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Impossible Theater and John Schneider – Social Amnesia

Just over a hour and twenty minutes long, this double lp from 1986 is the soundtrack to the Impossible Theater’s performance of their “live movie” Social Amneisa. The soundtrack is made up of the majority (if not all) of the dialouge from the performance as well as songs written and arranged by the Impossible Theater and John Schneider as well as music composed and performed by Bob Boilen on a Synclaiver II.

Founded in 1982 Impossible Theater was a revolving cast of artists and musicans in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area who viewed their work on stage as bridging the gap between theater and the motion picture blockbuster of the latter half of last century.

Some would be quick to write off this lp as overbearing and academically snobbish being based on Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States and making liberal use of quotes from said tome, but it’s chocked full of wonderful dialog (perfect for your next concept album about a not to distant dystopian future) and some excellent synclaiver showmanship and synthy moodiness, a dreamy subdued version of the sounds found in Chronenburg soundtracks of the same time. A song like “When I Get Depressed I Buy Shoes” speaks to the collectro and grippers deep within us that know how easily happiness can be bought. And similarly, “Amerigio Vespuccia Land” relies heavily on clunky drum machine beats and very liberal delay effects.

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