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Drill a Hole in That Substrate & Tell Me What You See


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Audio CD, June 8, 2004
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$12.89 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

It's no accident that Jim White is on David Byrne's Luaka Bop label. His odd, oblique tales from Pensacola, Fla. and beyond wouldn't be out of place in Byrne's quirky movie of smalltown Texas, True Stories. In fact, White has his own new film, Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus, to capture his chosen milieu of motel rooms, truck stops, and churches, and--as described on "If Jesus Drove a Motor Home"--waffle houses: "Jesus eating eggs with ya'll." Not that the artist needs visuals to project his skewed vision: Drill a Hole in That Substrata and Tell Me What You See is dense with dreamy, wasted scenarios, each spilling into the other. His vocals, which rarely rise above a half-whisper, are those of a loser at love cursed by self-knowledge ("You can't waste the whole damn day loving what you need to cast away") and a winner at ennui who spends his drifting hours "listening to the song behind everything I think I know" and finding only static. The album, his third, is treated to offbeat textural touches that reflect the edgy ambient approach of his co-producer, Joe Henry--electronic washes, horn charts, banjo, bebop trumpet. A colorful character whose real-life exploits include stints as a professional surfer and Milan fashion model--and struggles with drugs and religion--White is supported by an expansive cast including fellow tortured Southerner Mary Gauthier, Aimee Mann, Barenaked Ladies, and guitarist Bill Frisell. --Lloyd Sachs

1. Static On The Radio
2. Bluebird
3. Combing My Hair In A Brand New Style
4. That Girl From Brownsville Texas
5. Borrowed Wings
6. If Jesus Drove A Motor Home
7. Objects In Motion
8. Buzzards Of Love
9. Alabama Chrome
10. Phone Booth In Heaven
11. Bonus Track 1

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 8, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Luaka Bop
  • ASIN: B00026WT6A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,648 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By JG on June 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD
On the cover of Jim White's latest album is the ghostly image of a man and a woman, faces close together, looking out from the shadows. The image recalls nothing so much as the art of the late Howard Finster, where fleeting yet ever present spirits flow in and out of this realm and another distant place and time, maybe even in and out of heaven itself.

Like fellow southerner Finster, Jim White's art is infused with the presence of God and Jesus, sin and redemption, and in Mr. White's case, also with the beauty and mystery of love. In White's world, love often comes with its cruel traveling companions, heartbreak and deep sorrow.

Several of the songs on "Drill a hole.." have been reworked into their current versions from having been played live in different incarnations over the last few years.

As with his previous two albums, this one can't be neatly pegged into any particular genre, but somehow, the different styles of the songs fit together much like individual pieces of a mosaic, ultimately forming a beautiful picture.

Co-produced by Joe Henry, this CD has a more jazzy overall feel than "The wrong eyed Jesus" and "No such place". "Combing my hair in a brand new style" and "Buzzards of love", both showcase a mindblowing horn section unlike anything on Mr. White's previous CDs, and while neither of these two is a short song by any means, both offer only a glimpse into the extended improvisations which might be possible if the band were unleashed on stage.

The opening track, "Static on the radio", with backing vocals by Aimee Mann, has an easy, laid back feel, is instantly accessible, and should be a hit on the radio if there were any justice in the world. "Bluebird" is a heartwrenchingly melancholic love song in which Mr.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Juan Mobili on July 19, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Jim White's South in its own dark way spins another yarn of wondrous stories where strung out Santa Clauses and Jesus listening to Dylan and driving a motorhome, are but only part of a lyric universe that owes as much to Country myths as to the ghost of Rimbaud.
Yes, this is another of White's "seasons in hell" more Texas, though, than nineteenth century France but probably as hallucinatory. These are tales of a man who, more than raised in America, has been abducted by it as it was an alien mothership.
For those who loved his first two albums, this one may not necessarily be that different, and what I said so far, not completely farfetched. This is not to say that this album lack musical surprises nor artistic growth, and Joe Henry's production has no small part of such accomplishment. Jim White can be dark all by himself but with Henry's aid gains a smokier, jazzier feel, which fits the songs like a silk glove.
In general, the tunes Joe Henry helmed as producer -which account for half the album- are the most interesting ones. I'd say that this is, in its own way, as inspired a collaboration as Loretta Lynn found with Jack White in Van Lear Rose. Of course, the music is far from similar but the producers' tugging and pushing an artist's certain style into new colors and atmospheres is comparable.
"Static In The Radio" -sung with Aimee Mann- and "Combing My Hair In A Brand New Style" are great examples of the musician-producer connection I've described, and so is "Buzzards of Love" with some powerful horns, somewhat reminiscent of Henry's own "Tiny Voices." And then there are three personal favorites of mine: "Bluebird," "That Girl from Brownsville Texas" and Phone Booth in Heaven" -stunning ballads all ...
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By CrackerBarrel on June 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
no one (in recent memory) has explored the worlds of Greyhound Bus stations, small-town Southern preachers, passing trains and poetic trailerpark dream-state melodrama better than Jim White. (the usual) biblical references are present as are the ethereally whispered tales of bodies floating down rivers accompanied by misinterpreted radio broadcasts and birds perching quietly on telephone wires. this is a remarkable album from an artist that deserves MUCH more appreciation than he has received. fans of Jim White might note that this record has a bit LESS "hip/trip-hop" presence (in the production) and a displays a "jazzier/lounge" feel than NO SUCH PLACE. this is not a bad thing. it works VERY well for the songs on this recording.
"Static On The Radio", "Bluebird" and "Objects In Motion" are mesmerizingly gorgeous and the entire album is an absolute knock-out. EXCELLENT stuff and HIGHLY recommended. i give it TWO Stuckey's Pecan Logs UP!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Kornbluth TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD
If you'll step into the Jim White cult, I think I can reliably assure you --- you'll be in good company, but no one you know will be there.

An easy guarantee: Very few people even know who Jim White is, much less what he does and how he does it.

To a degree, that's just fine for Jim White --- he seems to record more to find out what he thinks and feels than to delight an audience.

And yet, thanks to his checkered history, it's hard not to be interested in him.

White's family moved to Florida when he was a kid, and he turned Fundamentalist. But he "felt more and more lost as a result of trying to draw closer and closer to God," so in his mid-teens he started taking drugs. And then he became a fashion model. This often leads the young to doom, but not White: "At the age of 15, I had seen my friends turn into junkies and die, so it was no problem going into modeling and watching people doing cocaine and ecstasy and stuff, because I knew that they were just fooling themselves."

Later he became a world-class surfer. He cut off most of two fingers in a saw accident and learned to play guitar despite that. Studied film at New York University. Drove a cab. Moved back to Pensacola. Wrote some songs, made a movie about the South.

But what you most need to know about this singer-songwriter is that Jim White inhabits another reality. Or, as he says, as he hits his 50th year, "I have a mind like a child. I walk through the world with a fog behind me and a fog in front of me --- I can barely see where my foot lands."

So when it comes to his music, classify him unclassifiable. He's the country singer in the obligatory hat, only with a horn section behind him.
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Drill a Hole in That Substrate & Tell Me What You See
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