Friday, April 18, 2014

A Strange SA Coincidence: Time Magazine, King Krule, and Eisenhower-Era Alamo City

Posted By on Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM

click to enlarge kkjpg

At 19, Archie Marshall, pen name King Krule, has carved out a remarkably refined style for any age, merging his South London accent and a druthers for jazz chords with an immersive songwriting style in 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, his momentous debut LP.

Archie's is a songwriting style that absorbs the listener into his world. On "Easy Easy," the opener on 6 Feet, he takes us through a gritty, inspiring tour of Cockney London, life as he's lead it. Though Krule's physical tours have brought him through Austin, he's never made it down 35 to hit SA, despite pulling some inspiration from the Alamo City.

Doing research for another piece, I came across a quote in Time, describing San Antonio's resistance to the emerging popular music in the mid-50s. SA lawmakers and butt-censorers banned rock 'n' roll from "city swimming-pool jukeboxes because, said the city council, its primitive beat attracted 'undesirable elements' given to practicing spastic gyrations in abbreviated bathing suits."

Apparently, the Time quote attracted songwriting elements, too. Fast-forward to November of 2011, when King Krule released "Portrait in Black and Blue," a sparse memoir of breakup and self-deception. Krule opens up the tune, his baritone spewing "Spastic gyrations / and abbreviated bathing suits." Where he came across the Times piece, we may never know.

Personally, I'm a sucker for found lyrics, taking everyday, or in this case, editorial language and re-envisioning the words as a part of a piece (as long as the sampler gives credit or elaborates significantly on the idea). All I'm looking for here is a quick King Krule trip down to San Antonio, to pay homage to the SA censors of yore and shred the St. Mary's strip.

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