jimjacobi/crap detectors

One of my few decent high skool experiences was American Literature class with Mr. Burns. He actually liked intelligent students, and encouraged me to write actual opinions on his assignments instead of parroting another book report. When he asked the class why Tom Sawyer was viewed as an American hero, I wrote it was because he lied, and manipulated people to get what he wanted. Watergate era or not, Mr. Burns told me I was the most cynical person he’d ever known; yet I’m told he cited my Sawyer essay to later classes, long before I mutated into Jello Biafra. Once he asked me, “where did you get your ability to analyze people?” I said it was from being a lone wolf outside the circle, watching how others played games, followed mindless trends and went out of their way to make fools of themselves in an endless Escher drawing gone drastically wrong. Since then, few people I know of have maintained such a dim third-eye view of our mindless rodent- like consumer behavior as JIM JACOBI, best known for his (mostly) punk project, The Crap Detectors. And Detect they have, starting clear back in 1978 with the debut L.P. “Victims of the Media.” It is not only one of the earliest and by far the rarest American punk L.P.’s, it is also the only one I know with a taped-on cover printed on one of those old ditto machines. Remember the aroma? It seems like very few punk collectors who know them from their “Police State” single and numerous “Killed by Death”- type bootleg comps have any idea Jim and the Crap Detectors catalogue is so vast and so deep and continues with the same vision to this day. “Victims” opening title track sets the table for all to come. “Grade A” punk with occasional one of a kind forays into vintage avant-garde electronics. If anything, creating in near-total isolation seems to have sharpened both music and message, with songs like “Eichmannism”, “Slave of the New Wave”, “Want, Want, Want”, “Bitchy Mommy”, and even a pre-Tipper Gore caution on the back, “May be to (sic) intense for some people….Deprogramming may occur.”

The second seven inch from '81 is "Expatriates from Reality". The follow up, adorned with a junkyard photo of old broken toilets includes "Equal opportunity paranoric" and "Feed the rats". Even the more straight rock L.P.s are called "Superficial world", "Diseases on Display" and "Cut the Crap" ( long before the Clash copped to theirs). All this when hardly anyone was hip to the now worshipped underground explosions going on in London, New York, S.F. or L.A.-Let alone the cultural Death Valley of Lincoln, Nebraska. Even in punk, very few artists big or small ever turn their lens on their peers, let alone their own audience. Jim does this in spades. He didn't even hold back when he ventured beyond the Cornhusker Curtain and relocated to Seattle in the 90's at its flannel Hollywood peak Instead of falling in with all the cool people hanging out on the street corners practicing their "I'm in a band "pose he took on grunge.

Now back in Nebraska with no ‘I was in a band in Seattle dude” pose to cloud his work, Jim continues to hit many a nail on the head in ways I wish I had thought of myself. I respect him because he’s smart, he won’t back down and remains deep down a genuine human being who still gives a shit. Against all odds and mainstream common sense, Jim continues his efforts to deprogram us from our anthill Disneyland so dumbed down people actually want to become victims of the media> They even audition for it. But does Jim Jacobi give up or suck it all in? NO. Which is all the more reason why this better not be Jim or the Crap Detectors last album.

THE CD IS CAALED  "iT GOT TOO DEEP!" available at CD baby

 

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