Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

This Unknown Instructors album is damned near San Pedro, Cali's WHAT MAKES A MAN START FIRES? perfect. It's spoken word punk rock jazz — perfect for nights in a friends' studio at an art party in the industrial district, a grog of different liquors souring up your guts, laughter ripping through your cheeks, love spreading around the chaos in the kitchen, splashed on to donated canvases, tapped out on to round robin typewriter paper left in an old Selectric in the corner. It's a great party of smart, crazy people recorded onto a CD.

Poet Dan McGuire is the main voice, his last album "Jamnation" highly recommended by cracked-cosmic popmeister Julian Cope in the NME; well, that wasn't preening art-vanity bullshit, apparently. The man's got the goods, talking about his neighbors, strangling cats for scraps, the ghosts of his tenements, his hungry cat, the corner of Madison and Huron, the hungry outside in the hallways, Anne Sexton impersonators, whiskey blind in devil's deals, purple Pintos, praying rats, the absence of bluesmen in a plastic world, et al. There's a bit of Beefheart rhythm in "Punch Out * The Layoff * Gratuity" but for the most part you haven't heard imagery unfolded like this with such confidence. He's no wrist-flipping faux-black slam poet poseur. He's a real writer, a white working class motherfucker with a notebook full of worthy observations.

How worthy? At San Pedro's Karma Studios, Minutemen legends bass god Mike Watt (also: Stooges, kids) and drum demon George Hurley (and fireHOSE, remember them?) and Saccharine Trust's (that group was the most underrated SST band, let-me-tell-you-with-my-finger-in-your-chest) Jack Brewer (guest vocals) back McGuire's inspired flow, as S. Trust's Joe Baiza co-produces (he also knob-kneaded S. Trust's last one).

The next one threatens to have a collaboration with Dave Thomas of Pere Ubu — but don't wait, get these fifteen tracks right now and book that party pronto. Summer's almost gone, brothers and sisters.