On today’s internet, anything that wasn’t posted in the last 15 seconds is already old. The upside is that so much wonderful stuff gets left behind. Here’s something from 2012 (really old) I recently rediscovered on a great website called Sleepover Shows. It’s a video of Bhi Bhiman, singer-songwriter currently based out of San Francisco, performing “Guttersnipe,” off his self-titled sophomore record Bhiman, released by Tummy Touch Records. The son of Sri Lankan immigrants, Bhiman grew up playing baseball and splashing in local watering holes outside St. Louis; and like his childhood, Bhiman’s deep-throated gospel of a voice is All American.
“Guttersnipe” is a term for a wandering, ill-mannered street child–the sort of soot-covered character you’d expect to find in Charles Dickens’ stories. And that’s exactly what the song is about. Bhiman’s words, playful and seductive, yet tragic, poignantly romanticize the vagabond existence. “A buzzard riding the rails, I steal my meals, when all else fails,” he belts. As a pitiful, impoverished writer, as I listen to the song, I imagine Bhiman might be singing about me. But while I’ve got empty pockets, I’m too much of a wuss to illegally hitch cross-state train rides, much less steal food. Sigh.
Have a listen to “Guttersnipe” above, and check out Bhiman’s lovely Talking Heads cover below.
STREAM: Bhi Bhiman – “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)”