Magazine article U.S. Catholic

One Fast Move or I'm Gone

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

One Fast Move or I'm Gone

Article excerpt

ONE FAST MOVE OR I'M GONE

Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard (F-Stop/Atlantic Records, 2009)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Since his death in 1969, beat novelist Jack Kerouac has become a pop-culture perennial. Each generation of young rebels lays claim to his restless spirit, while a few sad cases also imitate his drinking to no good end. This album represents yet another change of the beatnik guard as Ben Gibbard of indie rock groups such as Postal Service and Death Cab for Curie and Jay Farrar of the alt-country bands Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt set to music passages from Kerouac's novel Big Sur (Penguin).

Musical Kerouac projects are nothing new, but previous ones have all involved jazz. Here Farrar, who did most of the songwriting, uses the more limited palettes of blues and country to convey Kerouac's Buddhist-Catholic mystical raptures and his alcoholic jags of despair. Gibbard's main contribution is his voice, a soaring tenor that corrals the ecstasies, while Farrar's rumble reaches down for the author's rock bottom. …

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