For some reason, lately, I’ve been on some sort of new-age singer-songwriter binge. I can’t stop listening to a couple of guys I’ve posted on recently: David Vandervelde and Jeremy Messersmith. I’m always listening to Neil Young, even when I’m not. And over the last several months I’ve been dabbling in a lot of under-appreciated (at least by the hipster, country-averse, indie-music community) country-rock musicians: Dwight Yoakam, Chris Isaak, Steve Earle, John Prine, Larry John Wilson, the list goes on and on.
This is all just to say that I’ve come upon another really great singer-songwriter — and I’m not talking about some pansy-ass, sappy James Taylor type (sorry J.T. is lame). I’m talking the grand combination of electricity (neon lights infused T. Rex or Bowie) and authentic poignancy (Neil Young) and humor (think David Berman or John Prine) and lackadaisical cool (Lou Reed maybe?). This new fellow is Chad VanGaalen. I first heard him back when came out with Soft Airplane, and now I’m wondering why I didn’t keep listening, as he’s recently released a superb record hilariously title Diaper Island.