Mikhail Horowitz & Gilles Malkine
Poor, On Tour & Over 54
2007, No Help Here Productions
Stand-up satirist Mikhail Horowitz and deft musician Gilles Malkine have been cracking up cerebral audiences since the 1980s with their piquant, political meanderings. Their latest recording does not fall far from their previous work; it’s every bit as spry, ingenious, and criminally funny. Employing various musical styles from rap and hip-hop to blues and bop, Horowitz and Malkine continue to regurgitate literature and philosophy with their trademark mercurial mojo. Horowitz takes on harmonica, kazoo, and recorder with Malkine on guitar and dumbek, and both literary clowns can be blamed for vocals and lyrics. Nine guest artists surrender to the duo’s irreverence on Poor, On Tour, & Over 54 (the obvious sequel to their last disc, Live, Jive & Over 45), and no topic is off limits, be it Irish Alzheimer’s, same-sex marriage, The Lord of the Rings, beat poets, Zen monks, the Taliban, or Condoleeza Rice. Recorded live at various Hudson Valley locations including the Rosendale Theater and Unison in New Paltz, the sound quality is the only thing that’s lacking, but this does not go unexplained in the liner notes. In fact, an entire page of the accompanying booklet is hilariously dedicated to the CD’s aural shortcomings, including an invitation to listen hard for “the dull thud of each apple, tomato, and cantaloupe as it splatters upon the stage.” The duo will perform at Marbletown Multiarts in Stone Ridge on May 24 at 9pm. www.mikandgilles.com.