There are two
artists known as David Wilcox. One is a Canadian
fellow, mentioned above, who does "blues
". He looks a bit like what I fear the Blue Man Group
might look like, if you took off all their makeup, and then combined them in some way with the alien from Communion
Vastly different is the American modern folk
singer David Wilcox
, who is responsible for an entirely different variety of songwriting. I was first exposed to his music in the form of a mix tape
found in the bottom of a moving crate, probably six or seven years old. I had just bought a new (used) car, and my CD player
hadn't been installed, so it was something of a "what the hell
" motion. I was absolutely blown away.
The music is often hilarious, but really touching. Songs like Johnny's Camero
, or East Asheville Hardware
, or Daddy's Money
caught me entirely off guard because they seemed sarcastic
, at first--witty, but just there for amusement. And then the song plays on and it sinks in that there's really something there to it. I have heard a lot of music, even a lot of music from this general genre, and I've never heard the two elements of style put together in such a way that it worked out this way. There's something really unique about this, and it's hard to place.
Every description I can dig out of my brain for his lyrics and melodies sounds as cliche as can be, but it's because this is the kind of stuff cliches are built on. The music is just so incredibly heartfelt and intelligent that I can't help but adore him, knowing almost nothing about him aside from the fact that his name is on this grungy cassette tape on my dashboard. He'll sing a song from the perspective of a rusted out car, and the musically cynical, Pitchfork Media
reading side of my brain says, "Oh, what a load of shit!"--but it's a lie, everything here hits home, in the same way that some albums, like The Pretender
, can be played over and over again, and they never lose a step, you never become emotionally detatched from them, even if you consciously realize they've got a healthy layer of cheese. But where The Pretender
leaves you hopeless, Wilcox leaves you with something to live on. And he does it with that folk-blues sheen that makes you secretly wonder if he really says "ain't" in his day to day speech, but you wouldn't really mind that much if the answer were no.
If you can weed through all the stuff by Canadian David Wilcox to find anything from this one, by all means, do so. You'll be rewarded.