Alexis Gideon – Welcome Song (2007)
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Alexis Gideon is one-half of Chicago’s preeminent transvestite rap duo, Princess, which is why you’ve probably never heard of him, and why I never would have known about, or listened to, Welcome Song were it not for the heroic efforts of the folks at Sickroom Records. I’m not sure what possessed those good people to think the guy who wrote The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Toto would be able to do justice to an art-damaged schizophrenic bedroom symphony, but I respect their moxie, so I’ve been listening to this record since November, trying to make some kind of suitably pompous rock-critic sense out of it.
No dice. I’d love to be able to channel the spirit of some Sonic Youth-loving Spin intern long enough to put together a Pitchfork-worthy turn of phrase or three regarding these songs, Gideon’s career, his influences, etc., but as far as I can tell, his inspirations are either pharmaceutical or intergalactic in origin. This album couldn’t be more cracked if it was the egg I wrapped in toilet paper and rubber bands and dropped from the bleachers as part of a failed high-school biology experiment. Actually, much like that egg, Welcome Song is an unattractive, yolky mess â€” but done up right, it can make for a nice meal anyway.
In other words, it’s deranged, but cheerfully so, and unless you’re the type of person whose demands for sense and order in music run to the excessively stringent, you’ll be hard pressed not to enjoy Welcome Song on some level. In terms of atmosphere and overall aesthetic, the album isn’t completely dissimilar from the four-track stylings of Michael J. Bowman, or maybe even Goat’s Great Life. Give “Casio Elation (Song 4 Dan Deacon)” (download) and “Triumvirate” (download) a few spins and see what you think.