"Building community is an integral part of making music, so in that arena, tKoL have already achieved more than a lot of professional musicians...
..However, the skewed, kaleidoscopic musical vision presented on this album is unmistakably Rich and Ty's."
- Kibbutz Music Review #61, 1999 [ click for full review ]
"My first reaction, selfishly, is that it is nice to follow a band from their earliest recordings to hear how their music - approach - outlook - attitude - playing evolves. While your new album is unlike any out there, it seems like a natural for you. OF COURSE this is the direction you would go in, although I wouldn't necessarily have predicted it. That's a good thing.
It's also obvious that you both are enjoying yourselves and the music. How can you not like that?
In some ways it's tough for me to comment on the music, just because it is incomparable. You've got to be the only improv trip grass duo in the world. That is awesome. But it leaves me feeling like I can only compare this record to what you've done before, since I can't compare you to other bands in your genre. You are your own genre. If I compared it to your previous stuff, I'd say some parts I like more -- the recording, the playing, the energy -- but other parts make me wistful for songs off your first tape -- the irreverent ditties and tuneful playfulness. Truth is, I'll always support TKoL no matter what you do. Maybe I'm biased, maybe not..."
- Rich H., Virginia, 1999
[ click for full image ] "The Greatest Story Ever Told"
- Eric L., Maryland, 1999
"I think the main thing that comes across in the entire 60 whatever minutes is that here is a couple of musicians doing what they do. You can hear the hours spent playing together, you can hear the thought that went into the conception of the songs, you can hear the evolution still happening, you feel like you're right there with these two guys as they're making music, you hear the joy within the layers and textures."
- Dan P., San Francisco, 1999
"...Admittedly, I will need to listen many more times before I feel like I have a handle on it, but I wanted to say that I continue to be amazed, intimidated, impressed, moved by what you have done. There is too much going on on the album, and I have not listened enough yet, to go into it completely. But the execution is what first struck me. The production shines, and it is so well played. I have many technical questions about how you get the sounds that you get (your (and all the) vocals across the board - the guitar a lot of the time - keyboards). Having worked on mixing / mastering our album, I appreciate now how great your production is. I wish I had been there to witness the mixing.
...The album does things which albums aren't generally asked to do, or created in order to do. There is obviously a lot put into it, and it will take me many hours in my room with my headphones to isolate all of the things that I want to ferret out.
...Thanks for the CD."
- RJ H-S, San Francisco, 1999
"I had my first listen. Where to begin? It's consistently overwhelmingly good. It's played so well - I just mean there is so much going on, so many textures, layers, movements...incredibly mixed together.
Ruins of Pagosa, to start is a great example - I love it - it's just these sounds - it's great that for those 45 seconds I get transported to this other world of listening. I don't know who's playing what, what the insruments are, and I don't even need to care. Many other points in the album do the same...
...One result of the whole improv/self promotion/concept/unplanned/live deal is that it becomes entertainment. I don't know if I can explain this thought - it becomes entertaining, and you particularly are very entertaining. It is less song oriented, and more...maybe self oriented."
- Dan P., San Francisco, 1999
"...my most critical self thinks it's tremendous. What does it sound like? A movie to hear and to replay. A continuous story with different scenes along the way, different thoughts, different talks, a road with events. The culmination of all sorts of experimentation. Things thrown in along the way. Things meticulously matched in rhythm. Animals. People. Fun. Dead seriousness flung at you when you're not looking. You really hear it. I kept thinking the same things. 'Jesus. Ty is an incredible drummer.' 'These songs are so f**king original.' That sort of thing.
It's a whole lot of skill that comes across with the greatest of ease. And this is not to say your music is easy to play, or to listen to, or to understand. It just appears natural here. Pebble-smooth."
- Christine M., Maryland, 1999
"I finally got a chance to listen to the whole album last night, with headphones. Very impressive. Very fun. I loved it. I thought I had heard a near-final version before it went off - but I clearly hadn't.
