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The Water Boatman

by Language of Prairie Dogs

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vvindows95 Took a chance on this album this past MiniDisc Day and I'm so glad I did. It's so original and just a delicious listen of good tunes. They included some fun merch and wow I could not be happier. Great job! Favorite track: The Tower of Babel.
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £7 GBP  or more


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Limited run of 201 copies on CD, with glorious full-colour 16 page lyrics and artwork booklet. First 120 copies come with original 1980s black/grey Compact Disc Digital Audio-branded inlays.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Water Boatman via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 2 days
    edition of 201 
    Purchasable with gift card

      £10 GBP or more 


  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 12 Language of Prairie Dogs releases available on Bandcamp and save 35%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Where My Heart Will Take Me (Theme from Star Trek Enterprise), El Cóndor Pasa, Dog Years: The Best of Language of Prairie Dogs 2005-2020, Lone Motherfuckers, We Will Go Up, #10 Xmas Record, The Water Boatman, Shelter In The Dark, and 4 more. , and , .

    Purchasable with gift card

      £15.66 GBP or more (35% OFF)


  • 1st Anniversary Limited Edition MiniDisc (MD) album

    Extremely limited run of 20 copies on MiniDisc! £20.19 (Member's price: £19.99)


    The year is 1999. MiniDisc. MD. It is the format of the future. (Neo uses them in The Matrix!) MDs don't skip, unlike 'portable' CD players. And you can skip straight to the next track, unlike Walkmans. (Walkmen?) And they are stylish and cool and ultra-portable. They even have the track names on a little display on the remote control!

    Forget about your weird little MP3 player, Stuart. That'll never catch on. Napster and Audiogalaxy are such a pain in the arse to use, and the pitiful speeds we get on dial-up mean we are stuck trying to download that live recording of Radiohead's Lift for about three weeks.

    Instead, get on down to MVC and buy a copy of Kevin Rowland's My Beauty for £22.99! (Member's price: £17.99). Better yet, buy a 5-pack of infinitely re-recordable MiniDiscs and just copy your CDs over. You can even re-order the tracks! That's how Thom Yorke made OK Computer, donchaknow, the greatest album of the last two years!

    SMASH-CUT TO: the present. I, Matt Kaufman from Language of Prairie Dogs, <3 MiniDiscs. I still use them. I still buy them, still at insanely inflated prices on eBay. (I paid £24.99 for the album K by Kula Shaker on MiniDisc in 2018. Although that was only so I could dismantle the case to get the dimensions of the artwork for my own purposes.)

    In fact my purposes were these: in May 2018 I was speaking to Paul, the creative director of BandCDs.co.uk (the lovely folks who manufacture our CDs and tapes) and I asked him if it would be possible to put our then-upcoming album The Water Boatman onto MiniDisc.

    Sony may have killed production of the humble MD in 2013; but I reasoned that someone, somewhere, must still have a MiniDisc-printing machine and old, leftover blank stock which I could put to use.

    Paul of BandCDs.co.uk was that someone.

    When I casually enquired about MiniDisc production, Paul sprang into action immediately. Being another like-minded fan, he saw a great opportunity for limited runs of the old format. I thought nobody except me cared in the slightest bit about MiniDiscs. I was dead wrong.

    Paul told me that unfortunately he couldn't get the familiar dark grey shells for pre-recorded MDs, or the proper old-style larger cases (buying K ended up being a total waste of money on two counts); but he promised that he could get me as close as I was ever likely to get.

    SMASH-CUT TO: 18 months later, and I, Matt Kaufman from Language of Prairie Dogs, appear to have accidentally kick-started the worldwide MiniDisc revival. BandCDs' MiniDisc gallery page is now FILLED with examples of musical artists' MiniDiscs. Mark Ronson has a MiniDisc! It's right there in the gallery! (Actually I was in a Mark Ronson music video once, but that's another story for another time.)


    Even though I can claim to have had a direct hand in the MD's revival it has taken me a year-and-a-half to actually get around to putting our record onto MiniDisc.

    I had hoped to have a MiniDisc, cassette tape and vinyl LP record of a new mix of TWB ready for the 1-year anniversary as a grate joke (I loathe 10th anniversary cash-in expanded remasters - I'm looking at you Pink Floyd and Manic Street Preachers). But there just wasn't any money, or need (still plenty of copies of the CD available, folks).

