CD Cook the Beans (CD 992616),
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Cook the Beans

  • 1. Millennium Dub
    2. Blow 4 Blow
    3. Movin on Up
    4. Dub Fucking Mad
    5. Roastfish Medley
    6. Universal Dub
    7. Murderer
    8. I Like Weed
    9. Wednesday
    10. Long Beach Millennium - (Fox Remix, Fox remix)
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 9003

  • Credits
    EngineerScott Gravois

    Bargain Music: Jeff, Josh, Phil, Sean, Trey, Skelly.
    Personnel: Joe Vazquez (trombone).
    Audio Mixer: Mad Professor.
    Recording information: Chase Dinero Studios, The Bronx, NY (10/31/2000); Del Sonics, Ontario, Canada (10/31/2000); Mambo Studios, Long Beach, CA (10/31/2000); The Bakersfield Reggae Fest, CA (10/31/2000); The Lava Lounge, Long Beach, CA (10/31/2000).
    Something very revealing happens on "Murderer," one of the tracks on Bargain Music's Cook the Beans. Introducing the rock-reggae tune in a faux-redneck voice, lead singer Josh Fischel mentions reggae star Buju Banton as well as some characters from The Dukes of Hazzard. Fischel is being goofy -- this band definitely has a sense of humor -- but he's also telling you a lot about his musical outlook. He's letting you know how eclectic his tastes are, and the word eclectic easily describes Cook the Beans (which contains both live and studio material and was released by the Washington, D.C.-based Beatville label in 2000). During the course of the album, these Southern California alterna-rockers incorporate everything from reggae (an especially prominent influence), soul, funk, jazz, and hip-hop to alternative country. "Blow 4 Blow" is especially hip-hop-minded, while the band's love of reggae asserts itself on "Murderer," "Dub Fucking Mad," and an unlikely cover of "Movin' on Up" (the theme song from the '70s sitcom The Jeffersons). Country isn't as strong an influence as reggae, soul, and funk, but alternative country/No Depression elements do surface on occasion -- and in Fischel's mind, linking country with Jamaican and African-American music makes perfect sense because he sees all of these styles as examples of music that was created by the poor and the working-class. Not that Bargain Music is a band with a heavy sociopolitical agenda. "Murderer" has some serious-minded lyrics, but most of the time Bargain Music's lyrics are about quirky humor -- not fighting the power or trying to save the world. At times, Fischel and his colleagues can be self-indulgent (both musically and lyrically), but overall their creativity serves them well on Cook the Beans. ~ Alex Henderson

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