My Girlfriend is Melting
(I and Ear Records)
Remember back to when time would move liquid and slowly? Afternoons would pass by much like the clouds of smoke of various kinds that would emanate from your activities in the aforementioned liquid hours. It was beautiful. sometimes I think it the default human condition given we seem to be ultimately drawn to such blissful torpor and millenia of "achievement" has conditioned us to feel we must work like dogs (an ironic metaphor, since a dog will fall asleep the second things get remotely boring, like a sensible creature) to earn the right to spend some quality time on the lily pad, waiting for some flies to show up. Its an active laziness I am talking about, a cultivated leisure, where you don't have much, but what you do own is all put to that end. its like the details in a Poe short story, it all points to that one goal.
This journey down stoner's memory lane is brought to you by Miguel Mendez' excellent new album My Girlfriend is Melting. Its filled with long echoes, languid strums, beautiful sing song melodies that practically call you to procure a bean bag chair and watch the clouds go by outside your apartment window while its on. Appropriately, the first morsel to shake out this box of cereal is "Drinking Beers" which addresses that moment of clarity that can blossom in those moments, and how fleeting they are with lines like "You stayed lost right there with me." there are bona fide wiggy psychedelic moments like "jenny's jam" with its found sound and backwards reverb action, but I think he gets the point across better in slow burners like "You Got Me All Wrong" and the sunset somnambulism of "Wide Awake." Its a cheap temporary enlightenment you get, a moment in time where it all comes together. Not profound, but where the noise all stops. Or perhaps this little album is triggering a flashback of some sort. Anyway, what was I saying?
Oh yeah. "Catching a Wave" is a sweet little echoey piano piece that , even though the predominate instrument on the album is guitar, underscores how the lazy lazy melodies here are complex enough to twine around you like a wisteria vine but familiar enough that you don't notice them at first. Other tracks like the tremolo-heavy "Revolutionary" and the delay-filled "Dropped My Shadow" bolster this motif. There are peppier numbers like Maniac Psycho" and "Fond Memories" keeping this from being too lulling, and they are good tracks, but the gems here are the slow smeary ones. Every maraca shake, every strum is right in the right place on this excellently paced record. While possibly not recommended for listening while operating heavy machinery, its a great one to throw on when a lazy afternoon happens your way.
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