Profundity wrapped in absurdity is exactly what we crave from the one and only punk jazz visionary Mike Dillon. In one way or another, each of the 14 tracks comprising his latest offering, Life Is Not A Football, live up to that ideal. It's Dillon's third release in less than 12 months, following his solo recording, Functioning Broke, and the debut LP, Dogs, by Nolatet (his modern jazz quartet with Brian Haas, James Singleton and Johnny Vidacovich).
This time around, the New Orleans-based vibraphonist/percussionist/vocalist presents the current configuration of the Mike Dillon Band. Straight out of the Big Easy, it's a no-holds-barred affair. Dillon and company seethe, stutter, glide, pummel, prank and rage, often all at once on tracks like "Robo Tripping Vikings," "Speed Trap" and "Iggy In the Van." Drummer Matt Chamberlain joins the proceedings on the industrial funk anthem "Man Cunt," while Dillon's longtime mallet compatriot Earl Harvin adds marimba to the title track.
In Dillon's own words: "This is a punk-as-fuck record with lots of social commentary. These are songs about the acceptance of life, love and death. At 50, you are either cool with the impermanent nature of the universe, or you start a life of serious meds and booze-infused denial. Songs like ‘Cremate Me,' ‘Man Cunt' and ‘Friendship' deal with the happy little deaths that occur daily."