RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Saturday, September 3

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - July '11 #8: "Satan Is Real/Straight To Hell" by Hank Williams III

If I could have one piece of music on vinyl to add to my collection, it would be Straight To Hell double LP by Hank Williams III. I first bought this on CD when I was painting an old dinghy building in downtown Richmond at night, riding a creepy ass freight elevator upstairs to haunted floors, alone by myself in this cavernous building. I bought Straight to Hell, pretty stoked for it, as I dug Lovesick, Broke & Driftin' a lot, even if Tricephus didn't. Man, little did I expect that Hank III would make a drug-addled masterpiece of modern American music. Seriously, I don't think there's ever been a better encapsulation of what it means to be southern small town proud but fucked, and endlessly talented but hopelessly doomed, than this double CD. The thing is the first CD is normally broken down into different songs, like you would expect, but the second more experimental CD is like the greatest shit ever done, and I wish there were whole genres of music like that CD, but instead there's been nothing else like it, ever, not even from Hank III. That album was done on the exact same type of recording equipment that Prolo used to use too, so me and Boogie Brown always felt an added affinity for it. When you make music in haphazard old ways with hardware not software, you become attached to those methods as not just method but ritual, precious artistic rituals that unlock what it is you are truly trying to do through rhythm and word patterns. And though that description is far too pretentious sounding for Hank III to ever agree that's what he was doing, he knows that's what he was doing.
But this double CD echoing through that cavernous fucking old warehouse on Franklin Street in Richmond, working through the night into the early morning hours, to where when I loaded my equipment back up so things could dry before regular work crew came in during the day, the streets of RVA had that beautiful ghostly silence broken up only by distant sirens or the shuffling of a drunkard and/or homeless dude across the street through the chill overnight air. Shit made sense, and it would always be after midnight, plus I had an hour and a half drive home, so I didn't have beer in the ride to travel home with, but this album would make you want to have just that.
In fact, this song - the first off the double CD, pretty much creates a Pavlovian response in my household. The ol' lady will crack open a beer and have extra sashay to her walk, and I will think about how great music through headphones sounds when you've taken 500 mg of oxycodone for a minute, but realize that's not where I'm at right now, and smile and act like I act, doing something like wrestle the dog playfully and say she hadn't earned that white patch on her belly yet, pretending to be an Aryan in jail, or putting on wrestling masks and running around the house with the little ones, and sneaking up on unsuspecting people to mumble "LA MOMIA LA MOMIA" which is Mexican for mummy. I still understand getting fucked up as shit, and appreciate it, and often miss it to be honest with you. But at this point, looking at how many chilluns I've made and the crooked ass world they're gonna get left to live in, I'd rather fuck up the world than leave it at fucking up myself. So I do what I can, when I can, and try to stay calm with that, hoping it's enough to quell my inner-demons.
STEAL "Satan Is Real/Straight To Hell"
NEXT
: Some serious ass sangin'!

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