Witness the Bliss of EMMA RUTH RUNDLE
I have spent a LOT of fucking time visiting hospitals recently (and kinda pity the intern who, wide-eyed and earnest, asks me how I spent my “time off”) so I was a little reluctant to jump into this slow burn since I started the week discussing funerary wishes and listening to arguments for and against intubation while the patient explained that she prays so hard sometimes her heart fucking stops.
But now, she’s got a pacemaker.
So here I am.
Lovely, lovely, lovely. A little damage. A little yelling. Beats and scronk and tidal horn but mostly totally lovely. I’d call it a breath of fresh air but worry that might imply a passivity NORDRA would find insulting since there is a clear bent of willful agitation in her work so let’s just say it’s the right wavelength to wash over some raw fucking nerves and sate the shakes just enough to unlock my jaw.
When I was in high school, I decided I wanted – one day – to be the man in “Goin’ Out West.” So far all I’ve got going is a little bit of chest hair and a brief catalog of scars. I mean, I do know a little about Voodoo but martial arts escape me and I guess feeling comfortable being shirtless isn’t exactly the same as looking good.
I got some time left in this mess, though, so who knows?
Jaye Jayle, though? They’ve got the Olds ’88 and a devil on the leash and by the hard lines of their hands and a rough cut in the jib I just KNOW those motherfuckers can rock the weather of tattered masculine ambition that Mr. Waits so licentiously foresaw.
But aesthetics, however key to the Jaye Jayle experience, are a distant second to the tall wind dust of their sound which once wooed me into buying every piece of wax that sat on their table but tonight, well tonight their tallow brood is just one long, sweat-ready proof that a man can be a man without being an unredeemable piece of shit. That he can live ugly and true and in that truth he can espouse simple humane virtues like kindness and pride and respect and I fucking love it and should totally punch myself in the dick for not investing myself in “No Trail…” sooner but I’m not the kind of man who can fuck with such spot-on perspective every day.
I need to make my mistakes, honor my regret and pray one day I might be the dude proudly displaying the heart-shaped hole in his roof.
Emma Ruth Rundle
What a pleasure it is to be free and what a terribly inconsolable burden.
I can’t remember the last time I saw Ms. Rundle take the stage but I remember it was with Marriages opening for Creepoid and though the band was fine (was Deb with them then?) it was ERR’s haunted presence that stole the show. She struck me as a wraith, then. A bitter portent of long shadows who’d steal my heart and fill my lungs with burrs and glue.
Tonight, she is a fire.
Forged from decades betwixt and between come to bellow her truth to the sullen dunes, the penitent multitude collected here in bleak angles to honor the savage accents of her beatitudes.
And I feel kissed to be among them.
Because I have somehow made it a point to miss out on Ms. Rundle’s ascent from captivating ellipsis to force majeure or maybe she always has been and I was just too dumb, blind and broke to know what a wonder there was to be found shifting the wild dust and rusty brood into a wild equine homily just beyond my pale understanding of heavy and heartache but I am so wooed right now it seems like a sin against myself to overthink the strange gift of being in this wholly unexpected moment, listening to Emma Ruth Rundle’s wild and tender song.