In 2000, washed-up comedian Andrew Dice Clay tried resuscitating his career by releasing “Face Down Ass Up,” a CD of live standup that became a benchmark in verbal smut.
When I was subjected to its lowbrow horrors on a road trip with my ex-convict uncle, I thought no live recording would ever again stoop to its depths of racism, misogyny, homophobia and raunch.
That was before I heard “Reiki Whale Song.”
The reissue of this 2001 disc of whale recordings — a staple in massage, sleep therapy and tantric sleep massage therapy circles — is laced with enough dick-and-pussy jokes to make Andrew Dice Clay sound like Delilah telling one of her listeners to be-strong-you’ll-get-through-this.
Five minutes of “Reiki” and a whalesong-fluent listener is forced to ask: Where in the grimiest basins of the Pacific Ocean did producer Kamal find such ignorant, probably drunk, humpback whales?
And why hasn’t the RIAA slapped a parental advisory sticker on this filth?
“EEEEEEEWWWWWWWUUuuuuuuuUUWWWWWEEEEE,” bellows one belligerent whale in opening track “Whale Dreaming,” a pot shot at Jews that sets the tone for the rest of the album.
“OOOOOOOOOoooooooAAAAWIIIIEEEeee,” says the same calf later in the track, and it makes you want to stand up from your bar stool to whistle and click back, “Do you suckle from your mother’s yard-long teat with that mouth?”
Because so little of this recording can be quoted in a family blog, the challenge for a reviewer is to convey its extreme ugliness in paraphrased translations.
The track “Song of the Deep” is not about the ocean’s geographic profundity but about the relative blowjob prowess of baleen and toothed whales.
“Out of the Blue” examines the contraceptive uses of AIDS-infected octopus carcasses and how they – surprise, surprise – aren’t the best idea.
On “Travellers of the Sea,” one humpback makes liberal use of three slow clicks – a whale phoneme that bundles the meanings and shock value of the N-word, the C-word, both F-words and “starfish.”
Imagine if every instance that Clay ever spat “hickory dickory dock, your mom was sucking my cock” were converted into bullets – then loaded into a slo-mo machine gun aimed at every enlightened heart. That’s the equivalent.
Even if you’re the ideological lovechild of Adolf Hitler and Lisa Lampanelli, and you have no qualms about this disc’s content, you still have to fault its style and form. These “songs” have no sense of beauty, logic or meter.
In “Enchanted Worlds,” a five-minute line reading ends with a plaintive “UUUEE?” Another five minutes later, the next line concludes, ““UUUEE?” That would be a cool rhyme … if it weren’t the exact same word. Whale or human, you can’t rhyme a word with itself. That is not a rhyme. Everyone knows this.
But the most insidious thing about this recording is its infiltration of human culture.
Today, CD copies of “Face Down Ass Up” are rare. They double as trailer park ashtrays. Their jewel cases prop up truckstop tables with short legs.
But “Reiki Whale Song” is everywhere. Blissfully ignorant parents dub it over their birthing videos. Yuppies fold themselves into lotuses to it. It has inspired 10,000 cat portraits.
Ten thousand cat portraits, people. Do you want the chakra of your cat to be tainted by the cetacean equivalent of “Rita’s Ass Tunnel”?
After the 2006 reissue, which beefed up the ambient synthesizer and harp accompaniment, “Reiki” became an even more seductive cultural menace. Who knows what yet another reissue might bring — maybe more flute?
Whatever it is, it must be stopped. And we can do that through the power of our dollars. If you’re going to purchase a whale recording, try something like “Whales: Zen Serenity” or “Rapture of the Deep: Whale Recordings.”
Those are mostly ventriloquist fart jokes.