Resident Genius / Howard Zinn - You Can't Blow Up a Social Relationship (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Resident Genius / Howard Zinn

You Can't Blow Up a Social Relationship (2005)


I stumbled across this blasted compact disc in my car stereo after my son had gone off to one of those damn hippie rallies (he was claiming to visit Father Smith to help arrange the letters on the local church sign to 'SUPPORT OUR TROOPS'). It's apparently called a "split CD," since it features two different artists performing respective works.

The first six songs on this album are apparently by some damn, newfangled slow rock band called Resident Genius. Even if they seem like unpatriotic bastards, they're pretty tolerable in my eyes (or ears, rather) musically, sounding like a lighter mix between Defiance, Ohio, and later Common Rider (now, don't think I listen to these bands on my own time, nosiree, this son of mine happened to scatter some of these scraggly looking things around the dash, and being that I like to keep up to date with his interests, gave them a listen). The singer of them makes a statement in the booklet inside the case, too, but all I read was "I'm liberal wahhhhhh." Tracks that bring out the most ire in me include "Dear Mr. President," a lightly strummed number with the band writing a letter and talking about Mr. Bush making foreign enemies. Yeah guys, with terrorists ::insert heavy scoffing::! The other is their last offering, "Distortion, Massachusetts," which ends with some heavily jangled chords and awfully irritating, gravelly yells of "livin' in distortion!"

The next six are by Howard Zinn, a powerful, longtime enemy of mine. But in a friendly, rival sort of manner, though he's made a name for himself while I'm trying to improve my linguistics. They're all spoken word bits per his usual, and I sort of phased out his ramblings for the most part. I suppose it seems like a good reference point for you lefters out there. Might get you thinking. I don't know. Just sounds like Christopher Walken got ahold of some crazy propaganda and went off. No, but, it got me thinking -- about what, I don't neccessarily know or agree -- including bits about a New York Times article highlighting the lack of challenging material facing grade-school students and their consquential apathy / ignorance of U.S. history, America as a country of land and trees and not neccessarily a government, and the always striving effort to improve both.

I guess this would be a good 21st century update on the similarly-themed 1991 split between Bad Religion and Noam Chomsky (I can blame a rebellious, "free-thinking" co-worker for my knowledge on this one). All in all, this disc is pretty un-American, but I suppose if you crazy flag-burning kids like that vibe this'll help the ashes fall quicker.

* - NOTE: I would hope the parodic nature of this came across properly...