Song of the Statues
SONG OF THE STATUES, Akashic Records and Tapes AKA SOS, 1988. (My joke on the Akashic Records of Edgar Cayce fame) all songs copyright Paul McMahon 1980-88 This record was made possible with funding from the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston, Franklin Furnace and the Jerome Foundation, and Art Matters, Inc. Produced by Paul McMahon with help from Mark Valenza Recorded at Radio City Recording Studio by Don Hunerberg Musicians: Paul McMahon, Louie Belogenis, Mark Copell, Bruce Darby, Dave Hofstra, Peter Lewy, Ed Rollin, Diane Hawkins, Anne Gayler, Melanie Selvey Cover photo: Dorit Cypis These reviews are from the performance. The recording was not released for review. As he parodies songwriters from Brecht and Weill to Philip Glass, he dons various costumes and shticks as the context demands...Mr. McMahon's favorite style is ironic gutbucket music, soul, and torch ballads pushed toward unbearable torment...the performance was better than an hour of MTV. Jon Pareles, NEW YORK TIMES ..a probing perspective on a culture turned upside down...a risk-taking innovator. Jude Schwendenwein, COVER This is the 'cabaret' album from my 'quasi-operatic' musical art performance in which I cross-dressed and tastefully got naked, did a lounge act in a tux and sang a dirge with an opera singer about time vs. eternity. SONG OF THE STATUES is the sound track of the performance debuted in late 1987 at HOME in NY, (which has since become HERE). Produced by me with help from Mark Valenza, this recording was made for the Boston ICA production in 1988. It was recorded on January 1 and 2, 1988 in the recording studio on the 7th floor of Radio City Music Hall with the seven piece band that had played at HOME. Perfectly soundproofed; the studio was totally floated on rubber balls and had a foot of empty space all the way around it. Large enough for a symphony orchestra to fit comfortably into. The whole thing was ripped out a few years later by Bottom Line types who worship false profits. The show was reviewed by Jon Pareles, who called me a 'neo-lounge singer,' in the NY TIMES. Perhaps because of this INTERVIEW magazine sent me to Las Vegas to talk to Wayne Newton, which in turn triggered important developments in my spiritual process. The interview appeared in the May 1990 issue. The show was about identity issues, including sexual identity. There were collaborative pieces with Dorit Cypis, Cindy Sherman and Michel Auder. My ailing father, who passed about five months later, unknowingly sat next to a notorious Boston drag queen. After the show I was interviewed by a reporter from a Boston magazine of gay culture called THE MIRROR. The writer was named Paul McMahon, but with a different middle name. Showed me his card, even. STATUES includes some concensus classics like BANG YOUR CRAZY HEAD AGAINST THE WINDOWPANE, a faux beer hall anthem which old hippies can't stop loving and LIFE ISN'T FAIR, a favorite among exiles and other cynics. I'm proud to say there is a lot of accordion on this record. When you combine a regularly tuned accordion to Doug Skinner's intentionally out of tune French one the result is a luxurious accordion thicket. Mark Lutwak is central to this album and the next on both accordion and piano, the latter heard on MISANTHROPE, a Mose Allison-esque anthem for mean people. The psycho-spiritual healing journey from head to heart had started but was not yet complete when these songs were written. Most of the songs I'd previously been co-writing with Nancy Chunn had a humorous or satiric bite to them, but in therapy I was starting to reclaim frozen feelings and used songwriting as a catalyst. I wanted to write a song to make myself cry, like Garnett Mimm's I'LL TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOU, a gospel masterpiece in the CRY, BABY (janis covered it) vein with a long descending melody line. I cried as I wrote BANG but when I performed it everyone laughed. The same thing happened with LIFE ISN'T FAIR. I cried, they laughed. Later I guessed that since my orientation was basically to the funny, my attempts at sincerity had an ironic mawkishness that was assumed to be intentional. Nothing could have been farther from the troops. OH MY HEART is my homage to Dylan's ALL THE TIRED HORSES (from SELFPORTRAIT) and features only a cello and three sopranos singing a repetitive line probably snatched from Bach. MY LIFE! Is tray poetic and quite angst. I wrote it as an explosion and only much later realized a part of the melody line is from TOP HAT. THE RAIN has a much faster version recorded in 92. Mike Arruzione was producing Anthrax at Bearsville and wanted a demo for them to hear. I was too slow probably. Later they served anthrax to postal workers but they missed me by a country mile. ATT: MARISA; CD BLURBS -ADULT CHILD Paul McMahon is a respected singer/songwriter in Woodstock where he has lived since 1990. He has recorded 8 albums from 1986-2001. The most recent, WOODSTOCK WINDMILLS was recorded and released in August 2001 and it has received a good amount of play on WKZE-FM. Earlier releases have been played on WFMU-FM in the NYC metro area. He has performed on bills with Lyle Lovett, Freedy Johnston, Marshall Crenshaw, Dan Hicks, Michael Hurley, Laurie Anderson and Glenn Branca. In 1992, he won the singer-songwriter contest at the Towne Crier in Pawling, NY. He appears often on Woodstock radio, WDST, as the Rock'n'Roll Therapist, improvising cures for befuddled listeners, an act he has performed for twenty years. For over a year this was a regular feature on KTV, CNBC's children's program of 1989-90. Two songs from WALKING IN THE DAYS OF THE PROPHECIES (1994) will appear in an upcoming collection being released on ESP Disc. He is also the lead guitarist in ARMY OF LOVE, a Pop-Surrealist Girl Group. They have just completed their third CD, ARMY OF LOVE SAVES THE WORLD AGAIN and are preparing to take over the airwaves for the forces of love, etc, etc. He also backs his sister (adopted) Gayle Two Eagles. When asked why he isn't famous he claims he is very famous, but it's 'stealth' fame.