Gavin Elder | Rock and/or Roll

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Rock and/or Roll

by Gavin Elder

The not-too-distant past's idea of how the way-too-distant future sounds: a hook-laden bliss-blur.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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1. Hum OFM
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5:12 $0.99
2. Holes OFM
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6:17 $0.99
3. Subject 99 OFM
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5:16 $0.99
4. Slow Boat OFM
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6:03 $0.99
5. The War of Alice Ann OFM
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2:31 $0.99
6. Dr. Gerald E. Bunker OFM
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6:11 $0.99
7. My Big Head OFM
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4:13 $0.99
8. Grean Devil OFM
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5:23 $0.99
9. Next Time Around OFM
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3:35 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
From the Collected Musings of Dr. Neil Algebra, IV:

Born in 1912, I have witnessed times immemorable the sounds of yestreen's popular musics giving pass to the adventurous tones of the subsequent age. It is armed with this wisdom that I tread as prepared as any man can be into the realm of sonance made five-dimensional by the cluster that calls itself simply OFM. I admit to having been a bit embarrassed for their preposterousness in applying a moniker as ambiguous as to suggest nothing of their style or affiliation (to mention naught of the inelegance and boorishness of an acronym), but the true slack-jawed sense of awe came when I met the lads who comprise the quintet.

The most instantly disdaining of the lot is K. Adventure Boggs who, much like an 8-year-old child, immediately jumps in the face of any who take an interest in his band and turns around every attempt at conversation in a deliberate move to confound the questioner. This is all accomplished with the assistance of mischievous, Pan-like cackling and rapid body checking.

The next up to greet my arrival was Mark Ultra, who seemed very relaxed in his own skin. Too relaxed, perhaps. He seemed to melt before my very eyes into the spagetti-like mound of cables that he had strewn at his feet. But with a echoing POP that blew through a few layers of tympanic membrane, his visage appeared before me once again, cursing either his musical equipment or someone named Terry Minn.

What appeared to me to be a drunken, dread-locked boy crashed through the room and, upon spying me, got approximately one inch away from my face and pronounced many admonitions should I try to defraud the group, or possibly try to tarnish their pride and reputation. The rest of the boys assured Dr. Uncle that my intentions were noble and to fetch me a local-variety oat soda from the cold box. He never did reappear.

Eddie Manoeuver was the one that everyone had warned me about, but he turned out to be the nicest of the bunch. When Dr. Uncle failed to return with my beverage, Mr. Manoeuver split his drink with me, though he exhibited some puzzling behavior when he tipped his can beyond the azimuth and pronounced to no one "..and one for my honkies."

After a rousing discussion of Libertarianism, the New Colonial Age, and post-pre-modern popular musics, I departed. I never did have a chance to meet Gavin Elder that day, who seems to be the only member of the assembly that does not utilize a pseudonym. The others silently regard this with a mixture of contempt and disdain, and though none is compelled to elaborate, Mr. Boggs mentions in passing that Mr. Elder does have several personalities for different time zones and different outfits, ranging from a green devil to a doctor of some sort. I did finally meet Mr. Elder after a blistering, virile performance at the Royal Albert Hall. He seemed more like Mr. Elder than the others, and I should like to leave it at that.

Lest you think my interest in the band is purely monetary and ego-gratifying in nature, I do assure you that I have come to adore each of the boys for what they truly are: dirty, hungry, tired, self-centered rock and rollers that are clamoring to suckle the teat of any gentleman representing a recording industry corporation. And in spite of this seemingly insurmountable handicap, they make the most discordant, phylum-bending, and toe-tapping songs that I've heard in almost a century.


Reviews


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Kat Dickenson

A gem of the most brilliant hue
Gavin Elder
Rock and/or Roll
Music Monthly Review

This tour de force CD by local music innovator Gavin Elder is a gem of the most brilliant hue. Gavin is a living breathing performance artist and his clarity and genius shine in this eclectic collection of tunes. Influences range from the Beatles to Elvis Costello to Frank Zappa to old fashioned ragtime. Did ya get all that? Can ya cram all that into your little brain?? Well, sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride...

It is said that most people never have a peak experience in their lives because they are too busy living in the past of waiting for a future event. Remember what John Lennon said, "Life is what happens while you are busy making plans"? Gavin Elder knows peak experiences. He is consistently present and this CD reflects a clear and present artistic vision of the here and now.

This lovely nine tune montage was recorded in Music City in the fall of 2004. Gavin took up his backpack and headed off to record his nine little offspring with producer Ken Coomer and engineer Charlie Brocco. (You may be aware that Ken worked with Wilco, Uncle Tupelo.) While the CD was recorded in only 11 days, the three artists had enormous fun and frolic playing with guitars and keyboards. Gavin took charge of all instrumentation excepting for drums by Ken, and horns and clarinet by Sonic Fedora and Jime Hoke respectively.

As I mentioned, this CD incorporates an incredible number of musical genres as well as infusing each with a fresh modern approach. One of my personal favorites is "Holes", an Elvis Costello-ish piece with a syncopated rhythm and a smooth feel. The real treat of this tune is the intelligent and provocative lyrics with a nice little pun/twist on the hole/whole. The lyrics "...these are parts of a whole / these are windows captured on rolls / of celluloid / it's not so easy, boy / to be full of holes..." create a haunting surrealistic landscapea Dali painting come to life. Just as quickly, the audio landscape slips and strips away...easily just a fading memory.

Several tunes later, it is the Roaring 20's, flappers are dancing in a sleazy sexual frenzy to "The War of Alice Ann." The beat of this little ragtime ditty, complete with clarinet and swing beat, belies the gritty and dark lyrics: "...it's the story of Alice Ann / and how she met her grisly end / ashes and dust have taken up residency..." Alice, her hands nicotine-stained and grimy, gyrates to her decadent inner death.

The backdrop rises and fallsnext up, the marijuana-infused Pink Floyd-ish "Dr. Gerald E. Bunker." Acid dropping ghosts in the machine appear in this freakish scenario which is just on the other side of sanity. Madness abounds in this tale of the dark side. "Last night in Calais I met the doctor / with powdered bulbs / for healing wounds / must have been a strong concoction / what once were legs replaced by snakes..." Down the hole, Alice.

Gavin's eclectic schedule includes up-coming Nashville and New Orleans gigs. He also plays in about 50 bands so be sure to place yourself in Gavin's atmosphere and get your brain twisted. See ya there!

-Kat Dickenson