Bobby Conn : The Golden Age

Tuneful perversity from post-rock oddball..

When an artist’s own press release describes him as a “fucking prick”, you have

to take notice. Bobby Conn is a very strange, short man from Chicago who has been making odd, pop-like noises on the fringes of the American post-rock scene for the last

three years. ‘The Golden Age’ is his third album proper and, assisted by Jim

O’Rourke and Tortoise‘s John McEntire, it sounds like a glam-rock Prince with

mental problems.

Conn’s unique musical vision comprises straddles the previously unconnected

worlds of Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie, falsettoing soulster Curtis Mayfield and

the vintage AM radio rock of Journey and Rush. Confused? Well, maybe that’s the point. With Conn’s fixations with homosexuality, prostitution and golf smeared all over it, ‘The Golden Age’ runs the fine-line between pastiche and lunacy with masterful ease.

While Beck‘s Prince album, ‘Midnite Vultures’, was a passable homage to the tiny

one, Conn’s approximately equivalent work spins the same combination of funk,

jazz and debauched lyrical content on an entirely different axis. Pretty

disturbing it is, too.

Conn sounds like a total mentalist, but with the heroic ‘Whores’ and ‘Angels’,

at least he’s a mentalist who can write a tune or two. As “fucking pricks” go,

pretty superb, all told.

Jim Wirth