Owner of a Lonely Heart

The late Skip Spence finally receives some attention

Weirdest of all, though, is Spence himself. Hidden after the final track (an elongated version of "Givin' Up Things" by the Minus 5 that taps the original's gorgeous melody for all it's worth) is "Land of the Sun," a mid-'90s recording Spence made for the X-Files movie. (The track was never used.) On it he only speaks above a mechanical background. His voice is weary and haunted. Much like the way William S. Burroughs could evoke paralyzing and catastrophic paranoia with a single croak, Spence conveys a sense of loss, an extraterrestrial feeling that he isn't quite all there anymore. Still he sounds frighteningly human. In the end Spence was a guy who saw real ghosts and rather than fight with them, chose simply to walk away.

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