Saturday, September 17, 2011

Jack Starr - Born Petrified

Not to be confused with the guy from Virgin Steele, this Jack Starr is a Texas-bred rockabilly outsider and monster-movie director, famed for his dark, twisted music and larger-than-life persona.   A marvel of ingenuity, this album reflects the duct-taped mentality one would assume prevailed upon his seemingly lost filmography as well: glaringly home-made, using an old bathtub as an echo chamber, varying wildly in quality and length, at once charming and unsettling.  Given a dusty ambiance by the tinny, distant sound and Starr's nasally wail, the songs float among a sea of hiss and ectoplasm, sounding a good thirty years older than their sixties vintage. 

It's the little seat-of-the-pants details that really give the record depth - for example, "Done Away With the Mean Old Blues" contains a middle passage that sounds like Starr playing piano with one hand and slapping his leg in counter-rhythm with the other.  Occasionally the recording descend into frenzied gibberish worthy of Men's Recovery Project at their most obtuse.  Other moments offer pure, fragile beauty and joy.  And then there's the songs about vampires and shit, those are good too.


  1. Thank you for saying such awesome things about Jack Starr :) He'd eat it up if he were here!



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