“…wise-fool Southpaw’s ramblings lead listeners on a surreal journey through doors they didn’t even know existed, into a highly original, deeply funny land of pop culture confusion.”
Following on from ‘Humpty Dumpty In HD’, last year’s collaboration with Bobby Barry (The Pipettes, Monster Bobby), Young Southpaw will be releasing his first full-length album, Hopscotch To Heaven, on June 18th. This outing sees the absurdist comedian teaming up with Rick Webb (Rockets Burst From The Streetlamps & co-founder of ad agency The Barbarian Group) on the title track, Saint Etienne’s Pete Wiggs on ‘Infinite Shakespeare’, and Nashville-bassist extraordinaire Kevin Reed on ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flush’.
Southpaw starts off ‘Hopscotch To Heaven’ by pondering why they call it ‘table tennis’ if people don’t hit actual tables back and forth, winding up 14 minutes expounding upon how cool it would be if Michael Landon had fronted an AC/DC cover band. Along the way he takes in kabbalistic studies, the ability to conjure invisible distilleries, and much more. In ‘Infinite Shakespeare’ he turns the ‘infinite monkeys with infinite typewriters producing the complete works of Shakespeare’ theory on its head, wondering if Shakespeare’s parents had considered this option instead of procreating. And ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flush’ takes a quote by Jaco Pastorius and runs wild with it, conjecturing what might have happened if the great bass player had accidentally flushed the future of low frequencies down the toilet. Iron Maiden’s Eddie has a prominent role in this story, as does the work of Thomas Pynchon, whom Southpaw suggests should front Iron Maiden for a cover of the Rob Base song ‘It Takes Two’.
What I Says: My first ever review of an album on me blog innit! First off the cover, really like it, reminds me of a Limp Biscuit album cover, I can tell from the emerald city being in the background that this is gonna be pretty wild. There are just the three tracks here which you may think is not many but due to the length of these tracks we’ve got around 40min of listening to do. I really have no idea what to expect, I’m not going to do any research I’m jumping in completely clueless, worked for parenting so I’m sure it will be fine here.
Track 1: Hopscotch to Heaven. Man! what a track, the Young Southpaw is like a preacher, I was instantly hooked by his voice and how quickly he goes off on a tangent. You know how it is at night when you are really really tired and all you want to do is sleep and your brain goes “No Way! We are going to think about everything in the universe until sleep is no longer a possibility” that is what is happening here, from starting off discussing a table tennis table to how cool it would be if Michael Landon was involved in pretty much everything, including “I think” wild prairie hopscotch spray painting…Loved it, so absurd and had me smiling the whole time, in the background we get some pretty cool ambient music which pairs quite nicely with the “discussion”.
Track 2: Infinite Shakespeare. This isn’t the nightmare for school children that you’d expect from it’s title, this is a What-if discussion. What-if Shakespeare’s parents decided to have infinite monkeys instead of a child, some very valid point’s are made in between the madness, and some fantastic moment’s of madness, including almost screaming “IN THE BOUDOIR!” And the ending is cracking good fun. You can actually listen to this track on YouTube.
Track 3: Jumpin’ Jack Flush. I have to admit I have no idea who Jaco Pastorius was but was still able to enjoy this one, I think of the three tracks this is the one that flows best, I might be that it is aided by some very funky bass playing. I like how absurd this track gets, some real tin-foil-hat moments here, you gotta get this album just so when something predicted here comes true you can sit there like a smug bastard.
A sign of whether I like an album or not is whether it get’s put on my old iPod or not…..this is going on there for sure. One final thought, I think this would work as a book of poetry/prose (no idea on the difference) it has a similar tempo to Kate Tempest, would love to read this one day.
Young Southpaw is the comedic alter ego of writer and musician Aug Stone. Stone is the author of the memoir, Nick Cave’s Bar, and the comedy novel Off-License To Kill. His journalism has appeared in The Quietus, The Comics Journal, Under The Radar, and many other sites and magazines. He played in the bands The Soft Close-Ups and H Bird. There are currently 61 Young Southpaw stories at The Young Southpaw Part Of An Hour podcast.
Hopscotch To Heaven will be the first release on Stone’s new label/publishing house, Stone Soup.