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Megapuss - Surfing



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A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Can't be sure if the cover to this CD is a take on Last Crack's Sinister Funkhouse #17 or not, but it hardly matters, as the material is far from homogenous or germane to that group's work. Megapuss is a collaboration between Devendra Banhart and Greg Rogove augmented by drop-ins who are enmembered in sundry outside ensembles but come together every so often to form this strange…I guess it's called 'weird folk'…group. The more I hear of this type of music, the more readily I agree with the appellation and then gravitate toward it, especially when sporting such cool crack-up satires as Duck People Duck Man.

Megapuss is a pool of laissez-faire, semi-rock, sloppy folk, bizarre inspiration, tribal coolness, rejectionist rock, hybrid fusion, and a good deal of strikingly indistinct mojo mortared in with hints of Las Vegas, New Jersey, Manchester, old prog, and lite jazz blent discriminatingly…but profligately. I mean, I hear Sly Stone, Ween, Jimmy Buffett, Flo & Eddie, Jimmy Cliff, David Lindley, and God only knows how many splinters in this off-the-wall disc blending wacky funk with serious chops and innovative approaches.

One thing's certain: if you're hip to an amorphous blanket of disparate sounds, this CD is a hell of a lot of fun on several levels, as loosey-goosey as a 70s hippie fest that invited the lowriders, surfers, rastas, and anyone wandering by to duck under the tent and join the orgy. The oddest part is that the damn thing is 100% legit and impossible to ignore. If the band can pull this off in performance, that's gotta be one righteous head trip, a kind of be-in, live-in, groove-in post-Aquarian mind theater of constantly disintegrating limits and horizons. Almost the inverse of a combo like Alabama 3 (reviewed here), Surfing is a unique document that refuses to go along while rejecting almost nothing.

Track List:

  • Crop Circle Jerk '94
  • Duck People Duck Man
  • To the Love Within
  • Adam & Steve
  • Theme from Hollywood
  • Surfing
  • Lavender Blimp
  • Mister Meat (Hot Rejection)
  • Hamman
  • A Gun on his Hip and a Rose on his Chest
  • Chicken Titz
  • Sayukita
  • Older Lives
  • Another Mother
All songs written by Megapuss.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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