Saturday, June 6, 2009
R - Nik Raicevic - "Head"
This 1970 album is called “Head”. According to Allmusic.com, the first album called “Head” was the soundtrack to the Monkees’ movie “Head” released two years earlier, so strike one against this album’s originality. The Monkees were perceived as bubble-gum music (though one listen to the “Head” soundtrack, and one wonders what was in the bubble gum they were chewing) (remember “Freshen Up” gum? The gum that had the liquid goop in the center? It was pretty gross, but, after the Bubble Yum/Bubblicious wars of the late 70’s had faded, it was the candy of the moment. Some witty pundit in my 6th grade class once referred to it as “cum gum”, and that put me off this candy, but, seeing as the gum itself was not much to write home about in the first place, it was no great loss. I’m pretty sure I went back to Blow Pops after that (Jesus, are all candy marketers perverts??), especially after Steven opened up a business in our house buying cheap candy and marking it up to sell to his friends and family. The business was successful, but closed down relatively quickly, primarily due to theft by family members or Steven’s lack of faimilial trust. I’m not saying I stole anything, but his prices were fairly outrageous, and we’ll leave it at that)), and this record was released on Buddah Records, home of bubble gum music, so strike two against this album’s credibility.
Strike three is its insulting obviousness. The song titles themselves are the equivalent of hitting you over the head with a blunt (heh) instrument: “Cannabis Sativa”, “Methedrine” (which spellcheck doesn’t recognize as a word: it doesn’t even recognize “spellcheck”), and “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide”. And also, “Head”. Do you get it? Not yet? Okee, here’s the liner notes:
“The sound of numbers for soaking in soft dreams. Sweet moments and private notes making a rhyme into a habit. An album that creates the ultimate environment for the smoke generation. Taste it.”
“Habit”? “Smoke generation”? Eh? EH? Drugs? Hear of ‘em? Want to HEAR them? WOW, suddenly the pervs in the candy companies seem subtle compared to the cutesy-pies at Buddah. This jacket is the equivalent of someone screaming “HEY YOU! HIPPIE! WE GOT DRUGS HERE!”
Well, I don’t do drugs (there were those two pot-smoking attempts: one which was so unremarkable I don’t remember it; the other time I became terribly grouchy from coughing (I wasn’t a smoker, so the sensation of smoking was alien and horrible to me), To soothe my throat, I drank a lot of Captain Morgan’s rum mixed with powdered ice tea mix (yes, I know it’s gross, but I wasn’t a drinker either), so by the end of the evening, I was wasted (from what exactly, I’m not sure) and grumpy. Far out, indeed.)), but, seeing this record for $1 at Half Price Books (naturally – that store has brought me more joy & pain than any other retail establishment; all very inexpensively. Thus ends my plug. www.halfpricebooks.com), its audacity & unknown element (the “artist’s” name is not specified on the cover or spine) made it an easy buy.
The record was recorded at Gold Star Studios (Phil Spector’s stomping grounds! He’s a killer! For real!) by an individual named Nik Raicevic (which I believe is also the capitol of Iceland), though the album sleeve only lists his (her?) name as “Composer & Producer”. I don’t know who this person is, what (s)he’s done before or after, or why (s)he was given the opportunity to record for Buddah (hint: drugs may have been involved).
I guess after all this gabbing, I need to say something about the music. It’s a person with a Moog synthesize, who’s listened to too much Tangerine Dream, pushing random buttons, and, possibly letting the Moog run itself while he went to get a Coke. Or a toke. Whichever. Neither one can make this album any better.
I could leave it at that, but feel it would be a cheap cop out for you, the reader. I did listen, and I did get some impressions from it. The main sounds seem to be:
· A defective refrigerator humming
· The alien sounds from “Galaga” when they drop from the sky and try to steal your ship with their tractor beams
· The sound Microsoft Windows gives you when your file has finished downloading
· The persistent sound of water dripping onto a hollow rusted pipe
· A flock of asthmatic pigeons
· And a crank call consisting of heavy breathing & the persistent mumbles of “where is it?”
Would this be more enjoyable if I, the listener, was stoned out of my gourd? Maybe, but I would hope that, should I ever find myself in said condition, I’d have better presence of mind than to put on “Head”. Listened to straight, the main sensation I experienced (are YOU experienced? Just asking…) was anxiety: anxiety that my bank account would be depleted by all the repair bills, what with the damn refrigerator conking out and the water leaking behind the walls. And anxiety that I was about to be kidnapped by aliens.
Verdict: “Head” brought me no pleasure. It left me feeling empty and somewhat defiled.
Video: sadly, there is no footage of the elusive Mr. (?) Raicevic, but this link: has footage of MARIJAN Raicevic (any relation?) jamming with his buddy Bane on New Years Eve 2007. This has got to be the lamest New Years Eve party of all time (including the ones (yes, plural) where Steven and I spent the evening playing a card game pitting wrestlers against each other. THOSE NYE’s had to have been better than this one. My sweet lord.)