Carnival Of Sorts (Box Cars)
November 24, 2007
“Carnival of Sorts” doesn’t give the listener much in the way of context, but it is very generous in terms of imagery and sensation. Its aura of danger and mystery is seductive, and the chorus has a way of sucking you in despite yourself, as though you’ve suddenly found yourself sucked into a life-threatening adventure against your better judgment. Like a majority of the cuts recorded with Mitch Easter and Don Dixon, “Carnival of Sorts” is stark and clean, and the bright treble notes set against the bass gives the piece a distinct “late night” feeling, which is key to the success of the song overall. Peter Buck’s notes play out like bits of man-made light in the darkness of night — street lamps, carousel lights, neon signage, and headlights pass by, blurred by speed and panic.