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Barbeque Babylon

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 10, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

WALL OF VOODOO mastermind STAN RIDGWAY joins forces with PIETRA WEXSTUN (HECATE'S ANGELS) and RICK KING (FREEWAY FUZZ) and a cast of cutlets in this rockin' rude marinade of musical mayhem, in the party/protest mode! So start up the fire and bring all your weird friends! The party is about to begin!

Amazon.com

In the mid '90s, Wall of Voodoo mainstay-turned-solo artist Stan Ridgway bid farewell to the major label treadmill via Drywall's masterfully dark debut and embarked on an indie career as the more historically-rooted, acoustically-centered singer-songwriter found of the compelling Black Diamond, Snakebite and Anatomy albums. The original Drywall concept ("a trilogy of apocalyptic documents") seemed intended to variously antagonize his then-label, subtly evoke his Wall of Voodoo past and offer outlet for his latent "mad scientist" tendencies. But Ridgway has completed that decade-spanning triptych with an album that's closer in tone to his elegiac modern solo work (his main accomplices here are also the same, keyboardist/vocalist Pietra Wextun and guitarist Rick King), if no less thematically provocative than DW's first installment. The infectious, industrialized zydeco of "Goin' On Down to the BBQ" revolves around a typically debauched Ridgway storyline, while elsewhere Stan variously stirs in jazz (the saxed-up "Fortune Cookies"), cinematic cool (the evocative "Somewhere in the Dark" and "Rain On Down") and even folk conceits both nautical ("Abandon Ship," "Robbers & Bandits & Bastards & Thieves") and Celtic (Wexstun's haunting "Bold Marauder"). "The AARP is After Me" and tipsy "Something's Gonna Blow" are filled with typically self-deprecating Ridgway wit, while the electro-edginess of "In Total Focus" and "That Big Weird Thing" contrast sharply with the stark beauty of the morally ambiguous ballad "Buried the Pope." Drywall closes out their first trilogy in rich, expansive style – and ultimately leaves listeners hoping they'll embark on another soon. --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Goin' On Down To The BBQ
  2. Fortune Cookies
  3. Somewhere In The Dark
  4. Abandon Ship
  5. Buried The Pope
  6. In Total Focus
  7. The AARP Is After Me
  8. That Big Weird Thing
  9. Robbers & Bandits & Bastards & Thieves
  10. Rain On Down
  11. The Alibi Room
  12. Wargasm
  13. Bold Marauder
  14. Land Of Spook
  15. Something's Gonna Blow
  16. Untitled


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 10, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Red Fly
  • ASIN: B000AXWGTU
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,361 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Stan Ridgway Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Continuing an on-again/off-again relationship with his Drywall side project that began in 1986 with Work the Dumb Oracle, the third album in Stan Ridgway's "trilogy of apocalyptic documents" isn't substantially different from his better-known solo work, at least on this 2006 release. His carnival barker vocals, bizarre lyrics, and shapeshifting cinematic soundscapes are in fine twisted form as the songs morph from the moody, bluesy harmonica-laced "Bury the Pope" to the more experimental subtle electronica textures of "Rain on Down" and the whimsical, Tex-Mex party atmosphere of "Goin' on Down to the BBQ." Co-Drywall conspirators/multi-instrumentalists Pietra Wexstun and especially Rick King are relegated to sideline status as Ridgway's distinctive vocals and lyrics dominate the proceedings. The diverse sounds combine aspects of Tom Waits (the percussive "The Alibi Room" sounds like an outtake from Rain Dogs), jazzy noir lounge ("Somewhere in the Dark"), Yello ("That Big Weird Thing"), and even world music ("Bold Marauder" is sung by Wexstun doing her best Grace Slick impression), but ultimately seem like Ridgway pushing his already elastic musical boundaries. At just over an hour, including a humorous bonus track that features sentences from George W. Bush speeches cut-and-pasted to mean something far different than what was originally intended, there is a lot to listen to here. Each track is overdubbed multiple times with layers of sound effects and instruments requiring repeated listenings to fully absorb. As with many Ridgway projects, the lyrical theme is obtuse but the music is so challenging, quirky, and innovative that the whole shebang is a mesmerizing musical trip.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Ridgeway's dramatic but spookily subtle story-telling vocal style and haunting arrangements makes listening to his songs like going to a movie. He's a totally unique and intuitive composer, singer and multi-faceted musician who deserves much more limelight than he would probably be comfortable with. His last album (Snakebite) was a great work and this is even better. I assume he and Pietra Wexstun create from a universe all their own, yet have the desire and talent to allow us to share compelling visions and their own "Monsters of the ID".
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Format: Audio CD
All of Stan's work has shown a deep suspicion of the industrial-military complex, heaped and blended with existential nihilism. I never took such a dim view of American life personally, but appreciated his artistic window into the darker side of society. For the record I'm a right-of-center, Republican-leaner who voted for Bush twice and I found track sixteen to be clever and, yes, a bit childish, but fun and I enjoy childish fun even when it steps on my idealogical toes. That being said the rest of the CD is delightfully quirky, loaded with imagery both dark and campy, and sprinkled with childish fun. And very true to Ridgway form this CD is yet another deadpan narrative description of the writhing scaly spectacle that is modernity's underbelly. It's kind of like David Lynch for the ears. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was that I didn't feel it rose to the level of "Work the Dumb Oracle".
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love Stan Ridgway - witness my extensive collection of CDs and ticket stubs. I think he and Peitra are national treasures.

However.....

I have to say I found this album very hard to get my mind around. I am no stranger to music that is (more than a little) outre'. And I am willing to give anything involving Stan a chance. Several chances. But I honestly didn't enjoy this album. (Sorry Stan)

But it won't keep me from buying the next one!
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