Chris Lindsay Romance – Drunk

Gremio – Bianca’s suitor in Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew – speaks of his desire to “woo her, wed her, and bed her.” Such is the quest for many a young songwriter, not to mention the legions of listeners who depend on everyone from Elliot Smith to Barry White as an aural Spanish Fly. Chris Lindsay has his own special recipe for love, a mixture of his poetry set to primarily “ambient” music of his design. After you hear “Drunk” though, you are more likely to feel confused than sexy. While his musical works are numerous and varied, his poetry is even more plentiful, having proliferated throughout much of Canada; and his chapbooks, including the one that “Drunk” is taken from are widely available.

A tinny guitar plucks over and over again with a slight humming with a shy vibrato, slight percussion is layered over this, while a sampled old man (“Drunk again , huh?” “He must be drunk”) is utilized throughout. Lindsay’s vocals are surreal but not as disconnected as Burroughs or Steven Jesse Bernstein. He sounds like someone reading a letter out loud, but as he recites his poem the second time he speaks with more urgency like there is some hidden message that he really wants you to understand. Backwards processed samples wash over you, and then that insistent guitar returns to start the process over again. A bongo roll initiates a decrescendo and “Drunk” comes to its conclusion. The music is pretty “experimental” mainly because it is removed from any unifying context. Part of this is linked to Lindsay’s infuriating classification of his music “Disco,” “Latin,” etc, or his unlikely list of influences (among them, he lists Mel Gibson).

Love has many idiosyncrasies and is usually far removed from the homogenized visions of romance we are inundated with on television. “Drunk” can be seen as a testament to this versatility. Pleasant and carefully static (thanks in part to Lindsay’s subtle looping of organic acoustic sounds), his music is a chipper but personal voice.