Monday, July 28, 2008

I don’t really believe in the fourth wall. I just don’t have time for it.

Mike Doughty is an artist: musician, songwriter, poet, playwright, photographer, and an avid, eloquent blogger.

He's been a heroin addict. He's run a micro label called "Snack Bar." And he's also a laptop DJ! Check out

Golden Delicious is an apple: very sweet to the taste, prone to bruising and shriveling, a favorite for salads, applesauce, and apple butter.

It's also the new record by Mike Doughty, with 11 expertly crafted pop/indie tunes. Yes, I said pop slash indie. It's Mike Doughty we're talking about. You don't have to feel icky about listening to his kind of Pop.

This album was recorded with a new technique that Doughty Et Al dubbed the "DUDE THEORY." You might even call it a philosophy. It's basically this: the recording process should invoke a "bunch of visualize-able dudes" playing instruments to give the music space.

It seems to give the album a nice organic feel that I really enjoyed, especially while listening with headphones.

Fort Hood is an Army Base in Texas: this particular post has lost more soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars than any other installation.

It's also the title of the first single from "Golden Delicious." And Doughty wants his fans to be really clear about the meaning of the song. It begins with a verse about guilt that the singer (and, likely, the listener) can go about daily life without thinking of the violence and the fear in Iraq, and the sacrifice people are making over there.

After visiting wounded vets at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Doughty was inspired to write this song. He himself had grown up an Army brat in the 1970's, witnessing the strange behavior that he now understands as PTSD. The bridge of the song Fort Hood addresses the lost innocence of the soldiers, "young guys that go over there and come back scarred -- bodily, often, but also psychologically, that so many of them will have the burden of post-traumatic stress disorder, nightmares, and haunting images."

That track is in my opinion the album's stand-out, but Doughty fans may appreciate the cleaned up and pretty version of "27 Jennifers" that was added to Golden Delicious.

Mike Doughty truly shines on stage, and I recommend you download his free LIVE recordings here.

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