Just Keep Her Away From The Nuclear Juice

Friday, November 21, 2008

:: Uncle Sam & Anti-Nuke ::

Lola VS. Powerman, Magneto And Titanium Man, Dr. Heckyll And Mr. Jive. And now, in this proud tradition of comic book style faceoffs: Uncle Sam & Anti-Nuke. OK, so this is nothing like those other songs in any way, and there's no real faceoff. There are however, enough wanking and pinch harmonics to set any ex Guitar Center employee ashudder.

Caesar has quite a roster on this EP, featuring former John Baldry band members Bob Weston (guitar) and Keith Boyce (drums), and saxophone by Phil Kinzie, who's been on all kinds of shit from Paul McCartney and Wings' "Jet" to Rod Stewart's discotastic "Blondes Have More Fun" album to Rocky Horror Picture Show. He's also got a solo album called Unsafe Sex. I couldn't not mention that.

I am lucky to be able to share this at all, seeing as my sealed copy turned out to be broken in about the worst way I've ever seen. It actually looks like someone broke it over their knee. It somehow still plays, though not perfectly. I'm a positive thinker in general, so I just look as it as making the music... poppier. Get it? Ugh, what a proud return to Robot writing.


Unlike The Ostrich, My Head Is Up My Ass

Monday, November 17, 2008

:: Get Up & Get Down ::

When I was about 9 or 10, me and my best friend were cracking each other up by trying to sound black. We had heard the Ohio Players for the first time in our lives and were in awe, didn’t quite know what to make of it yet. So we were trying to say “Ow!” like the singer, taking blind stabs at this idea and attitude of funk. When we were busted moments later by my oldest brother, we were horrified with embarrassment and immediately retreated to our usual white kid voices and behavior - forever. I did not know then that he was simply trying to protect us from turning into Nevada Smith, who would eventually record “Get Up & Get Down.”

Where to begin? The mustache. The idiotic 70’s Camaro personality inexcusably dragged into 1981. The cover and album title Looking For Someone being little more than a pickup line turned into an object. It only gets worse when you flip the album over and see him there again, only shirtless this time and flashing a cheesy grin. On the back of the album Smith is also quick to credit himself first among the musicians, and over and over again - Nevada Smith: Bass, Drums, Guitar, Backup Vocals. All compositions by Nevada Smith. Produced & Engineered by Nevada Smith.

I picked this album up because I liked the wood grain tape artfully applied by the previous owner to hold the cover together, which tied in nicely with the rustic connotations of a name like Nevada. I also figured “Next To God, I Love You Best” would probably be hilarious, and perhaps “I Really, Really Love You” would also bear fruit. But the first is a boring, cloying attempt at light island music combined with utterly false “I’m a sweet, tender guy” mannerisms, surely employed in an attempt to get laid. And “I Really, Really Love You” is just a big, banal piano ballad with a chord progression, melody, lyric and vocal as exciting and original as the title suggests.

But then “Get Up & Get Down” begins. From the first line you know you’re in real trouble. Nevada Smith seems to think he’s adept at whatever he sets his hand to, and that his contrived vocal growls and ludicrous ad-libs are all that is required for a successful field trip to Funkland. He can’t wait to convey what a lighthearted, playful guy he is, and is fearlessly capable of being because he’s blindly convinced of his considerable swagger. Other than the corny lead guitar lick, the musicianship is decent, particularly Tim Crawford’s Rhodes solo, but Smith’s vocal is idiotic. If nothing else, it should serve to banish the thought of ever donning an Afro wig or attempting to adopt black phrasing for effect, even as a harmless, humorous gesture. But perhaps you figured that one out when you were 9 or 10.


Good Ta Be

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Mike suggested I repost this, since it is actually not too bad a time to be an American. So I will. Well, I'll post this link and reactivate the mp3:


This Is Not A Holiday

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Zipped up in one fantastic saxophone crime package, but limited time only!

:: Man With A Gun ::

:: You Crossed My Mind Today ::

:: Lost In Love ::

:: Love Me ::

:: Can't Wait Anymore ::

:: I Wan'ta See Jesus ::

:: Miss Ruby Lee ::

:: Young Soldier ::

:: My Own Washington State ::

:: Dog Track Blues ::

:: This Man Is My Father ::

:: Surrender ::

:: Sounds Like Hurt ::

:: You're The Reason Love Is Called A Game ::

:: You Were In My Dreams Last Night ::

:: In Peace ::

:: Just Forget About Me ::

:: This Is Not A Holiday ::

Hi Record Robot readers,

I'm poking my head out and offering up some new stuff. Don't know if I'll get into this regularly again. I'd like to, and I've got plenty of material, it's just the time involved, blah, blah, blah. In the mean time, I've got a new old song poem record.

A lot a mediocre material with some lovely exceptions. Starting off strong with Man With A Gun - a typical 1880s shoot 'em up, then instantly devolving into You Crossed My Mind Today which might lead one to believe this to be a country album (albeit with sax and Fender Rhodes), but hang on a minute. Lost In Love sounds like Glen Frey meeting Eddie Van Halen in a dark alley and instead of one killing the other, they form a very evil alliance. From there it's any one's guess. 18 songs in all. Plenty of opportunities for greatness and everything else. Can't Wait Anymore rocks and Young Soldier brings a bitter tear to the eye. Thank the good Lord for My Beautiful Washington State and if not for John Fluker's def rappin', you might think the lyrics to This Is Not a Holiday were written by John McCain circa 1983 (he voted against the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in case you didn't know).

Oh, by the way, Happy New President, America!

Mike Hussein Roboto