Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Insect Trust: Hoboken Saturday Night [Atco, 1970]
Thomas Pynchon, Louis "Moondog" Hardin, and an unidentified child (who else would say "busketty" for "spaghetti"?) are among the guest composers, Elvin Jones and an unidentified child among the guest musicians. Former president James Garfield makes a cameo appearance. Vocalist Nancy Jeffries applies her tobacco voice to a feminist lyric called "Trip on Me" that I recommend to Janis Joplin. The blues scholars in the group have been listening to a lot of Arabic and Eastern European music lately, but this doesn't stop Elvin Jones from sounding just like Elvin Jones. In short, these passionate humanists also sound friendly and have come up with a charming, joyous, irrepressibly experimental record. And every experiment works. A