Epic Jammers And Fortunate Little Ditties by Bitchin Bajas and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – selected by Alberto González (Lorelle Meets The Obsolete)

In September of 2016 we got evicted without notice from a tiny house we rented on the outskirts of the Ensenada hills. The house was on land that a full-on corrupt ex-police captain had invaded for years and when the “real” owners appeared they kicked everyone out. Needless to say it was shocking. All of our belongings were scattered in nearby empty lots. We’re not hoarders by any means, but still I felt really furious at being attached to physical belongings while I was collecting our stuff from the lots. What was the point? Especially with the records. Are we defined by the material stuff we own?

This eviction happened five days before leaving for a long European tour in support of Balance. After the tour we floated around Guadalajara and Mexico City and got caught between the December holidays. In the meantime we were lucky enough to catch Bitchin Bajas at a festival in Mexico City and Cooper [Crain] gave us a cassette version of Epic Jammers And Fortunate Little Ditties which had come out earlier that same year.

We were ready to go back to Ensenada in January of 2017. We drove our 2003 Ford Windstar minivan around the city searching for our new place. It had a tape player perfect to jam the Fortunate Little Ditties endlessly, turning the album into a meditative loop. A great soundtrack for the ups and downs of our house hunt.

The cassette was my companion and my healing therapy. All of a sudden every song intertwined deeply with what I was going through. It gave me the strength to move on. I found beauty and irony in our new beginning. Just like the beautiful soundscapes paired with the irony of a fortune cookie phrase.

I don’t think this album has traditional storytelling, but to me Will Oldham’s repetitiveness has a progression that takes you from the cheering state of mind in ‘May Life Throw You A Pleasant Curve’ through the darkness in ‘Your Heart is Pure, Your Mind Is Clear And Your Soul Is Devout’ onwards to the infinite ‘You Will Soon Discover How Truly Fortunate You Really Are’. So, rather than feeding us with uncertainty, the songs as a whole act as a safe place.

Living in a country labelled as an “emerging economy” by imperialist bullshitters and speaking from the privileged standpoint of someone who is able to stay at home during the current crisis while most of the people can’t, I would say this album is a great companion for isolation. These are times of fear and uncertainty and, if this album at least gives you a moment to heal and to think about walking towards a new beginning, then we will be able to overthrow the rotting system that got us into this.