Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cars: Jerry Was A Racecar Driver

Primus: Jerry Was A Racecar Driver


Somewhere between my father's folk music collection and my ongoing tenure as a folkfan and blogger, I went through a phase where all I really wanted to listen to was chunky punky funkbeats, sawing alt-countryrock jamband cred, weirdly bass-led experimental arrangements, and oddball lyrics. Happily, there was Les Claypool and his band Primus to fill the void. I spent many a psychadelic moment post-high school holed up in dark dorm rooms, listening to their 1991 masterpiece Sailing The Seas of Cheese, back when it was new and cutting edge. And if you haven't heard them, just press play -- I promise, it's distinctive enough to be like nothing you've ever heard before.

Wikipedia calls Sailing the Seas Primus' "breakthrough album", and lists this track as the first "single" from that album, which kind of challenges my whole notion of what "breakthrough" and "single" mean -- I mean, I suppose the album got some college play back then, but it's hard to believe there was ever a place in mainstream radio for this sort of music. But c'est la popular, I guess. These days, Claypool thrills audiences on the Bonarooapolooza circuit, giving me a warm fuzzy feeling of hope for the rising generation.

(PS: I also posted a Primus cover of classic country tune The Devil Went Down to Georgia way back in Hell Week -- it's still up if you missed it, and want to hear more!)

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