marble stature The Offense we trust! Rural bullshit from the heart of Fox Point, Providence, RI 02906

Wednesday, December 20, 2006



Life ain't easy.

Jim Shepard w/ V-3, Lacquer, etc... Evil Love Deeper (Thrill Jockey, 1995)

I was sitting around a few nights ago, and I realized that, although I’ve owned Evil Love Deeper for a few years now, I have never actually listened to it. Weird, right? This album is special for a couple of reasons: unlike Shepard’s other LP’s, it is still available (from Thrill Jockey’s website for a mere $10), and it is one of the two times that his short-lived group with Bob Dickie from the Strapping Fieldhands, Lacquer, makes a significant contribution to the album (the only other time that I recall a Lacquer track is on Picking Through the Wreckage with a Stick). Evil Love Deeper exists in a weird place in the Iron Press; not quite as song-based as much of the V-3 material (although there is a great live V-3 track here, “Tetramagorica”), and it’s not as Jandek-influenced as Shepard’s aforementioned solo Siltbreeze LP. There are some great moments on Evil Love Deeper, such as Skullbank’s bouncy, Minutemen-like “Revelling Finalities,” Dickie’s cello-hook on “Your Leader,” the somewhat pretty “That One Thing,” and “Harry’s Getting Ready to Shave,” which sounds like a medley of two of V-3’s most well-known tracks, “Negotiate Nothing” and “Harry,” as played by a sleepy Pere Ubu.

How do all of these memorable moments add up? Pretty well, I’d have to say that Shepard really knew how to orchestrate his material over the course of a full-length better than most people know how to pick their nose, and I’d take a full-length of his over one the many seven-inches he put any day; because while this may not be as oddly heroic as Negotiate Nothing, as eerie and unsettling as Picking Through the Wreckage with a Stick, as impressive as Photograph Burns, it feels like a lot more than the collection of odds and ends recorded over the course of the first half of the 90’s. Evil Love Deeper is a focused effort, full of peaks, valleys, twists and turns; one of Shepard's few remaining artifacts… urging us to scratch deeper beneath the surface of the two themes of love and evil, and dwell with Shepard in the underworld where the two could coexist with almost interchangeable identities.

Agreed: Mr. Shepard had an intuitive way of piecing together odd assortments of rock/prog/folk/antisocialnoise/whatever in ways that would make this weird (but subtle) moral SENSE - it's sadly missing from most records I hear these days.

Me, I thought this guy just kept getting better as the 90's rolled on - but them guys with the big $$ to drop on his late 70's recordings will probably take issue with this.
Just for the record (pun?)the short lived group, Lacquer, is a series of recordings that were made by Jim Shepard and Leland Cain. When Jim injured his hand, he couldn't play guitar, so we recorded with bass instruments only. Electric and Double Bass(not cello) Drums where added by Leland Cain.
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