Speaking of bonus tracks: the renowned French avant-garde electronica artist, M.NOMIZED has done a remix of the Season 5 track, CLAMS! So, yeah - that's another bonus track when you grab Season 5. Download the remix HERE
For those of you who have already downloaded the songs as they were released, we're going to make the two bonus tracks available as individual downloads for a few weeks. Once that grace period is past, they're getting "hidden" again and will only be available when you download Season 5 as a full album....
We've got a bunch of new videos for y'all too! We were going through Season 5 and trying to figure out which song to do a video for, so naturally, Sex With Meatloaf seemed like the thing to do. Check out the result HERE
Side note: if you haven't come across it, archive.org has the Prelinger Archives, an awesome collection of public domain films, ranging from US Army videos about how to avoid VD to the classic Cold War propaganda shorts. Most of the old footage we used in this video is from a wonderfully awful flick called "How To Be Popular," released in 1947.
While we were working on that, we had to film some hot kitchen action for the first verse of the song. Of course, we had to film the whole process of Biff and Tone making the meatloaf, which then turned into its own video ;-) Check out Cooking With Biff HERE
Finally, here's a little clip from our recent writing sessions. Even though Season 5 just finished, we're constantly working on new material. Yeah, it's kinda goofy, but it's a little window into the fun we have whenever we get together. We'll say this, though: the stuff we've got on tap for the next release is frigging killer...can't wait to share it with y'all!
The Singles - Season 5 Season Finale: Crystallizer
Welcome to the final episode of Season 5! Thank you all so much for the love and support - we'd like to think this is the best collection we've put together yet, and the response from y'all has been fantastic.
We do this because we love to make music, not to please record labels or cater to the flavor of the day. We can't tell you how much it means to get such an overwhelming response to our music, so all we can say is thank you again, and keep an eye out for the Season 5 Collector's Edition....
Inaptly named, Glaucis the raven is totally inside-out, brown reddish-brown and glistening with a clear viscous coat On the inside, a womb of black feathers which is where I lie, tiny and naked glass clouds on my mental teevee
it's talking it's talking it's talking it's talking it's talking shouts move along people, ain't nothing to see
This truck contains an awareness of teeth, black velvet fortress binding the eyes The abdomen splits, glass window reveals vertical cannon thick painted red, its exit wound pointed towards tissue carnation, hemoglobinious mouth in the sand
it's talking it's talking it's talking it's talking it's talking says move along people, ain't nothing to see
Citizens cover art by Albano Ruela Lou Caldarola: drum kit Andy Ewen: vocals Chris Huntington: guitar Conrad St. Clair: bass, guitar, keys, programming Maggie Weiser: vocals
By the way, if you're wondering why the hell the song is called Crystallizer, here's the deal: The character of the bass riff we built the song around comes from the combination of our lovely Pedulla fretless basses and a wonderfully bizarre effect made by Sound Toys called Crystallizer....
News from the Madison Area Music Awards
So the Madison Area Music Awards show was a BLAST! We had an awesome time playing, got to see some great performances from the other aritsts, AND we actually won something! Kicksville won Best Electronic Performer, and our Comissioner, Conrad St. Clair, received special Meritorious Award for his work as production manager
Not only did we get some love, but many Kicksville citizens who work with other artists recieved awards too: Geoff Brady won for Best Specialty Instrument (theremin); The Gomers won Best Unique Album; and Reptile Palace Orchestra won for Best World Album and World Song.
Our performance itself was so much fun it's hard to explain.... With so many incredible musicians on stage with us, we were all grinning from ear to ear the whole time. Plus, we got Jamie England and Buzz Kemper to act out the roles of Piggy and Luna during the song. Buzz's glowing red zoot suit was a big hit ;-)
We hope to have audio and/or video from the show soon, but for now, check out the quickie pictures Tone Deaf took during rehearsals and sound check HERE
We should also say for the record, Randy Tilk (our stage manager) and Brent Davies (our long-suffering crew chief and auxiliary percussionist) were amazing, and we couldn't have done this without their help. And of course, thanks to the house crew at Capitol Theater and the MAMAs staff for putting the whole thing together.
