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Ex-Presidents Of The U.S.A.'s Chris Ballew Gets Wacky With Giraffes

Dec 19, 1997, 12:00 am PT

Chris Ballew, formerly of the Presidents of the United States of America, who announced their breakup this week, has some pretty unique ideas for his debut solo album, 13 Other Dimensions, which is scheduled for release on Jan. 13 on indie label My Own Planet Recordings and distributed by Caroline Records.
  My Own Planet owner Michelle Van Valey says that this album will be the first in a series of six, and that Ballew will be working under the name The Giraffes (allstar, Dec. 17) -- a fictional band of six hand puppets who originally formed in the '70s, faded into obscurity, and have since resurrected their musical career. In addition, Van Valey says that Ballew has named each of these hand puppets and created musical backgrounds for each of them. Though the ex-President is singing and performing all of the instruments himself, he's crediting the members of the Giraffes with the work. These members include Chickie (a baby chick), Yoko Glick (a duck on wheels), Giraffe (a giraffe), Monkey (a monkey), Monkey Jr. (Monkey's son, a little monkey), and Barry Lowe (a teddy bear).
  As for the album itself, 13 Other Dimensions will contain 13 tracks with such obscure song titles such as "Poodle Mouth" and "Chocolate Diminution" -- the latter is the first of 13 "dimensions" that Ballew will be revealing in later works. Van Valey says that Ballew recorded the keyboard- heavy album in his basement studio on an eight-track cassette recorder, and that it sounds sort of like the Beatles' Rubber Soul.
  As for the future of the Giraffes, Van Valey says that Ballew already has the next album ready to go and has enough tracks to fill four others. It's still unclear as to which label will be putting out these future works. Van Valey says that if the Giraffes sell over 10,000 units, the Presidents' former label, Columbia Records, will be taking over the project completely, and future albums by the Giraffes will be released by Columbia. However, if the Giraffes don't sell over 10,000 units, the project will remain on My Own Planet.

-- Tina Johnson

 

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