Revolutionary Snake Ensemble:Forked Tounge,the lost Notes

I almost never talk about my work in this space  but recently I did a record for the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble  a very cool band from Boston lead by Birdsongs of the Mesozoic Sax player Ken Field. They are a New Orleans  style brass band with contemporary twists. Think the Meters but with a Liberal Arts education. The record is just out now on the  ultra cool Cunieform label, you can buy it at Amazon.  

Forked tounge coverIt was an a weird record to work on mostly because it was finished when I got it, then my partner Brian Jacoby  and I tore it open, recut and remixed it. The idea was to make a Noir type movie soundtrack out of it.  Similar but more extreme to what I did on the Stan Ridgway record Anatomy 

I wrote Linear notes that described the story that I put together for it. They didn’t run them, keep it even more mysterious. But just in case you would like to read them here they are. check out the record if you get a chance, I think it’s pretty good- but then I might be biased.


Have you ever known something truly beautiful, I mean so beautiful, that it made you realize your own ugliness, made you aware of every bruise and scar on your pockmarked soul, that’s what Liza Jane did to me.

I tell myself it wasn’t about the money. But that’s no more true then that fancy preachers talk about the good book, unless he’s talking about the book of French postcards that he keeps under his pillow.

They always try and sell you Jesus, everywhere you look on the street, they are selling salvation but they’re paying for it in whiskey and cheap virtue, it’s a town of thieves and hookers, cons, carnies, pick pockets, killers, and crooked cops. With a prophet on every corner, next to a guy who would kill you for the right price.  Then there is me, and I am probably the worst of the lot.

I knew I was going to hell, turns out I was already there. When your damned already salvation seems at best unlikely, and at worst…a game to be played on suckers.  You get a couple of bucks and a couple of Ya Ya’s. Its not going to change where you go,  just the style you arrive in when you get there.

Brown eyes, brown skin and a little gold cross, innocence and purity- like cheese in a mouse trap, of course its always the rat gets his tail broken in that scene and nobody asks what happens to the cheese.

The wedding was supposed to fix it all-a tonic for my corrupted soul. Wedding white washes away all sin she said. I played it straight, for her, for her I would’ve done anything. Giving up the grift, still not hep to who was the rat and who was the cheese.
No  walk across the threshold  just a cold thud in the back of the head,  and  trunk of a 68 Buick as a bridal suite for one.

Somewhere   beyond the rumble of the road  and the sermon  on the radio I can hear Liza, and her “Pa”. I know I am going to the river and this time its not a baptism . I think of her,  the sun light glistening off her hair, that smile she’d get when she sang that stupid Doris Day song, she’d  stroke my head and tell me  “Whatever would be would be” and now whatever would be  is driving  off a  bridge into the river at 60 miles an hour.

As the water starts to fill the trunk , I think of the baptizing day,  she said I had saved her so it was only right for her to save me.   I thought the con was over,  that I had been born again.  Instead just a long walk and a sudden stop. I think about the money, but mostly I think about her.  Then I fight like hell to not die at the bottom of a dirty river.

I give one last hard kick against the trunk. Because even a drowning man has to fight, but this time it works-this time the trunk opens and  the water rushes in.  Drowning while I save myself, its not pretty but I  make it to the shore.

The moneys gone and so is the girl. Its not the first time, it won’t be the last, sure its cliché  but isn’t it always. The next time won’t be that different from the last, but the next time I am staying the hell away from New Orleans.

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