The Players! Biff Blumfumgagnge: guitar Geoff Brady: percussion Lou Caldarola: drum kit, djembe Paddy Cassidy: djembe Tone Deaf: spoken word Mamadou Diallo: percussion Brent Davies: percussion, crew chief Jamie England: vocals, Luna Andy Ewen: vocals Tim Gruber: djembe Chris Huntington: guitar Buzz Kemper: Piggy Mike Massey: keys Georgina McKee: vocals Beaker Parpovich: guitar, hobo kit Conrad St. Clair: bass, vocals Mike Stehr: keys, percussion Randy Tilk: stage manager Djam Vivie: djembe
Now here's a tune for everyone No more fun when day is done Nowhere to hide Nowhere to run The purple hum is gonna come The purple hum is gonna come The purple hum is gonna come
Citizens cover art by Alain Adam Andy Ewen: vocals Skinny Gaviar: spoken word Chris Huntington: guitar Beaker Parpovich: guitar Conrad St. Clair: programming
"This was when Billy first came unstuck in time. His attention began to swing grandly through the full arc of his life, passing into death, which was violet light. There wasn’t anybody else there, or any thing. There was just violet light - and a hum." --Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
Saxophones? You gotta fucking be kidding me You motherfuckers are sucking all over this joint Assholes You're playing like fucking children up there
Saxophones? You gotta fucking be kidding me You're breaking my heart up there Assholes Everybody can hear your fucking clams out there You don't need a mic for that
Stand out here all fucking night Trying to blow your fucking brains out When it comes time to play What do you play - clams? One clam and this whole fucking band is through tonight Try me
You wanna fuck with me on the bandstand? Nights off, nothing to do You come in and play this kind of shit for me? You got nowhere to fucking go the next set Because if I hear one fucking clam from anybody You've had it Fuck all of you
Saxophones? You gotta fucking be kidding me You're breaking my heart up there I'm up there working my balls off trying to do somebody a favor And you motherfuckers are sucking all over this joint Assholes Fuck all of you Everybody can hear your fucking clams out there You don't need a mic for that
You're all over the fucking place Miscue after miscue
Assholes Fuck all of you How dare you play like that for me We don't play two fucking bars In one fucking tempo Not one You try one fuckup the next set When you get back to New York You'll need another fucking job Count on it
Citizens cover art by Joe Myers Biff Blumfumgagnge: violin Lou Caldarola: drum kit Brent Davies: guitar Tone Deaf: programming Skinny Gaviar: keys Chris Huntington: guitar Beaker Parpovich: guitar Buddy Rich: insane ranting Conrad St. Clair: keys, programming Mike Stehr: bass Ben Surman: MIDI wind synth ...and featuring the West Side CLAM Chorus: Biff, Conrad, Ben
The Singles - Season 5 Episode 9: Freedom
This week's song is built around excerpts from a poem written in 1941 by John Beecher, "Freedom, The Word." All we did when editing was take out the specific references to 1941, and the message rings true as loudly today as it did then.
What I mean by the answer is not just something that satisfies your mind so you stop thinking about the problem and feel comfortable again, but I mean an answer that takes ahold of you, that won't leave you alone, that makes you act its way, that won't let you act any other way, that you go to sleep with, and wake up with, and it hasn't changed.
Freedom. The word freedom. Freedom the word. A good word freedom. But who using it means it?
What we've got now is half of the answer, and where an answer's concerned, a half's worse than none. Freedom. I have seen men fighting for their freedom here in America, fighting to make the law mean what the law says, fighting to make the Bill of Rights mean what the Bill of Rights says.
These are the things we can't help remembering, these are the things that give us pause: the beaten picket at the mill gate, the tear gas and the riot squad, the kneeling children in the berry fields. The slum. The slums. The slums upon slums upon slums upon slums and nothing really done. Freedom here? What freedom? Whose freedom? When freedom? The freedom of children to labor in the fields? The freedom of the tractor to plow under the sharecropper? That is not the freedom we mean to fight for.
