Artist: Frank Chickens

Album: Club Monkey

Appears On: I'm a Wound and a Sword, A Victim and an Executioner

Song Notes: This is a cut from Frank Chickens' 3rd album Club Monkey; this is actually taken from the remixed version of the album. I don't like the remix quite as much, but this one is pretty similar to the original mix of the song, and it's also the only version of the album that's readily available on CD. The album is, depending on your point of view, a concept album or a re-recorded soundtrack for one of Kazuko Hohki's plays. The story is an allegory of imperialism from the occupied's point of view; the brief story on the sleeve reads:

The Story Behind Monkey King

Once upon a made-up time there were Monkey People who were happily organizing parties in Club Monkey, collecting dead bodies, burning them and reviving them as Kyonshies (Chinese ghosts). Their favorite drug was dog. Then the English Lord took power and banned the use of dogs and made up some laws to oppress the Monkey People. The Monkey People started to dream of revolution and the re-incarnation of the Monkey King -- their saviour… will he be like Jackie Chan the famous Hong Kong Kung Fu film star

(It should be noted that this album came out 1988, before Jackie Chan really rose to the level of world-wide star that he is now, and was more of a cult icon outside of China and Hong Kong cinema.) This song is near the end of the album/story, and takes place before the revolution being dreamed of in the story; the first side of the album is more setup; "Club Monkey" sets the scene and describes the club; "Waiting For A Dog" explains the concept of dogs as drugs; "Burn That Body" is about the Chinese Ghosts. "Revolution" is about the beginning of the actual story, but at that point, it's still just an idea or dream, nothing concrete yet. "Night Drain" is another number that takes place at the club, providing a bit more atmosphere. "Feed Me" is about the culture that is lost by the new laws. In "Jackie Chan", the concept of Chan-As-Saviour is introduced, but in the next track, "Shaken By God's Hand", it turns out he wasn't all that was advertised, and in "M.Y.T.H.", they're angry and feel betrayed that he turned out to not be the saviour, and realize they need to take things into their own hands and revolt if they're going to get anywhere and take back their culture. "Hey Dead" is about the failure of the revolution", and "Club Monkey (Reprise)" shows that things are back to normal as they were at the beginning of the record; the English Lord is still in power, and they're still treated as second-class citizens with their culture reduced to basically a minstrel show for the ruling class. (It should be noted that this track is completely different on the remix and original mix; the remix is the Japanese bridge of "Club Monkey" that was chopped out of the original mix of the song; the original mix of the reprise is just a 10 second clip of the percussive dance-club-parody opening of the song.) Of the Frank Chickens records, Club Monkey is definitely my favorite, and also my first, thanks to Sasha! - Rev. Syung Myung Me


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