Wednesday, May 16, 2012

John Wesley Coleman III on Sophomore Lounge Records

I knew I recognized this vocal and turns out this isn't the first time Sophomore Lounge has put out something by Mr. Coleman III, there was a split between classic Gary Stewart and John not long ago featuring a cover from John of Gary's "Oh Woman"...this time SL is letting John off on his own to take over both sides of this one, starting with A-Side's "Alone by the Door".

This one is a quiet, acoustic... half finger picked and strummed, with less than tuned piano strikes from way off in the practice room. John is recorded real big up front vocals with a booming bowed bass for the chorus. It feels like John is in love with the variances of every side to an acoustic string being plucked or played completely recklessly, this whole thing has a bit of an off edge to it that comes with this kid of freewheeling non-traditional approach that goes for the vocals too with this warbly phaser effect. The backup doubled vocal isn't so much of your typical harmony as just being slightly out of sync, going for the straight emotion with lots of little experiments and surprises along the way. Even a theremin finds a place for a second, there's some bangs on a tom, and scattered crash, lots of one takes, a flurry of composition in the middle of the night, singer songwritery, with lots of twists. High pitch piano key banging. That's what happens when you're trying to play with a dog on your shoulder.

On "I want you to be like everybody else" John has a quieter far off vocal this side going a pure 4 track direction like that old K-recs stuff, a little bit of sloppiness is going to feel alright, but I'm basically already on board with this because he's just talking about New York City. That same out of tune piano is great here in single note doses. Leslie Sisson of the Wooden Birds is a perfect backup vocal sounding like something in the hayday of home recorded Bunnygrunts, and the Yips... or the freaking Spinanes! That's it... Rebecca Gates. This is goofy, not taking it self too seriously, winning over the right hearts and minds. It doesn't have to be so serious, you can have fun with these happy accidents of the quiet distortions, mistaken notes finding a place, an anti-rhythm, a squeak of the vocal, It's that familiarity of making music that hits all the right notes. The thought that you've been there, and it sounded a lot better when you weren't trying so hard and reveled in those imperfections.

(commercial pop suicide) from Sophomore Lounge Records.

Another 45 from our friend John Wesley Coleman III (of Austin psych-country cronies, The Golden Boys) featuring fellow-Texan, Rob Halverson, and the sweet sounds of Leslie Sisson (The Wooden Birds) on guest vocals. This single shows perhaps a softer, more sincere side (than even his Gary Stewart rendition?) of a rock 'n' roll wild child, without sacrificing that boozily soulful, southern wisdom that made us love him in the first place. "Alone By The Door" marks Coleman's third slab of wax already this year (!), following the release of his homemade heartbreaker "Nightmare On Silly Street" (Monofonous) and killer new Greg Ashley-produced full-length, "The Last Donkey Show" (Goner), not to mention another Golden Boys album on the shelves this month. Coleman is a machine, and we're more than happy to keep his gears greased. Limited pressing of 200 copies (numbered) on black vinyl.

Check out some of JWC III's tracks, not from the single.....

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