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Danbert Nobacon & The Bad Things, Woebegone
Verbal Burlesque Records, Oct. 19

12/23/10
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



If I recall correctly, I took one look at the turn-of-the-century flying-machine on the cover of Nobacon’s 2007 album Library Book of the World and labeled the stuff steampunk. He did keyboards for accordion-anarcho-poppers Chumbawamba, which is one big curveball in itself, and his musical (and sometimes real-life) agitprop could, I suppose, be looked upon as a ren-geek sideshow sort of deal, especially now, with this album, in which he’s turned on a dime and twisted his vocal into a very appropriate Clint Ruin grimace, almost like Tom Waits as a zydeco weirdo on opener “Other Country Blues.” The turns from his chick accomplice, Funi McLaughlin, are amateurish enough to evoke images of bodices on unfit bodies, and the emphasis here is grungy, unplugged, old-world fun — sea shanties, banjo-plucked dustbowl gloom, things like that — so whether he’d dig it or not I believe I’m going to stick with the steampunk diagnosis.Yes, I shall. 

A  — Eric W. Saeger






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