Absolutely Free, work in progress

by Tomo Takino

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9.
06:02
10.
11.

credits

released April 20, 2017

The flickering screens embedded within the console revealed the stillness of the many winding hallways connecting together the various complexes of the National Zoological Museum, its center anchored by the towering skeleton of a deteriorated blue whale. Each wing of the building mapped itself to some biological community in which a collection of plants & animals was thought to once exist. Red grass & peaks of ice rendered using plastic & foam formed islands of tundra, thick paper pines & spruces dotted the carpeted landscapes of grassland & taiga, and styrofoam canyons & cliffs painted with orange & brown loomed with dark shades over fields of dotted lines, named features, and pastel representations of flora & fauna. The kids would read out the name of that once-great empire with slurred consonants, their voices bringing life to the static figurines who’d in their years been sheltered by the fragments of a map so large & detailed that it was as if that empire had never crumbled at all. All the parents & guardians would fold their arms while the children rehearsed scenes from reimagined & reconstructed moments flicking on the screen, a trace of pity in their pursed lips for the forgotten who now existed as the fiction of some distant past they knew only through memories inherited.

all songs written & produced by smoggycat

tomo takino & the absolutely free are:
smoggycat - vocals, acoustic guitars, electric guitar & bass & 12-string, alesis micron, korg microkorg, drums & percussion & bells & chimes, soprano saxophone & tuba & bottleflutes, sampler & mpc, arrangements
nick belida - saxophone, flute (2, 7, 8)
natalia d. cameroni - violin (2)
josh le - trombone (7)
joey di liberto - trumpet (7)
eddie a. mendoza - drunken banter (7)
martin renan chapman - 12 string guitar (2, 7)
karina sevilla - vocals (7)
ray stachowiak - drums (6)
the absolutely free orchestra - strings, brass, woodwinds (1,3,4,6,7,8,11)

colin winegardner, adam abadilla, sanjay john - recording & engineering (2,6,7)

infinite love & warmth to:
colin winegardner, adam abadilla, sanjay john, ray stachowiak, eddie a. mendoza, natalia d. cameroni, josh le, joey di liberto, nick belida, martin renan chapman, and karina sevilla for their time & effort. good neighbor, globehead, everyone at ksdt, and ucsd's coolest folk for their kind words & support.

samples from "Raise The Red Lantern" by Zhao Jiping used on (4,6,11)
samples from "Bring It On" by Organized Konfusion used on (6)

SMOGCAT08

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about

tomo takino San Francisco, California

But each fragment reveals the rose from a different angle, he remembered, but delta swept over him before he could ask
himself what that might mean.

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Track Name: Manzanar National Historic Site
From our picnic, I see
mice marching over the mountain
I sit on the edge of the dam
watching their bodies make waves

above every walk to the gallows
there are pretty clouds
above every slaver's whip
there is a blue sky
Track Name: From Canton in Exile
But among the hairbraids, of men leaving home
falls the moonlight, glistening

And where I lay my feet, red sand beneath
gweilo tells me his name for me

Dolly!

born to bloom unseen,
And waste their fragrance on the desert air

where train track surrenders,
to the sands of the billowing winds

rippling!

i say i wont forget you
as you tie the rope around your neck

as color retreats from its frontline
i wish only that id forget you

as color retreats from its frontline
i wish only that id forget you
Track Name: I Will Burn Your Coal
Bubbly, cuddly are the boundaries of their supremacy
Bubbly, cuddly
waxed and buffed but their edges still sharp
waxed and buffed

I will burn your coal till the skies darken
I will burn it, burn it
Is it worth it, let me work it.
I put my thing down,
flip it and reverse it.

--- the boundaries of their supremacy
Bubbly, cuddly
waxed and buffed but their edges still sharp
waxed and buffed

I am metal and I'll never die
I am metal and I'll never die

We are metal and we'll never die

I will burn your coal till the skies darken
I will burn it, burn it
Is it worth it, let me work it.
I put my thing down,
flip it and reverse it.
Track Name: Empty Parking Lot Off of the 5
The day dawns,
the morning star is bright upon the horizon

But I am left in the river bank,
hungering in sorrow's kitchen.

I have licked their pots,
I have gulped their bitter water.

And I am filled only with love for you.
Track Name: Potter's Field
exhumed from beneath the interstate,
the remains of 1,000 workers
makes us catch our breath

like dogs trapped in a hot car
like bees flood to blooming flowers,
like veins of an arm exposed

from its cold, concrete fruit
flows the sweet liquid onto our red lips

And I am tired of wandering
pondering the families beneath me

And I am tired of wandering
wondering if i'll be next to die

while garbage boils in the streets
fattened on wealth they hung their portraits

in the emptiness of the desert
bus stops like monuments,
flooded the valley with oil & blood

And I am tired of wandering
pondering the families beneath me

And I am tired of wandering
wondering if i'll be next to die
Track Name: Walk This Lonesome Valley
walk it
walk it
maybe the truth is in
how you walk it

(I gotta walk my lonesome valley
I got to walk it for myself,

Nobody else can walk it for me,
I got to walk it for myself)
Track Name: Helen Pitts Douglass
I will be for you
a guide for what lies ahead of you
between the scribbled line
where our bodies lie
legs tangled in the wire 'tween me and you
Track Name: Under Amber Lights, I Consume Her
Bodies unbecoming
As the flesh forms a landscape
Whose peaks and valleys
betray their fragile nature

Under amber lights, I consume her
blood flowing down my throat
And as the acid, burns the skin
My insides growl a maxim

Slumps herself feet up, back to the earth

hidden away in the smokey chamber,
keeping your eyes to the ceiling
plumes will gather themselves into shapes
shameful restless icons revealing

under amber lights I consume her
blood flowing down my throat
And as the acid, burns the skin
my insides growl a maxim

Love will smother me, back to the earth

sticky is the veil of the night
thick like clotting cream, runny
and in the humidity of our lust
we'll see each other as the beasts we are
Track Name: North ★
Apart from our shadows, we have no friends.
Apart from our tails, we have no fat.
who knows what my body's worth
in cold hard cash

I keep no company
No one cares for me
each day a notch on my cage
'till they are through with me

over a river dried, a lake smothered to dust
north star
i stare longingly, and i wonder where you are
north star

what used to be an ocean of sand,
now dynamite & guns rule the land

what used to be this corpus of blood,
now carved into splinters, ashamed & unloved

I keep no company
No one cares for me
each day a notch on my cage
'till they are through with me

over a river dried, a lake smothered to dust
north star
i stare longingly, and i wonder where you are
north star
Track Name: Dolly's Dream
Dolly dreams of lanterns, swaying in the wind
while her ancestors wash their feet of mud

and under the blossoms she wonders
what crushes our desire not to be trapped

Let a hundred flowers bloom, baby
we can make heaven a place on earth

To stand and gaze upon the Orient lamps,
Where his face burns like a flare

the red lights overwhelm your eyes
and opium smoke burns the midnight air

we have nothing to lose but our chains
and I want to take you there

Let a hundred flowers bloom, baby
we can make heaven a place on earth
Track Name: Deep River Spiritual at Union Station Terminal
who was map
who was territory
in time you will see
this too shall pass

who was pilgrim
who was colonist
in time you will know
the last wilderness

(in time you will know
the last wilderness)

so rest your head,
don't cry for me
in time you will realize
not all of me will die

(in time you will know
the last wilderness)