Ned Sublette

Ships at Sea, Sailors and Shoes

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

To unbelievably great texts by Lawrence Weiner, Ned Sublette sings, in his decidedly cowboy accent, with the Persuasions -- yes, those Persuasions (!), really stretching out -- on this entertaining CD of fractured doo wop art songs/pieces. There is an underlying philosophical earnestness ("There Is No Light at the End of the Tunnel," "Ever Widening Circles of Remorse"), and topics include ecological concerns ("Big Bang/New Flora," with its lyric: "Row row row your boat as the sh*t flows gently down the stream/What we don't flush away we'll blow away another day") and transcendent situations ("Postcards From Heaven," like the title of Cage's piece for harps, with a collage of Spanish dialogue, seashore, and a choir from somewhere). Poetry is also read, and the pieces never "develop" in any ordinary song fashion. Deserves to be placed in both pop and avant-garde bins in the record outlets. Highly recommended.

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