Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Cassette Review: John Thill "Gospel of the Carwash" (Kerchow! Records)
[$5 // Edition of 100 // https://kerchowrecords.bandcamp.com/album/gospel-of-the-carwash]
Back when we lived in Houston we would take roadtrips from Texas back to Connecticut and one time we were in truckstop probably in Tennessee I want to say and I found some cassettes on a table in between the bathroom doors. They were church sermons and they were free so I grabbed a bunch of them because even though I didn't have a cassette player at the time (not even in the car) I thought the idea of free cassettes was cool.
I feel like truckstops have changed a lot- from when you used to be able to go into them and find a bunch of garbage country cassettes for cheap- and yet for some reason the title of "Gospel of the Carwash" also reminds me that carwashes used to carry cassettes a lot for some reason. I was the type to wash my own car and so I never really remember going to a carwash and buying a cassette but I somehow remember it being a thing. Maybe the idea of having a clean car made people want new music to listen to in it, I don't know.
At the same time, for some reason whenever I think of carwash type of cassettes I like to think of hip-hop, like when MC Hammer used to peddle his cassettes out of his trunk and made more money doing that than he ever did on a label. And here is lo-fi master John Thill, who I feel like I've spent much more time listening to than my one previous review of his music would suggest.
With the idea of this being from a carwash- and that implying hip-hop to me- or even just to think of that truck stop and having this be a sort of driving music jam, it's actually not really either of those things as it just has a sad sense to it. I imagine- and I can't think about the carwash aspect still though- that if you were listening to this while driving on the road, especially by yourself, you might find yourself so lonely that you break down sobbing and crash your truck.
Regardless of how this makes you feel- and how you want to feel- I suggest buying this cassette and listening to it often if only because I think everyone should own every cassette by John Thill, as I hope to one day be able to say that I do. It's just one of those things where I might have only reviewed one John Thill cassette but he's already in that "must own them all" category which is home to so few artists but is slowly growing.