4.05.2009

Les Claypool : Of Fungi And Foe

Les Claypool has come out with a new album entitled "Of Fungi And Foe." My brother hipped me to a live performance on Jimmy Kimmel, and we went to Best Buy today to buy a tangible copy. Only a mere 90¢ more than iTunes charges. Les' liner notes say he came up with some of the source material while writing the music to a video game and an independent film. This is the most out of anything I heard from him. While Primus, Oysterhead, Frog Brigade, And Bucket of Bernie Brains (among others) are all pretty against the grain, this, compared to the rest of Les' catalog, is minimalist. That is to say, in the first track, bass, drum, & marimba ostinati, vocals, and what might be considered vocal percussion. Four line verses, very little hook, instrumental, back in with vocals. This is a fair amount of the album. Not much in terms of action, if action is being able to dance, sing along, or bump it in the car. The "single," Red State Girl, is vocals, arco bass (distorted) and tabla. Yes, tabla. And that's it. I don't know how marketable this tune is, but it's damn cool. Of Fungi And Foe is more suited to rolling a joint and sitting on the couch for a while. There are manic tunes on this one, like "Pretty Little Song" and "Primed by 29" (which I think he plays Dobro Bass on). But even then, manic compared to the other tunes on the album, not the rest of his catalog. I hear remnants of other Claypool-vehicles like "Here Come the Bastards" on Amantias, and bits off of Antipop and from Oysterhead, but I can't put my finger on just what this late at night.

Of Fungi And Foe is a very experimental album from a very experimental guy. If you like Les' other stuff, buy it. Know you're not getting an album to jam to all the way through. It's awesome, but some tunes just ask to be listened to.

Red State Girl, as performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live

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