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So, he's recutting almost everything here even though he didn't lose the rights to his songs to himself — just because he can. That's an Ant man for you. Opener "Losing You Makes Crucifixion Easy" has almost every reason you should care: one pip of a Wurlitzer toodle, fervent rhyming in short jabbing rounds, and a delightful sense of being enslaved ("You made me kiss you on the mouth," he finishes, in words, at least, before the universal girl-germ bleeghh!). Anton often comes on like the guy in the corner with his guitar making up songs in between grins at the girls, except that he always snaps off one witty couplet after another. His perversity extends to playing with numbers (see song titles vs. song positions below). But his tricks wouldn't mean much without vibrancy, and for all the giggles, he's quick to that crucifixion with every chorus.

Barbeau's 1000 times catchier than any deathmetalhead, but keep careful track of how often he conflates relief with destruction. "Pilot Plane Passenger" pushes peace through pantheism — given enough dope, he can fly inside his head higher than his jetbound body, can weave nouns together at an azumith ameliorating alliteration. Then it's back to "Boat Called Home," on his knees to the almighty (even if that's "just" a girl), "Do you still hear me?" and "If you say no" — still with the jokes — "I'll know it's time for me to die." And that, finally, is no laughing matter. A gently oscillating masterwork.

Album: Empire Of Potential
Artist: Anton Barbeau
Label: Idiot Records
Songs: (1) Losing You Makes Crucifixion Easy (2) Third Eye (3) Keep My Face Clean (4) Fuzzchild (5) Waterbugs & Beetles (6) The Automatic Door (7) Leave It With Me, I'm Always Gentle (8) This Is Why They Call Me Guru 7 (9) Octagon (w/the Bevis Frond) (10) Please Sir, I've Got A Wooden Leg (11) MTV Song (12) Heather Song (13) Pilot Plane Passenger (14) Another Stoned Piano (15) If I Could Bring You Trouble (w/Allyson Seconds) (16) Banana Song (Three Minute Tease w/Scott Miller) (17) Boat Called Home (18) Mahjong Dijon

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Jill Ballard Aug. 3, 2012 @ 1:07 p.m.

I was qualified for a radio contest in March where the grand-prize was to take over the station. I planned to play an Anton Barbeau track, but I didn't win. :( The winner, Heather, played commercial music.


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