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Of Fungi and Foe

Les Claypool

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Album Review

As what would seem like music made purely for the stoner crowd — particularly, for the folks partial to psychedelic 'shrooms — Les Claypool's Of Fungi and Foe is a demented, cartoonish ode to, you guessed it, mushrooms. But it's not what you might think. Claypool didn't make this record as a cheap ploy to win over Phish's massive hippie fan base after learning of their endless devotion to drug-friendly music while touring with Trey Anastasio in Oysterhead. Even though Phishheads (and Weenheads) will probably find the goofy, cartoonish rollick herein worth visiting, Claypool had other motives behind the drug-friendly theme. The majority of the songs were originally written to be used as a soundtrack for Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars, a video game about mushrooms brought to life after a radioactive meteor, and Pig Hunt, a horror movie about a giant rabid black boar that guards a marijuana field. As well as bouncy bong songs with lyrics like "Now Errol's a smart boy who delivered big weed/Says that he could get you all that you may ever need," there are also some departures. "Red State Girl" drifts off topic as a Democratic satire about a girl who wants to grow up to be like Sarah Palin, and "What Would Sir George Martin Do" ponders how the Beatles producer would go about catching a cab. It's typical Les Claypool tomfoolery, all based around his past couple years making minimalistic jams — beating bongos, bowing the occasional cello, playing a xylophone, and of course bassing it up through all sorts of weird-sounding envelope filters. Even though he's not billed with the Frog Brigade, it's not entirely a solo affair. Six other musicians make appearances, including Eugene Hütz, frontman of the Gypsy punks Gogol Bordello, who stops in for a jam on "Bite Out of Life."

Biography

Born: 29 September 1963 in Richmond, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The most original rock bassist to come along in the '90s was unquestionably Primus' Les Claypool. With his oddball sense of humor and funky playing, Claypool took his varied musical influences and created an invigorating and completely inventive style. The Les Claypool story begins on September 29, 1963, when he was born in Richmond, CA. As a teenager, Claypool met fellow student Kirk Hammett (yes, the Kirk Hammett of Metallica fame), who turned him on to such rock acts as Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and...
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Of Fungi and Foe, Les Claypool
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