Eugene Chadbourne

Don't Burn the Flag, Let's Burn the Bush

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The events of September 11, 2001 and most of all, George W. Bush's ensuing war on terrorism have inspired Eugene Chadbourne to come back to political folk songs. Don't Burn the Flag, Let's Burn the Bush is the third album of new songs and dug-up gems he has released on his home label House of Chadula since December 2001. This one doesn't feature many new compositions, but many of the lyrics have been revised. Eight of the 17 tracks are taken from late-2002 solo concerts in Normal, Illinois and Rochester, New York (more from the same performances can be heard on Click Clack). "The Navy Song" and Phil Ochs' "Another Country" take on new meanings in light of the new war against Iraq. The revised version of "New New New War War War" is even more merciless in its denunciation of American politics. The new song "Coward McCain" also stands out. Three more tracks come from a concert in Victoria, British Columbia (Canada) with "the Horror of Chambers," a backup group made up of Scott Henderson (bass), Garth Johnson (drums), and Tolan McNeil (lap steel). With them Chadbourne revisits Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," delivering an acute, if a bit simplified, analysis of the U.S. involvement in the Philippines. The rendition of Prince's "Waterfalls" provides the biggest surprise on the whole disc -- it's actually quite sober and close to the spirit of the original. The album is rounded up with worthy (if a bit redundant) excerpts from a 1995 Jack & Jim show (with ex-Mothers of Invention Jimmy Carl Black). The CDR is hand-packaged. The cover reproduces a collage of half-burned pictures of George W. Bush with actual matches glued on.

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