Of poetry, spoken word, or music, Spielgusher can be best described as poetry with an ambiance of bass, guitar and drums. Famed music journalist and Blue Oyster Cult mentor Richard Meltzer (who bunked with Blue Oyster Cult for a while and wrote “Burning For You”), recites his odd, socially diseased diatribes as Mike Watt (Minutemen, The Stooges) on bass, Hirakata “Shimmy” Shimzu on guitar, and Yuko Araki on drums (who both played in Japanese artist Cornelius’s band), create an alternative universe of cosmic blues-rock that fits rather succinctly into his twisted pornographic observations.
Here’s one non-pornographic “poem” called “The Man Who Thought Death Was Dying” in its entirety: “If I only had to wash the upper half or lower half of my body, I would take more showers. I bet you didn’t know I only take one every other day.”
Add the fact that Meltzer delivers his words as if he has a metal plate permanently lodged in his forehead and you may want to politely toss your listening ears into his Salvation Army coin kettle and quietly move along.
Yet, as if through some manipulative power of poetic persuasion, somewhere between “Fuck Awareness Week” (track 9) and “Tropic of Nipples” (track 41) in this 63-track CD of musings and music, a true art emerges. It’s suggested here that the commonest language from the lowest street trash philosophy speaks volumes. In Meltzer’s sordid world of body waste flow and nonchalant menace (ex. “Fuck My Sister”) he unleashes an intimacy of animal-like urges, as if reciting from a crude room in a downtown hotel, that are as disturbing and familiar as our deepest thoughts and fears.
Not many sympathizers will be pro-activated by his views on child abuse: All parenting is abusive; depriving children of pornography is abusive; teaching a child the concept of heaven and hell is abusive and should be punishable by a lifetime on a chain gang (“Red Herring”). But, it’s pause for a sober moment’s thought.
Nor will many be romantically inclined by his valentine to love, in which his beloved waits on her menstrual cycle before sitting on his face (“Premenstrual”). But there is no denying the sloppily pronounced “dar-ling” and “lo-ve,” as if using all effort to stop his tongue from slipping out his mouth, speaks from the hungry and poetic heart.
And the music seems keenly aware of Meltzer’s warped yet not insensitive point-of-view.
Spielgusher is 27 years overdue as ’80s hardcore punk legends Minutemen had planned to collaborate with Meltzer in 1985 before Minutemen guitarist D. Boon was killed in an automobile accident.
It’s better late than never, and given Meltzer’s penchant for death-affirming issues, not a moment too soon. Meltzer’s own words provide an invitation to a session with Spielgusher: “Be playful, be generous, invite snails into your home and offer them beer.”.