By Bob Makin
Suran Song in Stag celebrates homecoming...
Musician carries forth with her social, economic and political messages.
Suran Song in Stag's third, best and most ambitious disc, the two-CD "Cowboys and Indians," is a John Lennon-in-Sonic Youth like experiment with punkish art-pop. "Friend's of Mine," a dis of Eminem is particularly enjoyable, but it's pretty amazing that there isn't a clunker among the 18 oddly beautiful tracks. That's thanks, in part, to Sonic Youth producer Martin Bisi, who helmed the production duties on "Cowboys and Indians."
But what's even more impressive is that in this age of disposable pop and sex-driven sound and vision, Suran Song is willing to put her neck on the line with strong, biting socio-political and economic statements, like the Orwellian "Open Your Eyes."
Yet, like Stag bassist-guitarist-keyboardist William Weis III and drummer Brad Yablonsky's music, she keeps her lyrical depth entertaining.
The double disc is actually two separate CDs. "Karaoke Cowboy Dance Disc" is mainly sequels to songs by the trio's favorite bands, such as Gang of Four, The Pretenders and The Chills.
The dreamy, nightmarish soundscape of "Small Change Indian Trance Disc" is a "Siamese out-growth" of the sequels. But the really abitious effort is in the band's multi-media live show, which includes performance art, poetry, Shockwave video and body art.
Having toured the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest and Canada this spring, Suran Song in Stag will host an invitation-only pot-luck barbecue and outdoor keg party on Saturday at its home.
Also performing will be some friends that Suran Song in Stag either made on the road or in its homebase on New Brunswick including: Giant Whistle from Wayne, PA; Ha! The Disco Ah! from San Francisco; Velvet from Wilmington, NC; Richard Alwyn from Raleigh, NC; Dead City Rockers from Boston; The Sparklers from Philadelphia; True Love from New Brunswick and Justin Mikulka from Franklin Park.
Suran Song in Stag also will play Friday with Ha! The Disco Ah! at Arelene Grocery, 95 Stanton St., NY, and Sunday with Velvet, Dead City Rockers, Richard Alwyn and 2 Ton Jack at John & Peter's, New Hope, PA.
The band's last summer show will be July 14 at Paloma's in Baltimore. A fall national tour will include Central Jersey shows.