A Review of the CD
"Pleading The First: Songs My Mother Hates"
by Eric (Red) Schwartz

"Pleading The First: Songs My Mother Hates"
by Eric (Red) Schwartz

Copyright 2000 - CLAR002
Claritone Music
ph: (212)604-4668

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 12/00
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Webster defines satire as either "a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule and scorn" or "trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose or discredit vice or folly." If you are David Duke, Louis Farrakhan, Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, Kenneth Starr, the Peanuts Gang, homosexual, lesbian, Chinese, a stoner, pedophile, telemarketer or trust fund recipient, you may care less about what Mr. Webster had to say and be much more interested in what Mr. Schwartz has to say. And you may not be pleased.

Eric Schwartz has taken out his mother of all harpoons and, in less than one hour, laid waste to multiple sacred cows. But forewarned is fair warned--this isn't Hootenanny.

"Who Da Bitch Now," with its elements of reference to the murders of James Byrd Jr., Matthew Shepard and assault on Abner Louima, is biblical in its 'as ye sow, so shall ye reap' analogy. Schwartz sings:

"You found you a Haitian, brought him down to the station
You boinked him with a broomstick as is standard operation
You thought you'd hide your violence
Behind that big blue wall of silence
And now you're roomin'
With some of the bitches you've been broomin'
I applaud the situation, but I wouldn't take a bow
Just tell me, officer, who da bitch now?..."
Little did we know what happened to the "Peanuts" comic strip characters as they grew older. "Charliesomething" provides us with the hidden truth in a very dark expose of the underbelly of Charlie, Linus, Patty, Marcy, Lucy et al. "Taco Bill's Cannon" is a look at Bill Clinton and various Washingtonians, with Pachelbel's Canon as the background music.

"Monica's Mouth" is a "tribute" to you-know-who. Schwartz miraculously is able to provide listeners with a snippet of actual dialogue between Lewinsky and special counsel Kenneth Starr:

"...She gave a little present
To that scumbag Kenneth Starr
He said, "Dear, what do we have here?
She said, Clothes, but no cigar..."
You'll never think of pancakes quite the same after hearing "The Pancake Song." "Stoned People" is an silly but dead-on take on the effect of cannabis ingestion.

Feeling the humiliation of being turned down by a girl who says she is gay but later beds down with another guy, Schwartz sings in "Hey, Weren't You Gay?":

"...Girl my ego is bruised, or are you just confused
Do you know what you like
Are you really a dyed in the wool bisexual or what
Did I just not make the cut, or do you just not like my
But baby I deserve an explanation
Was it me or your orientation
Should I call you when I get that operation..."
"I Swear, She Said She Was Eighteen," has Schwartz trying to explain the seduction of an underage teenager. He sings:
"You see, I swear she said she was eighteen
And so the view was scenic not obscene...

...Now how could I have prophesied
By the lovely way she looked
That the little lambchop's tenderloin
Was slightly undercooked
It's the same mistake any man'd make
And if you throw the book at me
It'll smudge my perfect record
But judge, you've got a pecker
And you know it ain't clairvoyant
Especially when it's buoyant..."

Schwartz provides the ultimate blast at telemarketers on "Telemarket Trailer-Park-It Trash" after suffering through two undignifying and infuriating incidents. Who couldn't identify with this one?

These are live cuts from various venues around Boston, with some audience applause and interaction. Also, hang on for the Whitney Houston song parody, a hidden track at the end.

In a debatable move, dependent upon the sense of humor of some of the zinged harpoonees, the liner notes list how to directly contact Schwartz. Of course, he need not start moving about incognito since that is inherent, sort of a given, in the lifestyle of folk singers. The bottom line of this offering is yes, it's lampoonery at its best--clever and funny, with a nice dollop of wickedness.

Track List:

All songs credited to Eric Schwartz.

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