    (I'd also hoped to nominate us for a Grammy nomination in time for the 1-year anniversary edition, so I could have a sticker on the releases which read 'Nominated for a Grammy Nomination,' but The Recording Academy - the people who run the Grammys - and I got into a protracted email battle about whether or not LOPD were eligible to become members in order to nominate ourselves for a nomination. We met all their criteria, but they rejected us multiple times on spurious grounds. Eventually I lost that particular battle. Ah well. Next time.)

    The release date of this super limited edition 1st anniversary MiniDisc of our début swansong album is the Eleventh of December. December 11th was Dean Sobers' mum's birthday. It was at her wake that Dean & I resolved to record The Water Boatman, the album we'd been talking about making together since secondary school, back in the '90s. In 2018 we finally completed it, and the record was dedicated to her memory.

    This MiniDisc has a Brown Dwarf product code of EPIC 212036875 b - which is nothing to do with Sony Epic, although the MiniDisc is a Sony MD from the final batch of MDs produced in the world…Ever! No, the actual brown dwarf EPIC 212036875 b is described online as "…a rare object that resides in the brown dwarf desert" - being one of the most massive brown dwarfs (dwarves?) ever discovered. Somewhat apt for our smallest release yet, both physically and in terms of run-size. And yet, our most expensive piece of merchandise. Small, but massive, but not quite massive enough to catch fire…

    Ⓟ Brown Dwarf 2019
    cat. no. EPIC 212036875 b

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Water Boatman via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ... more

