Archive for 2015

February 25th, 2015

Letter from the Editor

Tom Clemons, Frank, and the Found

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Those of us who are so involved in manufacturing the sorts of weirdness showcased in the award-winning film Frank are prone to be a little over-sensitive that others are chuckling darkly in corners at our futile efforts. We are the sensitive children others beat with mounds of dung. We are the ones who wore the dung-shirts for the sake of something greater than just coins of refined dung, but for the sake greater dung god in the sky sort of thing. Even while screaming this omniscient dung being does not exist. What is Frank?


Frank is a comedy that laughs at and with the musical argonauts—i.e. the fictitious band Soropfbs, and its lead singer/guru, Frank. We witness the strange man in the giant fiberglass head recording himself hopping in a field, and we witness his final falling apart. We are laughing at his confusion when faced with modern social media networks, and watch the audience within the film being chided for laughing at all the amusing footage the carrot-topped lead has been posting on the web this whole time. Which. Isn’t this exactly what we’ve been doing this whole time? As in, laughing at these musical iconoclasts? Am I thinking too much?


Of course, Soropfbs are not really that iconoclastic as Stephen Rennick, who composed the score for Frank, has himself acknowledged. A little bit like a New Wave Captain Beefheart cover band with a little Daniel Johnston’s prose-y lyric stylings and outsider artist insane asylum status, and at least one Zapa-esque digression. Not to mention, Frank Sidebottom, the actual inspiration for the film.


Every time I watch footage of Frank Sidebottom, I always immediately think of the Residents. These days, when I think about what music is becoming in this age of the interweb, and then ponder back to the Residents and their Theory of Obscurity, or Frank Sidebottom and his Max Fleischer-inspired fiberglass head, these artists, that once seemed so intentionally and idiosyncratically obtuse, begin to appear more prophetic. We are living in an anonymous age, in which quality music of all variety lives in a kind of field of obscurity, a sea of unknown eyes and ears manufacturing endless hours of downloadable product on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Of a daunting saturation of home movies and maverick videos on Youtube. It is the age of the anonymous creating public, and most of what we create are funny cat gifs. Which brings us to Tom Clemons.


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January 28th, 2015

the Making it Free Project

MUT015: Cast and Costumes

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We here at Mutable are going to be converting one album into a free download every month for the next six months, and we’re starting with a favorite of ours from several years ago. (Although, of course they’re all favorites.) Cast and Costumes is an album that should have received more attention than it did.


Cast and Costumes is the brain child of Paplib and Paplib is Germain Caillet. More than just a genius of psychedelic electronic rock, Paplib is truly unclassifiable. His music has a dreamy pop quality too and these jarring cut-up moments.


Listen to and download Cast and Costumes for free here, and check in next month when we make another of our many Mutable products free!

January 28th, 2015


The Least I Can Do
AD Jameson

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[AD Jameson, author of the Mutable release, Amazing Adult Fantasy, has a new story out at Matter, entitled, The Least I Can Do. The first three paragraphs can be found below.]


Antoine lived in Ontario, an awful place. Despite this, he’d never left. “I just like it here,” was what he said whenever anyone asked. Some people criticized him for not ever leaving town, not even on a day trip; they called Antoine a dirty, dirty chimp but they were just goosing him he knew.


Regardless, way up there, Antoine spent a good part of each morning at the Ontario Public Library, sounding his way through the words in one of its books. Today the book was called The Wishy-Washy Walrus. It opened like this: “Once upon a time there was a wishy-washy walrus.” After that, things got pretty complex pretty fast. It seems that the walrus, whose name was Washburn, was wishy-washy. To elaborate further, on certain days Washburn wished to be washed, and on other days Washburn wished not to be washed. You can see how that would be a problem.


Antoine finished reading, closed the book. And you’ve probably already formed a negative opinion of Antoine but it’s not becoming to make fun of adult illiteracy.


[To read more, go here.]