NOTES ON CONGEALIN' WITH THE ELDERLY
While the Elderly have been with us making music for many years, this is the first time that they have assembled to create an album together. The occasion that prompted this hithertofore unheard of combination of personages was the RPM Challenge, in which an album must be produced entirely in the month of February.
And what an album it is!
From the country twang of Grandpa Joe's "Tennessee" to the riotous punk fire of Geritol George's "You Kill Me" to the abstract sonic poetry of "Feisty Creatures" and "No Secrets," this is a stereophonic adventure of epic proportions. But created in 28 days? How could it be possible?
The answer more times than not lies in the word "magically."
To begin with, the group eschewed the luxuries of a full 28 days and began work on the 7th. Upon convening at the Silencio rehearsal space, the group quickly scrapped the original sprawling double-album concept in favor of the more focused diversity of a single album of no real continuity. The material was improvised in the style of John Coltrane, Count Basie and Wesley Willis with no concern for song form or accessibility.
Then these raw recordings were left on a train station in northern Vermont for three days, and this brief fermentation period was an oft-overlooked critical stage in the music's development. No one is sure who left them there, or why they were in Vermont to begin with, but everyone wishes they could have been found. It could have been the medication, but no one doubted the genius contained on those tapes. Someday those tapes will be found and their content judged by the light of day.
However, until then, we have "Congealin' with the Elderly."
One final detail on the enjoyment of The Elderly's debut masterpiece: On the more abstract pieces, it has been found that by listening with eyes relaxed and focusing on a point just beyond your speakers, a recognizable song form will magically appear before your eyes. But only if you relax! Tense listening can cause this vision to be fleeting, but you will find that with more practice you will see it without hesitation every time, enhancing your enjoyment of these fine pieces of music.
Raising a glass of fiber-enriched fruit beverage to toast The Elderly, and with best wishes for more "magic" in the near future,
R. J. Simmons
Saratoga, NY, September, 1978
released March 1, 2009
"Geritol" George Hall • Jason "Jaundice" Baldock • Chris "Miracle Ear" Barrett • "Grandpa" Joe Kowalski • James "Grumpypants" Gerdeman • "Metamucil" Marvio Santos
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