popbollocks caught up with Nashville, TN’s Young Southpaw to discuss his debut spoken word recording, At The Movies. A tale full of endless digressions and much mansplaining, the details seem too bizarre at points to not be at least somewhat autobiographical.
Southpaw seems to be telling a story in which he’s going back to the bar where he saw a pretty woman the previous week in order to ‘maybe try and talk to her’. But over the course of At The Movies 35 minutes we hear about disparate topics as the recurring dreams where he’s hanging out with Jean-Paul Sartre in 1941 on the banks of the Seine and at the foot of Tutankhamun’s tomb switching to Southpaw offering fragments of culinary-based songs such as ‘Cookin’ Up Sum Beans’ and ‘Maceglop’, the latter after stating that he believes yogurt should be called ‘gloppy stuff’ and that Macedonia seems as good a place as any to name as its origin.
There are departures into a hazy time spent with occultist sex magicians during which he insists on pronouncing the poet’s name with two syllables “Ye-ats” and a long diatribe after two fourteen-year-old girls call him ‘a poseur’ for wearing lacrosse shorts. All of this while walking down a seemingly endless road, where he on at least five occasions takes the time to try to explain what exactly a road is but really just equates the sound of the word with the homophonic surnames of Randy, Nick, and Cynthia Rhodes, the Fender Rhodes, and the Colossus of Rhodes, and there’s even a nod in the title of track 5, ‘The Oxen Are Slow But The Earth Is Patient’, to Tom Selleck’s 1983 film High Road To China.
No real backstory has been given by Southpaw and with his tendency – almost m.o. – to move off point, the following question seemed as good as any to find out a little more about him:
What is your opinion of Jennifer Lopez?
You got that, that J. Lo, you know…like L.A. Guns’ second album ‘Cocked & Loaded’, you know, they had that song… ‘The Ballad of Jayne’, about Jayne Mansfield so I guess J. Man, there ya go (laughs). Like uh Jayman, those Jayman Islands down there, I ain’t never been but I hear they’re nice. You got the beach down there, you know, the sand, runnin’ your toes all over it you know…dippin’ your feet in the water, actually go can probably go further than just dippin’ your feet, prolly real nice to feel the cool water in that hot weather. Or maybe it’s warm water, the weather make it all, all hot, heated up you know like a kettle? Different kettle of fish down there, prolly different fish too, prolly real different fish, different parts of the world and all. The world’s a big place. I mean I think that L.A. Guns album sold pretty well in Japan. Another J island. I wonder if they wanted to call it Jayman but found the name was already taken, you know registered with the island copyright authorities? Or maybe the other way around cause Japan’s been around a long time. I remember when I was real young getting that AD&D book ‘Oriental Adventures’, that was a long time ago. Bought in a store called Amazing that don’t never no exist no more. In fact I can’t even remember when it stopped existing or what that property became. And I’m sure Japan was around even before this. But how could L.A. Guns not sell well, they had that ‘Rip & Tear’ song, you know like ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, ‘cept it didn’t sound anything like that. Two different bands! But you know Joy Division so you got J. Div. Like uh (thinks for a while) I don’t even know what that’s like, but then again they were real original, you could tell by the bass sound of Peter Hook, you know. All up high like that, with the chorus on, all melodic bass lines. I like melodic bass lines. I like melodic anything. You know, melodic harmonies. You know you had the O.P.P. “army with harmony”, what about the uh…..what could you do with melody? I don’t know. But you know the Jayman Islands sound real nice. Or Kay-man islands, I guess that’s where everybody goes. K-Man, comes right after J-Man, you know Jayne Mansfield and all. She was in that movie, uh, Kiss Them For Me, you know with Cary Grant and Siouxsie & The Banshees later did that song ‘Kiss Them For Me’. They weren’t in the film or nothing, heck I don’t even think they were born, unless they got that Shadow Time Machine going, first thing you do is go back and write the theme to a film about the U.S. Navy? I don’t think so. But then again I’m not Siouxsie & The Banshees. Heck, I’m just one man! I think I saw that movie though. I know I’ve seen the DVD cover somewhere. I’ve heard the song, I like the song. But oh yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah! J Lo, she was in that ‘Wedding Planner’ movie. I never saw that but uh, no wait a minute! I did see that! I sure enough did. It was ‘The Wedding Singer’ that I’ve never seen. Which is kinda strange cause you know I really like Adam Sandler, you know ‘Billy Madison’, ‘Happy Gilmore’, Happy Madison, that’s his production company. Those were real funny films what with the golfing and all, you can prolly golf down in the Kayman Islands. And the Jayman Islands. They got an L-Man Islands? You know like Danny Elfman? It’s all soundtracks down there, you know. Or M-Man? But that’s just like stutterin’, em..em…emman…well no, not really, different sounds. Prolly reads the same cause you got the (a note of surprise enters his voice) M…Eminem! He’s got enough money to own an island, I guess. Or you know you put some of those M&Ms on some cake frosting you know (laughing) they look like little islands, you know. You know floating in the….well depends on what color frosting, you got blue frosting it does look like the ocean if you match the tone right. I mean, ocean’s just a reflection of the sky, that’s why it’s blue. (thinks for a second) Or is it the other way around? I never can tell. I don’t have time to just sit on my phone every time I see the sky, just Google searchin’ it. I mean I guess eventually it’ll sink in, well you don’t want one of those islands sinkin’, you know. That’d be trouble. Like you know with L.A. Guns, I guess they still kept their name but they wouldn’t be if they were no basketball team. You know the Washington Bullets hadda go change their name to Wizards. I’ve never seen a game by the Wizards, it was like some magic bullet blinded me to ever realizin’ they were playin’. But you got that Utah Jazz, you know. (mischievous laughter enters his voice) Maybe when L.A. Guns go on tour playin’ basketball, maybe when they get to the Great Salt Lake they start syncopatin’ all that stuff, you know, go out of the key signature, all crazy notes crazy nights, ‘Hollywood Vampires’ you know. I mean Hollywood is a part of L.A. so it’s a bit confusin’. You never know which is which, which fits inside the other…like tryin’ to put a square peg in, inside…inside the ‘Muda Triangle. I mean that’s close to the Kayman Islands, I think. It’s a wonder they haven’t gotten lost. I mean L-Man, what about Lost Islands? There’s prolly a ton in there, you go into that vortex you know…I mean Danny Elfman’s lucky his island survived. You got all that music, you know. Spyro Gyra, you know. Like spiral, you know. I wonder if what takes you away down the ‘Muda triangle is some sorta spiraling storm, you know like a hurricane? Like the Carolina Hurricanes, you know. Used to be the Hartford Whalers, only sports team Connecticut ever had. You got the Miami Hurricanes too. Lotsa hurricanes, be careful. Charlotte, no, that’s the Hornets. Well I mean ‘a hornet in a hurricane’ you’ve heard that expression before I’m sure. Like ‘a needle in a haystack’ but much more…frenzied. Always go swimmin’ with a friend they say. They should tell you to always enter a hurricane with a friend too. Or at least go to a game with one. Never know what can happen. Getting’ lost forever down the ‘Muda Triangle and never knowin’ what happens next on ‘Riverdale’. But I guess Danny Elfman was in Oingo Boingo, not Spyro Gyra, so…nevermind.
HURRY – LISTEN – YOUNG SOUTHPAW