Rebellious Jukebox X: Bob Reuter’s Alley Ghost vs Bob Reuter

IMG_20150605_193042Originally published July 2013

It’s been thirty-two years since Bob Reuter last released a 45, but the differences between his 1981 solo debut(after a long run with the proto-punk Dinosaurs) & 2013’s Alley Ghost are far outweighed by the similarities. The burbling keyboards on “Jungle Fighter,” the robot-inducing jerky rhythms of “Flashy Graphics,” & the saxophone of Dominic Schaeffer (courtesy of art-prog-wavers Earwacks; we’ll get to them one of these months) all put Bob’s 1981 “Got Dreaming” 45 clearly in new wave territory, but the basic framework of his songwriting was already in place, & his voice was already world-weary but still wide-eyed. Can a voice be wide-eyed? Whatever. He even throws in the phrase “cheap infatuation,” which became its own song on Alley Ghost’s debut LP last year (I think that one may have even started life as a Dinosaurs song, but I can’t find my Dinosaurs bootleg CD-R right now, & I get paid by the minute).

The brand new “Dana Dew/She Brought Me To The Wire” 45 is a solid addition to Bob’s garage/punk/folk catalog/life. It’s clear that this particular lineup has done some road work, as they tear into the two songs like they’re the last hot dog at the truck stop, but otherwise Bob could have released this in 1973 or 1993 or 2013 & it would have been just as powerful. Call it timelessness or call it a refusal to grow up. I don’t think Bob would care either way.

Alley Ghost-“Dana Dew” live in the studio

I couldn’t find any records from the 1981 45 online, but here’s a thing that Bob wrote about it…

RIP, Bob, you cranky old goofball. I miss seeing you around…

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