Saturday, September 11, 2010

James Blood Ulmer - Black Rock

Hey, how would you like to be FUNKED in the ass? Well if the answ

No, no... that will simply not do. We are all mass-attending, traditionalist, nuclear family suburbanites with strong Christian morals and family values in mind. Allow me to rephrase:

Hey, how would you liked to be FUNKED in the consenting, virginal, recently wed vaginal canal in the missionary position beneath the covers with the lights off with candles lit and procreation in mind? Well if the answer is y

Actually, that whole peel sounds way more condescending than I imagined it would. Sadly, it's been tattooed on the lascivious breast of the internet forever and ever, with no hope for an E-mastectomy in the near future. Or in layman's terms: this entry has been rotting in my post queue for way too long now, and (as usual) my motivation to keep this blog afloat is delicate as a soap bubble, I feel like beginning a complete revision may totally shatter the illusion of will necessary for it's completion. On with the show, then...
[strike]So here today, we are here today to speak ever so highly of the work, today, of [/strike]

I'm tired of strike through text.

Anyway, today, we're not only celebrating the fact that I finally found a cheap copy of this LP in a record store, but the fact that it's an awesome slab of music by pro-badass and talented songwriter and guitarist, James "Blood" Ulmer. Also, is the "Blood" part of his name hyphenated? I feel like it's never a consistent enough notation for me to make conclusion on. Anyway (again), if you're unfamiliar with the banquet of baby makin' grooves James "Pus" Ulmer, his unique mixture of abstract jazz, funk, punk-energy, and caustic rock that both predated no wave and went along for the ride is something I'd recommend to just about anyone who's stumbled upon this blog. Black Rock is the second album in the historical anomaly now known as "the Great Columbia Records Disaster" in which Columbia signed Ulmer for three whole albums of avant-garde jazz/funk/punk nonsense that sold a total of 5 units(!). An unmitigated disaster, indeed.

Shamelessly bunk statistics aside, this is probably Ulmer's most accessible work, especially with the inclusion of the teeth-grittingly "UHN!" laden title track and the cheesy-yet-undeniably-catchy gospel-esque rock ballad "Family Affair", sung by both Ulmer and Irene Datcher. Aside that, the rock and funk fixations are definitely bumped up a notch here from his past work, with Amin Ali slappin' and poppin' the living fuck out of his bass throughout the 9 tracks and Ulmer bringing more guitar bombast than ever. That said, the technical proficiency on display here is still mind numbing, the melodics stil har, the rhythms still poly, and the instrumentals still ripe for gettin' down to.
I'm not sure if I'd call this his best work, but then... who actually cares what I consider to be his crowning achievement? The important thing is, this, and everything from Tales Of Captain Black to Odyssey are fantastic, and worth tracking down (or downloading considering how difficult most of them are to come by). Actually, everything after Odyssey might be fantastic, too, but I haven't heard them. I know you're too scared to go deep into the twisted labyrinth of cacophony known to some as James Blood Ulmer's back catalog without my stamp of approval, but fret not - I will be with you in spirit.

Can we all agree this would be side splittingly hilarious if I used strikethrough text on that last part?