'Concept Album' Features GBV, Malkmus, Grandaddy

Chris Slusarenko's epic also includes R. Meltzer-penned liner notes

Don't ask how he managed to pull it off, but Chris Slusarenko's "concept album," Colonel Jeffrey Pumpernickel, to be released on Slusarenko's own Off Records, features new material written and recorded for the album by — get this — Guided By Voices, Stephen Malkmus, Quasi, Mary Timony, Howie Gelb, Minus 5 and Grandaddy. Not to mention the Black Heart Procession, two members of the Make Up going by the name Weird War, Lou Barlow, Russell Pollard going by Sentridoh and more. Plus liner notes by the legendary (and now former) rock crit Richard Meltzer, who describes the album as "...a whale of an object — a veritable shitload (pardon my French) of sonic oo-poo-pa-doo w/ lyrics..." If you like some of the above-named artists, you'll probably love Colonel Jeffrey Pumpernickel, due March 20. We did ask Slusarenko, via email, how he managed to pull it off, and he responded: "It was just an idea I had been sitting on for a couple years. I kind of assumed someone else would beat me to it. So on a whim I made up some vague chapters for this character, Colonel Jeffrey Pumpernickel, and showed it to a few friends (Joe Sacco, Sam Coomes and Charlie Campbell) and I was really surprised at how enthusiastic their response was. It just gave me the confidence to start cold-calling the other artists and musicians that became involved. I'm still in awe that I convinced them to collaborate on the project. I think a lot of the artists were relieved to be working on a project unlike anything they had done before. It wasn't a typical compilation or tribute album where they could just throw me whatever tracks couldn't even make b-sides. They had to look at the whole story and work in a more abstract manner since none of them got to hear the others' music until it was done. I was a bit worried that it might be overly laborious for some but the consensus was that it was a blast to work on." And there you have it. [Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2001]

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