Sunday, July 17, 2016

THE PARENTALS
“Big Bear Jam-Bor-Ee”
(self-released)




The Parentals don’t care. Because they don’t care, neither do I.

Look, who else is going to make to make “music” like this, huh? Other Californians who like to get high? You think this is funny?

Actually, I do think this is somewhat funny. I warn that you should be stoned out of your gourd in order to enjoy Big Bear Jam-Bor-Ee to its fullest potential (and great title by the way, more on that in a minute), and since I’m an illicit substance teetotaler, I’m not the target audience. Actually, you probably need to be massively stoned to get any enjoyment out of this at all.

That doesn’t mean I don’t get it. Twenty-some years ago I too embarked on a home-recording journey with a friend of mine (and some other friends who happened to be around sometimes), and we basically tried to cover the entire music-genre spectrum in our output, recorded totally Ween-style to a Tascam. We weren’t stoned then, either, but we were hopped up on sugar, like big time.

You don’t want to hear that though, which is why that last paragraph didn’t go on longer than it did. (I could go on, if you want me to.) The Parentals gang – Thomas, Lawrencio, Victor, Estela, and Monserratt – decamped to a cabin in Big Bear, California (hey, title!), and recorded weird little snippets of “songs” and released them on tape. Probably good that there’s only forty copies – if they have forty friends, there goes the pressing! No need for a redo.

What makes Big Bear Jam-Bor-Ee remotely interesting as an artifact is that clearly some thought went into its manufacture. Take the song titles, for instance. The tape starts off with “Personal Hotspot Part Deux,” followed by “Personal Hotspot Part Hoo,” but there’s no “Personal Hotspot Part Un”! Those crazy kids. The tracklist is scrawled on the back like an old Beck or Grandaddy tape, and other funny song titles include “Hip Hop Harry” (which is forty seconds of awful), “Hoo Hee hoo Hah,” “Hee-Haw BBQ Pep Rally 2009,” and “Indian Bernie Sanders.”

The front cover has features funny review blurbs, which are entertaining. Donald Trumpets says, “This is my favorite album of 2015!” The Onioner says, “Just listen.” Read into my definition of “entertaining” what you will.

The songs on the other hand? I’m giving more thought to this review than the songs were given in their creation, and that’s being generous, I think. The further I listen down the tracklist, the more unlistenable it gets. I got as far as “Hoo Hee Hoo Hah” before I had to turn it off. Joke’s on me. But hey, again, target audience and all that.

The Rolling Stoner says, “Children’s music for dumb people.” My tagline? “Dumb music. Not for children. Or people.”

The Parentals


--Ryan Masteller

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