(I just imitated the entire CD!)

DNA On DNA - No More Records 2004
Rating = 6

I was reading the Hilarious Pages the other day - please note that I don't actively seek out the Hilarious Pages, but whenever somebody leaves a newspaper in the toiletroom, I'll give the Hilariouses a look - and I noticed a new Hilarious called "Pooch Cafe." As you know, I enjoy a good dog humor as far as I can throw one, so I read it with both earnestness and expectation -- all of which was MORE than rewarded as I watched a dog running on two legs with a stick in him mouth, shouting "I'VE GOT THE STICK! I'VE GOT THE STICK!" as three other dogs chased him on two legs each. Then one of the chasing dogs said, "Wait a second! Why are we running ourselves ragged for a lousy stick?" The dog with the stick replied, "You're right. It is kinda stup-," and the dog that had first spoken interrupted, "PSYCHE!," stole the stick in his own mouth and ran away on two legs shouting "I'VE GOT THE STICK! I'VE GOT THE STICK!"

Now see, this is a Hilarious that can be enjoyed for a number of varieties of reasons, one of which is the fact that even though these dogs ran around on two legs like little people, they nevertheless chose to carry the sticks in their MOUTHS like real dogs would, rather than using their hands. A second reason that it's so enjoyable is because it captures and pokes fun at the dog mindset so adorably. I don't know how much time you've spent with my son Henry The Dog, but he LOVES chasing sticks! And when he retrieves one, man does he not want to give it back! One of the few methods that works is to pretend that you're not interested. "Aaaah, who needs a stick? It's just a stick. I'll find a better one." Eventually, thinking you're not interested, Henry The Dog will drop the stick from his mouth -- and you can GRAB IT! PSYCHE!!! So that's why I believe that the author of Pooch Cafe deserves a Book Emmy or whatever fag literary people win.

But Pooch Cafe isn't only about laughter; it also provides a public service. For example, the other day there was one where a dog was saying to the family cat, "How come people always say cats are smarter than dogs? You can't even learn basic commands. Watch this - here kitty! Come here, kitty! See? You don't move!" Overhearing her talking dog (in reality, dogs can't talk but in the world of Hilariouses, they sometimes can), the woman owner replied, "That's a sign of intelligence. They're smart enough to decide not to obey." And here comes the funny, yet educational part: the dog then looks at the fish bowl and says to the goldfish therein, "Then you must be a friggin' genius!" Sure, it's funny and we all laughed for weeks about it down here in the cannery, but also note that, by using the adjective "friggin'," the Hilarious is forcing the reader to acknowledge that female masturbation, as horrible as it is, nevertheless does exist in this society and it's an issue that we must deal with before it gets any more widespread and destroys families and children. Thank you for reading and remember to write in "Anybody With The Last Name Bush" in Nov. '08.

Just as an afterthought here, have any of you ever heard the band DNA? It was this trio and shit who were part of the NYC No Wave semi-movement of the late '70s/early '80s. This movement, led by bands like Mars, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, the Contortions and very early Sonic Youth, revolved around challenging atonal music created by annoying screaming vocalists, high-pitched screaming keyboards, skrankly non-musical electric guitars, bleating saxophones, herky-jerky rhythms and anything else the musicians could find that might sufficiently irritate the listener. The most famous document of this era is a multi-artist LP compiled by Brian Eno called No New York. Parts of it rule smart ass, other parts should hang out with my European friends Fukov and Di.

Which brings us to DNA, a three-piece composed of Japanese-style phlegmy nerdy squealing snuffling gruff muppety vocalist and non-musical electric guitar string-rubber and tinny scratchy noisemaker Arto Lindsay, a female Asian drummer whose style might be called "military" and/or "constantly rolling, coming to a dead stop, and rolling again," and a man who played a fuzzy distorted high-pitched organ (before being replaced by a bassist from Pere Ubu who loved picking back and forth across his strings really really quickly to create an awkward, rubbery "thubbathubbathubba" noise). Their songs were mostly short, with haiku-like and probably meaningless lyrics ("Horse" in its entirety: "Get out of here/Go fuck yourself"), and quite frankly can hardly be called "songs" in the popular sense of the word. They're more like half-written blasts of shambolic rhythms and annoying (challenging) vocal and guitar noise. DNA experimented with structure, ways of approaching traditional rock instruments, mouth noises - everything - and were at their most impressive when discovering and sharing original noises that nobody else would have thought to create with these basic rock instruments. A swooping, ugly organ run repeated over and over becomes a "riff," Arto repeatedly bending the guitar neck to make the strings go "DAAAOOWWWWRRR" becomes a "hot juicy lick," the bass and drum locking into a ridiculously noisy repetitive stop-start loop convert into a "gentle ballad." This is the way of DNA, and the way of DNA is similar to this. This which is the DNA way.

