Testimonium Songs is a riff on Charles Reznikoff’s amazing concept art/text thing from the early twentieth century: Testimony.
The book version of Testimony takes quotations from court transcripts of murders, domestic abuse, workplace injuries & amputations and it transmutes them into these wrenching fragments of poetry.
It’s pretty rough stuff, a lot of it. But there are also these super-intimate, if disturbing and violent scenes all throughout the book that are so hyper-vivid & minimalist at the same time that they actually end up being sort of beautiful.
To be clear Kinsella’s lyrics paraphrase Reznikoff, just like Reznikoff paraphrased the original transcripts.
At any rate, Tim Kinsella and related musicians took this stuff and turned it into a song and dance act. The shows on the tour that Joan of Arc will be doing for this album are supposed to incorporate this whole avante garde theater, ballet element, provided by the theater troupe Every House Has a Door. The video I’ve seen of this act involves, among other tableau, a guy falling flat on his back over and over again between two stools.
If you’d like to purchase a vinyl record version of this album, you can get it from our friends at Polyvinyl, right here. If you want a cassette version of the album pick it up at JNR right here.
Buy Testimonium Songs here.
We’re featuring MIKE ADAMS AT HIS HONEST WEIGHT for our April Edition of the Flexi-Series.
(NOTE: There may be a few subscriptions becoming available–if you missed getting a subscription in the first round, you might want to get on THE WAITING LIST….Like RIGHT NOW. * Wink * Wink * Nudge * Nudge * Say no more, say no more)
So, but yeah:
I’m going to summon my courage here and try to describe MIKE ADAMS AT HIS HONEST WEIGHT just a little bit.
On Bandcamp, the genre tagging “Oscillate Wisely”–the epic LP available at St. Ives–is “Boogie Woogie Electronic.” Clicking on the link, introduced me to a bunch of great bands, the majority of whom I had never heard of. I’m not sure how this nomenclature was arrived at but I would say it falls somewhere between Shoegaze & Alt-Country if we’re going to use MIKE ADAMS AT HIS HONEST WEIGHT as its exemplar. Elements of psychedelic pop, maybe.
I would say* that his sound falls somewhere on a continuum between Shoegaze & Alt-Country. Which is an interesting place to be, and a space that not too many musicians occupy. There are elements of psychedelic pop–the beach-ey, spacious, and occasional fuzzed or buzzing.
Here are a few ways to get a hold of this amazing music if it’s not already in the mail on it’s way to your house as part of our Flexi-Series:
*My opinions are my own, and do not represent the opinions of Joyful Noise : )