On My Turntable: Bumblefoot – Little Brother Is Watching

CD Artwork Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal’s latest album is batshit crazy.

And I love batshit crazy. Ween was batshit crazy, Primus, Faith No More, my favorite Beatles songs. Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell is the most lunatic, unhinged album to ever sell tens of millions of copies. David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs, with its creepy obsession with Big Brother. Rocks greatest moments border on madness, tongues planted firmly in cheeks.

Little Brother is Watching belongs in that company: weird, paranoid, and most importantly good. The songs are hooky, and Thal’s guitar playing is absolutely brilliant. It should be: The guy has been teaching guitar since he was 13 years old. Even now, after a successful career as Axl’s sideman in Guns N’ Roses, Bumblefoot teaches music production at SUNY Purchase College.

So what’s the conceit here? When the video debuted back in January, Thal told Yahoo:

Orwell’s 1984 told of a futuristic Totalitarian state with a constant eye watching over the masses: ‘Big Brother Is Watching You.’ From those pages to our reality, we live the unwritten sequel, where we have access to technology allowing us to do the watching,” he explains. “We the people, ‘little Brother,’ are the surveillance of the government, the police, each other, and ourselves.

Little Brother walks the line between concept record and theater piece; in fact, I’d love to see this turned into some kind of deranged musical stage show. The idea isn’t farfetched: Thal has scored films and written music for several television shows.

You can download Little Brother Is Watching at all of the big online retailers, or even better: Pick up a CD copy at his online store.


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