It’s a New York day in the life of Jesse Malin in the songwriter’s new video for “Downliner (Afterglow Version).” Malin makes his bed, brushes his teeth, goes grocery shopping, folds his rock & roll T-shirts, and even wraps a gift as the melancholy ballad plays behind him. Captivating stuff, right? While on the surface, the actions depicted in the clip, directed by Dave Stekert, seem trite, they work to center one’s daily existence in mindfulness. It’s all very Buddhist.
“When I feel like I’m going under and having one of those days or periods of time where I’m in a real deep funk, going out and doing the basic simple things seems to ground me,” Malin says. “Going to the supermarket, the laundromat, making the bed, cleaning the house; just walking, just really simple and really slow with every breath. The next thing you know, the sun is shining brighter, hopefully.”
“Downliner” first appeared on Malin’s 2003 solo debut, The Fine Art of Self Destruction, which the New York lifer is rereleasing Feb. 17 via the MNRK Heavy label in celebration of the LP’s 20th anniversary. Along with the original album, a bonus disc features updated versions of favorites like “Brooklyn” and “Ridin’ on the Subway.”
“’Downliner’ always reminds me of winter,” he says. “I’ve always liked songs that sing about the darker things, sadness — but somehow there’s a ray of light.”
Malin will mark the anniversary of Fine Art with an all-star live blowout at Webster Hall in New York on March 25: Lucinda Williams, Butch Watcher, Low Cut Connie’s Adam Weiner, and Tommy Stinson are all on the bill, along with the supergroup-you-need-to-know Fantastic Cat.
Last year, the former D Generation frontman reissued his “lost album” Glitter in the Gutter, which features the collab with Bruce Springsteen, “Broken Radio.”