Album Review

McGregor, Dion – “Dreaming Like Mad With Dion McGregor” – [Torpor Vigil Industries]

Thurston Hunger   8/27/2014   A Library, CD

Ken Nordine and Charles Nelson Reilly spent a fortnight in a bomb shelter?
Dion shouldn’t need an introduction here, he’s been a star at KFJC for
many years (sadly he’s been dead even longer, RIP 1994) But “rest in peace”
doesn’t really apply to the world’s greatest sleep talker. Hopefully folks
recall Curtis Kimby’s KFJC special from 2012 (we should repost it online
to celebrate this new batch of somniloquies). His catty and natty approach
would easily garner a hit show on the Bravo Network today, he knew he was
a star long before these releases. The notion of him speaking while
dreaming is its own fascinating element, in this world of voyeurs.
The “capture” of traffic is rhetorically sound as well, for either
audio verite or as a symbolic statement on life in the city. To me, Dion
*is* New York (you know, the city that never sleeps). The key thing
getting past the various subtexts is the text. Dion is a comedic genius,
he blurs surreal edges on somewhat everyday acts. From the start, when he
literally gets lost in the Sunday paper, enchanted Times indeed. He hits
Y2K panic well ahead of schedule with “Abie” (one of his dreams that ends
with a YELL, a Dion specialty; see also “Air Raid”, “The Head Game” and
“Strenching”). “Ranch” is his brother maybe, and that ends almost in a
dream-defying laugh. “The Face Down There” is an askew look at sexual
identity, complete with a face-genitals swap. “TYN” short for Thumb Your
Nose albeit with one tiny “Shit” is an insansely insightful piece and
well-written, I mean dreamt. The package and sequence of tracks here
is exceptionally well done. It all impaled my ears deeper with each
listen, and Dion’s dream-world makes more sense with more spins.

-Thurston Hunger

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