Stranger than Fiction
Don’t Quit Your Day Job/Oglio
A weird project, resulting in uneven but fascinating results. “The Wrockers” (formerly known as the Rock-Bottom Remainders) is a collective of modern masters of print — names like Matt Groening, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Norman Mailer, Leonard Maltin, etc. — jamming with a very competent set of studio musicians, including Warren Zevon. The songs on here consist mostly of standards, sometimes played straight, sometimes messed with a little, sometimes messed with a lot. The results are truly bizarre. “Proofreading Woman” is a Jimmy Buffett tropical number, with performances from noted Floridians Dave Barry (who gets writing credit) and Carl Hiaasen, and it’s followed by the British grammar-school chant of “Right Said Fred” as delivered by Maya Angelou and Jessica Mitford. And so on, for two discs… “Hot Rod Lincoln,” “Act Naturally” (Leonard Maltin singing “They’re going to put me in the movies!” is pretty funny, when you think about it), “Stand By Me” (Stephen King, natch) and many, many more. Of note is “Rainy Day Bookstores,” a literary update of Dylan’s “everybody must get stoned” anthem.
This sounds like a novelty, and from a Serious Records standpoint, it is. However, it’s also a benefit, for the Special Fund of the PEN Writers Fund (to combat redundancy, I would think). It’s not exactly the kind of record that will change your life, but it is a lot of fun to see what happens when you toss these pillars of the literary world into the studio and hit “record.”
The Oglio Entertainment Group, Inc., P.O. Box 404, Redondo Beach, CA 90277