Author Topic: OUR POOR, OUR TIRED, OUR HUDDLED MASSES (Project of the Week for July 7th)  (Read 87 times)

moleshow

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in honor of """"America"""", this one seemed fitting.  the History Mystery section seems the most rich in terms of discussion, but hey... that's just my opinion. disregard it.
"All our lives we love illusion, neatly caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive."

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goatie

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Huddled Masses was released fairly early in my Residents fandom.  I didn't have many of their albums, and this became an easy way to sample them in order to select which I would acquire next (yes, kids, there was a time before YouTube and Spotify and being able to hear anything instantly... to hear new Residents music meant seeking out a physical copy, and since they weren't super popular I couldn't just borrow a friends copy, so special orders were made and that made it all pretty expensive).  The album concentrates were the perfect answer to a very 90s problem.  I remember Scott Colburn was also making concentrates around this time, those being Real Audio samples one could play on the Ralph America site.  I think the concept is great, and when WFMU asked for one-minute mixes ten years later, of course I included my own take on a Rz album: http://www.planga-la.com/_60seconds/Residents-GodInThree20SecondChunks.mp3

But to me Huddled Masses will always be intimately linked with my mother.  This was a big expensive box set and I was a child, so I requested it as a birthday present that year.  My mother called Ralph America to purchase it (she said she'd give me the money to buy it myself, but for some reason I felt it wouldn't be right... I don't know why I felt that way, other than perhaps an intuition about the near future that would make it all worthwhile - read on).

So mom's on the phone with Sarah and/or Molly, and she and/or she asks if my mother has an account with them.  She says no, so then they want to make a new account.  "But my son has one... you can just put it on his, no need to make another one for me."  Sure thing... what's his account number?  "I don't know... I can tell you his name."  That probably won't help us.  "His name is Chris Combs."  Yeah, no, sorry, I need the account number or we need to make a new account.   "I'm Goat Boy's mom."  Oh hi!  No problem, you're all set!

[Goat Note: my stupid nickname began life as Goat Boy, though it was slightly less stupid because Jim Breuer hadn't come around yet to ruin it, and when he did I was kinda stuck with it.  Most everyone called me goatie so I eventually just started using that as an online handle.  Not a great story, but at least it's extremely boring.]

Oh you think the story is over?  No, there's another punchline.  They shipped the package, not to me, but to "Goat Boy's Mom."  She also had it delivered to her place of business, which was in a small strip mall kinda thing (she managed a video store).  Extra fun is that they left out part of the address, so while it was 1041G - which would point directly to the video store - the package only had 1041, which meant any of the dozen or so businesses in the structure.  But, somehow, the UPS guy knew to only approach my mother with it.  A further punchline, less impactful but still true, is that afterward we received additional Ralph America catalogues addressed to "Goat Boy's Mom."

And that is what America means to me.
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moleshow

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that was a wonderful little story! lovesit
"All our lives we love illusion, neatly caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive."

moleshow

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while the little condensed versions are expertly put together, what really interests me is the Roosevelt section- History Mystery.

the Teds songs are just so particularly wonderful! with the knowledge that it was going to be about two Teds who were halves of a whole, it makes for some interesting ways once could interpret the Teds tracks. of course, working with so little makes theorizing utterly pointless. but Teddy and Struggle manage to be some of the catchiest songs that the Rz have ever made, in my opinion. Teddy, and all versions of it, have a really nasty, dirty kind of rhythm. i'm very much into it. the lyrical content is similarly sludgey. sorta sticks to my brain. one bit that i am super fond of is this:

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He didn't need much money, but he needed me... a lot.

that was always super good.

that being said, i super-duper love tracks that aren't from The Teds. tracks like Siren Song (of the Shrunken Head) and Ugly Beauty create such vivid imagery, especially the latter. there is something about the strange storytelling in it that calls to mind Buckaroo Blues. the part that grabs me the most is this:

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And I guess it's also true, I may come back to you. And what you see, and what you do, and what you think you do. But I'll be mine inside the blindness that we have to live, but I'll still smile my smile for you and give what I can give.

there is a gentleness in the lyrical delivery that reminds me, somehow, of Toddler's Lullaby. i really, really like it.

plus, this section made way for the release of Roosevelt 2.0, which has some of the craziest packaging i've ever seen. really cool stuff.
"All our lives we love illusion, neatly caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive."