Assumer Guide: Secret Chimps And Mud Flap Mamas
As Consumer Guide creator Robert Christgau once noted, there is so much recorded media coming forth every day, the idea that one would be able to listen to all of it is physically impossible. So we’ve taken the sage advice of gonzo rock writer Richard Meltzer to heart. Meltzer, ever the curmudgeon, considered promo albums precious commodities–provided you didn’t break the shrink wrap on ’em, as doing so reduced their resale value. After the click-through, Andy Beta fords the Waterworld that is the Information Age with his eyes instead of his ears.
PICK–Mustafa Ozkent: Gençlik Ile Elele B-Music While Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp lasted only a few years in America, it achieved great renown in Turkey, where it translated as “Mustafa Ozkent.” Masquerading either as secret agents or long-haired rock band The Evolution Revolution, Ozkent and friends fought the villainous mad scientist with the sideburns pictured on the back cover. They defeated said evil doctor each week by creating de-evolutionary tape collages from musical hybrids like “Blues’n’Jazz,” “Rhythm’n’Soul,” and “folc” music–whenever the madman listened to them, his head exploded. A roomful of said monkeys also cut Pet Sounds. A+
Glenn Jones: Against Which the Sea Continually Beats (Strange Attractors Audio House) As was oh-so-popular in the late 70s, Glenn Jones left his famous punk band to focus on meditative finger-picking. Out from the Sisyphean rock of one, he bore the unbearable overweight of his spiritual guru, steel-string guitarist John Fahey. Problem was that Fahey took all the good animals (turtles, fish, kangaroos) for his record covers, leaving Jones with only baby chickens and frogs. Here Jones dresses bugs in dapper straw hats and leafen trunks, and his mandible-and-antenna guitar solos are sure to please the hivemind. A-
Papercuts: Can’t Go Back (Gnomonsong) Okay, the recent Girl Talk mash-up of Clipse’s “Wamp Wamp (What It Do)” and Grizzly Bear’s “Knife” got us over 2006 like a carton of Kools, but it shouldn’t be so surprising to have a folky indie singer-songwriter in early 2007 who growls in juxtapose like Gnomonsong prez Devendra Banhart and Andy Cabic, yet namechecks Pusha T and his line about peeling twenties till “his thumbs gets to papercuts.” Though that may be from not having callouses from fingerpicking. Either way, Jason Quever is a slim SF thug who also likes ursine stencils, pencil sketches, and an olive hue that screams drab-hop. B
DUD–The Fratellis: Flathead (Interscope) Is this inebriated garage-rock four-piece just getting shit-Facesed and evoking that failed sitcom I saw back in the early ’90s about four Wops and their ma, The Fanelli Boys? Or are they just slobbering about those lasses “Henrietta” and “Stacie Anne” they espied once on the back of an 18-wheeler? Perhaps these girls were splayed on an iPod wildposting instead? Any and all “screwdriver” references are phallic, so it’s no surprise that their retro rock takes me back to that glorious gearheaded day when Boris’s Pink and a new issue of Mud Flap Mamas dropped through the mail slot simultaneously. C+
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