Friday, June 21, 2013

Advanced Demonological Record Review: The Bamboo Kids - Safe City Blues

In 1976 Travis Bickel in Taxi Driver about New York City, said that someday a real rain is going to come and wash the scum off the streets. The rain he was talking about  has come and gone. What form it took is up for debate, be it money, corporations, authoritarian mayors, gestapo police tactics, or  white flock. Many, mostly Rock 'n Rollers, lament the death of the blown out wasted wasteland, and what used to be coolest place in hell. It's a truly romantic notion from where we sit right now, rocking our minds out in front of a computer screen. But it's a particularly honky complaint. It might be a drag that the poverty and disparity has been washed away, if your a white kid from the suburbs. But If your family just got here from an even tougher slum in Puerto Rico, it ani't too cool when the pimp is your cousin, the hooker your sister, and the junkie is you.  But let me dream if I want to, right?

I have to say that personally I have been pretty primed for this record. The last three live shows I've seen have been David Johansen, Todd Rundgren (producer of the Dolls), and Walter Lure. Let's face it the best music from the east coast in the 20th century has been 1970 to 1977 rock from New York City ( that's not really true but...). The Velvets (we''ll sneak 'em in), The DollsKiss, Blue Oyster Cult, the Dictators, and the whole CBGB's crew (lump 'em all in).  The Bamboo Kids are sort of  the last bastion of that tradition. Make no mistake, kids, they are not, in fact I'm guessing they are all over forty.Old blues men lost in a changed city and an extremely  changed rock scene evident in much of the records subject matter: Safe city, privacy,  money, playing the fool, forever dumb, I can't believe it's changed, what happen to the conner store, trying to make it straight but still finding another hung over morning.  Heads spinning they get themselves sober because thats what they have to do because it's a modern world. When they were coming up they thought the opposite, you we're supposed to be fucked up. Not no more as any one can attest, And Brooklyn ain't no substitute for the lower east side of the 70's. 
A double record might be a bit much, like 1963 the year 2013 is all about the single so this is a bit expansive. The tunes require listener investment and relay less on hooks and heavily on tight songwriting with substance,  another thing that has gone out of fashion.  A good album to kick back with a beer and little plastic bag of something (potato chips?) on friday night after a long week of work, cause it's mainly about getting older, change, and the loss of tradition. Rock 'n Roll tradition. (S)

PS: The lead singer kinda give me the creeps in this Video. Reminds of the weird dude at the end of the bar in Long Island City that's already there at 6:30 when you just got off work and he knows the bar tender a little too well. I mean this as a compliment, I don't think any band has really ever captured that guy.

- Swilson 

No comments:

Post a Comment