Mike Doughty: Dubious Luxury

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Mike Doughty
Dubious Luxury
(Snackbar)

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The digital age has made playing with music easy and, like the crew at the local coffee shop on Friday nights, former Soul Coughing singer Mike Doughty has been playing with electronic beats and sampled vocals as evidenced on his new album Dubious Luxury.  The real question that arises upon first listening to the album is “what is it exactly?” because the music seems to have no musical affiliation with Mike Doughty at all especially because he didn’t contribute any vocals and the sound itself is pretty foreign to anything Doughty is known for with the exception of a few musical phrases.  In place of Doughty’s vocals are samples from Joanne Kyger, Todd Colby, Erica Livingston, Young Jean Lee, Becky Yamamoto, and Rachel Benbow Murdy (who was also sampled on the Soul Coughing track “Janine”) and a number of random audio clips mixed electronic beats on sixteen, mostly short, musical experiments.

The collection is really less of an album and more of DJ Doughty having fun cutting up beats, some of which are pretty catchy and fun while others become more ambient.  Some of the stronger tracks include the playful “Uh-murr-kah” and the six-and-a-half minute closing track “Cheap Suite,” which has a low-fi, reggae feel.  The thinking is that this album serves as a fun amuse-bouche to the upcoming release Yes and Also Yes later this month, which contains more singer/songwriter songs because as a stand-alone piece it’s really only of interest to big Doughty fans or as ambient music for a house party.

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Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website: www.timneedles.com

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