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.

Friday, November 16

SONG OF THE DAY: Rocky Ground


Malcolm Holcombe is a lovely musician who likely would be clumped into the genre of “Americana” which used to be “alt.country” until ppl realized how corny that was. The rebranding of it as Americana pretends it’s a more country version of country music, truer to the simple spirit that helped build this racist American empire. But unlike a lot of the trash Americana music people always try to convince me I’d love, which I never do, I really do love Malcolm Holcombe. And I’ve done a lot of thinking about this… why does some of this feel so real to me while other parts of it feel like shit somebody would be playing at a hipster breakfast brunch spot that I have to wait outside for 23 minutes to get a table (which I’m not going to do, ever, if I am paying you money I am not standing around to wait and pay you money, unless it’s rare drugs). This is how I developed what I call the Longhaired Country Boy litmus test. When I hear one of these Americana/alt.country/singer-songwriter fuckers, I ask myself, does this person non-ironically know every word to Long Haired Country Boy, and would they likely be okay sitting around an RV table doing crank with my dad, or at least not minding my dad doing crank while they sat there too, even if they abstained? If the answer is no to the first, they’re wack right away. Fuck y’all fake motherfuckers, who have made everything performative and pretend.
As for the second, that’s more difficult. There’s a lot of shit that could pass the first test, and I may or may not like it, but I won’t actively dislike it or consider it false (although this is an era where falseness is real, and real is manufactured or stomped into darkness). But passing the second RV table crank with my dead dad test is a lot tougher. But I have no doubt in my mind Malcolm Holcombe would not only pass that test, I often, when I hear his words and western Carolina natural born twang, wonder if maybe he didn’t sit around a table with my now-dead dad and do crank. This particular song is a wonderful look into the dark reality of Holcombe’s art. It is not going to be on a late show, and he’s not going to get interviewed as “true representation of the white working class that got left behind by global progress” or whatever the fuck way corny motherfuckers always write about everybody who is lost, hopeless, addicted, overdosing on fake freedom, and still out here trying to be alive as a piece of shit white-ish person in a world run by shitty white people who for whatever reason got no love for the white trash. He’s released a new album this year, and that one hasn’t sunk into my electronic jukebox rotation as deeply as Pretty Little Troubles, which this came from, as since last year. But I have a list of artists I desperately want to see, and will go see so long as it’s not too godawful far and affordable. That list is currently three acts – Mdou Moctar, Brother Ali, and Malcolm Holcombe. So consider this an endorsement of this fucker, who makes great music, but it’s dark, and also I think he did crank with my dad.

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