What follows aren't hard-and-fast interpretations for these songs, just a little something I wrote to give some insight into their inspiration. Make up your own meanings.
HOLDEN CAULFIELD: An ambiguous portrait of an angry male loner, possessed by an aimless, formless, all-consuming misanthropic cynicism. While acutely aware of the injustice and ugliness that surrounds him, he is so terrified of human connection, terrified of vulnerability, that he could never believe in even the possibility of positive change - personal OR societal. Influenced by Catcher in the Rye but also Taxi Driver, John Fowles' "The Collector", and Mark David Chapman (quoted in the opening).
FOUR FINGERED GLOVE: Inspired by the Greek myth of Procrustes- who would stretch or amputate his guests to fit an iron bed of his own design, killing them in the process. A metaphor for all forms of reductive religious and political ideology, the cure being worse than the disease. Top-down Utopian social engineering as the ultimate dystopia. Also inspired by Yevgeny Zamyatin's "We", Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron" and The Prisoner.
GRINNING SKULL: A song for autumn. Drops a reference to Alan Moore's 80s run on Swamp Thing. One of very few Mopey songs where the music was allowed to "suggest" the lyrics.
YOUNGBLOODS: Kids in neon-splattered hoodies smashing windows for flatscreen TVs and Reeboks. Increasing social inequality, injustice and the desire for status and ownership expressed in an aimless frenzy.
SUPPLY AND DEMAND: The ascendance of Stephen Harper kitten-in-arms. Stuart Maclean's smug aw-shucks folksiness and Maclean's magazine's reactionary cynicism, two sides of the same Canadian-nationalist coin. Bland CBC Radio "indie" rock whose greatest ambition in life is placement in a febreze commercial. Also the whitebread misogyny of nu-metal and mainstream alterna-grunge.
UNDER THE KNIFE: Originally part of a larger piece, where a Hollywood starlet starts a cult of reverse-plastic surgery: surgery to make oneself hideous, to reflect the "ugliness inside". Inspired by Charlize Theron's transformation for the film "Monster" (a film I couldn't finish), specifically an Oprah interview given at the time of it's release. Also has an analogue in the "Union of the Hideously and Improbably Deformed" from David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest" and also "Otto Sump's Ugly Clinic" from Judge Dredd. GIRL WHO DOESN'T SLEEP and CALIBAN from the e.p. IF YOU STOPPED BELIEVING IN ME I WOULD DIE also sprang from this larger piece of writing.
ENDER'S SONG: School as introduction to social darwinism. The casual cruelty of children, a "natural" pecking order tacitly approved of by the adult world, later hidden behind etiquette and ritual and structures of authority and coercion. Inspired by Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card; the film Battle Royale. (While I'm quite fond of the book, Card's bigoted views on homosexuality are repulsive, I'd urge you not to give him your money).
MOSQUITO: Named for an anti-loitering device which emits a high pitched buzz that can only be heard by those under the age of 25. The escalating demonization and persecution of idle youth, treated solely as pests. Creeping fascism and the disappearance of public space. This song and Youngbloods are siblings.
MY SALLY BOWLES Inspired by Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories and it's subsequent adaptation into the film Cabaret. Hyper-individualistic hedonism as prelude to (or perhaps accessory of) reactionary totalitarianism. The desire for transcendence of self and escape from reality.
YOUR JEALOUSY WILL DO: Song against cliqueishness and snobbery and elitism. Gossip, backbiting and blackballing as a means to establish and maintain social status within a creative community. "Small is beautiful" - except when it isn't.
released November 2, 2013
mopey is: mo p., vocals guitar synths. bart, guitar synths vocals. paul, bass. ryan, guitar. john, drums. drums recorded at distortion by glenn tizzard, except "four fingered glove", "mosquito", "my sally bowles" recorded by mopey at ontop/above. all else recorded at studio mope. cover artist unknown. crying angel by elaine davis. band photo by jesse walker. huge thanks to our family, friends and enemies for your continued support and inspiration. www.mopey.org
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