Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chocolate Genius Inc.'s Swansongs

Chocolate Genius Inc.'s Swansongs Will Now Be Released September 14th.

Chocolate Genius Inc. ((A.K.A. Marc Anthony Thompson) describes the lyrical content of his music as "Gracefully embracing decay is the constant theme. Letting go. The curse of religion. The passion is the poison. That old dilemma—worship and penance; sparkle and fade; bass and trouble."

The theme definitely flows through his latest album Swansongs, the third and final chapter in a trilogy. (The trilogy consists of 1998's Black Music, 2001's Godmusic and Black Yankee Rock released in 2004).

There are common threads throughout the trilogy creating a cosmic tapestry, and Thompson expands, ""I'm sitting on the bed that my mother would die in right before we released the second offering, Godmusic," explains Thompson. "She sings vocals on the first song of that record ("Perfidia"). They were caught randomly when I was a kid, as she walked into my bedroom while I was learning how to record. Decades later, I am in Los Angeles trying to find her missing widower. On a piano that hasn't been tuned since the Watts Riots, I record 'Like a Nurse' and write four songs in that very same bedroom. A few days later, I find my father crashed into a pole on La Brea and Venice. It is the same intersection that I sang about in one of the first songs I’d ever written, 'Pinks & Greens'."

Thompson completed the Swan Songs track "Sit & Spin" the day his father died. He uses phone recordings of his father as well as the voice of his mother on the record. He explains, "I used the recordings of my parents on both releases because they are priceless artifacts to me," explains Thompson, "and I wanted to lock them in the time capsule that each of these documents are. My children's children will be able to download a little piece of their history. An indulgent, guilty conceit and perhaps nothing more - but I love the recording of my mom singing and the humor and spirit of my folks shines on both offerings."

Thompson expresses reluctance about the finality of declaring this the last recording of the cycle, "Reluctantly, the book of songs is done. I say reluctantly because I’ll soon have to stare at a blank page again, and greet whatever is next. That’s always the tricky part—by the time music is released, the process usually inspires an entirely new workflow, or has you headed to the road, sofa, beach, airport or bar. At least that’s been my syndrome. Though I write constantly, I release things sporadically at best, and sometimes as quietly as a cough. As Richard Ford says, 'When a tree falls in the forest, who cares but the monkeys?'"

Swansongs tracklisting:

1. She Smiles
2. Enough For You
3. Like A Nurse
4. Kiss Me
5. Lump
6. Polanski
7. How I Write My Songs
8. Mr. Wonderful
9. Sit and Spin
10. When I Lay You Down
11. Ready Now

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