Album Notes - Hunter S. Thompson - The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved

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This is Album Notes and, technically, it is an album. 389 weeks in, it represents a first for us. 

"The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved" was a 1970 article in Scanlan's Monthly, which, despite the name, only survived eight issues. The short-lived periodical is best known for Hunter S. Thompson's tangential tales of the 96th running of America's most famous horse race, a story that led to one Boston Globe critique christening the genre the Louisville, Kentucky native seemingly gave birth to: gonzo journalism. 

Thompson's pioneering technique of eschewing the notion of objectivity and inserting the writer directly into the reporting would lead to many more accounts of debauchery coupled with newsworthy events. And scores of imitators, none of whom could match the archetype.

His signature prose shines through here, as Tim Robbins handles the role of Thompson ably, balancing the author's trademark cadence and mumble in a far more intelligible manner. "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved" is backed by music composed by Bill Frisell, and includes Dr. John and Will Forte voicing characters, along with Thompson's frequent collaborator Ralph Steadman as himself. 

If you know Hunter and didn't like him before, this is unlikely to change your opinion. For those less familiar, it may represent a good introduction and encourage further research into one of the most unique writers of the 20th century. If nothing else, it represents a weekend in the life of Hunter S. Thompson, albeit, one that may be tame in comparison to many of his others. 
 

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