“Can’t Take the Country Out of the Boy”
(Friendship Tapes)

Free jazz in the spirit of lo-fi punk, with tape manipulations. Raw and clangorous. The liner notes suggest a sort of new age psychiatry vibe. In fact, the deluxe handmade packaging somewhat outshines the recordings, between the funny enigmatic liner notes and a hodge-podge of imagery that defies expectations. The strange photo of an assembled plate of food on the edge of a sink is a nice corollary to the music, because they both strike me as documents of raw living. I look at the photo and – through the haze of human experience that separates me from the artist – I see a moment in Andy Allen’s life, his creative process, his prepared meal. Maybe it was delicious, maybe it was gross, but it was definitely the real raw-dog deal. The excitement involved in seeing that red plate of food perched at the edge of the sink is a natural equivalent to making “music for prescribed proportions w/ flexible content” out of bleating woodwinds and fast-forwarding cassette machines. Testify!

-- Kevin Oliver