Raw Biscuits: The Bob Crane Story

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There is a certain segment of society that is fascinated with sordid stories such as that of Bob Crane, the television star who spent the later part of his career on a sex binge loosely financed by his appearance in local dinner theater events across the nation. A buddy who was obsessed with cutting-edge video technology may be the guy who bashed Crane's head in; unfortunately, cartoonist Mike Diana has probably suffered more legal trouble than anyone connected with the Crane murder. Diana did the cover art on Raw Biscuits: The Bob Crane Story, a short CD by the duo Facetious that is based on events surrounding Crane's death. Not to downgrade them in quality, but Diana's kooky drawings represent the bow on the package, a tasteful, classy touch that is part of this recording's lasting appeal. Performers Aaron Dunn and Shane Ballard collectively cover vocals, guitar, some percussion, and piano, a list drawn up from memory since the credits are not specific. Without going to any amount of pretentious effort and keeping everything quite concise, they have created a work that is both enjoyable and evocative. While some of the touches -- such as lasvicious, over-the-top vocal performances -- can be said to directly reflect the Crane lifestyle, other pleasures of the recording will simply appeal to all those who enjoy the subtleties of arrangement and recording, regardless of any sleazy subcontext. The use of the piano is sublime throughout, whether what sounds like a bit of a junker gets a prominent place in the mix or simply sounds like something that is off in the corner collecting dust. This CD can be suggested as a warmup for a viewing of Auto Focus, Paul Schrader's superb film about Crane.

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