Les Craypool presents Gabby La La – Be Careful What You Wish For
CD Review by Ray D'Ariano

8/2005


         



Track listing
1.
Be Careful What You
Wish for 'Cause It
Might Come True
2.
Backpack
3.
Golden Flea
4.
In Dreams
5.
Boogie Woogie Man
in a Black Dress
6.
Walkie Walkie
Walkie
7.
Butter and Eggs
8.
Twins
9.
  In and Out of
Dreaming
10.
  Pirates
11.
  Little Fortune Cookie
12.
  Elf

Label: Prawn Song
Release Date:
June 14, 2005

 

   

OK . . . the name . . . OK . . . hits me as an unconventional thing . . . Peculiar, like a Tiny Tim, woman must be some sort of a nut . . . it's a joke, right? Don't know, maybe I'm wrong.

I remember a real old cowboy named Gabby Hayes who was in the Roy Rogers (King of the Cowboys) pictures. He was the comic relief, which reminds me, what ever happened to Comic Relief? Did Billy Crystal and Whoopee actually end the homeless problem in the U.S? Just asking and while I'm at it . . . Live 8 was just alright with me (although the TV coverage on MTV, VH1 and ABC sucked. Great group of VJ's ya all got on the tube there these days. Where's Martha Quinn?) Anyway I loved Deep Purple from Canada and the whole message…get some aid over to people who need it in Africa…no brainer. Why not, but, what about the children who go to bed hungry right here in the good old U.S.A. every night? Only act I know who care about this are The Oak Ridge Boys, God Bless 'em. They've done TV specials in support of Feed The Children, an organization whose U.S. program is distributing food to needy families. Go on, send 'em a few bucks: www.feedthechildren.org

Anyway, back to this review and the artist's name. I don't know if Gabby La La took her name from Gabby Hayes, but I know that she's the only other person I have ever heard of with that handle. The La La part? Beats me . . . La La land? Or maybe her name was inspired by old school R&B….that old tune from The Delfonics? La La La La La La La La La Means I Love You. Then again it just may be her family name. "Lucy, the La La's are coming over for canasta." Of course, but it's probably just some contrived show biz or trippy or kitschy deal she came up with to be different and stand out from the pack. The danger here, of course, is becoming the Cindy Lauper of the 2000's, unless that is one's goal, and if it is, well, ok, but one Cindy Lauper is enough for anyone's lifetime…don't 'cha think? Nothing against Ms.Lauper, in fact I loved her video work with the great Captain Lou Albano in the 80's, and best wishes and good vibrations go out to both her and the Captain who is recovering from a heart attack.

Enough on the name. Gabby is an attractive young Asian woman. Well maybe she's not Asian, maybe she's Peruvian. That's why I say Asian looking. I made some late night phone calls to the staff and I checked about how I would describe her in a politically correct manner and, well, anyway, this is what we came up with. She sings with a tiny voice that's a cross between Marilyn Monroe and Betty Boop. I guess she's really a cross between Mariyln and whoever did the voice of Betty Boop. Rather than Google it and doing all that research, I'll leave it at that and trust that you get the general idea.

I had the pleasure of seeing Ms. La La on two occasions. First time opening for Col. Claypool's Bucket Of Bernie Brains at Roseland. That info right there should give you a big clue to the type of artist I'm describing here. I mean, if I said I saw her open for Velvet Revolver at Irving Plaza or Don Henley and Stevie Nicks at Jones Beach you'd kind of say . . . OK . . . she's opening for them so she must be kind of in that bag, right? Then again, Jimi Hendrix once opened for The Monkees, so I guess you never know. Speaking of The Monkees, I almost MC'd a show starring Davy Jones from The Monkees with Pete Best of The Beatles opening for him, but the guy who asked me to do it didn't have any bread for an MC. Hey, this ain't no pro/am tournament! Jones and Best, and the stagehands, and the sound guy, and the cops, and everybody else are getting paid. What am I wood? Anyway I thought it was an interesting bill – a guy who was a real Beatle opening for a guy who was a fake Beatle – The Pre-Fab Four, right? I would have enjoyed talking to Best. My God, the guy's got to be the biggest loser in the history of rock and roll. He played for 8 hours a night as a member of The Beatles in those dive bars in Germany and then ten minutes before they hit the big time – Ed Sullivan, Beatlemania, all that – he got fired. Wow what a bummer.

"So Pete how did you feel when The Beatles exploded and became the greatest act in the history of show biz?"

"Just gear Mate! I felt so good for the lads. They deserved it."

Right, so what have we learned from this? Two things for sure: Jimi Hendrix and Pete Best both opened for Davy Jones. Here's a bonus fact…Davy Jones was in the cast of the musical Oliver and was on the same Ed Sullivan Show that The Beatles debuted on. So even Jones was there . . . in 64 . . . in New York . . . while Pete Best was . . . well, God knows where he was. Today, in August '05 (and this won't last) he's part of a great trivia question answer: How many Beatles are still alive? Before you start tossing that one around, remember you may have a hard time collecting on the bet because most people never heard of Pete Best.

