After a self-released cassette (‘Lost Sense Recollected’, Luddite Rural Recording Co-op, 2001) and a debut full-length (‘Low Energy Dance Music’, Landmark Recordings, 2002), Elephant Micah was left musically homeless. Luckily, BlueSanct guru Michael Anderson was drumming up limited edition cdr releases for precisely such cases under the label name Orphanology. When Anderson agreed to take on the project, Elephant Micah’s Joe O’Connell set to work mining 4-track tapes of early demos as well as making new recordings of forgotten songs. The culmination of this effort was a 52 copy issuing of ‘The Untied States of Elephant Micah’.
Everyone liked it. It was perhaps the only Orphanology release to ever sell out.
With the BlueSanct reissue, ‘The Untied States of Elephant Micah’ takes its deserved place alongside the psychedelia of 2003’s ‘Elephant Micah, Your Dreams Are Feeding Back’ as a crucial volume in the ever-unfolding folk mystery that is Elephant Micah.
The cover image that accompanies ‘USofEM’ is a nighttime interstate scene snapped while speeding through a blizzard. The superimposed asterisks represent an actual archway (made of blue steel in real life) that welcomes Hoosier travelers of I-70 to Ohio. The song “Ohio Arch” memorializes this gateway in a stumbling country waltz. It’s the tongue-in-cheek story of bored dreamers‚ pilgrimages from border city Richmond, Indiana to nearby Dayton. They are met at the state line by the beer-guzzling ghost of Bob Pollard himself. Like the album’s double incidence of tacky casio beats, this reverence for the low fidelity heroism of the ‘90s Midwest draws sincerity, even sensitivity, out of sarcasm.
Such is the deceptive behavior of The Untied States as a map. It gets you lost on purpose. It remains a blurred and bastardized version of a real place, a catalogue of sonic terrain trekked by a geographically bound musical imagination. Take it with you the next time you visit Indiana.
- Joe O’Connell, October 2003, Richmond, IN
Download contains JPGs of the original art, and a PDF of the original presskit.
The download contains three live bonus tracks, originally included on the Orphanology CDR and removed for the CD version and now added again as bonus tracks.
released February 3, 2004
• CD = ltd to 1000 copies
• DIGITAL = unlimited
digital re-release 19 February 2014
original liner notes:
this collection was originally compiled in june 2002, of
recordings made in the two years
prior... here it is again.