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Cow! Aldous Orwell

'This is music for the advanced listeners! Acoustic folkrock featuring outspoken political lyrics, mixed with worldfusion jazz.' —Johanna J. Bodde (New Insurgent Country)

'Cow! is a total masterpiece.' - Miles Black (pianist)


Cow!
Aldous Orwell Project

Cow! is the debut album of the Aldous Orwell Project. It is musical look at about power and personal freedom. Cow! was recorded in 3 days in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with Mexican, Cuban, Canadian and American musicians all of whom bring something special and personal to the themes in the tunes. This is Sam's first solo record since AniManiaclal in 1995.



The News

Hear the news its good again to care about the suffering of people we don’t know
Hear the news it’s safe again to let a little of your hard won glory go

While the second coming came and went, Richard Nixon said “Get bent”
What does napalm have to do with children anyhow?
The Devil it is said will hide in the most unlikely disguise
This new breed of monsters is the worst we’ve ever seen

Hear the news its of benefit to vote because it will protect people we don’t know
Hear the news it’s wise again to question in fact what they really know

And speaking of the government or that family living in a tent
It seems like bread and circuses are all the rage right now
While the Evildoers hide in caves, the Masters party on our graves
This new breed of Romans is the worst we’ve ever seen

Oh, hear the news its good again to turn our thoughts to comforting people we don’t know
Hear the news but not too loud
They’re listening to what you listen to

©2005 Sam Masich (SOCAN)


They Say sample

They say people where I come from are backwards people
It has to do with the wildness in the hills
They say send those monkey bumpkins back where they came from
They’re only living here using up our cheap thrills

But I say there's gold in them there hearts
I say love is what we are made for
I say the thing you find most strange tells you your direction
I say there's gold in them there hearts

They say that people from over there are evil people
It has to do with hiding what they really mean
They say send those wicked bastards back to their maker
They’re only sittin’ round waiting til we fall asleep

They say the CIA slaughtered JFK, but who could blame them
It had to do with our vital interests abroad
They say a hundred thousand dead commie latinos for cheap bananas
is a good price. Don’t think too hard

©2005 Sam Masich (SOCAN)


Nuclear Waltz sample

What does the street corner remember the morning
after the action dies down
The hippies are gone now. Morning has broken
The johns are at work downtown

There were Indians walking right where I’m walking
Now its all condos and nightclubs and me
And I don’t even see them. The light passes through them
or am I just to damn busy to see

    The Nuclear Waltz
    Boom, boom. Tra-la-la-la
    The Nuclear Waltz
    Doom, gloom. Sha-na-na-na
    Something’s gone false
    The Nuclear Waltz

If they up themselves like they’re blowing up Baghdad
and if the whole fucking shithouse burned down
Would the roaches and ‘squeeters lift a glass in remembrance
to the men that were talk of the town

There were white people walking where lizards are crawling
Now its all crawdads in coke cans I see
Because no-one did nothing about the American Dream
on the evening of World War III

So if its gonna matter, it ain’t gonna matter
to the stars or to God or the ground
Its just gonna matter, if its gonna matter
to the ones who are right here right now

©2005 Sam Masich (SOCAN)


Cow sample

I sat up all night with you and talked about the world
Again we found no solution
Everything I try to do goes funny in the end
Again I can’t break through

‘Cause the bad guys won the war somehow
but I still fight them anyhow
They say “Hey mister, get that cow out of the way”

I’ve got a friend in the former East Berlin who says things were better then
Again we found no solution
I try to make a loon with every tune
But I try to make myself swoon too
Again I can’t break through

‘Cause the bad guys won the war somehow
but I still fight them anyhow
They say “Hey mister, get that cow out of the way
We’re coming through”

Again there can be no solution
if we’re all encyclopedia salesmen
ringing on the bell of heaven’s door
with no more dignity than that

Then the bad guys win the war again
and everybody just caves in
They say “Hey mister, get that cow up on the scale”
Bad guys won the war somehow
but I still fight them anyhow
They say “Hey mister, get that cow out of the way
We’re coming through”

You’re not coming through. Oh no you don’t
Not through this gate. Not while I still have my dignity
No. Oh no. Not through this gate. Not while I still have my cow

‘Cause the bad guys won the war somehow
but I still fight them anyhow
They say “Hey mister, get that cow out of the way”
The bad guys won the war somehow
but we’ll still fight them anyhow
They say “Hey people, get that cow out of the street
We’re marching through”

You’re not marching through
Oh no you don’t. Not through this gate
Not while we still have our dignity
Oh no. No you don’t. Not through this gate.
Not while we still have community, privacy, family, children, freedom. Cow!

