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Reade McCardell | Tell Me I'm Wrong

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United States - Pennsylvania

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Avant Garde: Experimental Folk: Field Recordings Moods: Mood: Weird
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Tell Me I'm Wrong

by Reade McCardell

Experimental, multi-genre chaos with a smooth finish
Genre: Avant Garde: Experimental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Sound of Confusion
4:39 $0.99
2. Pork Chop Blues
2:37 $0.99
3. I Remember
5:28 $0.99
4. Cinderella Backstreet
7:02 $0.99
5. Shared Hate
3:08 $0.99
6. Isn't Tape (Left on Bett's Desk 2~3~2002)
2:51 $0.99
7. I Am the Cheese
2:50 $0.99
8. Les hommes avec des masques sur la colline
2:17 $0.99
9. Late Nod
2:41 $0.99
10. A Gothic Love Song (For N.)
5:29 $0.99
11. San Sebastian
4:55 $0.99
12. Little Dead Bodies
4:54 $0.99
13. Brilliant Disguise
4:11 $0.99
14. Stigma
3:30 $0.99
15. Phenol
6:51 $0.99
16. Tell Me I'm Wrong
2:11 $0.99
17. Out Blues
2:21 $0.99
18. The Small Woods
4:35 $0.99
19. Coptic Light
4:11 $0.99
20. Chance Meeting / Why Don't We Do It in the Road
4:17 $0.99
21. I Got a Right (Live)
3:09 $0.99
22. The Keeper of the Fire
3:36 $0.99
23. The Carnival Is Over
3:19 $0.99
24. Risasm for J, P and Friend
13:10 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
‘It is by seeking a certain incorrectness without however abusing it, it is by continually approaching solecism, that writing may be given the appearance of life.’

-- EM Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born

Yeah, we know. We should have done an entire album of Steve Winwood covers. Something to get you back in the high life again. Something for the kids. What’s music these days if not a mild antidepressant? We should have made it clean and intelligible and lifeless for trying to reach absolutely fucking everybody, right? We should have acknowledged once and forever that art is what happens in between handshakes with your banker and lawyer, and who does a Seekers cover to save their lives? We could at least have made a more socially lubricious mistake than that. But instead we did what success-seeking artists should never (and by never I mean always) do. We aimed our puds not toward the bright lights of outer space, but into the mines of left-field art history, where grass seeds and night soil give way to a blindness so mortal that even the motion of earthworms takes on the character of enlightenment. Didn’t kick ourselves free of the earth, Mr Kurtz, we kicked ourselves further and further into it; didn’t find your inverted astronomy, Mr Ofterdingen, but we did find something that smelled rather like mayonnaise fermenting in an Orgone box. Our mistake? One so groping that none of the world’s truth fits comfortably inside. We became those, as in the Qur’an, who barter guidance for error. Fuck us.

Next time you see Reade and the uncomfortable question arises of whether you listened to this CD—this CD you’re now too scared to touch—with good reason—do as Ted Bundy did: lie. Even if you contributed $700 to stop those horrific crowdfunding emails, lie. Talk about the centrality of socks and underwear to your outlook. Make those court psychologists scribble. Affect expertise. Pick favorites. Smile like you give a fuck. Do it so many times that your pinwheel of lies blurs to a single pastel-colored truth. Begin by looking this linebacker-who-never-was in the eye. Say: now, Reade, your greatest gift as an artist is that you are uncontrollably, irresponsibly yourself. As these 24 cracked lodestones attest, your gift is that you can’t mimic anyone, can’t chameleon your way into the tabloid blacklight of success. Can’t make yourself small enough to appeal to the creeps who would put you in their pockets. Even your frivoloties and—let’s be honest—masochistic self-inflictions require not one twitch of work-finishing on the part of your audience. (And here’s where you’ll really get him): Reade, only your temperament—yours alone—could bring songs about physical violence and your childhood teddy bear together into undivided charm.

