City Slang: Music review roundup

Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to [email protected]

Awesome Jarvis and the WhalesRide the Whale! (Funky D) kicks off with the song “Ass Cracks” and the line, “If I was put in charge, the first thing I’d do is reduce the population.” Man, let’s hope Awesome Jarvis (aka Chris Tomko) is never put in charge. The album is dedicated to Seth MacFarlane, and that makes sense; the album is zany and silly, in a really cool way. Sometimes, we’ve all got to let our hair down and do an armpit-fart, right? Mind you, these guys have the chops to back up the nonsense, and that makes for an early-Chilis sort of listen. The cover of the Jim Carroll Band’s “People Who Died” is a little too faithful, but still fun.

Thom Douvan says on his press release that he played with the Funk Brothers in Detroit in the ’80s, which is a little bit like saying you joined the Temptations in 2006. That doesn’t stop Douvan from pushing the Funk Brothers brand all over his Brother Brother CD though. From what we can gather, Douvan in fact played with a few former Funk Brothers. Fair enough. So his album of instrumentals features old standards like “What’s Going On” and “Harvest for the World.” It’s nice enough, although it’s really very heavy on the Hammond organ. After the third song, it sounds like “hold” music.

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