Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Neil Hamburger - Hamburger Remembers Nixon

(I Don’t Feel A Thing, 2002)

On previous Neil Hamburger records, the joke has typically been the FAILURE or the PERVERSION of the joke itself. But on this commemorative single (sold in patriotic red, white, and blue vinyl editions at the Phoenix Greyhound Park on July 4, 2002), the joke is the utter LACK of any joke, as Hamburger gives a straight reading of excerpts from four famous Richard Nixon speeches over solemn background music. Even long-term fans who wink and giggle smugly at the comedian’s pathetic, sad-sack crowd-baiting / crowd-screwing will likely find themselves annoyed and confused by this one, and for that reason it is perhaps the ULTIMATE Neil Hamburger record. If a guy can make you shell out for – and LAUGH with – multiple intentionally lousy albums and singles, and he can then take it to the next level by pissing YOU off… well, that’s what you grudgingly gotta call true sand and true genius, friends.

And wait! What if you recognize all of this and STILL enjoy the record, enjoy getting spit on, like I apparently do…? Dunno. But that’s some real mess.

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