Thursday, October 19, 2017

Butthole Surfers and Bad Seeds Salute the Man in Black

Jocephus and the George Jonestown Massacre play a CD release party Friday, Oct. 20

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 5:45 PM

click to enlarge Here's Johnny...
  • Here's Johnny...
If "leave 'em wanting more," is still sound advice in show business this 4-track Johnny Cash tribute CD 5-Minutes to Live is the new gold standard, uniting old punks like Buzz Osborne of the Melvins and Warren Ellis of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds with original Tennessee Three drummer W.S. Holland.

Tribute records can go a lot of different ways. This is a loving take on  some well-worn, and more obscure material that cleaves harder than you might expect to tradition with lazy, sawing fiddles, bright rhythm guitars and crisp clean Luther Perkins-inspired leads that ring out over Holland's steady mid-tempo shuffles. It's just good country music at the edge of rock-and-roll with Josephus and the George Jonestown Massacre standing in as house band.

Butthole Surfer JD Pinkus kicks things off with a lean, mean completely satisfying run through "The Losing Kind" and Nick Cave collaborator Mick Harvey follows up with a similarly convincing performance of the title track.  These are all appetizers in advance of Bad Seed Warren Ellis who dusts off the hard honky tonk-ing tale of obsessive love gone wrong, "The Sound of Laughter."

Then things start to get a little weird.

It's heresy, I know, but I've always been partial to Lefty Frizzll's take on "Long Black Veil." It's so lonely — so much more haunting than the also great Cash version. Both may be at least temporarily supplanted by the 5-Minutes to Live version featuring both Ellis and Osborne. Its primitive, traditional core is given just enough noise and spooky drone to make it perfect Halloween season listening.

This project was brought together by GJM's Joey Killingsworth who also spearheaded the considerably more ambitious, and seriously fun Mutants of the Monster, a tribute to Black Oak Arkansas with performances by a variety of go-your-own-way artists including Eddie Spaghetti and Jello Biafra. Taken together, 5-Minutes to Live is a textbook example of less is more.

5-Minutes to Live is released nationally Friday, October 20 on Saustex Records. Joecephus & The George Jonestown Massacre are playing a CD release show at RockHouse Live (Midtown) with Old Coldbloods and Luke John.  100% of the door goes to FSH Society for FSH Muscular Dystrophy Research. $5 Cover

More show details here.

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