Tangela Tricoli - Jet Lady [Arf! Arf!, 2004]


The Greatest Rock and Roll Swindle.

Brothers and sisters.

As I grow old and grey I gain, like Solomon or that Chinese guy "The Great Confuso", incredible wisdom. A wisdom that, sometimes, leads me to think very hard about stuff.
Stuff like "What is it all about?" or "Where did I put those damn car keys?".

Deep, spiritual stuff.

Now, if you are reading this, I would guess that, like me, you are a pilgrim. Musically speaking. You are searching for something, something not to be found in the tawdry gimmcracks released by the commercial companies. That "extra" something, that intangible, unknown that will set your heart racing and your mind to another level.

Why? Why is this euphoric feeling of release not to be found in the releases that clutter the "charts" and radio waves.

I'll tell you why (I am, after all, incredibly wise, though pretty bad at spelling and stuff).

LIES ! Yes, I am sorry to tell you but the music world is based on lies, untruths and deliberately misleading statements.

Shocking, I know.

For example Dire Straits were NOT "The Sultans of Swing", I have checked the atlas. There is NO place called "Swing" of which they could have been sultans of!

And, nice it may have been to imagine him sitting, crown on head, leather panted and enthroned, surrounded by adoring geckos and eating flies but Jim Morrison was NOT the "Lizard King" (Why would you want to be "King of the Lizards" anyway? Unless you're into hot lizard on lizard action or something, not that I am judging if you're into that or something, I'm just saying).

I remember my "road to Damascus" moment. Years ago I went to see the "Rolling Stones", a popular English "beat" band at Wembley. When it came to the song "Midnight Rambler" (another lie , Mick rarely donned walking boots and wooly hat to ramble and certainly not in the middle of the night), I could quite clearly see ANOTHER harmonica player, hidden behind the amps and playing whilst Mick only pretended to.

Liars. Swindlers. Cheats.

How refreshing, therefore, when one comes across an HONEST performer. One who tells the tale of their own life in simple direct and above all truthful words. No "I am Lord of the Badgers" no "I am the Warthog". Just pure honest, straight from the heart truths.

That is why, dear, dear chums, many of us are drawn to "outsider music". Sure listening to Jandek is , probably, more painful than having a tooth extracted but at least he is honest (in a totally contrived "arty" sort of way).

Which brings us, at long last, to the record I want to draw your attention to today. A disc full to the brim and beyond with honest, straight from the heart songs. As honest as anything Doc Boggs twanged and sang way back in the days of coal and iron. Honest in a way that The Beatles could never be, once they had left the prostitutes and sailors of the Reeperbahn behind and sold their collective souls to mammon.

"Jet Lady" by Tangela Tricoli (not her real name. DAMN! There goes MY theory of "honesty". Oh well, we've got this far, let's press on.)

From the very title of the album , we can see the honesty (apart from the name thing.) oozing out like somthing oozy. For "Tangela" really WAS (is?) a "Jet Lady". An award winning, record breaking pilot with many years of service.

She is, I contend, a perfect example of the "American Renaissance" woman. A person who has succeeded in everything she has done on her own terms. From flying to appearing on her own TV show to painting she is a success. Her album too, is a success on it's own terms, like all good "outsider" music.

You have to leave behind your prejudices about "being in tune" or "playing well" and , for once, use your ears. Much of the album falls under the "folk" banner. Simple songs, strummed guitars and plain, simple storytelling words. Relating the events and people of her life in a way that is both touching and genuine.

Her most famous song is, of course, "Stinky Poodle". Dedicated to the joint stars of her 1980s TV shows , her adored (and, presumably, stinky) poodles. There is some suspicion that the writers of hit "comedy" series "Friends" poached the poodle song for "Phoebe's" "Smelly Cat". There are strong similarities and Tangela's shows were broadcast from L.A. So it is not impossible. I refrain from judging the case. Plagarism or synchronicity, who can say. All I know is that "Stinky Poodle" makes me happy. What more can you ask.

Check out Tangela. The album should be available on CD from Arf! Arf! in the States. Join with me and let us sing of stinky poodles and, for a brief moment, transcend the everyday and enter communication with the eternal truth.

The Pube

[The original album is impossibly rare. Only 100 privately pressed copies were made. (Label and number unknown!). The CD reissue (Arf-Arf 096) should still be around]

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Buy Jet Lady from Amazon.com
Tangela Tricoli @ Arf! Arf! Records
Angela Masson [Tangela Tricoli] @ Wikipedia
Angela and Athena Masson website

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Tangela Tricoli - Jet Lady