Th' Best Of Lightfoot: Master Cartoonist

Look, man- I got a big run of Soulfinger shows going, O.K.? I don't have time to sit here and putz around with my existential dread and my coffees. My many, many coffees. Man, I have to drive. Drive and sing and play th' Fender Rhodes. Night after cold, lonely, Cuervo Gold-soaked night, baby. Because that's how it is. Vermont, CT, CT, VT, MA.

But man, I can't look at that deep-fried chicken head anymore. You?

Hey- let's revisit my cartoon genius, shall we? It's about time for a greatest hits package. Man, are you in for a polesmokin' treat. It's all the best! All the best of Lightfoot's Recaptioned New Yorker Cartoons! Man did I have some fun back in '05 with this shit. Diggez vous.

This is actually sort of what it's like.

To Know Thyself...

Yeah, you say that now.

Poor bastard's in for it now.

A favorite.

Totally a favorite.

The Best One. I experimented with "it was like getting thrown down a hallway!" but I couldn't make it scan.

I did a series where I showed my brilliant Process by having this one up with three different captions before arriving at this urbane and tasteful final draft.

Literary references!

Everything is relative, this seems to imply.

Yeahhh....kind of coasting here.


Um, uh. Yeah.

Does this work? Sure it does. Works real good.



Who LikE McNiggits?

Everyones like McNiggits! ff.
I like th' McNiggits almsot as much as FROOT.
Best thing of all, malchickies?
YOu guessed it- FROOT MCNIGGITS.
Here's how to enjoy your McNiggits more deeply:
-dipping sauce choices are varied and wide. Try going 5W 30 during summer months.
-Only eat crucnchy outside. The inner chiquenen flesh is so bad for you and full of corbopornohydrates.
-if you get a head (see illustrations) eat head but don't look in eyes. Don't try arranging hair with th' "comb". See, she's just a expression!
-MCniggits also good with cinammon and salt mixture.
-try rubbing McCNiggit on other people. So many choices!! So much flavor.
-For sexual play there are few snax as erotic as McNiggits! Try the "McNiggit Love Cannon" move with someone you used to love and wish would go away! They will! Promise.
-And remember! Chewing wears out your theeth.
-ALWAYS KEEP THREE OR FOUR MCNIGGITS IN GLOVE COMPoRTMENT IF YOU PULLED OVER THEY MAKE EXCELLENT BRIBERIES. iF officeer says "are you bribbing me" you just say, "no I was hoping you might let me have some dipping sauce or let me rub McNiggit on your sac."
HOw will that look in th' courts? Try proving THAT!
Bobby Lightfooot's McNiggit Recipes:
1. Batterfried McNiggits!!
-cover McNiggits in batter and deep-fry.
2. Toasted McNiggits
-shove niggit in toaster and take 9 Volt battery from all smoke alarms.
4. McNiggits Fondue
fill mouth w/ McNiggits. Jump in vat in melted cheese. AFter 3 min. get out and take McNiggits out and eat. Remember! Never th' inside part!
And watch for seeds.
3. Smoked McNiggits
-always change water first!

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1936: "Where Or When" by Rodgers and Hart From Th' Musical "Babes In Arms".

And thus we begin our exhumation of dog-eared and much-loved standards from the great days of The American Song.

"Where Or When" is just plain mysterious. Harmelodically it takes the usual 1930's tack, even apeing Irving Berlin with its black-key F# major pentatonicism. Lyrically we're on a different train altogether. The impressionistic lyric just barely paints a picture of a moment of profound romanticism, an encounter caught behind a gently swaying gauze of time. When one thinks of its year of creation from a historical perspective, "Where Or When" takes on a laden poignancy that is particularly apparent in the climax of the refrain with its classical contrary motion and gentle Romantic dominant resolution ("...and laughed before, and loved before...").

