Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mobius Shift

Screeching tires echoed through Jim Malone’s head as he struggled to open his eyes. The light stung his cornea as his eyelids peeled away from a thick mucus crust. Head pounding to an erratic rhythm, (1, 2, skip, 1, skip, 2, 1…) Jim felt his whole body lying on a hard warm surface. Sirens screamed and intermittent horn honks blasted from no where, gained intensity and began to fade in volume before Jim could gather his bearings. I can’t remember, he thought as his vision slipped into focus, how I got here at all. I’m lying on a sidewalk and I need to get up and figure out what’s going on.

Finally moving his arms, Jim pushed himself up to one knee. Rubbing his pounding head, he got up to his feet and scanned his surroundings, searching for something familiar. A broken analog bank clock stood directly above him, hands stopped around 10:15. He inspected the area further without making any steps. I’m in some downtown, he thought, there’s some palm trees, some closed up shops, some tall buildings down the road: I’ve never been here before! His head swam as it continued to pound its erratic beat. Two street signs indicated the corner of Central Avenue and 8th Street.

Head still pounding and confused, Jim felt a bulge in his back left pocket. I never keep anything in that pocket, he thought as he reached with his left hand. Jim gripped the contents tightly and pulled out a crumpled envelope. Hand shaking, he thought, I don’t remember putting that in there.

Jim uncrumpled the envelope and found an address scrawled hastily in his own penmanship:
Dr. Kathleen Morlock
246 West 17th Street
New York, New York 10031

A stamp was placed crookedly on the top right corner of the envelope but there was no return address. Jim ran his fingers over the surface of the paper. Absent mindedly, as if in a trance he said aloud in a scratchy voice, “A mailbox… I need to find a mailbox.” I don’t remember, he thought as he tried to access his defunct memory, writing any friggin’ letter.

Jim scoured the surrounding cityscape for a mailbox, but saw nothing. Nothing but closed down businesses and boarded up windows, he reflected. Finally, after standing in place since he arose from the sidewalk, Jim took steps toward what looked like the heart of downtown. Stumbling at first, the pounding in Jim’s head intensified sharply. Ignoring the pain and confusion, Jim pushed his body forward.

After five minutes of walking down Central Avenue, Jim spotted a business that looked open with a hand painted sign above the door. The building was noticeably narrow and long. As Jim approached the establishment, the sign came into focus and read, THE DROP CLOTH TAVERN. What a stupid name for a bar, Jim thought with amusement. He chuckled to himself and the pounding in his head subsided. I just needed to laugh, he mused to himself. Trying to relax and come to terms with reality and his lost memory, Jim walked up to the door, grabbed the handle, pulled the door open and walked through the threshold.

As Jim walked into the narrow building, he found himself in a huge, airy high school gymnasium. Jim stopped dead in his tracks, thoughts racing incoherently. Struggling to form cohesive ideas, he said aloud, “There is no way this is the inside of that building I just walked into.” Jim felt his body shaking with terror and confusion. Turning back to the door he just walked through, he pushed it open and stuck his head through the doorway while hanging on to the wooden frame. He saw a carpeted hallway with numbered doors that looked like a run down motel built in the 1950s and completely neglected since the owners cut the ribbon at the grand opening. Lime and mildew stains ran halfway up the stucco walls and cobwebs cluttered the medium height ceiling. Jim practically jumped back into the gymnasium and slammed the door shut.

Okay, okay, Jim thought, this is a dream, you trans-locate when you walk through doors: Don’t panic! He felt fresh sweat form on his forehead and it dripped down around his eyebrow onto his cheek before it fell off his face. Nope, not a dream, he concluded. Jim’s breathing intensified as he attempted to come to terms with his situation. Well, I have no memory of how I got on the sidewalk, I have a letter in my pocket I don’t remember writing, I was in a city I’ve never been to before and I wind up in completely different locations when I walk through doors like I’m in a damned Tardis from Doctor Who or something. These thoughts raced through his head in different orders and swirled into a mashed ball of reasoning, memory and speculation.

Jim heard a rustling that interrupted his thoughts and reasoning and he crooked his head to the right. On the bleachers of the gymnasium stood an extremely tall black bird headed man wearing a black suit and holding a large silver pocket watch connected by a chain to his vest. Jim gasped and fell backwards against the closed door, fumbling for the handle. Absolute terror gripped his body as his motor functions stuttered. The bird man stared ominously at Jim and made no sound. The bird man’s huge eyes devoured Jim’s fragile grip on reality and sent pangs of fear up and down his spine.

