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Songwriter: Will Oldham/Palace/Bonnie Prince Billy

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Will Oldham?

CRAP
29
15%
NOT CRAP
164
85%
 
Total votes : 193

Songwriter: Will Oldham/Palace/Bonnie Prince Billy

Postby stewie on Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:10 pm

I can't believe we've missed this. I searched the forum 3 times with different queries and can't find Mr. Oldham being C/NC'ed at all.

The first time I heard Will Oldham was on a pirate radio station, singing "Come In". I didn't know what to think of this man's voice - my initial response of "Oh Christ, this guy can't hold a note..." was overwhelmed in seconds by the utter beauty of the song, and his performance of it.

"Lost Blues" is a peerless album. Despite sounding like a group of drunkards on a porch at times, it is IMO Palace's best album.

"I See a Darkness" got me through some nasty times back when it came out.

I envy Will Oldham for his sincerity, songwriting skills, and ability to enchant live audiences.

Not Crap, but I'm sure there are people here that believe he's useless.

Ok, so that was a long post. I sure hope this hasn't been done before and it wasn't all in vain...
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Postby Mayfair on Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:33 pm

I have been a fan of Palace Brothers since that great Ohio River Boat 7". I will be honest... I bought it because it was the Slint folks backing him. It and the first LP were played to death in my home that year.

I have been lucky enough to have played with Will. He seems to be as genuine as he comes across on record. He also is as smart and sly and is constantly fucking with you without you knowing. I think that is a Louisville thing. They are either one step ahead of you or 500 behind but since the earth is round, the 500th is right around the same place as the one step ahead, you know what I mean?

Some of Will output is less important to me. I guess with as much as he has done, he has to miss the target now and then. Mostly though I think he can carry it all on his shoulders. Give him a crappy backing band... give him a strange lyric, a seemingly boring traditional progression/arrangement, and somehow he makes it all work.

Not Crap.
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Postby bumble on Fri Feb 04, 2005 1:36 pm

Mayfair wrote:He also is as smart and sly and is constantly fucking with you without you knowing. I think that is a Louisville thing. They are either one step ahead of you or 500 behind but since the earth is round, the 500th is right around the same place as the one step ahead, you know what I mean?


Ha! This reminds me of some of my Southern cousins. Cool as all get out, but I have watched them (more than once) languidly explain to a guy that he was the dumbest man in most of recorded history. (The drawl goes along at its own pace but you know that brain is racing along 300 times faster than the conversation.) He smiled and nodded, not getting it, the entire time.

The rest of the room got it, though.

I'm very, very glad they're on my side.

I'll relate Mayfair's 500 step analogy to them. They will enjoy it very much. Salut, Mayfair!

One of the more recent records, Master and Everyone? How I love that record. (Some of the rest of it, not as much.)

NOT CRAP.
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Postby Brett Eugene Ralph on Fri Feb 04, 2005 1:42 pm

Mayfair wrote:He also is as smart and sly and is constantly fucking with you without you knowing. I think that is a Louisville thing. They are either one step ahead of you or 500 behind but since the earth is round, the 500th is right around the same place as the one step ahead, you know what I mean?


Fuck. We're busted.

I'm inclined to say that Will is my generation's Leonard Cohen, if not yet our Bob Dylan, but I suspect he is only getting warmed up. I look forward to listening to his records for the rest of my life. And I will endure considerable hardship to see him perform, anytime, anyplace.
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Postby Andrew L. on Fri Feb 04, 2005 1:46 pm

Yup, not crap. Not crap, not crap, not crap.
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Postby mattw on Fri Feb 04, 2005 1:55 pm

I don't think he's been as strong as Viva Last Blues for awhile, but I enjoyed the hell out of Master and Everyone. The All Most Heaven EP was a treat as well. Really bummed that I had to miss him a few years back when he was in town.
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Postby dah on Fri Feb 04, 2005 2:33 pm

positively not crap.

tho i have not been a fan that long, i have gathered quite a collection. the forthcoming superworlf record is excellent. strongly suggest, no waffle, not crap not crap not crap.

SALUT to you, Mr. Bonnie William Prince Oldham Super Palace Wolf Brothers Billy Anonama-something.
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Postby howiemarx on Fri Feb 04, 2005 2:52 pm

oldham makes the beautiful music.
not crap
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Postby Angry_Dragon on Fri Feb 04, 2005 3:20 pm

I used to think he was great.
Then he wrote a Celine Dion song ie. "I See A Darkness".
Unforgivable.
I threw all of his records away after that.
CRAP
Better yet, eat the placenta!!!
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Postby Brett Eugene Ralph on Fri Feb 04, 2005 3:26 pm

Angry_Dragon wrote:I used to think he was great.
Then he wrote a Celine Dion song ie. "I See A Darkness".
Unforgivable.
I threw all of his records away after that.
CRAP


If it's good enough for the late Johnny Cash, it's good enough for me.
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Postby Angry_Dragon on Fri Feb 04, 2005 3:28 pm

Brett Eugene Ralph wrote:
Angry_Dragon wrote:I used to think he was great.
Then he wrote a Celine Dion song ie. "I See A Darkness".
Unforgivable.
I threw all of his records away after that.
CRAP


If it's good enough for the late Johnny Cash, it's good enough for me.


