Classwar

Poor Me

The premise of Classwar came about some time ago, before 2020 intensified the dumpster fire we have come to know under 45’s administration. With two Americas sprinting in opposite directions, we seem to converge only to blister one another with identity politics. These are angry times, and I have been just as heated as the next person, sharing barbs with friends and family across the spectrum over the last several months. I am not aching for a return to social sedation, though. I’ve always felt the music community I’ve grown with over the last 20 years plays a significant role in modeling the humanity and inclusion we want for ourselves and others. The pandemic has shuttered several venues in my area, and we’ve been largely unable to gather, discuss, and exchange our experiences. These venues haven’t received the financial assistance other industries have, and our government refuses to lifeline the individuals who form the backbone of our scene.
We’ve got work to do. There are national efforts such as Save Our Stages and local Kickstarter and Go Fund Me campaigns that have popped up to crowdsource some assistance. And when ‘normal’ returns, there will still be something selfish, unapologetic, and ugly to combat outside our gatherings. Worldviews are so drastically varied between us that facts are negotiated violently, and history reminds us there is always misinformation and manipulation engineering the intersection. I attribute much of the polarity, as many do, to the current administration, because I do not believe dog whistles and doublespeak are reckless. I call them intentional – a classic political play, and an empirically dangerous one. Enjoy the song. This is Classwar.
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Sugarcane

Poor Me

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.

Production:
All tracks written and performed by Poor Me. Sugarcane was engineered by Chris Fogal at Black In Bluhm of Denver, CO. Album artwork by Kodi Hays of Denver, CO.


Special Thanks:

Thanks to our girlfriends, as they have been tremendously helpful with videos, photos, feedback, and the donation of their time. Also a big thanks to Lauren Mills of Mills on Wheels, who helped us roll out a more intelligent game plan to share the record with the world. Chris Fogal, as always, doubled as an engineer and producer to help tighten up and polish the ideas in studio. We obviously recommend the hell out of both Black in Bluhm and Mills on Wheels to any band looking for patient, passionate, and talented music professionals to help share their creativities.

Also, thanks to everyone else we shared the songs with before release. Your support and input is the reason we keep doing this.
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Cosplay

Poor Me

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.

Production:
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.

Audio clips:
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.

Special thanks:
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.
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Readymade

Poor Me

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.

Production:

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.

Audio Clips:

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.

Special Thanks:

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..
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