Album Review by Andy Singer, Self-Appointed Music Critic, and World Famous Illustrator at andysinger.com
"Well heck, that's just one of the greatest CDs I've ever heard and some of the best songs, raps and sound clips I've ever heard. It's perfect. Not a bad note, a bad word, a bad sound on the entire thing. Thank you for making it and thank you for sharing it with me. After two complete listenings, I feel somehow mentally, spiritually and emotionally elevated.
Sacramento-- The city should make this their national anthem. It's
simultaneously beautiful (reminding me of going out to see the Sandhill Cranes in the delta this past December and everything I love about California) and funny (the faux monumental guitar solo and certain lyrics). I'd send a copy to the mayor and city council. They'd be fools not to pass a resolution adopting it as the city's anthem.
Epiphany 1-- I can't decide whether this and other excerpts of
interactions with this woman and other people are recordings of hanging out with people on LSD or clips from some Linklater "Dazed and Confused" type movie ...but it doesn't matter and I like the ambiguity. (Aren't we all in some crazy movie?) I feel like, in parts of this CD, you went around recording interactions with people while tripping, and then incorporated things that were said into lyrics of songs. In general, this CD has an improvisational looseness and energy combined with some great post-production and musical choreography that makes it fantastic.
Grown Ass Man-- this jumping around of musical styles only heightens the super creative looseness and energy of the CD ...and your song writing, personal voice comes through whether you're rapping, singing or whispering to someone. Good stuff.
RECIPE-- GREAT SONG!!!! Shit fuck damn it's great. Among other things, it kind of captures my ambivalence towards my wife's faith
(Catholicism/Christianity). I just don't and can't believe in any of the
major organized religions but I appreciate that everyone's experience of them is unique and therefore religion is kind of a blank slate (a rough template) with some ancient texts that people can interpret however they want. I accept this and accept my wife's faith and she accepts mine and there are definitely a lot of metaphysical points we connect on ...but I have an underlying dislike or frustration with religions and how they get used/manipulated to do awful crap to other people. OTOH, I guess, at the core, I'm just frustrated with humanity since, even without religions, we'd probably find some reason to do awful crap to each other. Recent world events just heighten this feeling. Great great song.
Best Band Ever-- bridges this gap between recording random interactions (found-sound clips) and post-production. It's kind of unsettling, which is a good thing (I think) in music. You have to unsettle people a little to get them to listen to anything new.
Book of Love-- GREAT SONG!!! Totally beautiful. Makes me cry.
Kiss my mouth-- another nice little sound-clip. I like the CD's format of
songs or rap tunes interspersed with these little sound clip interactions
I had forgotten my light Jacket-- "You can find gold in shit if you can
hack it." Yes indeed. Another great rap song. Again, I like how you've
translated your song writing style into rap and make anthems and beauty from simple things.
Epiphany 3-- reminds me of trying to reason with or calm down a tripping person who is flipping out. For some reason this gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling of mostly positive memories of youthful drug use.
Burning Stuff-- Another great song. I'm running out of superlatives for
this CD. The way you put words together has a little "They might be
giants" a little "paul simon" a dash of early "Mc900 Foot Jesus" (song
"spaceman") and all sorts of other goodnesses while also being completely unique. I love it.
Go Away-- also great! There are a lot of Ladybugs in Minnesota. I'm told they're of Asian ancestry. Probably they were brought in for biological pest control but maybe they come of their own volition. In the winter, they burrow into house walls to try to stay warm (as they would burrow into cliffs in Asia). I think, in nature, they would just hibernate until spring but some of them make it through the walls of the house and end up waking up or wandering around our house where they get hungry and dehydrated, and eventually die. So, when I find them, I try to put them in the bathroom (where it's damp) and feed them wet raisins (something I read about on the internet and they seem to like). It's nuts. "Ladybugs are hard to read. Who am I to think I know what they need?" ...So this song makes me think of that.
RN's Godsong-- GREAT SONG. Shit damn fuck it's great. A total proverb folk song anthem.
FIGHT-- Sad yet funny. I hope it's not a permanent autobiographical state of affairs. Another great song-- Loose yet great musical arrangements.
Roger Miller Medley-- You definitely have a little Roger Miller in you--
"you can't roller skate in a buffalo herd ...but you can be happy if
you've a mind to." Great cover of King of the Road.
You're not crazy-- More tripping people goodness.
Sonerda-- Great. Again lyric melding of things unconsciously said,
unconsciously felt into beautiful, loose song anthems. The whispered kinda drug-induced conversation at the end helps draw this connection.
Fuck this is a great CD. The music and culture business is fickle, warped and insane but, if there's any justice this should be an international #1 Album. You made it. You and your collaborators are music gods! (Polytheism is much more fun than monotheism). Whatever happens, you can rest easy knowing that, at some moment in your life, you made something this beautiful."
released January 1, 2015
Dean Haakenson (Acoustic Guitar, Vox) wrote all songs exc. 7, 13, 15 /// J. Matthew Gerken (Bass, Vox) Engineered and Produced 1, 4, 7, 11, 13, 15 /// David Middleton (Guitar throughout) Produced 9 /// Josh Grayem (odamesucks.com
) Electronicated and Produced 17, 14, 12 (Rachel Wagner (rachelwagner.com
) Piano/Vox) /// Mike Ruiz IS Percussion /// Catie Turner IS Viola (exc. Damian Sol solo on 15) /// Jeremy Pagan Guitarded 1, 13 /// Scott Ballard Mastered The Album and raps 6 (Andrew Barnhart beat (saintsolitaire.com
) /// Carly Duhain IS Female Vox /// Mr. Hooper raps 3 (Jared Cabuag beat) /// Chris Blomquist parties 17 /// Darren Ragle (darrenragle.com
) IS Album Art /// Thanks Eric Fate! /// Ride Your Bike You Fat Fuck 2015