Laugh at the end of the world

By WILL SPITZ  |  August 19, 2008

For their next exploration of modern-day anxieties, Gintz and Burgess wrote through the lens of 19th-century America. Most of Manifest Destiny’s six songs — which they recorded themselves at their Brighton practice space — are sung from the perspectives of naive characters, a device Gintz says he picked up from Ray Davies. On “This Glorious System,” a mechanical synth-bass-driven number set at the onset of the Industrial Revolution, his narrator looks forward to moving from the farm to the factory: “We can work safely sheltered from the outside world with machines that each do as much as 50 men in a building built specifically to house them/All we have to do is push a button — again and again.”

The idea for the album started with a song called “Yancy Stanford and the Curse of the Ghost Buffalo.” It didn’t make the cut, but its concept helped to form the basis of the EP. “It was something we thought was funny,” says Gintz. “The idea that the sins of your ancestors are what make your life shitty right now.” As such, it falls neatly in line with the main themes of Manifest Destiny (“naive optimism, dashed expectations, hope for a better future that turns to total shit”) as well as within Clawjob guidelines for humor.

“It’s a funny joke,” Burgess says. “It’s about the sins of your ancestors making your life shitty — that’s hilarious!”

CLAWJOB + HO-AG + SERIOUS GENIUSES + BREAD AND ROSES + DR. AND MRS. VAN DER TRAMPP | Papercut Zine Library, 45 Mount Auburn St, Cambridge | August 15 @ 7 pm | $5-$10 suggested donation | 617.492.2600 orwww.papercutzinelibrary.org

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