Net Nuggets 22: The Sister Grimm

Larkin Grimm: More songs, live on Airborne Event [.zip]

You said I am despicable, you said I am a whore
I am young enough to have it all, but I don't want any more
Dress me up in plastic and my skin is getting sore
I am wanking in the corner waiting for a nuclear war
Hoarding all the garbage and it's filling up my car
My suffering is meaningless, I'm stinking like the tar
That smothers all the grass and lets me drive you to the bar
And if you want to handle me just tell me who you are

My tits are made of silicone just like the earth and sea
I am swallering more estrogen so you won't pregnate me
Swarming, swarming little bratsies, hollering and mean
Eat your oily cereal and keep your nostrils clean
The chemicals are coming for you, keeping you alive
The bees are up and vomiting outside the old beehive
Swarming, swarming little beasties, sniveling and weak
The strong are taking everything and stamping on the meek

Baby, if you love me you should stab me in the lung
And let me strangle you before your breath blocks out the sun
You're going to die anyway so let me kill you now
I'll send you back to heaven cuz you're already in hell
You're going to die anyway so let me kill you nice
Everything is paid for and I'm puking up the price
My vomit is a rainbow-colored smörgåsbord of snurt
In every colored chemical that made my belly hurt

The macrocosmic spiraled eggs inside my uterus
Are sparkling and bursting with the greenest yellow pus
The milk that feeds my baby from my breast is flowing black
It looks like oil and smells like death and I can't hold it back
I fell asleep and dreamland panthers tore me limb from limb
My lover was a big black cat, I couldn't handle him
I wanted to get water from a soft and slimy stream
But all the critters by the river died inside my dreams

Floating on their backs they turned their bellies to the sky
I sprinkled black oil from my breast on each and every eye
I took a mouthful of the cheapest Dominican rum
And blew a ball of fire from a flame inside my tongue
All the bodies in the brine were quickly set alight
They floundered there and let their furry flames fire up the night
Patiently the panthers pieced me back together again
I woke up and I welcomed back the ugly world of men
The literary event of 2008 was surely Parplar, the album where Larkin Grimm graduated from the confessional Freak Folk of her signature whimsical hysteria to a furious conjuring of visionary, black magical realism—a vengeful psychedelia comin' atcha from the core of true femininity. (The kind that doesn't necessarily come with a vagina.) If Bob Dylan became «a column of air» with his speed-fuelled stream-of-consciousness ramblings in 1965, Grimm—with a tour-de-force highlight like «Dominican Rum»—is a geysir, shooting out rage and love, less concerned with bohemian poetry than destroying the selfish with care and understanding, but determination nonetheless. Nothing demonstrates the fine, but crucial difference between understanding and forgiveness like the tender brutality of Grimm's unforgiving anger, free from contempt, and therefore pure, cleansing the weak and evil with righteousness—truth, ugly and brutal—not for her sake, but for them and for everyone else, as well. Oh, to be punished by the Mother Goddess!

A while ago, Toilet Guppies posted parts of a performance Grimm and John Houx did for WFMU. I don't remember why I left these other tracks out: «Blond and Golden Johns» (actually about Paris Hilton) could be read as one of the most interesting takes on prostitution, replacing the maudlin romanticisms of a Tom Waits or the clichéd empathy of a PJ Harvey with ecstatic truth. «My Justine» is another lyrical high point, with its steadily unfolding stream of dense imagery and disparate elements—nature and technology, pollution and purity, loss and peace—combining to create some sort of emotional sense out of intellectual nonsense. «Parplar» is Grimm's idea of where orgasms come from—another galaxy. (When she told this, ever so earnestly, to the audience at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels earlier this year, the reaction of giggles and whispered ripostes—all the voices chattering in mistaken response to what they naturally assumed to be some sort of joke—seemed to alienate, disappoint and, perhaps, hurt her. But as she's explained in an interview, «A lot of girls, you know, they think about boys and maybe they’re masturbating. For me it was never that. I was always just thinking about stars. I was thinking about the universe and what’s beyond the universe.»)

Then there's «Dominican Rum» (lyrics given above), the words to which arrive at clarity through confusion. It's a marathon that never lets up or down, a singular piece of writing in rock that rivals a perfect set of lyrics such as «Mr. Tambourine Man», and coming as much from a column of air as that song. Its assured and flawless writing puts other songwriters to shame. For the ultimate version, purchase Parplar now, no delay!

No comments:

Post a Comment