Saturday, March 7, 2009

This is not a review, just revisiting one of the greatest live albums of all time

The applause track on Johnny Cash’s, Live at Folsom Prison, is entirely independent of the music tracks. The applause track—assumed to be a recording of Folsom inmates—undulates, is pulled out and put in wherever the editor or producer sees fit. At times, these placements are so conspicuous that they are laughable, a laugh track. They always occur where expected, expected of. Drugs, murder, death, applause. This recording is not a documentary of a performance that took place in a prison, not entirely; this recording is a created document. Rather than a recorded event, Live at Folsom Prison is a recording-event. This is not a prison performance; it has been edited, cut, polished, created in a studio and packaged for consumption. The contemporary consumer still expects what the first consumer expected forty years ago: drugs, murder, death, applause.

The United States has the world’s most defective prison system. California has the most defective prison system in the United States. California’s entire prison system is in federal receivership, and many of its institutions are on watch-lists for human rights violations; this is true. “All prisoners are vicious psychopaths,” one says; Live at Folsom Prison is the evidence.
From Untitled Album

From Untitled Album

From Untitled Album

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Declawing the Downwinders

Fast Eddie kept a few of the shipyard bets
from the Turf Club bookies in Portland post-
depression all through the war he ran

books from a box of frozen blueberries
in the basement Grandma divorced him for gambling
away the family home some-

how he won her back: Jackpot
Fast Eddie draws his line in
the Nevada desert calls upon the general

Postmaster slowly makes his way up from Battle Creek
A million dollar diamond ring stolen by gunpoint in the rear
of a pink Lincoln convertible overloaded with cash and coin and

his new ethics of thievery: The house
always wins with a charming smile
and a touch of class anything goes
and nobody seems to care when

another Protestant vigilante with pencil-line mustache
segregates a housing complex thought
no one should notice all the dark skin out back

From gramps

From gramps

From gramps