But of course you’d be lying. Honesty rings never clearer than in the empty vessel of laudation, truth comforts nothing like a phony, supercilious back pat. Atta boy. All the better to witness the landslide of condescension that comes of running language through the coffee grinder, and a Bryn Athyn Post good time was had by all. Maybe it makes more sense to tell you what we didn’t want. I told Reade early on the record would be like Isidore Isou’s Venom and Eternity, a simple reductive text experiment strung out over two lumbering hours. And even if we didn’t succeed there, we’d still have an album of ripping glossolalia and otherwise uncalled-for excess: cover versions, 24, some demandingly faithful, others only recoverable through reverse-engineering and sacramental narcotics—none of which, I assure you, went into the making of this record (which, by the way, I curated by sending Reade one track on the first day of each month to be returned to me by the last day of the same month, for twenty-four consecutive months). And alright, maybe, just maybe I’m taking it a step too far with this, but what we really didn’t want was JonBenet with her make-up on—sorry, but I’m the one writing here—things made beautiful in life not by zealotous disregard for consequences, piss-takes, but by some imaginary golden rectangle. That’s what we, I, didn’t want. But knew we’d get if it was less what we wanted and more what we crawled our way out of. If you follow. We didn’t want an anti-greatest hits album or something as deliberately disappointing as—what were those kid-scam comic book things you sent away for and got brine shrimp in the mail?—24 little disappointments calling out for Heidi Fleiss when they could be saluting Chairman Mao. And look, this wasn’t some effort to rescue chestnuts from the fire of oblivion, and it certainly wasn’t an exercise in artistic diversification for someone as artistically prehensile as Reade. And now you’re asking why there isn’t a single Simon and Garfunkel cover on here. Yeah well, there’s no Scraping Foetus cover either so be glad, and on the topic, my reflexes at any mention of Sheryl Crow are set to cram a billiard ball so far up your nose while politely mentioning that our interest in, and bandwidth for, error does not extend to one’s very existence. Don’t believe me? After forty years of deconstructing idealism, what did Ingmar Bergman get? Films he couldn’t watch himself in his later years. Which sounds bloody perfect to me. How many full moons do I really want to see? Love is that which leads beyond life, and all that. The express purpose of parody in art, while I find Vivaldi thinner and thinner, and live Misfits tapes with broken instruments and aggressive viral loads deeper and more expansive. Is laid bare.

It’s not because the world is going mad, Mary Whitehouse. We’re not inserting deliberate irregularities into otherwise zero-sum phrasings a la Victoria, or sprinkling pieces of weather stripping over the piano strings to elicit chance effects; but getting closer to asking why some music just crunches your chips harder in incompetent hamfists than in metrics. How can that get any simpler? Problem is, Reade is far far from incompetent. I had to set traps for him to fall into. Had to drive him to the point of sitting me down and folding his hands and seriously, sincerely, lecturing me. Further even from insincere—sincerity being a quality you ruin by trying to teach—he chafed when I stipulated some of the covers had to be straight in order for the whole album to be satisfactorily dilapidated. Reade, I’d say, this is like getting your soul sucked out at a petting zoo—it doesn’t require morality. At least Chuck Berry (as Richard Meltzer noted) understood his own amorality. But oh well, you can’t blame Chuck (or Richard Meltzer) for everything (including Reade’s plan to stay hammered at Disney World for two weeks straight—ask him about this), or the tracks on this CD:

Behold the stupid scum-action of ‘I Am the Cheese’—an infectious (as in gonorrhea) uptick of post-punk seismology from Paul Caporino, a man who almost slept on my couch one night but yeah I’m not really sure what happened, maybe 9/11; or the patronizingly British sea shanty ‘Keeper of the Fire’, played with hard-labor reluctance, as if just to make it through to the next miserable self-loathing day. As if. Or the stellar and graceful spasm that once was a Vladimir Vysotsky ballad about a man at the end of his tether, and is now an homage to the Lead Masks Case; or ‘The Small Woods’, effortlessly evocative like a warm bath and Saltines (not necessarily taken together); or ‘Phenol’, a psychosexual rage-steak that probably won’t improve for you if I point out that Ramleh is an anagram of Mahler; or this elegiac cover of Bruce Springsteen’s least two-tone-turd song, which for Reade was an exercise in method acting; or the morbidly pleasant wave-poetry of Algebra Suicide, courtesy of the long-lost Ukrainian-American seraph Lydia Tomkiw; or ‘Chance Meeting’, a lubricious Roxy Music track whose greasier cover version by Mike Rep was made even greasier by Reade (and the unauthorized intrusion of a passage by an obscure English skiffle band); a track by modern troubadour Gor Mkhitarian which Reade sings in phonetically-learned Armenian; and another in the language of late-70s Cleveland urban agony by Peter Laughner; and then there’s David Tibet’s ‘A Gothic Love Song’, inside which up is down and down is in, and where Reade decides to kill Caligula, and takes us Down the Roman Stairs. All this sure is differn’t, but how about something for the kids? How about a little Steve Winwood blue beat? How about a little cha-cha-cha, because, you know, what you’re doing doesn’t suck quite hard enough. Ever heard Kylie Minogue? Oh you’d love her, she can really get a room of white South Africans moving. Now that, that’s honesty.

Make an album, write a book, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what’s going to haunt you in the corridors of eternity. And here I am still making nice excuses. And by nice I mean feeble. Depraved? You hafta know depraved to find depraved. This CD might be the least expected, and most honest, sophomore effort of any slinger-shitwriter of Reade’s generation—a generation of bores he floats far above—and although it might have no social or pharmacological value, it goes well with headphones and time. In truth, Reade’s music has a much greater life than I presume to give it. Then again, we’re talking about a man who regularly leaves his house without clothes and walks around the castles in his backyard. Doesn’t matter if you refuse to take that literally. If not even one of these Readoddities enters into your dreams at night, you might want to consider making your annual colonoscopy a weekly fix. Then again, if you would claim to appreciate all of this mayonnaisoidal goo, I wouldn’t know what’s wrong with you either. Not sure where that leaves us.

Crusader Castle, Byblos, Lebanese Republic
February 2018



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