Shimmy-disc CD press ('93)
Seattle Stranger '93
Alternative Press 11/93
According to some, there are only two approaches to
the acoustic guitar: 1)the one John Belushi took in
Animal House ; and 2)the one John Belushi took
in Animal House. Of course, these testosterone-
poisoned thugs are about as wrong as your mom being
caught with General Schwarzkof's head up her skirt.
After all, we've just erased the Everly Brothers,
Robert Johnson, a number of Phil Spector singles, and
"Street Fighting Man" from the rock'n'roll map.
Just ask Kieth Richards, sometime: "The acoustic
guitar can be hard, man..."
Roger Manning knew this when he attached one of
those Missing Foundation upsidedown cocktail glasses
to his Martin machine and began windmilling Steve
Jones chord changes through his soundhole. Which
is probaly why the world first heard of him through
Greg Ginn's screech-city SST label back in '89.
These days, Rog has flown from one screech outlet to
another, Shimmy-disc, for another snarly, self-titled
set of self-observations like "Carrying bits of fishnet
in the studs of my jeans/Kissed my lips raw this week."
Or "I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do any drugs/
I just manipulate people and mess with their lives/I
like to lie out loud just to see how it sounds."
This time arround, he's backed a set of hand-picked
pickers, all of whom probally have upsidedown cocktail
glasses affixed to their respective weapons. And ya know
something? I guess Manning takes the same approach as
Belushi to the acoustic guitar, after all.
Los Angeles Times 6/93
Agressive Imagery From Punk-Inspired Roger Manning
They call it anti-folk, a New york sub-genre in
which solo acoustic singer-songwriters do some-
thing altogether more abrasive than the sounds
and images usually associated with the term folk.
the punk-inspired attitude doesn't supplant folk's
idealism, but it does give it a twist, loosen it
up and make it squirm.
It's not the kind of thing that gets you invited
to events like the recent "Troubadours of Folk"
festival, and apparently it's not even the kind
of thing that's penetrated L.A.'s cutting-edge:
Roger Manning, the field's most prominent figure,
with a history of albums on such cool labels as SST
and Shimmy-disc, found himself at the Ghengis Cantina
on Monday playing to about the same number of people
he'd find on a New York subway car at 3 in the
Manning, who was also scheduled to play the Largo
on Tuesday, pummeled his guitar and let fly with
torrential imagery that, inevitably, comes down to
Of course Dylan was a pretty unruly force back
in his Village days, and Manning's agressive, nasal
snarl carries a simular force.
His short set emphasized personal explorations,
steering clear of the hardball politics that give
his work balance and weight, but he did sing Sonic
Youth's "Youth Against Fascism" and let fly at
Close enough for anti-folk.
Customer review on Amazon.com
Andrew_99Matthes@usmma.edu from New York , February 14, 1999
STORYTELLER AND POET BURRITO.
Roger Manning is a storyteller and poet wrapped into one.
His lyrics are witty and captivating. Making catchy
analogies and wonderful one liners, you will definitely
find yourself reciting them to people. This is an album
that every person who loves to be on the road traveling
should have. It expresses the loneliness, the freedom,
the joy, and similar experiences that accompany every
traveller. He also addresses love, expressing the way
everyone has felt at one time or another. On another note,
this album is definitely the most politically motivated of
his three, though he should never be generalized as a
political singer ...maybe a passionate romantic. Beware,
however, because this cd contains the best of both worlds
and listening to the cd straight through will send you on
an emotion-tugging rollercoaster. The cd has everything on
it: the up beat songs that make you want to smile, sing
and dance; the "depressing" songs that can make you feel
the missing and longing he felt; and the songs that make
you want to standup and fight for what you believe in. His
voice is very distinct(high) and will either turn you on
or turn you off to his music. That's just the way he seems
to effect people. General style: folky, chord slinging, Bob
Dylanesque(so others say). He tries to label his music on
the album in a voice bite and ends up leaving it at, "I
don't know. It's just rock'n'roll."