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Mark Vickery’s Cosmic Bull “Unkindness Of Ravens” Reviewed


It was at a buddy’s bachelor party. I think Clinton was President. I had just spent 20 minutes pounding on the bathroom door yelling…

“Look either fuck her or snort it, I gots to piss!” Turns out there was no one in there, the door was just sticky. The line behind me was less than gruntled.

Walked out, and the first thing was a guy asking if I can spell him for “twenty beefs.” I cracked up, because it was a unit of measure previously unknown to me. This apparently involved making the next twenty Italian Beefs for partygoers.

When the hookers showed up I made my way to the kitchen because fuck that noise, and I detected a familiar smell coming from the back porch. They are singing the song of my people. But what smacked me up was not the wall of weed, but the fucker on the stereo. I recognized his voice.

I knew it, but just so out of context I couldn’t place it. I believe I had to interrupt a hacky-sack championship to find the CD case, and when I opened it up and read the liners, it was one of those moments where the answer just pops into your head.

“Mark Vickery.” Well son of a bitch. I wonder if he still has that goddamn mustache?”

I had interviewed him years before with his old band Word Bongo, and always liked his stuff. kinda deep voice, I wouldn’t really say rapper, but a guy who could speak you know? His studio stuff was great, and here he is with a live Acid Jazz outfit just spittin and not quitting.

So when I saw he had just started releasing new music after almost 20 years, it was a cause for celebration.

Let me put this plainly. Mark Vickery has grown, and we are all the better for it.

As a music journalist for over 30 years, I usually like to reserve judgement on an artist until they have an album out. Not that the number of songs is a benchmark, but more the notion that it’s been through the fine sieve a few times.

But there’s also that moment you want to send up a flare to your fellow musical degenerates that says…

“Get the fuck in here man. This guy is the real deal.”

“Unkindness of Ravens.” is the second single from Cosmic Bull, Chicago’s Mark Vickery’s new joint. It is just a goddamn lovely song, but it comes with a message.

The notion it was inspired by Greta Thurnberg should tell you much about the song, and the man who wrote it.

Listen deep  here friends. You will be richer for it.

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