The Day America Forgot

by Grasshopper

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about

Recorded live at Moultrie, Winter 2011
Originally released in an edition of 111 by Sic Sic Tapes

"Improvised trumpet and electronics are Jesse DeRosa’s & Josh Millrod’s weapons of choice to maintain freedom in a world more and more domintated by restricted and ignorant politics of hate. Nightmarish music for bleak prospects. Music for the Youth Of Today. If not for reading the news what are your oversized hipster glasses good for? Listen. Unite. Act. It’s about time." - Label Description

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"This is some heavy shiit. These guys are purveyors of sinister, heaving drones that catch you from behind. So lock the doors, blaze up and crank this shiit to the max. The Day America Forgot was recorded live and catches these guys in fine form.

"Blunt Force" begins side A as if some type of insidious agent has pervaded your veins, gradually gaining momentum, with the objective of taking complete control of the senses. Elongated tones stretch over the body. The tape begins to heave and a robust drone takes shape with an extra sustained tone in the mix. And then the trumpet enters solemnly, progressively becoming louder. The contrast between the trumpet and the tones emitted from the electronics is beautiful - this is some epic shiit. The tape begins to mirror the start of the track, heaving and sounding like it's ready to disintegrate. At the end of the track, the mix is barely audible, except for a slow moving silver din.

"Beermaggedon" starts with an ominous hiss, combined with menacing tones. Soon enough the trumpet – echoing, tones oscillating - provides a warning. All of this is combined with a rumbling drone, an amalgamation of sharp electronic sounds that spew forth mixing with solemn emissions from the trumpet. These guys have a proclivity for making dread feel enjoyable. The sound consumes the speakers and the barely controlled energy spews forth until the track dissipates

The flipside is comprised of one track, "Recreational Liposuction". It commences gently with a slight, shifting buzz and a few looped notes. Suddenly, a shift in sound occurs. The mix becomes gradually heavy and the trumpet makes itself noticed, initially with plaintive tones that become louder - the sounds from the beginning of the track are still running strong, at this juncture. This is the point where a beautiful synthesis occurs. These guys play off each other extremely well. The guttural squeals of the trumpet are matched by the appropriate piercing electronic sounds. The mix becomes heavy with electronics. Isolated in time, it is a frightening, menacing sound. Horror, unease, dread - one notices the tension produced by the visceral feeling of the music. Everything is all fucked up, squalid, yet alluring. The keyboard plays notes that hover, bleak notes and the trumpet is ascending, playing for its life. In the last few minutes, a transition occurs. No overpowering electronics, but solemn trumpet sounds. It feels like an elegy…definite blue tones…the joke is up and the fucking show is over, unequivocally. A conflagration is spreading quickly, swallowing the ostentatious private subdivisions that spread over this once fertile land like a disease. The land has been raped and pillaged of its beauty. The insular, for once, appear to recognize their folly. The giant, once proud, receding into ignominy, battling to the final breath, yet ultimately powerless as the sound dissipates into a vacuum. It engenders a new beginning and that path is glowing with the sounds that Jesse and Josh emit." - Honest Bagger

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"The idea of freedom can be used to justify aggression, and while in some instances, everyone knows what freedom means (freeing the slaves, the right to vote), in others the waters are muddied (preemptive strikes based on spurious information). Grasshopper seems to be saying that it would like to be free from the talk of freedom, returning to a time in which more people agreed on the meaning and implications of the concept.

In another sense, the album may be viewed as a rebuke to shallow materialism. The titles of the two 17-minute tracks – “Blunt Force/Beermaggedon” and “Recreational Liposuction” – reflect a society more fascinated with hedonism than with human rights. The music – thick, rolling drones, sullen electronics, wailing trumpet – coalesces into a narcotic stupor, rising occasionally in anger, reflecting not only a loss of purpose but a possible reawakening. The phrase “weapons of choice” is apt, given the fact that music has been used as torture. Grasshopper turns the phrase on its head by releasing torturous music as motivation. The duo knows that patriotism does not mean defending a nation’s every action, but seeking to bring out the best in a nation and its people. Confrontation is a timeworn tactic of those seeking change, and while this music contains no lyrics, its very title is a challenge.

As the drones grow on Side B of this cassette release, one thinks of the ending of Spike Lee’s film “Do the Right Thing”: a man running through the streets, screaming “Wake up!” This ending hearkens back to that of the original “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, which was itself a commentary on the Cold War and the human tendency to cocoon. (The pod people were in cocoons, but the humans wished to immunize themselves from thoughts of danger.) On “Recreational Liposuction”, a gentle pulse provides the lulling feeling that everything is okay. But like nagging insects or the evening news, abrasive sounds slowly move to the fore, growing until they can no longer be ignored. Sleep – literal or figurative – is no longer an option.” - A Closer Listen (Richard Allen)

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released April 13, 2012

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