THE MAN FROM ATLANTIS - "TALES OF ORDINARY SADNESS" LP
The tracks on Tales of Ordinary Sadness were written and recorded in 2019-20, out of heartache and despair; it was a miserable and pretty shitty time in my life. I have always enjoyed listening to maudlin, sorrowful songs or reading dark books to lift myself out of a slumber. Some folks may dismiss such a vocation as depressing and counter-productive but for me, it’s not the case…the darker the better! Hence the Bukowski title and cover steal.
I was in my early twenties when I first read Tales of Ordinary Madness and if there’s anything that can make your seemingly dead-end life rosier, it’s diving into Bukowski’s autobiographical Henry Chinaski character. You almost have to shower to remove the gunk after each story. He has a knack for lifting you up and placing you right in the middle of the grit and chaos. Suffice to say, the stories must have made quite an impression on me, as I used them as inspiration when writing these odd, outsider freak-folk, forlorn country, and psych blues songs.
At the time of writing these tracks I was also digesting a lot of early blues…Blind Willie Johnson, Charley Patton, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Robert Johnson, Robert Pete Williams, as well a handful of the usual misery-guts singer- songwriters - Townes Van Zandt, Hank Williams, Skip Spence, Cohen, Nick Drake, Steve Young, Blaze Foley, and Neil Young. I found solace in these wonderful artists who could superbly articulate the grimness and banality of life while also highlighting the beauty and love without a hint of contriteness or superiority. Quite a talent.
When you are younger, you think the pain; your pain will never subside; that this drudgery is your life. That maybe you deserve it; your self-pitying mind tells you this. But it does eventually change and improve, depending on what coping mechanisms you subscribe to and if you are willing to ignore the nagging ego and self doubt that sits on your shoulders. All of these compositions were written and recorded under great duress; a period of exile even! They are raw tracks without a lot of glitter and gloss. There are certainly blemishes in there and sounds of scraping strings and bum notes but as the great Kurt Vonnegut said ‘so it goes’.
I hope you find some enjoyment, solace, joy, sadness, or hope in these tunes and when all is said and done you can be kinder to yourselves as you are to one another.
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