O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

Bob Log III's Shit is Perfect

Gaze into this helmet and tell me you care if this is for real or not.

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Alex V. Cook, Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: June, 2009
begs for you and your sister to take off your bikini tops and get on that dirt bike with him
by Alex V. Cook, Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: June, 2009
begs for you and your sister to take off your bikini tops and get on that dirt bike with him

Bob Log III
My Shit is Perfect
(Birdman Records)

The search for authenticity is a futile one. We think we find it in pompadoured wildcats in impeccable suits, singing and swinging about hotrods and barbecue and whatever, but this is just as much an act of crass mimicry as Daft Punk's conceptually lighter rehash of the man-machine anonymity worked out by Kraftwerk and the Residents in the 70's. I'm not saying Daft Punk and retrobilly cats are not within their rights doing what they do or that they are incapable of making engaging art in the process, but granting it authenticity is like seeing your own face reflected in a motorcycle helmet and thinking that makes you a Hell's Angel.

Maybe that's why Bob Log III wears that motorcycle helmet all the time. The one-man band has made an outsider career out of little more than that helmet, a guitar that sounds like it's strung with bailing wire and a kick drum. It's not exactly a formula for success, but as the title of his most recent album suggests, his shit is perfect for what it is.

Bob yowls into a mic built into his helmet and stomps and twangs the gospel of pretty girls shakin' their ass with the conviction of a convert, and thankfully there is very little rationalization or big thinking to get in the way. His songs percolate with the chug of a wheat thresher, often coming to a lurching halt at the chorus, as if the tractor of song has a sticky clutch.  The apex of this record is the succinctly titled "Bump Pow! Bump Bump Bump Pow! Bump Pow! Bump Bump Bump Baby! Bump Pow! Bump Bump Bump Pow! Bump Pow! Bump Bump Bump!" which spins and bangs like farm equipment that requires constant supervision. It is stupid and brilliant at once.

"Manipulate your Figments" comes as close as we get to lifting that reflective visor and revealing the thesis behind all this: "My shit is perfect/It's exactly enough" and then it descends into mostly indecipherable declarations of supporting that original claim. The machine of the song breaks down and gets itself started again, yammering and dragging along.

One is tempted to make grand statements like "you don't need anything more than this!" but that isn't really true.  A whole album of Bob Log III is a little trying on the nerves unless you have stock in adopting his shtick. The phrase "my shit is perfect" finds its way into the garbled dialogue tumbling out of his primate boogie, and perfection here, as always, is the product of limitation rather than some holistic greatness.  So instead of attempting any grand statement about whether this is the real stuff or rock 'n' roll stripped to the bones or anything I am tempted to claim, what you find in a Bob Log III song is an unguarded fact, one with blisters and calluses that in return for the wisdom it imparts asks simply that you and your sister to take off your bikini tops and get on that dirt bike with him and ride.

Listen on lala.com

see more stories from outsideleft's Music archive »»

Alex V. Cook
Music Editor

Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v cook.com

best LPs of 2019 Bill Callahan... best LPs of 2019
  1. Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest - Bill Callahan
  2. Return to Me - Lilac Time
  3. 2020 - Richard Dawson
  4. Chalk Hill Blue - Will Burns & Hannah Peel
  5. All Mirrors - Angel Olsen
Sno Aalegra... best LPs of 2019
  1. Shlagenheim - black midi
  2. The Imperial - The Delines
  3. Old New - Tomeka Reid Quartet
  4. Ugh, Those Feels Again - Snoh Aalegra
  5. 5 - Sault
Esther Rose... best LPs of 2019
  1. You Made it this Far - Esther Rose
  2. Hiding Places - billy woods + Kenny Segal
  3. I Found a Place - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
  4. Thanks for the Dance - Leonard Cohen
  5. Walk Through Fire - Yola
David Benjamin Blower... best LPs of 2019
  1. We Really Did This and We Really Existed - David Benjamin Blower
  2. The Reeling - Brighde Chaimbeul
  3. Eton Alive - Sleaford Mods
  4. Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains
  5. Biiri - Nihiloxica

more stories you really could read...

thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...

sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

And You Don't Stop... But Where to Go? - Sole and Lupe Fiasco
The ultimate outsider and the ultimate insider offer different rocky roads ahead for hip-hop.
Crunk: Now 75% More Retarded.
Why can't crunk get any respect? Maybe because it's the fucking dumbest music on the planet!
The Eccentric Millionaire Chronicles
Chapter One of Kelsey Osgood's new Outsideleft serial, The Eccentric Millionaire Chronicles
Jake Chapman In Conversation
The First Annual Outsideleft Hardy Annual
Introducing the First Annual Outsideleft Hardy Annual - the book of a year in the life of outsideleft.
Your Weekly Guide To The Future
Some of our favorite things...