Release Date: Feb 22, 2005
Record label: Merge
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Crooked Fingers mastermind Eric Bachmann has come a long way since his post-punk days with Chapel Hill indie darlings Archers of Loaf. His metamorphosis from the angular white-noise-maker who roared like a drunk lion on 1994's Icky Mettle into the rootsy troubadour who penned 2003's spirited Red Devil Dawn has reached completion on the world-weary and Spanish-tinged Dignity and Shame. Opening with the lonely, Morricone-inspired instrumental "Islero," Bachmann provides the audio equivalent of the dead matador that graces the record's liner notes, a theme that is revisited throughout.
The front cover of Dignity and Shame, Eric Bachmann’s third release as Crooked Fingers, is a portrait of the legendary Spanish bullfighter Manolete. Perhaps the most famous bullfighter ever to die in the ring, Manolete’s death in 1947 was a shock to his fans throughout the world, and, indicative of the reverence still afforded him, the Museum of Bullfighting in Cordoba was named in his honor. Whatever inspiration the story of Manolete offered Bachmann as he wrote the material on Dignity and Shame must have been indirect, as it can only be seen on a few songs.