Friday, June 6, 2008

Pass The Dust

The previous post got me thinking about Black Randy and the Metrosquad, something I haven't done in many a year. Their only full length recording, 1980's Pass the Dust, I Think I'm Bowie, is long since out of print and the CD reissue of it from Sympathy For the Record Industry in 94' was dropped from their catalog more than a decade ago. Not a whole lot of folks have heard of them, let alone heard the music.

Although flawed, the album is still a gem of funky agit-prop. Slip over to Last Days of Man on Earth and download it (a quick note: I Slept in an Arcade, for some reason, doesn't download). It can be offensive, but that was part of Black Randy's shtick. The sick humor of both the music and its master is purely tongue in cheek.

The guy was a clever lyricist (you only need to read the lyrics for Barefootin' On The Wicked Picket to get that) and he often used that cleverness to skewer self-importance, ego, fame, and their abuses. His targets ran the gamut, from Marlon Brando to James Chance. He famously tortured the punk photographer (and truly annoying) Jenny Lens when, during a radio interview, he outed her second job by announcing that the dope she sold sucked. He then recorded the phone call he made to her, ostensibly to apologize, in which she expresses her anger with him for potentially getting her busted and, alternately, driving away her business. He had no fear of chewing on and spitting out the scene he was very much a part of.

I've spent the morning chuckling my way through his cover of Say it Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud.

Johnny Rotten, you're long since forgotten.
DeeDee Ramone, you're left alone.
Patti Smith, you worn-out myth.
And Joe Strummer, you're a bird killing mother.

Almost 30 years and the album sounds fresh. It may be even more offensive now than it was then.

Black Randy would have loved that.

4 comments:

Sarah & Scott said...

one of my fave blogs and such a tight record

l.g.j. said...

i put out that cd and couldn't give it away when it was released...i did a very modest pressing...it did eventually sell out and i do get people looking for it on occassion...if i thought there was a market for it i'd repress it as i probably have all the paper parts in storage...anyway a lot of credit for "pass the dust" must go to david brown who was the keyboardist/musical director of the group as well as being the head of dangerhouse who released all the black randy material...
david is a very important part of the history of l.a. punk even though he'd surely say punk stunk !!
he was in the original line-up of the screamers as well as the eyes and through dangerhouse he almost single-handedly documented that important era in l.a. music...
thats it i gotta go clean the cat box...like that, long gone john xx

arlopop said...

Thanks for the info, Long Gone.
I had planned to mention David in the post; it was my understanding that he kept things functioning when BR wasn't. But, much like your catbox, I had two toddlers demanding my time so I had to get it out more quickly than I planned.

Anonymous said...

just change the link on 01 to end 01ISleptInAnArcade.mp3 instead of blackrandy01ISleptInAnArcade.mp3