Still In Love With Who?
:: Simon Leung - Steven ::
There are some records you see over and over in the same store, in the same bin, month after month. You look at it and wonder what it is. In the case of this record, I opened up the gatefold, pulled out the record, tried to glean some clues. But this record was purposefully elusive. I saw it's title, checked out it's pink, one sided disk, and from the huge booklet included, I could see it was some kind of artsy tribute to Al Green's 1972 album, "I'm Still In Love With You". But I passed on it time and time again, thinking each time I visited the store that it might be gone, but it was still there, as if everyone else who came across it was even less intrigued by it than I was. Finally I could stand it no longer, and now that I've had it in my house for a couple of months and have been able to investigate it at my own leisure, I know little more about it now than I did the first time I saw it in the record store.
Well, here's the little bit I do know: The album's jacket is a clever container for a multi-media art and literature presentation. Organized by painter/curator Steven Hull, whose love of Al Green's masterpiece inspired him to invite 46 visual artists and 29 writers to contribute works representing their reactions to the album, whether they liked it or didn't or merely felt indifferent toward it. Hidden inside the sleeve was a pink CD in an envelope which contained the bulk of the audio "art" (the one sided pink vinyl only contains 3 songs). The 11" X 11" booklet, is approximately 50 pages long and contains the lyrics to the songs on the CD and vinyl, visual art and prose. Apparently, there were two gallery exhibitions of the project in February and March of 1998 in Eagle Rock, CA.
The audio track presented here is the 2nd of the 3 tracks on the pink, one sided vinyl. The song is called "Steven", by Simon Leung. The song was apparently originally called "Peter", because on the lyric sheet, the word Peter is crossed out and Steven is scribbled along side it in it's place. Perhaps this is in tribute to curator Steven Hull? Hopefully I'll never know the answer to that question.
The song speaks for itself, and I think it fairly represents the loose nature of the various artists interpretations of the subject matter throughout the presentation. Most of the writings, photographs, paintings, poems, essays and songs makes one wonder what the fuck any of it might have to do with a certain Al Green album, but I guess that's what makes it art (?). Oh well, I may not know art (I spend too much time in record stores, not enough time in galleries), but I know what I like, and I don't know if I like this thing or not. But, considering it's one of the most unique and baffling record albums I own, I'm glad I decided to give it a home.