Jay Farrar/Benjamin Gibbard - One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Music from Kerouac's Big Sur



Big Sur was Jack Kerouac's anti-fame book. After years of carefree youth and unwanted fame, Kerouac spent some time alone in Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Big Sur Cabin and used the down time to confront some of his most troubling emotional issues: a burgeoning problem with alcoholism, addiction, fear, and insecurity. He "dutifully records his ever-changing states of consciousness, which culminate in a powerful religious experience." Written after the fame of On The Road had worn off, Big Sur chronicles Kerouac's travels to San Francisco and his isolation at Big Sur.

Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard's new album, One Fast Move Or I'm Gone: Music From Kerouac's Big Sur, takes the ideas and text from Big Sur (Kerouac is listed as a co-writer on every song) and puts them to music "Mermaid Avenue" style. The result is a haunting mix of alt-country tunes that takes the manic energy out of Kerouac's prose and presents them as a road weary ode to life on the road and the lost promise of California.

Gibbard and Farrar switch off singing each of 12 songs on the album and the Gibbard songs are the much stronger of the bunch, at least the most catchy. Jay Farrar approaches the songs in the low-energy style of some of his lesser Son Volt recordings (Wide Swing Tremelo) while Gibbard, while also low-key, brings an emotional resonance not found on the Farrar songs.

The album opens with probably my favorite, California Zephyr, and if you've ever traveled cross country by bus or train (or the back seat of a car), this song will resonate:

Now I'm transcontinental

3000 miles from my home
I'm on the California Zephyr
Watching America roll by

As mentioned above, Kerouac confronted his raging alcoholism at Big Sur and this comes through in the song Final Horrors (sung by Farrar):

Frisco Skid Row - Hotel Room

I feel I've been betrayed my very birth
My guilt so deep I must be with the devil
Breathing without believing
My helpless hands are on fire
I look at the world with dead eyes
I'm like a city street drunk
In the Boweries of the world
I want to bury my face in my hands and moan for mercy
The world is looking at me
With hollow big red eyes
I'm at the point of disaster of the soul
Even worse than dawn is morning
The bright sun glaring in on my pain
You feel death for a good reason
I took the deep iodine death breath
I'm afraid to close my eyes
I throw a cancerous look on the world

I know the album sounds like a big bummer, but it's not. It's a solid, if slow, country album sung by two great singers and many of the songs sound like they could be outtakes from a Son Volt or Death Cab For Cutie recording session. If you're into alt-country and slow, lugubrious songs with a Jack Kerouac pedigree, then I would hardily encourage you to check out One Fast Move Or I'm Gone.


Great review, Free! I have thought about getting this album. I may have to check this out. I like what I hear on The Current.

Also, do you have any recommendations concerning Sun Volt albums? What do you think is their "classic" album?

And how about Strangers Almanac by Whiskeytown? Yes? No?

Finally, in the last sentence I think you mean "heartily."

Shane, the first two Son Volt albums are "classic" and I give them a "hardy" two thumbs up!

I am not as familiar with individual Whiskeytown albums but enjoy the band generally. Jeff T. knows which Whiskeytown albums are best.

Also I should have noted that Jay Farrar and Ben(jamin) Gibbard will be at the Varsity Theater on January 31st. I am interested in going, if anyone else is interested, drop me a line.

boys like to come to the bar slowly) listening, singing and dancing girls ... -

boys feel a little funny, but also a feeling she was very special -

girl with her parents to leave the city! Went to another city) -

later, the boy smiled and said to the girl! -

bar with the reality of her ... she is both completely individual! -

M: I was to, so a person like -

boy told her that these days do not come to her cause! -

Woman: I was -

boy began to find why the bar each night with the girls pick the girl that he met, but also so clever ~ ~ the boy began to feel that they like the same person! Actions are then met to speak! ! ! -

boy's father is very angry -

women: Do not know? May I ask? -

girl told the boy all the girls ... ... weeping -

girl 19 years old, read the middle school did not read it! Because the family is not very rich, girl, very sensible! Not carrying their parents after school, in a very famous (bar) work ... -

boy walked gently around the girl said. -

girls, although in the bar! Work, but does not mean she is bad girl ... -

female: right past even if it! I do not want to mention! -


girl turned to see him. The boy immediately the girl in his arms! Tears! Say! -

in a hurry to hang up! She was afraid the boy heard her cry! -

and told the boy the truth! Boy listening to, and immediately rush of the city ... he told the girl the same girl, never forget! -

girls know that this is the anti-word! She knew that when she hurt him deeply ... no way! ! -

girl turned that moment tears streaming down) this year, that day would not want him! Do not want to see him that day, she just wants to see him even dream ... -


including boys! ! -

girl smiled -

boy drove past that) -


boy to aunt them back to the hotel! Immediately called the boy -

or money! ! ! The boy's father called to the girl -

girl is a very intelligent person ~~-

M: nothing -

girls often go to a top of the hill ... -

They started dating after

boy started (bar the door waiting for the girl) but he has not wait ... -

she looks, girl saw the boy's parents ~~-

M: fool I come! -

M: Why deceive me? -

his own a flower shop flowers ~~-

uncle: I want you to leave my son - the background of your home! Totally complex conditions - so we ask you to leave -

