Various Artists Like a Girl, I Want You To Keep…

Via Chicago Tribune

By Bill Wyman

Like a Girl, I Want You To Keep Coming (Rough Trade) (STAR) 1/2

``Challenging`` is the polite way of describing New York performance artist-poet-songwriter John Giorno`s latest amalgamation of artsy posturing and noisy pretentiousness. The nine selections here have no unifying theme or reason behind them-thus we get a diatribe against anti-drug hysteria from William Burroughs cheek-by-jowl with cute cricket sounds by Talking Head and artiste-at-large David Byrne. (``I have attempted a trompe l`oeil audio effect.``) Elsewhere, we get traditional Haitian music as interpreted by former Blondie singer Debbie Harry, with predictably embarrassing results. (Why can`t we have traditional Haitian music without Debbie Harry?) There are also some unpleasant, heavy-metalish rock songs by the likes of punk poet Henry Rollins and Giorno himself, and a typically scabrous standup routine from comedienne-cum-blowtorch Karen Finley. The album`s best cut has the feel of a ringer: It`s a very cool version of the Velvet Underground`s ``Sister Ray,`` performed live by English synth group New Order. It`s more than just a cover: New Order`s predecessor, gloom-rockers Joy Division, recorded their own live version nearly 10 years ago. With a simple choice of song the group manages to encompass 20 years of rock `n` roll, suggesting continuity and strength along with the pain. (Joy Division`s singer, Ian Curtis, committed suicide.) The rest of the record does nothing of the sort.

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