New Single From Local Rock Act Terrycloth Mother Speaks to the Coronavirus Crisis
Posted By Jeff Niesel on Wed, Mar 18, 2020 at 1:00 pm
The local post-punk act Terrycloth Mother, a group that features veteran local musicians James Pequignot (bass, vocals), John Panza (drums), Drew Maziasz (guitar) and Tebbs Karney (pedal steel guitar) makes music that evokes “dark and dreamy soundscapes, fashioning lyrical odes to the surrealistic horror of our modern world.”
The band has just released “The Dancing Plague,” a new song that speaks to the crisis we’re currently in.
“To me this song is about, like many of our songs, the existential horror, and absurdity, of being a working class person in the modern world,” says Pequignot. “This song particularly focuses on substance abuse. I think we have a culture that simultaneously glorifies and condemns substance abuse. At the same time, with many of the people I know working soul crushing jobs that they hate for the privilege of living paycheck to paycheck, we are often looking for a way to dissociate from ourselves while our bodies and minds have a natural reaction to this heavily commoditized and overstimulating existence, where a person’s worth is defined by how profitable they are to someone else. We do it because we want to feel something other than the crushing vice of crass consumerism and its harmful byproducts.”
Pequignot adapted some of the lyrics from a person identified as Brian who appears in a documentary film about a man at a hospital who keeps repeating one phrase over and over again.
“My wife was watching a clip on YouTube, and I heard this person, who is deeply ill, repeat [‘nothing works here’] over and over again. These words make sense to me,” says Pequignot. “I think we live in a world that doesn’t work for people. His words connected with me deeply. We wrote and recorded the song before COVID-19 was a concern to average people in this country. I think the band realized the implication of the plague metaphor we used in the title, but I think what makes this song most relevant right now is that, since last Tuesday, which is when the current situation started to feel very real to me, the news is constant, it changes hour to hour, it is very inconsistent, and it feels like no one knows what’s happening, what to do, or what happens next.”
Pequignot says the song “brings to light” many problems people deal with on a day-to-day basis and not just during a crisis.
“The government response has been so bizarre,” he says. “They promise to take care of it all and fix it, which seems insane to me. If they can do it now, then they can do it for the people who deal with these issues all the time, and they could have done so at any time. I feel the crushing sense of dread I describe in the song more and more every day. I don’t think I’m alone in that.”
You can listen to the track here.