Monday, November 9, 2009

Howe Gelb - Neon Filler ('Sno Angel Like You ,2006)

Howe with a gospel band ,this is a thing of great warmth, beauty and wisdom.Few artists have looked to Lou Reed for vocal inspiration, but indie singer-songwriter and former Giant Sand leader Howe Gelb can get away with it, because he relies more on his sharp writing and simple-yet-catchy performances to make 'Sno Angel Like You an understated winner. Good back-up singers help, too, which is why he enlisted Canadian choir Voices Of Praise to help out. And the not-at-all-colored girls go "Ooh, ooh," and they do so very well. Behind this balanced vocal front is spare and semi-acoustic instrumentation with Americana textures such as twangy guitar licks and brushed drums. Another poet-musician whom Gelb follows is Leonard Cohen, who also has a habit of masking his vocal imperfections with women who can sing. While many tracks on 'Sno Angel are very good, "Neon Fillert" is an instant classic, as each of Gelb's lyrical calls meets the response of the titular phrase. This record is an unpolished treasure.

Neon Filler

Things could have been better
they sure could not have gotten much worse
when there were tears out in the alley
and laughter waiting out front in the hearse
and there’s remark about contender
repulsa ain’t too hard to find
conclusion based on surrender
and the general dismissal
on the merit of mankind
the snakes and the saw-toothes
they lay loving the buck
spending all their time setting up camp
and running amuck
{CHORUS} light Is not the neon filler
not the memory of sun filled days by solar spark
light is the moses
splitting the waves in a sea so dark
there’s a town in the high desert
where doctor gene scott says the demons run
alongside a chunk of heaven hovering there
where the wind in the image of the throne rides shotgun
riddles of the wonderment, wonders of the firmament
and me laid up, laid off and laying low
things could have been better
they sure could not have gotten any worse
tears out in the alley way
and laughter waiting out front there in the hearse

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