Saturday, September 11, 2004:

That's entertainment

Geeshie Wiley -- Last Kind Words
I first heard this song in Crumb, a disturbing and fascinating documentary about comic book artist R. Crumb. Crumb comes across as self-involved, neurotic, insecure, and misanthropic; also much of his work is sexist and/or racist. The film brings in experts to criticize and defend Crumb's work, and I think a few of the defenders try too hard, rationalize too much. But the film is engaging anyway, especially in its observation: Crumb sketching a woman at a cafe, using passersby to comment sardonically on commercialism; Crumb struggling to be affectionate with his children, who struggle not to rebuff him; Crumb getting a piggy-back ride from a big-legged woman at his art show. And just when you're thinking Crumb is damned weird, you meet his brothers.

This song comes on when Crumb comments that one of the few times he feels any kinship with humanity is when listening to old blues. That's not a point of view I share, but he's right about this track's appeal.

Not much at all is known about Geeshie Wiley: she's rumored to be from Mississippi and to have been with Charlie McCoy (Kansas Joe's brother); and she recorded only a handful of tracks. Don Kent has the most complete writeup of her life I can find online, and it's only two paragraphs long.

For whatever reason, can't be arsed to show me the page for this CD. It's more interested in the DVD, and in R. Crumb: The Musical, and in the disc Crumb by some band named Fossil and, near the bottom, Oreo cookies.
More Geeshie Wiley tracks at


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