What about "One" by U2? Is that good enough for you as well?
Better yet, eat the placenta!!!
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Postby Brett Eugene Ralph on Fri Feb 04, 2005 3:42 pm

Angry_Dragon wrote:What about "One" by U2? Is that good enough for you as well?


If Johnny Cash is singing it, yes.
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Postby dah on Fri Feb 04, 2005 3:47 pm

Angry_Dragon wrote:I used to think he was great.
Then he wrote a Celine Dion song ie. "I See A Darkness".
Unforgivable.
I threw all of his records away after that.
CRAP


i would like to hear Celine Dion sing "We can stop our whoring", i might even buy that record. wait, no.
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Postby tmidgett on Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:18 pm

i am not really down with his live schtick. i have seen him four times, and every time it was 'experimental' to the point of self-indulgence.

one time was just dull. two times were terrible. messes. people jumped on any shred of recognizable anything like hungry dogs. every now and then, some semblance of songness would come out and the starved crowd would have a cow.

the one time i saw him be ok, that was the time i at least understood what he was doing, and i think it put his deal into perspective for me. it was at the drag city new year's party a couple years back. he was playing for a bunch of drunken scenesters, who were talking and laffin' and generally carrying on rather than pay attention.

oldham was exactly the same guy in front of those drunken scenesters as he was at the other shows. same degree of attention to what he was doing, same demeanor. and at one point, he leaned over to the electric piano player, and, very deliberately, said 'e minor. g. d.' he looked at her for a few seconds to make sure she had it.

it was obvious she had never played the song before, which you can either go along with or regard as lazy or even kind of lame, as i think he probably does that in front of paying audiences with some regularity. yet i realized, seeing this interaction, that it wasn't his intent to be half-assed, exactly. i think he gave a shit how it turned out. he just wanted to see what happened under a specific set of circumstances, namely flying by the seat of his pants.

i think flying by the seat of one's pants is vastly overrated. but i have a lot more respect for wanting to live on the edge than i do for not giving a shit. this combined with a couple of his records that i liked (_viva last_ and _arise therefore_) equal not crap for me, though i am not a big fan all in all.
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Postby Noah on Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:24 pm

Boring Crap



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Postby aaron on Fri Feb 04, 2005 5:14 pm

i never liked him until i heard him do dylan's "is your love in vain?" a tossed-off, fairly shitty song (from street legal) that he made into something really beautiful. his cover was even more tossed off and sloppy than the original, but it was incredible. he made more sense to me after that. i don't think he's leonard cohen, but he isn't crap.
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Postby patrick md on Fri Feb 04, 2005 5:16 pm

Great great stuff, and the entire strange myth he's surrounded by completes the package. Even two days ago I blew my friends mind by telling him Will Oldham and Bonnie Billy are the same person.

I got a little worried, because the Greatest Palace Music double LP was fucking horrable, and if he continued along in that vein it would have ended my days of buying his music.

Thankfully, the new Superwolf is great, his best since I See a Darkness. I know he didn't write some of the music on the new LP, but it's still really fucking good.
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Postby steve on Fri Feb 04, 2005 5:20 pm

I will grudgingly agree that Will live with a band (especially at the start of a tour, when everyone is trying to figure out what he's expected to do) can be tedious or laughable. I think this is great, in its way. I also understand that it is "too much" for some people.

The records are made in much the same way, at least those I'm familiar with, and I think they prove the method.

In a position to just knock out the old favorites, Will is still making music in a way that keeps him interested in the moment and uncertain of the outcome. This is totally laudable, and I envy him. He is fearless about his music, and that means a lot to me. One can quibble about the results, but he is totally genuine (even when he is making nonsense or a disheveled mess), and he often makes sublime, crying-in-public-worthy music that can come no other way.

Not crap, Louisville affectations and perversity aside.
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Postby mattw on Fri Feb 04, 2005 5:21 pm

patrick md wrote:I got a little worried, because the Greatest Palace Music double LP was fucking horrable, and if he continued along in that vein it would have ended my days of buying his music.


He ruins some of his own songs (WTF?) on there, esp 'New Partner', one of my favorites of his

But as a self-serving, bizarre, over-produced joke, it wasn't all that bad
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Postby Cranius on Fri Feb 04, 2005 5:34 pm

mattw wrote:
patrick md wrote:I got a little worried, because the Greatest Palace Music double LP was fucking horrable, and if he continued along in that vein it would have ended my days of buying his music.


He ruins some of his own songs (WTF?) on there, esp 'New Partner', one of my favorites of his

But as a self-serving, bizarre, over-produced joke, it wasn't all that bad


I read an interview with the artist fomerly known as Will Oldham in which the interviewer asked why he had recorded this greatest hits, did he need clothes for his kids? He said yes something along those lines.

I thought this was a bad album except for the sax solo in Pushkin(?). That was bold.

Will Oldham vs. Bonnie Prince Billy. This is one the best things I've ever read.


Blue Lotus Feet, not crap.
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