Sky Rabbit 
Member since Dec 28, 2008


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Re: “Your Daily Lick: The Jonah Kit

I take umbrage with this review. (But then, I take umbrage with most postmodern cultural criticism!) The first mistake in this failed attempt at describing Watchman's CD is the author's assumption that something as immeasurable as Watchman's talent and originality can be condensed into a single paragraph. Who can say--perhaps the fault lies with the editors. Nevertheless, the minutiae so carelessly selected by the reviewer to focus on within these regrettably tight parameters evoke the image of a would-be astronomer more interested in looking at a telescope than the Moon itself. To his credit, Mr. Seltenrich blithely sprinkles window dressing like "off-key" and "high-pitch" less as a means to ridicule Watchman's musical abilities and more to inflate his own misguided sense of critical and cultural superiority. An objective he no doubt believes is accomplished in the opening sentence, courtesy of the smug deconstruction of Bob Dylan as nothing more musically significant than a tone-deaf mumbler. Consequently, nary a word is given to Watchman's lyrics, which Mr. Seltenrich would be compelled to admit are themselves Dylanesque--provided, of course, his critical faculties were capable of anything deeper than redundancies such as "Acoustic guitar, upright bass, and drums play their part. . ." (Thus begging the question: if instruments didn't "play their part", would they even be instruments?) So yes, in one sense, Mr. Seltenrich is correct in illustrating the connection between Dylan and Watchman, although his qualitative analysis of the parallels misses the mark entirely. Besides that particular canonized sage of folk music, Watchman's picaresque narratives also remind discerning listeners of the angelic lucidity of Leonard Cohen leveraged against the earthbound and streetwise snarl of Lou Reed, all united into an original and unassailable hybrid of musical ferocity. Ah, how many hidden critical layers could one discover beyond the perimeter of a pithy paragraph? No one knows--least of all Mr. Seltenrich. Suffice it to say that if such a folk/rock powerhouse did exist--which indeed it does in the person of Jonah Watchman--those of us who have had to survive on the thin gruel of hip-hop, techno, emo, indie (and all the other subgenres du jour!) should get down on our knees and thank Heaven for such unique refreshment. Would that that Holy Day would arrive with swift and uncompromising vengeance! Amen.

Posted by Sky Rabbit on 12/28/2008 at 7:02 PM

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