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CD Review: Samuel Claiborne's "Love, Lust, and Genocide" 

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Rosendale's Samuel Claiborne came out of the '80s No Wave scene in New York, most notably as lead guitarist in the band Things Fall Apart. Although it's his solo sophomore effort, Love, Lust, and Genocide is much more on-the-sleeve lyrically and musically, the nine Morphine-esque rock tunes are littered with schizophrenic dustings of horns, strings, and spoken word. "21st Century War" features Senegalese vocal stylings by Mamadou Diate and plays like a mockumentary mashup of a Talking Heads song and "Le Show's" Harry Shearer. All writing credits (except Trent Reznor's "Hurt") go to Claiborne, who also plays guitar, percussion, flute, and viola and sings lead vocals. The lyrics are overt, the subject matter provocative, the vocal delivery deadpan. Unjust wars in the Middle East, the decline of American society, and morally bankrupt "believers" all make undisguised and storied appearances. Progressives will nod/bang their heads knowingly and approvingly at the sardonic debates. Are the media-sterilized drone bombings less fraught with ethical morass? Are we really morally superior because we condemn our soldiers for pissing on dead Taliban? A gaggle of stellar musicians make appearances on the album, including Diate, Tomas Doncker (True Groove label head), cellist Jane Scarpantoni (Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow), Finnish lap steel player Artur Uronen, flutist Steve Gorn, and even Bill Laswell, who has a stint playing bass on the final track.

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  • A review of the latest release from Samuel Claiborne.

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