Should It Stay or Should It Go?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Just for Kicks

Artists: William S. Burroughs; Jack Kevorkian; Leonard Nimoy; various artists
Albums: Dead City Radio (WSB); A Very Still Life (JK); Highly Illogical (LN); Rock the Vote: Public Service Announcements (v/a)
Source: Promos, except for Nimoy (from JP's collection)

Thumbing through any section of The Beast, I'll regularly come across stuff I love, discs I merely like, and a few that don't move me in too many ways. But I can pretty much get behind (or at least make an argument for) pretty much every piece I've got.

That said, there are a few bits of The Beast that are just there for a laugh. These four discs--which include a twisted Beat poet declaiming over so-so backdrops; Dr. Death trying his hand at some swingin' jazz; Mr. Spock rocking through the hits of the day; and the cream of the 90s Alternative Nation telling you to get up off your slacker ass and vote--have little or no musical value. And I will never listen to them (unless it's to make a visitor chuckle along with Nimoy's butchering of "Proud Mary"). But I will also never voluntarily part with them.

In a way, these CDs are kind of like party tricks. They're not a part of my regular life, and I have no real emotional connection to them (except for the Spock thing, which I bought as a gift for JP while I was in the UK), but they exist almost like little pre-fab performances that are ready to go at a moment's notice. If someone's looking through the racks to see what I'm packing, albums like these throw off quick little sparks that start a conversation (or at least get a laugh). I mean, how often do you get to hear Evan Dando, LL Cool J, Joey Ramone and Iggy Pop throw down on the value of casting a vote?

There's not much to say about crappy albums like these, and oddly enough they might be the ones that someone would be most likely to talk about. They're just for kicks, but some kinds of kicks are hard to beat.

SISOSIG? As spelled out above, these four have a role to play, and they play it honorably. In the case of Kevorkian & Rock the Vote, they alsomight be quite literally irreplaceable--I mean, how many of these could possibly be floating around out there? If you're ever over visiting The Beast & me, ask for these bits by name. I guarantee you'll enjoy them and then never, ever, under any circumstances want to hear them again.


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