The answer: Freedom the word. The word freedom. Worn smooth in the mouths of the orators, slick as an old coin in the pocket. A word of clean silver, though. Freedom meaning? Of the press to fight against freedom in the here and now? Of the few to own and the rest to be lucky to work? The old coin freedom is worn slick and smooth, the inscriptions rubbed off and the eagle dim but it is clean silver, and can be re-minted.
We are still waiting. Waiting for the answer.
Citizens cover art by M.Nomized lyrics based on "Freedom, The Word" by John Beecher Biff Blumfumgagnge: violin Geoff Brady: sound effects Lou Caldarola: percussion Tone Deaf: spoken word, sound effects Kia Karlen: sound effects Conrad St. Clair: keys, sound effects, programming Mike Stehr: sound effects
Season 5 cover art
Now that we're getting pretty far into Season 5, we thought we should remind you can check out high-res versions of the cover art on our Flickr page HERE. And for the record, when you download The Singles - Season 5 as a "whole album," you get .jpeg files of all these images too. Pretty cool, eh?
LIVE @ The Madison Area Music Awards June 23, 7pm Capitol Theater, Madison WI
Sunday, June 23 7:00pm Capitol Theater, Madison WI $15 general admission / $10 students and teachers Tickets are available now at the Overture Center box office or online HERE.
And, in case you were wondering, here's the full line-up... Yes, this is officially a fuckload of people, but if we're going to do a song without playback or the usual technical stuff we tour with, there are a LOT of parts to cover. ;-)
Biff Blumfumgagnge: guitar Geoff Brady: percussion Lou Caldarola: drum kit, djembe Paddy Cassidy: djembe Tone Deaf: spoken word, fireworks Mamadou Diallo: percussion Jamie England: vocals, egg shaker Andy Ewen: vocals Tim Gruber: djembe Chris Huntington: guitar Damien Jones: djembe Buzz Kemper: Piggy Mike Massey: keys Georgina McKee: vocals Beaker Parpovich: guitar, hobo kit Conrad St. Clair: bass, vocals Mike Stehr: keys, percussion Djam Vivie: djembe
We're only playing one song (it is an awards show, after all), but the MAMA organization's purpose is to help support music programs in local schools. So If you're in the area, come on down - it's all for a really good cause.
and when we move it's just like waves and when we move it's just like waves and when we move it's just like waves and I'm drifting out to sea and I'm drifting out to sea
take me away just like the wind take me away just like the wind take me away just like the wind and my mind is flying free
Jump drunk naked into the milk trench, where the crickets howl the axe routine. My wife, the asthmatic cheerleader, has left me again, this time for a tree stump who keeps shitting himself just when he's supposed to give the commencement speech at the firing school.
In my father's closet, somewhere between the mothballs and the oxygen mask, a calamity is taking place in the shoebox. And now, by the pool, a fat little buzz bee in a short white skirt whispers,
"Hit me with the axe routine...."
and when we move it's just like waves and when we move it's just like waves and when we move it's just like waves and I'm drifting out to sea and I'm drifting out to sea and there will be no more of me and there will be no more of me
take me away just like the wind take me away just like the wind take me away just like the wind and my mind is flying free
Citizens cover art by Murielle Ikizek Jorgensen Biff Blumfumgagnge: violin Lou Caldarola: drum kit Tone Deaf: inappropriate tambourine Jamie England: axe routine whispers Andy Ewen: vocals, spoken word Jay Frigoletto: acoustic guitar Conrad St. Clair: keys, programming Mike Stehr: bass
too bored with the freedom to create all day too bored to pick up an instrument to play too bored to do the things that you love too bored to push and pull and shove too bored with the past, beginning to drown too bored with what is yet to be found too bored with others to hear what they say i'm just too bored to get the fuck out of my own way! bored, i'm bored i'm bored with the things that you love i'm bored, too bored to push n pull n shove i'm bored
we're so bored with your life and why you're trying to shove it down our throats on the telly every night, with your stupid little games while others are rotting in the fucking gutter i'm just so goddamn bored with your life and what you think i'm so fucking bored, i think i need a drink i'm bored, you're bored we're all so fucking bored of life
let's do it in, let's grab a hope let's put the knife next to our throats i bet you won't i bet i will i think i care i care i think it's so boring to be bored when you're living why don't we all die and see if its a new beginning? but we're so bored i think i'll get a cigarette oh shit i'm out! what next?
