Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adam Green: Jacket Full of Danger (2006)

(Rough Trade)


Oh, stop it, it's not that witty -- not in a league with former fellow Moldy Peach Kimya Dawson, who can run lyrical circles around Green's tired, droning joke-songs. But Green's music is funny, and sleazy, and smart, and at very very scattered times even charming; we miss the warmth Dawson gave, but he certainly brings the scrappiness in a higher-fi guise, and ridiculous Elvis-in-Vegas moments like "Party Line," "Nat King Cole," and "Hollywood Bowl" have little precedent in the indieverse. "Party Line" in particular has such massive utility, sounding so divinely correct coming out of oversized speakers at a shitty dive bar, it can turn the average depressive night out into some casually nihilistic Sweet Smell of Success reenactment. Green may be a cynical asshole, but he can belt a tune convincingly, if not all that technically well. Still, I felt something more from "NYC Is Like a Graveyard" all those years ago, and somewhere beneath all this snotty humor and scorn, somewhere beneath Green's recasting of classicist musical backdrops as a feverish bout of self and world-loathing, is a trace of that wound. I wouldn't mind if he were more in touch with it. But I wouldn't mind if most dudes were more in touch with the undercurrents they bury in their macho tomfoolery. We all know boys get lost in their indulgences; what he really needs is an equally playful girlfriend. Again.

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