Bobby Conn and the Glass Gypsies
Bobby Conn sure is a goofy bastard. Case in point: “Never Get Ahead,” from his latest effort, Live Classics Vol. 1 — a funky, falsettofied anti-corporate diatribe featuring Conn and his Glass Gypsies melding the disco track from the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back,” a frantic electric violin and the lyrics You’re never gonna get ahead givin’ head to the man. Like most of the tracks on the album, it’s a great big gawdamn mess, but it’s more fun than you can shake a stick at. Conn has the same charm as the Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins — a bold, high-pitched, Meatloaf-and-mascara glam-rock grandiosity. Whether he’s screaming down the likes of G.W. and the UN with a Jello Biafra punk swagger or trying to match an outlandish arena-rock guitar solo with sweat-and-wail soul hysteria, the pint-sized Chicagoan has some serious live chops. He delivers liberal doses of onstage theatricality and silly, slimy sexuality.