"The Intessential Recordings of JMM"
If Memphis were the new holy land (and it is) then these recordings could be a selection of holy incantations used to invoke the memory of simple people who created the Golden Age of American Pop Culture. Their faces; our masks. Their actions create layers that McCarthy hears as sort of a psychotic breakdown; a regional psychodrama; a 'PERSONAVILLE'. A conceptual puzzle left behind by the mighty 20th century as dominated by Elvis Aron Presley.
Early 2003: During the peak of his cape-adorned SUPER TUPELO persona and months before Mike McCarthy began working at Sun Studio he recorded "I Love You Marion Keisker" and "Edgar Allan, Elvis Aron" in Nicholas D. Ray's bedroom studio in Midtown Memphis. Ray engineered and produced these recordings on a four track using components found under his bed. McCarthy later performed "Marion Keisker" live to a stunned coffee shop crowd who had never heard massive reverb on open-mic poetry night.
After joining Sun Studio on July 22, 2003 (7 days before Sam Phillips death) McCarthy recorded "Crashed Saucers", "I Like Dead Rock Stars", and "Strippers, Hillbillies, Negroes, Wrestlers"; all homages to Memphis as ground zero for American Pop Culture. Music used for "Strippers..." was created by San Franciscan Jeff Wagner and culled from his "Tunnel Of Love" collection.
These recordings were originally intended for a 2004 'dream' release. As it happened, these recordings were only heard in the restroom of the Powerhouse gallery during GuerrillaMonster's three night LOSERDOM show for Birthweek in which the original copy was pilfered. Someone was either paying a nasty compliment or a high criticism. Alas, McCarthy had made a dupe.
The brilliantly gloomy cover was done by a mystery artist who wasn't allowed to sign his or her name. It's mall art from the mid-seventies that hung on McCarthy's parents wall given to them by a girl named Candy Gibson.
"Angel or Devil, I don't care..." Jacque Brel
"PERSONAVILLE" image & title copyright 2007 JMM,
Design by PromoSapien.