Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing (1972)

The first album had a song ("Fa La Fa Lee") about incest. This one kicks it up a notch with "Angus Desire," a nice little number about bestiality. That's what I call bringing your A game!

That's the story of this album--it really cranks up the weirdness, to great effect. I think this album is better than the first. It is absolutely like nothing else, for certain. My favorite may well be the forty-three second "Batteries not Included," a tale of pathos and terror about--well, the title pretty much tells it all. Then again, there's always "Here Comes Bob," a great, propulsive song about a guy who makes friends with people by crashing his car into theirs. "Sometimes I will stoop to hitting two-door coupes without the frills, but that is just for casual acquaintances, for stripped-down thrills. But for affairs of staying power, I go after limousines. For a group encounter, I'll hit busses, mobile homes, or trains to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania." It's nuttily great! My favorite part is the end where he imagines how eventually he'll probably be arrested and the judge will declare "Bob, you've got a bad means to a worthwhile end." The childlike belief that the judge will recognize the value in making friends even as he condemns the acts themselves really sells the character.

That's not all, folks. Almost everything is worthwhile. "Moon over Kentucky" is a truly inexplicable, vaguely sinister love song to the Moon, "Nothing Is Sacred" is an evocative, dystopian number, and I can't even begin to characterize the lyrics to "Beaver O'Lindy" (there's no way to use the word "beaver" in a song without making it sound incredibly dirty, is there?). And then there's "Do Re Mi," a frenzied Rogers and Hammerstein cover, and one of the few cover versions the band has ever done.

This album is way too strange not to listen to. Check it out.

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