The Gena Rowlands Band

La Merde et Les Etoiles Lujo

Nope, this isn't another movie starlet looking to validate her questionable musical ability. Rowlands is billed but not involved, merely name-dropped alongside actress Janeane Garofalo ("Garofalo, C'est Moi"), singer Lesley Gore ("The Last Words of Lesley Gore" and even winemaker Ernest Gallo ("Easter @ the 7-11") by the band's true mastermind, Bob Massey. With his doleful ramblings, supple fretwork, and lounge-like keyboards, La Merde et Les Etoiles is a murky, bare-bones affair which takes its title -- French for "the shit and the stars" -- literally. Between the cinematic references and Massey's self-effacing melancholia ("I was an optimist/Now I'm a third-rate lyricist"), it provides lingering reflections of loners and losers inhabiting aimless weekends, haunted by boredom and despair. The result: a stunner, but a bummer.

 
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