Wednesday, May 11, 2016

100 Mavericks # 97 F.M. Cornog

Another artist who has suffered periods of homelessness, mental suffering and drug abuse over decades that have fed into and informed everything he does. Listening to a snatch of seconds of pretty any of the songs he has recorded over the last twenty years under the East River Pipe moniker will tell you almost immediately that this is a restless and frankly troubled soul. 

Cornog hails originally from Norfolk, Virginia but was raised in New Jersey. He chose his recording name after watching a sewage pipe pumping out raw waste into the East River. It's kind of appropriate really. His singing voice speaks of deeply ingrained resignation of the inevitability of human folly. A trail of quiet destruction. There's also to counterbalance this an enormous amount of humanity and humour. His melodies meanwhile are chiming and bouyant. His is almost a soundtrack of consolation. Like that Elliot Smith line, 'Happy and sad come in quick succession..'

Described as 'the Brian Wilson of home-recording', Cornog is a rare talent. His records have the space and sad beauty you get with Nick Drake, Smith himself and very few others. Every song sounds deeply lived in. He also reminds me of Charles Bukowski for some reason. There's unhappiness there but also a definitive, enduring grace.He doesn't play the game, keeps a low profile, just writes and records his songs for the lost and the lonely and that's a very good thing in itself.. Read an interview with him here.

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