TASM Lab - Thing and Nothing starring Brent Oberlin of Thought Industry

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Thing and Nothing

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  1. The Year the Clouds Hated the Ground
  2. Robots & Humans
  3. A Crazy, Madcap Day
  4. The Day the Fish Grew Brains
  5. The Science of Rape
  6. Humans & Robots
  7. Baby, I1m a Star
  8. Bookend I
  9. Mashpee Mungquack1s Sales Pitch
  10. Enter Captain John Barneveld to Buy the Game
  11. Mashpee Plots with Captain John
  12. Enter Simon Still Looking for a Lover
  13. Mashpee Makes his First Offer
  14. Simon Refuses the Whores
  15. Mashpee Mungquck Delivers Christmas
  16. Simon Accepts the Offer
  17. Simon Still is Fucked
  18. Captain John Harrasses Simon
  19. Simon Makes a Boat
  20. Simon Starts to Understand
  21. Captain John Takes Advantage
  22. Captain Johns Final Arguement
  23. Simon & Captain John Decide to Meet Later to Kill Mashpee Mungquack
  24. Simon Realizes What He Must Do
  25. Simon & Christmas Enter the Quiet Wood
  26. Wine Runs Down Her Sleeves
  27. The Confirmation
  28. Beautiful, Naked Love
  29. Journey to the Grandstand to Kill Mungquack
  30. Enter Mungquack, Unafraid
  31. Mashpee Reveals Christmas
  32. Simon's First Blow
  33. The Ill-Starred Head-Scotch
  34. Simons Final Blow
  35. The Death of Mashpee Mungquack
  36. The Game is Done, The Deal is Still Open & Simon Quits
  37. Bookend II

He wakes up with his underwear around his knees. He has a whore for any occasion and salesman to kill. Fuck.

Simon Still is driven to murder the slave master of the woman he loves. The master, known as Mashpee Mungquack, is a household appliance, the woman is for sale, and Simon's only alliance is a deceptive adventerer.

The utopian predictions of a computer networked society is praised by the media, sanctioned by government and passionately embraced by computer weenies. The terror that humans will stop natural and physical communication altogether is what visionaries may one day call Actual Reality. Thing & Nothing's anti-hero, Simon Still, is ruined and dehumanized by the computerized society his parents at the turn of the century had championed.
" Thing and Nothing" is a chaotic, manic, circus of an album about love, sex, technology, and murder. Its an opera or a radio play of sorts - it has four + characters who sing their way through a twisted 60 minute plot about virtual reality and finding sex/murder on the future's internet (much like 'The Matrix" , but more like a computerized "The Cell" in themes). The singers sing, talk, scream and howl through the drama. The dialog is feverish and poetic (and sometimes sexual, filthy, and cruel).

THE SONGS run together like an opera - there are no 3 minute songs separated by space, the action flows from one song to another. Although there are 37 tracks on the CD, the music carries about 12 main musical themes, with 50 sub themes. The whole story is broken into five large movements or chapters. The track titles help tell the story.

THE MUSIC is a circusy, orchestral midi-bomb, with a virtual orchestra playing synthetic, sampled violins and timpanies and fugal horns and drums and cellos and tubas and saxophones and harps. No ones' being fooled that this is a real orchestra, but the tone and grandness of huge band is captured to support the singers singing and screaming. There are no beebs and blips, and no disco-beats or electronica to be found here. The music is fast - like punk rock or ska - and its grand like Shastakovich or Holst - and its discordant like Stravinski or Bartok - and its sometimes ethereal and textured like Cocktiel Twins or My Bloody Valentine - and sometimes it is slow and sensual like a sexy Kate Bush number - but most of the time ITS ABSURD like Mr. Bungle or John Zorn.

It sounds a little like...Mr. Bungle, A Danny Elfman movie soundtrack, Oingo-boingo, Nomeansno if they were a twenty piece, the soundtrack from a Warner Brothers's cartoon, Kate Bush when she's crazy or sexy, Stravinski, an updated, industrial strength Jesus Christ Superstar, moments of Faith No More, a touch My Bloody Valentine, parts of Thought Industry, like the Damned's "Phantasmagoria", or like Killing Joke, John Zorn, lots of uppidy ska beats, um, Screwtape y1.993k, The Victim's Family, maybe Portishead sometimes, and even Queen.

Principal performers include Brent Oberlin from Thought Industry, Chris Bryers of Sleet and Twitch, Michelle Graf of Blue Dahlia and Colin Bradford or Screwtape and Undercast. Music and words by Jeff Till himself.

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