Consumption Work: Tammy, Cybertariat, At The Aral Sea

by The Size Queens

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    CONTACT: Chuck Mobley
    Kabul, Afghanistan: Over its past four recordings, The Size Queens have been quietly amassing a committed following of listeners in literary and arts circles while remaining under the radar to most of the music press. Their works have been extolled by author Mary Gaitskill (Veronica), who, in the introduction to their album III, wrote, “The Size Queens are double-sized or rather double-sided, I mean to say that they have double vision and double hearts. They are playful and serious, sparkling and sludgy, cruel, kind, capacious, intensely private and alone." Author, Rick Moody (The Ice Storm) and poet Michael Snedicker wrote a lengthy review of the band’s record Magic Dollar Shoppe for The Rumpus website, and the band’s videos have premiered on major literary sites, including Electric Literature and Ninth Letter. The band’s fifth record, “Consumption Work: Tammy, Cybertariat, At The Aral Sea” will be released as a single, 48-minute song cycle and accompanying video.
    Hailing from San Francisco, the band is comprised of leading lights of the Bay Area music scene, including Carlos Forster, whose last record Family Trees was produced by M. Ward; Hannah Marcus (known for her solo records Black Hole Heaven, Desert Farmers as well as her work with The Wingdale Community Singers), John Murry, whose recent record The Graceless Age was hailed by Uncut as one of the best records of 2012, as well as former members of American Music Club Danny Pearson and Tim Mooney. After Tim Mooney’s sudden death in June 2012, songwriters Adam Klein and Michael Mullen (Pocket Shelley) took their work to Wally Sound (Beulah, Moore Bros) and recorded this song cycle, bringing in other members of the rotating lineup, including bassist Mike Carnahan (The Green Door). This record is dedicated to Tim who was The Size Queens’ primary collaborator—playing and producing--for the first four of their records.
    “Consumption Work: Tammy, Cybertariat, At The Aral Sea” was informed by feminist economist Ursula Huws (The Making Of A Cybertariat: Virtual Work In A Real World), and her theories about the blurred line between consumer and laborer, workplace and domestic space. Using the 1957 hit, “Tammy’s In Love” as a way of skewering the idea of America’s age of innocence, the record depicts an ontologically unstable Tammy, able to exist in different points in time and space, moving through a world drained of its oceans, where mini-marts run themselves and the garden and the afterlife are continually regenerated, and access to God requires walking a mountain of melted Crocs. Absurd and touching, terrible and grand, The Size Queens sound at times like Bongwater, at other times like a deranged Folkways record. They paint a portrait of an unfolding apocalypse that dares its listeners to laugh in horror. In a period of disillusion, The Size Queens focus on the instinct to stand behind some kind of cause, despite the inevitability of failure.
    The Size Queens derived its name from the early Bush/Cheney years, ruminating on crass American exceptionalism, the promise of “immeasurable” satisfactions through shopping and the mindless boast of phallic leadership and military might. “Consumption Work” continues to paint a portrait of an unsettled globe, unsustainable, environmentally wrecked, economically and triumphantly returning to migrants and dust bowls. Perhaps only working out its ultimate destiny, one entirely removed of the basic requirements for life, yet filled with mass produced goods, self-service pavilions, and the terrible narcissistic need to be heard.
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    Get all 7 The Size Queens releases available on Bandcamp and save 50%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of To The Country, Save the Plant!, Consumption Work: Tammy, Cybertariat, At The Aral Sea, Appetite For Redaction, Magic Dollar Shoppe, Is It IN Yet? [limited run CD], and III. , and , .

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Enjoy a visit to the world of Tammy, a new song cycle in which the The Size Queens explore the wormholes between time and space and find endless resurrections even as the world's oceans are drained and a new cybertariat preside over automats selling car deodorizers scented with dying stars...
A trans-rational, ontologically slippery exploration of "Tammy's In Love." Despite massive ecological and political disorientation, "the garden" continually reasserts itself, and Tammy makes her way through Ursula Huws's feminist economic theories, finding herself with a view of Crocs' factories just beneath a low-hanging heaven.


released November 6, 2012

Adam Klein, Michael Mullen, Wally Sound, Carlos Forster, Danny Pearson, Hannah Marcus & Mike Carnahan!



