Everything I Long For
First Appeared at The Music Box, May 2000, Volume 7, #5
Written by Michael Karpinski
Everybody knows Hayden. Hayden's our neighbor. Hayden takes in our papers, walks our dogs, and waters our lawns when we're away on vacation. Every time we drive by Hayden's, Hayden waves.
But Hayden harbors a heavy heart. Hayden gets angry. Hayden plots complicated, petty revenges that will never see the light of day.
Because Hayden is lazy. Hayden is so beholden to inertia he can barely be bothered to breathe, let alone carry out complicated, petty revenges. Hayden lacks the courage of his convictions. Hayden lacks the convictions to begin with.
And Hayden is horny. Late at night, Hayden downloads Danish porn and watches through binoculars as our underage daughters undress for bed.
But Hayden is harmless. Takes in our papers. Walks. Waters. Waves. Like Norman Bates... or John Wayne Gacy....
Yes, everybody knows Hayden. Hayden's our neighbor. And sometimes, let's face it: he's us.
* * *
Hayden is Hayden Desser, a twentysomething Canadian whose self-produced debut plants him firmly in the freakish family-tree between Vic Chesnutt's bastard slacker step-son and Beck's heavily-medicated second-cousin. Like those two loony tunesmiths, Hayden can sometimes lean to the navel-gazing grating (Skates; Driveway), but much more frequently, Hayden's Sad Peter Pan song stylings succeed in being downright disarming, even charming (We Don't Mind — an arresting aria celebrating morning-after Denny's breakfasts and the rejection of real-world responsibilities — and the cello-heavy Hardly, on which Hayden provides anguished play-by-play of his latest ill-fated crusade to obtain a date). Indeed, Hayden is at his most affecting — and least affected — when dredging the core-deep despondence of Tragedy or unleashing the languorous, lovely strum that transforms Lounging's bare-bones ode to apathetic atrophy into something almost poetically profound. Tom Waits, for one, would be proud.
At his worst, Hayden's heartsick haikus and croak-and-caterwaul confessions can sometimes too closely resemble the sort of half-assed, dopey ditties that Adam Sandler made his name assaying on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" segment. Yet at its bare-essentials best — utilizing the most rudimentary of implements and the simplest of idioms — Everything I Long For speaks eloquently to that most intractable and tragic of human truths: Nobody gets out of here alive.
Everything I Long For is available from
Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2000 The Music Box