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Houston Press (June 9-15, 2005; Volume 17, Number 23, houstonpress.com) 1621 Milam, Houston TX 77002
I, Ching, by Scott Faingold
Bling it on: Nusic raps about ice, sex and , um, God.
"I'm the doctor of ching," raps Portland's wackest MC, Roger Nusic, who'll be performing at Sound Exchange this Friday. The relationship between ching and bling in Nusic's private universe seems to be something like a Northwestern equivalent to the Far Eastern yin and yang. For those out of the Nusic loop, ching is money (as in the cash register sound effect ka-ching), and bling is, well, bling: flashy, expensive accoutrements. "You're waving your bling-bling and you're burning your ching-ching," Nusic continues, eventually arriving at the pointed question "How many times in your life will you double your ching-ching?"
The theme of high finance looms large over Nusic's new 23-song CD, Burn or Save, starting with the title, which the self-professed Christian claims has nothing to do with heaven and hell. "You can either save your ching or you can burn it," explains Nusic during a recent phone call from Oregon. "I've noticed recently that a lot of rappers are into investing their money, like LL Cool J, for instance, and I think that's great."
A religious element informs Nusic's outlook, but he doesn't want to be too pushy about it. "I think a thrid of the songs on the CD have a Christian angle. But I don't want people to get the wrong idea. Today many people associate being Christian with being right-wing, and I'm definitely not right-wing," he says, "Far from it. I believe in God and I go to church and sometimes I rap about my beliefs, but I'm not trying to tell anybody what to think. Not at all." In fact, Nusic is about twice as likely to rap salaciously about sex as to praise God.
"Those are just two parts of life - religion and sex. They shouldn't contradict each other, especially because none of us would be able to worship God if nobody had sex, because nobody would be born." Touche.
Nusic has only recently turned to hip-hop for inspiration, after several years of playing alternative rock. "It seemed like all the alternative rock I was hearing sounded like something old and tired, but hip-hop just seemed much more fresh to me." Still, Nusic's music ain't your pimp daddy's hip-hop. Turntable scratching and 808 beats are all over the songs on Burn or Save, but the songwriting is all guitar-based, and there are frequent violin solos. (Yes, violin.) Then there's Nusic's voice, abrasive and adenoidal, with no discernible flow but plenty of enthusiasm. Even by white-boy rap standards, it's far from smooth. And unlike the cockney urban tone of the streets, there's no way to chill to this stuff.
"I feel a little inferior to a lot of the rappers out there," admits Nusic, possibly understating the case. "My favorite is Jay-Z. It's amazing the way he takes simple and just drives it."
The way that Nusic naively takes disparate elements and forces them together under his distinctly shameless personality makes it tempting to lump him in with homespun semiprofessional "outsider" artists like the Shaggs, Daniel Johnston and Wesley Willis. But Nusic describes himself best on the song "Alternative Punky Day." To wit: "punky, funky, monkey, honky, wonky dinky, binky, kinky, stinky..." What more could we possibly add? Bring it on, doc. - Scott Faingold, 8 p.m. Friday, June 10. Sound Exchange, 1846 Richmond. For information, call 713-666-5555 or visit www.rogernusic.com. Free.
Read the Oct. 2002 Exotic Magazine article on Roger Nusic
On "L L L L L"
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2001 7:11 PM
I just wanted to compliment you on your music.
Brilliant and totally inspiring!
I really enjoyed "Dragon of Hercules".
" We sure Love UR c.d.!!! LLLLL & Dragon of Hercules & Shimmering Figure & Oh Yeah & When I Was A Girl!!! are our favorites right now!!!" ( Gayle M. at KMUD 91.1 FM Redway, CA, 03/29/2000 by e-mail)
"I listened to your CD. I was in a bad mood when I put it in, and it actually made me feel better, so thanks." (from Ty, at KNRK 94.7 FM Portland, OR, Jan. 11, 2000 by e-mail)
45 (forty-five magazine) ( Issue 01) 8155 Watt Ave, #228, Antelope, CA 95843, phone: 916.705.4913, Editor: Fatima Jones, Published 2001
ROGER NUSIC || Madman or visionary? With an eclectic style like no other, who is this man in the gold lame cape? The one who calls himself Roger Nusic?|| Interview by Tiven Chimene
You wear a gold cape on the CD cover and you wear the cape as you perform. What's up with that and have you always been an "interesting, odd fellow?"
Well, the gold cape usually moves with me and the only time it is actually "up," is if I jump off something high, or if there's a big gust of wind from below. Otherwise, it's hard to make the cape go up, since the material it's made out of is kinda heavy. Am I odd? One is an odd number, so I guess I'm an "odd fellow." I wonder what it would be like to be an even fellow, I suppose...2, 4, 6, 8...
How many instruments do you play?
I play the violin, guitar, voice, and drum machine. I don't play piano or any kind of organ.
What are you working on next, musically wise?
