs bizarre. Take the first one: we have barely started the record and we’re already hearing about taking six space shuttles and 144,000 elephants, and launching one into space every 60 hours, from here and there and over yonder, to celebrate the Queen’s birthday. All I can think is: what the fuck? If it seems like I’m making fun of his songs, I don’t mean to do that–I’ve just never heard anything like them before and they blow my mind. My favorite song is “From the Other Side of the Pulpit”, a catchy, repetitive, bluesy 13 minute meditation about preachers and poverty and faith. For good measure this track includes seemingly random metallic crashes. The record is full of strangeness like that–it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me but I’m totally hooked on it. Holley is a real piece of work, and I mean that with the highest respect.