In the April edition of your great mag, I read reviews on “the Soytown, Maryland Flatulence Ensemble” and “The Dogeaters.” I sent letters to both labels and both were returned as being not deliverable. Please send further info (name, apt. or ste #, e-mail, FAX — whatever) as I need these two records!! Puleeze!!
We found out that Vasco de Garment, who wrote the Dogeaters review, was arrested and convicted of arson. Said act was directed at burning the complete holdings of Marcos Records (the Dogeaters’ label) to the ground. Vasco was successful in destroying the entire Dogeaters catalog, unfortunately for you. We tried to contact the band and found out that they were abducted by aliens, along with all their demo tapes, some time in July.
As far as the Soytown, Maryland Flatulence Ensemble goes, they’ve met a similar fate. Apparently, their album Rock and Roll All Night, to which you refer, had received nothing but praise for the advance copies sent out. So much so that they invited, all expenses paid, all the reviewers for a big party and command performance, to be immortalized in a live recording. Circumstances are mysterious, but the fragment of tape documenting the party revealed the cryptic line “Let me see those cigarette lighters!!!” right before the band was supposed to play Ozzy Osbourne’s “Goodbye to Romance.” A horrible sound ensues, followed by complete silence. We’ve also been in touch with our Taylor Apeface (who didn’t make it to the party), but he’d sold his entire CD collection so he could establish the First Church of Charlton Heston in Guam. His copy may have made it to China by now, so be on the lookout for bootlegs in a few years. –The Editors
COULDA BEEN A…
I sharply disagree with the review given by James Mann for the new Royal Crown Revue album, The Contender. Just as Mann claims, I have also been under the influence, if you will, of the original swing greats since I was very young. I had played in a jazz band for five years; I’ve heard and performed my share of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, etc.; and it has been absorbed into my life like water to a sponge.
If anything, the Royal Crown Revue was a band to help bring forth and support the contemporary swing phenomenon. They were not “band wagoners” who decided, after it had exploded, to “take a piece of the pie.”
The RCR shows a very impressive balance between well-developed horn lines and authentic vocals. During no point on the album was, what Mann preferred to call him, a “yahoo” chattering to the point that the talent and musical maturity of the horn line not evident. The tempos varied enough to keep “rug cutters” happy and to keep a musician content to hear the showcase of different musical aspects.
You have to look at these contemporary swing bands a lot differently than you would look at Duke Ellington. That comparison is ridiculous. I see Mann ignoring that the past fifty years have given bands like RCR a lot more influence than solely the swing originators. Looking at this new brand of swing, you should save your negative reviews for the contemporary bands strictly interested in pleasing the dancers, that are musically disappointing and show the use of languid lyrics; such as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
Jessica S. Kramer
West Palm Beach, FL
Thanks for your feedback about the Royal Crown Revue. You bring up a lot of good points, and illustrate clearly what makes music so wonderful — it lets us feel passion. We may not agree on what’s good or bad, or derivative or not, but I think we both share a fighting spirit when it comes to the music that moves us. Maybe I didn’t give The Contender enough of a listen — I’ll go back and try again. –James
TIMELORDS OF MEDDLE
Dear Mr. Beowulf:
Enjoyed you article “Wanknology,” although as a supporter of Greenpeace, I’m less interested in telling people I know what’s best of them or even in protest for protest’s sake than in not living in a toxic wasteland myself. I especially loved Timelords of Metal. The argument in the pub was great, and the future history of popular music was brilliant. I had trouble getting a handle on Geoff and Basil, though — they go back and forth between sounding like Hugh Grant in a period piece and members of Spinal Tap (sometimes within the same sentence). The ending, though clever, was disappointing after all that buildup — unless Kilmister was lying… he was, wasn’t he? He and Halford are going to take off through time, aren’t they? They’ll cross paths with other Timelords of Metal, won’t they? We’ll get to see Halford play the Coliseum during the sack of Rome, won’t we? Please?
P.S. A neural map of Carl’s brain is currently on file at the Library of Congress.
Frances B. Parker
Thanks for your Kerrang! of a letter! They really saved Carl’s Brain, eh? As far as Basil and Geoff were concerned, it looks like you nailed them perfectly, and my “attempt” at parodying English accents and colloquialisms worked like a charm! Getting to see Rob Halford perform for Hadrian and crew… I don’t know. Maybe Dr. Kilmister’s time machine will work (he probably was lying to Basil and Geoff just to get them the hell out of his office!) and he’ll transport Rob Halford back to Rome, Glenn Danzig back to, oh, say Transylvania under Vlad Tepes, Manowar into Hannibal’s camp during the Second Punic War, and Michael Bolton into the Black Hole of Calcutta. Death to False Metal! –David Lee Beowulf