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Space Negros

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Before there was a Mission of Burma, two of its future founders played in this Boston group, alongside keyboardist/producer Erik Lindgren, a future member of Birdsongs of the Mesozoic. The 7-inch Maximum Contrast contains six offbeat offerings of experimental synth’n’tape tricks.

That same year, the original Space Negros fell apart; Go Commercial (shades of the Residents), another 7-inch with eight songs, is actually a Lindgren solo record. His upbeat pop songs — sort of a synth-happy R. Stevie Moore — are witty and sophisticated. The B-side includes a cover of the Yardbirds’ “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago.” The 1980 rendition of that classic took a Kraftwerkian electro-pop approach; the record’s 1984 reissue replaced it with a heavy metal guitar version. Have a Lousy Xmas offers a topical foursome of laughable ill cheer originals (e.g., “Jingle Hell”) played by Lindgren with Space Negro alumnus Roger Miller and others.

The windily titled album, recorded between 1981 and 1985 with a large number of instrumental contributors, consists entirely of exotically idiomatic (raga, bluegrass, Balkan, etc.) easy-listening instrumental interpretations of songs originally popularized by such venerable musical organizations as the Seeds, Who, Easybeats, Balloon Farm, Smoke, 13th Floor Elevators, Hotlegs and Tomorrow. Not as conceptually explosive as the Residents perhaps, but delightful.

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  • Doppz

    dig archeology is awesome, still looking for parts 2 and 3

    17 Dec 1:50pm Reply
  • OneDrunkWalking

    Go Commercial is really good - I need to hear some R. Stevie Moore.....

    4 Apr 2011 Reply
  • sniff

    Ahhh. Oldie but goldie. I've been searching SLSK for "The Lone Ranger & Tonto" for years without success, since I was stupid enough to delete it ages ago. Finally found it on eBay. Worth every penny.

    25 Jun 2009 Reply

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