High in the sky chicken pot pie hopes

Keeping warm is of utmost importance during manufactured winters

Keeping warm is of utmost importance during manufactured winters

If you reside in the city of P-Town or keep up with its goings-on regularly, you’ve probably heard of the Whiffies Pies cart. It’s one of the newer food-mobiles on the 12th and Hawthorne corner, and it serves up fried pies. Whiffies Pies provides fried pies of both the savory and sweet varieties. People of all colors and creeds appear to like fried pies very much. I was intrigued and felt that I could love fried pies, too. So I went, and I ordered a chicken pot pie fried pie (it’s redundant but ever so fun to say out loud). And I was uninspired.

Seriously, that bums me out. If there is a piece of fried food that can be cheaply bought and consumed while simultaneously smoking a cigarette, hailing a cab, or pumping your fist, I am in theory all for it. But I couldn’t get into my chicken pot pie fried pie. Something about the flavor was not too my liking, the crust was just too heavy to keep eating with abandon, and (perhaps the biggest strike of all, and not the fault of the food cart) I was not as drunk as the followers usually drawn to the late-night food bastion of 12th and Hawthorne.

And because this night of mediocre fried pie coincides with the same day I listened to Yours Truly, the Commuter, the solo album from Jason Lytle, I’ve started to conflate them. Granted, my expectations for Whiffies and Jason Lytle as a solo artist may have been unrealistically high. For the latter, there’s some poetry, or at least something to root for, in the risk that comes with branching out on your own from the ashes of a defunct project that enjoyed a healthy amount of fame. I had hoped for some twisted lyrical turn towards the cerebral or impressive technique. At the very least, I anticipated some dreamy, shimmering pop bliss.

Sadly, I’m finding the same faults in his recent effort that I found in the songs of his former band, Grandaddy. There’s nothing overtly wrong with the music. It’s pleasant to hear, and seemingly earnest in its expressions of triumph and loss. The production is high quality. All the immediate factors that prime you to digest and enjoy the album are present, just as the Whiffie Pie crust glistens with just the right sheen of grease and hints at the tasty treats waiting inside. But while the inner workings aren’t bad, they don’t blow your mind with wonder. It’s very bland. And that appears to be an easy pit for Lytle to fall into, with his reedy tenor and penchant for keeping his lyrics on the light side. I’m sorry if I sound harsh, but all the words in “It’s the Weekend,” are “Today is the day, it’s the weekend,” and they are repeated a minute longer than they should have been. The addition of some serious musician muscle for his future recordings and tours might be helpful. But if Lytle wants to keep the attention of listeners beyond the curious Grandaddy fans, he’s going to need to lay off the fried pies.

Jason Lytle will play at the Crystal Ballroom on Friday, June 5. Neko Case (!!!) will also play.

  • Jason Lytle ~ Yours Truly, the Commuter ~ Anti-

This Song Is the Mute Button

It’s the Weekend


2 Responses to “High in the sky chicken pot pie hopes”

  1. 1 Mark June 6, 2009 at 12:02 AM

    You should listen to All Smiles instead.

  2. 2 Danielle June 8, 2009 at 1:40 AM

    LET US GO THEN YOU AND I…TO WHIFFIES because I still have not been there. From what I heard of Lytle at the show, I thought it was pretty good…it’s stuff I would probably listen to on a playlist with like Coldplay and Sufjan.

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