So what's this EP, Halfway to a Threeway by Jim O'Rourke on Drag City records all about anyway?

What you call a pain
I call weeding out
and what you call the rain
comes out of my mouth.
a fuzzy sun
will get you one by one
a fuzzy sun
gets the job well done.

rolling drunks for their cigarettes
frightening babies that aren't born yet

You feel I've passed you by,
you feel that you've been robbed
well, nothing will feel worse
than dying on the job.
A fuzzy sun
when you have come undone
a fuzzy sun
a boy must have his fun.

A cigarette to brand a baby's arm
a bit of ash in his face keeps him warm

His voice is like Cat Stevens meeting Steve Miller on very clean LSD in Fuzzy Sun, the opener for this EP. Recorded in 1999 and released on January 20, 2000, the music is clear, crisp tones of wonderment, swallowed in hues of light red, and the inscrutable pink ultraviolet, like floaters on your vision, tharkbits of reality coming apart. I've heard from someone who claimed to be friends with Jim O'Rourke that he has a photographic memory. He remembers anyone, and anybody. His love of minimalism may arise from this fact. I have also heard it said that he is not interested in drugs--even so, if that is true, this short 4-song EP is an incredible collection of psychedellicaly-charged consise masterpieces.

Not Sport, Marital Art is an instrumental of subtle timber-shifting proportions. Intricate guitar lines intangle with patient bass, and jazz-brushed drums, and a drive, forward-momentum narrative-in-progress direction, with an amazing cornet solo by Mr. Rob Mazurek, which morphes and twists due to O'Rourke's masterful production. It is an aural delight to behold.

Women look good in,
with their suits on
it suits them.

Men look good in,
with their suits on
it befits them.

Women look good in,
with men's clothes on
it contains them.

Men look good in,
women's clothes on
it betrays them.

The Workplace evokes the soft office travellers, those who never really fit into corporate employment, but manage to pull it off anyhow. The guitar is clean, the drums are light and the circular movement of the music is hypnotizing, like the pace of a copy machine. Singing backup is Archer Prewitt and Sam Prekop from the Sea and Cake. When the song breaks into "duh-da-duh, daaaaaaa duh dum, da duh da dum" it gets heroic, communicating in its own way the neverending narrative of the doldrum work day. If you've got this kind of attitude, you can almost make it work. And Rob Mazurek's skillful cornet follows, filling the atmosphere with that much more hope. And dedication. But where the song is happy, the words are dark. This is most often the case with O'Rourke's pop music, and the next song is as much testament to that as any other.

I used to have none
now with you I've got one
if I could add just one more
then you'd know what you're in for
you ain't getting any sleep tonight
I hope that you girls don't fight
and I hope that you don't run away
cause I'm halfway to a threeway

I've tried again and again
to indulge in just one sin
all you have to do is lie there
while I push aside your wheelchair
and I'd do anything it takes
to change your mind and apply your breaks
so I know that you won't roll away
cause I'm halfway to a threeway

Can't whipe this smile off my face
when you walk by in your leg brace
you just can't climb the stairs
and you ain't got any hair
I just can't get you to sit
you and your stupid epileptic fits
and I know that you can't run away
because I'm halfway to a threeway

as I lay you down on my bed
it don't matter that you're braindead
I can get so close to ya'
now that you're in a coma
I'll make it sweet but short
when I pull out your life support
and I know that you'll just fade away
because i'm halfway to a threeway
and I know that you'll just fade away
now I'm halfway to a threeway.

Absolutly haunting, Halfway to a Threeway on first listen is a sweet love song. An echo follows Jim's voice, and the prettiest darn finger-picking guitar you can imagine. Another listen, and you understand a little further. And then the lyrics hit you. And it is sick. And it is damn near one of the most, scary funniest songs I can imagine. The way it is sung, it as if O'Rourke is completely strung out, nutty--but still a lovinig figure, who wants to get it on in the worst ways. As a precursor to his next album, Insignificance and particularly Get a Room from it, this song is a eerie cousin.

The cover art for the album: On the front is a large plushy frog's head. His arms are slightly spread out, and he is smiling in greens and yellows. It is damn cute. Turn the case over, and there's a nice teddy bear, also incredibly cute. Open the inside, and you see their backsides. I've heard it said that if you look closely enough, you can see Jim O'Rourke's pubes. Wouldn't doubt it, but I've yet to find it. Inside one finds a picture of O'Rourke as youth, looking very cute, his arm wrapped around a goat.

This is my favorite album of his. Probably my favorite EP ever.

Inside it says that the cover models, Froggy and Chompers can be contacted via Drag City.

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