I think this is a song that should be almost whispered and brought to a forte only on that exact Eb7/G resolve. The narrative is so fantastically intimate and the melody so complete that to understate it is to let it speak. I think one or two lines should be chosen and almost spoken in a sprechtgesang style that recalls the whole Brecht/Weill thing and rubs the European Classicism in just a little.

I think the instrumental thing in the middle should be short and sweet and of near-Baroque precision and cleverness. It should be in Stride style which on the Rhodes piano will translate into a music box vibe.

Also, the last time it hits the "...when..." after the refrain it clearly needs to modulate to a G major on a major 9nth chord and then fall a half-step to the tonic for the finale. Wow, would that kick ass.

This is not to say that I've done a particularly thought-out rendition here. I'm thinking of this stuff as I listen to the first run-through. I'm kind of sorting out the melody and the phrasing and chording minimally (not that that's a bad thing). Some of the rises snuck up on me and it's late so I pulled punches on the high notes rather than wake up the neighborhood. I like the key, though. I wouldn't touch the key. I'd like to have a lot of songs in the set that have this sort of lean-in-to-hear-it quality. It's great when my voice is shot like it is now. Fuck it- my voice is always shot. Shrieking for shekels all the time when I ought to be crooning.

"Where Or When"- a fantastic song from th' mid-30's by Rodgers and Hart.

Next up: some Edith Piaf and my own '30's musical number "For One Another". I'd also like to get my song "Paul McCartney" back under my fingertips but this will be a nightmare since the piano on the original recording was transposed from C to G. Oh, well. If I can't do "Paul McCartney" there's no point to the whole damned enterprise.

So What I'm Doing Now

Is trying to get my head around the concept of entertaining without a net. With a piano, two hands and one asshole. And that means a lot of sitting and damn playing. And singing.

One searches for what's deep, deep inside the song and tries to mine it when it's the song that's going to carry the thing. Just the song and the performance; the narrative, I guess.

So I'm digging deep, deep into the grooves of the numbers for the thing that comes before worrying about execution: meaning. Meaning and humanity. If it ain't there, man- it goes out the window, doesn't it? Who wants to go digging into a song and find nothing? If that's th' outcome I might as well be Jerstin Termberlake, right?

Don't have much voice right now after some odd days of belting for pennies but let's see what happens when I dust off one of my bits and give it a rip. Rhodes has got a little rattle on B under middle C and I've got a few bad spots in m'range but that's not what matters at this stage. And it better not 'cause this ain't perfection.

But it's live, you know? It's the test, man. I'll throw more of these up as I struggle with them and see how they weather and what they need in order to weather.

Somewhere down th' road a few I might just have me a show.



Cranberry Sauce

Dude it's Evil Beatles. YES.

"They're COMPLETELY ANTI-CHRIST. I mean, I am anti-Christ as well, but they're so anti-Christ they shock me which isn't an easy thing."

Derek Taylor, Press Officer for the Beatles


Jesus, Take Th' Wheel

Heyyyy...bet them Grammys were really great.

Why can't they fly a plane into that shit.

That dreamy Justin Timberlake. He's like a green-eyed Al Green.

What a tedious, talentless, self-important little lottery-winner asshole.

Hope that Fergie takes home some gold! She's so talented.

Why does it have to be so wrong to want to beat the shit out of a woman?

I wish I'd been talented enough to ever get a Grammy nomination. Then I'd feel less awful about taking this next lungful of air.

Yeah- talented at smoking pole. I hope I'm dead and in the ground before this fucking humiliation happens again. I hope I'm rottener than a happy meal bricked into a fucking wall in 1977.

Woah! John Legend and John Mayer and that other chick! It's so good.

I'm going to start driving more so maybe global warming will wipe us out sooner. I promise. It's my Grammy Resolution! What's yours!

Gosh, I love music. Music brings joy to my life. All these talented artists!

I've heard there's an operation where they take out one of your vertebra and they pull your teeth and it lets you GUM YOUR OWN ASSHOLE.

Jayzis take th' wheel! WWoooooo!