J.T. IV - The Future 2xLP
The Future 2xLP
2023 Drag City
"Outsider freekz, make with the haste! It's time to get back to The Future -- the one promised back when rock and roll was king, remember? J.T. IV believed in the promise -- and now, the mystery man behind barely-released private press 7" records of the '80s like 'Destructo Rock' and 'Cosmic Lightning' and a film holding the Guinness record for worlds-longest -- 85 hours! -- has been called back to our mortal coil, to live out his glittering, rapacious dreams once again. The 2009 comp LP Cosmic Lightning cast his tragic silhouette up on the big screen for all to see: the lost boy, alone in the world, standing before the mic and releasing his inner star with glee and vengeance, his antisocial visions flying high atop a raging funnel of distorted guitars and blunt rhythms . . . The Future goes even further, excavating fifteen recordings from a previously unheard-of cassette entitled, The Best Of Johnny Zhivago Retrospective 1979-1993, and adding four more uncollected tracks from his slim (and impossible to find anyway) discography. Of these nineteen tracks, eight are covers -- and J.T. IV's picks, from Velvets to Mott the Hoople, Roxy Music, Lee Hazlewood, The Kinks, Eno and Stephen Sondheim, sharpen our image of the misfit adrift; on the outside looking in, but maybe just a few steps away from his goal. The Future unfolds like an epic, as both sides of J.T.'s persona -- the street-smart, damaged rocker and the heartstruck poet of the scene -- live on together in the best performances of his short career . . . Now 20 years on from his passing, The Future is ever farther away from the world in which he struggled so mightily -- but his stinging iconoclasm, whether screamed from Marshall amps or mic'ed up close, feels ever more powerfully infused with his unique breadth of illness and essence. The album is called The Future for several reasons. The title track extols the virtue of being an independent thinker, which scans with our data on J.T. But it's also an optimistic, even anthemic, call for a better tomorrow, giving the next generation a world of love and hope! John's scathing cynicism melts away showing his pure soul underneath. Then, 'My Fellow Americans' closes the album with another future-oriented song, though this time it's a dystopian landscape where the president, a Reaganesque war monger, delivers an ominous and bizarre State of the Union address to the American people, suggesting that he replace Congress with clones of Adolf Hitler to mandate the extermination of all welfare and social security recipients in the US. These songs represent the two sides of J.T. -- and while they emanate from the '80s, they find themselves potently renewed in the polarized world of today, making The Future a worthwhile destination for everyone who ever had a heart touched by the transgression and freedom promised by rock and roll."
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