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Genres You Will Love
Rock: Avant-Prog Moods: Mood: Dreamy Moods: Mood: Upbeat Electronic: Synthpop Jazz: Jazz-Rock

By Location
United States - California - LA United States - California

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Swifty's Bazaar

Swifty’s Bazaar, Everything You Hear Is for Sale: Once every decade, Andrew Rosenthal comes up with a watershed pop breakthrough. In the ’80s, he formed Martini Ranch with actor Bill Paxton, an L.A. version of British new wave synth-electronica, yielding the KROQ perennial, “How Can the Laboring Man Find Time for Self-Culture?” which was produced and engineered by DEVO’s Bob Casale, featuring cameos from the band’s Mark Mothersbaugh and drummer Alan Myers. The video for the song, directed by Rosenthal and Paxton with Rocky Schenk, offered a dystopian vision right out of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, including cameos by Paxton cohorts Anthony Michael Hall, Michael Biehn and Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow. A clip for a second track from that Holy Cow album (on Sire/WB), “Reach,” was directed by James Cameron and boasted appearances from Terminator collaborators Lance Henrikson and Paul Reiser as well as Judge Reinhold, Adrian Pasdar and Bud Cort. In the ’90s, Rosenthal discovered his Jewish heritage and morphed into hebe rapper Ice Berg and, along with his cohort Hillel Tigay aka Dr. Dreidel, formed the groundbreaking, before-their-time hamishe hip-hop group M.O.T., acronym for Members of the Tribe, whose 19.99, also on Sire (thank you, Seymour Stein) through Bob Merlis’ WB comedy imprint, doubled as the year of release and bargain-basement price, sporting such never-to-be classics as “Town Car,” “Viva Oy Vegas” and “Oh, God Get a Job.” (Editorial disclaimer: I served as the band’s beleaguered, much-aggrieved manager Meshugge Knight.) For the 21st century, Andy has reinvented himself once again. Peering through Lew Wasserman’s oversized glasses—given to him by the mogul’s late wife Edie—he is now Swifty’s Bazaar, and his magnum opus (with longtime cohort in sonic crime Michael Sherwood) is prog-rock for people who can’t stand prog-rock, a brilliant, concept album set over a three-day weekend whose libretto narrative combines a satire of the clash between art and consumer culture with twisted stoner humor, recalling the intricate musical excursions of Frank Zappa and Steely Dan. It is a mind-bending head trip, Dark Side of the Moon for the post-techno generation, touching on such disparate sources as Charles Ives, Vince Guaraldi, Return to Forever and Firesign Theater and practically begging for an accompanying laser light show, or at the very least random-generated computer graphics. It’s a work that has to be absorbed in a single sitting—preferably after a half-dozen or so bong hits—and sounds like nothing else out there. In a world of a la carte iTunes appetizers, Swifty’s Bazaar offers a full meal, from soup to absolutely nuts—and, for all you film, TV and commercial music supervisor types out there—Everything You Hear Is for Sale.