ehrlichman - "sorry to hear your a gonner"

whistful tin-pan tunes about small town life and feeling sorry for yourself. wonderfully grand songwriting, and melodies with a love for words. a un-modern comprehensive song database.

"doxylamine succinate"
"finding for the plaintiff"
"in the meantime"
"big break"
"several dances, same girl"

"bad day for forest fires"
"old grudge song"
"tell-tale lamp"
"easy to admire hard to love"
"hey baby im a warm body"


In a nasal Mountain Goats spoken/sung delivery, Scott Jacobson, aka Ehrlichman (Watergate?), gives an intimate look at his life and his songwriting. With only guitar, keyboard, drum machine and the magic of four-track production, Jacobson manages to charm. His lyrics are concerned with a small town upbringing, ("Fayetteville") and rocky love affairs ("In the Meantime") that can both cut to the heart and make you wince once or twice (see "Finding For the Plaintiff"). What this collection lacks in polish, it easily makes up in raw honesty. Jacobson has a ready ear for melody and he exploits it expertly through minimal keyboard lines and dubbed guitar leads that do much to overcome the bare bones style. One song, "Hey Baby I'm a Warm Body", daringly shuns instrumentation entirely, but proves very entertaining. The sound quality is poor, but the songs are strong (albeit mostly unfinished) and their vitality and originality remain unscathed. Apparently, a few of these songs were completed and envisioned on another release entitled Trysting Spot -- which, if this tape is any indication, should also be a winner. - splendid

* * *

Ehrlichman is Scott Jacobson. The cover to his cassette Sorry To Hear You're a Goner features a crudely drawn picture of a man's feet and legs sticking up from the bottom of what may be a square window. He has committed suicide or maybe was the victim of defenestration. A third option is that this is a first-story window and the individual is merely doing a handstand. Who doesn't love handstands? And who especially doesn't love summer handstands by a cute girl in rolled-up jeans on a front lawn so green it's fluorescent, a sprinkler idling nearby, beads of water collecting on the blades of grass, the girl's dangling hair wet and dark at the tips? Everybody does! I've never been to Fayetteville, N.C., but I like to think it's the kind of place where the image I just detailed occurs quite frequently.

Jacobson is from Fayetteville. He writes about the city in the song "Fayetteville." Over acoustic guitar and percussion that sounds like it's being played on a pail, he sings, "The city doesn't shine at night / It kind of flickers."

On some tracks Jacboson employs a drum machine, but on others he sings over nothing more than guitar. Oftentimes, he repeats the same bits on electric guitar, but with plenty of bounce and bite, so that the guitar provides the song's percussion.

What I've discovered: When it comes to these ratty, crackling cassette releases, I appreciate this all-by-one's-lonesome approach more than others. It's more introspective since you have no one to blush in front of and it allows you to slip in cheeky couplets that will amuse only you ("Your darting eyes and nervous laugh / Tremble like a polygraph") and it's certainly more daring since you have no one to counsel you on how and where to edit yourself. Like "Hey baby I'm a Warm Body," where Jacobson informs us it's 10 o'clock at night and there's an electrical storm outside before launching into an emotionally-charged, unaccompanied ballad. - PICK THE CATS EYES OUT