Saturday, September 29, 2018

Les Is More

I realize there's been a departure, and I'll get to Marty Balin soon, but it's gettin' time to close out the month of September with back-to-back posts concerning two monsters of the rhythm section, both celebrating birthdays.
The first one is 55 today -- young!! -- yet has been around for well over a quarter century, somehow.
One of the music of our age's true eccentrics, he is considered one of the greatest bass players currently breathing.
He's been a part of countless, and sometimes all-star, groups, but it's one band that he's most beloved for, having founded them in the 1980s and continuing to now.
Back decades ago, he auditioned for one of the world's most revered Metal bands by asking if they wanted to "jam on some Isley Brothers tunes". They rejected him because in their words, he was "too good".
They were right.... he is pretty good.
He's better than merely good. You look at his career thusfar -- looking past the ridiculous humor and funny stage clothes -- and you see a musician's musician who's seemingly never made a record that wasn't completely on his own terms.
He's someone whose style, tone and megapercussive attack are instantly recognizable from just a handful of thunder-thumbed notes.
He probably wanted to be Verdine White or Louis Johnson as a kid, but we're eternally grateful he grew up to be Leslie Edward Claypool -- usually just Les -- born this day in 1963.
He's been a part of many stellar projects and ensembles, many of them featuring heavyweight players of the firmament. But it's his band Primus for which he is likely most known and respected.
Something like a cross between Devo and the small group ensembles of Jaco Pastorius, their music is among the most beloved and emulated of our epoch. Someday, he may even have his own cannabis strain, if he already doesn't.
To commemorate the occasion of him turning 55, we have one of the classic Primus boots, taped in Dallas 25 years ago on their tour for my favorite record of theirs, Pork Soda. This one's fan-remastered for maximum thump, too.
The Bomb Factory
Dallas, TX

01 Jerry Was a Racecar Driver
02 Bob
03 My Name Is Mud
04 Those Damned Blue Collar Tweekers
05 Frizzle Fry
06 Seas of Cheese/Pork Soda
07 The Air Is Getting Slippery
08 Spaghetti Western
09 Harold of the Rocks
10 Nature Boy
11 DMV
12 Toys Go Winding Down/Pudding Time
13 Here Come the Bastards
14 Fish On intro/Tommy the Cat

Total time: 1:20:33
disc can be overburned or put break after Track 08

Les Claypool – vocals, bass
Larry LaLonde – guitar, banjo
Tim "Herb" Alexander – drums, marimba

Michael Wilker master digital sbd remaster
This one is essentially 80 minutes of Les and the boys flattening a highly enthusiastic (and occasionally, as he notes, obnoxious) audience.
I'll be back tomorrow with something completely different all about a seriously unsung hero of mine, but today we sail the seas of cheese with our favorite birthday fisherman, Les Claypool. Long may he angle!--J.

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