Alibi V.20 No.36 • Sept 8-14, 2011 

Sonic Reducer

Special John Wesley Coleman III Edition

John Wesley Coleman III lives in Austin where he plays both as a solo artist and in The Golden Boys. He’s put out five or six singles, tapes or LPs this summer. What did you do?

John Wesley Coleman III Lincoln Nebraska Sessions (Certified PR Records)

I got this in the mail amazingly fast after ordering. The Certified PR Records person was nice enough to include a burned CD copy of this cassette-only release, so I didn’t have to ride around in Darrell’s van or play it on my crummy 1978 APS tape recorder in order to listen to it. Actually, I think I will do that, right now. This tape has GREAT tunes on it. Some highlights: “I Go Up,” a lament about stalking a lost love; “The Walls Are Way Too Thin” (“I can hear my neighbors having sex again”) about loneliness; and one of a few songs about being broke, “(I Wanna) Work Today.” Yes!

John Wesley Coleman III / Timmy's Organism "A Clown Gave You a Baby" / "Mind Over Matter" 7-inch split (Goner Records)

The JWC III side has the sound Coleman carried through the rockin’ Bad Lady Goes to Jail LP (Goner), and that’s a good thing. It’s catchy and contains indecipherable lyrics about a clown, a baby and a record player. I play it over and over. Timmy’s Organism reminds one of Go Girl Crazy! Dictators—minus the guitar solos, but with swaggering vocals over totally acceptable power chords with lyrics about being fucked up on drugs and booze. Chances of either band playing in Albuquerque? 6.5 out of 10.

John Wesley Coleman III Little Miss Keith Richards (Daggerman Records )

With this release, Coleman and his band have either gotten more goofy, more stoned or both. There’s less rock and more noodling than previous JWC III recordings but it still works. Let’s face it, the guy kicks ass. He doesn’t seem, however, to have bothered writing many lyrics for these songs. Luckily, tunes like “Little Miss Keith Richards” fairly vibrate with his whacked-out and sentimental lyrical style. The album art looks like it was put together by Mark E. Smith in 1983.

John Wesley Coleman III Steal My Mind (Certified PR Records)

There are a hundred of these “SXSW edition 2011” reissues available with “randumbly” colored vinyl so you can combine your love for Coleman’s well-received 2009 first solo release with your pretentious record collecting habit.