Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cosmic Payback

Dale Ward (Pop)
Track: The Queen of Japan (Gojo Records, 2008)

Ladies and gentlemen...Elvis has well and truly left the building. By that I mean: my Japanese queen has departed the scene.

I loved her, and still do, though our passion finally burned itself out atop a cathartic bonfire of recrimination.

She did me wrong, folks. But in most respects I don’t feel so hard done by. I always knew she needed to run away to find her. Maybe in the grand scheme of things it’s cosmic payback. I’m the first to admit I’ve caused my share of emotional woes.

Perched on my barstool I observe myself - as if in a dream - broken and rudderless, searching in all the wrong corners for meaning and diversion.

Hostage now to the whims of the pub jukebox, I muse how funny 'tis that familiar songs take on new meanings as they reflect yer splintered emotions.

F'r instance, The Beatles’ Rubber Soul - a record I’ve delighted in thousands of times - assumes shattering, surprising nuances.

Each lyric is, as Ringo would say, an absolute arrow to the brain: “Baby I love you," because “If I needed someone, you’re the one that I’d be thinking of.” But now “I’m looking through you,” wondering “What goes on in your mind?” I’m angry and hurt, so “You’d better run for your life if I see you with another man.”

Most woundingly, “I once had a girl. Or should I say, she once had me?”

I suspect it may well be the latter.

Then Bono - of all people - comes crooning over the tannoy with valuable advice: “You gotta get yourself together/You’re stuck in a moment/And you can’t get out of it.”


I suddenly become aware that I'm babbling incoherently to myself, and the barmaid eyes me warily from behind the beer pump. "They say it's the first sign of madness," she admonishes.

It all fits in with the words of Kyoto popster Dale Ward - late of San Francisco's Handsome Poets - and his engaging ditty The Queen of Japan. This transplanted Brit places a dark obsession at the center of his universe and learns a hard lesson along the way.

Ward warbles and wah-wahs, and receives able support from Kyoto bluesman Alec Roberts - who steals the show with some atmospheric harp - and Canadian Scott Hoover on space guitar. If you have ever believed in a heavenly lie, or a red sky morning that's home and dry, this one's for you.

Listen: Dale Ward at Virb.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

is shiffi dale, or is dale shiffi? i am suspicios