Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bob Dey's Tank Engine Man - Bob Dey's Dream

A hilariously-narrated concept cassette about the life happenings of the clueless, absentminded Mark Jumper. (Also periodically referred to as Mr. Talent.)

Bob Dey’s Dream
documents the droll antics of Mark Jumer as he attends a party he apparently wasn’t invited to, performs a brief on-the-spot set at said party, and then loafs around eating cake. Side B explores “extreme places of the mind,” as Mr. Talent falls ill and totally TRIPS OUT after his post-partying stagger home.

Even from the very onset of the tape, the line begins to blur regarding what is reality and what is a dream—a perpetual question that is obviously not made any easier by the tape’s absurdist nature.

It’s like someone got locked into the school band room for the duration of summer vacation and got so bored they decided to use ALL the instruments they could find (and a pencil sharpener and some Funyuns bags) to make a cassette. The tape’s timeline perfectly chronicles the onset of their dementia, and becomes weirder and weirder as they start foaming at the mouth and their brain turns into oatmeal.

This is by far the wittiest tape I’ve heard to date. The dialogue is spot-on and gelastic, and includes lines which are either downright ridiculous, or which show evidence of flirting with brilliance. You be the jury. Take for example the following selections which I have hand-picked from a collection of quotes about whales, which are all set to a lovely sitar piece on Side B:

“Blue whale breath is far fouler after they’ve eaten. It not quite as offensive as grey whale breath, but it’s still very strong.”

“Aaaaaaah the grey whale! The grey whale… is the largest living automobile on the planet. That is why is sometimes called “The Whale Crowned.”

“The children [whales] too wear the velvet covers of their parents…”

“The grey whale can eat up to four ocean worms a day.”

Bob Dey’s Dream is clever and forward-thinking, with enough wry cake jokes to last a lifetime. The world would be a better place if people made more music like this.

(Bob Dey's Dream can be found on the Chicago-based PlusTapes label.)

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