A Separate Peace

When Trip Shakespeare broke up, Matt Wilson marched off to war against his muse. Five years later, this exacting songwriter returns from the front with his first solo album.

And the night passes. The lights come on and people conduct exaggerated rituals of squinting and groping for keys, and Wilson returns to the road, as the opening act for the Violent Femmes: to Louisville, to Elkhart, to Indianapolis, where he plays on the top floor of a mall with a mosh pit at the front of the room and "some kind of breast policy" for the waitstaff.

I won't reconcile these two versions of the same event: He plays again at the 400 Bar on April 30, and I suggest you go find out for yourself.

But I will say that I do not believe for a minute that Wilson has lost his way (nor would it ultimately be my place to judge that). As proof, I offer "Deep All the Way Down," a scorched-earth search for what is honest and good in music. The writer of this song bears more than a passing resemblance to the 19-year-old who felt some immediate need to testify to Alex Chilton's contribution--to put the truth on tape, whether or not Chilton would believe it.

Daniel Corrigan

You can do the same. Wilson's address at Planetmaker Records is P.O. Box 8633, Mpls., MN 55408.

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