Sometimes I forget about how damn good Al James and Dolorean are. When their absolutely heart-shattering album You Can't Win was released last year, we barely wrote about it. I assume because it was a busy week, and I probably ended up covering some other record that I barely listen to these days. But You Can't Win hasn't strayed from my playlist in quite some time. I recall sitting on the crowded airport floor at PDX while listening to beautiful opening lines of "Heather Remind Me How This Ends" ("Heather, I'm on a plane that I pray won't get off the ground"), or this time last year, in India, when the random iPod shuffle Gods brought about the stark and dooming title track; where James just repeats the phrase "You can't win" over and over until it becomes some sort of defeatist mantra.
So, to Al James, my apologies. We should have written a whole lot more about You Can't Win. And if you make another record--under the Al James The Unfazed, or Dolorean, moniker--I promise coverage. Lots of it. The entire music section, the cover, a free escort ad... whatever you want, it's yours.
Al James The Unfazed, and the inspiring Willy Vlautin, perform tonight at the Doug Fir.
Dolorean - "Heather Remind Me How This Ends"
Photo: Jonathan Drews