(Drag City, 1996)
I’ve collected a few of these “open-ended interviews” through the years – offhand, I know that I own such recordings by luminaries ranging from the Beatles to Burt Reynolds – and I’ve always wondered how pathetic and ridiculous a DJ needs to be in order to actually conduct one of these phony conversations. Seems like real rock-bottom absurdity. Is there ANY way to maintain your pride after going on the air, reading from a label-provided script, and then pretending to react to pre-recorded answers? Sad and bizarre. So I guess that makes this vinyl micro-genre a natural fit for Neil Hamburger, who sent out promo copies of this 7”-plus-script package to radio stations in support of his America’s Funnyman album. There are a few witty responses/jokes from Neil, but most of the laughs exist in his tweaking of the format, as the record’s dead air bears little relation to the length of time you, the DJ, actually need in order to read the provided questions; as Neil gives insanely vague responses that make the interview semi-applicable to every possible city; and, best of all, as his spoken bits offer dirty anatomical innuendo when heard minus the script. Overall, a worthwhile obscurity that fits snugly into the larger Hamburger/Amarillo trash-mythos.