Pete Labonne: “The Sound of Doom”- written and performed by Pete Labonne and recorded by him at the Hodgepodge Lodge in Lake Luzerne, NY; from the album “Meditation Garden” (expanded edition)“.
Strangely, I think I met Pete right around when I first met Paulette, about twenty years ago- must’ve been a good time for meeting people! This was the first song of his I ever heard, before I even met him, if memory serves, and my reaction was rapture; any song that includes a line like “that’s the sou
This was the first song of his I ever heard, before I even met him, if memory serves, and my reaction was rapture; any song that includes a line like “that’s the sound of a baseball in the face” would compel further investigation, and I was eventually rewarded by about twenty completely out there cassettes; Pete is recklessly prolific, does it all himself, and sounds and thinks like no one else on earth, a planet unto himself- every time I listen to these recordings I’m inspired anew!
When I first met Pete, he lived way out in the woods of upstate New York, in a dirt-floor cabin with his wife Shelley and a single extension cord to power the tape recorder that he seemed to have been using almost constantly for ten or twenty years. The resulting mountain of music – a small segment of which comprises his debut CD, “Meditation Garden” – will be compared to iconoclastic folks like Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa, not because he sounds like them but because that’s who you get compared with when you’re funny as hell, and peculiar, and folks can’t figure out who you sound like.
Looking a little deeper, you might also spot some Alex Chilton, with whom Pete once performed; he’s also appeared with Richard Hell and Earl King, And now the name – dropping starts to add up, because Pete is in fact a backwoods maniac with absurd verbal talents and a passion for soul music and The Almighty Hook. The wordplay is dazzling and hilarious, but there’s heart and real songs involved; a spirit of gleeful anarchy rules a roiling compost of rhythms, and sometimes it sounds like a bent, bizarro version of the famous basement tapes of Bob Dylan and the Band, all in glorious LaBonne-a-sonic lo-fi (and when I say lo-fi, I definitely don’t mean crappy or Horrend-O-Phonic, because this stuff sounds just like it should; it just doesn’t sound… well, pristine, exactly; and YAAAYYY for that!)
For the digital re-release of “Meditation Garden”, we’ve added 4 bonus tracks, 3 of which may be familiar to some of you from being covered often by some of my bands (the Catbirds recorded “Pajama Pants Baby; I’ve often covered “Supermarket Employee” and “Turning the Page”; and Dinty’s recorded “The Drivin'” w Session Americana.) This version also features a different version of “Silhouette”, and a slightly extended ending on “Trophy Bowler.”