♫♪  Lambkin / Nace - Live at Cropped Out 2018 (excerpt)

Graham Lambkin and Bill Nace (Photo: Elisabeth Fuchsia)

Old honeybees. Hot October. Kentucky mud. Unplanned plastic. Late beers. DOUBLE DUDES. Lambkin Nace.

Graham will tell me after the show that he hadn’t played the guitar in 12 years before this. “What does that say?” he asks. The implication is that anyone could do just this. Or maybe it’s that he’s a fucking genius? I CAN’T TELL.

Graham Lambkin and Bill Nace perform at Cropped Out 2018
The thing (Photo: Elisabeth Fuchsia)

Of course the plastic screen is the thing. It has to be the thing. Once it was a piece of trash stuffed under a stage; now, it’s catching wind and light and aura like a celestial sail. The whole stage is a big ol’ statement, maybe. Before start time (moments before, really), Bill walks down the muddy path with a dead sink he found in an upstairs bathroom. It’ll go right in the middle of the stage — a readymade throwback, intentional or not. The dudes only start once plastic, sink, palm tree, and setting sun are all in place.

Graham Lambkin and Bill Nace act like their guitars just haven’t been finished yet. The wood’s been carved and the strings all perfectly strung, but they need a good beating from some metal files and a good, violent metal fingernail scraping before the instrument reaches mint condition. It’s a ritualistic sado-fetishism in a sense — full of love and I can’t say not without eroticism. Each has their own distinct way of disciplining the instrument: with metal and with skin. Returning to Graham’s hypothetical: how could anyone tell if these are men who have spent their lives mastering the instruments before them or aliens who just picked some old tool and went to town? The latter would enforce the feeling of eroticism, I think…

Bill Nace's guitar
Bill Nace's guitar (Photo: Lijah Fosl)

Behind the plastic screen — a perfect specimen of Cropped Out’s whole ethos: “Hey can we put this in front of us? It’ll look awesome.” — the lines blur between master and everyone. But isn’t it the masters always blurring those lines, anyway? The tension is aromatically present between the clean mechanics associated with sonic architecture and the inherent raw filth of the just-flooded Kentucky riverbed wilderness. It’s a perfect tight wire stage for these guys, whose work bodies bash away cleanliness with none other than cleanliness itself — raw and savage, like bleach and vinegar. Who can tell if it’s the dimming sky or the furiously meditating amplifiers that quiet the birds and the bees throughout the performance? Either way, nature tucks in the two figures wrapped in plastic, kisses them goodnight, and steps aside.

Live-mixed and mastered by Aaron Rosenblum and Lijah Fosl
Recorded by Aaron Rosenblum

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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