At heart, Mister Entertainment, Brian McCarty, is Show-People. An icon of the underground punk and trashy-glam scene, the former Trash Brat is equally adept at writing tear-in-your-beer, old time country. This record spills over with weary nods to "real folks" storytellers like, Seger, Kristofferson, Prine, and Willie Nelson. Other tunes are shot-through with vivid bursts of that all-too-familiar Motown Soul. Various musical bits hearken back to Stax/Volt, soul-man horns, moonshine porchswings; seventies bubblegum, Archie Bell & The Drells, Elvis funk, Vegas kitsch, Gram Parsons-style torch songs, and maybe even a few scattered glints of... EMO!
Brian O'Blivion's got decades of up-close and personal field-study under his Evil Kenevil belt-buckle, observing the dangers of dwelling too-long on the edge of the spot-light. "Neon Mirage" is a heart-felt offering about the friendship-eroding effects of glory-whoring and ruthless lifestyle-chasing, in this opportunistic age, when no one has the guts to stand up for anything beyond the immediate gratifications of doing Coke In The Girl's Room and having their picture taken. It's a wonderful and maybe even important song that's a little reminiscent of the Rolling Stone's "Fool to Cry".
"Outrunning The Ghosts" is a minor lyrical-masterpiece about the weight of our memories and the accompanying decay of our youthful idealism that invariably accelerates the aging-process. It's about how easy it is to get sucked-in by all the pretty lights and hollow promises of these hypno-screens, that have long replaced the family hearth in today's modern "Go Corporate or Go Home"-crazed culture. He doesn't think it's a good idea to lose touch with what we really value, real music, real relationships, real emotions, real experiences, LOVE and real friends, all for the sake of remaining numb and uninvolved, and perhaps occasionally, receiving some typically ambitious self-promotional spam from a random Suicide Girl on-line.
Brian's a deep cat, I keep tellin' people. He's the sorta fella who's as comfortable hangin' out around the campfire with Tom Waits or David Lee Roth, and he's probably brought his own stack of Don Ho records to the party, so be forewarned. There's likely an accordion or mandolin in his suitcase, somewhere. He's like a less-conservative Wayne Newton, backed-up variously by Johnny Thunders or the Jordanaires. A serious song-writer first but also a song and dance man. All tap-shoes with spats and a dusty pork-pie hat. O'Blivion's a throwback to the original Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time-Players, Dean Martin, Liberace, or someone who sold your Gran that big clunky 50's vacuum-cleaner that still works.
This CD would be worth seeking-out if only for the above-mentioned songs and the charming "She's Playing For Keeps, I'm Playing For Tips"; about the challenges of balancing a life on the road with a wife and kid.
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! Politico-bluegrass, stripped-down at the kitchen table, low-fi blues, compassion for the troops, personality-to-burn, clever rhymes and a genuinely likable comedic persona that deserves a variety show of his own on a cutting-edge cable channel. You could easily see this cat helping to revive "Saturday Night Live", especially by showcasing his catchy and thought-provoking songs like "Pharisee".
A TRASH BRAT for grown-ups,
and even summa the rest of us grown-up-wrongs. Brian McCarty is a thoughtful
social commentator and all-around-entertainer. This latest solo LP ain't for
everybody, just for people who like to be entertained: "leisure-oriented
jeans-wearers of all ages".
by (Courtney Hate)
Visit the Brian McCarty Website
Visit the Rank Outsider Records Website