The Fugs

Final CD, Pt. 1

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It's difficult to know, even from the liner notes, how many parts there will be to the Fugs' "Final CD," but that doesn't stop Ed Sanders, Tuli Kupferberg, Steve Taylor, Coby Batty, and Scott Petito from pulling out all the stops as if it were the final part of the final record at the end of the world. Since 1985 this version of the Fugs have been together -- almost 20 years. Not bad for a reunion. If you combine this period with their first incarnation from the late '60s through the mid-'70s, you have...history. A dirty word perhaps, but someone had to live it. This record simply kicks ass. Take all of rock and post-revival folk music history. Wrap it into equal parts country, doo wop, jangly Byrds-style rock & roll, and chant loudly that the 1960s cannot be over because these guys are in their sixties -- Kupferberg and Sanders anyway -- or perhaps chant "Om Mani Padme Hung," "Hare Krishna," "Give Peace a Chance," or "Make Love Not War" loudly and rapidly while standing under very bright sunlight and continually exhaling while simultaneously thinking of great bliss, joy, Doc Pomus, why people die, and the fact that music so innocently crazy, revelatory, and beautifully shambolic can be made in such a dark time with tremendous laughter, rock & roll swagger (or perhaps stumble), and tenderness, and you are approaching the feel of the Fugs' Final CD, Pt. 1. There are 18 songs here, and they are all truly awe-inspiring and reveal that humanity does indeed have a place inside the new millennium and in fact refuses to surrender its right to question, to observe with a great ironic eye, or its rampant, hoary libido. This is music that reveals the wayward path to enlightenment without a teacher, a path, or a doctrine other than that to be alive is the most phenomenal miracle of all. After all, how many songs can claim to mention Don Henley, J.D. Souther, and Thucydides in less than three minutes with a doo wop chorus?

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