Favorite

Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard: One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Music From Kerouac's Big Sur (F-Stope/Atlantic) 

This unlikely duo visits coastal California as well as a bygone era, reaching out in devotion to a shared hero.

With lyrics plucked from Kerouac's 1962 novel Big Sur, the songs mostly stick close to a laid-back country-rock formula. It's no surprise that the Farrar-sung tunes lean toward his brooding style, while the Gibbard-sung tunes have lighter melodies and an air of wistfulness.

Farrar and Gibbard land closer to a Son Volt album than one that could be mistaken for Death Cab for Cutie. While the contributions are equally wholehearted and clearly mined from a reverence for Kerouac, it's still surprising that Farrar and Gibbard even crossed paths in the first place.

Highlights include Farrar's "Low Life Kingdom," with its gently swaying pedal steel guitar, and Gibbard's "One Fast Move or I'm Gone," dreamy and idyllic like a serene California afternoon.

What the songs collectively achieve is a strong impression of how recontextualized works of art can reveal new shades of meaning. Not only does the collaboration yield insights into Farrar and Gibbard as songwriters, but by presenting Kerouac as a troubadour, the album discovers a more timeless music in his words.

It's a record interesting enough to not only spark more curiosity in Kerouac, Big Sur and the album's accompanying documentary, but also how and why American artists across generations keep approaching the same themes of nostalgia, disillusion, restless youth, ambition and the endless inspiration of the West Coast.

More by Eric Swedlund

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

Laughing Stock: Holly Jolly Edition

Hello, Winter! Tips For Surviving Tonight's Big Chill

The Weekly List: 26 Things To Do in Tucson This Week

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Brilliant Disguise

    The Great Cover Up features local acts masquerading as some of the biggest names in rock ’n’ roll, all for a good cause
    • Dec 7, 2017
  • XOXO...

    Xavier previews new shows, albums and other music happenings.
    • Dec 7, 2017
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation