Live at Silvers (2000)

The worst Papa Ghostface album. Ever. It’s no contest.

This manages the neat trick of making SONGS FOR DEAD SKIN sound like the masterpiece I thought it was for about two weeks back in 1999, comparatively speaking. But then, it’s not even a proper album.

What it is, more or less, is one run-on joke — an improvised mock-live album without any audience — that’s abandoned after a while as the music descends into total random weirdness.

It’s good for a chuckle at least, because nothing is played even a little bit straight. There are some pretty bizarre sexual lyrics. I’m Gonna Hump You Forever gives us the stirring line, “I asked you for your sympathy, and I licked your vagina gum,” to cite just one jaw-dropping example. I still can’t believe I ever sang that. Man alive.

Medley takes a few of our “hits” (including Pacing the Cage and Sinkless Man) and defecates all over them, poking fun at the gutless truncated-and-grafted-together versions of their songs people tend to play on awards shows. That one’s kind of funny.

A few things are warped enough that they just about come close to scraping the heights of some of our best twisted early material — Grandpa Pickle’s Bedtime Story, Ode to the Queen of STDs (the closest thing to a proper song on the whole CD), and a few Lou Reed piss-takes (“Sweet Jane” is recast as a tale of how difficult it can be to maintain an erection in a waterbed, while Goodnight delves into human roadkill necrophilia) are pretty entertaining in a depraved way, and Stoner Safari turns “Surfing Safari” into a little ditty about drugs. Old Man Having Sex also has a certain bouncy something about it, even if it loses focus before it can become anything too substantial.

But on the whole, things don’t cohere, and most of the songs are little more than a minute or three of aimless messing around with me not even trying to sing in anything like a normal voice. At least Gord’s guitar-playing gets stranger and stranger, until for the last few songs he’s creating huge swathes of insane noise.

I meant to add an introduction where I overdubbed myself to sound like an audience and did a bit as an emcee in a seedy strip club announcing the band’s arrival (“Ladies and gentlemen! Pimps and prostitutes!”). I couldn’t come up with enough dialogue I liked to justify doing it, so it didn’t happen. Probably wasn’t really worth the trouble, given the “album” it would have been kicking off.

Thankfully this wouldn’t quite be the end of the first arc of the Papa Ghostface tale, even if we’d pretty much put our two-man band on hold by now as Guys with Dicks was starting to become a thing. Redemption was around the corner in the form of KISSING THE BALD SPOT.

TRACKS:

Macaroni
Old Guy Having Sex
Medley (Sinkless Man/Pacing the Cage/Spandex)
Dumpster
Neil Young Medley (Danger Bird/Hey Hey, My My/Message to the Fans)
Lick Me Forever, I’m a Hurricane
I’m Gonna Hump You Forever
Stoner Safari
Your Stuff Is My Stuff
Ode to the Queen of STDs
Grandpa Pickle’s Bedtime Story
The Reindeer Stupid Show
Sweet Sex/I Don’t Know How to Love Him
Message from Condom Corp.
Goodnight
Bill Clinton Supports Al Gore

LISTEN:

Ode to the Queen of STDs

Grandpa Pickle’s Bedtime Story

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