I have a bunch of new songs, still in the trippy dance vein, that I'm currently working on. I even have a new love song, that is a work in progress, but it can only be played on the piano, and I am not a piano player.
Who would you like to have a "dream session" in the studio with?
Yeah, I can see it now...My every whim catered to...Yes, what kind of food would you like, sir? Right now I like doing all the tracks myself. But, producer or engineer wise, I don't know. It would have to be someone that could make my music soar to the upper level, maybe George Martin. If it wasn't for Sir George's work and mentorship, there probably would not have been The Beatles.
What do you hope to accomplish with your music? What are you trying to get across to the world?
I love being on stage and performing for people, hopefully more than for. I love to write and create songs and enjoy playing the violin. I wish I could be lucky enough to be able to do this as a monetarily successful musician one day. Until then, I will continue being that "odd fellow" in the gold cape, playing my heart out to all who will listen.
(Roger Nusic's "Now We Are Near" appears on this month's CD sampler.)
From www.cdart.com Roger Nusic bulletin board
- Posted by Melanie Joiner on May 31, 1999 at 09:50:11:
Nusic is such a freak... I love it. This guy is so far out my brain explodes with ecstasy. Roger is my super freak
WILLAMETTE WEEK ( Volume 26, Issue 19, March 15, 2000, Portland, Oregon)
MUSIC Section by John Graham firstname.lastname@example.org
"PARTY OF ONE" (show preview for Thursday, March 16, 2000, at Berbati's) ...on Roger Nusic
... A lusty psychedelic-pop shaman with a cape and an erotic calendar.
STAGE NAME ---- Roger Nusic
REAL NAME ------ "Roger Nusic"
AGE ---------------- 36
RHYTHMS COURTESY OF: -- Boss DR-5 drum Machine
SAMPLE SONG TTILES --- "Lovers Loving Lovers Loving Love," "Flower Of A Woman"
DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC: - I kind of think of it as being dance-y, because of my drum machine. And trippy because I use a lot of echo. Y'know...it's rocky, poppy, whatever.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GO IT ALONE?-- I've had a ton of band member changes [which made it] very hard to make progress.... I've found with the drum machine, I'm able to give a pretty consistent performance, pending technical difficulties.
ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 10 HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR "CONTROL FREAK" INDEX? -- It's true that being a solo person is kind of being a control freak, but if you were in a band, you wouldn't expect outside people to be able to tell you what to do.
IS ONE REALLY THE LONELIEST NUMBER THAT YOU'LL EVER DO? -- Everyone used to tell me "You have balls to get up there and do that on your own." I thought, "That's the easy part. The hard part is practicing."
Roger Nusic the character! He is solo... relying upon electronics and his own sheer talent. He is a comic wizard, an absolute crowd charmer (constantly leaving the stage to 'be with the people'), and a wonderful guitarist and violinist. The personality that drips from Roger is to love. You just have to love a guy who can sing a song called "When I Was a Girl" and tells you to buy his CD entitled "L L L L L" (???) By Sonya in 1999 for "In Music We Trust."
On "L L L L L" - During recording, Special Attention was given to detail so that even when U lay down and put Ur ear close to our rain drenched ground U can still hear the pounding beats and grinding melodies (of course Ur stereo system is turned up loud enough to level the city). As U listen, U 2 will B able to dance, trip (don't fall down), and well, have cool time. With the music as a vehicle, let Ur mind drive U there, and walk back as U linger in another place. Track 1 is 4 Lovers + 1, that includes everyone. When U can't escape with words say track 2. But U know, life, the beginning of the world, now we R near. Don't growl like a dragon of Hercules, instead have a heart is the heart talk with a junkie with red eye blues. When the road is hot U might C a shimmering figure. Get inside the music and the girl, don't U know, when I was a girl, I always thought Hallelu - who is it knocking. O yeah it's the flower of a woman & I've got 2 have sex with U, and U walk, but Ur 19 singing psalm 23. (RN)
The Stranger  (March 12 thru 18, 1998 Vol.7, NO.25, Seattle, Washington)
ROGER NUSIC (Thurs March 12, Uncle Rocky's): Always entertaining - probably in more ways than he means to be - Portland's Roger Nusic is a strange bird, to say the least. A cape-wearing guitarist whose style defies explanation, the diminutive Nusic's distinctive dance and passion for mid-song audience exploration is just the thing for anyone looking for new kicks - Kathleen Wilson
Virus: The First Strain (May 1995 This was available at http://american.recordings.com/wwwofmusic/VIRUS But I don't think it exists anymore)
"Hey Everyone... It's an Interview with Roger Nusic"
Roger Nusic is Tualatin, Oregon's hottest musician, and he looks really good in gold lame'. His music is really experimental and kind of strange and that's why we like him. From The Cars, to The Oak Ridge Boys, to Nine Inch Nail, to Middle Eastern Top 40, Roger Nusic has it all.....is the world ready?
