a review of sorts

Review by Pippi (Switch to

I was lucky to have seen Arena evolve from the rickety promise of Kauai to the muscular beat down it swiftly became over the course of 7 shows in the past 5 months.

(I know, I know, I LOVE MY LIFE--does it make anyone less pissy to know I was raised buck toothed, frizzy haired and unloved by my drugged out Viet Nam vet father in the smoke-choked Akron Ohio of the 70's and that I deserve the year I'm having??

No? well: "mange moi," as the French so delicately put it)

Despite driving all over the so-called music town I now live in, I'm sad to report that I was unable to buy a copy of the new CD here ( I KNOW I can get it on line... DOWN NERDS, DOWN!!- It's just that I just support our local disc sellers and like the thrill of buying one in real time like some folks claim to love rolling a joint, or having a non-cyber sex partner, ya know??).

ANYWAY- I whined, shamed and cajoled the shop keepers to get on the stick but had to leave for the Chicago and Madison shows (boo hoo, sniff) without one of my own to hear.

By that point, I was scared.

From some fan reports, the thing supposedly sounded like it was played by disconsolate and poorly mixed chimpanzees on glue, using plastic ukes and old, empty Quaker oats boxes for instruments.

I call Bullshit on that.

Not only did it hold up admirably to the 2 shows and 2 sound checks I was lucky to witness this week, I can't stop playing the thing in my house, in my head, in the rental car from Illinois to Wisconsin and back.

I'm a picky bitch, too!

And I felt justified, not to mention lucky- to have a moment of time listening to the new disc with Mistah Prairie Prince, who remarked that HE thought it sounded good and that the drum sound in particular surpasses that of LIARS, mirroring the maturation of the technology available. ( my words, not his, he's a cool zen master who does not babble out of his ass like yours truly).

SO- how can we not love the experiment? The evolution?

Make the demo in your abattoir, your Dungeon, the place where the dachshunds poop, Todd- I don't care. Use the money to pay great musicians to play the thing LIVE for me all over the place and I am there.

I was young enough when I first heard Todd that when my awesome, Bad Girl Babysitter Jackie told me this dude had played all of the instruments on Wizard, I had the sincere, unironic image of Todd as a one man band with a drum on his back, laden with a washboard, huffing a kazoo and jammin' all vaudeville stylee--

Later in seventh grade, when I put Prince's picture in my locker with a quote below claiming TR as an inspiration for the first record where HE played all by himself, I thought : "this is how someone who is ABLE to do it, DOES it. This is genius."

(I also prayed no one would beat me up after school over the Pompadoured and Feathered multi-culti weirdos I hung in my locker when the other girls were rocking Leif Garrett and Shaun Cassidy).

GO see the show. GO get the Disc
Wake up.

and if by chance you HAVE done these things:



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