Dog And Pony ShowAshtrays and Afterlife Money
ERIC AMBEL, ONE of the album's producers, has dismissed the material as love songs to heroin. Even if he's right, so what? Great rock and roll songs have been written about the drug and the struggle to overcome its seduction (which logically includes a love/hate relationship with the substance). Fuck off, Eric.
Allusions to smack are woven into guitarist/lead singer Mike Semple's lyrics, but they work as allegories about life in this post-mod-mad-mad world, too.
Semple's guitar burns darkly over vocals emanating fatigue and anger simultaneously, while bassist (and backing vocalist) Jason Steed and drummer Timo add deep, dense bottom rhythms.
This isn't an absolutely brilliant debut from D&PS, there's sloppiness and slack on too many cuts, but this band has artistic potential and successes that shouldn't be denied or dismissed by sanctimonious preachers on teetering pulpits.
VARIOUS ARTISTSHempilation--Freedom Is NORML
HERE'S ONE TO put under the big cannabis Christmas tree of your favorite stoner activist. Now there's a hazy oxymoron--stoner activist.
This compilation is a tribute to the 25th anniversary of NORML, the organization dedicated to decriminalizing marijuana. Tasty tokes: "Smokin' Cheeba Cheeba," by High Fidelity; "Rainy Day Women," by Black Crowes; "I Want To Take You Higher," by Blues Traveller; Gov't Mule's "Don't Step On The Grass, Sam"; "Homegrown" by Gus; and Ziggy Marley's "In The Flow."
Although lots of tracks are, well, wasted on weak covers and originals, the point of the whole thing is salient: legalize marijuana, reduce the federal deficit and stop making criminals out of normal people.
IT WOULD SEEM George Clinton and the P-Funk crew have been saving their best moves for this Bill Laswell-helmed, two-CD project. They even brought Pedro Bell along to do the artwork.
Inspired remakes ("Cosmic Slop," with a Sly & Robbie rhythm section), out-there testifyin' for Da Noo Funk ("Hideous Mutant Freekz" includes a Public Enemy sample), an incredible sax-groove workout where they give it up to Maceo Parker instead of James Brown ("Sax Machine"), even an obscure Hendrix cover ("Trumpets and Violins, Violins" with Nicky Skopelitis on axe)--this is, as they say, the shit.
Incidentally, guitarist Eddie Hazel flexes his angel wings on several moving ballads. R.I.P.
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