Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Album out on Goner Records this Fall

"Come on cops!
Well you hit me in the head
With a bone
And I wanted to go home." - John Wesley Coleman "Come On Cops"

Who is John Wesley Coleman?
He has described himself as "garbage collector, golden boy." Those four words might fit him best.

He is currently making pizzas in Austin, still living in weird territory, part of an invisible non-scene aligned with his other Austin band Golden Boys, North Carolina's Spider Bags, and Memphis' Limes, all bands doing their own takes on psychedelic, country-tinged sprawling rock. His covers are telling - on his last album Steal My Mind he covered Lester Bangs and Warren Zevon- this time it's Nikki Sudden, all largely street-level commentators of life below the poverty line. Of course, a few years back he released a completely blasted version of George Michael's "Faith" that was taken as a piss-take but actually spoke to Wes' mindset. To get through it all, you do have to have faith, even if that path leads to embarrassing moments in public bathrooms. It's all part of a faith-based life.

Wes has been compared to Lou Reed, Mr Bangs, Daniel Johnston and even Pavement, who adopted some of the spaciousness of country life after their initial spizzle grotted out. But who wants to hear Pavement now? Owning cars that don't break down will make you complacent, and luckily Wesley hasn't had to deal with that yet. Hanging out at bus stops gives the man with eyes a whole lot of material to work with.

Although he has noted that "The poetry of the streets is a football," the song on Bad Lady Goes To Jailwhich will probably stick in your head first is about desire. The desire to play basketball.

"Ooh basketball.
Oooh Oooh... BASKETBALL!
I want to play BASKETBALL! "

Bad Lady Goes To Jail
covers a whole variety of desires, from the desire for police to stop assaulting him to the desire to dance with his woman, to the less-specific "Something In My Brain Wants Something." To balance the wandering heart of Mr Coleman, he also offers straight observations in songs like the self-explanatory "Christians Drive Like Shit" and "My Friend Dan," a straight celebration of his buddy Dan.

There's a glorious shimmer that runs through John Wesley Coleman's sometimes ramshackle music, a graceful melding of enthusiastic melodies & rushed instrumental attack framing off-beat lyrics sung by someone who can find moments of excitement in some pretty unlikely situations. Instead of living in the gutter looking at the stars, he's living in the gutter looking at the crazy people stumbling down the street. And loving it!

62Gone - John Wesley Coleman - Bad Lady Goes to Jail LP/CD

1. Bad Lady Goes to Jail
2. Fields of Love
3. Lazy Baby
4. Oh, Basketball
5. Get High Babe
6. Go, Baby, Go
7. Something in My Brain
8. Come on Cops
9. My Friend Dan
10. Can't Stop Dreaming
11. Christians Drive Like Shit
12. New York

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