The record is inspired by a proliferating feeling that the world is getting harder to navigate morally. Falsities are acceptable as warrants for our beliefs, social issues are diluted and polarized until they are palatable for the ill-informed, and confidence in ourselves is replacing the competence of collaboration. As we negotiate circumstances in our lives, we have a plethora of sources to turn to for direction. We can gut-check the moment, or we can turn to science, philosophy, religion, government, our families, etc. -- each has its limits, its agendas, but increasingly, a satisfaction with conversion rather than persuasion. It's personally frustrating, but not confounding or anything...the carrot and stick has always been this effective.
Cosplay is a concept album about heroism. A fierce, daily prescription of courage and mettle, or conversely, of fear and dread, can spawn an unshakeable set of behaviors that may forever define us. As we become intimately interconnected with one another, the right time and location to be impactful becomes an incessant here and now. Collectively, we will continue to be framed by our willingness to challenge or impose things such as violence, but what of our willingness to neutrality, of being present but unwilling to take part - what extrapolations should be made from our indifference? Our mythologies share a consistent interpretation of what makes a hero/ine. These characters shoulder the responsibility of entire communities as the whole world watches, smash fear before it poisons their head, and offer examples of humanist vigilantism while being treated as less than human themselves.
This record introduces some alternative narratives to the well-known comic book characters that we cherish for their larger-than-life occupancies in our own moral systems. The hope is to humanize their heroism, their dissonances, as processes that bear difficult fortitudes. Though their fictional means may be out of reach, their evolving struggle is of an attainable, cognitive capacity. Stimulating idle hands can be terrifying, but so is becoming the villain.
All tracks written and performed by Poor Me, except where noted below. Cosplay was engineered by Chris Fogal at Black In Bluhm of Denver, CO. Album artwork photographed by Brandt LaScala of Fort Collins, CO. Photo edits by Kyndra Connor of Missoula, MT.
Cello on "Paper Thin Faith" performed by Lief Sjostrom.
'Devil' Keyboard on "A Man to End Worlds" and "Smash it Out" performed by Chris Fogal.
Gang-style vocals on "Vigilante Life," "Taste Takers," and "Why Should I?" performed by Lawsuit Models.
The Whole World is Watching: Crowd sample from "Occupy Wall Street: Police Brutality as 8000 people take Time Square, 10.15.11," Matt Kazee (YouTube), 2011.
The Whole World is Watching: Spoken clip from "The Century of the Self," produced by Adam Curtis, 2002.
There are a ton of people to thank at this point, having made innumerable close friends, ones we would have never intersected were it not for this silly band. Specifically, we'd like to thank PRMLL, the Delaneys, Shannon and Mandi. Your contributions were frequent and needed, giving your time, your handiwork, your homes and the best hugs. Thanks to Johnny and Dawn Wilson for letting us use their home to demo a handful of these songs in preparation for studio. Also, our thanks to Johnny for all the PR tips gained from his social media rants and direct advice whenever we asked -- Denver is very lucky to have the Wilsons. We also need to thank Chris Fogal, who has with every encounter, helped us to grow as musicians. His ear for the dark arts has been instrumental in getting this record sounding really, really rad. You're a talented, inspiring human with a golden liver. We also want to thank Lauren Mills, a person we've never met, actually, yet a person that is so warm and supportive, it feels like you've known her your whole life. Lastly, we want to thank a few bands (and the great people that comprise them) that have become family through their willingness to befriend absolutely everyone. Thanks to the boys in Rayner, Lawsuit Models, Sic Waiting, The Windermeres, Allout Helter, False Colours and Party Like Thieves. Lastly, thanks to everyone we surely missed, but will remember after this is printed. Our bad.
The "Readymades" of Marcel Duchamp stand as a message that 'art' cannot be defined, and perhaps the things methodized as artistry blur the line between art and human experience. While focusing on the importance of skepticism, optimism, and integrity, Readymade stresses the importance of introspection as a tool of passive progress.
All tracks written and performed by Poor Me. Readymade was engineered by Chris Fogal at Black in Bluhm of Denver, CO. Album artwork photographed by Scott Badham of Laramie, WY.
Strike A Poseur: Song "Poor Me," written by Johnny Worth / John Barry, performed by Adam Faith. Released by Parlophone, 1960.
Sell Out of Shell Out: A lecture by poet James Baldwin at the Community Church in New York, 1963.
They're Starting Fires: Clips from Workaholics, Season 1, Episode 6, "The Strike." Produced by 5th Year Productions et al., 2011.
Bad Scene: An interview with Ian MacKaye for e-zine, Music4Autobahns, 2009.
We can't stand behind this record without first thanking Johnny and Dawn Wilson, co-founders of the For the Love of Punk brand and the most supportive friends any of the members of Poor Me could wish for. Chris Fogal contributed a heap of expert opinion and insight on being better musicians and songwriters. If only he would have contributed his voice, we could be famous. JD Korpitz will always be the guy who keeps our heads level when we start to feel too proud of anything we've done. We all need that influence. Lastly, thanks for everyone we surely missed, but will remember after this is printed. Our bad..