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What turned out to be Bongwater's last album before the acrimonious end of the personal and professional Magnuson/Kramer partnership was a sellout only in the sense of the slick cover art and presentation, tongues firmly in cheek. Otherwise, the blend of folk, shadowy psych weirdness, and satiric spoken word and lyrical jabs against the state of the world, specifically America, run as rampant as always. Rick was replaced on second guitar by Raymond Hudson, but this made little general difference to Bongwater's overall approach and Kramer's distinct production style. The title track is one of their best, some lovely guitar drones and singing bringing out the weird, gentle melancholy of the song. Magnuson as always has a great time with her inspired monologues. "What's Big in England Now?" has her in sassy Noo Yawk voice talki ... Read more »
Views: 1053 | Added by: illuminaut | Date: 14 Aug 2008 | Rating: 5.0/2 | Comments (1) |



As much a performance art troupe as a band, Bongwater was the brainchild of guitarist (Mark) Kramer -- chief of the Shimmy-Disc label and a former member of Shockabilly -- and actress Ann Magnuson, best known to mainstream audiences for her role in the ABC sitcom Anything But Love as well as the feature film Making Mr. Right. Kramer and Magnuson first met at her downtown New York nightspot Club 57, where he engineered the sound for her performances with the all-female percussion group Pulsalamma; after forming Bongwater in 1985, the duo enlisted avant-garde guitarist Fred Frith to record their 1987 EP debut Breaking No New Ground, a crazed neo-psychedelic set typified by Magnu ... Read more »
Views: 1033 | Added by: illuminaut | Date: 13 Aug 2008 | Rating: 5.0/1 | Comments (1) |



Alan Vega used his first solo album to distance himself from the music made by his pioneering synth-punk duo Suicide. Where Suicide deliberately used cheap, loud synthesizers to generate a cold, crude sound, Vega hired a guitarist and made, for all intents and purposes, a rockabilly album. "Lonely" is Vega's homage to "Heartbreak Hotel," and it's as full of yelps and pleading as the original, as Vega does his best Elvis impression. The gorgeous "Ice Drummer" may be Vega's best solo track, a beautiful shiny pop gem. Only "Bye Bye Bayou," a misguided attempt to fuse '50s rock and Vega's extended performance art pieces, falls flat. Still, golden pop moments like "Ice Drummer" are good reminders of why Vega, for all his eccentricities, remains a musician worth caring about. AMG

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Views: 1413 | Added by: illuminaut | Date: 13 Aug 2008 | Rating: 0.0/0 | Comments (1) |

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