Reading and listening to one of Third Man Records' latest offerings-- Car Ma & Sound Wheels, a book of prosetry & photart from Alison Mosshart (Kills, Dead Weather) and a "sound sculpture" record album of written parts of the book.
"...a book about
Parts are exactly what I was hoping for, parts are not at all what I expected. Parts resonate deeply and are strongly identifiable, parts are a way of living I can only dream of. It took a while for me to become a Mosshart fan, I was introduced to her through the Dead Weather when I fell down the Jack White rabbit-hole and I was initially dismissive. She was just a chick doing the hard rock posture of Steven Tyler or Axl Rose and she kept getting in the way when I was trying to watch Jack on the drums. Jack called her "Baby Ruthless". She was obviously good at what she did, but what she did didn't appeal to me. Fun fact: A friend who was enamored of her once told me, before I left the house to drive to Baltimore for a Dead Weather show, "Blow a kiss to Baby Ruthless for me". At one point during the show when I made eye contact with her, I blew that kiss. She looked at me, turned and walked over towards the other side of the stage, turned back and looked at me again. I stared back and she blinked first, then didn't come back to that side of the stage for the rest of the show, which pissed off the guy behind me who wanted to give her his trucker cap. In hindsight, her reaction, or at least my perception of it, surprises me.
I don't know exactly when my impression of her changed. I'm still not into the Kills, though I may be someday. Maybe it was when I found out she was a stick-shift driver who writes while she drives (can't tell you how many of my blog posts have started that way).
I'm not necessarily a gear head, I love the lines and purr of a good muscle car but don't learn models and years and horsepowers. But I love to drive, it's the closest thing to a drug for me. My favorite vacations have been road-trips in rented Mustangs and Camaros. And it's how I've been making it through Covid, by getting out of the house and into my own little quarantine in the car, driving the same backroads over and over and exploring new ones in other counties, just flying on the straightaways and swooping through the curves in my so-not-muscle Honda Fit that might be uncool but feels like a bullet to me. A properly driven Camaro could certainly blow it into the ditch, but the way that little car handles curves might surprise you.
But anyway, Alison. I think much of my early antipathy might've been due to jealousy. She's a single woman taking care of herself and doing what she wants and being what she wants and being celebrated for it and I resent that. How come I can't live a life like that? I'm too much admin as fuck and too scared of not being able to pay the bills. But at some point the light switch flipped and I really began to dig her. I love the way she talks, low and well modulated but enthusiastic about whatever subject is under discussion, I love her candor and lack of pretension, I love that she just says "I am an artist" and is one. I still envy her, but now I also enjoy her.
As for the words she put together for Car Ma & Sound Wheels, it's right where my head's at these days, wanting to get out, get on the road, go away from being admin and be something else for a while. I ripped the record to mp3 and it's going on a flash drive full of Funkadelic, Captain Beefheart, Mattiel, Albert Ayler, Moondog, and Jack White's Boarding House Reach for listening in the car. It fits perfectly.
"And nothing was permanent because permanence wasn't important. Nor was it fast enough."