Illustrative Tunes: Weary Things by Andy Friedman and the Other Failures (Music Review)

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You could easily mistake Brooklyn-born Andy Friedman for yet another aging hipster with a Tom Waits fixation. But behind the soul patch and porkpie hat there’s a more complicated character. Friedman is a visual artist (he made his name as a New Yorker illustrator), and his initial forays into music were spoken-word riffs on the life of an artist. This experimental and philosophical tone informs Weary Things, his second album. The songs include a long story about art and impermanence, an obituary for a doomed Brooklyn bar, and a wistful tune about a well-adjusted father nostalgic for his past as a drunk loner. Friedman’s serendipitous stories, anchored by a rock-steady Brooklyn-blues backup band, offer an almost clinical examination of the insides of an artist’s skull.

Image by Matt Dellinger, courtesy of City Salvage Records.

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