How Gibbard and Farrar Turned Kerouac Folk on “One Fast Move or I’m Gone” Soundtrack

November 16th, 2009 by Chris Willman Leave a reply »

If you imagine a soundtrack for 1950s-60s beat writer Jack Kerouac, it’s surely bebop, not country-folk. But that didn’t stop Death Cab for Cutie’s Benjamin Gibbard and Son Volt’s Jay Farrar from collaborating on One Fast Move or I’m Gone, a rootsy set of songs loosely based on a Kerouac novel. Would the legendary scribe have listened to the duo’s distinctly unjazzy efforts and told them to, you know, beat it? “I still don’t know what Kerouac would think about the steel guitar,” Farrar admits, with just the hint of a blasphemous smirk.

It remains to be seen what fans of the duo’s respective bands will make of this odd-couple pairing. “I’m very aware that I’m stepping out in a style I’m not known for,” says Gibbard, who left almost all of the songwriting to Farrar. “I could definitely see that people who are fans of my band may be taken aback by the approach, because the genres of music we’re known for are different.” But if you ever longed to hear alt-country faves Son Volt with the “I Will Possess Your Heart”-throb as their sweeter, higher, and more enunciation-prone guest frontman, you’re in luck.

One Fast Move or I’m Gone is the soundtrack to a DVD documentary of the same name, which features Tom Waits, Patti Smith, and other admirers weighing in on a Kerouac book — On the Road’s far lesser-known spiritual sequel, Big Sur. Kerouac wrote the autobiographical novel in the mid-’60s, after retreating to a canyon cabin along the northern California coast to sober up from the debilitating effects of both alcohol and success. Farrar borrowed about 90 percent of his lyrics from the book, which both singers are far enough into their own careers to relate to.

“I found Kerouac at a pivotal age, in college,...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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