Lambchop are releasing their new album Showtunes this Friday, May 21, and, while we’ve already heard “A Chef’s Kiss” and “Fuku”, they’re treating us to one final preview. “The Last Benedict” is, appropriately, set to be the closer for the album, and Kurt Wagner introduces it by saying:
“At the breakfast buffet table in a hotel during the Pickathon Festival, I was “lucky” enough to get the last eggs Benedict of the service. One sad egg. Later, I caught the final scene in Giant, the one after the brawl in the diner where a battered but bemused Rock Hudson looks across the table at his grandson and says something akin to “the last Benedict”. Much later, I was sitting on my back porch and wrote this song.”
Those disparate images – buffet breakfast and Rock Hudson – are a good introduction to Wagner’s free-floating mindset in “The Last Benedict”. It’s made even more vivid inn the sound-world that he’s created for Showtunes, which largely floats on weightless piano, and on “The Last Benedict” there’s even a disembodied opera sample that crackles and floats through the atmosphere – completely unrelated to anything, but fitting in perfectly nonetheless. Aside from his imagery, Wagner also treats us to some other sensory delights; “I can almost smell the sea” he laments, and later “the interstate and trees sound just like waves.” Even without knowing that he wrote the song on his porch, you’d already picture “The Last Benedict” taking place in a laid back atmosphere, as it sounds like a contented man sitting and watching the street, just letting thoughts drift across his consciousness. It’s delightfully breezy.