Shivering and unable to break the stare, Jim finally pushed the door open and practically jumped through the threshold. Looking through the door before it closed, Jim saw the bird man look down at his pocket watch. At least he didn’t follow me, Jim thought as he panted and tried to calm himself down. What the hell is going on with me?

Lost in thought, Jim found himself in a darkened meeting room lit by an old fashioned light bulb projector that whirred and hissed. A man stood beside the machine and 3 other men and one woman sat around a table. Jim kept himself crouched and hidden behind a filing cabinet. Presently, the standing man was in mid-sentenced and Jim heard him say, “…and so, we will be able to implant the ability to bend reality and trans-locate. By combining time travel technology with human perception, reality will become relative to our soldiers’ wishes. The sea change in ability will aid in assignation, espionage, the apprehension of terrorists and the propagation of misinformation, thus reestablishing the dominance of our currently flagging intelligence agencies. Through frontal lobe brain surgery, we have the ability to…”

“We don’t need to sit through your techno-babbly again,” a man seated to the right of the projector interrupted. “I want to examine the profitability and sustainability of this project. You remember profit, don’t you Steve?” The man stood up and placed a transparency on the projector. “Direct your attention to the screen lady and gentlemen. Sit down, Steve,” he ordered as Steve sat down grumbling to himself. “This is Kathleen Morlock. She invented a traditional Wellesian time machine while in our employ. Since we moved forward with the perception implants, Morlock disappeared with a working prototype of her time machine.”

Another man chimed in, “She’s our biggest threat; running around time as she pleases!”

“This wild card will inhibit the stability of this investment and needs to be eliminated. I am certain that she will intervene and disrupt our experiments and implementation of this program. Now, to stop her, I suggest…,” he paused as he reached for another transparency. As he placed the slide down, his audience gasped in unison. Scrawled in red marker, the machine’s light bulb projected the message, “GET OUT OF HERE JIM!” and a quickly doodled picture of the bird man with an arrow pointing to the standing man. Jim’s eyes widened as he noticed for the first time that the standing man wore the same suit as the bird man he encountered moments earlier. “Aw, Christ,” the standing man said absently. Jim stared at the swinging silver chain of the pocket watch for a second and then dashed toward the door he came in, pulled it open and ran through.

Jim carefully left the door ajar. There’s no way, he thought, those suits can follow me. I think I’m getting the hang of this. Suddenly, Jim felt a presence behind him and turned 180 degrees away from the door and faced the apartment. Startled, Jim saw the bird man directly in the front him. Terror once again consumed Jim, but this time he stood his ground instead of stumbling and falling.

“What do you want from me!?” Jim screamed a little louder than he intended.

Saying nothing, the bird man pulled out his pocket watch and tapped the glass three times. Click, click, click. Calmly, he placed the watch back in his pocket. Jim could not resist the threatening and gripping stare of the bird man. The huge eyes, large round black pupils bordered by hazy yellow circles and bloodshot white seemed to pulsate and breathe. As the eyes lulled Jim off his guard, the bird man reached out menacingly with a feathered hand and took an aggressive step toward Jim. Above the bird man’s right shoulder, Jim saw the word “RUN” scrawled on the wall in dripping red. Jim broke the trance, his heart skipped a beat and he bolted out the open door.

Finding himself in a long hallway with numbered doors, Jim ran as fast as he could, not looking back. Maybe they can follow me, he thought as he ran, and maybe I can outsmart them. Who’s leaving me these messages? These clues? My first impulse is that I’ve been through this before and I’m leaving them for myself. That’s stupid. If I’ve been through this before, how would I go to the same locations every time? Is my path programmed? I assumed this doorway gimmick whipped me around completely randomly. One way to find out…

He saw a door open slightly to his left and a closed door to his right. He stopped running and looked back down the hallway. Nobody. Suddenly, he saw a young female maid with a cleaning cart working her way through the rooms. Jim ran up to her and stopped at her cart. Startled, she cringed but grabbed the cart firmly in defense.

“Don’t be afraid. I’m sorry to startle you. I stayed in room 613 last night”, he said, pointing to the adjacent door, “and I think I forgot my wallet. Can you open the door?”

She looked at him sheepishly, still angry from being startled a few moments earlier. “Is against company policy,” she mumbled in a thick Russian accent.

