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 Post subject: Last Bookstore In Town
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:11 pm 
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There is a recent youtube of GP debuting Last Bookstore in Town, a song that has kinda got a thumbs down by some who have heard it. My sense is that it deserves a few more listens. While the tune seems to be that of a ditty (think Christmas is for Mugs) the song really belongs in the GP genre of Songs of No Consequence, meaning a song that appears to be so light that it masks its weight. When you hear a new pop song from a lesser artist, an immediate reaction is often correct because that is what the song is. But with GP, it is always a good idea to first figure out what he is trying to do before deciding if the song is meaningful and useful. In LBIT, GP takes on the anti-intellctualism of our time; the mass consumerism that cannot tell the difference between Steinbeck and Keroac and pulp and therefore does not care about the difference. If GP has done anything in his long career, it has always been to focus on attention on ways to discern what is useful from what is not. I’m not sure if the Last Bookstore is the place where the truth is discerned or just a place where it all is and you have to figure it out. But I do sense that GP is the Last Bookstore. All of our knowledge, both good and bad gets in that mind…a higgly piggly stew. Out comes the song or the short story or the novel. We, the listeners, are the customers of the Last Bookstore in Town. As GP hints that he is ready to hang up his pick, where exactly do we go? Barnes and Noble? He stands up there and asks his listeners, “Why you reading? “He knows why but do we?
I think GP experiments with lighter tunes and the kazoo sometimes when he wants to mask the weight of the message. Again, a lesser artist will always have the heavy song with a heavy tune and serious demeaner and the lighter song will have a simple message or none at all. Especially lately, GP mixes it all up…let the reader decide.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:11 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfbPDd1ZS_4

I guess this is the song you are referring to, having only heard it once before posting and commenting about it I have yet to understand its meaning.
Okay so I heard it again for me this song reminds me of the bookstore I used to live above, a little different from the song, since it never opened. Yet it was filled with dust and books of progress long since passed.
Serving latte that wouldn't last was its forte, since you can't serve if your doors are always closed.
I used to look in the window and wondered about who's store it was and when it would open after 5 years I moved on. Going back many years later I believe the bookstore still had no readers there.
So progress is something to be knocked down and built up again if the artist is serious about their craft.
I find Graham's songs very descriptive to say the least. And like some of Graham's song I am going to agree it may take time to grow on you.
In the intro to this song the audience was given instruction on how to play kazoo! woo hoo!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:29 pm 
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jerry, I appreciate your post, but for me at least, everything you wrote was understood from the first listen. I'm really not thinking about it all that much until I see him live or the album appears--I've only heard the new songs from Youtube, dimedozen, etc.--but the song struck me as a little flat.

for one thing, it seems like a topic more current in, say, the '90s; in NYC, at least, there's been a slight uptick in independent bookstores in the past few years, somewhat like the vinyl market. Also, the "that's progress, that's that" idea has been put by graham into more elegant musical settings. Though it is an idea that needs repeating. But this song has a kind of NPR quality that is not my bag.

I didn't mean to single this tune out... actually all of the new ones have struck me as a bit awkward or uninspired on first listen in a way that GP tunes rarely have before. I wonder if all the "big stuff" going on and coming up, the movie and whatnot, has disrupted graham's typical songwriting zone. But I don't mean to overinterpret or fret in advance. I'm sure the album will be good.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:34 pm 
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I do think that all the new stuff has one layer of veneer removed from the songs. They are more on the surface than we are used to. I think that makes them harder to deal with as serious work but I think they are serious. The end of the song has a 1984 feel to me, that if you are curious you are suspect. I believe the actual cite is a Bill Hicks comedy routine which I will try to attach. He died very young. I do not know if his routine was derivative from George Orwell but I like the GP that understands that everything in art is new and is derivative. Both Hicks and my previous post refer to anti-intellectualism and I think we are wrong. I think there is an anti curiousity or anti great art mentality which essentially is anti character. And GP is a character. I think the song simply and elegantly pleads for character.

I just returned from Italy where I had the great pleasure of seeing the Sistene Chapel and then Michelangelo's David. There is a story that the popes or the Medici's wanted more paintings from Mick but he said, not a quote..."painting is for pussies". Now that's character.

Unfortunately I know many of those New York intellectuals and I find them so incredibly uncurious as to any "art" that is not their art. Many seem to beleve that only they know about great art. I think that partially explains why GP is writing simpler simpler songs and why GP languishes on back pages. This week alone I marvel at the news and note at least a hundred times talking heads use expressions like "get over it and move on" But how many of them say..."Leathel spirochetes of poison rifle through my blood..."

I've been to over fifty GP shows. I find it interesting when the artist asks the audience..."What are you doing here?" "What are you trying to gain?" Whatcha reading for?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvs2g5Nj0NI

===
There's nothing here worth reading...I really must confess


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:49 am 
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That was funny since I hadn't heard Bill's routine before the songs almost makes better sense, the part i didn't care fore was the chorus, what cha reading why u reading, now i get it funny stuff as only GP can deliver.

