Oct 8, 2008


Mark Tucker - In the Sack CD Reissue, De Stijl Records 2008

I ain't got time for folks what can cram themselves in pigeonholes. Rats can stretch their bodies down to the diameter of their skulls, too, ya know.
Thankfully, the people that never fit somehow find one another. Take De Stijl Records. Hard to say what is and ain't apropo for them to distribute in mass quantities. Lee Rockey, Hototogisu, Black Vial--somewhere up there's an umbrella they're all ahuddled under. But near as I can tell, if anything's holding it up, it's the Mark Tucker reissues. Consumate fringe persona? Check. Career-altering nervous breakdowns? Natch. Tugging at the folk idiom escape hatch like some beardo weirdo Tex Avery drawing? Half-cocked concept albums? Shit yes. 'S all in there somewhere, innit? No, literally. It ain't hard to pull anybody's ear to an number of moments on this one, Tucker's last ride from back in 82. There's some Davies and a touch of "Cypress Avenue," even, in "Everywhere With Sally (Ride)" (written backwards, recorded so's it goes frontwards). A hat is tipped to Ron Geesin on intermissions like "The Importance of Making Mole Hills Out of Specks." And, among other exciting shit, one can make out graphite sketches of Vivian Stanshall, Surf's Up-era Beach Boys, and the ugly mug of Tom Rapp peering over the precipice like Kilroy's emaciated ghost. Did I mention it might be about a post-apocalyptic future...and the postal service? Not that it matters by the third shift in direction.
See, records that hit so many notes often leave you with only a vivid image of the maker's turntable favs, but this one...somewhere in there is a voice; one trying to sing through every vessel in reach. So by the time you reach tracks like "Can't Make Love," a music-hall-via-Bobb-Trimble jig, and realize it was preceded by a phony radio station ad, your doubts and wonders get sucked out the back of your noggin. Who cares. Just let it happen. The edge is always where the good shit goes down. At least De Stijl's made sure Tucker's got some shade out there.
If any of this mess looked like a meal, ol' Clint from De Stijl can set the table.

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