“Please, ma’am. I had a lot of money in there. I’ll give you fifty bucks from the wallet if you open the door.”

Her eyes lit up but she eyed him cautiously, “I no trust you. But this room next. Move.” As she opened the door, Jim ran through it and continued running down a city sidewalk. Damn, this is weird, he thought. I wonder what that maid saw as I ran through that door. He heard a maniacal chuckling echoing against the buildings coming from above. He looked over his right shoulder and saw a 6 or 7 story parking garage. Jim shuddered as he saw the outline of the bird man on the roof of the building. Jim thought furiously as he looked forward and continued to run: how did he find me? And why haven’t I found a damn mailbox yet?

Downtown once again, a frustrated Jim Malone stopped running and caught some breath. This is the same city, he thought, these guys must be fucking with me. Maybe they can see me right now. I can hear them laughing at me.

As Jim’s thoughts jumbled and mashed together, he passed a newspaper vendor. The vendor, at least 80, had no teeth and scabby skin all over his body. He held out a newspaper at Jim. Absently, Jim grabbed the paper, trying not the stare at the abject creature’s crusty arm. I need a distraction, he thought, something to ground my thoughts.

As Jim looked down at the newspaper, it looked like a collage of words and phrases. Headlines mashed together to form incoherent messages: “The Natural World Long Awaited Clash… Once the New Kid, Silver One Will Follow… Long-Awaited Flow Hero Lend Fish…” Blinking heavily, Jim stared at the paper again. The words seemed to fade and pulse intermittently on the page. Jim threw the paper on the ground and looked up at the ailing vendor. “What is this crap?” he asked harshly.

“I don’t control the headlines, mister,” he rasped.

“Never mind. I’ve wasted too much time here anyway. Is there a mailbox in this city or no?”

The old man did not reply but simply raised his rotting arm and extended a purple finger toward a building behind Jim. “Thanks,” Jim squawked curtly as he turned to run. Around the far corner of the building, Jim found a blue mailbox. “Finally!” he said aloud to no one. He took the crumpled envelope out of his back pocket and shoved it into the mailbox.

Immediately after dropping the letter, Jim sensed a presence to his right. He turned and felt riddled with fear because he expected the birdman. Instead a young woman stood there and she quickly moved to embrace him. Jim, it’s me, Morlock. I got your letter. I’m going to get you out of this.”

Baffled, he pushed her away and asked, “How did you get here in 2 seconds?”

“We’ll have time for answers later. We’ve gotta go; we’re being monitored. We’ve only got two minutes to make this work.”

“What’s happening to me? Every time I go through a door I end up somewhere different. But I seem to be following a predetermined path. And this crazy bird guy keeps following me around and staring at his damned watch,” Jim mumbled, pauses thoughtfully and continued, “I don’t think this is the first time I’ve been through all this…”

“Shut up for a second. I’ve got to concentrate,” she commanded as she pulled out a tube and large screwdriver from her coat. Suddenly, she noticed a man dressed in a black suit lurking in the shadows of an alley. She left Jim mumbling to himself and rushed toward the man. Jim recognized him from the meeting and definitely recognized that suit. Jim tried to speak but his lips were dry and his throat scratchy. “Don’t, that’s the…” he began, but she wasn’t listening.

Morlock pounced on the stranger and shoved the screwdriver up to his neck. “Still after me, Jenkins!? I got to him first! Tell your bosses they can’t steal a human soul and get away with it!”

Calmly, Jenkins spoke in a soft, menacing voice and said, “Your language paints progress in such a negative light.”

Morlock slapped him across the face. “That doesn’t even make sense! I’m getting Jim out of this circus act!”

Jenkins’ mouth curled up into an evil grin. “You’re too late! Look!” he said in a satisfied voice as he pointed to the street behind them. Morlock turned her head and saw that Jim was gone. Simultaneously, Jenkins pointed a gun to Morlock’s temple. As she turned her head back around, the blood rushed out of her face as she saw the huge bird man staring her directly in the eye with a gun pointed at her skull.

Jim opened his eyes and found himself under a highway overpass. The desolate landscape flooded Jim with loneliness and failure. He crumpled to the ground and slammed his fist on the pavement, screaming, “I can’t get away from this garbage! Release me from this nightmare,” he looks up and sees only the bottom of a highway. No clouds, no sky. “I can’t stand it anymore! I can feel my atoms separating and my brain is oozing out of my forehead! There’s no way out! I can’t breathe!” Jim’s vision faded and his thoughts violently clashed and jumbled inside his head.

