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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Review: Atom And His Package - Hair: Debatable cd and dvd

Adam Goren's traveling one man, a guitar and a cd player band Atom And His Package was an acquired taste and I thankfully discovered him through his most accomplished work, Redefining Music. It's one of my favorite records and I'm amazed at how complex it is. What came before was too immature and the follow-up home studio cd, Attention, Blah Blah Blah had some great songs but also too much filler. 2004 saw Hair: Debatable, a 27 song live cd with a bonus dvd of that entire show and a number of documentaries and somesuch. The whole thing retails for $14.

He recorded full band stuff on sequencers and synths and played guitar over it while he sang and told jokes. I guess you could call it singing even though it was mostly an atonal rap that didn't rhyme. The choruses were sung though. The songs tended to feature hair-metal guitar riffs in synth pop and casio punk wrappings. It's a bizarre combination but it works for me. On his side was an unnatural gift for coming up with catchy melodies. "Upside Down From Here" and "Shopping Spree" are classics.

On the live cd I liked the stuff I liked and forwarded through what I didn't. The live dvd shows Adam to be a combination of Ian Mackaye and Paul Reubens. He's pure Pee Wee when he sings and his tongue shows. He's playing in the paneled rec room of a Philly church and it must be 120 degrees. Adam sweats profusely.

The dvd also comes with a two minute Philly Music Profile, a music video, Atom singing a song with another band and two documentaries. The longer one is well made but as I watched I kept on thinking Atom's not worthy of a documentary no matter how nice he is or how much his fans and family love him. It's endearing yet somehow embarrassing.

Atom wrote one of the sweetest lines in "Does Anyone Else in This Room Want to Marry His or Her Own Grandmother" I highlighted the line. I think he means Matlock, not the A-Team character:

Hey grandma, let's get married// I know it sounds like a crazy thing to do// We'll move you and your samples down to Philadelphia//Stay old with me, and I'll get old with you// I'll pay the bills, we'll cross the words and watch Murdock// We'll dine on the samples at the grocery store// We'll find a place and paint this whole house purple// Purple-ize the walls and we'll purple-ize the floor// And it breaks my heart to see you alone// Grandma, let's elope// And it breaks my heart to see you alone// Grandma, let's elope


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