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George Carver

George Carver and the Modern Agriculture

(Shrub; US: 17 Feb 2009)

Better than Peanut Butter

The six songs on this EP go all over the musical map, from soft jazz to hard rock to classic country to bubble gum pop to urban blues to world rhythms and everywhere in between with a surplus of instrumental chops and fresh, surrealistic lyrics. The intelligence and virtuosity sneak up on you like a hit of acid before transforming the world in front into an entirely different place. George Carver’s voice evokes the authority of the announcer on the television telling you what’s going on, but in this case he informs you that the world has been taking over by apes, love makes people into fools, and reality is stranger than the imagination. The weirdest track is the instrumental “Hershel’s Caddy” that combines country steel guitar riffs with Klezmer horns in a way that would make Eddie Cantor’s Jewish cowboy proud. The five-piece band all take their turn schmoozing with their implements, making musical hooks and going in different directions on every song, but they always return back to the groove.

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Steven Horowitz has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, where he continues to teach a three-credit online course on "Rock and Roll in America". He has written for many different popular and academic publications including American Music, Paste and the Icon. Horowitz is a firm believer in Paul Goodman's neofunctional perspective on culture and that Sam Cooke was right, a change is gonna come.


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