display | more...

1998 Nields album. The album is set up like a theatrical play program, with a prologue, cast of characters, act and scene notes (in the form of song lyrics), and a set design (in the form of a diagram of how the Nields arrange their instruments and amps at their concerts). In another clever twist of the word play, the lyrics are written as script dialogue.

Songlist:

Act One
Scene 1: Easy People
Scene 2: Georgia O
Scene 3: In the Hush Before the Heartbreak
Scene 4: Snowman
Scene 5: Art of the Gun

Intermission
(aka NUGEHTFOTRA)

Act Two
Scene 7:* Last Kisses
Scene 8: Friday at the Circle K
Scene 9: Check It Out
Scene 10: Nebraska
Scene 11: Train
Scene 12: Jennifer Falling Down
Scene 13: Innertube
Scene 14: Tomorrowland

* There doesn't seem to be a Scene 6.

The liner notes include several quotes on the nature of play. The prologue reads:

"Man is only fully human when he is at play."
--Friedrich Schiller
The Nields also quote Helen M. Luke:
Thoughts on Play

"The natural gaiety and laughter of the child within us is lost in exact proportion to the loss of our ability to play; and it is fascinating to remember the many contexts in which that word is used. We use it unconsciously without any thought of its fundamental meaning and therefore the word often loses its connection with that natural joy. Every kind of dramatic performance is called a play, and all actors are players, as are all musicians, and all ball and game players.

Tragedy, comedy, farce, and all kinds of music -- Bach, plainsong, jazz or rock and roll -- are brought to us by players, among whom there are those who appreciate audiences through their "playing" whether of dark truths or light.

But there are so many who have no perception of the meaning of play and whose striving motives are to acquire fame and money or self-satisfaction by sensational performances, often in productions without meaning -- the opposite of play.

...Through the enjoyment of such things we may discover at last that until our whole lives, whether working or at leisure, are infused by the joy and laughter of play for its own sake -- never for the sake of gain -- we are not truly alive at all. Work and play would then no longer be opposed to each other but at one in all the different aspects of our lives."

--Helen M. Luke