i hate it when people take care of me and i got nothing better to do than to be creative all day and and i'm just so bored that i can't because i'm so frustrated with my little penis not getting any it's not getting any it's not getting licked it's not getting sucked it's not even getting kissed i don't even get a hello no not me not me no no no no i'm so fucking bored! why can't.... why can't i just be happy for once?
Citizens cover art by Annette Marx Johnny Awful: awful guitar sample Biff Blumfumgagnge: violin Lou Caldarola: drum kit, programming Tone Deaf: spoken word Chris Huntington: guitar Shauna Lisse: vocal sample Conrad St. Clair: bass, keys, programming
The Singles - Season 5 Episode 6: Sex With Meatloaf
Take two pounds of 96% lean chuck One tablespoon of cream Two cups of onion soup 350 degrees Make a loaf hole You gotta furrow into the loaf You put the pickle in there, You put the pickle in there
I see you watching from the corner, baby That's right, I know you like what you see How do you feel about earmuffs, baby? Would you like to try on my thighs for size? Say the word, I'm yours
I was sittin' tight and combing my hair A beautiful spray bottle is what I'm looking for Let me try those thighs for size They're the right size in the night time Sweet lips slide, honey hips ride
I'm hot and ready for your manhood, baby I need a tillin', you'd better plow my field I'm bendy like Mary Lou Retton, baby Can I take a ride on your pommel horse?
[ with those hungry eyes and jar full o' pee i can tell by your mind you're gonna rape me you're something special that's plain to see but with me balls in me hand i fear i must flee ]
Let your fingers do the walking Would you like to try on my thighs for size? I like your trembling manhood Put it in the oven, baby You know I'm bendy like Mary Lou Retton, baby Put it in the oven, baby Real nice and hard, and glistening Put it in there That's right, that's how I like it baby Lovin' in the oven in the loaf-hole of love
cover art by Biff Blumfumgagnge Biff Blumfumgagnge: vocals Lou Caldarola: drum kit Tone Deaf: spoken word Chris Huntington: guitar, inspiration Georgina McKee: vocals Conrad St. Clair: bass, keys, programming
naught but scars and pain to show killing infection from years ago no veins in arm no 'arm in vain all the years go down the drain
sitting alone, a mind at play with too much time to think or pray look for reasons to carry on and on and on and on and on
punctured lung, blood too sweet one crushed hand, two fractured feet neck full o' rocks, back in knots ears full o' wax, eyes seeing dots
some pus-filled spots, a runny nose teeth gone bye, three broke toes knee with a break, lungs of coal old broke heart and shriveled soul
cover art by Jo Hubert Lou Caldarola: drum kit Tone Deaf: spoken word Andy Ewen: guitar Conrad St. Clair: bass, keys, percussion, programming Android Tablet: robot voice
This week we've got a special treat for your eyeballs as well as your earholes! The renowned video artist, Albano Ruela, has done a piece for Shriveled Soul. So, while you're downloading the song, go watch the video: http://youtu.be/qpP8r3XYD8Y (and while you're at it, give Albano a little love and check out his other videos HERE).
LIVE @ The Madison Area Music Awards Capitol Theater, June 23
Yep, you heard right - we're playing at the Madison Area Music Awards! It should be really fun show, and since the MAMA organization's purpose is to help support music programs in local schools, we'll be performing alongside some really talented young musicians. Tickets are available now at the Overture Center box office or online HERE.
So now we just gotta figure out how to get all our crap off the stage in 10 minutes ;-)
Also, you still have till May 17 to cast your vote in said Madison Area Music Awards. We're not going to tell you who to vote for, but...in case you're wondering, we've been nominated in a number of categories: Electronic Performer, World Album (Season 4), Electronic Song (Happy Charlie), and Blues Song (Going Where I've Been).
