The Butcher Says...
August 20, 2007 8:20 PM   Subscribe

To call Pat Fish the best British songwriter of the past twenty-five years is an invitation for some awfully suspicious stares. Pat who? But he might be just that. Known since the early 1980s as the Jazz Butcher (Or The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy, or JBC, and at times later as Sumosonic, The Black Eg, and Wilson), Fish remained detached enough to avoid the indie-rock vortex of the last decade, dooming himself to obscurity while leaving behind one of the most valuable buried treasures in all of alternative music.
posted by carsonb (21 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Paragraph adapted from here.
posted by carsonb at 8:21 PM on August 20, 2007

I became aware of the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy through David J. I'd forgotten about it. Thanks for this post.
posted by Sailormom at 8:36 PM on August 20, 2007

From the lyrics to "Baby it's You":

I'm waiting for you (x15)

Anyone who'll sing "I7m waiting for you" 15 times in a row is at least potentially allright by me. So thanks for the post, I'll check out his stuff.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:37 PM on August 20, 2007

Caroline Wheeler's birthday present is made entire out of the skin of dead Jim Morrisons.
posted by dogwelder at 8:44 PM on August 20, 2007

It's pretty clear if you can mouse over the links, but just to clarify a bit more—there are mp3s of demos and album tracks, videos, and other cool media tucked into many of the linked pages. I forgot to note what the "remained detached" link is; 2001 Independent artist profile by William Whiteside.
posted by carsonb at 8:53 PM on August 20, 2007

Great post. The Jazz Butcher is so witty and brilliant I have never understood why he wasn't a huge star. One of my favorite songs, "The Biggest Loudest Heaviest Group of All" chronicles the declining popularity stage of his career. Kind of a self-reflective Spinal Tap.
posted by LarryC at 8:55 PM on August 20, 2007

What's really bizarre about this coming up just now is that my four-year-old daughter has become addicted, recently, to the Jazz Butcher's cover of "Roadrunner." It's her favorite record for "dance party" time.

Aside from the great songs themselves, Pat Fish's saucy little interpolations and spoken asides are among the most charming in rock. "Surprisingly tasty!"
posted by BT at 9:05 PM on August 20, 2007

Oh, and indeed, great post! I'd actually seen the website but stupidly didn't notice all the mp3s...
posted by BT at 9:06 PM on August 20, 2007

When I was in high school and these new fangled CD thingys were coming out my friend and I took a Jazz Butcher CD to a shop to try out a DENON player and sampled Southern Mark Smith (Pavement also makes reference to Mark Smith.)

The salesman couldn't believe we'd listen to acoustic guitars to get a sense of the quality of CDs. He'd never heard of the Jazz Butcher and, no doubt, wished he never had.

He has some great songs, I particularly like Who Loves You Now, particularly when thinking of an ex and feeling particularly bad. Yes, particularly.
posted by juiceCake at 9:28 PM on August 20, 2007

Do you know what happens if you leave a fish too long in an elevator?

Even when JB sang about Bettie Page when I was a youth, I had no idea who she was and when I finally found out all I had to do was fall back on the song. Roped and trussed, indeed.

Scandal in Bohemia/Sex And Travel is one of my favorite CDs of all time.
posted by DonnieSticks at 10:02 PM on August 20, 2007

Wow, a Jazz Butcher FPP. Well done!
posted by mykescipark at 10:03 PM on August 20, 2007

Pity there's only a snippet of Marnie, I love that track.
posted by Joeforking at 2:52 AM on August 21, 2007

This is PARTYTIME...and you've got to say its better than a war...and it's better than a cold bath with someone you dislike.

Ah, good times. Carsonb, thanks for posting this.
posted by applemeat at 3:43 AM on August 21, 2007

So, so brilliant. Bath of Bacon and Southern Mark Smith warmed my university nights. Not a lot of people got him back then either. Thx bunches, carsonb.

BT - have her listen to La mer. It makes me feel four years old every time.
posted by progosk at 4:01 AM on August 21, 2007

The Devil Is My Friend is the greatest drinking song of all time. Or at least one of the sillier ones.
posted by ardgedee at 4:05 AM on August 21, 2007

This is good.
posted by grubby at 4:08 AM on August 21, 2007

I became aware of the Jazz Butcher via Spacemen 3's Sonic Boom. Pat plays on the first few solo Sonic Boom albums. Sonic even says "Hey, Pat..." on the track "Angel" off of the Spectrum LP.

Nice post!
posted by porn in the woods at 7:17 AM on August 21, 2007

A few years ago, on pure whim, I bought a copy of Illuminate. It remains one of my favorite albums. For some reason, though, I've never listened to anything else by the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy. I will have to explore these MP3s. Thank you, carsonb.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:18 AM on August 21, 2007

Great thread. Over the years I've managed to accumulate every thing the Jazz Butcher has released and it's all fantastic stuff.

Only managed to see him live once - opening up for Robyn Hitchcock here in LA.
posted by quartzcity at 5:13 PM on August 21, 2007

Ah, I love me some Butcher. Pain in the arse to find on CD. I had to rip my vinyl to get my fix.

One of my best music days ever: Ray Charles in a park in the afternoon and then Jazz Butcher at night up in LA. Went with a great friend who later died cross-country skiing, in an avalanche.

And so it goes.
posted by billder at 8:33 PM on August 21, 2007

Why'd they have to go and kill Olaf Palme?
posted by lukievan at 8:49 PM on August 21, 2007

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