11 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As gimmicky as it seems, an Orthodox Jewish ex-junkie Hollywood street hustler might be just what music needs right now. Mickey Avalon’s seedy background is part and parcel of what makes him so appealing, but none of that would matter if he didn’t have the musical imagination to back it up. Like Beck’s “Loser” — another unlikely hit from an earlier Los Angeles oddball —“Jane Fonda” takes a hip-hop beat from the trash can, a get-under-your-skin hook, and some delightfully leftfield rhyme skills, and fashions from it a hit song. To call Avalon a white-boy hack is to underestimate his style. While it’s impossible to listen to Mickey Avalon without thinking of MC Paul Barman, the album also bears similarities to the chimerical outbursts of Bay Area cult rapper Andre Nickatina, not to mention traces of Slick Rick and Snoop Dogg’s sing-song sex raps. With gutter sex appeal to spare, Avalon spills the sordid details of his past and milks his seamy persona for everything it’s worth. Even through the sleazy boasts of “So Rich, So Pretty,” “Mr. Right” and “My Dick,” Avalon pulls punchlines on himself and manages to charm his way out of being an asshole — like the class miscreant who always flirts with the teacher. Lined with hook-laden hits for a party gone wrong, Mickey Avalon is the perfect antidote to the prefabricated pop-star pap currently clogging the airwaves.

EDITORS’ NOTES

As gimmicky as it seems, an Orthodox Jewish ex-junkie Hollywood street hustler might be just what music needs right now. Mickey Avalon’s seedy background is part and parcel of what makes him so appealing, but none of that would matter if he didn’t have the musical imagination to back it up. Like Beck’s “Loser” — another unlikely hit from an earlier Los Angeles oddball —“Jane Fonda” takes a hip-hop beat from the trash can, a get-under-your-skin hook, and some delightfully leftfield rhyme skills, and fashions from it a hit song. To call Avalon a white-boy hack is to underestimate his style. While it’s impossible to listen to Mickey Avalon without thinking of MC Paul Barman, the album also bears similarities to the chimerical outbursts of Bay Area cult rapper Andre Nickatina, not to mention traces of Slick Rick and Snoop Dogg’s sing-song sex raps. With gutter sex appeal to spare, Avalon spills the sordid details of his past and milks his seamy persona for everything it’s worth. Even through the sleazy boasts of “So Rich, So Pretty,” “Mr. Right” and “My Dick,” Avalon pulls punchlines on himself and manages to charm his way out of being an asshole — like the class miscreant who always flirts with the teacher. Lined with hook-laden hits for a party gone wrong, Mickey Avalon is the perfect antidote to the prefabricated pop-star pap currently clogging the airwaves.

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About Mickey Avalon

With a childhood rough enough to guarantee him rock star success, by the time he was out of his teenage years -- at least according to the few details he's given -- Mickey Avalon had sold pot (with his mother), been addicted to heroin and dope, worked as a graffiti artist in L.A., converted to Orthodox Judaism (his parents were both non-practicing Jews, and his paternal grandparents were survivors of Auschwitz), got married and had a daughter, prostituted himself for drug money, watched his father die, and found his sister's dead body. All of this gave ample material for his rhymes, which he started writing after his pal, the former MTV VJ Simon Rex, encouraged him to compose his own songs. Avalon, Rex (who rapped under the name Dirt Nasty), and Armen Melik (aka Andre Legacy) began recording and releasing their own material as the Dyslexic Speedreaders, an irreverent group that gave a satirical and often lascivious look into the L.A. club and drug culture. Avalon's stage presence, which mixed a kind of hyper- and often ambiguous sexuality akin to the trashy glam rockers of the '70s, gained the attention of DJ and aspiring manager Kev-E-Kev, who was soon helping Avalon hawk his self-titled CD -- wrapped in a newspaper advertising adult services -- on the streets. His music, in particular the song "Jane Fonda," thanks to its appearance in the HBO series Entourage as well its availability on his MySpace site, started gaining an audience, and in 2006 his album was reissued as the first release from MySpace Records in joint collaboration with Interscope. ~ Marisa Brown

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