boy because of curiosity! And his classmates came to the bar! ! ! -

night work there will be a lot of other girls in front of the bar (but are futile) -


she only want to make more money too! To the family, a better life only ~~-


called people to check the girl's family background -

M: fool: do not be sad, I love you all Lai Buji, how will leave you ~ -

aunt cried when you saw the girl turned and said to her ... on ... -

! They have been very happy -

boy, the girl came around - that -

So the boy did not recognize! -

boy left, but also in the bar (intersection) meets girl -

But the boy did not recognize her ... -

girl, after listening to a very surprised) -

boy told the girl all the things ... -

ask her out to meet -

even drink, never drunk ,,-

bar, make-up for the (non-mainstream) is the wild singer and dancer! ! -


from Bar (Bar mysterious Queen) disappeared! No one to ask! -

girls want the boy to say The girl looked at the boy's background ... also indescribable feeling ~ -

understand the meaning of it? How do you think How would you ... will not encounter some problems! And do not tell each other but met again. Will not solve the misunderstanding! Or as a strange and off! Tell me! -

woman: I am because of work, you? -

In fact, she is a very filial and well-behaved girl! -

call the next day the boy! Break up -

boy the first time, the girl came to the door! The girl saw the boy ... parents know there will be such a day! ! They told the boy. . -

boy after listening to a very distressed -

and told the boy the truth! Boy listening to, and immediately rush of the city ... he told the girl the same girl, never forget! -

Finally, she decided to call ... to uncle! -

... she can not imagine how such a handsome boy ... she will like the bar! ! ! Said she was very special, in fact, after listening to her, do not know how to be happy to sleep ... -

uncle and aunt saw a girl, it is surprising, because the girl is not the year of the little girl -

holding the boy, crying,, cried the boy said -



Uncle: thanks to you, he had a good> -

The next day, the boy did not go, the bar, looking at her -

girls in one night, she was a person walking on the road. . . . . She saw the car before she drove up to the light ... very bright, very clear to see, at last, the boy ... girl ... is very happy. Ran in the past, -

girl, know him, and she relaxed a lot - look at things on the table in her dr dre detox sale, a bottle of wine did not ... ... only Coke, and some food -

girl's father became ill a few days in hospital! Doctors told the girl, her father was once surgery (and surgery costs a lot ... need three hundred thousand!! Girls were intimidated by the figure even lose her life is not enough!! Girl thought about the boy's father say ... -

in the bar, the girl dressed as a (non-mainstream) the feeling is very mad and brutal, -

in one night, the boy in the bar, entrance and other girls wait 3 more ... ... -



girl, wearing a black dress, with a fake hair -

girl could not help, ask it! Boy ... -

when the girl came to the box in front of the package, call her a deep breath: went in ... the girl was shocked! ! Turned out to save her boy ... she will know the boy at first sight ... -

aunt: Why did you order! Five hundred thousand, and he broke up -

aunt: After you leave, he said very little, including the few that we have! -

women: love, I really love him) I'm still forget him) -

exactly a month -

boy decided to go check -

~ in the end is the love of his son -

boy began, the girl started to pursue ... -

afraid to ignore him - he knew - after the boy did not go! Girl, very disappointed, -

and they are also surprised! -

rogue: you court death, you all gave me, and hit his knees begging for mercy ... -


beginning. Bar. After all, the boss does not agree with underage ... she heard her family background - Kuku Qiu she saw him! His boss was also impressed -

! ! -

boy completely collapsed! He frantically looking for the girl's message -

he girl in his arms and let the girl cry your fill -

M: After a person not on the outside too late to go home ... -

know, the girl is not, the daughter of a wealthy family - but she is a very nice girl

girl still a daze ~ -

has become, they are each other's habits ... -


fact, girls wanted to tell him -

in one night! The girl is not in the mood to sing! Her early work -

boy's parents knew the boy girlfriend, -

boy cry! He went to see the girl, but, the girl has been like home -

Woman: I promise you, you do not leave me at first was my fault! I'm sorry, -



female: Uncle, you are older, I respect you, but you can not insult my personality -

to travel with his mother ... ... to go, it is a city girl, and boy's parents also liked to watch paint ... after friends introduce, to -

girls often go to a top of the hill ... -

the girl cried, in fact, she really likes boy, boy ~ on to save her from that moment on, she liked him -

or not the girl's message! ! decided to let him out abroad (since the girl left the boy.... Boy becomes silent! Just nodded -

boy as usual to her home -

Friends of the faithful - which

female: uncle, aunt, how are you) -

girl so sad, but he did not know how to do - she did not want to lose the boy - do not want to lose my father ... she can only choose one -

here half a million! Took, on you go -

boy's mother's body is not very good, so it did not come! -

not wait for the girl

intention of leaving the boy crossing the bar ... just around the corner ... he saw a few rogue! Around a girl! ! -

boy hugged the girl said -

... but she walked over to greet them -

uncle and aunt only after listening to their original mistake, they apologized to the girl -


