Monday, May 18, 2009

Postcards and Audio Letters

I'm not sure how I've never talked about this, though I suppose I was only around 18 or so when it came out.

But Damien Jurado's Postcards and Audio Letters was one of those things I heard that really helped me become fascinated with listening to people talking, those people not knowing you can hear them. I suppose voyeurism is the proper term, though that word gets muddled with other more salacious definitions.

There's a reason, many reasons, why The Conversation is one of the best movies ever made. It's probably, along with Apocalypse Now, why Coppola only made a few good movies, though he's still really trying. Or so we think?

For those who don't know, this is a compilation of found cassettes, mostly from thrift stores, which, supposedly, Damien gathered over the years. He doesn't write anything or sing. It's people talking, and it's put to CD.

But it's utterly fascinating and bizarre and inspiring.

I think my main thing is the fact that these are cassettes. What we all had to use back in the day for answering machines. Now it's all voice mail. People traded tapes in the mail.

On the first track, you can hear Angel in the background as Robert records what is obviously the other side of the tape. And you can hear Angel on the other side, very beautifully and slightly. It's all apparently from 1972. All you can do is piece together what has happened.

You could think about it like Miriam and Judah in Crimes and Misdemeanors. But again, this is real, and utterly fascinating.

The Christmas thing is bizarre. From the early 1980s. And not as interesting, but still worth a listen.

The Dawn, Phil thing is also pretty fascinating. I wish we had more. But again, we feel like we're getting something real, from a nerdy dude trying to see what's going on with a girl, for whatever reason, he's been chasing.

And the last track totally seems like it's made up, but there's no way it can be.

And then we wonder how people let these things go. Accidentally? Moving? Thrown in a box and then the box disappears?

I guess these days it's so easy to take a photo on a cell phone and put it on the Internet. I don't they they sell VHS tapes anymore. Or cassette tapes. It's all CDs and DVDs.

These are people who didn't have cell phones...