Among the numerous surprising details in Neil A. Lewis’s report about John Edwards, who is reportedly considering admitting to fathering the baby of his mistress, Rielle Hunter, we found one particularly striking element. Citing a book proposal for a tell-all written by a former aide, Andrew Young, Mr. Lewis reports: “He wrote that Mr. Edwards once calmed an anxious Ms. Hunter by promising her that after his wife died, he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band.”
You gotta be fugging kidding me? As if the lying, more-lying and the more-more-lying weren’t enough? Now I’m getting gratuitous glimpses into the love affair-ing economic populist’s bedroom lies? And they involve fucking DAVE?!?
Wait a second — is Jay Farrar trying to punish me? Not for nothing, but look…. I feel like I’ve been a pretty damn loyal soldier with my support for/critical writing about Son Volt 2.0, Gob Iron and assorted Jay solo stuff. Well, shit… after a mostly-flawed clunker of a new SV lp that’s more about laziness than about any kinda return to laconic country swagger, I can’t see either of these weird projects of historical re-enactment/wish fulfillment as anything but ominous harbingers of further anticlimaxes to come from Jay.
And you know what? That’s fine. Jay and I have had a great run, and he doesn’t owe me anything. I still enjoy reading the new Son Volt blog, and am glad to get the sense that all the blokes are having weird, good times on the road. But, shit, if I could boil down my gripes with Son Volt 2.0 down to a single statement, it’s that the lyrics and the music have seemed clunkily pasted together with one another, as if Jay was conducting his own, awkward version of a very played-out modernist disintegration of (musical) form and (lyrical) content*. I do not see how either of these two projects – with their built-in gravity and all the pretenses about “tradition,” “Americana,” etc. – can do anything but worsen these problems with Farrar’s recent work. But I’ll keep my ears open, as always, to have my opinion changed.
(* Another way of stating my gripe with Farrar: he’s getting involved in the kinda collaborations that Paste Magazine thinks’re important. But bear in mind, I’m the wanker reading RSS feeds from Paste, so…)