Eugene Chadbourne

Horror, Pt. 3: X the Man With the X-Ray Eyes

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This third installment in Eugene Chadbourne's Horror series is very different from the previous two. Where those were group- and live-oriented, this one contains studio sound collages. The Doctor introduces it as a soundtrack for the Roger Corman film X the Man With the X-Ray Eyes. Dr. Xavier could see through the world; Dr. Chadbourne wants to "see" through his record collection. In the course of 12 pieces he throws at us a humongous amount of snippets from LPs, tapes, and CDs, allegedly one from every record in his possession, including all the demos and samples he received in the course of the 25 years prior to this release. Anything goes -- and everything will. There is a lot of old rock, from Sly & the Family Stone to Zappa, but also some blues, jazz, bluegrass, Western, classical music, jingles, heavy metal, and much, much more. On top of it all, the Doctor performs on guitar and banjo, improvising over some parts (unless they are independent solos pasted over). Nurse Eeena Ballard makes an apparition peeling the paint off the walls with her electric viola in "Coffee With Nurse Eeena." The composer is playful, witty, and utterly strange. Depending on your state of mind, you can feel oppressed by the massive sensory overload or just as well have a great time tracking down the sources and enjoying the man's warped sense of humor -- like playing yodeling and reggae side by side. This is not the best or most structured record-based sound collage you'll ever hear (Christian Marclay and Martin Tétreault, to name but two, have better technique and material), but it probably is the weirdest.

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