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Bill Foreman | Seventeen Miles Past Indio | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop

Bill Foreman

Seventeen Miles Past Indio (General Ludd)
by Jamie Kiffel

Kerranging out a summerfull of over-analyzed hopes and excruciating dreams of loving her some clear, June day, you just can't help enjoying yourself. Sure, it stings to think she might never reach out to touch your heart, but... deep down, doesn't it feel kinda good to be sad with a whole day free to enjoy it?

Bill Foreman wrote the soundtrack to this dreamy, heartbroken, introspective day, an album full of twangy tenor and jangly guitars, frank, wide-mouthed stuff like Tom Waits, Dylan, and Billy Bragg melded. Foreman sings consonants as if they were vowels, hanging onto them and stretching them out like a dog with letters in his teeth. In spite of his wacky, happy style, Foreman's photograph is bluesman-serious on his solemn, black-and-white album insert. Maybe the person who snapped the picture only read Foreman's lyrics without ever hearing the tunes. Hardly anyone could guess that "In January, I shot a stranger in a routine robbery/he reached under the register, and my mind flashed white" is actually a line from an upbeat track. After all, what tune would you pair with "Though I have hideous dreams when I sleep, I've maintained my advantage"? Foreman chose a feet-up-in-the-grass, easy-strumming tune. Well, traditional folk music has paired serious thoughts with tap-your-toes tunes for years. Perhaps it makes the tough stuff easier to digest. And then again, maybe it just feels so darned nice to have a few minutes to kick back and enjoy feeling bad.

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