Spose, radio star

By SAM PFEIFLE  |  February 3, 2010

Then he lightens up by pretending to be out of breath and firing back into the chorus.

But it's true he sees himself as the voice of the blue-collar underclass (or the could-be-white-collar suburban types who like to fancy themselves blue-collar because it lends them legitimacy in the underground where being successful and having a few bucks in your bank account makes you a sell-out), the creative and intelligent who never saw a reason to try because rather than having a good excuse for drinking PBR and smoking dope all day — like, say, they were born in poverty or didn't have an opportunity for an education — they instead were just beaten down by the cultural vapidity, the bland vanilla existence that's been put forward as "appropriate."

Because, yeah, Wells, Maine, that's the fourth circle of hell. No doubt. But I know the feeling. I grew up in Andover, Massachusetts, for Christ's sake.

"I'm Awesome" is commentary, too, on this Facebook/Twitter world we live in where a new-found compulsion has set in to broadcast to the world. There is a seeming imperative, now, to be awesome, even if you're not an aspiring rapper. Spose has tapped into this new effervescent value judgment and poked at its preposterousness: "I write about myself on my Facebook wall . . . can't tweet upon my Twitter cuz I haven't done shit." How often is this how people are measured? I shudder to think.

So, is there a future for this unlikely radio star? There is precedent. Beck is much more than "Loser," Radiohead more than "Creep," the Flaming Lips more than "Vaseline," but each faced a roadblock there. Does Spose have the chops to be more than a blazed-up huckster? Is he an artist? The work I have from him leaves that question wide open. He has the insight to turn our local zeitgeist inside out, but we'll have to wait and see whether he'll have the worldliness and ambition to speak to something larger.

Sam Pfeifle can be reached at sam_pfeifle@yahoo.com.

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