A long black sedan rolled up to the corner of Central Avenue and 8th Street. A door opened and big arms threw Jim Malone out onto the sidewalk. The door slammed and the car squealed its tires and sped off recklessly. Screeching tires echoed through Jim Malone’s head as he struggled to open his eyes.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Contemplating the Engine Room

Revisiting an unappreciated classic, I contemplate my insatiable request for artists to produce meaningful work throughout their careers. There is no end to creativity- no excuse to fall back on past accomplishments. i.e.- John Doe's new album sounds really good.

Is there a difference in authenticity between the constant flow of artistic output by people like Mike Watt, John Doe or Sonic Youth and the recent flux of "comeback artists" like Mission of Burma, Bad Brains etc? The latter bands released amazing albums in 2006/7 respectively. I don't think everyone can be as prolific as Billy Childish, but there is a certain authenticity to maintaining a constant pouring of artistic expression. The statements by bands like Mission of Burma with the Obliterati, Bad Brains with Build a Nation or Mary Weiss (w/ the Reigning Sound) with Dangerous Game are complete and genuine, regardless of years between output. This absolutely baffles me, but also gives me hope.

No one needs to rely on nostalgia to continue contributing authenticity to the rock n roll trash landscape.

Is this a completely American phenomenon? The Jesus and Mary Chain is boring me to death and Gang of Four wasn't that exciting a couple years ago. But wait! Radio Birdman is australian and they still friggin rock... Deniz Tek is from Michigan though. hmm...

As this screaming thought jumbles into useless rambling, I can't help but think about the cliche American do or die spirit. Are we that stubborn? Do we really refuse defeat? Well, we are still murdering people in Afghanistan and Iraq. Shit.

Friday, July 20, 2007

simplicity versus minimalism

The Ramones give me a certain feeling that other bands cannot quite reach. I am overwhelmed by all that can be expressed by simple chords and beats. I wish phil spector and graham gould would have died before 1980. I am currently listening to the demos from the dated sounding "pleasant dreams" album of 1981 and um.... The Ramones were still writing amazing sounding songs. The demos are raw and uncontrolled by festering 60s icons trying to remain involved with the sound of the future. I don't think you understand. Without the Ramones we wouldn't be here today. I wouldn't be in any bands and America would still be trying to recover from the British Invasion. Their music was simple but textured perfectly in the context of the aesthetic tapped by the history of the Velvet Underground/Stooges/MC5/New York Dolls etc. John Lydon can run around all day and pretend the Ramones were just a joke. Ha. Between them and Richard Hell the sex pistols would not have had anyone to rip off anyway... but I digress. Minimalism remains an establishment of the American cop out art scene, but I think there needs to be a distinction between this movement and Simplicity. Basically, Simplicity towers over Minimalism in terms of authenticity because the same goals of technical production are still reached with an effective simple approach. The difference can best be expressed by the relationship between the art movement called Stuckism and Duchamp's legacy of "found art." A stuckist is equal to a found artist in training and "skill" (loaded word), but a stuckist painting expresses a whole narrative while conceptual art lacks any meaningful context unless it is supplied by the conceptual artist. Minimalism begs the important question of what qualities allow something to be considered art, but fails ultimately at answering.

There remains a concern that rock n roll should not be considered art anyway. It is a very interesting place to draw the snob line, but I do not think that it fits. More is said about the state of the world in a Ramones song about sniffing glue than in 30 or 35 Rothko paintings. Now, compare Kandinsky with Rothko and realize how unnecessary the latter seems. Kandinsky, through simple shapes and colors, created beautiful landscapes and textures concerning the post World War I feelings about the wasteful loss of life. Once again, Minimalism remains a redundant buzz word from the 1950s while simplicity in art continues to inspire generations toward authenticity through entirely new works and actions within the art world and beyond.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Wooden nickles flow toward me while I attempt an honest assessment of my current situation. Bygone songs with stubborn backbeats and howling vocal chords ooze through my stereo speakers. All at once, I secretly pray for the return to normalcy and carrying on. The speakers jangle with poignant but devestating music about decay and loneliness. Unable to continue within the confines of these walls, I revert to memories of nervous breakdowns and escape. If there were a way out, I would take it without hesitation. Unfortunately, my only option remains fleeing the familiar and running away from my desperation. I choose the easy way out; escape confinement and hit the road. I feel unworthy of sympathy because my problems are trite and personal, and without guidance I follow my path alone. I am exhausted and tingling with fear about shoddy plans and procrastination. The time reads both early and late, for I have committed to believe in the natural progression of time and an immutable reality. This existence passes by regardless of perception in the Grand Scheme of Things, and I refuse the assistance of bollocks support of failed instincts.

