Reverend Fred Lane - Icepick To The Moon
Are you kidding me? THE THIRD FRED LANE RECORD?
For fans of the out there! Alabama's greatest since... Sun Ra?
"Amazingly, here is the glorious (long-delayed) follow-up to Fred Lane's 1988 Shimmy Disc LP, Car Radio Jerome. In the wake of that surreal masterpiece, Shimmy announced an LP called Icepick to the Moon, but it took 31 years to wrestle this slab of bacon to the mat. And you'll be glad we did. Icepick takes up where Jerome left off. As inhabited by visual artist, Tim Reed, 'Fred Lane' (I'll drop the quote marks after this) is a lounge crooner with smoothly classic vocal chops and a taste for lyrics shaped by Alfred Jarry's proto-Dada writings. Fred Lane is a creature of the 'Pataphysical South, inhabiting the same pocket universe as Bruce Hampton and Eugene Chadbourne. And we guarantee his music is as deeply fried as anything you've ever heard. Or eaten. The roots of Lane have been explored in Skizz Cyzyk's great documentary, Icepick to the Moon (to which this is not a soundtrack LP), and are traceable back as far as high school in the late '60s, where Lane and the late guitarist Davey Williams had a weird-o cover band. A couple years later, they both ended up in the Tuscaloosa Alabama student/hippie ghetto (near the University), where some older artists -- Craig Nutt (aka "Ron 'Pate") and a few odd others -- had formed an art collective, Raudelunas, to do all the whacked out stuff interesting people like to do . . . This was the beginning of a long Alabama Surrealist tradition that includes LaDonna Smith, Anne LeBaron, Wally Shoup, and many others. Anyway, at some point, Reed brought his Fred Lane persona to the party -- an accretion of totally insane lyrics and performance tropes, set to what almost sounds like swinging cocktail music until you start noticing the bizarre detailing and avant-garde highlighting. Coming at the same early '70s moment that lounge retro was functionally hip (Manhattan Transfer, Asleep at the Wheel, Capt. Matchbox, etc.) the results were a complete mindfuck . . . The music, penned by Reed with Roger Hagerty (aka Dick Foote), played by a band with Williams (aka Cyd Cherise) on guitar, is unbelievably fine. Sadly, this was Williams' last recording session, but the instrumental inventions are a wonderful extension of Jerome (which was notably more sophisticated, sonically, than earlier recordings)..." --Bryon Coley, 2019