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Track Name: Consumption Work: Tammy, Cybertariat, At The Aral Sea
The Size Queens
"Consumption Work: Tammy, Cybertariat at the Aral Sea"

The Rally (5:13)
Broken bottles on these streets Used to keep the drunkards on their feet Broken bottles, shining broken bottles on the street Used to keep the sailors on their feet Someone must have dosed me At the Falun Gong rally Someone must have dosed me At the Falun Gong rally I was on the California bus Not sure of what country it was A handsome man was just smiling At all the ghosts behind me Somebody dosed me at the Falun Gong rally Yes somebody must have dosed me, must have thought I was anti-Chinese But I followed a Chinese man to Civic Center Just because I thought it was time to rally Isn’t it time we all rallied Isn’t it time that we all rallied? A giant red lotus opened there We were sitting down on folding chairs Then I rose up without knowing Where in time and space I was going Someone must have dosed me I thought it was my living room crawling and using my teeth on the carpet dragging myself with my teeth through an apartment I need water, I’m so dry I need water, or I’ll die I’ve got to make my way to the bathtub I looked over the deep edge of the bathtub It looked like it once was a river But now there was nothing but a trickling of mud And a hole that went on forever I said into the hole in the bathtub Tammy is that you? Tammy, Tammy, is that you on the other side? Is that you on the other side?

Tammy 1 (0:55)
Why do the stars?

Tammy at the Aral Sea (5:49)
Come on people Come on children Let’s go down to the glory river Oh wait, we can’t go down to the Glory River It’s been dried out by global warming There’s no more river! Let’s go to the Aral Sea Nothing here but busted boats Old bottles of Russian vodka The smell of dead cockle shells You could siphon off all the air And still find breathing painful there You have to adjust to dying, the great dying off I want to travel to the desertified places Research a dissertation I’ll never publish anywhere And I’m researching The desertified libraries Oh look, there from the Ukraine Is a woman in a fur She has saleable features Tried to leave the country When the neo-Nazis took it over Now she’s at the Aral Sea, Looking for a trick But the Eskimos are looking for bottles in the hulls of the ship They’re not interested And so she’s walking on those heels In the mud that’s awfully thick The mud is awfully thick And if you eat it it makes you sick But fills your stomach I’m going to research A dissertation on desertification But I will never publish this Anywhere Why would I want to put a dissertation On desertification on a shelf In a university When I can paper the whole sky and the floor of the sea And all that used to be? I’m going to the Aral Sea Oh look they’ve brought in prostitutes And broken toys And everywhere they’re setting up stands to sell ice tea Everybody’s dry They’re going to set up stands for the Stans Stands for the Stans There must be a man named Stan Who gave all these countries their names Who brought this woman from the Ukraine To the Aral Sea There’s no more men to use These trafficked women Now there’s selling iced tea Waiting on Stan There are women Waiting here Waiting down where the Glory River Is dried up Standing here In the mud of the Glory River The sun is so high But they’re still wearing fur Cause it’s better to look like an animal Than act like a neo-Nazi in the Ukraine

They Shoot Horses (4:05)
We stood around the truck With our hands on the hood We were excited till we got too tired We all just wanted out of that town Lottery was coming round They brought the lottery back First they shot horses Then they shot stars Then they shot credit cards out to Mars Then they shot dissidents Activists pacifists old Hollywood And then they shot everyone Everyone in a single line And a few crawled out and tended to wounds But most of them, most of them died Then we had parties Then we had old Dance-a-thons With our tin cups, tin, tin between our teeth Tin legs and tin feet, tin asses too Tin me and tin you And no one, no one with copper or silver Certainly not gold No one with anything else to do But dance in circles Dance for their betters Dance for the bedwetters The ones who went off to Yale Dance for the bedwetters Who went off to Yale Sent you to war Lost every war
But what did they care? They were just betting on it Just betting on it Then we went dancing Dancing all night With tin cups in our teeth Tin makes it bright Tin like the stars Tin like the moon Tin goes on forever You can use tin like they did in the great leap forward or was it the Cultural Revolution? Or was that tin or was that iron All I know is that they smelted everything and no one knew That in doing so they were reducing the quality Reducing the quality What is quality? What is quality? Once I thought I knew What a Cherokee was Now I see it’s something you hold on to Till the last man is standing The Cherokee Won’t drive you out of town A Rambler’s what you need to get you around A Cherokee A Gambler W e danced and danced and danced Holding a tin cup, tin feet, tin ass, tin legs, tin heart, tin brain, tin fish to last forever Everybody betting on us, pissing in their pants And they all went to Yale they should have gone to jail But they didn’t They’re watching us, holding, holding up Waiting for the last one to fall The last one won’t be the last one at all Cause the last one was Jane Fonda And she tore off in her Honda She just tore the fuck off Why do the stars?

