San Fran Smartass Takes on Fist Dumplings and Gordon Lightfoot


Elsewhere he constructs field-recording documentaries from the Middle East and Southeast Asia, but on Porest’s Prude Juice for the Heritage Swinger, Mark Gergis splices Negativland-styled agrarian-to-urban ethnographical montage and fittingly co-releases it on Seeland, the U2 tape-suffragists’ own post-SST label. A founding member of SF Bay genre-bending pranksters Mono Pause, Gergis lets rip with spliced ha-ha salvos—nostalgic recounting of fist dumplings shifts into a Vienna Actionist’s first-person tale of sodomizing and dismembering his wife; a San Fran yuppie crushes out on “cool” Nazis and designer coffee. More subtly, “Fought for ME” unmasks solipsism behind anti-war folkies and “Skin Bitch” turns Gordon Lightfoot’s “Sundown” into misogynist shit talking: “I hurled up my skin bitch and she’s not lovin’ nothing/Some men petition when I hit her in the nose.”

When Howie Stern playfulness falls Jerky Boy flat, fuzzy instrumentals keep things afloat: Sun City Girls raga, Thinking Fellers angularity, Philip Jeck gamelan, farm-animal choirs, Raymond Scott interludes, raucous Borbetomagus hip-hop, and looped washes of layered shortwave, synthesizer, and processed percussion disguised as indie rock. Without these breath-catching bridges, the whole shebang would be morning-show obnoxious. Pauses in place, it’s a pleasing Folkways rarity spit out by Pierre Henry.