With its release still 28 days away, The Most Lamentable Tragedy (hereafter TMLT) by Titus Andronicus (hereafter +@) is already the most feverishly / breathlessly discussed rock and roll record of 2015. “The open-hearted response to TMLT has opened my own heart—it means everything,” says +@ singer / songwriter Patrick Stickles, counting out another fresh stack of Blue Bens. “Still, people do not necessarily know the real story…” [he pauses, making a productive cough into a cupped hand] “…but they will.”
Now—once again—the seemingly deluded words of the oft-misunderstood Artist snap from vague fantasy to vibrant reality. It’s just another one of those days.
“The Magic Morning” is a short film, the action of which encompasses and demonstrates the action of the second act of TMLT, “Beside Himself.” The component songs of this act (tracks 7–12 [CD/DIGI] / side b of the first disc [vinyl]) make their official debut with this film along with the previously released “Dimed Out.”
“The Magic Morning” was written and directed by +@uteur Patrick Stickles in a display of artistic hubris that no buzz band today could begin to attempt. Side by side with Stickles in the Welles / Toland tradition stands Director of Photography / Editor Ray Concepcion, who brought the hyperkinetic (yet somehow supremely patient) style that made him a legendary fixture on the late ’00s NYC DIY scene, his epic portrait of which stands as a powerful testament to that now-bygone era.
WATCH “Our Hero” awake to a world of wonder! GASP at the shocking secret of “The Lookalike!” MARVEL at the mysterious transformative powers of the Vernal Equinox! DANCE to those which are already being called “+@’s Greatest Hits Yet!” UNDERSTAND the underlying themes and motifs that elevate TMLT far beyond the petty constraints of a mere “rock album” and into the realm of that which the German philosopher K. F. E. Trahndorff first called, in 1827, Gesamtkunstwerk (“total art”—look it up)!!!
“People have been putting +@ in a box for too long,” Stickles says, having taken a little time out and feeling a lot better. “We can do anything we decide to be our will, and I am proud to say this little movie was done entirely ‘in-house,’ in one day. Doubt and deny +@ at yr own peril.” Then he falls asleep.
He’s not done explaining himself, though! Today, The Complete Lyrics to TMLT, transcribed through The Artist’s own keystrokes, are available for you to read on Genius, along with annotations from the master himself i/r/t the “officially released” TMLT tracks up to this point. Go ahead—name a buzz band who would drop their lyrics before the album, thereby putting the words to their ultimate challenge: standing alone. Still trying? Stop trying. Simply watch the site between now and July 28 for the complete anno+@tions and finally understand #TheTruthAboutTMLT.
“I just want to be understood,” Stickles wrote on a note he’d given us in the event that he disappeared or became otherwise indisposed. “I know people are listening to TMLT somehow—I just know it—I want to share it with them, but I want them to understand it—help me—tell my story—” and then the bottom of the page is burned off.