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Saturday, February 09, 2002

I've met again Donna Ong, who I know from the second Witchfinders Production in 1997. Her website is www.athena-music.com. I must include her in the Star Galaxy. We're at Lisa Dery's apartment in Englewood right now.

It's "whom," isn't it...

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Ah. Another opinion just in, Polly Paulusma, singer songwriter from London, with whom Major Matt Mason USA and I shared the bill at Spice of Life. "Peter, I LOVE Pro-Choice on Mental Health. You get me at that crying/laughing cusp."

Monday, February 04, 2002

Ah, returning to the office this morning after our London trip I found the following on my desk, the first review of the Pro-Choice on Mental Health CD and it's terrible. It's so bad that I must put it on the website, linked to the PConMH project page, and here it also is:

It's the 4th of February, 2002. The following criticism leaves the reader with no doubt that it is a negative review of the Pro-Choice on Mental Health CD.  
Applause! Applause! Volume VIII, Issue 2 Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens Editor in Chief, Tel/Fax: 718-357.7075 A subscription publication
John Patrick Schutz
Pro-Choice on Mental Health - Peter Dizozza
CD Review (CVII Recordings)
As the album cover states, "Pro-Choice On Mental Health - A Seven Song Cycle with Monologues and Mini-Play" originated on a Strange Folk Sunday at Lach's Fort at SideWalk in January of 1996. Somehow though only thirty-seven minutes and twenty seconds long, the piece seemed to me to take at least two or three geological ages of the world. Then I actually had to listen to it AGAIN in order to review it properly. I would love to sue to get that hour and a half of my life back. To be fair, I am unsure whether this performance art piece is to be taken seriously or considered a satire of the mental health system in this country. If seriously, I am very frightened for the artist, and suggest that he get a new therapist and get off the medication he claims on the album they are prescribing for him. If this is indeed satire, I failed to find the humor. Yes, our mental health system leaves much to be desired, and yes, the "magic pill" for every problem in your life may have created a generation of insecure neurotics who think peace of mind can only be found through chemicals. Unfortunately, this piece doesn't find any recognizable humor in these foibles. The monologues are abrupt and lacking in focus, and the songs are recorded with the singer off-key against a sythesized score with a mechanical rhythm device. Again, extremely unfortunate if serious and extremely annoying if purposeful.
The song lyrics are simplistic and without clear direction; "Thank you doctor, you heard all of it, and your pills they do not hurt a bit. I have been caught in time, to sit with dreams benign. But come the clear sign, I lash out like lions - in their prime." And so on, and so on. If you care to listen to someone else's therapy, perhaps this album is for you. As for me, in ten years of reviewing, I have always strived to find something positive to say about any work I review, no matter how unpolished or incomplete. It hurts me to do so, but unfortunately, the only positive thing I can find about "Pro-Choice On Mental Health is that having listened to it twice, I will never have to listen to it again. The album appears to be available through www.cinemavii.com. 
Peter Dizozza comment: It appears from a web search that John Patrick Schutz is a 2 time MAC nominee Cabaret Performer (The Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs gives out MAC awards.). He has worked with Neil Burg, a songwriter music director whom I know from the BMI Music Theatre Workshop. Although his review is dismissive, I find no fault in it. I question whether the literal meaning of the word "listen" applies when he uses it, since it is my position that if he had listened he would have enjoyed the album. His quote from The Song of Laughter and Forgetting is representative of my lyric writing. I do not claim to take medication in the album. Although he states it as obvious, his well-worded statement, "Yes, our mental health system..., Yes, the 'magic pill'...." accurately summarizes the album's intent.   

Here's you're chance to get a copy of your very own. (The new edition is enhanced with an MPEG scene from The Last Dodo and bonus tracks, alternate takes of songs from other CVII recordings, featuring my controversial vocals.)

Sunday, February 03, 2002

While in London, I bought Time Out London's number 1640 & 1641.
Here are their Dizozza descriptions.

Number 1640
Friday 25, * Peter Dizzoza + Conrad Vingo + Overwater + Liam Moore + Andi Neat Up All Night at Spice Of Life W1. Unsigned talent showcase, headlined by funny anti-folk fella Dizzoza, who plays keyboards for Major Matt Mason USA and here promotes his new CD, 'Pro-Choice On Mental Health'.

Number 1641
Wednesday 30 * Peter Dizzoza + Amy Thomas + James Henry + Toph Up All Night at River Bar & Brasserie S#1, Dizzoza is the latest (and possibly strangest) star of downtown NYC's anti-folk scene to make it across the pond. Imagine a nerdy John Turturro playing Woody Allen and chanelling Harry Nilsson and you're half way to grasping the Sondheim meets Burroughs vicissitudes of new CD, 'Pro-Choice On Mental Health'. Maybe he'll perform his sublime, hysterical 'miniplay', 'Self Rape Among Tubing'.