Dr. Albert Flipout’s One CAN Band – Don’t You Call My Name
CD: 12 Songs, 44:18 Minutes
Styles: Contemporary Electric Blues-Based Rock, One Man Band
In postmodern parlance, to “flip out” means to go crazy, whether due to stress, elation, anger, lust, or all of the above. Doing so can be good or bad. It’s also what blues purists, and lovers of macabre music, will both do once they hear Dr. Albert Flipout’s One CAN Band. Purists might lose their minds because there aren’t any straight-blues songs on their new CD, Don’t You Call My Name. Where are the traditional rhythms and choral refrains, the songs about being broke, cheating women, and drinking because of them? Guess what? They’re not here. Instead, fans who are more into Blues Traveler (and Tim Burton films) will go absolutely gaga. The twelve original songs performed by this one-CAN-band are a mixture of instrumental insanity and lyrical lunacy. Who is Dr. Albert Flipout, by the way? The can attached to Mickey Pantelous’ left foot, which he uses as a snare drum.
The “Bio” section of Pantelous’ website is an interactive pictorial timeline. This Greek/Danish musician, born in 1973 in Athens, started playing the drums as a schoolboy (second photo). He was in the Royal Danish Air Force and Greek Army, and officially dedicated himself to “the blues” (third pic) in 1990. He played in such bands as Mickey Pantelous & the Magic Session and the Drunk Trunk Blues Trio, as well as making solo appearances. 2006 is when he “first runs into Dr. Albert Flipout” (who sports white hair, white mustache, and googly eyes). He released his first album, Can’t Find My Pills, in 2010 (final picture). Mickey needs to update his timeline to include this wacky, weird, and wonderful trip down Blues Rock Lane.
The good news is that every song is one-of-a kind, lyrically, though some of the instrumentation is basic (such as the electric guitar line on the first track). His talk-singing can sometimes grate, but when you’re a one-man band and juggling all musical aspects in the air, it’s forgivable. Guest musicians include Kostis Vihos and Mark Tallman.
The following songs reveal the most about the blues, and sound most like the blues to purists:
Track 01: “Hanging from the Ceiling” – What’s the last cool song about suicide you’ve heard? For yours truly, it’s “Suicide is Painless,” the theme to M*A*S*H. The album’s opener is a lot grittier, made to set one’s teeth on edge: “See me hanging from the ceiling. Take my body down. My soul’s gone flying, and my feet can’t reach the ground. I tried so hard to find it. It was nowhere to be found.” Pantelous’ guitar solos are terrific, even though the refrain might make you think the CD’s skipping if you listen to it too long.
Track 04: “Jump with the Fish” – This should be on Sirius XM, if not on B.B. King’s Bluesville. It’s too rocked-up. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not catchier than a cold. Its theme is music, and the motive for going into it: “If you’re looking for votes, you should get into politics. And if you want to be a winner, you should get into sports. Music ain’t for competing; music’s for the soul.” Dig that electric guitar and sick beat, and obey Mickey’s command to jump – and dance.
Track 10: “Free the Markets, Slave the People” – Hold on to your hats, folks! This is a frenetic roller-coaster ride of a rock-and-roll roarer: “Free the markets! Slave the people! Let them buy what they want. Let them buy what they think they want. Let them buy what the markets, what the markets told them they want!” Truer words were never spoken, by guitar and hot harmonica.
Don’t You Call My Name will make you flip out, and Mickey Pantelous is a master of musical madness!