Monday, April 4, 2011

Mixing Up Stuff

This is long overdue. Or maybe it's perfectly timed. I'm not really sure.
I'm getting mixed up.
One thing I know: Frank Turner is fun to listen to. And that's all I need.

When my friend Kamron first introduced to Frank Turner, he told me he thought I'd like it, but that his introduction to Turner had been a real surprise, because he was at a Social Distortion concert with his brother, and Frank Turner opened. The surprise was, although both bands are "punk," Social D is much older and angrier; Frank T is more folksy and whimsical. (you can tell, I'm biased.)

That was in October. It's April now. And I'm a definite fan of Mr. Turner. Funny thing is, though, for most of autumn and into January, I kept confusing Frank Turner the punk-rocker with Tucker Crowe the singer-songwriter from Nick Hornby's novel Juliet, Naked. Tucker Crowe is a recluse living in western Pennsylvania with his son Jackson. Tucker had been renowned as the next Bob Dylan back in the 80's, and then he'd fallen in love with a married woman (Juliet), and their break-up had prompted a real success Juliet, but then had launched Tucker into a serious depression instead of stardom. Tucker Crowe goes to England to meet his other children (by other marriages - his current one is about to end) and ends up making friends with Annie, the former partner of one of his biggest fans in a small town outside London. Nothing much comes of the encounter, but Hornby's novel remains a funny, serious story about love, loneliness, fame, and family.

But that's not what this post is about. This post is about Frank Turner. Technically, Tucker Crowe isn't real. Frank Turner is.
And he really likes Bob Dylan. or at least, he sings about Dylan (and dreams and love and pirate ships) in a new song he leaked this past week, from his new album England Keep My Bones coming out in early June, called "I Am Disappeared." It's pretty fantastic.

Frank Turner also sings about poetry and living life big now because it all ends way too soon for us to delay things until tomorrow. He sings, "Before we get bored Let's be inspired / Let's ignore the applause and set the theater on fire / Fight every war like the drunks in the choir / Put our art where our mouths are / Poetry of the Deed." ... reminds me of "The Tables Turned" by William Wordsworth (who is also British). But that's another story.

In appearance, Frank Turner sorta reminds me of the guys from Otis Grove. He likes to tour, and he's got a loyal following, and he mixes genres -- folk and punk and rock n roll. He's got it going on.

His music is catchy, upbeat, and the lyrics stick with you. But his words also mean: They inspire; they don't just float through you. They sink deep and make you smile.

Here's one of my favorites, "Photosynthesis." I first heard it riding in my friend's car cruising the back woods of Pennsylvania late one night in December. Give it a listen and you'll hear soon enough why it's stuck with me. Even when I've gotten a little mixed up.

No comments:

Post a Comment