No Autobiography: Chapbook of Selected Lyrics
$10.00 / Sold Out
Selected Lyrics of Washington, DC’s The Caribbean
No Autobiography, a chapbook put together of some words I’ve written for songs by The Caribbean, exists, like many things in The Caribbean universe, due to someone else’s suggestion. This is how we evolve sometimes. Often. The Caribbean, as a group, (and it definitely applies to me, personally), have always had an unspoken modesty policy. It’s something that’s just always come naturally and whatever positive impetus might have been behind this attitude, it was taken, in typical Caribbean fashion, a little too far. Perhaps that’s why the packaging for first couple of Caribbean records didn’t contain any printed lyrics; we didn’t think anyone would really care. Then, when we signed to Hometapes, they were like “WTF?” So came to an end the unofficial no-printed lyrics policy. Now, of course, one cannot imagine a Caribbean record on Hometapes without printed lyrics in modular form.
The 2008 release of No Autobiography, itself highlighting my disdain for much autobiographical songwriting, is somewhat microcosmic of our/my developing comfort with visibility and openness. Hometapes suggested at the time that The Caribbean reach out to the literary community and, as part of that effort, create a small booklet of lyrics to some favorite Caribbean songs. The brilliant painter/printer/sound collagist Nick Butcher – also a Hometapes artist of both music and visuals – designed, printed, and assembled the chapbook in Chicago and it’s beautiful in a very understated way.
We didn’t, however, know quite what to do with this little jewel until we finished recording Discontinued Perfume in 2010 and began talking to Hometapes about it. Realizing that Discontinued Perfume (and its backstory) took the artistic and personal glasnost of No Autobiography to another place, we (Hometapes and the band) concluded that the chapbook made a lovely companion to both the new record and the group’s prior work. As part of this evolution, Discontinued Perfume even contains songs that could be construed as nearly vaguely autobiographical.
I, of course, have become very difficult.
-Michael Kentoff, February 2011
The audio companion of sorts for this book is “Make the Day Out of Range," a retrospective of The Caribbean’s career to date. It’s available here on Bandcamp.