Camper Van Chadbourne: Used Record Pile
The opening track sets the pace as the boys perform an altogether hilarious Country & Western version of King Crimson’s somewhat morose prog-rock ballad, “I Talk To The Wind”. They also poke fun at hypocritical “Evil Country Preachers” and perform a “Frank Zappa Medley” as the vocals mimic some of Zappa’s early work sounding as though the singers inhaled helium in order to attain a high pitched, nasal voice. On “Fayettenam” and other tracks Chadbourne and the boys often construct caricatures of your typical inept or amateur C&W or Bluegrass band by performing slightly off-key and/or out of tune. Owing to Chadbourne’s extensive improvisational background you’re also apt to hear sequences of free jazz performed with banjos, fiddles et al. Lyrics such as “They can make it rain bombs, but they can’t make it rain”.....mock War, fallibility.....
Despite the antics, silliness, social overtones and vastly unorthodox performances, most of this is a gas coupled with the obvious fact that these folks can play, especially Chadbourne who could make most guitarists cringe at the thought of partaking in a cutting contest. Welcome to the madcap worlds of Eugene Chadbourne and Camper Van Beethoven, as you may file this one next to all of your old “Fugs, Beefheart and Zappa” LPs. * * * *
Eugene Chadbourne; Guitars, Banjo, Voice on all tracks: Jonathan Segel; Violin and Mandolin: Victor Krummenacher; Bass: Chris Pedersen; Drums: Murray Reams; Drums: Graham Connah; Keyboards: Bruce Ackley; Soprano Sax: David Lowery; Voice: Joee Conroy: Misc Stringed Instruments: David Stilley; Contrabass Clarinet and Bass Flute: Walter Malli; Soprano Sax: Molly Chadbourne; Voice: Tim Holms and Marko Novahcoff; Reeds.
Record Label: Knitting Factory
Style: Modern Jazz