Roger Manning

Shimmy-disc CD press ('93)

Seattle Stranger '93



Alternative Press 11/93

Roger Manning

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.

      -Tim Stegall

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 morning.

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 Dylanesque.

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 right-wing preachers.

Close enough for anti-folk.

      -Richard Cromelin

Customer review on 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."