No, no, no. No te la lleves cow, cow. Yo quiero mi vaquita!

©2005 Sam Masich (SOCAN)


Black Bat Wings

I put on my darkest, greyest cloak and slip into my black bat wings
There are dark circles, dark, dark rings of fear
I slide out by a side door to avoid the state police
who are shaking down some freaks that dared to paint out loud

And I stumble over casualties. All the brothers of the sisters
that were mothers 'til their children dropped off, one by one, like flies
And with my black bat wings I lift up off and cough right through
the atmosphere, until everyone is miles and miles and days and days away.

     I'm the black sheep Icarus, and today I've had enough
     It's been 2000 years of lies

I wing up through the darkest, greyest smoke for some perspective
There are grim angels, dark, dark beings of fear
I slip out of a black cloud bank on a single ray of light
that struggles more like mere existence than hope of any kind

And I’m surrounded by the ghosts that were the brothers of the sisters
that were mothers 'til their children dropped off one by one like flies
And with my black bat wings I flail toward
the long lost eye of God until everything is worlds and worlds and years and years away.

    And right below me I see D.C.
    I’m above a house. I’m above a white house. Above a white house.

I pray with my greyest, darkest hope the sun to ignite my black bat wings.
I want dark circles falling rings of me.

I'll crash in through the oval roof like a speech that frees the slaves
who are beaten down by old money because they dare to sing out loud.
and with my black bat wings I’ll plummet down with the brothers of the sisters
that were mothers 'til their children dropped off one by one like flies.
Mothers 'til their children dropped off one by one like flies.

©2005 Sam Masich (SOCAN)


Pity the American

Pity the American
Pity all the world

©2005 Sam Masich (SOCAN)


The Great Dictator sample

Just like last time its a bunch of decent folk
clearing the way for the great dictator
Patriotic people just doing their jobs
Fun loving folk who are a little afraid
of losing their house, losing their safety net
Happy to trade a son or two for freedom

Just like last time everybody’s innocent
claiming that they didn’t know what was really happening
Hard working people way to busy to read
anything by Chomsky or even Ralph Nadar
To busy to go to a meeting at the town hall
People busy grieving for the sons they lost for freedom

And just like last time people are all diligent
in learning the name of this week’s enemy
Carefully watching their neighbours for clues
to who’s behind the great decay
of everything they worked for
Everything they suffered for
Everything they traded their sons and daughters for
Everything they hoped for
Everything they prayed for
Everything the great dictator took away

Just like last time its a bunch of decent folks
clearing the way for the great dictator
Patriotic people just doing their jobs
Fun loving folk who are a little afraid
of losing their house, losing their safety net
losing their jobs, losing their benefits
Happy to trade, happy to trade
Happy to trade, happy to trade
Happy to trade a son or daughter for
Everything they worked for
Everything they suffered for
Everything they traded their rights and constitution for
Everything they hoped for
Everything they prayed for
Everything the great dictator took away

©2005 Sam Masich (SOCAN)


Ballad of the Bad

Once upon a time we wore white Stetson hats and tore across the prairie
Killed up all the Indians by the order of God

Smashed our way into the future entitled to be entitled
Retarded by ambition and we want it all

    Why are we all so cruel?

Top creep on the creep heap says, “Bring ‘em on”
The politics of running shoes are lost on the mob
Read all about it the demons we’re fighting and the gag ordered angels
Hitler never had it so good. Stalin never laughed so hard

    Why are we all so cruel? In this town

    Peace. Money. Freedom
    Stand on their necks and bleed ‘em
    We got ours. They’ll get theirs

    Roll on little doggies, roll on
    
Once upon a time, its taught, we saved world from evil
Lately that's become such a joke to anyone with eyes

Lies about the threats. Not a shred of love or tenderness or evidence
Rabid sheep lose no sleep
Through the night we fill the human garbage heap

    Roll on little piggies, roll on

 ©2005 Sam Masich (SOCAN)


Spiders sample

Think about spiders
from the perspective of spiders looking at spiders
Then you’ll know spiders

Think about rain from the perspective of falling

    All we are, is all we see
    And all we know, is all we know

Think about soldiers
from the perspective of soldiers looking at soldiers
Then you’ll know soldiers

Think about pain from the perspective of dying

©2005 Sam Masich (SOCAN)