17-year-old girl in fact entered the bar, because you need money very much at home, his father was hospitalized, -

women: the amount, sorry. -


girl out, bar the door! As she saw the boy in the back door waiting for him - the boy walked over! Q -

boys do not respond to other girls! Put the girls pulled their car ... -

boy, etc., and many a night class is three 时 four ... -

boy suddenly speak ... -

fact, girls have long slipped away from the back door! ! ! -

was her nickname for the bar to take a mysterious queen

hooligans: boy, nosy, best go away ... -



Woman: I'm sorry, I did not mean -

parents of girls and boys finished speaking. On their left, aunt them back to the hotel! Immediately called the boy -

boys and girls sitting on this, and occasionally talk, sing ... girls never wine server, are more than 70 minutes ~~-

the evening, the boy went to a bar, called on the waiter! Showed the waiter, The first girl was asked to

suddenly felt afraid, but she is still with the courage to face ... -

boy did not go for a week! The girl had cried a lot - she regrets -


they hugged each other, happy, happy tears falling the most. From boys and girls happy together! -

Woman: Sorry, I have something to go up! -

M: Hello, sit down, -

boy took the girl got into his car ~ ~ all the way boys and girls did not speak ... until the door girl! ! -

M: Do not leave me a fool! Do not leave me! -

boy that has been in the bar, gate is not the answer, -



boy came to the top! ! He finally saw the girl. -

girls are painting! Listening to songs, this song is directed and recorded the song before the boy ... did not think the girl there! ! To peak each time a girl would give her listening to the boy, listening, listening to it cry! -

girl about a year ago, things appeal to them to listen to -

very pleased with the boy's father, the result like this! ! -

M: I am not told you not too late to go out it? On the train, -

is pure, innocent, lovely, -

boy the first time, the girl came to the door! The girl saw the boy ... parents know there will be such a day! ! They told the boy. . -

Woman: No, no, do not like this it! -

no one really saw the girl ... the most real aspect -

~ I love him, not because of his money, if nothing else, I have something ... I go first. Goodbye -


Woman: I'm sorry, I did not deliberately lie to you! Do not leave me ... -


boy will be in the junction meets girl ... -

for girls - in the bar, is a hypocritical world, so she has been in disguise yourself! -

boys and rogue hit, up ... less than a few minutes - all the boys, hooligans, knocked to the ground. . . Said ... roll -

a blink of an eye over a year! -

boy, the family is very rich, 20-year-old boy! In college! ! -

boys home on the last not to send girls to the bar, as usual, did not send her -


men: less nonsense ~ -

girls, and boys do not like the silence ... and the boy she began to speak ~ -

girl in another city to study painting - painting take over his father's company> The boy's father gave him the company ... -

even to her wine server, but also higher prices, in order to please her, the girl wine server is up 15 minutes

wine server, just a simple wine server ... ... ... bar a lot of people have the idea of ​​playing the girl, -

girl did not go to bars after work! -


Women: Who? -


women: he had the right? -



aunt: you still love him? -


uncle: You know I call you out, is why it? -

uncle: Ye Hao you really think. A year gone! I really impressive> -

M: I'm going, thank you ~ I am very happy tonight -

his parents, as to see the girl, man is the meaning of painting introduced ~ -

decided to have wine server as a name! ! -

girl in the bar, it is known, she would imitate a variety of the star's song and dance! ! ! -

M: I am sorry I will go, will not roll, the roll is your ... -

Woman: Why are you so late is still out? -

Since this is one hour -


also began to oppose them! But. Or the five hundred thousand hit the girl's bank account -

often go to bars after the boy and girl become more familiar with ~ ~, -

when the boy first saw the girl, there is an indescribable feeling - especially -

girl's reputation spread to a variety of much early, small, of the school: -

Check it out! Look inside the male and female is , how would you ... you ... oh very impressed

girl told the boy not to do things ... -

female: uncle, hello, -

M: You are not the same -

uncle: it is /


girl leave the bar. Immediately relieved face makeup. Gives another feeling -

decided to let her go to the stage a try! Surprisingly, the effect will be so good) since she entered the bar,

boss and therefore become! The girl's close friends! Although the age difference between them ... but they are still a lot of good friends ~ ~ girl home occasionally to see her parents, her father's health has not been very good, occasionally hospitalized ... -

M: I do not blame you, I know, you have bitter end, so I have been waiting for you! -

girl very sad, I thought I should tell of him long ago, and now he ignored her angry! So sad, -

boy called ~ girl ~ -

M: What are you doing? I quickly let her! -


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Freealonzo published on January 20, 2010 2:10 PM.

Dylan at the March on Washington was the previous entry in this blog.

Haiti Update is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.