Where did you get your inspiration for the calendar? Well, that's my stage costume. I wear jeans under my gold lame' panties because I get down on my knees a lot and it hurt my knees just to wear the panties. I tried knee pads but they didn't work too well. I like jeans because they have a lot of pockets and I like pockets.
Why do you like pockets? Because you can put things in them. ...
Why the gold Lame? When I first started doing this I was tied to a michrophone stand. I had a lot of hip movement and wanted a fabric that would accentuate my hip movement because I didn't have a spotlight to accentuate my hip movement.
And the cape? Well, I wore a black cape for a halloween show and I became entranced with the way the fabric moved around me so I had a gold one made. People sometimes call me a superhero because of the bikini bathing suit and the cape like Superman. I do a simulated bellydance during Lovers Loving Lovers Loving Love. I'm not a belly dancer but I do hip and arm movements. The song has Middle Eastern influences so I bellydance.
You even have a gold violin? Yes. It was custom made by Zeta in Oakland (CA). It took a long time to find that finish. I wanted it to look like gold nuggets so they found a finish. It's rad. It's electric--Oh Yeah.
Tell me about Oh Yeah "Oh Yeah" is the most used phrase in the porno industry. "Oh yeah baby, oh yeah." ...
PDXS (Vol. 3, No. 19, 12/06/93 - Portland, OR)
HELOOO ROGER by Bill Redden (with a picture of Belly dancers on the other side of the page)
So what exactly is Roger Nusic, anyway? Proto-rock super star? Megalomaniac? Sex God? far be from from us to judge a fellow who wears a cape on stage, but one thing is for sure - Roger is a package unto himself. With his Prince Valiant haircut, screaming guitar, trademark croon of "Helloooo lovers," and, of course superhero style cape, Roger is undefinable. And if anything, his video release only adds to his mystique.
Yes, Roger has a
video. And it's not just cable access garbage with the standard goofy
effects. It's a big budget professional package, produced by Doug Freel,
who has made videos for the likes of the Replacements, the Cult and
Poison. Titled "Can I Come In And See You," the video opens with
Roger's screaming guitar, cuts through several locations - featuring Roger
surrounded by adoring fans - and captures, to an extent, the essence of the man.
(Number 86, October/November 1993; POB 60790, Pasadena, CA
91116) ROGER NUSIC & VAGUE SUNSHINE ORCHESTRA "Hello
Lovers Roger Nusic Here For You Only" CD - As a clinically
depressed agnositc recluse, it isn't shocking that I actually like this one hour
tour into the demented song-bag of the Johnny Appleseed of acid Gospel
Rock. Roger & his band (which consists of two guys and changes its
name with every release/mention) could be the Muppet band playing at a pep rally
for Jesus. In fact, it's actually pretty cool, if you're locked in a
padded kindergarten. My faves are "One" (the chorus explains the
Trinity more-or-less), and "Who Is It Knocking" is way catchy!
If you like Napolean XIV, you'll enjoy this band with a stupid name. They
used to call themselves Roger Nusic & Conceptual Flowers before moving on to
the even more radical Conceptual Balls. And don't forget to listen for the
Gilligan's Island theme song on "We Are The Lost Children." All
thiss and a little pink heart where you can paste your picture. "Yes! Jesus
luh-uh-uvs you!" -Beri Beri
FLiPSiDE (Number 86, October/November 1993; POB 60790, Pasadena, CA 91116)
ROGER NUSIC & VAGUE SUNSHINE ORCHESTRA
"Hello Lovers Roger Nusic Here For You Only" CD - As a clinically depressed agnositc recluse, it isn't shocking that I actually like this one hour tour into the demented song-bag of the Johnny Appleseed of acid Gospel Rock. Roger & his band (which consists of two guys and changes its name with every release/mention) could be the Muppet band playing at a pep rally for Jesus. In fact, it's actually pretty cool, if you're locked in a padded kindergarten. My faves are "One" (the chorus explains the Trinity more-or-less), and "Who Is It Knocking" is way catchy! If you like Napolean XIV, you'll enjoy this band with a stupid name. They used to call themselves Roger Nusic & Conceptual Flowers before moving on to the even more radical Conceptual Balls. And don't forget to listen for the Gilligan's Island theme song on "We Are The Lost Children." All thiss and a little pink heart where you can paste your picture. "Yes! Jesus luh-uh-uvs you!" -Beri Beri
[ Roger Nusic Home ]
[ News & Shows ] [ Roger's Bio ]
[ Go Buy Buy Nusic stuff ]
[ Sound Bytes ]
[ Press clippings 2 ]
[ Hot n Cool Links ]
[ e-mail: email@example.com ]
Roger Nusic, P.O. Box 1661, Tualatin, Oregon 97062, USA ;503-727-2637;
Roger Nusic, P.O. Box 1661, Tualatin, Oregon 97062, USA ;503-727-2637; firstname.lastname@example.org