There’s always been something about “Tusk” that’s just blown me away every time I listened to it.
I won’t really get into why you should or shouldn’t like it because it’s not the sort of song that lends itself to that. It struggles to stick to a tempo. The instrumentation is bizarre. It randomly breaks down halfway through. Either you find the surreal disembodiment of an otherwise very banal discussion forced and irritating or some truly majestic high-art shit. There’s no halfway on this.
Clearly I think it’s great, and just accepted I couldn’t tell you why in under 2000 words.
I went and saw a documentary about the famed 190 Bowery in NYC last week. Really, it was about its inhabitant (photographer Jay Maisel) no matter how much I wish it was about the aesthetic of the Bowery that went from “left behind” to “totally abandoned” in the last 10 years. But I’ll listen to any down-to-earth successful artist talk about their creative process and inspiration, so it was still worthwhile.
The line that stuck with me was “the hardest thing to photograph is the passage of time.”
If that’s the case, “the hardest thing to record is a voice you can’t hear.”
That’s why “Tusk” is great.