Drill a Hole in That Substrate and Tell Me What You See

Drill a Hole in That Substrate and Tell Me What You See

by Jim White



Jim White writes like a Southern gentlemen. When he released his cryptic debut, Wrong-Eyed Jesus, in 1997, he was approaching 40, and with each record his civil invective and genuine yearning for redemption have become more focused, culminating in an eccentric -- yet fully realized -- body of work that requires no aging to prove itself worthy. Drill a Hole in That Substrate and Tell Me What You See preens like an alley cat with a bellyful of chicken scraps. The thick veil of gloss that co-producers Joe Henry and Tucker Martine use to coat each of the 11 hypnotic tracks is entirely transparent, resulting in a glass-bottom boat ride that's both cathartic and uncomfortably voyeuristic. White's characters are always teetering on the edge of a bridge, faces cast skyward, wondering if whatever it is that's left them might swoop down just seconds before the first shoe drops. He meets his subjects on level ground, allowing them to speak through him as well as serve as their master's mouthpiece. On the spooky Tom Waits-style dirge "Borrowed Wings," the ghosts of doomed Bonnie and Clyde-cursed lovers weep "For in the fallow field where what's reaped is what's sown/There lies a road to ruin and it's paved with our tombstones." It's not all hellfire and brimstone, though, as evidenced by the goofy Barenaked Ladies collaboration "Alabama Chrome" and the bright -- almost hopeful -- hidden track, "Land Called Home." There's a deep Southern gothic vibe at work here that brings to mind the Spanish moss meanderings of Daniel Lanois' For the Beauty of Wynona, but it's the shadow of Waits that always gets the last word; "If Jesus Drove a Motor Home" sounds like a cross between something off of The Black Rider and the theme to The Sopranos, but it's interesting that despite all of the celebrity guests (Aimee Mann, Bill Frisell, M. Ward), it's White's self-produced tracks that mirror their creator's sewn up -- but still bleeding a little -- heart.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/08/2004
Label: Luaka Bop
UPC: 0680899005524
catalogNumber: 90055

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jim White   Primary Artist,Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Bass,Flute,Harmonica,Percussion,Piano,Trombone,Keyboards,Vocals,Melodica,Irish Flute,Toy Piano,Indian Banjo
Joe Henry   Guitar
Marc Anthony Thompson   Background Vocals
Donna De Lory   Background Vocals
Barenaked Ladies   Background Vocals
Ralph Carney   Flute,Trumpet,Saxophone,Animal Sounds
Aimee Mann   Vocals
Chris Bruce   Guitar
Sean Dean   Bass
Bill Frisell   Guitar,Papoose
Danny Frankel   Percussion,Bongos,Floor Tom
Niki Haris   Background Vocals
Jon Hyde   Bass,Pedal Steel Guitar,Bass Guitar
David Palmer   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Sampling
David Piltch   Electric Bass,Bass Guitar,Double Bass,Standup Bass
Tyler Stewart   Percussion,Drums
Jim Creeggan   Percussion,Bowed Bass,Standup Bass
Steven Page   Background Vocals,Rap
Jay Bellerose   Bongos,Drums
Mark Saunders   Sampling
Eric Heywood   Pedal Steel Guitar
Paul Rabjohns   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Mandolin,Accordion,Bass Guitar,Snare Drums,Marimbula,Ronroco
Terri Binion   Background Vocals
Tucker Martine   Percussion,Drums
Oh Susanna   Background Vocals
Ryan Freeland   Clavinet
Kevin Hearn   Synthesizer,Guitar,Accordion,Keyboards
Eyvind Kang   Organ,Viola
Mary Gauthier   Background Vocals
Jeremiah Sullivan   Mandolin
Chris Henrich   Pedal Steel Guitar
Dallas Good   Guitar
Travis Good   Guitar
M. Ward   Guitar
Suzie Ungerleider   Background Vocals
Linda Delgado   Background Vocals
Valerie Esway   Group Member
Ari Fellows Mannion   Group Member
Paul Fonfara   Clarinet,Saxophone,Viola
Peter Gardiner   Guitar
Ladies Of Loretta Lynching   Background Vocals
Mac Martine   Papoose
Dorothy Robinett   Bass Clarinet
Guthrie Trapp   Guitar
Heather Davidson   Group Member
Steve Moore   Trombone,Harmonium,Wurlitzer
Ed Robertson   Guitar,Rap
Mike Belitsky   Drums

Technical Credits

David Byrne   Executive Producer
Joe Henry   Producer,Audio Production
Barenaked Ladies   Producer,Audio Production
Yale Evelev   Executive Producer
Michael Haas   Engineer
Jim White   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production,Cover Photo
Mark Saunders   Producer
Paul Rabjohns   Producer,Audio Production
Gail Marowitz   Art Direction
Tucker Martine   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Tim Oberthier   Engineer
Ryan Freeland   Engineer
Britt Myers   Logistics
Keith Rudyk   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Drill a Hole in That Substrate and Tell Me What You See 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As with his cd Wrong-eyed Jesus, this is a must-have for those of you who love Lucinda, Silver Jews, Cat Power, Aimee Mann, Waits, Mason Jennings, Ron Sexsmith, Byrne, Eno,. . .