Thursday, August 18, 2016

Recording: Kurt Marble

Artist: Kurt Marble

Songs: Domestic + Spirit in the Sky [Norman Greenbaum cover]

Recorded at Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement (SummerWorks: Glitter Jesus), August 11, 2016.

Kurt Marble - Domestic

Kurt Marble - Spirit in the Sky

With his glam/grunge take on classic riff rock, Kurt Marble is not, perhaps, such an unlikely candidate to head down the concept album path. Like a lot of concept albums (including several that are considered stone classics) this one was a little daft as a coherent story, but it gave more than enough material for a jukebox musical that took us into the creator's mind-world. Starting with cult-y white robes and spiralling outward from there, it's salient to note of this production that it involved several costume changes and that Roxanne Ignatius' striking costume design was one of its most important elements. It also gave a chance to expand on the band's musical template with guests including Neil Rankin (in his Slime guise) and Maddy Wilde (of Moon King/Spiral Beach fame) who was also the show's co-writer.

Its central tale of the Glitter Jesus was never quite in focus and it was never clear if the whole thing was a sort of satire on hippie earth-mother peace-and-love vibes (or an ardent embrace of same) or a commentary on rockstar ego trips (or a backhanded embrace of same). In that sense, the presence of "Spirit in the Sky", an evangelical gospel song written as a sort of conceptual lark by a Jewish songwriter feels right at home with the piece's unfocused aw-sucks eschatology. But as our hero kept emerging in increasingly-fabulous outfits, eventually taking to the crowd to anoint his seekers with glitter, such concerns simply fell by the wayside. All hail Glitter Jesus!

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