As I've said here before, I'm not much of a fan of live albums. Still, every once and a while I hear a live album that reminds me that they're not all rubbish. Voltaire's aptly titled Live! does the trick nicely. Recorded at Austin, this album features a good selection of tracks from Voltaire's full-length albums and (of course) from his sci-fi filk excursions. It should be noted that this is Voltaire solo; no backing band here. Voltaire's voice is in good form, even when he forgets the lyrics to his own songs, and there is something to be said for a performer who can keep your attention with stripped-down versions of his material. It's the "Unplugged effect" for a nerdy, Goth crowd.
The recording is decent and the show sounds like it was a blast to be at. Of course, the "Voltaire live experience" isn't really complete without his between-song banter, which has been preserved here for posterity. (Do I really mean posterity? I don't know; maybe you won't be telling your grandkids jokes about Worf from Star Trek taking a poop.) Don't expect droll political ironies, expect jokes about sodomy and Myspace. Also, expect to laugh wildly. -Jack
Voltaire can make peoples’ blood boil. I don’t mean he has genuine Warlock powers, because as far as I know he hasn’t mastered the Dark Arts that deeply, but he can get people so damn angry. Is it because he’s simply too cheerful for Goth(s), as if his art weren’t dark enough, like the Anti-Liberace? Is it the goatee, or the fact he seems to have left the gypsy violin behind that gets people riled? It’s a rile-making thing which I don’t quite understand. Mind you, his audience actually whoop, which I don’t like. I remember my sense of horror when I went to see Little Feat once and for the first time encountered a crowd with a substantial American contingent, who were whooping, when there was clearly no call. It’s not necessary, and you must please stop it.
So, it’s pretty much a roistering Zest Of selection here, brimming with energy, beginning with a tense, dismissive ‘I Am Rammstein’ which shows how genre-specific his witticisms can be, and I for one felt disgruntled when ‘Bella Morte Girls’ turned out to be a supposed monologue (extended asides would be more pertinent), that was really an intro to the welcome grottiness of ‘Zombie Prostitute.’
‘Brains!’ bumbles along noisily, ‘God Thinks’ has subtle guitar friskiness beneath the comparatively serious tone and ‘Goodnight Demonslayer’ is a cute amble of a father-son item. ‘Comin’ Out For Christmas’ will make you laugh, ‘The USS make-shit-up’ struggles with toilet humour-plus, but then improves massively, although you need to be a ST fan. ‘Sexy Data Tango’ is corny and then there’s endless nonsense about typically uninteresting Star Wars shite, but things take a massive upswing with ‘Cantina’, an epic debauch. ‘The Vampire Club’ is joyously designed to unsettle the po-faced, ‘When You’re Evil’ calms down with a grave demeanour and the circumspect jollity of ‘Hell In A Handbasket’ gives an enthusiastic crowd a cheery farewell for what has been a corny but cute encounter. I’d stil like to see something with a grittier feel if not exactly depth, and we’ll be delving deeply into his new ‘Ooky Spooky’ album this week, so be sure to pop back shortly.
(This is another of those limited edition bargains currently residing in the Projekt store. Go see.)