The latest album, Staying Home To Make Music To Stay Home To, is out and about, and I’d like to say a few words about it.
I’d wanted to do an album with this title for some time – a hopefully humorous hermit’s homage to the great Spacemen 3 collection Taking Drugs to Make Music To Take Drugs To – but I never quite got around to it. Then 2020 showed its true colors with a pandemic that made staying home an actual requirement. If not now, when indeed.
So it became a good time to crack open dusty notebooks and have a look at half-written, half-started songs and see if blowing on their dormant embers brought any of their fire to life. I messed around with several, and ended up recording fifteen songs in all, settling on ten. Only one song was 100% new (“Woody Says No”), and it was inspired by a friend’s son threatening him with an end to his New York Times subscription if he broke quarantine. As these things go.
When recording began, I spoke with my good friend Cliff about designing the cover. We go way back to the days of the old Blond Popsicle band, for which he had created lots of artwork, but he’d never done any for The Marble Tea. If not now, when yeah?
With the pandemic raging and closing down communities all over the world, he came up with the idea of COVID flowers, undead memorial flowers that had in their appearance perhaps something of the molecular structure of a virus and the beauty of a flower. A series of small sculptures and paintings of these “les immortelles” were created. Les immortelles were glass bead flowers placed on graves in memory of loved ones. The layout of the album was informed by the work of Benoît Hennebert and his work with Factory Benelux and Les Disques du Crépuscule. I asked Cliff for an Artist’s Statement, and he sent me these Current 93 lyrics:
All your machines
And all your dreams…
Pray for the dead
Have pity on the dead
Sleep has his house
Sleep has his house
I hope you enjoy the artwork as much as I do, and I hope you find some joy in the music as well. Have a listen, won’t you…if not now, when?