Friday, June 1, 2007

Ode of Goodwill and Hank Williams

I was wandering the aisles of Goodwill a couple of weeks ago, as I am wont to do, and found myself looking through their rather meager selection of vinyl. I used to frequent the vinyl section, but we’ve kind of gone our separate ways, I’d moved on. You see it just wasn’t giving back. I would take my time, be gentle, flip gently, carefully through the ‘new arrival’ section, and even go through the rest of the shelves, just in case I missed something last time. But it just isn’t surprising me any more. It doesn’t excite that same light feeling in the stomach, the rabid butterflies of anticipation. There’s always Frank Sinatra live at some dive and Bing Crosby does Christmas vol. MMX and there’s always a copy of Déjà vu (not that I’m trying to rag on Déjà vu, but everyone owns it, that’s the issue, good album, I just don’t feel the need for more than one copy in my life right now) and (well, actually that’s not true, I own it on CD and vinyl, so two copies in my life…) (not that I’m that big of a fan of it, it’s a burned disc, and the vinyl was used, I guess if I had to really give a concrete opinion I’d say its ok, I get kinda bored sometimes on side 2) and Eurythmics, which is absurd, but check a Good Will, it’s there, you’ll find at every Goodwill, on CD and Vinyl. So anyway the vinyl section and I have a complicated relationship, and had kind of gone our separate ways. But for some reason I was drawn back. I began flipping through the ‘new arrivals’ and there it was. Hank Williams ‘The Legend of Hank Williams in Song and Story.’ Bam, period bitches. Fucking Hank Williams, period. I happen to like Hank Williams. And don’t have much on vinyl. I’m not huge on “Greatest Hits” kind of albums (you miss all the gems, like have you ever seen “The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest” on any Bob Dylan greatest hits? No. I rest my case) but in this instance, though a bit skeptical, I thought, “sold.” Turns out this album is fucking amazing. It’s Hank Williams Jr. narrating two full length records of his father’s songs. He tells anecdotes he’s heard from other musicians, tells the stories behind some songs, in short, if you gave me one word to describe this affair I would choose “fucking fantastic.” A new prize in my collection. Though it’s mostly songs you’ve got elsewhere in the Hank Williams catalogue, but it’s still a one-of-a-kind Hank Williams album. And it has two poems by Hank Williams read by Hank Williams Jr. that are so bad that they are, you guessed it, fucking fantastic. I don’t know where you would find this again, I’ve never seen it or heard of it before, but it’s a beautiful thing. There may yet be hope sweet vinyl section at Goodwill, yes, there may be hope for us yet.

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