Unfortunately, no matter how many wildass noises there are among these 32 songs, DNA rarely ever actually created a full *song* out of them. Which is fine, of course; nobody ever said songs had to be 4 minutes long with three verses and a chorus. However, they tend to WASTE the other elements of the band during these moments. Like, if the bass and drums are locked in tightly, Arto just fucks around annoyingly. If the keyboardist is doing something cool, nobody else bothers contributing anything. If Arto manages to come up with something wild and fresh, the bassist hits one note and goes shopping for hats. That ain't no band. That ain't no rock and roll band. The result is that they sound supertight yet frustratingly loose at the same time. Even when one or two elements of a "song" sound innovative and exciting, there's always something in there that seems purposely designed to make you take the disc out and stick your dick in its mouth. The first time I listened to it, my wife forced me to turn the fucking thing off halfway through. The second and third times, I made sure to play it while she was either at work or out cheating on me the whore.

This 60+-minute disc includes DNA's debut single, A Taste Of DNA EP, their tracks from No New York and lots of rare live stuff that isn't mixed quite as rip-roaringly crispy (not surprisingly), but still manages to yapzap a few flipdopdiddlydoos. I know it sounds like I'm talking nonsense, but that's how "No Wave" people spoke back in the day. God, I miss that subculture. Dressing in their natty clothes, driving their mopeds, fighting the "rockers." Pete Townshend was right; they WERE quadruplegics.

A big tip of the hat to the following tracks: "You & You," "Not Moving," "Size" (sounds like early THE FALL!), "5:30" (15 minutes late to meet Pete Townshend's quadruplegic hero), "Blonde Red Head" (not the band)(fuckin' band)(person with high voice that might be a guy or a girl), "32123" (AWESOME Rush album), "Taking Kid To School," "Delivering The Good" (sounds like early The Cure!), "Nearing," "Brand New," "Forgery" and "Action."

A disappointed tut-tut to the rollicking tuneless messes entitled: "Egomaniac's Kiss," "Police Chase," "Detached (early version)," "Low" and "Calling To Phone" (although the latter does include the hilarious lyric "Calling to phone/Listening to records/Watching TV/Looking at you/I eat my thumb")

So you see, we may all be composed of DNA, but we don't necessarily need DNA to survive. They had their strengths for darned sure, but anybody not turned off by Arto "Mr. Kamikaze, Mr. DNA" Lindsay's ridiculous histrionics should get their head examined for ticks. In fact, everybody should get their heads examined for ticks. It's tick season and the ticks are out in full force. Especially on heads! They love heads!

That reminds me of a little joke: What's the difference between a tick and Billy Joel?

You can easily get a tick to stop sucking your "tick head," but you'll NEVER get Billy Joel to stop su

Also, ticks write better songs and don't have to check into rehab every fifteen minutes.

Reader Comments

thepublicimage79@hotmail.com (Mike Noto)
Aw, a 6? Darn. I would probably have given it an 8 myself. There is a lot of tuneless stuff, but there is some stuff you just can't beat like "You and You," "Blonde Red Head" (yeah the band named themselves after the song, fucktards - though the singer has a great voice; pity), "Lionel," "Size," (which reminds me - not everything sounds like The Fall, you Mark E. Smith cult member!), "New Fast," "5:30," "Cop Buys A Donut," and "Grapefruit." Damn. Arto is amazing, one of Sonic Tooth's favorite guitarists apparently, and Glenn Branca's favorite. They were all pretty good. The Contortions, though, are the best no wave/funk/mutant disco band ever. Listen to them sometime, people, they deserve you, the listener's, undivided attention, for they gave birth to punk-funk and disco-punk. Led by unadulterated sax-mutilating freak James Chance, they crossed horrifying noise with brilliantly tight funk grooves to produce James Brown-influenced audio sandpaper with more than Oriental splendor.

Well Mark not that I don't hate you with all of my heart and pray constantly that you and everyone you care about get cancer and die after a 10 year long painfull terrible inhuman fight against death, I can't avoid reading you bullshit as much as I have to watch MTV just to fill my hump of hate to the limits.

About DNA: They were one of the most innovative bands ever to surface on this planet of shit. Interesting fact is that most "No Wave" bands couldn't play their instruments so they just went to no ways and ended sounding better then Steve Vai and other Guitar-Heros <- Fact. Arto basicly used a simple trick he just pushed the guitar string down to the Pickups and used a Barre over the 2nd, 3rd and 12st fret. That was it! He played all DNA songs this way. By strangulating the poor guitar those ways the riffs sounded like someone was throwing out glass from the top of a garage. And the Bass and the Drum are limited for a reason. But that is usual for No Wave stuff. It's all aboot the guitar. I'd give it a 9.

I actually enjoy the majority of this one, but it's definitely an acquired taste. Arto's vocals (and Crutchfield's, on a few tracks)should be taken as another instrument rather than as typical rock singing. The instrumentals from the FRUIT OF THE ORIGINAL SIN comp are surprisingly moody and atmospheric, and A TASTE OF DNA is still exciting and radical. However, as I said before, it's not easy to get into, and while I personally give it an 8, a 6 is probably more accurate for most.

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