Boogie men


I have to share a tiny bit from Will Sheff’s long, fine essay on Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show: Live 1974. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Sheff’s piece is what you want to read this weekend.

By this point, the camera has pulled in so close to George’s face that it takes up the entire screen. George’s mouth is hidden behind the red handkerchief, so when his voice comes out it sounds weirdly disembodied, like it was piped in from somewhere else. In spite of the macro close-up, his face barely seems to move. He stands there, stone-still, filling the screen, a frozen giant, so massive you can see every pore in his nose. His eyes, though, are hidden in deep shadow. The camera lingers on this close-up as the disembodied words flow out, holding the shot for so long that for a while it becomes abstracted and you almost forget you’re looking at a face. You get the illusion instead that you’re peering into two deep caves burrowed into the pale side of an ancient cliff, with overgrown black vines shrouding the cave on either side, and with a booming voice off in the distance, or maybe it’s thunder, breaking against itself, or maybe the voice is coming from the miles and miles of endlessness deep inside, a voice of someone thousands of feet below the earth’s surface, a damp, earthy voice, a voice like mud or like dirt or like black grease, intoning “Mmmmmboooooogie….

Thanks to The Browser.