Take Yer Pants Off & Dance
The Kid Fantastic takes the world by storm (and Cadillac) by David Urbanic Noah Engh doesn't care about you. Well, not you or anyone specifically, but merely the naysayers, critics and those inclined to interject their two-cents into his decidedly unconventional lifestyle cum career. If he did, he surely would not have achieved or continue to pursue as much as he has or does. Or with as much devil-may-care style and energy from someone at the ripe old age of twenty-three. This August (2010), Engh released his fifth album, Take 'Yer Pants Off and Dance, a whirlwind of manic country/blues indulgence recorded in Los Angeles by producer and all-analog maven Jason Mezilis. With such rich production value, a who's who of talented and renowned musicians backing him up on the recording, and songwriting that would make even the most venerable of veterans weep, it would be easy to assume that Engh, a.k.a. "The Kid Fantastic" is just another rich boy with the right connections. Nothing could be further from the truth. The songs are all Engh originals-save for one Howlin' Wolf classic-and hard won through several years of self-sustained, nonstop touring. Yeah, yeah, yeah, "nonstop touring", a cliché term that anyone looking for a little bit of credibility will throw out with the most meager of references. For "The Kid Fantastic", with several years of 200+ annual performances, booked and performed almost entirely himself, and with no address to call his own, the term couldn't be more of an understatement. At this point it would usually be pointed out, "but, he makes it look easy." Engh doesn't make it look easy. He makes it look hard. Because it is hard. While his performances are always astonishing combinations of unbridled showmanship, musicianship, and the perplexing ability to not just work, but own a crowd, if you spend more than a few minutes with him, you realize his visage is no act. His is the archetype of the hard working, hard partying, hard living showman of yore. He wears a very limited array of bombastic polyester suits, day and night. And by "night", I mean, he sleeps in his suit. Usually on the floor or couch of friends scattered across North America, some of which he may have met only hours earlier. He often shaves with a pocket-knife and uses more hair pomade than laundry detergent-a curiosity that has become a celebration in and of itself by friends and fans on his Facebook profile. It is this unique combination of talent, credibility and persona that has spurred my upcoming documentary film, My Caddy Won't Let Me. Coinciding with the release of Take 'Yer Pants Off and Dance, the film follows Engh throughout the southwest and up the west coast in a worn out 1972 Cadillac El Dorado. The antithesis of the typical "party all day, party all night" indie tour film, My Caddy Won't Let Me shows the true, mentally challenging, often mundane life of a legitimate, independent musician living on the road. With many gritty live performances, poignant interviews from "The Kid" himself, as well as numerous arts and music personalities, and surely some wild times (day and night) along the way, My Caddy Won't Let Me is primed to be a staple for independent music aficionados and film festivals worldwide. Take 'Yer Pants Off and Dance is being released by SB United Records, and in conjunction with myself and Jason Mezilis, is planning to release a music video for every song on the album, the first of which, "Buy You a House" can be seen on YouTube, and thekidfantastic.com. "The Kid Fantastic" has also teamed with HOT YR Entertainment and is slated to perform on their Down Under and Out, four month tour of Australia starting in February of 2011. My Caddy Won't Let Me is still in production, but is expected to be released in the winter of 2010 with a slew of music videos and live performances as DVD bonus features.