Dr. Atomic's Medicine Show | Denial

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Pop: Quirky Folk: Political Moods: Type: Political
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by Dr. Atomic's Medicine Show

Dr. Atomic's Medicine Show is a raucous blend of music, political satire, vaudville, and comedy promoting justice, environmental sanity and human rights proving that laughter truly is the best medicine.
Genre: Pop: Quirky
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Glorious Glanderbuilt
3:52 album only
2. Gamblin'
2:20 album only
3. Dubya Blues
4:43 album only
4. Screw
2:18 album only
5. Raw Deal
0:50 album only
6. Auto Erotica
6:10 album only
7. Afta Nafta
2:33 album only
8. Corporation Rag
7:35 album only
9. Uzi
1:51 album only
10. Stock Report with Louise Ruckhauser
0:43 album only
11. Denial
7:11 album only


Album Notes
Dr. Atomic's Medicine Show has been waging its Peace through Humor campaign for 27 years. The state of the world today is testimonial to the effectiveness of our campaign. However in spite of such a lousy record, we still have a great time dissing the powerful, while diverting any funds we may happen to collect on the way towards Peace, Justice, and Environmental Sanity.

Only NOW has anyone dared record us!! Hear the group that was banned by the Salem, OR Saturday Market! And once our recording engineer finagles his way into the Music Acadamy, we may be considered for nomination for a grammy!

So... please journey with us as we ride, Beverly Hillbilly-style into your sound equipment, our pick-up truck listing to the left, laden with props you cannot see, and try to imagine how much this will help save the world. Your investment is sound, for we don't get the money, Oregon Peaceworks will get it, and do GREAT things with it!



Sounds of the Planet:
Bears Run Amok, Dr. Atomic to Rescue
By Chris Roth
Talking Leaves, Fall, 2002

I have assiduously avoided reading newspaper headlines in recent months, but the large word "Bears" caught my eye as I passed the newspaper-delivery box on our rural mailbox post. A headline starting with "Bears," I figured, would not be more pro-war propaganda, sensationalist bad news, celebrity gossip, a corporate public relations piece, or other form of essentially irrelevant distraction with which to fill my mind. At the very least, it had the potential to actually interest me.

"Bears Run Amok..." -I read, as I pulled out the paper to look (wow, that could be exciting! where?somewhere local?)-"...on Wall St."Wall St., let's see, is there a Wall Street in Eugene, or somewhere else in Lane County?

When I saw the subhead about stock prices plummeting, I realized that, temporarily unjaded by and unaccustomed to the abstractions that fill modern communication media, I had taken the headline literally And I was reminded of how far language and daily modem "reality" (as represented in those media) have come from what is real to me. Is there someone, anywhere, in the larger public arena, who is willing to call a spade a spade, and use it to dig a garden bed?

Fortunately, there are many such people (the names Vandana Shiva, Michael Moore, Starhawk, Dennis Kucinich Anna and Frances Moore Lappe, and Barbara Lee spring immediately to mind). But closer to home, the members of Oregon's very own "Dr. Atomic's Medicine Show" are battling absurdity in their own unique way.

I encountered this pseudo-scientist and his co-conspirators this year at the Oregon Country Fair. Sponsored by Oregon Peaceworks (www.oregonpeaceworks.org), this eclectic group blends music, political satire, vaudeville, and comedy. According to its website, "Dr. Atomic's Medicine Show has been waging its Peace through Humor campaign for 27 years. The state of the world today is testimonial to the effectiveness of our campaign However in spite of such a lousy record, we still have a great time dissing the powerful, while diverting any funds we may happen to collect on the way towards Peace, Justice, and Environmental Sanity."

Fortunately, the Medicine Show has been enticed to record a CD of much of their recent material, and the disc, entitled Denial, captures the wit, intelligence, enthusiasm, and insight of the show itself. Two narratives and nine song medleys share the Medicine Show's takes on everything from body image, gambling, the presidency, military spending, and electricity deregulation to car-addiction, globalization, corporate hegemony, guns, economics, and environmental consciousness.

Louise Ruckhauser's Stock Report (Denial's penultimate track), reminds me of my encounter with "Bears Run Amok": "Stocks opened on a mixed note this morning: helium was up, feathers were down, fluorescent tubing was dimmed in light trading, and diapers remained unchanged. In agriculture, cows steered into a bull market, caterpillar stock inched up a bit, and frog legs took a jump.... In other areas, ...pencils lost points, soap slipped, escalators continued their slow decline, Coca-Cola fizzled, and Scott Tissue touched a new bottom."

Dr. Atomic's forté, however, is matching clever lyrics to familiar music, mostly popular tunes from the 1950s and 1960s (some are older), performed in medley style. For example: "I looked in the mirror and what did I see / Hair that doesn't answer to a comb / An endless list of inadequacies / God, I'm ugly to the bone" (to the tune of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"); "Brains! The head of state is lacking in brains/ But he doesn't mind, and he will not see /Whoa-o these brains of Bush/ Kill democracy! Yeah" (to the tune of "Chains"); "Hey, Good Lookin', whatcha got cookin'? / Good God! it's genetic'ly altered food / Wings on potatoes, big-eared tomatoes / Frankenfood is something I won't chew" (to the tune of "Hey Good Lookin'"); "Ozone was a gas that saved us from a sunburn / We didn't know it wouldn't last / Ozone left its home above the Polar Regions / And Freon made it happen fast! / Well, get back! Get back! / Get back to where you once belonged" (to the tune of "Get Back").

While the subject matter of these spoofs is serious, the spirit that Dr. Atomic and his merry band of pranksters bring to their observations and exhortations is exuberant. Tellingly, after addressing the problem at hand, many of these medleys end by suggesting solutions. ("You've got to walk around the block tonight / Got to walk, walk, walk/ Keep your car outta sight," to the tune of "Rock Around the Clock") As a result, my main urge while watching them perform and listening to their CD was not to get depressed about the state of the world, but to laugh, sing myself, and be thankful that "speaking truth to power" can be so obviously exhilarating-and eventually, hopefully, effective.

Musically, the eight medicine show members use their voices, guitar, and harmonica to full potential-they are lusty, expressive singers in the best parodic tradition. Professionally produced, and accompanied by a complete lyric book, this wry, humor-leavened CD bears repeated listenings without going stale, and the "bread" it raises goes to an excellent cause: Oregon Peaceworks

And Denial a not just an exercise in "singing to the choir," preaching to those who already will agree with it. Unlike humorless rants about the dysfunctions of our politics and our society, it has the potential to get through to people who are themselves currently in denial-and perhaps even to those whom it lampoons. We can only hope. (To order go to www.cdbaby.com/cd/dratomic/.)

www.oregonpeaceworks.org Oregon Peaceworks
www.oregonpeaceworks.org/dra/ Dr. Atomic's



to write a review

Doug Merrill

great parody, telling like it is! wonderful!
I love this CD, it's perfectly intertwined,grat selection, also telling the truth about this administration in this way is not only fantastic, but can't help to open more eyes as this CD steamrolls the charts to #1. Keep up the great stuff!


the best political songs on the world
How good is the CD's full version? probably the greatest ever.

Steve Edwards

A Truely Funny buncha songs, disrespectful of the Status Quo
I've seen Dr. Atomic live, and this CD is a good representation of their humor and GREAT vocal harmonies.

Plus, the Oregon Peaceworks gets a boost with every sale...


best about bush i've ever heard
I have never heard anything like it from any artist that dared to insult the president as this band has made.