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Kyp Malone, How Do I Love Thee?

November 7, 2009

Dear Mr. Malone,

Please forgive me if I’m a little nervous.  For many years I’ve admired your work with TV On The Radio from afar, basking in the glory of your awesomely awesome awesomeness.  I fell in love with TVOTR after 2004’s Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes.  Your follow-up album, Return to Cookie Mountain, was a worthy successor to the brilliance of your debut and only made me crush on you even harder.  Then came your 2008 masterpiece, Dear Science, which put you right up there with The Carpenters in the Music Hall of Fame that resides within my mind.

After Dear Science, I began to realize that something was different.  I found myself experiencing new feelings and sensations that forced me to see the world in a different way.  I wasn’t ready then to fully deal with what was happening to me, but deep down I knew that I’d never be the same.  Then you decided to go solo, dropping a solo album in September under the name Rain Machine.   How did you know that I simply adore monikers?  Mine is Bloody Meatballs and I wrote a book of poetry once under that name…OK it was just one poem…well really just a couple of lines that didn’t even rhyme, but that doesn’t matter.   What matters is that after hearing the soulful tunes of Rain Machine, I went to the backyard and carved “Kyp Malone loves BM” into the ruddy bark of the old oak tree.  There was something magical going on between us, despite the fact that you weren’t aware of my strange carving fetish.

Rain Machine is easily one of the best albums of 2009 based on the strength of your songwriting the breadth of styles that you dabble in throughout.  You almost out-Prince Prince by playing just about every instrument on the album, although you lose points by substituting drawn pictures of naked women on your album cover for the Purple One’s pic of himself all nakey on the cover of Lovesexy.  But despite that,I have to say that listening to Rain Machine is an epic experience.  “Give Blood” shows your love for West African polyrhythms, while “Smiling Black Faces” is a pretty straight-up folk song that brims with sorrow and contained rage.  “Hold You Holy” starts off as a deceptive mid-tempo pop tune, but then transforms into something faster and more powerful through your trademark layered vocals and electric guitar solos that duel in the background early then step into the forefront during the bridge.  Overall, this is a music lover’s album that is well worth investing some time in getting to know.

As if giving the world Rain Machine wasn’t enough, you go and produce Brooklyn folkster Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson’s sophomore effort Summer of Fear.  Robinson’s debut effort was solid, but he really came off as a sadder, more jaded Amos Lee.  Your participation took his music to another level mainly by bringing in varied instrumentation and a sense of arrangement to the music.  Songs that obviously began with a solo guitar and voice suddenly are rounded out through percussion, choral chants, electric guitar, and mellotron.  Robinson has the ability to craft songs with optimistic melodies contrasted with stark, depressing lyrics and in your hands his melodies suddenly become majestic.  Summer of Fear is cinematic and epic in its scope, and under your tutelage Robinson is able to pull it off.  Give yourself a hand for helping a fellow artist flourish in a situation where many artists flounder.

But none of these accomplishments even come close to what you did this week.  In all your Cornell West-ishness, you forced me to face my fears and admit my unabashed love for you.  Yes, Kyp Malone, I’m a man and I’m not afraid to announce to the world that I’m in love with you.  I haven’t figured out how to break it to my wife yet, so please don’t share this with anyone, but I’m yours for the taking.  How did you tear down the impenetrable wall of my heart?  It was your stint as a guest DJ on NPR’s “All Songs Considered” this week, where you professed your affection for the The Muppet Movie soundtrack!  That’s when I knew our (or at least my) love was for real.

Ever since I was five years old, I’ve been a closeted lover of The Muppet Movie and the songs therein.  Many nights I fell asleep to the soulful sounds of Kermit and Fozzie singing “Movin’ Right Along” or The Electric Mayhem grooving to “Can You Picture That?”  To this day, I tear up when I hear “The Magic Store”.  But I’ve lived most of my life in fear of the inevitable ridicule that comes when you admit that one of your favorite soundtrack albums is The Muppet Movie.  Until you, my beloved bearded one.  Now I can openly take pride in the absolutely wonderful musical experience that is Kermit’s first feature film.

In closing, I again profess my love and adoration for “He Who Is Not Afraid to Spell Kip With a Y.”  I’ve never loved a man before, so this is a frighteningly new experience.  But I just can’t help it.  I’ll move to Brooklyn and carry your dancin’ choose if you want, because you my friend are a stallion.  Everything you touch turns to gold, so I’m going to bring some stuff with me that I plan on hocking on Ebay later.

Sincerely, your biggest fan,


  1. Alex Pavitt permalink
    November 7, 2009 3:37 pm

    How satisfying it must be to be able to declare your love in such an eloquent way as this. I shall continue to pretend that my relationship to Mr. Malone is merely platonic. Alas, I lie to myself.
    And yes, Rain Machine is one of the albums of the year. Probably top 5.


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