The Jazz Butcher reminds me of a more eclectic Lloyd Cole, or maybe a less weird Robyn Hitchcock. Or something. Anyway, 1988's Fishcotheque was the first Jazz Butcher (aka Pat Fish) solo album after the breakup of the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy. It was a darned good album. I hadn't listened to this in years, but I recently ripped my vinyl copy for iPod play and have been listening to it a ton. In the Salon article on the iPod, Fareed Manjoo claims that most people end up listening to only a select few songs on their iPod over and over. I have no way of knowing if that is true or not, but I can say unequivocally that the opposite has been true for me. Since I got my iPod I've been listening to a ton of stuff I haven't listened to in years. That was actually the impetus for starting this blog. As long as I was going to go through the bother of ripping my vinyl to digital, I might as well share some of it with the seven or eight other people in the world who also might want to hear it.
This is such a good album it was hard for me to pick just one song, so I picked two. I could have as easily picked any two tracks from the record. "Next Move Sideways," "Looking For Lot 49," "Keeping The Curtains Closed," "Get It Wrong," "Chickentown," and "Out Of Touch" are just as strong as the tracks I selected.
I chose "The Best Way" because it is least representative of the Jazz Butcher sound, and it is probably one of the funniest white rip-offs of "Rapper's Delight" ever recorded. I had always wondered why a British guy with a Philosphy degree from Oxford would interject "Praise Stuckey's!" into a song, considering Stuckey's is an exclusively American fast-food chain found mostly in the Southeast. Now I know why; he's actually saying "Prized Turkeys!" Frankly, I think "Praise Stuckey's!" works better. Does anyone know who the radio pitchman sampled in the song is?
"Susie" is much more typical Jazz Butcher fare, with the added attraction of The Spacemen 3's Sonic Boom on feedback drenched guitar. Fischcotheque is the only album I know of to name check both Lionel Ritchie and The Patti Smith Group. If you know of another please let me know, I'd like to hear it.