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Back in 1994, when Lambchop first lurched lackadaisically into public view, they seemed tomany people freakish, outlandish, destined at best for the pages of photocopied fanzinesand the graveyard hours of specialist radio stations. A sprawling collective of Nashvillemusicianseleven were credited on the sleeve of I Hope Youre Sitting Down / Jacks Tulips,theyd named themselves after a sock puppet, inexplicably given their album two titles,and stuck a painting on the cover of a small, barefooted child holding a dog whose cockand balls are on proud display.

Kurt Wagnerthe artist behind that striking cover, as well as the groups soft-spokensinger, songwriter, and one of their guitarists (although in those days, he disdained anynotion of being either their frontman or mastermind)proceeded to offer further fleetingglimpses of a mysteriously intimate encounter, its unconventional details lingering longafter the final note of lap steel guitar had faded. She asked for some gum, our farmcapped bard concluded. He gave it to her. Begin.

This set the tone for a 17-song collection willfully given two titles, it turned out, to sidestepthe arguably pompous associations of a dreaded double-album debut. Lambchop, you see,werent pompous at all. In fact, they could hardly have been more unassuming, especially intheir humble approach to music-making, rehearsing in Wagners basement and exercising anopen-door policy that allowed anyone with an instrument to take part, whether or not theycould really play it.

One song, Soaky in the Pooper, resonated particularly powerfully, and its doubtfulanyone in that basement near the railroad tracks could have foreseen in the early 1990show, little more than half a decade later, members of a sold-out, seated audience of2,200 in Londons prestigious Royal Festival Hall would yell out its unlikely title, beggingto hear it. Better pull his head out of the bowl, Wagner croakedagainst a maudlin,eccentric arrangement of, among other instruments, guitar, mandolin, woodwind, brass, andstringsas he chronicled a bleak suicide in a public bathroom and the ensuing sad, lonelyfuneral for which all the mourners traveled in one car. It wouldnt be the last time headdressed subjects from which most tend to shy away.

Where Lambchop brought us was somewhere so singular and bewilderingly gripping thatto perhaps no ones greater surprise than the band themselves, whose homeland remainedbaffled for quite some years to comethe album ended up in British music paper NMEsTop 50 Albums of the Year. In case anyone were to consider this an anomaly, Francessimilarly influential Les Inrockuptibles placed it at number 25 on their own list. Not badfor a band who had gathered since the mid-1980s, once a week, purely for pleasure, inthat smoky, dimly lit basement. Not bad, either, for a record whose sessions were initiallyonly expected to produce enough material for a handful of 7-inch singles. Disheveled yettender, anarchic yet intricate, I Hope Youre Sitting Down / Jacks Tulips instead provided thespringboard for a careerstill ongoing, despite repeated reinventions, and still compelledby stubbornly freakish, outlandish intentionsduring which Lambchops ever-changingline-up has continued to confound expectations. Wagner, meanwhile, remains one of ourmost cryptic but crucial voices, an authentic poet of the magical banal. Sure, it was weirdhere, but it was wonderful, too. Over a quarter century later, it still is.

Wyndham Wallace, Berlin, 2021

Back in 1994, when Lambchop first lurched lackadaisically into public view, they seemed tomany people freakish, outlandish, destined at best for the pages of photocopied fanzinesand the graveyard hours of specialist radio stations. A sprawling collective of Nashvillemusicianseleven were credited on the sleeve of I Hope Youre Sitting Down / Jacks Tulips,theyd named themselves after a sock puppet, inexplicably given their album two titles,and stuck a painting on the cover of a small, barefooted child holding a dog whose cockand balls are on proud display.

Kurt Wagnerthe artist behind that striking cover, as well as the groups soft-spokensinger, songwriter, and one of their guitarists (although in those days, he disdained anynotion of being either their frontman or mastermind)proceeded to offer further fleetingglimpses of a mysteriously intimate encounter, its unconventional details lingering longafter the final note of lap steel guitar had faded. She asked for some gum, our farmcapped bard concluded. He gave it to her. Begin.

This set the tone for a 17-song collection willfully given two titles, it turned out, to sidestepthe arguably pompous associations of a dreaded double-album debut. Lambchop, you see,werent pompous at all. In fact, they could hardly have been more unassuming, especially intheir humble approach to music-making, rehearsing in Wagners basement and exercising anopen-door policy that allowed anyone with an instrument to take part, whether or not theycould really play it.

One song, Soaky in the Pooper, resonated particularly powerfully, and its doubtfulanyone in that basement near the railroad tracks could have foreseen in the early 1990show, little more than half a decade later, members of a sold-out, seated audience of2,200 in Londons prestigious Royal Festival Hall would yell out its unlikely title, beggingto hear it. Better pull his head out of the bowl, Wagner croakedagainst a maudlin,eccentric arrangement of, among other instruments, guitar, mandolin, woodwind, brass, andstringsas he chronicled a bleak suicide in a public bathroom and the ensuing sad, lonelyfuneral for which all the mourners traveled in one car. It wouldnt be the last time headdressed subjects from which most tend to shy away.

