BMG's Rodent Weekend is an uneven rarities/retrospective package from one of pop music's most underrated writers and misunderstood characters -- uneven because that's the reality of Tonio K.
's professional career. Beginning as a member of the posthumous Buddy Holly
backing band the Crickets
in the early to mid-'70s under his given name Steve Krikorian
, Tonio K
made a real name for himself in the late '70s as America's outrageous answer to the British "angry young man" phenomenon carved out by Elvis Costello
and Joe Jackson
, among others. Needless to say he never achieved the notoriety of those two but as these songs will attest Tonio K
could be every bit as clever and biting as his famous counterparts. The majority of selections here are previously unreleased tracks from K
's Life in the Foodchain
period as well as demos for the La Bomba
EP. A small sampling of his immediate pre-Romeo Unchained
songwriting is unveiled as well. Concluding this album is the sarcastic, semi-hit "I'm Supposed To Have Sex with You" from the film Summer School followed by two minutes of sophomoric foolishness involving a hamster.