Probing, brazen, provocative...at times even comically absurd - the eleven songs on "godless" encompass a wide variety of acoustic and acoustic/electric musical styles. The album is unified by the overall haunting, iconoclastic character of the lyrics - conscientious, nonconformist and questioning. The CD's irreverent title is a twist on that mean-spirited epitaph used by some to deride the lives and work of gay and lesbian artists. It also happens to sum up my own strong anti-religious convictions.
"godless" opens with the sparse and driving We Are The Haunted, in which the singer, confronting homophobia head on, expresses shock and sorrow over bigotry in today's world. More indictments of oppressive modern culture follow with the amusing, Beatlesque Meat-Eaters'Song, (co-written with Bernie Langs) the medieval, marching Courtship Of Europa, and a nasty bottleneck-blues called It's Only Love.
In the monumental rocker Cubes Of Light, a capitalist hack slowly goes mad in his own office surroundings. In the acoustic coming-out ballad In My Shoe, hopeless sexual longings for straight friends cease as the singer learns to accept his own brave new identity.
In addition to singing all the vocals, I also play all the instruments. That includes acoustic and electric guitars, piano, organ, bass guitar, an assortment of live percussion, penny-whistle, sampled drum kits and sampled orchestral instruments. The entire production was mastered at Atlantic Recording Studios by renowned sound engineer Steve Innocenzi.
One song of particular interest on "godless" is "When God Lets My Body Be" (with lyrics by e. e. cummings) - which I set to music and performed for the centennial celebration of Cummings's birth, held at the New York City Public Library a few years ago.
The dark & mysterious Photos of the Moon has been selected for inclusion in a compilation CD put out by the European-based ACID DRAGON Progressive Rock Magazine & Radio. Released in February of 2001, the CD is entitled "Voices" and showcases "multi-instrumentalist" rock artists who specialize in playing all parts in their recordings.
We Are the Haunted (4:09) The Meat-Eaters' Song (2:57) Courtship of Europa (4:35) It's Only Love (4:09) When God Lets My Body Be (3:02) Cubes of Light (6:32) In My Shoe (4:27) Photos of the Moon (3:58) The Great Refusal (1:49) Evanescence (1:17)(instrumental) I'll Let You Know (5:15)
THE COURTSHIP OF EUROPA (track 3 on "godless")
From high upon Your royal throne, You watched the new world bleed
while gallant knights and crusaders fought to satisfy Your greed
Your suitors sailed off to distant lands - to Asia's eastern isles
and there they ravaged the paradise to keep their Queen in style
From Buddha's eye they plucked the stone to grace their Regent's crown
From China's hand they stole the silk to make a bridal gown.
Your merchants stole through darkest Africa for ivory, slaves and skins
They even sought out the Font of Youth to sate Your Faustian sin
From tombs of old they gathered gold - in Montezuma's land
they melted down all the Aztec gods to forge Your wedding bond
And by this troth the Earth was raped with avarice unconcealed
In days when fair Europa wed the modern mans ideal.
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