28.3.09

KIM FOWLEY JR. : Son Of Frankenstein LP

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Another typically fucked up opus from the Marquis De Fowley (no idea where the "Jr." suffix came from btw, record company hassles maybe?). Modus operandi (allegedly): (i) book a budget studio (or record during the downtime of one of your current projects & invoice your eager proteges' unwitting benefactors), (ii) regurgitate a few surefire/oft-used examples of garage punk riffage, (iii) drag your latest jailbait arm candy into the studio & get her wrecked, (iv) then flip the mental "on" switch & let that non-stop stream of consciousness mind lava f-l-o-w. Fowley's content to yatter to himself for the most part on this one - the two confused hemispheres of his mangled brain attempting to communicate with each other initially but inevitably pissing each other off & jousting for supremecy by side 2. Actually, considering it's 1981 vintage, this is one of his more listenable works - much of it sounds relatively ad hoc but Fowley's evidently in high spirits throughout so even the weaker tracks are entertaining (which is what it's all about, eh Mr Impresario?). I've not entirely sure what he's rambling on about most of the time & I suspect he doesn't either, but he manages to be witheringly sarcastic & engagingly earnest simultaneously - without sounding like a total fucking idiot - which is pretty impressive. I wouldn't be surprised if he's the kinda guy who laughs at his own jokes though...
Kim Jkt
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Released c/o the uber-obscure Moxie label, Son Of Frankenstein is split evenly between guitar-driven proto-punk songs & synth 'n' poetry improvs. The opening "Face On The Factory Floor" is one of my favourite Fowley songs ever, & you might recognise "Invasion Of The Polaroid People" from Add N To (X)'s cover on their Loud Like Nature LP which utilised generous chunks of the Fowley original as "inspiration". A couple of things I didn't know about him (which cropped up when I was perusing his Wikipedia entry): he produced the first Soft Machine 45, early Slade (aka N'Betweens) & (!!) Helen Reddy. Though he's now undoubtably attained the legendary status he always designated to himself anyway, I'm still not convinced he's the sort of feller I'd invite back for a post-gig tipple...

N.B. Acknowledgment due to FM Shades for this one.

2 comments:

  1. Your "Modus operandi" is way off. Here's how it went. Rich La Bonte is talking to Kim on the phone and says "I've got all these electronic pieces. What do you think I should do with them?" Kim says: "Send me a tape in the mail. [Even though we know each other] I have to do that for legal reasons." Rich does that and 6 weeks later Kim calls and says "I've got lyrics. When do you want to go in?" Rich says: "Huh?" Kim says: "The tape you sent me." Rich and Kim meet at Kim's horrible apartment and Rich is blown away by Kim's lyrics. They go into Studio 9 and remix the original electronic pieces, dump them from 1/4 inch tape to 8-track. Kim says: "You're producing. You can have one artist from my current [stable of artists] as a guest star." Rich names Laurie Bell, the amazing girl drummer thinking the tracks need drums. A second session is booked. Kim, Rich, Laurie Bell, some girl with a camera (if you are reading this, were there any good pictures?), Ed Smith (poet and business manager) and an engineer named Bill. The tape is done in ten hours, paid for by Rich, turned over to Dave Gibson of Moxie Records who pays for the pressing and distributes. The rest is history. Glad you liked it, BTW. RIP, Kim.

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  2. Thanks Rich, more enlightenment welcome whenever you feel so inclined. :) It feels slightly odd returning to a something wrote 6 years ago ("I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now...") - I think I may "remix" the above post & republish it a.s.a.p., Son Of Frankenstein is STILL one of my favourite Kim releases .

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