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SONIC DEATH MONKEY Special - A Date with John Waters

by Natasha Theobald

If the name John Waters means anything at all to you, chances are the thought of a date with him will bring emotions both varied and difficult to comprehend. If this new mix of music is to be believed, such a hypothetical date would be a little bit of everything you might expect...and more. This CD runs the gamut from Punk to Country, schlock to soul, and sentiments from simply sweet to downright dirty. The unifying factor is Waters himself, and that plays for a selection eclectic to the extreme. Whether you like boys or girls (or still can't decide), whether you like to dominate or submit, whether you crave something classic or curious and offbeat -- there is something in this date collection to appeal to the very heart of you and that special someone you plan to love.

The date starts off with the seemingly sweet musical declaration that "Tonight You Belong to Me." But a closer listen to the toothache inducing vocals of Patience and Prudence reveals that the someone in question is already on to someone new. This is just the last night of their particular moonlit dream together. It is bittersweet and desperate to hold on to something that is already gone, and who can't identify with that one. Apparently, it is also the first record Waters ever shoplifted. Consider that little fact your ice breaker, because track two is taking you into the deep end.

"Jet Boy Jet Girl" is a great sounding song musically, and the lyrics really give it something extra. With a chorus like ooh hoo hoo hoo, he gives me head, the cards are pretty well on the table here. You see, the fella singin' likes to think he has something special going on with the fella he's a-singin' to. Apparently, there was penetration and everything, and how many songs get that explicit for the curious listener? Then, the singin' fella sees the other fella with a girl. It just kind of sucks. If you think that is an interesting love triangle, you should hear "Ain't Got No Home" about a boy, a girl, and a frog! Josie Cotton can solve it all in a little while with just one question, "Johnny Are You Queer?" It is apt in so many ways.

The next song is actually entitled "I'd Love to Take Orders from You," and it makes me laugh out loud. It sounds like whatever era such a ditty might originate, and it is a bouncy little bugle tune. The woman singing is delighted to illuminate the subject of the song with lyrics like, If you're the captain, I'll be the crew, 'cuz I just love taking orders from you. HA! Another blunt line is my favorite: I'm goin' in for discipline wherever you're concerned. Is that an opening or what?!!

The next is a Country song called "In Spite of Ourselves," and I think it would be a lovely wedding song for that couple who has divorced each other once and chosen, for whatever reason, to remarry. It also would work for that couple you know that has been engaged for decades with no wedding in sight. He sings about how convict movies make her horny and how she takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'. She sings about catching him sniffing her undies. They are a true love match. In spite of ourselves, we'll end up a-sittin' on a rainbow, against all odds, honey we're the big door prize. If that doesn't stench up the place with a giant whiff of all-fired romance, I just don't know what would.

In case you are worried, this is not just a disc filled with novelty acts. Tina Turner gives one of the most heart-wrenching vocal performances I have ever heard on "All I Can Do is Cry." Ike's name is listed, too, but I only heard Tina doing any heavy lifting. Dean Martin meanders by with "Hit the Road to Dreamland." The collection also includes a great, great Ray Charles singing "(Night Time is) the Right Time" such that you can feel it deep in your bones. If you prefer melodrama, you may find a true treat in Earl Grant's song from the movie of the same name, "Imitation of Life."

The Waters faithful are represented, as well. Edith Massey, also known as the Egg Lady, stops by with "Big Girls Don't Cry." You know that drunk, slightly crazy aunt your mother tries to keep clear of the kids at family reunions? The crazy aunt will have her day, and this is that day for Edith Massey. Her rendition of this classic song has been called one of the World's Worst Records. But, as with any worst dressed list, sometimes the bad can be much more fun to experience. Mink Stole comes to play with a bit more to offer. She sings "Sometimes I Wish I Had a Gun" with a smoky voice that almost seduces you to be her hostage. She only will use violence to get your love, baby.

Things come near a close with a song so old they sing it in grade school music class. Eileen Barton sings "If I Knew You Were Coming I'd've Baked a Cake." It's old-fashioned family fun, with clapping and how'd'ya do, how'd'ya do, how'd'ya do. Goodness sake! You could choreograph a full-blown musical dance number to this. Finally, Shirley & Lee leave us "Bewildered." Parting is such sweet sorrow. Lost in the dream of you. Where is the love I knew? Why did we part? The end of the date is always somewhat bittersweet, but the end must come. The great thing about this particular date, though, is that you can go back again. If only the same were true in life.

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originally posted: 02/08/07 07:45:32
last updated: 02/08/07 07:46:33
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