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Archives: The Wooden Piano


„Should never have left the crystal lake
For areas where trees are fake
And dogs are dead with broken hearts
Collapsing by the coffee carts
The crystal lake it only laughs
It knows you’re just a modern man
It’s shining like a chandelier
Shining somewhere far away from here“


Do you remember The Department of Disappearance? No? That overlooked treat. What I love about the songs of his maybe second best album, is their dreamy atmosphere, they create a space to vanish into them. „Dept. Of Disappearance“, the perfect title for this kind of escapism. And, right on, there are lovely moods, great noises, funny breaks, playful keyboard arpeggios, a slightly drunken Chopin quote, catchy lyrics, vintage synthesizer sounds and all. Almost everything played by Grandaddy’s mastermind himself. Nearly every song is telling a story about death, and dying. Not in an existenzialist way a la John Cale’s „Music For A New Society“ or Neil Young’s „Tonight’s The Night“. More playful, uplifting. Full of wonder, but never in a naive way. Thanks god, there’s fucking no one being soaked up by some golden light. In the last song, „Gimme Click, Gimme Grid“, Jason Lytle closes this beautiful album with a childhood memory, and another way of disappearing.


Material  for Research & Wonder:
Max Porter: Trauer ist das Ding mit Federn  / Tunng: … presents Dead Club (now relisted, my album of 2020) /  Dead Club: The Podcast / Jason Lytle: Dept. of Disappearance / Grandaddy: The Sophtmore Slump with The Wooden Piano / Ulrikes Merettichsuppe mit kandierten Maronen / Flambierter Provencalischer Lammbraten mit Auberginen, Zwiebeln & Zucchini  / „The majority of critics mistook Richard  Brautigan‘s  economy of means and minimal style for slightness, his humour and playfulness for irresponsibility. In reality, his books are particularly sombre, centering on decay, disfigurement and sadness. Paradoxically, he elevated the spirits of his readers“  (Brian Morton, How Hippies Got Hooked on Trout Fishing in America, in: The Times Higher Education Supplement, 16.Nov. 1984; zitiert nach John F. Barber – An Annotated Bibliography)


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