Profundity wrapped in absurdity is exactly what we crave from one and only punk jazz visionary Mike Dillon. In one way or another, each of the 14 tracks comprising his latest offering, Life Is Not A Football, live up to that archetype. It’s Dillon’s third release in less than 12 months, following his previous solo recording, Functioning Broke, and the debut LP, Dogs, by Nolatet—his modern jazz quartet with Brian Haas, James Singleton and Johnny Vidacovich. This time around, the New Orleans-based vibraphonist/percussionist/vocalist presents the current configuration of The Mike Dillon Band.
A recording with the Big Easy coursing through its veins and equal parts Frank Zappa and The Butthole Surfers in its DNA, Life Is Not A Football is a no-holds-barred affair, complete with rallying cries for justice, truth-to-power political and existential rants and plenty of inside jokes. Dillon and company seethe, stutter, glide, pummel, prank and rage, often all at once on tracks like “Robo Tripping Vikings,” “Speed Trap” and “Iggy In the Van.” Drummer Matt Chamberlain joins the proceedings on the industrial-funk anthem “Man Cunt,” while Dillon’s longtime mallet compatriot Earl Harvin adds marimba to the title track.
“This is a punk-as-fuck record with lots of social commentary. These are songs about the acceptance of life, love and death,” explains Mike Dillon. “At 50, you are either cool with the impermanent nature of the universe, or you start a life of serious meds and booze-infused denial. Songs like ‘Cremate Me,’ ‘Man Cunt’ and ‘Friendship’ deal the happy little deaths that occur daily.”
Royal Potato Family