Wooden Wand
“School’s Out” Live

Photo: Leah Toth

They say “timing is everything.” But…is that really what it’s all about? Is it really that black-and-white???

I mean, did James Toth (a.k.a. venerable folk-surrealist Wooden Wand) REALLY “intend” to come sidling up at “just the right moment” — with the impending May 5 release of his new album Clipper Ship — to soundtrack the end of another academic year with a new summertime anthem to rival Alice Cooper’s called “School’s Out?”

…And does his new, perfectly-timed music video of him performing that particular tune represent an attempt to “capitalize” on some sort of “perfect synergy” of subconscious, summertime-hype-mood-manipulation-techniques and blitzkrieg-style, high-visibility marketing strategies?

Or…is it maybe that, in Toth’s own words, “School’s Out” offers a perfect, microcosmic distillation of the themes and metaphors that are developed on the entirety of his first new album in three years: themes of “sacrifice, accountability, and the preciousness of time?” I mean, maybe “School’s Out” use summer vacation “as a metaphor for a lifetime spent on Earth: existence as a brief event occurring between one unknown darkness (the end of one school year, birth) and another (the beginning of a new school year, death).”

…And maybe the intimate live clip below, which features nothing more than tight shots of Toth strumming and singing his wistful incantations in an otherwise empty living room, serves as the ideal visual framework for that humbling power of just such a bittersweet rumination.

If you’re not sure which answer is the right one…well, you must just not know shit about Wooden Wand.

…Yet.

(Hey, what do you know? Maybe timing IS everything after all; just not quite in the way we first thought…)

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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