James Kochalka Superstar

Our Most Beloved [CD & DVD]

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Best known for his award-winning graphic novels, writer/artist/rock & roll instigator James Superstar Kochalka has spent the majority of his musical career in a state of "cultish" obscurity. His punk-infused comedy-rock may lack the complex arc of a band like Ween, but for fans of like-minded artists such as Atom & His Package, the Neal Pollack Invasion, and Daniel Johnston, Kochalka's expansive Our Most Beloved anthology serves as an excellent introduction to the multi-talented artist -- now on Rykodisc, it's the first release to ever be widely available -- and will likely provide enough short bursts of juvenile guffawing and solo room-dancing to please even the most jaded music lover. Raunchy locker room anthems like "Magic Finger," "Pussy Gangster," and "Ocean of Girls" are the norm here, so unless subject matter like cunnilingus ("Talk to the Wooky") or basic human functions ("Pee") endanger one's comfort level, it's a lot of fun, kind of like being in fourth grade with your best friend who somehow manages to fart at exactly the right moment -- every time. What makes Kochalka so appealing is that he can emote like Jonathan Richman ("Copenhagen China Box") and sneer like Johnny Rotten ("President Kochalka") without ever making you wish that he'd just settle on one persona. His observations may seem childish -- "when the Beatles came down in their spaceship/the whole world went apesh*t" -- but they're apt nonetheless. Our Most Beloved comes with an additional -- and packed -- DVD that includes five videos, including his two shorts for Nickelodeon, as well as interviews and enough off-tangent hilarity to satisfy even the most ADD viewer.

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