Have you seen the world’s been falling down?/I know you’ve got the time to care…

So I ran the semi-something Google checkup on Kalan Porter this afternoon – why yes, it is kinda boring waiting around for the new processes to kick in gear after the office reorg, however could you tell?

At any rate, there’s still no news of fresh music-making; kinda disappointing. Especially in light of the award SOCAN handed him…well, today, actually. Looky that, for a brief (and somehow vaguely disturbing) moment I’m current with the Porterverse once again. In this nostalgic mood, I rejoice to discover that an award is ‘really nice because it kind of keeps you going’; way to chat up the leading lights of your industry, there, boyo. What were you planning on doing if this honour didn’t pan out, pre-law? Lawn & garden maintenance?

Yeah. Because I was idly fiddling with my iPod just after this discovery – why, yes, the new commute does double as an hourlong Great Industrial Wastelands of Southern Ontario Tour 2008, why do you ask? – anyway, as it turns out Wake Up Living, the CD from whence this honour springs, is still on there, and I was in a heard-everything-else sort of mood, so gave it a relisten. You know, interesting to see what’s emerged from the mists of obscuring adoration and all that.

OK, bad idea. Most of it is patently dreadful, of course, in exactly the manner suggested by the quotes in the article – a beautiful voice repeatedly banging up against banal cliches. I am thinking now that they didn’t provide the lyrics on the CD liner because they were hoping to cadge a few more months’ sales off discreet fudging on lines like ‘Before I let this sinking ship go down/And I watch you swim away’.
Mind, with our boy here it doesn’t even have to be all that discreet. In fact, it’s to his real credit that the thing contains lyrics at all, beyond “Hi there, potential CD purchaser! I’m Kalan, and you really kind of keep me going. Unless you happen to be male of course…I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with that idea, it’s just that…”

Yeah. I did say ‘most’. There is Hurray. There is Try, the still-passable Beatles pastiche, and there is the fragile elegance of Out of My Head, which is based off real emotion and thus always to be respected. Also, over in a different part of reality, there is the amusing Run Run Run, in which our Earnest Young Musician takes a random unexpected holiday from trying so damn hard. Just mucks around in his own earnest young psyche for awhile: ‘Do you ever stop to think about lines that run, run, run?/And fall past each other on the edge…’

The thing is, that song is in its way most intelligent thing on the CD – even more so than Hurray – because here the wit is somehow incorporated right into the standard Lite-FM drivel, transmuting the whole into…well, assuming you’ve listened to one too many Bob & Ray routines and do a nice line in wishful thinking to boot, it sounds an awful lot like subtle satire.

There’s still promise there, somewhere. I said once that I’d love to see Kalan follow in the manner of Franz Ferdinand, and got some awfully funny looks – but to me this is where the boy’s real talent has always lain, in riding that same razor-fine line between loving homage and sly parody (the snappy-suit thing is a nice bonus).  Awareness without anger…or even much awareness, I suspect. How exactly do you convince somebody to be snarky for their own good?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. anonymous
    Aug 30, 2008 @ 22:47:28

    “…a beautiful voice repeatedly banging up against banal cliches.” What a great line!
    D

  2. shoebox2
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 09:00:35

    Thanks much. 🙂

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