It was ultimately an act of resignation when, just about a month ago, I watched “Elizabethtown.” My holdout was nothing against Cameron Crowe, Louisville or the confluence thereof; it’s just that I like starfuckers about as much as venereal diseases, and it seemed like half the city was drunk with clothes-tearing joy at the prospect of figuring into the geography of a major motion picture. I would argue that we need no validation of the sort, that Louisville is a dreamy little city to be part of, with cheap rent and a few good views. And talent. Good, creative people live here. They make art, play music, write stories and books. They live under the radar in a unique, romantic way in Louisville. The city’s cultural output leaves impressions, much the way the first-rate parks system does to visitors who forgot a city could be so green.
Back to the movie: When I popped in this Clyde record last week, all I could think of was Kirsten Dunst and the “Lord of the Rings” guy falling in love in the Brown Hotel. Crowe rather famously gave Louisville the snub on the soundtrack; oh well, it’s his movie. But this album, the band’s debut Indiana, would’ve figured into most scenes I can recall. It’s pop rock, the safe kind that you hear on public radio outlets in any city, and charming as such: 10 well-crafted songs dealing with a couple fairly common difficulties.
The album hangs mostly on a single protagonist searching for his next life move. A majority of the songs play on the tension between motion and stagnancy, self-assuredness and uncertainty. There are fleeting attempts at balladry, with the song-stories of “Mr. Case” and “Franklin.” Frankly, the other ones — the more self-conscious tunes — soar while those sort of fester.
Clyde’s CD release show is this Friday at Uncle Pleasant’s. Frontman Terry Miller took a few recent minutes to answer LEO’s Five Important Questions.
LEO: If you were Mayor, what would you do to help promote people like you in this city?
Terry Miller: I think this city favors its artistic community a little more than others, which is definitely good. One thing that would help independent musicians a lot would be better venues to play. There are a couple. But take Nashville — lots of good places there.
LEO: Which Louisville musician needs to get more attention?
TM: A band named Vrktm. Really cool stuff. My friend and co-worker Jeremy (Harrell) plays bass. He’s a hell of a cook, too.
LEO: If music were food, what kind would yours be?
TM: An apple pie stuffed with andouille sausage.
LEO: Tell me about one of your favorite works of art aside from your medium.
TM: Anything written by Kurt Vonnegut.
LEO: What do you want to say that you know you shouldn’t?
TM: The Rolling Stones really annoy me. They probably shouldn’t, but they do.
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