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***“Like a child captured by wolves, the CHINESE RESTAURANTS might live in New York City, but they really don’t have a home. Though their roots are the Tucson, Arizona garage punk scene (home of the Fells!), LF RESTAURANT (aka ACAPULCO RODRIGUEZ) and KEITH RESTAURANT (neé REDGERSON) started the band long distance, from posts in Albany, New York and rural Connecticut. With Keith’s 11 year old Garfield-loving brother on drums, they threw song ideas over the phone and would play impromptu shows—often without rehearsing— including one via conference call. (When playing over 21 venues the Restaurants recruited Bunnybrains genius MALCOLM TENT to play drums). Of course, the sound was pure chaos, but over time and with infusions of American underground sounds like Beefheart, the Sun City Girls, and various Euro art pranksters the Restaurants started to find themselves. A name change to THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE JAZZ AGREEMENT lead to a Euro tour and an opening slot for Arthur Doyle. And it should probably be expected that the next step for our Restaurants was to reemerge as “a grotesque, sexually inappropriate Doors cover band.” Come 2010 and the Chinese Restaurants are finally committing themselves to vinyl. With the help of sonic saboteur MATIN (Billy Bao, Josetxo Grieta, NMM), the Restaurants created ‘River of Shit,’ an underground state of the state of the nation of sorts. A deft commentary on the Age of Obama or just another smart ass prank, we don’t know, but it sounds good. And the flip of ‘Work is a Drag’ and ‘Queen of the Skanks’ is a skanking sludge fest that would do both Flipper and No Trend proud.”—S.S.