Mental Moonlight A CD featuring: Joe Rosenblatt: Voice Anna Baignoche: Guitar, Banjo and Vocals Michael Simpson: Drum Kit, Percussion, Bass, Ukulele, Nylon String Guitar, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Synthesizer and Background Vocals Anna Baignoche and Michael Simpson have brought to life 10 of Joe Rosenblatt's poems from various books, fully exploiting the humour, the sexiness and the darkness found in them in a fresh, absolutely magical way that echoes musical styles ranging from folk through blues and jazz, with the occasional Latin jazz overtones and more than a touch of German 1930s cabaret. To those who hate poetry, have no fear! This is like nothing you've ever heard before. While Anna Baignoche is singing with the voice of the most innocent of God's angels, Joe Rosenblatt speaks the lyrics like Johnny Cash or Leonard Cohen imitating God. This is a CD full of contrasts and contradictions: while Anna's cheerful innocent voice skips trippingly along in a sunny meadow, Joe's words growl darkly in the night-forest of his mind. While Anna sings happily 'in the morgue of frozen illusions' one of the resurrected illusions intones: 'Welcome to the maternity ward of our universe.' In these savagely satirical songs a bestiary of fanciful critters from surreal porkers to undulant reptiles in heat have been given the noblest of human attributes. Mental Moonlight aims to eroticize the audiophile's savage brain until he or she salivates in wicked thoughts and revels in the privacy of their bedroom. The poet asks the deepest questions in life such as this dilemma of a woman who creates gourmet meals for her cat: '...yet dare we call it deviance, for where is bestiality / when titillation is derived by dream osmosis? / what harm is there in that? Is it a crime / for lovers to conjoin in napping / with others outside their species?' One theme of the CD is urban alienation using a symbolic laundromat as a metaphor for city-dwellers' bodies spin-drying in life's predicaments. This CD aims to get you surreally stoned on imagistic language and in the process take you for a pleasant spin. About the Artists Joe Rosenblatt One of Canada's best-known poets, Joe Rosenblatt has won the Governor-General's award for poetry and the B.C. Book Prize. His poetry has been translated into French and Italian. His latest book, Parrot Fever, with collages by Michel Christensen, was published in Spring 2003. The poems in this CD were originally published in the 1960s and 1970s. The visual side of Joe's imagination has long been active. He has had many shows of his drawings and paintings in British Columbia and Ontario. Joe makes no distinction between creating visual art and writing poetry: for him, painting and drawing are just other ways of writing poetry. Joe makes art to feed the soul. He aims to make people laugh at danger, the world, and themselves: not as a way of escaping the frightful reality of life, but rather as a way of confronting it directly. If concern with the human condition is hard to find in his art, it is because of the comic elements; and because his subjects - the cats, birds, snakes, avaricious plants, insects, amphibians or bats - wear masks. This is Joe's first CD. He never imagined that anyone would want him - as a poet now approaching 70 - to be part of a music CD, especially one composed, sung and played by such young talented artists. Anna Baignoche Anna Baignoche is a Canadian singer-composer who has travelled the world, living and performing in Europe, Cuba, Mexico, and various parts of Canada. She has been performing in musical and theatrical productions since she was eight years old. As well as composing the music on Mental Moonlight, Anna sings the vocals and plays guitar and banjo. In 2003 Anna will also be releasing HeartBones, her debut solo album. Michael Simpson Michael Simpson is a Vancouver-based composer, performer, producer, and music instructor. He plays a number of instruments including drum kit, percussion, guitar, ukulele, bass, and keyboard. His diversity as a musician finds him working in a wide variety of projects of varying styles. He has played at many music festivals and events, including the DuMaurier International Jazz Festival. Michael produced and performed on the Mental Moonlight album, and is currently working on several other recordings. What listeners have said about Mental Moonlight 'The lyrics are kind of weird. What is that guy on?' - Randy Nightlife 'I'm not interested in listening to it. It's not my thing. You said it was poetry, didn't you?' - Anonymous 'Holy shitsky -- this is the most inspiring marriage of words and music since Tuli Kupferberg and the Fugs! And I'm not even on drugs!' - DB 'I have been a fan of Joe Rosenblatt's since the 1970s. When I heard that some young artists wanted to make a CD of his early poetry, I figured it would just be Joe reading his poems with some kind of hippie or beatnik guitar-strumming in the background. I was more than pleasantly surprised to hear these delightful songs, with music and words full of paradoxes and contradictions that blow my mind. I can't get enough of them. They make me laugh every time. You don't have to like poetry to love this CD. Anyone who doesn't like poetry can always think of the words as clever lyrics.' - Jean Greenberg, Toronto.
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