April 15, 2004

Atom & His Package "Hair:Debatable!"

The world lost Atom & His Package due to creative differences. The Package didn't like Atom anymore, and the bitter and anger and hate and venom and animosity between the two is proving to be even worse than the Martin and Lewis split up 40 years ago. Will they ever get back together? With the rumor going about that the Package will 'shock his curly hair straight' if he ever sees him again, then I guess the answer is a resounding 'no.'

Okay, okay, I'll admit that was dorky. The real reason he retired Atom & His Package was simple: growing up. Facing the birth of his first child and the discovery of a life-changing medical condition, Atom realized that his life needed something much more stable than the rock-and-roll life. I respect him for that, but then again, Atom's a smart fellow, and I would expect nothing less from this brainy bloke. Plus, he's also let it be known that he's not actually giving upmusic, just refocusing what he's doing, and he's apparently got a brand new band.

Hair: Debatable is a document of his final show, recorded in his hometown of Philadelphia. As you'd expect, he runs through all of his best material and crowd favorites, and it's a lot of fun. With a recording setup as his, the sound quality is not all that different than the studio recordings, but that's okay. The music's great, and it's obvious he's having fun, even if it is his last hurrah Personal favorites are "Shopping Spree" (which I had the distinct honor of witnessing the very first performance of, as he played a show I booked the night after the incident), and, of course, the classics "Punk Rock Academy" and "(Lord It's Hard To Be Happy When You're Not) Using the Metric System." His newer material, such as "Undercover Funny" and "If You Own The Washington Redskins, You're A Cock" showed that he was definitely growing as a songwriter.

As Atom's always been one who supports value, there's a DVD with the show on it as well as his videos, a few documentaries (!!) and other fun stuff. It's this DVD that makes me wish that I had a DVD player, but I'll tell ya this--as soon as I get one, this disc is going to go on there, because Atom's one of those fun people that's always funny to see. Besides, from what I understand, it's a fitting scrapbook for this young man's funny and interesting adventure as a one-man band. Hair: Debatable is a nice little posthumous release, but most importantly, it is Atom at his best.

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.atomandhispackage.com
Label Website: http://www.hopelessrecords.com

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