Sunday, August 22, 2010

Robert Johnson Toolkit

We loves the internets as much as the next fella. But we also have to breath out before we praise again, just because it is such a thorough mixup.

As the sun comes up this morning, we've been living our own version of "Phonograph Blues"* w/ Robert Johnson, and we're prompted to look about for tools to assist us in our persistently (failing) sensemaking. Thus, a few bullets:

  • Lyrics and some sources. Delightfully free of popups and transparencies. Nothing special, but that's what we're looking for.
  • Songlists and discography. The former stands on its simplicity. The latter is an apt representation of the ball of confusion we call the recording innustry.
Wikipedia's bio page is not worth citing because it's cluttered with foolish references to the young Keith Richards, and can't resolve the unresolveables at the crossroads with the elegance the episode deserves. But some wikipedier has invested a great deal of time in a couple of song pages, so let's also commend them.
We want these at our fingertips, want to return to them, because they remind us of the complex exchanges that make up the songs and the body of work.


* We must observe, even before you read them, that these highlights are in our own context, appropriated from the song, and this is as it should be. Everything, after all, is autobiography.

Beatrice got a phonograph, and it won't say a lonesome word

And we played it on the sofa, and we played it side the wall
But boys, my needles have got rusty, and it will not play at all

Beatrice, I love my phonograph mmm, babe and I'm bound to lose my mind

Now Beatrice, won't you bring your clothes back home
I wanna wind your little phonograph, just to hear your little motor moan

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