My Best Prayer

May you have a Happy Birthday, Happy New Year
Merry Christmas every single day
I pray good angels always guide you
Someone you love always there beside you

To be happy working, happy loving, happy on your long and happy trail
I pray good health always keeps you aglow
and you accomplish every goal you want to

May the dreams you dared to say out loud
change the world just like their s’posed to
Coast to coast and most of all
I wish you peace. I wish you know
that you’re made of love

May the songs you wrote all be recorded by your favourite bands
May you get to meet all your heroes, all your Ghandi’s and DeNiro’s

May the skies fly open every time you’re down, bring you around to what you’re made of ‘cause you’re made of love

To be happy working, happy loving, happy on your long and happy trail
I pray good angels always guide you
someone you love always there beside you
You got a lover there to inspire you
to hug and kiss you all through the night ‘cause you’re made of love
You’re made from love, made by love, made by love
You’re made of love

©2005 Sam Masich (SOCAN)

 


Cow! Updates...

REVIEW

Aldous Orwell Project 'Cow!
  (Self-Released)
Review by Johanna J. Bodde for New Insurgent Country (Holland)

Even if you come across this CD in the middle of a big pile, it will draw you immediately to picking it up. Better said, the cute cows on the cover will lure you to do that! "Moodonna & Child" and "Holy Cow" on the back are paintings by ManWoman. "Cow!" is named after one of the songs, where the cow is a methaphor for freedom. And Aldous Orwell Project got its name from the authors Aldous Huxley ("Brave New World") and George Orwell ("1984"). This is music for the advanced listeners! Acoustic folkrock featuring outspoken political lyrics, mixed with worldfusion jazz.

Sam Masich from Vancouver, Canada is the singer-songwriter of this Aldous Orwell Project, regular readers of this page might know him already from FFM and his collaboration with Michael Friedman. He is an independent musician and filmmaker, who already wrote more than 400 songs, of which about a hundred are played & recorded. He's the ideal co-writer, always wanting to write for other artists. Sam is also one half of a duo with Christine Duncan. As he says: "Songwriting led me to performing and also to producing". He returned to music after years of focusing on his successful "other" career of teaching martial arts.
The album "Cow!" was recorded in San Miguel, Mexico with Mexican, Cuban, Canadian and American jazz musicians. Percussionist/drummer Bobby Kapp for example, played with Dexter Gordon. Sam himself has a slightly hoarse, throaty voice, that I like a lot. His emphatic delivery of the lyrics is just impressive and urges to listen, he also plays various guitars, together with Ken Basman. All tracks got a completely different sound. From just an acoustic guitar, along percussion & piano, a waltz with violin, an uptempo piece ending on something Cuban, the cynical version of a marching band, folk-noire with piano, electric guitar in sturdy folkrock to world-jazz and folk-jazz with the wonderful backing vocals of Glenda Rae, ending with a hidden track of improvised jazz.

The lyrics are about political and social subjects. Very outspoken. Everybody & everything is present: Richard Nixon, JFK, the CIA, God and the Devil, Baghdad, the American Dream, World War 3, Hitler, Stalin, Ghandi plus a few fourletter words. And the album is dedicated to Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore. But it all makes sense and never ends up in ranting, although this CD confirms what I already noticed during my travels in Canada: many Canadians really dislike America, in the meantime they love to tackle "American" subjects and they're probably genuinely concerned. Words in "Pity The American" are -indeed- "Pity the American. Pity all the world." It's hard to just pull a line from the songs, a few I think are great: "There were Indians walking right where I'm walking. Now it's all condos and nightclubs and me" from "The Nuclear Waltz", written according to Sam Masich "on the eve of the US led invasion and occupation of Iraq" and from satirical "The Great Dictator": "Fun loving folk who are a little afraid of losing their house, losing their safety net / Happy to trade a son or two for freedom." I mentioned already that clever methaphor in "Cow" (our freedom Cow): "They say, Hey mister, get that cow out of the way. We're coming through". "Black Bat Wings" is just as good: "I put on my darkest, greyest cloak and slip into my black bat wings / I slide out by a side door to avoid the state police", a while later: "And right below me I see D.C. I'm above a house, I'm above a white house."
Like I said, "Cow!" is for the advanced listeners, who will put the disc in heavy rotation, muuuh...

Written by Johanna J. Bodde, April 2007.



A meeting with ManWoman.


