I've always dug the hell out of comedic musics whether from Victor Borge, Spike Jones, Allen Sherman, the Bonzo Dog Band, Weird Al Yankovic, Julie Brown, or any of the too few laff-o-teers dedicated to putting smiles on our faces, giggles in our teeth, and quirky Pee Wee dance steps under our feetses. Dr. Demento, as you know, o ye from the Boomer Generation, was the only cat ever to devote so much time to the delightful oeuvre of punsters and funsters, his radio show still a landmark in airwaves history. Well, I'm tellin' y'all that Erin Hall woulda been a just-right fit in the good doctor's musical madness and merry mayhem goofy-foofy gig. The Philadelphia Inquirer has dubbed her, heh!, "Blossom Dearie fronting They Might Be Giants", and I see no reason to argue with 'em.
Listening to Petits Bisous, I can easily picture the Andrews Sisters on stage with sassy naughty nurses, dolled-up secretaries, telephone operators dressed to the nines, and girls-next-door smiling shiny airbrushed Playboy smiles, all extolling hilarious girly revelations and regrets, consternations and dreams, encounters with lovers and losers, everything delivered in an often snappy swingin' tempo. Hall's cello is actually more a contrabass than a bowed instrument, and the accompaniment she selected is tight, pointillistic, and highly enjoyable. She herself asks the right question: "How many singing comedic cellists do you know?" She IS unique.
The off-kilteredly Layla-esque Walk of Fame is an ode to the single life, a paean she was hesitant to make public but, hey, you go, girl! There are more than a few of us who never married and yet somehow manage to lead very enjoyable lives despite the weird social onus and adumbration from the mutually enslaved—uh, too much, thank you very much, John Q. Pubic…I mean "Public" (oops!). My favorite cut? The closer: Walk of Fame. It's an ultra-cool chamber-pop cut The Penguin Cafe Orchestra woulda given its eyeteeth to have written, dreamy, seductive, and innocent all wrapped up in a single hypnotic package. Oh, and, dear reader, do not rush too quickly to the music as the front cover's wacky as well: the sly "Stereo Hi-Fidelity" claim is a subtle oxymoron (though the engineering to this little treasure is excellent), and the parody of the Epic label is grin inducing, especially to we vinyl aficionados.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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