January 6, 2009

  • Bill Mallonee

    I followed Vigilantes of Love when they would do gigs in Pittsburgh long ago, and found Bill Mallonee’s lyrics provocative and satisfying. He now shuffles around from coffeehouse to backyard now with his new wife. There is no VOL. Mallonee has gone through some rough patches, and his theology has taken a trajectory that parts a bit from mine, but his lyrics still amaze me and his expression of belief still pierces my soul.

    His myspace says that the cost of his performances are heavily discounted for 2009, so this would be a good year to snag him if you have a venue that does that sort of thing. Here is a 2008 video of one of his classics:

    Blister Soul

    yeah, you got this place you go
    it's just a trip before the fall
    way past the fevered pitch
    but just a spit from the wreckin' ball.

    said you woke up this morning
    said you woke up under a curse
    I've heard the blues are bad
    but this is something worse

    and the ambulance driver
    well, he tips his hat and stares.
    and he asks you in a grave voice,
    "Can I take you anywhere?"

    Yeah the thing we cannot speak of
    too painful to behold
    oh, this blister soul.
    oh, this blister soul.
    oh, this blister soul.

    there's a smaller place you go
    where there's hardly any sound
    where the deals have all gone sour
    and where the house of cards comes down.

    And the damage is costly
    is beyond all dollars and sense.
    You can't measure it with graphs and charts
    or any instruments.

    yeah the thing we cannot speak of,
    the secret we all know.
    oh, this blister soul (etc...)

    yeah from the trumpet blast
    I hear the banging drum.
    yeah from once upon a time
    to the kingdom come.

    and the thing that's yours for free
    is the thing I need the most.
    stifles every boast
    stifles every boast.

Comments (3)

  • Yeah, I have fond memories of the several times I heard him live with yinz guys. I think it was Mark England who got us into his music in the mid-’90s, yes?

    So much of his story in the past decade is sad, since I hate seeing any artist with so much talent get less recognition as time goes on. I am amazed not only at his talent but at his tenacity at sticking with it. I think I would have given up long before this (the touring part, anyway). I would think the recent technological changes that allow an artist to go right to the customers would benefit someone like him immensely. But it doesn’t seem to have worked that way….

    I checked his site just today, and don’t see Pittsburgh-area gigs any time soon.  :(

  • P.S. His MySpace page says that VOL is re-forming to do an album in this coming year! (That CT article you linked to this morning also mentioned something about them performing together…) Hmmm…..

  • @Austruck1 - 

    Whoa! I missed that. VOL lives! Happy happy.

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