How was david by the way!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:36 pm 
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cc wrote:
Also, the "that's progress, that's that" idea has been put by graham into more elegant musical settings. Though it is an idea that needs repeating. But this song has a kind of NPR quality that is not my bag.

I think cc's missing the Chairman's point with this song. The Bill Hicks connection is genius--the walkie-talkie "crackle...We got a reader here...crackle" puts the message across that the Thought Police are looking for us. I went down the YouTube rabbit hole with Bill Hicks the other night and it was well worth the 80% of my laptop battery I spent there. It is not pathetic NPR-crowd self-congratulation that GP puts across with this song, but a real sense of calling for resistance--maybe even a Resistance in the historical meaning. Who is reading..who is thinking..who is acting on it? The debt ceiling mess is proof that the whole government is scared sh*tless and scared spineless of the Tea Baggers. Its a lot to ask of our man to lead a revolution, but he at least points out the need for resistance.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:24 am 
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Even just on first listen, I like this song, and I'm sure I'll like it more with repeated exposure. Anyway, there are certain kinds of obvious you can't state too clearly, or too often, especially when you suspect that nobody's listening....


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:42 pm 
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what is most obvious, is that the song will not sound the same, when and if it is released in commercial form. Looking forward to listening to its sound in a completed phase.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:03 pm 
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still trying to see how the point I made and the point I "missed" are different... glad I didn't tell you guys what I think of "Stop Crying About the Rain"!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:51 pm 
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cc wrote:
jerry, I appreciate your post, but for me at least, everything you wrote was understood from the first listen. I'm really not thinking about it all that much until I see him live or the album appears--I've only heard the new songs from Youtube, dimedozen, etc.--but the song struck me as a little flat.

for one thing, it seems like a topic more current in, say, the '90s; in NYC, at least, there's been a slight uptick in independent bookstores in the past few years, somewhat like the vinyl market. Also, the "that's progress, that's that" idea has been put by graham into more elegant musical settings. Though it is an idea that needs repeating. But this song has a kind of NPR quality that is not my bag.

I didn't mean to single this tune out... actually all of the new ones have struck me as a bit awkward or uninspired on first listen in a way that GP tunes rarely have before. I wonder if all the "big stuff" going on and coming up, the movie and whatnot, has disrupted graham's typical songwriting zone. But I don't mean to overinterpret or fret in advance. I'm sure the album will be good.

I do think that all the new stuff has one layer of veneer removed from the songs. They are more on the surface than we are used to. I think that makes them harder to deal with as serious work but I think they are serious. The end of the song has a 1984 feel to me, that if you are curious you are suspect. I believe the actual cite is a Bill Hicks comedy routine which I will try to attach. He died very young. I do not know if his routine was derivative from George Orwell but I like the GP that understands that everything in art is new and is derivative. Both Hicks and my previous post refer to anti-intellectualism and I think we are wrong. I think there is an anti curiousity or anti great art mentality which essentially is anti character. And GP is a character. I think the song simply and elegantly pleads for character.
above courtesy jerilo

Kinda of makes me wonder, what all the new stuff is about, greatness we knew long ago!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:51 pm 
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I do think that we are entitled to like or not like GP songs. Believe it or not there are songs I do not like. I just think that GP's new songs should be treated like great works of art. To me ....the Sistene Chapel...eh. David...an incredible masterpiece!

I can play namedropper too since I am one of the few people who has heard Stop Crying about the Rain. My verdict...Last Bookstore is no Stop Crying about the Rain.

With all the Rumour rumors I wonder which new songs will be on the new GP and the Rumour album. Stop Crying...yes. Old Soul, yes. The others maybe not...or vice versa.
---
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:57 pm 
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Never judge a NEW song you've heard on youtube! I saw a video on youtube for Nils Lofgren. A brand new song. I thought the song sounded very weak. A few weeks later I saw Nils in concert and the very same song sounded totally different. I got goosebumps when he played it live and watching it on youtube left me cold.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:44 pm 
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cc wrote:
still trying to see how the point I made and the point I "missed" are different... glad I didn't tell you guys what I think of "Stop Crying About the Rain"!


well I'll tell u what I think; Stop the Rain, its a great one! oh gee, I don't have to think about this or that to deeply, he's right again and yes I relate to an instance here or there when I'm moved and try to think fast Stop the Rain now theres too much pain out there already don't add yours to it. Its just better if u try and smile.

Hope he never stops putting out the music which helps me get passed emotions that I know not how to handle other then listening to words giving by someone out there.
Thats what makes lifelong friends and fans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN8oLGBNXpE


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:50 pm 
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Is there a video for Stop Crying?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:54 pm 
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yes it was posted on the show performance here is another vid for smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBVj_DhgRWE&NR=1

this is a thread about Last Bookstore

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