Listening, for the third time, to the Daniel Higgs album you loaned me. You asked in some earnest for my opinion of it, which baffled me within hearing the first two minutes of the record. Surely you know me well enough to know I’d think it was a pile of garbage. This only made me listen harder, though—if you planned this twisted psychology on me, then I stand oblivious—to find out why. As in, why would he ask my assessment of this, this quasi-mystical Cat Stevens-wannabe pre-“freak” folk forced-Eastern-scale-laden rumination on God?
I have a problem with Christ references particularly when they’re used to turn religion on its ear somehow; by bespeaking the language of fools, does not one lend credence to it? So when Higgs rambles about the Devil and Christ and the kingdom of life blah blah blah, I shut down. There’s no desire to examine his message if the language is all wrong, and boy, does his message require examining, and boy, is his language wrong. The only explanation is that his mind has been battered by a strict religious upbringing, an intense drug experience, a newfound misguided spirituality or all three.
That said—I turned the album over and Side B has some interesting freeform experiments, but they didn’t move me anywhere other than into the realm of jealousy. Would that I were the singer for a cult Dischord band who could noodle on a superfuzzed guitar for seven minutes, press it on thick vinyl and wrap it in junior-high artwork with a deluxe gatefold, and have it sell. Mostly the thing strikes me as unaware of itself. That’s a solid backbone for a lot of art, but in this instance it’s not in a good way.
No Hard Feelings,
On the Stereo: Daniel (A.I.U) Higgs Interdimensional Song-Seamstress, ‘Ancestral Songs’