Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I'm weeding through my alphabetically organized CDs to try and make more room for new ones, and I've made it to the letter P. Here are three that I pleasantly rediscovered:

The first one in the category is P's self-titled album, which Capitol released in 1995. It was probably best known for having actor Johnny Depp as its bassist, although Flea is also listed in the credits as an additional musician, so I'm not sure how much Depp actually played. Sex Pistol guitarist Steve Jones is also listed as an additional musician, joining a lineup fronted by Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes. I'm a big Butthole fan, and especially recommend the group's 1983 Brown Reason To Live debut EP, 1985's Psychic ... Powerless ... Another Man's Sac debut. as well as Hairway To Steven, Locust Abortion Technician and Electriclarryland. Fans of Haynes' eccentric yet often catchy work are also well-advised to seek out Gibby Haynes & His Problem, which released a self-titled album through Surfdog Records last year. Which takes me back to P, which I hadn't listened to in a long time and was unsure of how well I'd like it. But the eclectic disc proved its worth with weird opener I Save Cigarette Butts, a reasonably reverential cover of ABBA's Dancing Queen, the nine-minute dub workout Jon Glenn (Mega Mix), the rollicking alt.country Mr. Officer and the self-explanatory White Man Sings The Blues.

Pansy Division's More Lovin' From Our Oven shows the band's sense of humour and its open homosexuality in its 21 tracks released by Lookout Records in 1997. I'll take Manada as a compliment even though I'm not gay. Hockey Hair also has resonance in the Great White North and joins my growing list of hockey songs. Along with the originals that occasionally walk that fine line between clever and juvenile are covers of Depeche Mode's Pretty Boy (What's Your Name?), Judas Priest's Breaking the Law, The Police's On Any Other Day, Maow's One Night Stand, The Undertones' Male Model and KISS' Sweet Pain.

Unpeeled is a largely acoustic album by Pamplemousse, a Toronto duo comprised of friendly acquaintances Pete Windrem and Andrew Chapman. They gave me the album a number of years ago and, though I've run into Pete a couple of times in the interim, I don't believe that they're performing anymore and I'd be surprised if you can find the album anywhere outside of used bins in Toronto. The two guys have a strong sense of humour that shine through on the album's 11 songs, and I can still visualize them playing Christians on stage many moons ago. If the Barenaked Ladies hadn't become successful and more serious, they might have been Pamplemousse.

np Oysterband - Deserters

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