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Music Consumption: Alexander "Skip" Spence
01/16/2000 Alexander "Skip" Spence: Oar

This classic has been on the must-have list for a while, and I've only managed to pick it up recently. It's a true achievement. The original album was recorded in a handful of sessions over two weeks by Skip alone--playing bass, guitar, drums, and singing. The mood is largely down, down, down. The man had been to the bottom and gotten out, but would soon sink down again. The void looms close for much of the disc, but there are glimmers of hope, and moments of high silliness. I'm responding mostly to the lowest of the low ("Cripple Creek", "Diana") and the slightly hopeful songs ("Little Hands" is heartbreaking, somehow), but there's darkness deep inside the silliness, too. (The second part of "Margaret - Tiger Rug" is chillingly pretty close to home, given Skip's just-previous release from Bellvue after the famous axe incident. Try to keep from getting goosebumps.) This is way deeper than some "strange music" curio.