Remember, it's only $5 to join, and like we mentioned above, the money goes to fund school music programs. And no, you don't have to live in Madison....
Day in a life, life in a day too poor to get out of my own way stuck in this box I call my skull I text the guy to see what to sell Coke, dope, and weed that's what I need to get me back to where I been Help me forget reality because this is one big con Is this all it's gonna be? Is there nothing left to see? Is there no-one left to be? And then you die, man what a con
Locked in a billet of racists with faces of hatred. Never given space to exist in these places. Everybody looking for the easy way out. Well I can tell you you can scream and you can shout but nobody ever yet got out of here living. Give in to the pressure drop of one day given. Never was told that it would get this bad and I never even knew of all the choice we never had.
Day in a life, life in a day too poor to get out of my own way stuck in this box I call my skull I text the guy to see what to sell Coke, dope, and weed that's what I need to get me back to where I been Help me forget reality because this is one big con
We've been stitched up, we've been led on Then I woke up, it's one big con We've been stitched up, we've been led on Man, this is one big con Is this all it's gonna be? Is there nothing left to see? Is there no-one left to be? Man, this is one big con
With a beer and a bong, worship what's on the telly or streaming pod-cast. Curry and chips flow past your numb lips as the pictures go grinding along. A day in the life is a life in a day, too poor to be living too well. You'll call or you'll text for what you need next, safe in your box where you’ll stay. One day they will come to carry you on to heaven, or hell's brimstone: to hang with the host, or slowly spit-roast, or find it was just a big con.
cover art by Robert Varlez Biff Blumfumgagnge: violin Geoff Brady: percussion Lou Caldarola: drum kit Tone Deaf: spoken word Jamie England: vocals Chris Huntington: guitar Conrad St. Clair: bass, percussion, programming Pablo Ben Surman: vocals, MIDI wind synth
The Singles - Season 5 Episode 3: Hash For Guns
Sorry if you're disappointed, but the title really has nothing to do with this song. It started out as just an instrumental noodle, but you gotta name the project file something, right? In between the noodling, Conrad St. Clair had been telling a story about a certain journalist friend who saw firsthand a certain intelligence agency trading said items with a certain insurgent group. By the time we wrote the lyrics, we had gotten so used to calling it Hash For Guns, the name stuck. Plus, the lyrics are pretty much Edward Gorey-inspired nonsense, so the non-sequitur kinda fits.
Green dreams and shiny things hand in hand down the garden path
There was a knock upon the door, I failed to answer it, in case it was there It thinks it’s being honest but it’s just a nasty way of being nice
Green dreams and crystal eyes lie buried in the sand from a simpler time
Green dreams bleeding from my TV We screamed and screamed and then we went to bed.
“No offense was meant, it’s what i do,” it would hiss I mourn the loss of a simpler time when you could leave your mind unlocked while you went to the shops
Citizens cover art by Gorka Samos Ez Dakizue Biff Blumfumgagnge: violin Geoff Brady: percussion Lou Caldarola: drum kit, percussion Tone Deaf: spoken word Jamie England: vocals Chris Huntington: guitar Shauna Lisse: vocals, keys Beaker Parpovich: percussion Conrad St. Clair: bass, keys, percussion, programming Mike Stehr: percussion
The Singles - Season 5 Episode 2: Georgia Scene, 1964
This song is built around a poem written by John Beecher in 1964 about the things he saw firsthand during the Civil Rights protests. Things may have changed in some ways since then, but if anyone thinks this kind of thing doesn't go on every day somewhere, they're either living in a cave or willfully ignorant.