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"I have said to myself and others that I'm going to swim that river or die trying - and I mean that quite literally. I could die in that river, but that is not my intention. My intention is to swim through the rainforest to prove something. In 1963, Dr Martin Luther King had a dream that changed our world. I too have a dream. My dream is to swim the Amazon to prove to the world that nothing is surmountable."
I tell (to death) a memory of a rat - 'big as a fucking pig': it swaggered between tables as if it owned the premises. I can't do anything but tell it (if not to death) to wall its room. It owned that grotty garden that fucking Sunday afternoon, where it can shelter in the dark. I have a kitchenette - no toilet, yet - but shower, sofa, bed; the next rung is self-containment (must aspire). But who said I'm not accommodating. I fought the mice into the floors and if they stay there they can stay here; out of sight, out of my thoughts. They can shelter in the dark. The edges of my vision should be still - drifting with dreams; not crawling with cockroaches. Quick, then still. Every beast should have a fear and dread of man. This - 'big as a fucking mouse' - still; steadily looking. I leap from sofa to bed; bleat- no - command - it: shelter in the dark. Let me sleep - like the mice. It tracks under my bed. That doesn't comfort. I've obliged its stolid claim on majesty, as I have flattered rats. But it should know it in its composition, antennae - from its armoured hind down to lowered, bullish head - it should know that it is flattened. I'm rattled. But that's its only card - the rattling. That translates quickly to wrath. It should have lived inside the walls. Can only fall on the warpath.
'...and what, I ask - in short words - is "hubris"? Does it kick into effect at fifteen cubits? No - don't consult - it's no esoteric prod, friend - just that Chapter 7:20 - you'll find a lot of water. But I refer humbly to the Tower - as a man who - several thousands of feet up - found himself hailed in nonsense by his foreman, and didn't get his urgency and now - thump - faces this judiciary; this fudged charge obscured in piled renditions and translations. Were our hands dirty with "asphalt", "slime", or "bitumen"? And were we "children" toiling there, or were we "men"? "And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower-" in which I was involved - "and the Lord said, Behold the people are one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and nothing will be withheld from them, which they have imagined to do." A self-made bed if ever one was bemoaned: Survivors - toughened and resolved to build through collective loss and not be owned by terror... "Covenant"? In those bulging clouds? ...You may enjoy your covenant, sir; I find I like bricks…"Hubris"?…Well...swings and roundabouts... Swings and...you twist my words! "HUBRIS‽" I'll find my own way out.'
All My Glass 03:10
'What are you going to do with him, Cardinal? My stomach crawls when I'm near him. My duty must be - in some way - to forgive him. But his new defiance...he speaks, now, against remorse. Now, the very words I use to shepherd me back - where I may err - he twists back on us, like they mean something different. He's lost his shame in his acts-' 'This vase - whose is it, father?' 'Yours.' 'Correct. Now - smashed here on the ground - whose is it, now?' 'Still yours.' 'Look, the floor's now covered in ornamented glass. Cracked glyphs, shards of patterns - look - with edges that could slit your neck as quietly lacerate your palms as you stoop and gather them. Correct - it's still all my glass. You should know my metaphor by now - my answer. I've smashed a lot on this floor to show you - repeating it. Shattering things I can't then unbreak, then stooping and cutting my hands on it.'
"The demonstration was interesting and successful. Messages were transmitted and received almost verbatim. In conducting the demonstration messages were written by a member of the staff and handed to the Indian; he would transmit the messages in his tribal dialect and the Indian on the other end would write them down in English. The text of messages as written and received are enclosed. The Indians do not have many military terms in their dialect so it was necessary to give them a few minutes, before the demonstration, to improvise words for dive-bombing, anti-tank gun, etc."
Jack 04:44
'Give me my jack! I want my jack back!' 'What are you talking about? I don't know about a jack.' 'Someone's took my jack and I want it back. It was outside my door and now it's gone - who's got it?' 'I haven't got your jack, you must have forgot where you put it.' 'I didn't forget anything - it was there and someone took it. It's mine and someone took it and I want it back. I need it - you find it - you get me back my jack!' 'How would I know where your jack is if I didn't take it? What do you think I'm going to do with a jack?' 'One of your friends has got it - all the time, they're traipsing through this place. One of them saw the jack against my door and they took it on their way out! - you'll phone them and you'll get it.' 'None of my friends have took your jack!' 'Give it! Get it! I want my jack - I need it back!' 'And I told you I haven't got it.' 'Your friends-!' 'They haven't got it!' 'You can't be sure!' 'Listen! - you must've misplaced it. Lost it.' 'You brought the trouble to this house and I'm sick of it!' 'Oi - heh - what's going on?' 'One of his friends took my jack!' 'No - he lost it. I don't know anything about what happened to his jack.' 'You saw it.' 'When?' 'Sitting against my door - till someone walked by and took it.' 'Listen-' 'I want it back! I want it back!' 'Listen a second-' 'Someone took it!' 'I want my jack! I want my jack back! Give me my jack - I want my jack back... ...picked up my jack - one of your friends....! Look - I want it back...I want my damn jack back!!!' 'You're not listening to me!' 'I'm sick of it!' 'I'm done - you're not listening.' 'Come back you-' <bang, thump> '- no!' 'Ey!' '...my jack back-' 'Ah!' <scuffle> '...you...!' 'Heh stop this - this isn't...' 'I want it back!' <crash> 'Ah!' 'You brought the trouble to this house!' 'Ah...huh! - uh...' 'I told you to stop it!' 'Let him go!' 'Then keep him back!' <stumble> 'You brought the trouble in this house!' 'Shut up!' 'Up you get...' 'My....j-' <Slamming door.>
Know that he hasn't got your back. Whatever makes for argument; whatever makes an argument - that is (simply) that.
She looked down at his cookware and fanned her arms. 'Vous ne pouvez pas allumer de feu içi - le feuillage prend façilement feu.' He watched her arms, then the flow of the brook, and contemplated: 'The stream floods.' (Raising his own arms): '"Rises?"' 'Le terrain est très sec. Le vent sec propage le feu.' He looked up past the scrubland and into the forest. 'We'll relocate further up. Thanks so much for warning us. Away from that river. "Flash floods" We will go up.' She swept animatedly at the valley as if conducting an orchestra. 'Un petit feu peut façilement s’étendre et brûler une fôret entière. Vous comprenez?' He nodded hard, pointed: 'Thank - YOU. "WOOSH!" Our "STUFF"! We will go - UP.'
He had a name. Blew the whistle, waved off the train. 'Down the branch to Bedlam, sir,' nodding me over. I laughed and when I did that, somehow floundered; spluttered, 'You must pull your savings out of the railways, for the wife and the girl... By this year's end - come 1846 - this will be - all of it, my friend, Midland. As with Great Western.' A little dazzled. 'Not an "impermanent slump"?' I shook my head. 'The networks will stay but what we've enjoyed - the fat, the euphoria - as of now, that falls gracelessly away.' He considered. 'Thank you for your honesty... I'm placed in your debt. I suppose I will repay one prophecy with another. God spoke at me once. Yesterday when the sun was out. He took my hand and in the other, swept up these intersecting lines creeping round the earth, and spoke of the earth soldered into a chorus. Cloying, baying, for audience. No verses. No construction. And that, there, would be our last punishment.' 'The Lord told you this, did he?' to which he shrugged. 'Like you'd confided, He had to quench a need - His, to gloat - but He didn't want anyone to remember He had. So I had a heatstroke.'
Lone Giant 03:31
Whenever I think about The Shining, I think about the loveliness of the proposition of Jack's employment, and of the tragedy of how he blew it so completely. I keep my particular fantasy of working in a lighthouse (I'm sure, completely at odds with the reality): Distanced almost immeasurably and yet critically necessary. I relate my fantasy to a friend who looks back at me and, wolfishly, quizzes me on why I want to live in a giant penis. 'Because I hate people, that's why. That's why I want to live in my giant penis.'
'Let me tell you a story. An old man living at the top of a tall, old tower block. You've seen this movie. Developers looking to pull it down, put new stuff up. You'd call it a stalemate. He's refused every offer and remains, neighbourless, while they tear into the buildings around, staking him out. But damn him if he'll scare. ...the machinery ...At their advocates. Those hyenas.' A tower A tower A tower of Babel 'One day he calls for the lift. The lift stalls in the shaft. Now, he’s too fragile for the stairs - he'd break his neck - so he trudges back to the flat, annoyed, and waits for repairs. He gets through what groceries are left, and as the January days wind out, he starves to death. It lasts fewer than several days. Some half dignified, silent tumult in the cold, then all gone, as if it never were. You'd call it a…' A tower A tower A tower of Babel.
We can't speak with you again. I can speak of and at you. We tried all of the above, we cast in marble, at your side, a thing that brought such obvious pleasure to your eyes. At your side, a stone Teletubby. It hurts to think about your name. Baby, I struggle to to say your name. What words - said or lettered - could cradle you? Baby, I just want to speak something. Both of us - we want to speak something. Something. Anything. To anyone. The stones aren't nothing. The smile's not nothing of all our love of you. I love you! That will stay. Can't make it better. I can't utter - I can't stutter anything that will weather, that will stay. I know she's straining when she says I did justice to our feelings. The stones aren’t nothing. The smile's not nothing of all our love of you. Everything here - vying for eminence, record, or penitent. Unravelling into the earth. Going down in silence.


