Friday, March 03, 2006

Asses Are Made To Bear, And So Are You. A Moment With The Sea Donkeys

Like most good things, buyin this required nothin more than a tug of curiosity. I was killin time in a local record store when I came across this lp sittin all lonely-like in a sad, little bin marked "new". There were really no more than a handful of lp's in it, the other's I didn't pay much mind to except I saw they were on labels like Merge & Drag City, but this record was devoid of any info. Plus from the looks of it, whoever was involved had a, shall I say, salacious eye for cover art. I asked the clerk what he knew about'em. He turned down the Josephine Foster cdr he had wafting through the store & very evenly told me he knew nothing about the record other than that it was on Abduction & that is was probably Sun City Girls related. That was good enough for me. I plunked down the coinage & away I went.
On first listen I figured clerky was right; on the surface it did sorta resemble some crazy SCG excursion into a ribald, communal netherworld. But it sounded too shambling, too feral. The ooze lactating outta this record was undistilled & pure. By the time I got through their cover of "Barracuda' I had a sketched out a line of Sea Donkeys action figures + an assemblage of possible costumes for'em as I was inducting'em into an alternate Hall Of Justice League. Here they would fight boredom & clear rooms alongside other erstwhile vigilante inductees such as Virgin Insanity & John The Postman. And hey, even if it was just a big Sun City Girls inside joke, well, then how's the world a worse place? I'd just attach some of them Muslim face-capes & nobody''d ever know the difference. Win/win is a strategy I can relate to.
Then in Jan., fantasy gave way to reality when the Sea Donkeys came to town. There was girls in the band, but not them girls. And so a mystery is solved! Opening for Times New Viking in some miserable venue in the Fishtown, the Sea Donkeys shivered the timbers off most of the the bleak & hollow-eyed hipsters who'd wandered in to see what kind've commotion was gonna take place. A willowy, reed-thin woman w/a donkey mask hoisted onto her head ripped into a sax w/such stunning velocity it was like the spirit of Albert Ayler had been conjured outta Slugs & into a room full of'em as a fair number of the limp audience drifted into the bar area to watch a football game their team wasn't playing in. But no matter as the Sea Donkeys proceeded to whip up a batch of minstrelsy, mayhem & malarkey that was ripped straight from the loins of Artaud's Theater Of Cruelty & flung-like a duck meat boomerang- out over the nogs of the few payin peeps still in attendance only to come crashing back w/such force that the boomerang exploded, coverin the stage w/stringy morsels of the delicious victual. The band-literally-ate it up & left the stage, lickin fingers, thumbs 'n faces so as to savor every last nth of their carnivorous pageant. It was a helluva spectacle & made me hungrier than the dickens, so I lit out over to Haunches for some crab filled jalapeno poppers. People later told me Times New Viking was good. I told them that they hadn't lived till they'd had a hot pepper full of crabmeat. Just another detente in the city of brotherly love.
As for the Sea Donkeys lp, it's titled Volume 1. I reckon that means there's more to follow. I like it fine & know it ain't for everyone. They do too, as there's only 300 pressed. For the hardcore among you that believe Lord Buckley shoulda never left Gong, then this lp is the cross-eyed tippler to tend your rum collection. You can buy it here;

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