Harvey’s (7:13)
Harvey’s. Harvey’s. Harvey’s. Tammy we want to go to Harvey’s... We pulled up to a minimart An automat Everything worked of its own accord Guess there’s nothing new in that Microwaves were talking to each other bleep bleep bleep The Slurpees you could pour out on the floor Red rivers blue rivers The flavors of love canal and Bhopal beep beep beep Then you pumped the gas Read the gps on your crusted phone Bought cockle shells in a bag Bought yourself a star Hung it from the windshield It’s astral scent Was supposed to cut the smell of dead oceans With the smell of dead stars instead Why are we here Who ever asked We left the answer to the automat Beep beep beep We left it to the automat W e pulled up to the minimart In the neighboring town Looking for somebody Who might open it up it or shut it down But it ran on a 24-hour clock, universal remote control Didn’t require even the cheapest of laborer Gave you change in penny rolls And then we bought some things from the shelf Passed them through the checkout, self- checkout And the little red light said you didn’t pass that right So we passed it again and we bagged it ourselves And we put it in the truck Where we had the bodies of your family We were taking them somewhere rather quickly Or rather slowly It didn’t matter because now the government is smaller so there’s no policeman in the town Isn’t it a beautiful night to take the bodies To the kingdom Isn’t it a beautiful night for jawbreakers and aerosols
For insoles and dead souls And isn’t a beautiful night For chocolate and vanilla To be twisted up together Some of these towns Used to not let that happen Some of these towns When there were people around Wouldn’t let black and white together But now everybody is moving In their RV’s They’re moving to Harvey’s Hey, have you heard about Harvey’s You can bury your family there And get on with some kind of living over there

Tammy 2 (0:51)
Why do the stars?

The New World (5:45)
Used to be W e lived like people Though we didn’t Know them at all We connected Or we tried We stood still Before we died We sensed it coming So we tried And we lied To ourselves And when you don’t Say those things You realize They never needed To be said They never needed And doesn’t it seem Easier to be dead Than to live with All the words That never needed to be said Towns are getting awfully strange Pulled apart, shooting range Driving crazy, drive at night Before the drone shoots you on sight Anyway you go, the laws can change But in the end it still feels the same Unprotected By anyone Nothing simple Nothing fun Just a signal Just a heartbeat’s needle Almost grateful to be surveilled Walking across someone’s screen Used to dream you were in movies That didn’t need to be seen You were crying Over a text It’s not about Someone’s coldness Or that you can misunderstand So easily It’s just that Most things don’t need writing Most of what you say doesn’t need to be said And the world Makes it easy to see how much easier it is to be Dead The new world makes it so seem so easy to be dead

Nudist Colony Photographs (4:23)
Nudist photographs Nudist colonies She had to take her shirt off and relax With those cameras hanging around neck But what the heck She’d been in crazy places before A woman breastfed a monkey Diapered it Ah, everyone wants a baby Everybody wants a baby now The closer we get to the end The closer we get to the end And the closer we get to the garden Cause the garden’s coming back again And then there’ll be another end Still I keep going back To the nudist colony photographs It was such a strange time People walking around without their clothes And their little portables Pretending they weren’t looking at each Looking at each other And the camera set between them Who could take a picture of someone Who was so not seeing themselves or other people Who could take a picture of someone Who could not see themselves or other people And she dreamed she was on a boat In the dream they were just barely afloat That the water was coming in The water touched her chin I keep coming back To the nudist colony photographs I don’t know what came over us I was both a photographer and the subject And the person, the person you left to go there To spend a weekend with your looser friends Your friends who wanted to loosen up their ties and their flies And everybody is not looking at themselves or anybody else That’s part of the rules The unspoken rules Or the prohibitions I don’t know I was outside the gate
On the day you took that date And then Diane Arbus showed up With the cameras around her neck And when the pictures went public I didn’t know you anymore Isn’t it funny how a photograph could make it so I didn’t know you anymore?

