Peter Stampfel and the Bottlecaps
The Jig Is Up (Blue Navigator)
H.M. Rounder Peter Stampfel is back again, in a series of recordings made 1989–1999 with a host of different musicians, but all pulled together by his insatiable, exploratory lust for good songs, odd ideas and bizarre juxtapositions (and a Quicktime video clip, too!). Some of it is as brilliant as he has ever been, some of it is just great, and a few songs are positively dreadful, as it is to be expected from the likes of Stampfel.
|"Two wondrous songs: "You Stupid Jerk," as in "You are the kind of guy who hates support groups/But you're the kind of guy who needs support groups/That is so typical of those who need support groups/You cliché-monger stupid jerk," and "Squid Jiggin' Ground," a Hank Snow oldie set against a countermelody of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" about the jolly time to be had stabbing squid to death and then they squirt you. Estimable also-rans include "the first song ever about a repo man" (it's traditional), the misanthropic "Song of Man" (it's not), an unsentimental adieu to William McKinley, and Stephen Foster's rarely heard "Old Dog Trey," to which Stampfel provides a follow-up. There are also some lousy songs by various of the artiste's wasted '60s posse, perhaps to demonstrate (or celebrate) the limits of what his notes dub "Psychedelic Drug Wisdom." Recorded 1989–1999, sung with Stampfel's signature lust for life, and released by conniving alt-folk mogul Michael Hurley, whom Stampfel bribes with a cover of "Werewolf." - Robert Christgau, The Village Voice|
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