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Still from Anganok

Anganok is a mini-opera composed by The Residents with San Francisco artist Spoonman in 1991.

A recording of Anganok was released on Robot Selling Device in 2009, alongside an instrumental version (minus Spoonman's vocals). Anganok received its first CD release on November 14th 2020 via Klanggalerie, featuring the previously unreleased complete version of the vocal recording.

History

A still from Anganok, 1993

Anganok originated out of a spring 1990 Jam session held by The Residents, specifically the same jam that birthed Benny The Bouncing Bump. When sessions for Freak Show began, the instrumental was quietly shelved until early 1991 when The Residents discovered a local artist and poet named Spoonman. Interested in each-others ideas, The Residents pulled out the unused instrumental, and got to work on expanding it, whilst Spoonman developed a spoken word story around it. The piece would be played live by The Residents throughout their short run of performances with Spoonman in 1991, but, perhaps quickly becoming bored with the project, or not being pleased with the results, the project would not go beyond a few unannounced performances in 1993.[1]

But the instrumental track was not abandoned, it was adapted into two different projects. A part of it was used on the compilation CD Uncle Willie's Highly Opinionated Guide To The Residents in 1993 as a wraparound theme, and other parts were adapted into Daddy's Poems from Have A Bad Day.

The instrumental was first released as a 6 minute excerpt on the compilation Our Tired, Our Poor, Our Huddled Masses in 1997. Over ten years later, edited versions of both the instrumental and a previously unheard rehearsal recording were released as digital singles through The Residents' RSD website. The instrumental version was a 13 minute excerpt, and the rehearsal was 19 minutes. The full versions of both of these recordings were released on the 2020 Aganok album, with the full instrumental bieng 19 minutes long and the vocal being 21.

Track listing

Robot Selling Device release (2009)

  1. Anganok (19:05)

Klanggalerie release (2020)

  1. Anganok (Vocal) (20:45)
  2. Anganok (Instrumental) (18:52)
  3. Anganok (RSD Version) (19:06)

Lyrics

For the lord, god, a new born term
Bringeth.
Shit upon your heads, my bodies
Shit upon your heads
Welcome to eternity
I am the one called Anganok.
The sad immortal Anganok.
Eternity is heavenly
Let me set you straight
It's boring here and lonesome
like cold food on a paper plate
Here it's just us pale ghosts
with nothing to do but worry
each day begins and ends the same
watching the human's hurry
oh look there's one over there
There's a human behind the tree
And over there, a little baby
Isn't he cute?
But that was not for me
I could not sit and watch
I was an artist
At least I used to be
Before I arrived here,
and quickly misplaced
My personality
So instead I commanded
I conjured, I evoked
Even though it's frowned upon
Even though it's not done
Instead I commanded,
I conjured, I evoked
I kicked the other human
And I called him my son
My demon, my savoir, my ace in the hole
All I needed, all I wanted
Was a son, was a soul, was a son, was a soul
My son, my soul
What could I repress?
Still it burns
If I'd been more selective
Taken a little bit longer
I'll need a brighter boy
Would the story be the same?
Would I still be to blame?
The year it was 1803
The raging sea
Of the cold New England coast
And hear's a sailor's toast
"To the most fearless captain, who'd ever sailed the sea!
The man of name Zahumnia, and that plaque belongs to me!"
My demon, my savoir, my ace in the hole
All I needed, all I wanted
Was a son, was a soul, was a son, was a soul
My son, my soul
The wave relinquished me
Over everything, everything
Sand and blood and everything, everything
Water and wood and everything
Bones of the living, bones of the dead
"Bones of the dead?"
Over you, over me, over everything
"Fetch me my harpoon, Mr. Smith"
"Aye Aye, Cap'n"
"What colour, is the sea today, Mr. Smith?"
"It is the color, of tears, Captain
Wild, black, tears, with colors, and smoking red fire
She's all ablaze with fury captain"
"Mr. Smith!"
Yes, Captain?
Did you ever see the color of her eyes?
Once they were the color of birch-mark
No that's not right
Swollen Puss, colored like death they were, water mixed with blood...
No that's not right
They were the color of ripped lungs, of poison, of death, it stinks!
There she was, I looked deep into her eyes, and they talked at me with a smell...
A smell!
"The wind's picking up captain."
"Like the stench of a million dead fish, all rushing at once up my nose! Until... it exploded! AGH!
You'll be sure to tell us when the wind begins to carry us like that, Mr. Smith"
"You'll be the first to know, Captain."
"You take the wheel now, Mr. Crow here will take the watch. There you go, be off now."
"Aye Aye Captain."
Ship's log, June 16th, 1803. Nothing like...
Today I felt her again, I know she is near by.
Her bubbles come up from below.
I know.
And soon we shall look upon each-other, face, to face.
The great whale.
The great transparent whale returns.
The great whale.
The great transparent whale returns.
The one without color, with liquid skin,
The great whale
The great transparent whale, that is the very shape of terror! AGH!
Easy, my captain, this is all but fancy!
Fancy? Call ye my fear fancy? My terror? My bleeding nose, fancy?
Um.. but captain, if the whale be truly transparent, how shall we know to see it?
I am captain here! I will tell you what to see, though, you will never comprehend.
See anything yet, Captain?
Silent!
Mercy, captain...
Mercy?!
Suddenly it comes to me, the beast cannot be chased down, it is waiting there, just beyond the horizon, waiting for me to come!
"How blind I have been!
Thar she blows!
Thar she blows!
Avast, lower the longboat, the time has come! Be not afraid, your fate is in my hands now!
Into the boat, now!
Row harder, it is close!"
"Captain.. there's nothing there"
"Listen. There it is. The sound of her blow-horn. The roar.
The roars my dear.
Listen to the roar."
"Captain.. let's turn back."
"Pull Steady men, it be close. It be beneath us now.
Pull steady.
Pull steady.
A moment of silence, means the devil is near, come to frighten us away.
Kiss my ass fish face!"
"Oh... god sake's captain!"
"She rises!"
"Jesus! It stinks! AUGH!"
"Thar, she's... huge beyond compare! It's open jaws bigger than the sky! Behold the snapping skeletons of the dead!
Who dangle and flap
Dangle and flap against the craggy dentine cliff!
And the smell!
The smell's so strong that it penetrates you, and denseness all but my face! AUGH!!"
I caught his nose.. then I caught his eyes.. and he caught mine...
I looked at my crew, all frozen white in terror, and then myself, suddenly frozen too.
Like them I was, suddenly white
Like them I was, suddenly small
Of the same stuff, were we, my crew and I
Each of us human,
Each of us helpless
In an instant we were made equal, together we had become in that moment, a spec of white dust, disappearing into the black mouth of eternal night.
Stripped of illusion, we were now transparent, like the great beast itself, in who's acid breathing belly we were to lay for a snug eternity or two!
Now, I am here. In the belly of the monster's belly, with my idiot son.
Who must be fed raw fish parts, or else he cries in his sleep,
and keeps both heaven and hell, awake with his dreams.
I don't have time now, to remember, or to care, or to think about tomorrow.
I am behind in my chores, and will never catch up.
We sail on in this foul stink, in search of wayward sons,
Other offspring of unruly angels, who dare to challenge the great ship giver
Transparent leader of illusion, mother of great and deadly dreams.
They will find peace in their madness, just as I have in mine.

Credits

2020 release

See also

External links and references

  • https://www.telecircus.com/character2.html
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