Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Jim Wilson - S/T
“Mr. Penfold, Mr. Corporate will see you now.”
“Thank you ma’am. I’ll see myself in.” I stood up, lifted my briefcase, and marched into the businessman’s office prepared for battle.
“Penfold, what took you so long? I left that message on Jim’s phone three days ago. You’re his representative. What gives?”
“Mr. Wilson informed me of your message later that day Mr. Corporate.”
“Then you know we have some problems.”
“Yes, I’m aware.”
“Well did he tell you what the name of his album is going to be? The president of my company, my boss, won’t authorize the production of this album without knowing the title ahead of time.”
“Mr. Wilson would like this album to be self-titled.”
“Not possible. I can’t sell five million units to the jaded masses without a provocative title. Did he give you any other options?”
“As a matter of fact, Mr. Wilson provided me with a couple of other titles to choose from.”
“And they are?”
“First, ‘It Sounds Like Old Music But I Just Wrote It’.”
“No can do. It’s not sexy enough. What else?”
“How about ‘Book Of James’?”
“Nope. The only way I can sell a title like that is if it’s slapped on top of a contemporary Christian release. Anything else?”
“He gave me one last title. ‘If You Don’t Like It, I Don’t Care What You Think’.”
“All right, all right. I get the point. I’ll try to sell the whole self-titled thing to my boss when I speak to him this afternoon. Now, about the production method…”
“Mr. Wilson understands the need to release this album on CD and through digital distribution, but he demands that his album be released on vinyl as well.”
“Yes! Yes it is! Penfold, do you have any idea what kind of people use turntables nowadays?”
“Yes Mr. Corporate. Those are the music lovers who will absolutely flip their lid over this album.”
“Baloney! Why would anyone buy a vinyl copy of this album over a CD or MP3?”
“I can offer a few compelling reasons. But if you need something concrete, how about because the vinyl will have an extra song.”
“An extra song?!? You’ve got to be kidding?!”
“Not at all. Oh by the way, Mr. Wilson also recorded three more songs that he would like to be included with the vinyl. They’re intended to go on a separate 7” 45.”
“All right Penfold…alright. I surrender. Now I need you to tell me which of these ridiculous demands Mr. Wilson is willing to negotiate.”
“I’m sorry. Negotiate?”
“Yeah, what will Mr. Wilson give up in order to get us to put out his album? Please tell me it’s the 45.”
“Mr. Corporate, there will be no negotiations. You can either put out this album as Mr. Wilson requests, or he will do so himself.”
“Now that is an empty threat if I’ve ever heard one Penfold. I mean really, put it out himself?”
“Ha! Penfold, you kill me. Listen I’ll run this whole thing by the boss, but I think we both know what the answer is going to be.”
“Fair enough. Just remember. You had the chance to put out this amazing album, and you passed. Have a nice day.”
Greetings waveriders. Today I’m going to talk about a musician near and dear to my music worshipping heart. His name is Jim Wilson and his music has been a constant companion in my listening life for a little more than a decade at this point. As you might have surmised, I kind of like this guy’s work. Just a little bit.
My listening relationship with Mr. Wilson began back in the year 2000 or 2001 when I first got into Rollins Band. A good friend of mine had exposed me to their Get Some Go Again album, and I was hooked! Well it turns out that this version of the Rollins Band was composed of Henry Rollins doing his thing in front of a band named Mother Superior. Jim Wilson is the guitarist/vocalist in Mother Superior. For reasons lost to time (this was before I began regularly attending concerts), I decided to go see Mother Superior when they came to town supporting Wayne Kramer of the MC5. Boy was that the right decision! Mother Superior played their guts out to a sparsely populated club with only me, a friend of mine who I dragged to the show, and their merch guy standing in front of the stage. Let’s just say that I was extremely impressed! After the show I purchased two of their albums (one of which is a member of my top five albums list located on the ‘Who We Be’ page of this website) and my personal music universe was forever changed.
In the years following that fateful day I have obtained almost everything by and associated with the members of MS. Studio albums, bootlegs, side projects, demos, one-off home recordings, Christmas compilations…you name it, I’ve got it. Unfortunately the last MS studio album came out back in 2008. So when I discovered that Jim Wilson was putting out a solo album last year I became very excited, and very anxious. Fanatics like me need our fix! Happily I can report that Jim Wilson’s new self-titled release easily lives up to any and all expectations.
Now comes the hard part. Trying to nail down this album’s overall sound is nearly impossible. Don’t get me wrong, there are constants. Jim Wilson’s soulful, earnest vocals and wonderful guitar playing make their presence known on every track. No, the difficulties lie elsewhere. You see, this is music made by a music fanatic. These songs are the result of someone with a vast array of likes and influences, and the musical chops to follow his muse. That means that the music gleefully jumps genres from song to song. For instance “Bleeding” begins the album with some rock solid, mid-tempo rock and roll with soaring vocal choruses. If you thought the next song would offer more of the same, you’re in for a surprise. “Honest Mistake” is a stunningly beautiful country-tinged ballad featuring Daniel Lanois on pedal steel guitar. What follows? Obviously the buoyantly funky “Things Are Looking Up”. Believe me waveriders; the variety doesn’t stop at track three. Jim Wilson has created an album which provides a kaleidoscope of rock and roll sounds in one splendid package. There is the barn-burner “Holding Out For Love”, the slithery “Killer”, and the evangelical “Let It Run Through You”. “Bus 27” features a stupendously filthy main riff that stomps along with the weight of a giant, and “Cry Now (Pay Later)” featuring Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks is an almost purely synthesizer driven affair barring its elegant guitar solo. You want variety? You demand music of the highest quality? Jim Wilson’s got what you need.
Waveriders if you are already familiar with Jim Wilson’s work you most likely own a copy of this album. If on the other hand you have never heard of Jim Wilson before now you are in for a real treat. The music that he creates is nothing short of magical! If you like genuine rock and roll, you simply cannot go wrong. Buy this album!
P.S.: There are multiple ways to obtain this album. You can download it off of iTunes, Amazon, or Rhapsody. If you want a physical copy you can buy either the CD or the vinyl version from http://jimwilsonmusic.blogspot.com/ . I recommend the vinyl as it does come with the bonus song and three song 7” 45 along with a download card!
Sample Here- http://www.amazon.com/Jim-Wilson/dp/B005ZS8798/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1325537634&sr=8-2