Music Inspired By The Museumgoer of Baton Rouge, Louisiana is inspired very much by the music of the Museumgoer of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. By now the Museumgoer has created something like 17 unmissable EPs. They are all on Bandcamp and elsewhere and should be checked out, thoroughly, although they'll probably want to reorient your life towards being a musician too.
The 11 tracks here took not so long to record, but it did take a long time to get around to recording. It remains in the ballpark I think of my patented easy listening for difficult people. The CD version is a greater dilemma. They are plastic and they exist and one day someone is going to have to clear someone's home and they will take the Music Inspired By disc to the charity shop donations counter to be told, "charities won't want CDs any more (babe, babs, dude - depending on where you is)." Then what? Answers on a postcard please. So the Ancient Champion CD is out, and you can get it from Bandcamp's shop, here... or just listen over there for a while anyways.
1. Andrée X Andrée
This opening piece of music was co-written by the Google Song Maker. I don’t know how we got started on that one day, killing our time in lockdown, instead of just killing ourselves with the virus one afternoon late June (2020). We just started dabbling in Google’s browser based midi tool. By then people were doing anything to distract themselves. Ended up writing out various names and this is the sound you get when you overdub the names again and again, doing no more than changing the midi voices. So exciting… Try it for yourself, here - you too can be a google generated pop idol. As ever Jay Lewis handles the videos in anyway he feels like!
2. The Museumgoer of Baton Rouge
Oh this is an instant favorite, although, aren’t they all. As this was coming together, I was hearing Big Audio Dynamite, people playing music on junk they picked up on the streets, giant sounds, frantic and frenetic torn up organs, torn up speakers, cop cars crashing into themselves, and the barricades being held up by people on the frontline of change. The back corners of Sandinista. More special, More Specials. The Museumgoer sent over some video and Jay Lewis made some incredible art to look at while you listen. I love this, is it okay to say that?
3. The Need to Feel and Be Felt
Of course, of course. What else, is there? All the more prescient the more Ancient I get. James Last, inspired those last notes...
4. The Hang Ups
From the beginning this was called Jaguar Paws or Jaguar Claws and now although it’s not, it still has the guitar I imagined I would hear, bent, bent further, twisted into corners and far from its natural habitat, crushed into small spaces, the sound of 50s Western gunshots squeezed out through your first tv speaker. What are the sounds that I think I am making when I make these things… Cameo’s big lumpy and chunky rhythm section, every Quinn-Martin production theme tune, Tony Baretta’s face, cap and bird, Fender Jaguars, very heavy Gretsch Beast. Let’s leave it there. Oh… I wanted to have a competition where AC fans could vote a track off the LP. Survivor or Strictly style. Why not? But was informed that this was the most likely candidate to go. So I closed that down as is the way of things these days. Who cares for the truth?
5. Whipped Up And Stripped Down
Whipped up and Stripped down was never meant to be on this record. It’s too baudy and too sexually alluring to be included in the collection. After a listening party in Bearwood the local authority had to hire extra staff for the STD clinics and began training more midwives. It leads people to behave irresponsibly. And then at the last moment, I found a glockenspiel, not a real one, I removed something else from the record, the still lovely House That Bernat Klein Built. Because of potential, issues in every which way. It had to go and so I could include this. I am really glad that I did.
6. Swamped By This And That
Swamped By This And That is an ancient idea, a touch of the Liberaces’s on piano of course, although he could play this with one finger. Even now. Almost anyone could, to be true. I sort of imagined a piano on a remote chilly beach. I once ran into the ocean with my greatcoat on, when people wore those, it was at night and instantaneously I felt like I was going to be swept away. The weight. Jay Lewis rounded up what he calls a 'fan' video that kind of evokes this and that. Diva a 1981 film by Jean-Jacques Beineix.
7. Let’s Get Yampi Dancing
There was a word and it lived amongst us. And carefully considered, having fallen from regular usage, it’s not as offensive as some words. I recalled seeing some dancers at the local middle-aged persons disco. Their huge joy at being free from their responsibilities for even a few hours was not matched by huge ability on the dancefloor. I wanted to help people dance slowly. Ms. Champion, a fairly fierce critic says, “Even by your standards, this isn’t a good one.” Might be a better title for the entire collection. But this actually might be the most archetypally perfect Ancient Champion piece since There Was No One Else I Could Tell. Neal Hefti influenced for sure. Ends on a note from the sitcom Hi De Hi, it is true, I guess. You can’t unring that bell.
8. The Cure
Sure, a musical comment on the never ending pandemic. I won’t carp too much about merely surviving. And I think I had it easier than almost anyone. But any optimism about emerging into a changed world has been wholly subsumed by a manic vaccine euphoria and a propagandists desire to get back to normal, although that normal, let me count the ways in which that was maybe not so great that we want to get it all back. But we live in a beautiful country dominated by wilfully stupid people. So there will be an unheard cacophony, there will be books like Failures of State, of the dereliction of the state, swept under the rug.
9. The Hush Hush Allotment
There are always backroom deals to be made with the allotment powers that be. Now more than ever, getting delicious produce in the UK is all about who you know. When I wrote this, a month ago, I didn't realize how prescient this was. I have always worried that I have an ability to be a portentous soothsayer. I can inadvertently predict bad things. The Hush Hush Allotment is a good thing so far. For us. Not the others now starving on the waiting list.
10. Across The Street From The House of Bad Vibes
Tuneless art rock, for fans of tuneless art rock. This should be a duet with Haroon Mirza, a dream. Across The Street From The House of Bad Vibes is mostly inspired by Museumgoer’s Chernobyl piece. Inspired by my neighbour telling me the whole police history of the house across the street. Inspired by never moving litter on the front porch over there. Then the museumgoer actually sent a postcard of the house across his street and this got real.
11. The Lost Minutes of the Last Meeting of the Bearwood Lake Fountain Committee
Following on from the injurious stress of The House of Bad Vibes, I wanted to go out with a lumbering and lumpen, uplifting, Squeeze chit chats with Jamie Lidell at the studio door, in an dead end alley while being pursued by a blue eyed soul, but I couldn’t leave it at that, and I couldn’t resist a synthetic tilt of the hat to James Last I feel, by sliding those synthetics horns in there at the very end where Ms Champion showed me some very important notes to press so that it would fit in.
Now I am going to go out into the world and find a band of muso’s who will play this, like this. And you’ll find us on your block, or nearby search for Ancient Champion and the Mammoth. It will happen.
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