Anyone who has bared witness to a Sun City Girls live performance in recent years knows that these three men have somehow morphed into the leaders of the would-be new society. Armed with guitars, drums, golf clubs, and Bin Laden t-shirts, it would seem that the brothers Bishop and Charles Gocher were sent from outer space to repair our failing society, or at least laugh at us.
The more I listen to the debut album from Uncle Jim (a recurring character in the Sun City Girls oeuvre) the more I'm convinced that Alan Bishop is some kind of deity. I'll let my friend Kris, proprietor of Black Velvet Fuckere, explain a bit for you:
?a smoked out X+Y=Fuck You dialectic. Rawer than Rudy Ray Moore, shrewder than Lenny Bruce, more spoken tongue wizard insanity than Lord Buckley and more deranged than Charles Baudelaire; this is Alan Bishop's own personal anthology of black humour, filled to the brim full of diatribes backed up by bad ass musicians (including all of the Sun City Girls). A masterpiece of the SCG cannon."
And that pretty much sums it up. As Uncle Jim gets more and more drunk ranting over top some brilliantly clich?d musical accompaniment, it becomes clear that this is the spoken word record to end all spoken word records. Every last syllable of this recording is brilliant, hilarious, and even profound. Uncle Jim hates all of us and he lets us know, but it's not as simple as Alan Bishop making fun of everyone (though he certainly does that). As the record proceeds past "Graduation Day", the most confidently "Fuck all you assholes" track on the record, Uncle Jim becomes subdued - even tender - on "Flashbacks" as an Archie Bunker-esque voice randomly shouts a series of pointed clich?s (lines we later learned in an interview that are direct quotes from the real-life Uncle Jim):
"My doctor said to take two percosets every four hours but I decided to take four percosets every two hours!!"
"Would you like to watch a movie that's an hour and ten minutes fellas, or would you like to watch a film that's an hour and fifteen minutes guys?!"
"You know they say the Laotians are good hard working people, fellas."
And from this lament Uncle Jim gets even more drunk before launching into the LP-side-long final track.
It seems silly to pull quotes from a record where every word is so perfectly composed and loaded with all kinds of social connotations and baggage. At the risk of overstating its importance, "Superstars of Greenwich Meantime" has a scope that somehow encompasses everything in the world through an endless series of insults. In a way, it's the perfect American recording. No one is safe from his venomous tongue, not even Uncle Jim himself. As the climactic title track finds Uncle Jim attacking himself, a passage begins about traveling to a galaxy where "there exists no markets, no trading, no currency. The dimension where value is meaningless and time stands still." "Superstars of Greenwich Meantime" is the clearest, most concise, and beautifully composed work I've heard from the Sun City Girls. It is experimental art, poetry, social critique, music; it's everything and it's fucking pissed at you.
"True is the scent which mimics organic drones, of fact in flesh and blood. If true love and all of its belongings were subservient to the needs of man then bliss would be all that is, was, what will always be. But true love has never served man except as shadow, crossover dimension of illusion. An intersection of possibility as executioner of orgasmic continuance. As an evil time creeps desperate within igniting emotional need ablaze as wildfire much too gargantuous to contain. Prove me wrong and I will love you truly."
?Uncle Jim 10/10 -- Nick Hennies (27 June, 2006)