Vic Ruggiero, Blowing Up MySpace

Posted on August 28th, 2007 by JJ Loy

Vic and I discussed the internet, in general, and MySpace, specifically, and how they’re changing the way The Slackers are doing business, on his episode of Ska Blah Blah. Months later, it seems he’s embraced MySpace even more. In addition to his Vic Ruggiero Page and the official Slackers Page, two new sites show off a couple of side projects that are pretty exciting.

The Tampa Road project features Vic and Ara (of The Slackers) laying down some spooky, Iraq War-themed blues tracks. I can find very little about the lyricist, Phil Nerges, but I get the impression his is either an American soldier or journalist assigned to the Iraq War. The words, to the songs speak of the constant fear the soldier’s face and the senselessness behind their actions. It’s a drastic change in style for Ruggiero, but one that is consistent with his recently evolving protest themes.

Tremoflex9000 finds Ruggiero teaming up with Phil the Tremolo King and Flex Unger for some chicken-shack, lo-fi dub. There are plenty of great originals and instrumentals, available for download, from the MySpace Player and a link to the first EP, but it’s the tracks featuring Ruggiero on vocals that have me hooked. Tremoflex9000 covers two of the tracks from Living in Sin/Understanding New Jersey, and brilliantly so. The creepy, haunting tone of Vic’s first solo album is transplanted, and amplified on the Tremoflex versions. Link to This by Tremoflex9000.mp3

The real proof of Vic’s love for MySpace isn’t in these sites, however. On his main page, inconspicuously placed in his personal blog, there is an on-going serial saga, chronically the underground scheme’s of Vic’s cats. Either these are some highly evolved felines or Ruggiero has a paranoid fantasy life. Excerpt:

“ok”, said rudy,”what do you want? samba or leonard cohen?…that’s all that’s out…”
suddenly there was noise from the outside…”ahhh…they’re coming home, we’ll have to listen to what they want now…well, maybe they’ll put on some reggae…”
“yes…i hope”, said pierre, “ahhh, i guess i should stop smoking too huh?”
“ha ha ha ha”, all the gatos laughed as the door began to unlock


It is easy to pass these ramblings off as a silly use of blog space, but that would be an unwise move. These snippets of prose follow many of the same conventions as Ruggiero’s music, and invoke the same feelings of spontaneity and inspiration. I for one would like to see him explore something like short subject fiction, more aggressively.

But for now, I’ll just gawk at everything else he puts out, and share it with you guys.

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Comments (0) Aug 28 2007