Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Jim White Presents Music from Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus follows songwriter Jim White on a journey through the heart and soul of the American South. White and his insights putter through the truck stops, tiny towns, jailhouses and juke joints in a 1970 Chevy with a giant Christ jutting from the trunk. Along the way the film evokes Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner, and tries to divine the source of the South’s creative waters. White also curates its sound track, where the common threads are reverence, mystery and danger. His own compositions — “Christmas Day,” “Still Waters” — are wise pieces of magnetic avant-folk. But it’s the darkly lyrical “Wound That Never Heals” that’s just spellbinding. (“Honey, what’s wrong? Oh, nothing, dear. ’Cept that tears are a stupid trick of God ...”) White includes the Handsome Family’s creepy gothic country novella “My Sister’s Tiny Hands,” and a white-knuckle take on the traditional “Wayfaring Stranger” from 16 Horsepower and Woven Hand mastermind David Eugene Edwards. The Moaners’ Melissa Swingle pulls “Amazing Grace” out of a billowing saw, and Cat Power’s “Crossbones Style” is an eerily cool classic from 1998’s Moon Pix. There are no local screenings scheduled for Wrong-Eyed Jesus. But until there are, its sound track offers plenty to explore.

Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com.

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