I’m sendin’ this one out to Mr. Brainpang, as he is somewhat of an authority on mad genius where musicality is concerned.Just when I think I’ve plumed the very depths of self-styled outsider music, the bedrock beneath me gives way and I find myself in the company of yet another schizophrenic with a guitar, only this time he’s plugged in and he’s co-opted Roky Erikson’s mullet.
That last comparison, in particular, is fairly accurate for if I had to explain D.C’s Butch Willis and the Rocks, it would be that through some as-yet unknown providence, not one, but two Roky Erikson’s just happened to develop organically and wholly independent of one another on opposite sides of the continent; the prior, having become the poster child for psychedelia; the latter, being perhaps most famous for practically burning down a local cable access show with a faulty smoke machine (See: Below)
Makes me wonder if Henry Rollins will get around to replacing ole’ Butchee’s teeth as well.
Seriously though, the two sound identical, actively deal w/ the same neurological impairments and are generally singing about nothing that resembles reality as I understand it.
What makes this revelation even stranger is that the enclosed tracks were discovered on a sleeveless LP in a Redbank NJ thrift shop, far from its native DC and wholly out of place amongst myriad copies of the Firestone Christmas album and Psalms for Children. How did it get there? What kind of financial hardships would prompt someone to jettison this jewel of dementia for pennies on the dollar when it cultural value is immeasurable? Either way I am willing to take the blessing as it comes, though the journey says much more than the ultimate destination. Even the albums title ‘Of’ evokes mystery; walking a fine line between brilliant existentialism and the kind of head scratching that continually moves us record misanthropes forward…albeit by shorts steps.
I will now give you a moment to mentally prepare yourself…
Short Steps - Butch Willis (& the Rocks)
Be the 23rd Rocker - Butch Willis (& the Rocks)
I Want'a Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star - Butch Willis (& the Rocks)