Saturday, November 8, 2008

Richmond Fontaine

While I walked the dog tonight, I was listening to the album “Thirteen Cities” from Richmond Fontaine, the Portland band fronted by singer-songwriter Willy Vlautin. Vlautin’s tunes stand out as exquisitely written short stories reminiscent of Raymond Carver. In an interview about the album published in the online journal, Uncut, Vlautin described the album as a “record of drifters,” saying “I initially wanted it to be a record about the West, its decline, and the way I see it. But it turned into a record about drifting, both literally and guys just drifting from themselves, guys falling apart or, you know, redeeming themselves".

The following tune, “$87 and a Guilty Conscience,” is a particularly evocative one:

Vlautin is also an author of two novels: “Motel Life” (2006) and “ Northline” (2008). I look forward to reading them, though why do I suspect that they are quiet dark?

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