Eugene Chadbourne & Jim McHugh
Some chaos fodder for the fiends while Sunwatchers are in repose between paint-scrapers and for fans of Eugene’s acerbic wit made manifest. At heart, the record is a couple of Greensboro boys letting the bile flow from their own wounds and the wounds of those that have come before them. The record is sutured together with a spirit of discord — a protest record for the second wave of the ‘20s that scrapes the scars of a new millennium across the barbed wire realities that we all find ourselves in in this year of ill repute. Chadbourne, ever the instigator and agitator, embraces the works of others, revisits his own catalog, and finds the humor and hubris in between. Mchugh helps to shape this record into a sort of shrine to Chadbourne’s outsider soul and succeeds quite handsomely.
Chadbourne has had a varied career to say the least, and there are few corners of the continuum that escape his grasp. Loosely lacing together strains of folk, discordant jazz, and Americana (albeit Americana turned on its ass), the pair turn Bad Scene into just that, a jukebox breakdown of the many lives that populate the persona of Eugene Chadbourne. The record is rough, but not restrictive. The pair hashed it out in Eugene’s living room in a year when contact was fraught and friction should only feel natural to a populace that’s been bristling at touch for over a year. In that sense the record has its hackles, but the living room recordings also bring us closer than ever to Chadbourne’s incandescent glow. There’s a sense of listening in on something intimate, a vouyuristic insight into the ache of the underbelly and it feels like just the right rebuff to the cultural collapse happening on a daily basis.
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