“Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” (Mickey Newbury)

The “hippie cowboy” strikes where it hurts. While the Kenny Rogers & The First Edition’s later version is more well known, the original’s commitment to both sitar at the beginning and tape manipulation at the end signal that the stakes are a bit different. Any altered state here is premised on a warped negligence; your “mind” should be elsewhere and soaring. Just make sure to check in once in a while: lubricate social relations, follow “sign[s],” and “unwind” as others are wont to do. Testify to the intensity of experience. Make sure that your mind is “broke[n]. And always be packing a spare “you,” since it’s the best you can do on a daily basis (given the legal limits). Be here now and then.

 

Read more "“Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” (Mickey Newbury)"

“Love Me, I’m a Liberal” (Phil Ochs)

The “shadiest” shade of political opinion, liberal politics only appears in relation to interest (self and economic). Accrual crucial to this formulation: wisdom and experience antithetical to being “young and impulsive.” Singer declares two formative concepts within such politics: “too far”-ness and “safe logic.” The “lockbox” as stranglehold, and the spacing of the social secured, with a smile.

Read more "“Love Me, I’m a Liberal” (Phil Ochs)"

“Holy Ghost” (The Bar-Kays)

Staged as an alternative Pentecostal worship service, with the lover’s love (as language) containing the Holy Ghost. Perhaps it’s more a question of how such love can be transformative. It certainly has to do with voices/voicing, phrasing, and articulation–see the bass’ varied attacks and effects. It’s also about translation: a love that puts a “tremble” in the singer’s “talk.” (There’s no glossolalia or xenoglossy here. While we’re at it, there’s also no sense of baptism in the strict sense: there’s no “experience” of the lover/god, only their effects. And no trinity; only two multiplied by all potential listeners.) The lover “ought to be ashamed” of his/her power, but there’s no “in itself” here. Love/listening is between and referred, and nothing outside of this.

 

Read more "“Holy Ghost” (The Bar-Kays)"