What Is That Smell?

It must be a bit whiffy…

I happen to love Damien Rice’s album, O. It is melodic and beautiful, grand and magnificent, and (one more adjective) sublime. The album makes me smile every time I hear it; je l’aime beaucoup.

This is not, however, what I wish to share with you, though it is necessary that you are aware of this facet of my taste before I continue.

At some point after purchasing O, I went forth seeking music in the same vein. It was at this time that I discovered Iron & Wine. The music was quite good; I was impressed. Not wanting to miss out on all the music by the artist, I quickly made my way over to the Iron & Wine home page on the iTunes Music Store. And then, immediately: Uncertainty. Fear. Disgust. Horror.

What could engender such feelings in me so rapidly? Was the man a lech, or a self-righteous christian republican?!

Well, no.

I must say, though, I am quite torn when I try to decide which is more terrifying: that or that the man before me had a huge, nay, colossal moustache and beard. It was easily one of the most appalling that I’ve had the extreme misfortune of viewing. I know, it’s just facial hair, but it really gets under my skin (do forgive the regrettable pun). Honestly, though, it’s not just the facial hair. Rather, my problem is with the ramifications of having such hair upon one’s face. Primarily, I am disturbed by the miasma that assuredly surrounds that mass of follicular foulness. You see, I am convinced that within there are amassed many, many little (big?) foetid bits of food that would ensure such an effect.

Maybe there are no bits of food. Maybe he is well groomed indeed, but my mind cannot loose its hold on the idea. The question is: what does that have to do with his music? Well, amongst clearly-thinking people the answer is likely: nothing. In my mind, though: everything.

Despite knowing that his albums do not include a packet of moustache trimmings or my very own piece of ‘Hey, look what I found deep inside my beard this morning!’, I remain troubled. Very troubled. So troubled in fact, that when I listen to him singing, the singular thing my mind can focus on is that beard and moustache bobbing up and down, up and down, up and down as he croons delicious musicness at me.

No, no, there is no hope for me and Mr Wine. Instead I will choose other artists, sans the sinister facial hair and will be, no doubt, just as happy.

8 August 2005