And so this cat he was from the GBI that’s the cracker FBI kept feeling up the chicks' legs with the electric cattle prod making them wiggle and holler He couldn’t get enough of that stuff poking that hot thing under they dresses And I be dog if one of them cracker polices didn’t break down and cry like a baby just watching him but he didn’t try to stop him No, I guess that would be too much to expect of any cracker
I disremember all the meanness that they did treating them Yankees like they was us dragging that 70 year old white lady down the courthouse steps with her head going bam on every step
Her heart gave out and the ambulance came but when the driver saw she was one of them agitators he just took off again and left her laying in the street Finally one of us took her to the hospital propped up in the back seat of a car but wouldn’t no white doctor touch her when they got there Had to find one of ours and put her in the Jim Crow section Sure ain’t like no ofays I ever knowed coming down here and getting their heads beat for nothing trying to love these crackers into being Christian like crackers was human
Citizens based on John Beecher's poem, Georgia Scene, 1964 cover art: Bob DeGroof Lou Caldarola: drum kit Tone Deaf: spoken word Chris Huntington: guitar Beaker Parpovich: guitar Conrad St. Clair: keys, programming Mike Stehr: bass
If you're not a member, it's only $5 to join, and the money goes to fund school music programs. And no, you don't have to live in Madison....
So, get thee to The MAMAs website and vote - the kids win, no matter who gets an award....
Welcome to The Singles - Season 5 Episode 1: Shidara Stomp
For Season 5, aside from this little preamble, we're not going to waste your time with long-winded liner notes or any of that shite. We're going to get right to the music. If anyone is curious about the song, lyrics, art, etc., please feel free to send us an email or drop a question on our Facebook page. So, let's have at it.....
Leave me a life on HDTV Live my life - you can sit on my facebook Leave me some life while I deal with my fever Live my life while I drink myself silly
Shirts and hair have left my head My life is one long golden thread I want my Bob inside my head I'm drinking with Bob in an antique bed
Chocolate love sex chicken house I wait upon the mighty mouse Gristle missile bone in bone Wait eviscerate upon the throne
Bob of my dreams, yeti of my life Sasquatch mozerella, yeti get into my life
Losing chunks of space ‘n time ‘n drinking even more It’s only matter till the time I wind up on the floor Bugs will come ‘n vultures soar to pick me very bones The only thing that will be left: chalk outlines, ash ’n loans Scrape me up in hefty bag, mix in lye ‘n herb Marinate for one half day ‘n leave me on the curb
Bob of my dreams, Yeti of my life Sasquatch mozerella, Bob into Bob
cover art by Terry Flowers Conrad St. Clair: bass, programming Biff Blumfumgagnge: vocals, violin Lou Caldarola: drum kit Tone Deaf: spoken word Andy Ewen: dobro Chris Huntington: guitar Shidara: taiko drum
So, yeah.... The Singles - Season 5 starts April 9! Of course, the music is as schizo-phonic as ever.... It's easy to get excited about new stuff just because it's new, but we think Season 5 will be extraordinary, we shit you not .
Beyond featuring the usual suspects, we have quite a pile of new faces contributing to the music for Season 5, including amazing musicians like Maggie Weiser and Jamie England. Also, Albano Ruela (the creator of the video for Introspekt) will be doing a video for one of the new tracks, so keep an eye peeled for that.
The Art With the previous releases, each Season featured a single visual artist. This time around, we couldn't pick just one. Over the last couple of years, we've been lucky to have come into contact with so many incredible artists that we decided to have a different artist for each single. The little banner above is your official sneak preview ;-) We'll talk more about the individual artists as the songs are released, but we've assembled an internationally-renowned cast of characters: from the German painter, Annette Marx, to the agitprop of Belgian artist, Bob DeGroof.
Live tracks from The Barrymore Theatre 8/18/2012
Thanks to everyone for making the most recent show at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison so much fun! There are a bunch of tracks from the show available now HERE or HERE. There are also videos up on our youtube page HERE, and we'll be adding more, so keep checking back for more goodies.
We want to give a special thanks to Steve, Al, Zach, and the rest of the folks at the Barrymore: they absolutely rock, and we really appreciate all the support they've given us.
Stay tuned - more to come!
Live tracks & video from The Barrymore Theatre 4/7/2012
The show April 7 at The Barrymore Theatre was fantastic! If you missed it, you can go HERE to download a bunch of tracks from the show. AND there's a bunch of video on our Youtube page HERE.