Entry for June 13, 2006


Yow! The crypto-fascists in charge of new English patooties the Spice Girls mean business!

Press photos just sent out with the Britbabes’ debut album bear a scary sticker which reads: “This photograph/transparency is being sent to you solely for the purpose of its publication in your magazine/newspaper on _____ day of ______, 199_. No further reproduction and/or duplication of this photograph is permitted without our express written permission.”

Luckily, the dopes forgot to fill in the blanks! So let me hereby implore journalists the world over to simply fill them in as follows: “This photograph/transparency is being sent to you solely for the purpose of its publication in your magazine/newspaper on any day of the remainder of your life, babe! Hey, do whatever the heck you want! It’s cool! Party until 1999!

Reading of the previous paragraph signifies acceptance of this license!


ROYAL TRUX Sweet Sixteen (Virgin) Certainly among the finest CDs ever released to feature a close-up of a backed-up, filled-to-the-brim toilet bowl on its cover—and, frankly, one has to admire the art director’s strategic use of the red and brown palette here—Sweet Sixteen is every bit as tasty as it looks! I’m particularly taken by the fun-loving combo’s growth as musicians—ever the wiseguys, they’ve taken to playing in tune for extended periods—and the singer’s growing stylistic debt to the Blue Cheer’s legendary belter Dickie Peterson. A Carl’s Jr. commercial in the offing? You bet! 3.5/5

U2 Pop (Island) If, like me, you’ve had absolutely no expectations for anything good from these clowns for the past 10 years, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at much of what’s here. Popping up are at least three or four actual songs, rather than innocuous bleating drones—I’m taken with “The Playboy Mansion” and “If You Wear That Velvet Dress” at the moment—and other surprising signs of health. Among them: sampling the Byrds’ “You Showed Me,” poking fun at their own collective image, and incorporating lyrical references to both Michael Jackson and O.J. Simpson—a sure bet to cement their rock ‘n’ roll immortality in the coming decades. If I were Mandrill, I’d be worried! 3.5/5

DAVID BOWIE Earthling (Virgin) I suppose it would be too easy to say something like “this guy’s career went down the toilet after his Scary Monsters album“ or “with the sole exception of ‘I Can’t Read’ from the first Tin Machine album, Bowie hasn’t written a good song in 15 years” or “why on earth does anyone find David Bowie ripping off ’90s drum ’n bass style any more offensive than what he and Eno did to krautrock back in the ’70s?”—so instead, let’s just say “this guy’s got nice hair, a beautiful wife, oodles of cash, and I’d like to invest a sizable sum of money in actual shares of him, were he or his back catalog ever to be offered in the international money markets!” Sheesh! At this rate, they ought to start calling him “the chameleon of rock!” 4/5

FEVERDREAM You Don’t Know Us, But We Know Who You Are (Satellite) Oddly, this appealing, zesty U.S. debut for Australia’s Feverdream comes via Pasadena’s indie Satellite label–rather than one of the select multinational corporations which now control not only our music but our every thought and gesture! Weird! Sturdy “alternative” rock–which occasionally borrows from Nirvana and others of their ilk, true, but also offers a booming, haunting sound that I find compelling and original—is an applicable descriptive term! 4/5

THE BLUES PROJECT Anthology (Polydor/Chronicles) These ’60s NY bluesboys were excellent players, pioneering trendsetters, and whiteboy blues practitioners of the highest order—and this collections rounds up the very best stuff they ever did. Buy this, the One Way reissue of Planned Obsolescence, and the U.K. reissue of the first Sea Train album (on A&M)—then watch TV! 5/5

(BAM, 4/1/97)


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