May 10, 2010

Kevin Dunn//20,000 Years in Sing Sing

Prison Mail, Monday Mail:
What is Monday Mail?

About a month ago, this dude Brad from Casa Nueva Industries wrote to me about some guy named Kevin Dunn. Never heard of him, but I was intrigued. Read on:

On May 18, Casa Nueva is releasing our biggest project yet: No Great Lost: Songs, 1979-1985, a definitive anthology of new-wave/post-punk provocateur Kevin Dunn. Based out of Atlanta, Dunn was one of the most influential and innovative figures on the fertile southern new wave scene. He co-founded the legendary outfit The Fans, who were among the first new-wave bands in the southeast and a favorite of REM's Peter Buck. When the Fans broke up in 1979, he went on to a distinguished career as a solo artist and producer. He co-produced the B-52's seismic "Rock Lobster" 45, as well as the debut 45 and LP by the beloved Athens band Pylon. As a solo artist, he made demented art-pop of the highest order, blending thick slabs of processed guitars, analogue synths, and deliriously unstable bass lines to surprisingly hooky melodies and ingenious, multi-layered lyrics.

Upon hearing No Great Lost, Robert Schneider of Apples In Stereo enthused: "Snotty, literate pop from this underground master of the post-punk era, sounding like the missing link between Brian Eno circa Tiger Mountain, and XTC circa Drums and Wires – while also truly ahead of its time, like it could have been recorded by kids today. Oozing with angular hooks, synth bleeps and fuzz guitar wizardry, a compilation of songs that should be – and will be, and already are – classics.”

Well, first of all, "Rock Lobster" is one of my favorite B-52s jams. And second of all, excuse me, Rob Schneider? The missing link between Eno’s Tiger Mountain and XTC? This is such a borderline obscure reference that I barely understand what you’re talking about. Or maybe "obscure" is the wrong word. Eno and XTC aren't exactly terribly obscure. Perhaps the right word is specific. That's an awfully SPECIFIC missing link. Regardless, sounds cool, right? THIS ALL SOUNDS SO COOL!

And it does sound cool because cool is how New Wave is supposed to sound and this guy was obviously some kind of underground under-recognized New Wave pioneer type. No covered wagons here, folks. Just keytars. Yes.

If you watched as much Law and Order SVU as I do, you’d know that 20,000 years in Sing Sing is a long, long time. Hard to say what exactly landed the narrator of this song in that particular upstate correctional facility for so long, but whatever it was, it was caught on tape.

Apparently Mr. Kevin McFoy Dunn is still alive and well, although no longer making music. Learn more about The No Great Lost project here.

20,000 Years in Sing Sing.mp3

20,000 years in Sing Sing,
Do you think you can last?

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