"How To Blister The Air"
At the corner of Velvet Undrground Street and Captain Beefheart Avenue there is Cannonball Statman, standing tall, his hair looking like fire, his music chopping holes in our collective reality through which his words sail through to take us on unmappable journeys through the place where we live and only partially know. Cannonball's recent life experiences have caused a maturity to color and deepen his already amazing observations. The production on "Shriekofafreak!" presents a new setting for his musings, a spectral, ghosty environment, infinitely suited to the material, a counterpoint to the relentless velocity of the performance. Cannonball produced it himself. See him if you can, enjoy this record as a document of an immense talent laboring in our midst. We're lucky to have him among us.
(Stu "Chicken Leg" Richards)
This albomb was conjured out of the void of a desert, with its buttes and cactus husks and bleached bones and target-practice cans on the eve of a cold night, and ends on one, a la the alpha and omega of NYC foodstuffs and dogstuffs. Quite a witch's brew (just add mud and mix).
Oh parasite, how could I live without you! At once a much more acoustically-driven parasite and more cinematic Anthootenanny, further symptom of Antifolkography, in other words, Pop. Some good noise here!
The real name of the man from the government was Stu...Stu Richards. And Bigfoot is taking over: Bigfoot and Admiral Nelson and Cannonball on St. Mark's at the Bard's Brunch. "The asteroid followed by the meteor was trolling for Intelligent Humans... Remember? On to the next Dominant Earth Beings!" Come on baby, light my Feuer.
Sitting in Bryant Park staring at businessmen and insomniacs waiting for Ronnie. Or a crow. Playing at 1a.m. in McCarren Park with CXB and Lennon and McCartney's violin bows. The holes in the sky are marbles, at least the sky has not lost its marbles!
Rewiring the world with post-Neil Young poetry, this record also chronicles the Year of the Sewer Rat. It started with one dead rat on the stoop and now they're making a nest out of a book they tore up that came in the mail. A chicken-scratch dance with the rats in Phoebe Blue's dollhouse. The fur is a-flyin'! And the apple M&Ms are everywhere. It's Shriekofafreak Week, baby!
I don't know if Jesse "Cannonball Statman" knows what he is angry at, yet. He covers many areas (even in say, 15 seconds). His 2015 LP "Shriekafreak", like his other releases, has unimaginable and must-see stories. It's like watching a great sci-fi, social commentary action series with characters and plots that pop back up and remind you of everything that's going on and how it makes sense. The lyrics are truly surreal, but completely unpredictable, and dare we say genius. Cannonball Statman is not a clever stoner weaving some "wild, trippy tales." He's more like a Salvador Dali who decided to make a Clockwork Orange social statement, while containing incredible beauty without the listener ever being able to guess what's coming next. Edge of your seat, pin drop listening. We are not used to that.
In this world (and especially in another world called New York City), many of us, almost all of us, love music or art that may be abstract or surreal. It flows somehow for us, and we get comfortable with it. We still usually know what we are getting, even with the most abstract, beautiful, or demented popular art, and we like to claim the strangeness as "MY ARTIST" (my discovered secret). Cannonball Statman is not 'your artist'. UNLESS you enjoy and can deal with the real unknown: truly not knowing what comes every second, on a musical, story, and human experiential and emotional level. And if somehow you are able to take it all in and experience the cracked pieces of beauty that eventually make a whole. Including an occasional opinion that quietly offends you, while listening to this - your new, "cool" artist. Here is a litmus test - how do you respond, especially as a New Yorker, to this anthemic lyric from the first song, "Gaslit"?
"I avoid the park,
and the people who go there!"
This album is Cannonball Statman's signature aggressive super-speed-riff (death?) acoustic guitar with a noted new addition of well-placed moody, soft drone atmospherics, that feel like the blue-green light of an alien ship that landed deep in the woods (in your brain? Deep in your hypothalamus forest?). And of course, then there is Cannonball. His ideas, lyrics, statements and stories over fast fast fast guitar chords, commentary about individuals, NYC "people", relationships, metaphorical aliens, poignant pools of human feelings, and the seemingly invisible constructs in society that may or may not control us all: Social 'Success' and deception, 'adult' expectations, the socially powerful medical/societal establishment. And - all these constructs' secret, evil agents-in-disguise who watch us, and make every sneaky, evil, soul-killing attempt to keep us in line - normal. In "That Dissonant Sriek":
"Did I tell ya? We found an alien outside of Niagara
on the way to Odessa. She stood outside smoking an E-cigarette, drilling silence and words into the tip of my head."
It's Dylan through Philip K. Dick. And Cannonball offers us an incredible escape to a real life, if we are simply brave enough to say "yes."
"4th of July, NYC (Apollo)"
At least there's free live music here,
and garbage smells like roses here,
and roses smell like hipster beer;
I lost my sense of smell right here.
At least I smell like music here,
and can't hear myself think;
maybe it stinks here, but
maybe Caroline and Bernard live with the ghost of Jim Morrison here.
At least I was born here.
I even grew up here!
My eyes blew up in
green neon firework maniac
magic on Bushwick
Avenue frying Saturn sunset pan Inwood
even my sense of smell grew back here!
I love you, and you're strange,
but what's that hornet doing in your ear?
Maybe you can't even hear?
my brain was stung by a baker's dozen thousand yellow jackets on fire
(again), so I see blue jays flying in the mirror
when I fall face
first into the parking meter
in the rain, like sleet beat robins and my
metronome (the Earth's core)
into the floor. You'll still be
in the rain (again)
"it sounds too much like System of a Down"
when I wait on the ground floor,
"followed by a two week USA/Canadian tour"
of the parking lot of
"symphonic barking rock",
"...and pioneers of surrealist acoustic speed metal, and..."
all the music you listen to, and
"It winks, but doesn't blink!"
"Is it supposed to be pink?"
"Four paws up!"
(Sparrows, pigeons! Chocolate lab. Robin!)
"You'll love this album!"
(Black lab yellow lab, Labradoodle BABCHAB?)
just came out this week,
unless it was leaked
to quicksand didjeridoo landscapes,
crying out insane warped uncanny ramblings
for a hailstorm born of firework air.
"You can't fuck with this kid. He puts modern "punk" acts to shame. Very aggressive folk music. This is like acoustic Dead Kennedys. He sounds like he is about to snap and he barks like a dog. I think there is something wrong with him…in the best way possible." (punknews.org/article/59685/bestof-scotty-tankcrimes-chris-urban-toyguitar-jennie-cotterill
// Chris Urban)