This is the New America: A Visit in Time

From the emailings:
"I went on a long northerly drive with Blue Jay today. We listened to that CD [Bubbakinesis], plus some from This is the New America, and just now, on the way back, we were listening to Welcome to...The Kingdom of Leisure (yes, I have that on CD that I transferred from cassette over 10 years ago, very hissy, mostly good). I think many of those songs have a kind of timeless feeling, or something you'd hear on a 70's movie like Midnight Cowboy or something. Drinking champagne and 15 year-old Chambord.

Make more records.

Blue Jay liked the album [This is the New America], but said this of these words [below] 'Ty, remember before you were married and had a kid how seriously you took yourself?'

This album is the next big, no, real thing. You have the power to pass it along to those you care about; like folklore, like commandments. There was a time in this country when it seemed as if nothing would change and everyone liked it. But for every calm day on the ocean there is a storm over the curve of the earth. And for every quiet day in the woods, there is a mountain rumbling and bucking beneath. Most humans enjoy a forced ignorance until it is too late, but those who trust their animal instincts can feel the vibrations early enough to flee town, or get a good seat to view the carnage.
This Is The Plan - the manifesto - The Kingdom of Leisure Trilogy
"This Is The New America" is the first installment in the TKoL Trilogy. It is not a collection of three-and-a-half minute songs. It's an album, stupid. It resurrects this forgotten art form for a generation with attention deficit disorder. The sequence is as crucial to the message as the songs themselves. It is entirely deliberate from the opening note of "Across-the-Bow" through it's bookend ending, "Insult-to-Injury." Every tempo, every dynamic change, every rest, breath and cut is painstakingly considered.
Put short and sweet:

The guitar sounds like water; the drums sound like attitude; the songs are prophesies.
There. That's it. What more can be said? Listen to the damn album yourself. Formulate your own opinions. It is thick, it is raw, it is deliberate, it is haunting. There are no accidents. Approval is not sought.
"This Is The New America" plants the seeds, rallies the troops, and converts the savages for the subsequent chapters of the manifesto. It is the bait before the hook; the hook before the jerk; the jerk before the cruel, bright sun and the hot, suffocating air; one last dry look at the sky before the fatal whack above the gills.
This Is The New America? This Is The New America. Slip into some headphones and understand.

- From This is the New America press packet, 1997
'Maybe TKOL was after that, a raw sound that grabs your attention, that is real. Like America.'

The guy gets some of the words to the songs wrong, but pretty good review [clicky].


Man, that was written in like 1997, right? Something like that. Message-wise, it does seem we were actually a bit premature with sentiments and such because life was pretty damn good back then. America was an easy place to live. Stocks were high, housing prices were just beginning to rise, and the world was relatively peaceful.

The Clinton impeachment was perhaps the beginning of the cracking grout that let Bush and crew into a worldwide power pose. The Bush years were pretty brutal in many ways and to many people. We may not even be near the bottom of this whirlpool either. We'll just have to see what Barry Oh!® can do, but we are all in for a long uphill run (in the snow...without shoes...both ways).

Prophecy? Well maybe actually. I mean with all that "bait before the hook" talk; animals feeling their instinct stuff it seems a little fruity but, shit, it conveys if I may say so. I'm pretty comfortable with the words in terms of how serious they were and how correct they have proven to be. I standing by 'em. It's official: prophecy.

Interestingly, This is the New America (TITNA) is a really good record. I now know that. If we had stopped there and just moved on to other things away from music, I'd be pretty dang happy. But something only Rich and I can ever know about this record is that the feeling of making it was incredible. It was liberating; it was confidence-inducing. It was all learning curve too. TITNA was actually quite easy to make, in retrospect, with Frank Brown and that dude in Annapolis carrying a bit of the water from the well for us. But shit, I'm now just beginning to appreciate TITNA.

Just to note, though, I take myself far more seriously now than I ever have. No shit. Many of life's experiences have pretty much been a goof until this point. Tests and experiments. I mean, I'm still loose and comfortable, but the difference is I now know what I'm doing. I have the attention of Powerful Forces. I'm keeping score. I'm doing it for me.

And I know, trilogy. That's three albums. We made TITNA in 1997, and One Fine Ride in 1999. Between Rich and I, we have probably made 20 records since? Does that make sense? Fifteen? But we've never scraped the possibility for tKoL Tripgrass Trilogy record three. The first two just may have been early. I'm not worried.

I can only speak for myself though. Rich may feel differently.