R. Stevie Moore

(1952-19??)

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Not to be confused with the vinyl-only compilation that came out a few years later, the 1981 cassette release (1952-19??) (later reissued on CD) is an appealingly wide-ranging mix of quirky instrumental experiments like "My Life Is Not a Joke" (a David Byrne-like avant-funk-pop jam self-effacingly decorated by spooky derisive laughter) and the smooth funk found-sound workout "I'm So Horny," more traditional pop songs like the synth-poppy "Love Has Doubt" (a fan favorite that would appear on several LP and CD compilations), "The Unfinished," and three faithful and reverent '60s pop covers: the Cyrkle's "Red Rubber Ball," Bobby Vee's "Run to Him," and the Beach Boys classic "Here Today." Toward the end, the album has a run of bizarrely intriguing snatches of found tape, starting with the psychedelically-treated "Lisa Marshall's Dream (About R.S.)" (which prefigures the Olivia Tremor Control's very similar work as the Black Swan Network a decade-and-a-half later) and continuing through "Days Before His Death" (a conversation between Moore and his friend Jim Price about John Lennon's then-new single "(Just Like) Starting Over"), the mysterious "Mary Mae Sings Kansas" (unknown teenage girl warbles her way through a '70s FM classic) and finally, the three-part "Usable Scraps," which are simply bits of unfinished songs.

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