These Guys Are from England and Who Gives a Shit
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Unauthorized reissue of the notorious "U2" single which got Negativland in so much hot water, expanded to full LP length with relevant material which both pre-dated and followed the banned release. All otherwise unavailable material from live and studio vaults!
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Even listening to it all these years later it's still very effective. One reason is that the subjects open themselves to ridicule as much as they do. To quote a reviewer on another website (don't remember who, sorry!), making fun of U2 never goes out of style. Casey Kasem's voice is so instantly recognizable, and his style so candyassed, that it's totally hysterical to listen to his profanity-ridden tirades. Kasem's comments actually help mock U2's preposterousness. Introducing their song he rattles off their names, and when he gets to "The Edge" he breaks off and says "this is B.S.! Nobody cares!", and then states the title of this CD. I think that echoes a lot of people's reaction to the guitarist's stupid monicker.
This is being promoted as "semi-legitimate" or "bootleg", with Negativland's label's name modified to "Sealard". I'm not buying it. Keep in mind these are the same guys who circulated the fake news story about a kid killing himself after listening to "Christianity is Stupid". These guys are savvy media pranksters. Nevertheless, given the previous hullabaloo over this recording, you'll want to pick this up before it ends up on someone else's Bonfire of the Vanities.
Warning: Do not listen to on headphones and fall asleep while doing so, you will be rudely awaken after the end song. Nine minutes after that "sanitized" song "ends," the silence is broken by a collage of Casey Kasem's potty mouth spewing a plethora of foul words!
Over the last decade, the original pair of tracks, yanked from distribution shortly after their release, have been available only through the collector's market and underground trading. This maybe-it's-a-bootleg-maybe-it's-not release augments the original studio work with four live versions, including two 1993 post-lawsuit editions taped at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall. Four additional tracks from the band's post-apocalypse "Music For Lawyers Tour" examine the original controversy with a blenderization of the original participants. The disc wraps with a sound-effect bleeped-for-radio-play edit of the original, unairably profane, "Special Edit Radio Mix."
Available in surprisingly wide distribution, collectors who missed out on the original are advised to grab a copy while it's still beyond the industry's radar.
The rest of "TGAFEAWGAS" is a mind-blowingly obsessive journey through related issues (i.e. the band U2, the U2 spyplane, Casey Kasem, and copyright law) strung throughout years of live perfomances and radio shows. It wears a little thin after awhile but is, nonetheless, best taken in one sitting, especially when accompanied by the "Fair Use" book which chronicles Negativland's legal struggles. The video "Craig Baldwin's Sonic Outlaws" is also an impressive artwork, one that takes the viewer on an abstract journey through video collage and the works of artists such as Negativland, John Oswald and the Tape-beatles.
You may not share Negativland's ideology, but "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (Special Edit Radio Mix)" is endlessly hilarious and needs to be heard. They've even included an "Edited Special Edit Radio Mix" which could actually be played on the radio. Those interested in this kind of stuff should check out Jon Nelson's syndicated radio program "Some Assembly Required" which features fascinating interviews and music of this ilk.