I continue along a path that leads to a life of no salvation. I seek such inane hope wherever I can find it. Love, Rock n' Roll, Literature and Art have all done their part to create a false sense of security and arrogance toward the meaning of life. I feel enlightened because I suffer and, more importantly, because I exist.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hippie Bongos of Conformity

Guitar strapped across my back, downtown belched aspirations of success and conformity. Music and sound ripped across the breeze like a seagull after a fish, and no one could snuff the flame of performance. Bar bands squeeled popular tunes while a black man strummed his guitar to death. Authenticity defied the cover bands and I bestowed its title on the sphere of energy emminating from the man skrunched up in fetal position, rocking back and forth, and singing a beautiful song at breakneck speed. I admired him as I walked by with my own guitar stagnant and across my back. My path brushed by some women singing in an alcove of an oyster bar and finally to a hippie with a bongo and a crusty old man with a saxophone. The hippie asked me to play and I reluctantly agreed, throwing out warnings of my lack of ability and differing aesthetic. Persistently, the hippie requested that I strum him some music, and so I abliged him. My out of tune guitar sang in the evening breeze and skronked across the downtown landscape.

The hippie cringed and offered, "Hey, I can fix your guitar for you."
As if the deer in the headlights expression was not enough, I explained, "Please don't touch it. This tuning is very important to me."
He skoffed, "Well it's all wrong," as he took the guitar from me and attempted to drag some eric clapton blues out of the awkward tuning. Failing at this he seethed, "These strings aren't even tuned to notes. This is terrible and wrong." Vanquished, he returned the guitar to me and I started debating aesthetics and skronk and bla bla bla. The crusty old man chimed in, "You're never going to make it, playing like that."
I stared at the hat on the ground containing two dollars and fifty three cents and thought... Firstly, I don't want to "make it," and if you represent "making it," I am definitely not interested...

Just then another, more political hippie bounded down the sidewalk brandishing a bob dylan shirt. This imagery really excited hippie number one, and he began relating to me on the merits of dylan. I explained, "I have a gripe against bob dylan because he always wanted to have the appearance of cutting edge without doing any of the work. All he did was change genres when it wasn't what people expected."

The hippie, completely abstracted with anger, clenched his teeth and threatened, "You'd better watch what you say about bob."
I tried to explain my thoughts on celebrity and how I thought no one was safe from criticism bla bla bla but it fell on deaf ears. The hippie was now ignoring me so I said something snotty like, "Well, thanks for ignoring me, talk to you later," and walked across the street. I started strumming some chords (not the correct ones) and began singing
come gather round people, wherever you roam/
and admit that the water around you has grown/
bla bla bla
the times they are a changin

I belted these forgotten yet familiar lyrics across the downtown st. petersburg landscape, and I felt vaguely satisfied. Complacency and acceptance of tradition guts our generation and makes our corpses ripe for maggot infestation. Maggots of corporate homogenization and settling for what is presented to us as art and culture will surely continue with or without my resistence. Just like pissing in the wind, I spit in the face of violent, conformist hippies, just as I breathe the polluted air and pretend I acheived something.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Velvets part 5- White Light Blistering and Live

White Light/White Heat was released in 1968, after the zenith of the “psychedelic” recordings of the Beatles and Rolling Stones. While the first record was played in real time in the studio through the motherboard with low volume in the studio itself, the second record cut out the middle man. They decided to try to capture the intensity of their live set by recording everything as loud as humanly possible. Naturally, according to guitarist Sterling Morrison:

[t]here was fantastic leakage because everyone was playing so loud and we had so much electronic junk with us in the studio – all these fuzzers and compressors. Gary Kellgran the engineer, who is ultra-competent, told us repeatedly: ‘You can’t do it – all the needles are on red.’ And we reacted as we always reacted: ‘Look, we don’t know what goes on in there and we don’t want to hear about it. Just do the best you can.’ And so the album is all fuzzy, there’s all that white noise… We wanted to do something electronic and energetic. We had the energy and the electronics, but we didn’t know that it couldn’t be recorded… What we were trying to do was really fry the tracks, (Heylin, “Velvets to the Voidoids” 25).

