Jim White - Drill a Hole in That Substrate and Tell Me What You See

Mix Tom Waits with William Faulkner and The Talking Heads, shake a little and you may just get something like Jim White - but I think that cocktail shaker was shattered to pieces when White created his musical style. David Byrne himself saw a kindred spirit in the Floridian and faster than you can say Hick Hop, he was signed to Luaka Bop - Byrne's own label.

He seems to have set up his rig in mighty fertile ground since once again he has hauled out another fine crop of songs in the same unusual style he has honed over this last two albums - bizarre but quaint, outright weird but never forcibly so. His last album mixed loops, turntables, banjos and all types of crazy stuff, and with the versatile Joe Henry co-producing this effort, the mix is none the simpler with trumpets, wah-wah guitars, gospel voices and wurlitzer organs mingling with songs about follicular worries, divine apparitions and other wild-eyed heroes that inhabit White's Southern imagination.

Aimee Mann joins him to sing Static on the radio though it sounds rather radio-friendly but as weird as they come - check out the classical horn bridge. Both Bluebird, a Paean to his daughter, and the chaotic and funky Combing My Hair in a Brand New Style follow, keeping that aura of mystery firmly in place and upping the tunesmithery by another notch. Two live favourites Objects In Motion and That Girl from Brownsville Texas have finally been nailed to an album but sound very different from the live renditions he's given them in the past but are all the better for this new treatment.Though he sometimes overindulges in dreamy soundscapes (such as on the finale Phonebooth in Heaven), White keeps the album sharp and interesting throughout - it should be interesting to see how these songs translate to his live act on his upcoming tour.

A definite winner for this years most-difficult-to-remember-title, making Jim White's debut The Mysterious Tale of How I Cried Out Wrong-Eyed Jesus slip off the tongue in comparison, Drill a hole... is another great addition to the White catalogue. Quite why this guy isn't more famous is beyond me but at least those in the know can continue to appreciate his albums with a haughty air.




Jim's on tour! Here's the European dates...
Netherlands
June 11, 2004
The Hague
The Music in my Head Festival

France
June 12, 2004
Paris
Maroquinerie

Belgium
June 13, 2004
Brussels
Rotonde

Germany
June 14, 2004
Berlin
Mudd Club

The U. K.
June 16, 2004
Portsmouth
The Wedgewood Rooms

June 18, 2004
Edinburgh
Queens Hall

June 19, 2004
Leeds
Cockpit

June 20, 2004
Manchester
Night & Day

June 22, 20004
London
Islington Academy

June 23, 2004
Birmingham
Bar Academy

June 24, 2004
Dublin
The Village

Overall

8

out of 10

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