Picks and Pans Review: Woodstock 1985

updated 03/17/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/17/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Various Artists

It wasn't easy putting together a 1985 sequel to the 1969 concert on Max Yasgur's farm. "I couldn't get Hendrix," understates producer Marc Mylar, 33, "and other '60s bands wouldn't return my calls." So he and about 18 pals from L.A.'s underground music scene formed several bogus groups under assumed names and recorded what they imagined it would be like if '80s-style rockers gathered for a nouvelle Woodstock. The result is a clever, raucous collection of songs that parody today's rock music. O Sharkey's Dog, by a mock band called A Flock of New York Conceptual Artists Without Work, mercilessly pulls the plug on Laurie Anderson's style of electronic music. A truly sophomoric Breakin' Wind by the Ghetto Blasters knocks the hot air out of rap music, and Diplomatic Immunity by the Wounded Reagans, in which pugnacious lyrics are screamed out at high speed, sticks it to hard-core bands like the Dead Kennedys. Though some of the jokes are obscure and others are way beyond tastelessness, the performers' musical talent keeps the album on track. The band Mensch, including vocals by the Menschkins and drums by Goy George, hits a high note with Matzo Balls to the Wall, the plaint of a Yiddish rock 'n' roll papa who exorts his son to "be a doctor, be a lawyer" and not to "wear your metal spikes and play in your meshugge group." It's not as timeless as the original festival perhaps, but this album is a party in itself. (Trigon Records, 6837 Hanna Ave. Canoga Park, Calif. 91303)

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