There are several important points within this recollection of the White Light/White Heat sessions. Firstly, the band knew what they wanted regardless of knowledge of the process regarding how to make it reality. This sense of experimentation carries through to the record itself with the sound described by Morrison. The recording is much muddier than the first album, although the band maintains its sense of boundaries regarding instruments and pitch. The aesthetic of electronics in Rock n’ Roll music was nowhere to be found in 1968. This sound of instruments drenched with distortion was something completely new. The execution of these ideas is best expressed by the title track and the last song, “Sister Ray.”
“White Light/White Heat” starts the album of the same name with a very rapid tempo and fuzzy instruments. The pulsing guitars are juxtaposed by a Jerry Lewis hammered out piano line. The bass is interesting because it is more prevalent than in other bands. In fact, “[m]ost bass players play two-dimensional notes, but john plays three-dimensional granit slabs (it’s a question of intonation and density, not volume; it’s like the difference between Rauschenberg’s two-dimensional Coke bottles and Warhol’s three-dimensional Campbell soup cans) which reveal an absolute mastery of his instruments and a penetrating awareness of the most minute details of his music,” (Heylin, “In Print” 75). Besides texture, these bass lines are very simple and inspired by minimalism’s repetition. At the end of the track, the bass cuts through the fuzz and hits a series of high notes that oscillate until it ends. This relationship results from the live interplay of the studio pushed to its limits as far as volume is concerned. The fuzz of these recordings makes the music very textured so that it seems that there is something new to hear every time the record is played. This is especially true with the Velvet Underground’s magnum opus, “Sister Ray.”

Thursday, May 17, 2007

When I Say I'm in Luv, You Best Believe I'm in Luv L-U-V

I know three bands that have prefaced a song with the line that titles this article: The Nation of Ulysses, The New York Dolls and The Shangri Las. The importance and influence of the latter on American rock n roll perpetuates to this day. Most importantly, their aesthetic informed the Ramones directly as an example of the alternative to the bloated mid 70s rock acts that dominated the scene. Mary Weiss was only 14 when the Shangri Las started recording around 1963, which puts her about the same age and generation as Fred Cole (who recorded the single "Poverty Shack" that year as Deep Soul Cole when he was 14). This trend of young performers resulted from the growing marketability of the teenagers with disposable incomes. After all, the teenager had only been invented as an age group about a decade before. Relatable icons gave consumers a direct relationship with the performers, and once the Beatles exploded in 1963, promoters grasped at the chance to exploit these trends.

The Shangri Las oozed with the sexuality of the young Mary Weiss's voice. Regardless of age, those recordings captured her powerful yet sultry voice while allowing the instrumentation to fully manifest the atmosphere behind the tunes. Leaving behind the seeds of influence and legend, The Shangri Las broke up in the mid 60s and Mary Weiss disappeared off the face of the planet. I accepted the recordings I found and assumed that nothing new would spew from this lineage. The news of a Mary Weiss album forty years later blindsided anyone the least bit interested in the history of rock n roll. With the deaths of Arthur Lee and Syd Barrett still lodged in recent memory, a new record from an infamous legend of the 1960s poured down our throats to welcoming bellies.

Norton Records released Dangerous Game by Mary Weiss earlier this year. Greg Cartwright, a garage rock legend in his own right, and his band the Reigning Sound provided the penmanship and backing of this album and subsequent tour. Overall, the recordings once again capture the essence of Mary Weiss on wax while not attempting to emulate the Shangri Las style of music. This album completes the circle of influence as some of the songs reiterate the legacy of the Ramones with Mary's powerful voice filling in perfectly. Joey Ramone wet dream aside, this album succeeds as a complete expression and return of a legend. Mary Weiss's voice remains drenched in mature vs childish sexual energy that defies age as it did when she was 14. We expect art created by our elders to be safe and cleaned up because they somehow lose the vulgarity of youth somewhere along the path to adulthood. Alternatively, this album is called Dangerous Game for a reason. Mary Weiss maintains an aura of danger regardless of how many years have passed since she was born. She is still dangerous and still sings with conviction and power that will convert any strays back to the flock of rock n roll.