R. Stevie Moore

R. Stevie Moore's Rock and Roll Circus Presents the Jinx

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R. Stevie Moore's Rock and Roll Circus Presents the Jinx is an interesting blend of atmospheric and largely instrumental soundscapes along with fairly faithful bar band-style covers of rock & roll classics ranging from "Taxman" to the '60s soul classics "Love Child" and "Yes I'm Ready" (both sung by Moore's wife, Krystyna Olsiewicz, who also essays the Shaggs' "My Companion" in an oddly Maureen Tucker-like voice) played and sung by a parade of guest stars like the Breetles' Chris Breetveld, the Smithereens' Pat DiNizio (who sings lead on a version of "Won't Get Fooled Again" recorded at a fundraiser for his failed New Jersey state senate bid), the Waitresses' Chris Butler, and longtime Moore associates Myron Bryant, Roger Ferguson, and Billy Anderson. The best covers are those that recast the songs, like Mike Hopper's simply lovely but downright skeletal version of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'," which opens up the song into a seven-and-a-half-minute reverie for acoustic guitar and birdsong. The reflective title track is a prime example of Moore's rare ability to write genuinely interesting rock instrumentals, and the opening "A Legend in My Time" is yet another of the brilliant jangle pop tunes he makes appear so effortless. Other highlights include "Steviepink Javascript," an amusing spoken word improvisation with Michael Zanna where the two musicians meet, form a mutual admiration society, and then split with acrimonious invective, "Emily Dickinson," a setting of one of Dickinson's poems as sung by Olsiewicz over a Robert Fripp-like guitar improvisation, and the wonderful "Man Without a Purpose," which recalls the vintage synthesizer sounds of Moore's pioneering synth rock experiments of the mid-'70s.

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