King Tuff

After surveying the lands for an unknown period of time, The King chose a tiny hamlet in Vermont to establish his supreme lifestyle. He named his kingdom Brattleboro, installed a local governing body, and instructed the area residents to leave him well alone. Rather than remain consumed with imperial interests, The King was concerned only with television, snacks, and when it suited him, personal expression via thoroughly lazy and fuzzy-feeling power-pop rock n’ roll. Every few years The King emerged from his quiet solitude to share his creative output. At first the people didn’t know what to make of The King’s efforts – they hadn’t heard power-pop like this in some time. But before long The King and his King Tuff music reached the hearts of his people.

Despite his newfound popularity, The King could not be bothered to alter his supreme lifestyle. When he entered a period of extended reflection, the people begged for a new release, but to no avail. With each passing day the people grew more impatient. They would say, “Why hasn’t King Tuff released his music to us? Perhaps he is dead.” When Was Dead arrived in October 2008, the people finally understood: The King had been dead, briefly, but now he was alive, and moreover, he had produced a masterpiece.

With Was Dead the laziness was as strong as ever, yet The King rocked like never before. There was a fuzziness, a warmth, and an endearing personal quality to the tunes. Of course, being King Tuff, The King wasn’t afraid to get dangerous at moments, but with tracks like “Connection” and “Just Strut” listeners discovered the truth: The King is a sweetheart. The people had never experienced such fantastically kook-ball songwriting. Was Dead explored new worlds of pure fantasy, and by now The King had developed a real knack for narrative. Whether it was his day-in-the-life tale “Kind of Guy,” or the nonsense of “Sun Medallion,” The King always found a clever way to spin the yarn.

The songs and overall production resulted in a most pleasing daydream of a record, one that somehow straddled the line between partying and napping. It was the special sound of one man’s honest and unbridled supreme lifestyle. With Was Dead the people better understood The King, and The King was happy to have made the people feel so awesome inside. He will do it again soon, or rather, when it pleases him.

Jim Nicholas
Paris, France
Summer 2008