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Skittish / Rockity Roll

4.8 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 7, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

ATO Records will reissue Mike Doughty's 2000 solo acoustic LP Skittish and 2003 EP Rockity Roll as a two-disc set with bonus tracks on December 7. Doughty, who founded the band Soul Coughing and fronted the group through its 2000 breakup, pursues a more intimate, song-oriented aesthetic on these two releases, which were previously only available at his shows and through his website (www.mikedoughty.com).

Amazon.com

As the lead singer and songwriting force behind Soul Coughing, M. Doughty combined a slam poetry, ironic sensibility with jam band-ish, arty Downtown grooves. That group was an apex of smart stoner rock. Since the mid ‘90s Doughty has gone it alone, and his first release for ATO combines two self-released solo recordings that flirt with the sublime. Recorded in a single day in 1996, Skittish nicely replicates his solo performances, minus witty banter. "Real Love/ It’s Only Life" collapses a Mary J. Blige song into a Feelies tune, so of course it’s perfect pop. The 2003 EP Rockity Roll is just as stripped-down as Skittish, but electronic drums and keyboards dominate the mix. Mike has become a beautifully mournful, smart-ass singer-songwriter in the vein of Richard Thompson. Doughty’s voice is a tightly controlled, slightly nasal croon that sounds like he learned to sing by listening to trumpet solos off old bebop records. Rejecting the term "folk" for what he does, Doughty prefers his own phrase, "small rock." Surely, it’s more restrained, slower and less flashy than Soul Coughing. It’s also much better. --Mike McGonigal
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 7, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Ato Records
  • ASIN: B0006FO8SO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,431 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ouija VINE VOICE on April 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Whether you're a Soul Coughing fan or not (I'm not), you need to own Mike Doughty's solo CD (actually two CDs), called Skittish/Rockity Roll. He's the former leader of the aforementioned group, which disbanded in ugly fashion a few years back.

Doughty recorded Skittish in 1996. As the time, he'd wanted to do some acoustic stuff, which didn't fit in with what Soul Coughing was doing. They hated it. So Doughty recorded the CD on his own, submitted it to SC's record label, and was promptly rejected. But some of the songs ended up on Napster anyway, and Doughty's fans were eating it up big time. So he burned a pile of Skittish CDs at home and sold them when he hit the road for a solo tour.

Rockity Roll, recorded in 2003, is a mix of acoustic, lo-fi, outtakes from Skittish, and some live songs (recorded in 2004). I think this is the stronger of the two CDs.

I was never a Soul Coughing fan, but I love Doughty's solo work. His guitar style is folksy, but cool, and his lyrics are intelligent, telling and strong. Doughty's casual style is part of his appeal - unassuming, yet obviously enjoying the ride.

I don't think anyone would be disappointed with this set, which costs a bit less than you'd pay for a regular CD. If you're skeptical, at least give a listen to "Move On," which is a low-key protest song from a guy who might believe the war is wrong, but still loves his country. If you like it, and you will, watch for the upcoming release by Mike Doughty's Band (yeah, that's the name of the band), which will be released sometime in mid spring on Dave Matthews' ATO Records. Yes, Dave is a big fan. You will be too.
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Format: Audio CD
I have to somehow top that.

So you were like me probably, and Soul Coughing

filled a unique place in your ears.

Soul Coughing was like no one, and no one, even trying,

was like Soul Coughing. In 2000, I had a stroke and two bonus heartattacks on the same day-- and Soul Coughing broke up.

I am still trying to figure out which did the most damage to my psyche.

I kept hearing how incredible MD's new stuff was on tour. So I pre-ordered it and got it today I have listened to it all day.I am not tired of it at all.

If Michael isn't most gifted lyricist living, we got a beef. Sure, I can hear some echoes of his favorite riffs, but his stuff has evolved into a new ecological niche. It is tantamount to perfect with the unplugged sound and his playing is tasty. More importantly, his lyrics just soar.

It would take me about 300 more words apiece to begin to review these monsters. Just take my word for it, if this stuff doesn't steer you into oncoming traffic, you have the cdplayer turned off.

Back to my earlier point-- Soul Coughing did not split into one unique guy and the 3 dwarves. They went seperate, unique directions. Mr. Doughty, like all great writers, shows us exactly where he went, even though many of us would not voluntarily go there, or stay there as long with our eyes open as he did.

But if you have been down there, or someplace in the same zip code, it helps to hear it so well stated.

You did it Mike, you put a big-ass bandaid on my soul.

I now find myself loving the spot where Soul Coughing was missing. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the pride of Basehor Kansas, my old neighbor Michael Doughty!!!
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Format: Audio CD
So when I first heard this album I was so exited because this is the direction that I had hoped Soul Coughing (Mike's past band) would pursue ever since the first time I heard the song "Circles". Then as I gave it some more listens I realized that I was stupid for having ever thought that. Soul Coughing was an extremely innovative and inspired band, and Mr. Doughty was much the culprit of that. What Doughty does on this album is amazing. The hasty guitar riffs will have you setting the cd player on repeat, the intricate picking helps to set the stage for him to pluck at every emotion you have, and the poetic lyrics will have you comparing every relationship you've ever had to one of his songs. I'm ecstatic Mike Doughty came out with Skittish/Rockity Roll to scratch my acoustic itch, and I'm glad Soul Coughing stayed the course and made exactly the music they did. Pick up Skittish/Rockity Roll. Pick up Soul Coughing's El Oso. Enjoy each for the amazing needle they are in they haystack of mundane music out there.
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By Michael B on December 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I've been waiting for Skittish to be released for a long, long time. Before now, I could only find about 6 songs from the album and no reference to it any place where CD's are purchased. Finally it's here and in a double disk, no less.

Mike Doughty (then M. Doughty) accomplished all he could with Soul Coughing, which is evidenced by the lack luster El Oso. My heart felt great sadness when I heard of the split, but now I see where they were coming from. If Soul Coughing had stayed together, there would have been more albums like El Oso, or worse (at least El Oso was OK). Instead, Doughty went off to try something different, like every evolving artist does. The result was this fine collection of acoustic "small rock".

Skittish is almost all acoustic, and showcases Doughty as a lyricist and musician. Rockity Rolls adds some electronic (sometimes almost hip-hop) elements, drums and instruments, but never gets too caught up in it. Both disks are amazing, and I will be enjoying them for a very long time.
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