Where Lambchop brought us was somewhere so singular and bewilderingly gripping thatto perhaps no ones greater surprise than the band themselves, whose homeland remainedbaffled for quite some years to comethe album ended up in British music paper NMEsTop 50 Albums of the Year. In case anyone were to consider this an anomaly, Francessimilarly influential Les Inrockuptibles placed it at number 25 on their own list. Not badfor a band who had gathered since the mid-1980s, once a week, purely for pleasure, inthat smoky, dimly lit basement. Not bad, either, for a record whose sessions were initiallyonly expected to produce enough material for a handful of 7-inch singles. Disheveled yettender, anarchic yet intricate, I Hope Youre Sitting Down / Jacks Tulips instead provided thespringboard for a careerstill ongoing, despite repeated reinventions, and still compelledby stubbornly freakish, outlandish intentionsduring which Lambchops ever-changingline-up has continued to confound expectations. Wagner, meanwhile, remains one of ourmost cryptic but crucial voices, an authentic poet of the magical banal. Sure, it was weirdhere, but it was wonderful, too. Over a quarter century later, it still is.

Wyndham Wallace, Berlin, 2021

673855007014
I Hope You're Sitting Down / Jack's Tulips [Black 2LP]
Artist: Lambchop
Format: Vinyl
New: Available $25.98
Wish

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Back in 1994, when Lambchop first lurched lackadaisically into public view, they seemed tomany people freakish, outlandish, destined at best for the pages of photocopied fanzinesand the graveyard hours of specialist radio stations. A sprawling collective of Nashvillemusicianseleven were credited on the sleeve of I Hope Youre Sitting Down / Jacks Tulips,theyd named themselves after a sock puppet, inexplicably given their album two titles,and stuck a painting on the cover of a small, barefooted child holding a dog whose cockand balls are on proud display.

Kurt Wagnerthe artist behind that striking cover, as well as the groups soft-spokensinger, songwriter, and one of their guitarists (although in those days, he disdained anynotion of being either their frontman or mastermind)proceeded to offer further fleetingglimpses of a mysteriously intimate encounter, its unconventional details lingering longafter the final note of lap steel guitar had faded. She asked for some gum, our farmcapped bard concluded. He gave it to her. Begin.

This set the tone for a 17-song collection willfully given two titles, it turned out, to sidestepthe arguably pompous associations of a dreaded double-album debut. Lambchop, you see,werent pompous at all. In fact, they could hardly have been more unassuming, especially intheir humble approach to music-making, rehearsing in Wagners basement and exercising anopen-door policy that allowed anyone with an instrument to take part, whether or not theycould really play it.

One song, Soaky in the Pooper, resonated particularly powerfully, and its doubtfulanyone in that basement near the railroad tracks could have foreseen in the early 1990show, little more than half a decade later, members of a sold-out, seated audience of2,200 in Londons prestigious Royal Festival Hall would yell out its unlikely title, beggingto hear it. Better pull his head out of the bowl, Wagner croakedagainst a maudlin,eccentric arrangement of, among other instruments, guitar, mandolin, woodwind, brass, andstringsas he chronicled a bleak suicide in a public bathroom and the ensuing sad, lonelyfuneral for which all the mourners traveled in one car. It wouldnt be the last time headdressed subjects from which most tend to shy away.

Where Lambchop brought us was somewhere so singular and bewilderingly gripping thatto perhaps no ones greater surprise than the band themselves, whose homeland remainedbaffled for quite some years to comethe album ended up in British music paper NMEsTop 50 Albums of the Year. In case anyone were to consider this an anomaly, Francessimilarly influential Les Inrockuptibles placed it at number 25 on their own list. Not badfor a band who had gathered since the mid-1980s, once a week, purely for pleasure, inthat smoky, dimly lit basement. Not bad, either, for a record whose sessions were initiallyonly expected to produce enough material for a handful of 7-inch singles. Disheveled yettender, anarchic yet intricate, I Hope Youre Sitting Down / Jacks Tulips instead provided thespringboard for a careerstill ongoing, despite repeated reinventions, and still compelledby stubbornly freakish, outlandish intentionsduring which Lambchops ever-changingline-up has continued to confound expectations. Wagner, meanwhile, remains one of ourmost cryptic but crucial voices, an authentic poet of the magical banal. Sure, it was weirdhere, but it was wonderful, too. Over a quarter century later, it still is.

Wyndham Wallace, Berlin, 2021

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