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Of all the Wooden Wand & The Vanishing Voice releases to come out on ‘disposable’ formats – cassettes, CDRs and lathe cuts and the like – Earth and Turf is the one I most wish was released in an official capacity. Opener “Don’t Love The Liar” was a big ‘hit’ on tour and I have no idea why we didn’t include it on Gipsy Freedom (possibly because Gipsy Freedom was meant to be our ‘jazz’ record, and this crazy thing didn’t quite fit). It was written in a hotel room. “Effigy in Dread” will be familiar to WWVV trainspotters, as it was re-recorded and released in an entirely different version as “Dread Effigy” on Gipsy Freedom later that year. This was the ‘demo’ version, and in some ways, I prefer it. The lyrics were inspired by Malaclypse The Younger’s Principia Discordia, an attempt to sort of ‘bullshit the bullshitters’ who were projecting a lot of stuff on us at the time. “Escape From Magnet Mansion” is one of the better long space-jams of the era, typically tense, with me trying to pull it into “Dark Star” territory, others trying to pull it into Paradieswartz Duul territory, others still trying to front like it didn’t matter that Don Cherry could really blow and we really sorta couldn’t. There are even some truly kvlt vocals that seemed to result from all the Gorgoroth we were jamming in the van. As Tom Waits says, “Whatever you absorb, you eventually secrete.” It all makes for a fascinating glimpse into what a WWVV live gig was like near the end (in fact, the performance of “Escape From Magnet Mansion” was culled from the final show of the tour), when we got tired of playing proper ‘songs’ and decided to hone the improvisational side of the band. Keith Wood sits in for a much-missed Heidi “H-Reality / White Diamond” Diehl. The beginning of the end, but a rather nice burnout nonetheless. Earth And Turf was self-released as a limited CDR, with individually watercolor-painted cover art.

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released June 30, 2013

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Wooden Wand Lexington, Kentucky

Says Swans frontman and head of Young God Records Michael Gira, James Jackson Toth’s “got that picaresque quality that Dylan had in his heyday, wherein the shambolic narrator undergoes various travails and epiphanies—harrowing, bleak and darkly comical—in the course of a narrative, then leaves you mystified, both smiling and sad.” ... more

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