Ann Arbor Weather:
Saturday September 23, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Chris Bathgate



of some dark realities that might-or might not be- autobiographical. It matters not whether Bathgate crafted these songs out of the difficult stretch he has recently endured in his life, which he refers to in his bio, or whether he has imagined the people and experiences he sings about the way a novelist creates fictional characters and plot.

For these are marvelously well-constructed songs, sometimes out of the barest of lyric and melodic materials. "Poor Eliza" has only a three-note melody, and the main lyric is "it is what it is, what it is." Bathgate not only manages to get away with that, he actually gets somewhere. "Fur Curled on the Sad Road" goes it one better. Its vocal melody has only two notes, a half note apart, the smallest interval in Western music-and neither one is the tonic, to boot. Yet Bathgate manages to conjure something powerfully compelling and far-reaching from those meager materials. The last line of that song is, "These images they linger." Yes.

But Bathgate is no minimalist. The instrumental breaks on "Fur Curled on the Sad Road" and on all the songs are striking, moving, and memorable. His song lyrics are often complex, featuring subtle internal rhymes, slant rhymes, and intricate rhyme schemes. It's easy to miss that intricacy on a first or second hearing but impossible to fail to notice how your ear, mind, and body are drawn to and resonate with that coherence.

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Hams Online
Radio buffs stay ready for emergencies.
Patti Smith
Rasa Festival
Indian classical dance
Leah O'Donnell
Subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer
Molly Patterson
Necessary rebellions
Keith Taylor
Business in Saline
Today's Events
Advocacy and Politics
Seven to Four
A council seat changes hands.
James Leonard
Beethoven for Refugees
"Ode to Joy" at Hill
Davi Napoleon
Ulrich's Is Still in Limbo
But momos and macaroons are in the works.
Sabine Bickford