Statecraft (Expanded Edition)


Broken Horse present an expanded reissue of Charles Douglas's Statecraft, originally released in 2004. Charles Douglas wandered out of a Manhattan recording studio where he was putting the finishing touches on what was to become his final album, Statecraft. Featuring Joey Santiago of the Pixies on lead guitars, and recorded by Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. producer Wharton Tiers, the album was intended as a huge step forward for this iconoclastic indie rocker, who had started out as a teenager in Dayton, Ohio. His previous studio album, The Lives of Charles Douglas (1999), had been a raw Ramones-meets-VU-meets-Jonathan Richman blast of energy, featuring Maureen Tucker on drums and production. Statecraft was meant as a much more fleshed-out affair, featuring offbeat horns and strings alongside the guitar assault of Douglas and Santiago's unmistakable signature sound. Statecraft went on to gather praise from the likes of David Bowie (who sent a fan letter) and John Waters. From the sleeve notes: "David Bowie's letter arrived in a large white envelope that looked like some sort of bizarre wedding invitation. My girlfriend got it from the mailbox. To my surprise, when we opened it, there was a letter from Bowie inside saying that he loved Statecraft, and that I must keep up the good work, and make more music for him to enjoy." Statecraft brims with skewed, gritty pop tunes, and it suggests that Charles Douglas was at the culmination of his demented artistic powers. But unfortunately Douglas, unhappy with the protracted recording process and concerned about relapsing into the substance abuse, left New York City, abandoned the sessions, and moved to North Carolina, turning down a major label record deal in the process. Wharton Tiers ended up mixing and sequencing sixteen of the songs, and overseeing the initial release of Statecraft. Despite the initial acclaim, the album quickly drifted into obscurity. After Broken Horse reissued The Lives of Charles Douglas (2010), as well as a retrospective called Not Your Kind of Music (2012), the label learned that Douglas had recorded over thirty-five songs in the studio for Statecraft, and initially planned to make a double album. Many of the songs that were recorded and discarded are hidden gems: Pavement-esque pop, stripped-down rock, and giddy weirdness. This reissue collects all of the studio tracks from the sessions, adding nineteen rare and unreleased songs. Includes a 28-page booklet of liner notes written by Charles Douglas.