Jim Testa CD review {Jersey Beat]

Music Reviews
Jim Testa CD review {Jersey Beat]
Jun 1, 2004, 02:27

JIM TESTA There Goes The Neighborhood CD

There Goes The Neighborhood sounds just like the record you expect a long time fanzine editor to make. Jim Testa's singing is the epitome of shaggy-dog charm; very rough around the edges. The songs are comfy and familiar musically and lyrically earnest, smart-assed and cranky.

Herein Testa mines the jauntier, more cynical side of singer/songwriter-dom ala John Prine, Loudon Winawright et al. It is slightly vaudevillian folk-rock filled with thoroughly topical observations about life in latter day counter-culture. Makes me wanna break out the Biff Rose and Martin Mull albums! Ya'd think he'd know better than to make such a stereotypical “rock critic record.”

And of course he does! Testa's written about music since '73 at least and edited Jersey Beat—the Bible for fledgling rockers in the NJ/NY region—for over two decades now. The man does know what he's doing and how it will be received by trendsetters and scenesters: i.e. as the ultimate in non-hip. So what's cooler than being cool? Yep, this is the epitome of DIY punk ethic kicking against the pricks. Lalalala.

Just so you know, I have written for Jersey Beat occasionally and have known this cat longer than most of you have drawn breath. Also, I was dragooned into contributing bass guitar to one tune. But, all the above is true I avow nonetheless. [Jersey Beat Music]

-Howard Wuelfing

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