Granted, the first time I ever heard the name Will Oldham was as an actor. My government/economics teacher at Georgetown High School was also one of the many assistant football coaches schlepping it out on the sidelines, and while he was busy drawing up plays that never actually worked for our woefully deficient AAA team, he would show us movies pertinent to the topics he had us copy out our textbooks Monday through Thursday. On the Friday morning before the big game with county rivals the Carverâ€™s Bay Bears, Coach Mahan walked across the hall to my motherâ€™s classroom – she and my dad both taught at GHS – to borrow her VHS copy of Matewan. So impressed, Iâ€™ve been following his career (Oldhamâ€™s, not Mahanâ€™s, that is) ever since.
So, like a Bostonian Cardinal, I looked the other way when he and only-funny-on-stage Zach Galifianakis had their reputations molested in Kanye Westâ€™s video for â€œCanâ€™t Tell Me Nothing.â€ I thought to myself, maybe this guy really fucking hates 50 Cent or something. Not to mention, who canâ€™t recite most of the rhymes in â€œGold Digger?â€ But I started losing both patience and religion after finding out Mr. Billy had covered Mariah Careyâ€™s â€œCanâ€™t Take That Away (Mariahâ€™s Theme)â€ for the upcoming Engine Room Recordings compilation Guilt by Association. (N.B. Jim Oâ€™Rourke does â€œViva Foreverâ€ by the Spice Girls and Porter Block one of those – intentionally? – campy tunes from the first installment of High School Musical.) And yet once again, I found myself making excuses â€“ maybe heâ€™s just pissed that Superchunk got to Destinyâ€™s Child before he did. But now, London noise lovers The Wire has confirmed that the familiar-looking policeman in the latest episode of R. Kellyâ€™s infantile hip-hopera Trapped In The Closet is indeed none other than the â€˜Princeâ€™ himself. Jesus H. Christ, Will. Is it about the money? You canâ€™t be hurtinâ€™ that bad. Everybody I know bought last yearâ€™s The Letting Goâ€¦and frigginâ€™ loved it. I just hope Ned and Paul donâ€™t find out about this. And since you like Dickinson so much, Iâ€™ll quote one of hers Iâ€™m sure you know as a kiss-off:
â€œAs freezing persons recollect the snow â€“
First chill, then stupor, then the letting go.â€
On a better note, I talked to my mom the other day, and she tells me that Coach Mahan is now Co-Athletic Director Mahan. (She also just downloaded Springsteenâ€™s Live In Dublin – itâ€™s â€œpretty goodâ€ she says – and wants me to tell my older brother to call our grandmother â€œBabaâ€ more often.) And while I donâ€™t really understand why a job like that needs more than one person, Co-Athletic Director smells like a promotion nonetheless. I know today is Friday, but just in case heâ€™s out there scouring the Intranets for the latest music news, Iâ€™d like to send a shout-out to Georgetown High Schoolâ€™s brand new Co-Athletic Director Brian Mahan. Brian (Iâ€™m 23, can I call you Brian now?): I didnâ€™t learn anything from you that I didnâ€™t already know about the Constitution or conspicuous consumption, but hey, at least you inadvertently turned me on to Will Oldham. You might have a cushy new desk job Mr. Co-Athletic Director sirâ€¦but youâ€™ll always be â€œCoachâ€ to me.