Signifying Nothing

Years ago I had a job working for a fat little man who drove a huge, very shiny cadillac. One day I pulled into the lot in my dirty, beat up nissan sentra just as the boss was getting out of his car. He looked at the car, looked me up and down, and said, “you know, the kind of car you drive says a lot about the kind of person you are,” to which I replied, “yes, I know, and my car says I think that’s a stupid way to live.” I’m not sure why he didn’t fire me. Maybe my existence validated his view of the world? You’re welcome, wherever you are, little fat man with a big car.

291) Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band: Cornology

Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha. This validates my world view, that’s for sure. They even make funny instrumentals, which is not as easy as it sounds… and often, the jokes here verge, as most of the best humor does, on something creepy:

292) Artful Dodger: It’s All About the Stragglers

2-step skitty pop, twitchy without being glitchy, modestly fun and danceable, a snapshot of a time and place. Also, largely responsible for Craig David.

293) Los Amigos Invisibles: Zinga Son

More of the best invisible friends a music aficionado could ask for. Somewhat more burnished than their earlier releases, but not to the point of being over-produced. Viva!

294) Bonnie Prince Billy: Master and Everyone

Whoa, there’s a sudden shift in mood, from Invisibles to Will Oldham. Oldham has written some good songs, but also has written some really forgettable things that are mood pieces and nothing more. Pleasant enough CD from an overrated artist, good for playing in the background while you paint the ceiling.

295) Talking Heads: Naked

Half a dozen excellent songs (“Mr. Jones,” “Blind,” “Cool Water,” “Nothing But Flowers,” a few others), and the rest are sketches that don’t come together as songs, but are still moderately interesting. This is the sound of a group of musicians going their separate ways…

296) Graham Parker: Imaginary Television

I listened to this one out of order, since I just bought it. Ye gods forgive me! Parker is one of my favorite songwriters, and the conceit here is that each song accompanies a treatment for an imaginary TV show. Well, all except “More Questions Than Answers,” which is a cover. I only wish there were more songs, as the interplay between the written “treatments” and the listening experience really works. Inspiring.