Tammy 3 (0:33)
Why do the stars?

Crocs (5:40)
When the rapture came It blew her from her crocs dragged her through the city At least 100 blocks Everybody’s crocs made a pyramid to the moon You could walk your way up In everybody’s plastic shoes Oh I wanna take you there I want to meet my maker In a plastic chair When the rapture came It blew her from her crocs dragged her through the city At least 100 blocks Oooh a stack of shoes Pyramid to the moon Take one baby step at a time Oh I want to take you there To reach the sublime I want to meet my maker in a plastic chair I really want to see you lord In a plastic chair In a factory Just outside Taiwan They were making crocs All night long And the steamy waters Spewed from the factory drain We could walk on the water When the rapture came When the rapture came It left a pyramid You could put your feet in the grooves And finally make your way to the man in the plastic chair Looking down on everybody Some crocs have fur around the edge But the cheap ones rub You get the blisters of the supplicant That’s the price you gotta pay If you want to live forever That’s the price you’ve gotta pay if you want to live together in the afterlife In the afterlife We’re gonna dance around barefoot And the man in the plastic chair Will be so happy that we made it there Draggin up bottles from the ocean Melt them down to speed bumps We won’t be driving there But we’ll still need speed bumps For the man in the plastic chair When the rapture comes Don’t let it pass you by Change your life But don’t change your shoes Change your soul But don’t change your shoes Because the plastic mountain rises so high And sittin up there Is a man whose feet have always gotten air The good lord is waiting In a plastic chair Tammy come with me Tammy Tammy come with me Take your fur Leave those heels Let’s try and get through this mud Let’s get to the pyramid Let’s get to the sacred place Just beyond Harvey’s C’mon Tammy walk up Walk up One foot at a time I want you to see him there In his glory In his plastic chair And we can see everything from here... Because we’re almost in heaven

Tammy’s Tablets/Linda Perry (7:58)
Mommy, what’s happening to me? I used to be in love Now, I don’t know I used to love horses and river sand the sky Now, I’m going to die I’m going to die? But Mommy I was in love I wanted babies and horses And now I’m dying? You say I’m dying? I hate the world I hate whatever sickness I have And I want to kill everybody Just to make myself feel better That would make me feel better I want my last words on tablets In a local parade I want them on Styrofoam in spray paint I want my last words heard I want them stuck to the sides of a car And driven in a local parade Oh I know you want a parade As we wind down the war You wan the patriots to have their say But I died too I died for you In my own way In my heart everyday When I realized that the universe was loveless A little part of my heart stopped working And everyone said Tammy what’s wrong with you? Why can’t you do gymnastics And then I realized that god was looking down on us but he wanted to spit on us And another part of my heart just stopped working I can’t wear the red running shoes anymore I can’t run my heart’s not working And after all those texts all those years and the abuse And people raped me and abused me And allowed their pets to do things to me And another part of my heart just shut down Mother don’t come in shut my door I’m working on my tablets And then I saw We were gonna have another war And we were gonna have another president And everything was gonna be the same thing over again and again And on top of that there was gonna be global warming and the Aral Sea was gonna stink And you couldn’t even be a prostitute these days Cause the men were dying from their prostates faster than the women were dying from their breasts The men was dying faster than the women And I realized that the pieces of my heart had stopped So I wrote my last testament Please drive it in the local parade My tablets my tablets Please They say FUCK YOU! Tammy Love, The Size Queens

And as I was walking Along the muddy shores of the Aral Sea I remembered a song That had once been so important to me And I swear I think that song was Linda Perry But I was dead and the song was so catchy The song was still so catchy And I thought are songs still catchy for dead people But I’m sure it was Linda Perry And it was beautiful Oh it was beautiful Life wasn’t beautiful but that song was beautiful Was it beautiful? Was it beautiful? Was it beautiful? (No matter what they say)