Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sculpted Static flashback of the day

Diehard fans of the Tonics know that their favorite band was once known as Sculpted Static. Who could have forgotten Sculpted Static's marvelously forgettable output, which ranged from pop goth songs to Radiohead rip-offs? Today, we highlight a Sculpted Static song so obscure that it has never been heard outside the band.

Easily the most bizarre Sculpted Static track ever, "The Jam" was an avant-garde conceptual piece incorporating musique concrete elements and a multi-movement structure reminiscent of Pink Floyd's "A Saucerful of Secrets" and the Beatles' "Revolution 9." Recorded in the same session that produced "Curb Crawling" and "Apart," this 10 min 18 sec track was a collaboration between the two lead singers of the band. Ironically, there is no singing on this track. However, there is a spoken word section featuring Steven reading from a used car ad.

Despite the title, "The Jam" had a carefully arranged sequence of musical concepts based on a storyline hammered out over dinner at the dining commons. Lucky for us, the narrative of "The Jam" has survived to this day. It is reproduced below.
Part I (The beginning): Our hero witnesses a horrific car accident on his way to work at an advertising firm. He develops an intense hatred of cars.

Part II (Jaguar): At work, his boss assigns him to create an advertisement for the same model car as the one that he had seen crashing earlier. He does a very poor job on the ad, and he is fired. [Steven will read a different car ad (from the newspaper) at each concert.]

Part III (Quiet part): He becomes disillusioned with capitalism and heads for the valley in a VW Bus in search of a hippie commune.

Part IV (Riff): On his way to the valley, his disillusionment turns into anger. He turns around and heads back to the city to inspire a worker's revolt.

Part V (Organ solo): He finds many supporters, who listen intently to his rambling discourse on the evils of capitalism and the greatness of communism.

Part VI (Ending): During a march, he turns around to address his followers. Then, he backs into an intersection, which, for some reason, had not been closed off. A car, driven by a young advertising writer in a hurry to get to his first day of work, smashes into our luckless hero and kills him.