SOUNDTRACK: LES CLAYPOOL-Of Fungi and Foe (2009).
After doing the various solo records, Les spent some time making the Electric Apricot movie and soundtrack (which I don’t know). Then he was asked to score music for a video game and a movie. He did so and then used these templates for the completion of this solo album. As he explains:
I was commissioned to write soundtrack music for two projects that promised to have quite a bit of very intense and unique imagery. One was for an interactive game about a meteor that hits Earth and brings intelligence to the mushrooms within the crash proximity and the other was about a three thousand pound wild boar that terrorizes the marijuana fields of Northern California. Obviously the makers of the subsequent Mushroom Men game and Pig Hunt film were very aware of my tastes and perspectives because the music oozed from me in such a natural way that I believe it came as much from my pores as it did my mind. This music became the foundation of the songs that fill this collection. With a few added tidbits and a bit of gypsy sauce, I inflict upon you… OF FUNGI AND FOE
As such the album is thematic and consistent. But the musical theme is very dark and very bass heavy (which makes sense given that it is Les). But it’s quite claustrophobic and hard to listen to all the way through. Some of the later songs are probably pretty good but it’s hard to get to them.
I talked about the album in 2010, and said:
The disc is very percussion heavy, with lots of rather long songs. And although I love long songs, I love long songs that aren’t the same thing for 6 or so minutes. I also rather miss Claypool’s voice. He doesn’t sing a lot of these songs in his typical falsetto. There’s a lot of very deep voiced, rather processed sounding voices here (it works great on the muh muh muh mushroom men, but not so great elsewhere). Because when you combine that with the bass and percussion, it’ really hard to hear what he’s on about (and Claypool lyrics are half the fun).
Plus, we know that with Primus’ own brand of weirdness, a little goes a long way. So, hearing the same bizarro riff for 4 minutes can be trying.
The first 4 tracks are all really solid. But that 5th track, “What would George Martin Do?” just sucks all the life out of the disc. The same goofy riff for 6 minutes with completely unintelligible lyrics. Ouch. But “You Can’t Tell Errol Anything” picks up the pace somewhat with a wonderful Tom Waits-ian soundtrack. The addition of Eugene Hutz on insane wailing vocals brings a wonderful new level of dementia to the disc.
Listening again, with context from recent albums I had a similar but more forgiven attitude. I find the opening song “Mushroom Men” to be fantastic. It is wonderfully weird—with great use of the whamola to create very strange theme. It’s one of his best songs. There is something fun in “Amanitas.” I love the riff and sentiment of “Red State Girl.” “Boonville Stomp” is indeed a stomp, although I find it a bit tedious.
Interestingly, I now love “What Would Sir George Martin Do” for the carnivalesque feel to it. But I agree with my old self in that it’s a goofy lark of a song and should be 2 minutes not 6. The disc ender, “Ol’ Roscoe” is a really sad drinking and driving song–one which I don’t like to listen to.
So, it’s a mixed bag of songs, but would be curious to see how they work in the video game and movie (although I don’t think I’ll ever watch the movie). Huh, turns out you can listen to a number of these songs on YouTube. Of course I wonder how they were uploaded and how I can get a copy–the instrumentals are really cool.
[READ: January 24, 2014] “Leviathan”
Sedaris begins by explaining how as people get older they become crazy in one of two ways. Either animal crazy (as in dog crazy: when asked if they have children they are likely to answer :”a black Lab and a sheltie-beagle mix named Tuckahoe…. Then they add–they always add–‘they were rescues.'”
The second way is with their diets. His brother Paul has all but given up solid food (at 46 he eats much they way he did at 9 months old).
He also teases the people who eat things that supposedly stave off disease which the drug companies don’t want you knowing about. Hi sister says “Cancer can definitely be cured with a vegan diet…” His sensible response? “If a vegan diet truly did cure cancer, don’t you think it would have at least made the front age of the New York Times Science section.” He says that Paul has been eating apricot seeds for some time (although any more than four can be dangerous since they contain cyanide). (more…)