Monday, November 3, 2008

Billy Sheets' Undercover - Weekend In Dubrovnik

On This Record!

A MOSQUE IN THE ETHIOPIAN OUTBACK beams a message clear to the Pomona Freeway...

A BASS-PLAYING VAMPIRE stalks his prey in the heart of the Carpathians...

BOSNIAN YOUTHS BENT ON REVENGE besiege the ancient bathing houses of Dubrovnik...

BELEAGUERED TEEN-AGERS pursue masochistic sports... while

A ROVING MINISTER puts aside the cloth for matters of the heart!

So reads the copy on the back cover of this batch of six amusing songs from singer, keyboardist, and accordionist Billy Sheets and his band, produced by Devo's Bob Mothersbaugh and released in 1982 on Big Clock Records. The joke is played out in full on the first track, "Skanking in the Trailerpark," a hybrid of ska and eastern European folk styles. The European vein continues with "Gypsy Camp," and then comes the highlight of the record, the superb faux-spy-movie instrumental "Weekend In Dubrovnik." Side two's three songs ("Skating On Thin Ice," "Love That Lasts," "Downtown B.B.Q. (Shakin' It)") are in a more conventional party-rock mode, a la Joe King Carrasco and the Crowns. The full band line-up is:

  • Billy Sheets: lead vocal, accordion, keyboards, harmonica
  • Kent State: guitar, tambourine, vocals
  • Ricardo de Mayo: bass, keyboards, accordion, vocals
  • Sammy "Vic" Flores: drums (side A), vocals
  • Gajate: percussion
  • Alan Lyle: drums (side B)

Nothing astounding here, just a good solid slice of American new wave with a novelty bent. Get the vinyl rip here or here.


NaplesGC said...

have the album here unopened at a Goodwill for .99. Looks like I'll put in the keep pile. Lot's of 80's promo's here and will be buying about 30.00 worth.

RiCk MaY said...

hey, there's a whole lot of talent on this old record! Besides the amazing vocalist Billy Sheets, DEVO's Bob 1 Mothersbaugh produced it, world renowned sound engineer producer Tchad Blake recorded and mixed it, DEVO's original drummer, Alan Myers played on half the album, number one percussionist in the world, Richie Gajate Garcia played percussion and me, bass session player, Rick May (alias Ricardo de Mayo). see:

RiCk MaY said...

damn! i forgot to mentioned the fabulous swirling secret agent guitar sounds of my ol' friend, KEN STATE! woO hoO!!

RiCk MaY said...

damn! i forgot to mentioned the fabulous swirling secret agent guitar sounds of my ol' friend, KEN STATE! woO hoO!!

Anonymous said...

PLEASE repost this!! Thank you very much

NaplesGC said...

I'm cataloging my albums on and see I now have two unopened and one open of this album. Great stuff. I don't see much more history of this Billy Sheets' online. I think having two unopened is pretty rare in one collection.

So funny, in doing my search, I see back on May 28th, 2009 I commented here saying I'm at the store now with an unopened one "Looks like I'll put it the keep pile".