ARMAND SCHAUBROECK STEALS: God Made the Blues to Kill Me!: 10”

Ya know, I’ve heard of this guy ((and his band, which has apparently been around since 1963???)) for over thirty years, but I have never actually heard Armand Schaubroeck until just now. I always just bypassed his records when I was a kid, because, like Dead Fingers Talk or Can or The Residents, they just struck me as some kind of weird shit to which someone else who is not me would listen. Well, whatever. He seems to have gotten along fine without me. After listening to this record a few times—a thirteen-minute blues opera about a guy going to and returning from Vietnam that appears to be in 7/4 time, unless I just don’t understand how these things work—I have come to the conclusion that this is some genius, epic shit, and should likely be afforded a higher level of R-E-S-P-E-C-K from the rank ‘n’ file than it is probably destined to achieve. It’s sort of like if “The Devil Glitch,” by Chris Butler was a fifth as long and about the Vietnam war, or if Eugene Chadbourne could have a long, coherent, musical thought, or if the Last Poets were white or if Zoogz Rift got electroshock therapy or something. The ending finds the protagonist opting for “NeedlePark,” as opposed to the way of his other contemporaries, who “eat the shotgun.” I dunno if I described this very well, but it’s good. The b-side is a remix of the same song that is essentially undistinguishable from the a-side. BEST SONG: Hey, it’s a trick question! “God Made the Blues to Kill Me!” BEST SONG TITLE: Come on, this is stupid. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The image of Armand Schaubroeck and his companion are mirror-image reversed on the back cover, yet all the street signs in the background read correctly. Weird.

 –norb (Mirror)