ALBUM PREMIER: Consumption Work by The Size Queens


Over its past four recordings, The Size Queens have been quietly amassing a committed following of listeners in literary and arts circles while remaining under the radar to most of the music press. Their works have been extolled by author Mary Gaitskill (Veronica), who, in the introduction to their album III, wrote, “The Size Queens are double-sized or rather double-sided, I mean to say that they have double vision and double hearts. They are playful and serious, sparkling and sludgy, cruel, kind, capacious, intensely private and alone.” Author, Rick Moody (The Ice Storm) and poet Michael Snedicker wrote a lengthy review of the band’s record, Magic Dollar Shoppe, for The Rumpus website, and the band’s videos have premiered on major literary sites, including Electric Literature and Ninth Letter. The band’s fifth record, Consumption Work: Tammy, Cybertariat, At The Aral Sea, will be released as a single, 48-minute song cycle and accompanying video.


Hailing from San Francisco, the band is comprised of leading lights of the Bay Area music scene, including Carlos Forster, whose last record Family Trees was produced by M. Ward; Hannah Marcus (known for her solo records Black Hole Heaven, Desert Farmers as well as her work with The Wingdale Community Singers), John Murry, whose recent record, The Graceless Age, was hailed by Uncut as one of the best records of 2012, as well as former members of American Music Club Danny Pearson and Tim Mooney. After Tim Mooney’s sudden death in June 2012, songwriters Adam Klein and Michael Mullen (Pocket Shelley) took their work to Wally Sound (Beulah, Moore Bros) and recorded this song cycle, bringing in other members of the rotating lineup, including bassist Mike Carnahan (The Green Door). This record is dedicated to Tim, who was The Size Queens’ primary collaborator — playing and producing — for the first four of their records.


The Size Queens are double-sized or rather double-sided, I mean to say that they have double vision and double hearts. They are playful and serious, sparkling and sludgy, cruel, kind, capacious, intensely private and alone. —Mary Gaitskill


Consumption Work: Tammy, Cybertariat, At The Aral Sea was informed by feminist economist Ursula Huws (The Making Of A Cybertariat: Virtual Work In A Real World), and her theories about the blurred line between consumer and laborer, workplace and domestic space. Using the 1957 hit, “Tammy’s In Love” as a way of skewering the idea of America’s age of innocence, the record depicts an ontologically unstable Tammy, able to exist in different points in time and space, moving through a world drained of its oceans, where mini-marts run themselves and the garden and the afterlife are continually regenerated, and access to God requires walking a mountain of melted Crocs. Absurd and touching, terrible and grand, The Size Queens sound at times like Bongwater, at other times like a deranged Folkways record. They paint a portrait of an unfolding apocalypse that dares its listeners to laugh in horror. In a period of disillusion, The Size Queens focus on the instinct to stand behind some kind of cause, despite the inevitability of failure.

The Size Queens derived its name from the early Bush/Cheney years, ruminating on crass American exceptionalism, the promise of “immeasurable” satisfactions through shopping and the mindless boast of phallic leadership and military might. “Consumption Work” continues to paint a portrait of an unsettled globe, unsustainable, environmentally wrecked, economically and triumphantly returning to migrants and dust bowls. Perhaps only working out its ultimate destiny, one entirely removed of the basic requirements for life, yet filled with mass produced goods, self-service pavilions, and the terrible narcissistic need to be heard.



Medium Cool takes its name from the 1969 film titled Medium Cool by Haskell Wexler, notable for its cinema vérité technique and fictional/non-fictional content.

D. J. Uncle Matt was born and raised in L.A., where his mother introduced him to the Punk scene and L.A. music and arts scene. Matt studied film at the University of Oregon and in Barcelona, where he taught English and lived the expatriate life. He has written, produced, filmed and/or directed feature films, shorts, music videos, and worked as assistant camera on Sick: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist, a Sundance Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, and L.A. Film Festival awards winning documentary. Matt lives in Washington D.C., where he is a filmmaker/screenwriter and hosts the bi-weekly radio show, Uncle Matt’s Two-Hour Shower.


MEDIUM COOL, a product of The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review

© The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review – All Rights Reserved by Individual Artists


Matt Levin