Monday, September 25, 2006


The Godz, sort of

The Godz - Godzundheit

After sitting on hiatus through the fall of psychedelia, the rise of the Eagles and Zeppelin, and the near-death experience of free jazz, the Godz decided to rise from the dead to show 1973 who was boss. Or else they decided to make a limp fricken singer-songwriter album. Hard to say what the motivation behind this was, but it probably wasn't chemical.

This one starts like a mother, with the Lester Bangs approved Whippenpoof Song. That's kind of cheating, though, because it was five years old at the time, and recorded with the real Godz lineup. If you haven't heard it, you should. Bracingly out of tune, and more rock than anything on the first two albums. I like it.

(digression) There was a special underground NY psych that existed at the time. Marked by ineptitude, attitude, and flyswatter guitar, it was the damn goods. Godz, Fugs, early VU, Rounders, probably a couple others I'm not thinking of right now. You can trace a straight line through that to the Skip Spence record and right on to Jandek, then it stops cold.(digression over)

The rest of this album goes between limp ballads (Paul Thornton), bar rock (Jim McCarthy), and sort-of-weird outsider rock (Larry Kessler). Take it or leave it, I recommend mostly the latter. The Jumpin Jack Flash cover is actually kind of cool.

There are two other late "Godz" albums ESP rereleased on CD during the 90's. Contrary to the labels claims, these are not unreleased Godz sessions, but solo albums by Jim and Paul. Like the Beatles solo albums of the early-70's wasteland, they are to be avoided at all costs. I'll put up the third Godz in the next week or so, but I'm feeling the need to diversify a bit for the time being.

Amazingly, three fourths of the pictured band look exactly like Bud Cort. The statistical probability of that must be staggeringly low.

I know a guy named Woosley who reportedly didn't believe "The Whiffenpoof Song" off this album was some old Yale glee club thing from the early 1900's when he first heard it. He's subsequently amassed the largest collection of versions of this song that I know about. The weird and wonderful world of obsessive record collecting...
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