In 2008, I flew to Hawaii to record Casey Mensing as he read some of his poems (in between, I had a lovely vacation). Those spoken-word pieces sat around for a couple months until the start of 2009, when I started arranging music for each of his pieces. My goal was to make the sounds compatible with the words in such a way as to make for an enjoyable listening experience – to produce catchy, engaging music that still kept the focus on Casey’s words.
In other words, I didn’t want to make a shitty spoken-word album, much like . . . well, pretty much like every spoken-word album ever.
To be honest, I think I failed on a pair of tracks. However, I couldn’t be happier with the other 6 tracks. Even with my stumbles, it’s still the project I look back on most fondly. It allowed me to experiment with sounds in ways I had never imagined, using a combination of instruments I previously didn’t know how to play (mandolin, trumpet) and a whole slew of odd samples (a snow shovel, a sneeze, some dude having an orgasm) I would never have considered using in a musical piece.
And none of that would have happened without Casey’s poems – these lovely, imagistic words and phrases assembled beautifully, all read into a beat-up instrument mic in between sips of beer at a tiny apartment in Honolulu.
The March Of The Tongue Brigade was released in the summer of 2009. We hyped it as best we could, made some videos, then moved on to other things. Three years later, I’ve decided that it could use a little more love. After a couple sonic tweaks, I believe it sounds better than ever.
Listen to the album below:
If, perchance, you’ve liked what you’ve heard and feel like expressing your approval in a monetary way, a digital copy of the album can be purchased at Bandcamp.
Lastly, I’d like to go back to that part where I mentioned that Casey and I moved on to other things. Some of those other things can be found in the sidebar on the right. Feel free to purchase those, too.
Thanks for reading and listening. Thanks, too, to those who have supported Lambright Press through purchases, kind words expressed to Casey and I, and through liking us on Facebook. Every bit of support is massively appreciated.