(click the pic)

ManWoman is the artist who created the images on the cover and back of Cow! Often called 'The Godfather of Canadian Pop-art', Manny's work goes back some 40 years. His paintings, books and memorabilia are collected around the world. Recently I had a chance to catch up with ManWoman at his home in Cranbrook B.C. when I was teaching a Tai Chi workshop in Kimberley.

For me it was a chance to dialogue with a truly progressive artist and mentor. Over Chinese food, we discussed the importance and pitfalls of living an artistic life and what it means to maintain integrity in one's work. Once described as "a spiritual Andy Warhol", for ManWoman life is the canvas.                  -Sam



Holy Cow by ManWoman


Aldous Orwell?

In two contrasting 20th century visions of the future Aldous Huxley and George Orwell each predicted a stuporous society, either bred, medicated and distracted into a conformist paradise, or compliant under the boot of a dictatorial and propagandist authoritarian regime. It seems not only that both fictions are coming true but that also they are interdependent. While the ‘First World’, lives increasingly in Huxley’s Brave New World, it does so on the backs of billions of people living out Orwells’s 1984 nightmare where 'Big Brother' keeps a tight grip on the reigns of power.

In both predicted worlds, the force and volume of one voice has drowned out all others and therefore ideals of equanimity, community and benevolence are lost in a converse rhetoric where war is described as peace and propaganda is defined as truth. Freedom here is an imposed quality foisted on the individual by powerful, coercive forces. The Aldous Orwell Project is a vehicle for giving voice to this increasingly real scenario.

Cow! is about freedom on personal and collective levels. It is about the inevitable consequences of unchecked power-addiction and the choices we can make to break the addiction cycle through empathy and goodwill. Cow! is about being rather than having and about creative expression rather than slavish imitation to imposed ideals. Cow! is about courage.


CowBoys (l-r top) Bobby Kapp, Gabriel Hernandez, Aldous Orwell, Antonio Lozoya, (below) Victor Valasco


About Cow! Songs


Cow! unfolds in an arc. It begins with a proclamation of another possibility, continues through the behaviours and consequences of power addiction and finally journeys to the place where every addict must eventually come if he or she hopes to manage their disorder.

1. The News
Proclamation of a renewed freedom to choose empathy over self interest. Caution of tyranny’s presence.

2. They Say
Uncloaking of tyranny’s isolation, paranoia and murderousness. Affirmation of the way of love, trust and open living.

3. Nuclear Waltz
Awakening awareness of inevitable consequences of political tyranny and need to effect change through personal participation rather reliance on ‘larger’ forces.

4. Cow
Personal dignity and respect for community symbolized by the unmoving cow. Protest by passive resistance even in the face of tyranny’s seeming victory. A statement regarding the power of unity in simple common values.

5. Black Bat Wings
Despairing self sacrifice. The avenging martyr effects protest by invoking the dark forces of victim phantasms to directly attack fascistic powers. The violent, suicidal activism inevitably forged in the flames of relentless, callous oppression.

6. Pity the American
Compassion for members of the causal society, many the unwitting agents of power interests who ultimately  join the victims as tyranny turns inward on itself. The ordinary citizen, not realizing his or her complicity is confused to be the focus of such animosity.

7. The Great Dictator
Unmasking of the ordinary citizen’s fear and apathy as one of the root causes of fascism. The relationship between the gullible populace and political tyranny. Admission of the power disorder as collective.

8. Ballad of the Bad
Confession of individual cruelty at the heart of social dysfunction. Admission of the power disorder as personal.

9. Spiders
Putting oneself in the place of ‘other’ to sense both perspective and condition. An invitation to empathy, the first step in breaking impersonal and objectifying tendencies of addiction.

10. My Best Prayer
Empathy’s invitation to goodwill and joyful well wishing, the antithesis of traits of control, domination and isolation at the root of fascistic tyranny.



"Care of the cow brings good fortune." - Yijing (The Book of Changes)

"War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."
- George Orwell

Then, in unison and on a slow, heavy rhythm, "We-want-the whip,"  shouted a group at the end of the line. "We–want–the whip."

Others at once took up the cry, and the phrase was repeated, parrot-fashion, again and again, with an ever-growing volume of sound, until,  by the seventh or eighth reiteration, no other word was being  spoken. "We–want–the whip. We–want–the whip! We–want …"
And all of a sudden they had what they wanted.

- Aldous Huxley - Brave New World

"Military justice is to justice what military music is to music."
- Groucho Marx

"The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur."
 - George W. Bush