The second time I saw Gabby she was with Les and a bunch of others on stage at The Theater in Madison Sq. Garden for the 2005 Jammy Awards. I like her and on the title track she dispenses good advice, "Be careful, be careful at whatever you do." Better to be safe than sorry, right? We've got a tune that sounds like The Munchkins at a poetry slam in Fargo with Claypool's bass, like an Olympic sprinter being chased by the cops in the subway, running under the whole thing. I hear a cha cha cha on the end, but it's not really there.

Backpack is the second cut. Gabby on ukulele and vocals, Les on bass, don't know who the percussionist is, but I'll bet you a hundred bucks it's not Pete Best. Wouldn't it be funny if Pete worked with her for 5 years at poetry slams all over North Dakota and then got canned just before this CD was released? Funny in an ironic way, not a funny . . . ha ha deal. Anyway she sings, "Once I encountered a little man. They say, run after him, he's a leprechaun. I wasn't searching for no pot of gold, but by the time I found him I was very old." And I go . . . ok . . . and think back to Randy Newman and "Short People," and realize I too am getting old. In fact, the type face for the lyrics . . . white on a pink back ground . . . are really hard for this guy ,who was 15 the night Pete Best missed the Sullivan gig, to read. The Beatles without Pete and posing as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band were first to print lyrics on the sleeve, but it was an album, not a mini CD package. This to me is a flaw with this and many other new releases, but back to the song. Gabby does a tasty little rap break in the middle and a tasty razzle dazzle bass line wraps the thing up. Good cut and the rest of the CD is too.

You get Golden Flea with Gabby on sitar. I've seen her with it on stage and she plays it like a guitar – George Harrison lives. (or is rolling over in his grave . . . depends how you look at it). Wait, hold it right there man. Let's get to the bottom line. Before I read another word of this so-called review, I gots to know! Is this all some kind of a weird put on? The answer is yeah! Put it on your God damn iPod and don't resist the new! It's different, sure. You want more of the same, check out John Mellencamp or somebody like that, ok.

Next up, In Dreams. How about The Shangri-la's, 1962 with an Italian flavor. There is a little Roy Orbison vocal over her flowing accordion . . .

WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!!!!!!!!

The CD, what?

DID YOU, LIKE EAT TWO MUSHROOMS OR SOMETHING?

No, nothing, ok, a Diet Coke. This is a, you know, different kind of CD. I'm trying to use words to convey that to the readers, ok?

FINE.

Thanks. Next is Boogie Woogie Man In The Black Dress. Ms. La La's still got a squeeze box that she wears on her chest and I guess with that title you've finally got the full picture of what we're dealing with here. Frank Zappa did not die in vain!!!! The cigarettes did not kill the beast, beauty killed the beast. "Call any vegetable and the chances are the vegetable will respond to you." Get it now??? If you don't, might as well stop reading this right now. Why not check out the Best of the Best section. Read about uh, Johnny Maestro, uh, Clapton, uh somebody like that. It's all good. It's the best!

If you're still here I'll tell you about Walkie Walkie Walkie which is next, a sexy little number on which Ms. La La switches back to the ukulele and sings "Too many sweets brush your teeth" Zappa? Hey, wait, maybe I missed the point. This sounds more like Brian "I Am The Genius" Wilson during his Johnny Carson/Airplane phase. Does that make Gabby a genius too? Somebody call Charlie Rose. We need to get to the bottom of this.

Butter & Eggs sounds like we're in France somewhere and there's that accordion and the whole tempo change and it's Paul McCartney . . . "Drink to me drink to my health you know I can't drink anymore." Wow, she's a combo of Marilyn Monroe, Betty Boop, Frank Zappa, Brian Wilson and Paul Mc Cartney. This is my favorite cut. Reminds me of Mary Hopkin. Love how Gabby sings "guess we'll never no oh oh." There are five more cuts here so I'll quit with this one which is my fave.

This CD is not for everyone, but then again the last Springsteen CD was not for everyone either. This CD is fun and if you are interested in traveling to another dimension check it out. It would be too easy to dismiss it as some kind of crazy joke. It belongs in that spot in your collection where you keep B52 CDs and The Mother Of Invention's Freak Out. This ain't no disco, although there does seem to be a lot of fooling around. This is 2005's version of those kind of "take no prisoners, we're here to liberate the masses" kind of records. The fact is, it's so new and fresh that the public probably aren't ready for it, but you know, that's just tough. It is now and Les Claypool Presents Gabby La La. Be Careful What You Wish For is a fantastic accomplishment.

 
       


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