I really like the newsletter - looking at it while listening. I get to see who is on what song - and I love the fact that you guys explained the whole concept of the album - and identified certain places to note what's happening with the music. Its so much more than most CD's - its so much more about the music as music - as an artistic process involving structure and sound and stories. The newsletter is a great accompaniment to the CD. I loved Butterpump with Marcus & Gina - its such a fun version. Its so fascinating to see the evolution of the music you make together - the snippet of Rich's answering machine tape version of Butterpump is a wonderful reminder of that evolution. I am truly impressed with this CD, and very happy for you guys. I'm glad you're both happy with it - you should be!!"
- Anne R. Maryland, 1999
Epilogue - The Next Story
"...and in killing God, I killed myself.
For at that moment I realized my quest, my revenge, was my life!
When I killed my God, I ended my quest and thus...my life!
And I slumped down beneath that tree, beaten by my God.
Beneath that tree I was rebirthed, in the unfolding light of a new world.
With that birth, a new journey began.
A new life, a new quest, to find my god!"
Words inspired on 4/7/99 by tKoL's "The Greatest Story Ever Told"
- Josh C., Maryland
"Just got and listened to the album today. It's great. There are so many great parts to it. I'm going to listen again now (it's 11pm, just got home from work) - it's an album that needs to be listened to a few times before it all comes together in your head.
The album's great. As soon as people discover it you two will have it made. Not for everyone though. That's the good thing."
"This is amazing it is so fuckig amazing omigod"
"...listened again - amazing - I mean, it was great and I was really getting into it and everything - but when I heard smartbomb I freaked - that's when it all kind of made sense - I think that's when I decided I had to write you an e-mail. The entire thing is perfect from start to end - I didn't hear that the first time I listened."
- Big Dave Wave, Florida, 1999
"I heard part of "The Ride" (Part 2 of the Trilogy Of Leisure) earlier this evening. My ears have now become unified with the ambiguous and floating term "tripgrass." If this is an adjective used to describe music, and you feel your music is "tripgrass" music, then I believe you have created a unique style which is The Kingdom Of Leisure and no one else. I have no idea what sort of music, paintings, jump-shots, sharkfins, ice cream flavors, or waves of water hurled at you from passing cars driving through puddles inspired this music, but it's definitely you. Yeah-heah."
- Steve B., Maryland, 1999
"OK, FYI: my favorite parts are the first couple seconds with Jack, Princess Bridge at 4:47, Tom's 3 Minute Single, and Kentucky - the whole song - but especially at 1:09 and 5:04. Well, congrats - huge accomplishment.
- Becky H., NYC, 1999
"Raw, Brilliant. There is greatness there, that is clear. This will take time. There is so much complexity there. There are so many gems...that smartbomb song is hype. But Butterpump speaks to me oh, so deeply.
Is it a coincidence that my dry spell of writing would suddenly disappear in a flurry of juicy ink flowing across my journal? That the kundalini is trying to break free? That my mind is trying to just keep a lid on things right now, just 24 hours after the album was first unleashed on it? I think not.
Odelay was the last album that caused me to have to struggle to keep the lid on my brain."
- Jon C., Colorado, 1999
"I listened to the disk (w/ headphones) the night I received them. Awesome work! You guys are definitely onto something cool. My favorite song after first listen...Kentucky -- oh, and the priceless banter before Tunneldump."
- Chuck A., Virginia, 1999
"It's misleading. The title and the cover. It makes you think you're going to get a James-Taylor-like experience. Which it isn't at all. In fact I felt somewhat assaulted from time to time, both from having to listen to it so actively and from how complex it is. I couldn't settle in with one hook and rest there. I had to keep listening and keep being willing to get tossed from one wave to the next. In that sense, it was a ride. A blindfolded rollercoaster, not a Sunday glide on an old bike...
...All told, my favorite album thus far. Definitely. Matt and I put Tom's Three Minute Single on repeat."
- Betsy S., Seattle, 1999
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