Bernie Bernie Headflap | The Royal We [2007 MASTER OF 1999 RECORDING]

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The Royal We [2007 MASTER OF 1999 RECORDING]

by Bernie Bernie Headflap

Here is a newly mastered version of BBH's 1999 3rd album, co-founder Alan McCabe's first crack at a one-man-band version of the ongoing project. It's a crazy eclectic blend of new wave, semitonal rap, synthfunk ala Parliament and mock orchestral pop rock.
Genre: Pop: New Wave
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Message
0:23 $0.99
2. Manmaderocketship Rise! (A Novella)
3:04 $0.99
3. The Northbounders (The Common We)
3:00 $0.99
4. Outcry
3:07 $0.99
5. XL Questions Concerning My Soul
3:28 $0.99
6. Stand the Kitsch
3:22 $0.99
7. Sweet Song Dude
3:01 $0.99
8. Press Conference
2:25 $0.99
9. List
2:46 $0.99
10. 444
3:38 $0.99
11. People Grapple
3:45 $0.99
12. FallApartGuy
3:13 $0.99
13. (Let's Get) Clinical
2:37 $0.99
14. Social Intercourse
4:30 $0.99
15. The Northbounders (The Common We) w/gtr real bass no samples
3:01 $0.99
16. People Grapple (real bass, near death vox)
3:45 $0.99
17. Manmaderocketshiprise! (A Novella) w/gtr
3:11 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Royal We, Bernie Bernie Headflap’s 3rd full-length album, has finally been released in the still somewhat popular CD format... and of course as a digital download!

2007 is the fifteenth anniversary of the formation of Bernie Bernie Headflap. What better way to celebrate, thought lead singer and primary songwriter Alan McCabe, than to finally release those three CDs recorded between 1996 and 2000 which were only ever released as Digital Automatic Music (DAM) CDs and so never really saw the light of day?

And now this thought has become reality. The second of those three CDs, 1999’s The Royal We is here and available for you to purchase. It is newly mastered, containing 17 tracks in all – 14 of the 17 tracks that the original release had, plus 3 alternate versions never released before -- plus it features all new artwork based on an idea of McCabe’s, brought to life in full blazing color by the illustration and design team of Holly Tickner and Mike Piontek.

Royal We is the first album from Bernie Bernie Headflap’s ‘one-man-band’ phase. It took the five-piece version of BBH who recorded 1998’s Less Like Penguins 3 years to do so, and in the process, that line-up began to disintegrate. Also, McCabe’s health was worsening, so he took a temp bass player’s suggestion to go it alone for awhile, and he sought to find out how long it would take him to record an entire album using nothing but his voice, a guitar, a mic and a pc with appropriate software. This is almost what then happened. He did get some help from friend Mike Bardzik at Your Mom’s Studio to record 3 of the songs; aside from that, he completed the original DAM version of the album in 8 months. The ironic thing is that it took many more years for audio software to develop to the point where all of McCabe’s excessive and wrongheaded recording choices could be processed into something listenable to the near-average ear. This new version mastered by Bardzik still contains eccentricities, but is overall a shiny specimen which should please many early 21st century music enthusiasts.

Similar to Less Like Penguins, which is also available on, the original sequence of songs are framed by a few numbers concerning some characters involved in a plotline. The characters this time are employee Chad Bradley, his wife Polly and the return of the Really Very Hungry Guy. Between their introduction to the listener and Chad’s apparent untimely demise in ‘Social Intercourse’, a bunch of extremely catchy songs transpire -- these songs’ relation to the frame story is anybody’s guess.

But the allure of the album, like that of any BBH album -- is that not only are the songs ridiculously catchy and fun -- they also cover a remarkably wide array of stylistic ground as well as a variety of moods.

For instance, “The North bounders (The Common We)” combines elements of new wave and white geek rap in a way no one else had done before or has done since, and though it rocks, there is nary a stringed instrument in the mix. “Stand the Kitsch” is funk parody with outrageous vocals. “List” is like Steely Dan meets Nirvana backing some dude who fancies himself to be a hard drinkin Irish stream of consciousness wordsmith poet. “FallApartGuy” is like Syd Barret-Philip Glass backed pseudo-sadness. All in all, you will find that this music touches upon as many colors as are represented on the cd cover -- and most are really that bright, too!

McCabe is particularly proud of the lyrics on this album. Here is a sampling: (coming soon)



to write a review

Mary Grace Pisano

Like an Amusement Park
Bernie Bernie Headflap
Review—The Royal We

How can one best describe the listening experience, no, the “experience” of Bernie Bernie Headflap’s “The Royal We”? I’ve thought about this—I haven’t thought about it very hard, because I haven’t needed to—an amusement park!

I love amusement parks. They are unpredictable. They are scary. They’re never boring. And, for heaven’s sake, they are FUN—they make you laugh, and you always have a good time!!. Well, some people don’t—and that is how I felt when listening to The Royal We! I enjoyed it so much, and like an amusement park, 90 percent of the people who go to them enjoy the experience and would go back for more! Maybe 10 percent would not, because they’re not amusement park people.

Headflap’s The Royal We, which was originally recorded in 1999, has been re-released and nicely re-mastered. My initial reaction when I saw the packaging of this CD was “Wow!” It has a very cool-looking, regal-looking queen on the front, and a punky-looking princess hottie on the back.

I would describe Headflap’s music as alternative, funky, rockish, techno-popish. Alan McCabe has a very interesting voice. Listening to his tracks makes me think flavors of Ray Davies the most. Sometimes I think Alan sounds Rick Ocasek-ish. But he definitely has his own style and sound, I think maybe they could have been influential? Alan has a way of acting his songs—his voice slightly changes to fit the characters of the particular track. I liked “Sweet Song Dude” for this reason. I found myself walking around repeating the “Sweet-So-ong” part of this song after I listened to it a couple of times. (Hey, can I ride that one again?)

I love the “Social Intercourse” track on this CD. Poor Chad Bradley. And Polly? And a guy called the Really Very Hungry Guy? It’s a sad and bizarre story, and it cracked me up. I had to listen to this one again and again (and that’s how that s—t went down). (Hey, let’s go on that one again!)

Headflap has a great instrumental tune on this CD—444. I don’t know what that means, 444, but it’s a great track. I’m no type of musician whatsoever, but Headflap’s tune arrangements seem genius to me. I love their percussion, and strong bass in their tunes.

Don’t know if I have a favorite track—“People Grapple” is right up there, though, if I did. I like the words in this one. I haven’t actually looked at any of the lyrics, and would like to (they’re not yet up on Headflap’s website for this CD). McCabe tells lots of his own life experience in his music.

As I said, 90% of people who go to amusement parks have a good time. I’m sure there are people out there who would not “get” this music.

Then they should just stay home. The rest of us will go!