Unlike the previous 2 chapters, this album was created entirely by Roberts. She is credited with playing saxophone, Korg Monotron and a 1900s upright piano. But like the others, the tracks bleed into each other and seem to end indiscriminately.
This disc also quotes from The Star Spangled Banner, Beautiful Dreamer, The Pledge of Allegiance, My Country ‘Tis of Thee, Lift Every Voice and Sing and All the Pretty Horses. As well as samples from Malcolm X and a field recording of a travel through Mississippi, Louisiana Tennessee and NYC.
The first song, “All is Written” is 10 minutes long. She sings quietly and starkly (voice breaking) while spoken words overlap behind her voice (and the saxophone and drones). Her singing is at times pained and strained—aching with the truth of her words. As “The Good Book” begins, the spoken word continues but the main sound is an industrial throbbing. Near the end, a new metallic sound comes screeching in and then resolves into a kind of drone while angelic voices takes over for song three, “Clothed to the Land, Worn by the Sea” which is more pleasant.
“Dreamer of Dreams” resumes some spoken word and synth noises while two overlapping tracks of sax solos play. “Always Say Your Name” has some more drones and a wild sax solo. “Nema Nema Nema” experiments with analog synth noises while she sings a pretty melody with other voices circulating behind her. “A Single Man o’War” has a high pitched drone. which is accompanied by several three note chants.
“As Years Roll By” is spoken words, with drone and church bells. And lots of “Amens.” “This Land is Yours” has lots of voices speaking and overlapping. It ends with someone singing “come away with me come away,” which segues into “Come Away” with a noisy background and spoken voices talking about Zanzibar. Then there is a keening, pained voice singing the middle. “JP” is a speech about he slave trade.
Although this album is difficult, it is more manageable than her other releases in this series. But manageability clearly isn’t her plan, she is making a statement and it is exciting and frightening to listen to.
[READ: August 10, 2016] Original Fake
You should never judge a book by its cover. But I really liked the cover of this book a lot. And the title was intriguing, so I grabbed it off the new book shelf.
And what a great, fun story it was.
The book opens with Frankie sneaking into his school at 6:30 AM. No one else is there except maybe the janitor. He is sneaking into the school to do a small amount of vandalism. But the vandalism is not your typical vandalism. On the school hallway is a mural that is currently being painted. Frankie is an artist but he was not asked to paint the mural (no one really knows he does art). The mural is a of a lake and farm fields and all that. And he has decided to tag the mural. He has painted a water-skiing abominable snowman giving the hang loose sign in the corner of the lake. “He’s maybe six inches tall, and I kind of put him close to a rock so he’d blend in, but if you get close, its pretty obvious he doesn’t belong. He’s completely amazing.”
Amid the telling of the scene is a drawing of Frankie painting the snowman–this book is full of illustrations by Johnson. Most of the illustrations complement the story but a couple actually tell the story, too. (more…)