Recorded in Lewisham and Stretford between 9th October 2011 and 5th April 2018 for £1,800

This album was made possible thanks to the 50 backers who funded us on Kickstarter, including:

Jennie Crandon
David Evans
Katherine Stephen
Eve Goldstein
Olivia Anaconda
Stephen Preston
Brett & Chris
Hamish McPrune
Tom Jenkins
Steve Topson
David Goldstein
Josh Saco
Melissa Rose Cohen
Jonathan Jobson
Mark Arnold
Jeremy & Carole
Alice Topson
Manu and Gavin
Chris Etches
Alun Richards
Kate, Dave and Rowan
David Kaufman
Stephen Fingleton

Read about the original project here: kickstarter.com/projects/thebrowndwarf/the-water-boatman-concept-album-by-language-of-pra/

This album is dedicated to the memory of Rachel Evans, 1962-2011


released June 23, 2018

Composed by Language of Prairie Dogs between April 2011 and April 2018
Lyrics written by Dean Anthony Sobers
Recorded, engineered, produced, mixed & mastered in Manchester by Chris Killen between June 2016 and April 2018
Directed by Matthew Alexander Kaufman
Drums recorded & engineered by Buzz Allan between April 2017 and March 2018
Additional recording by James Aparicio between October 2011 and July 2012

Dean Anthony Sobers - vocals, guitars, backing vocals, synthesizers thesighsofmonsters.bandcamp.com

Matthew Alexander Kaufman - bass guitars, saxophones, keyboards, synthesizers, artificially synthesized digital electronic instruments including trumpets and tambourines, backing vocals twitter.com/gizzard_stones / browndwarf.bandcamp.com

Chris Killen - guitars on tracks 2-4 & 8, synths and percussion programming on tracks 1, 5, 9-10 chriskillen.com / twitter.com/chriskillen / hotshorts.bandcamp.com / twitter.com/hot_shorts

Buzz Allan - drums on tracks 1-4, 6, 8, 11-12 buzzallan.com / twitter.com/buzzdrummer

Jo Rose - pianos on track 2 twitter.com/jothomasrose / jorose.bandcamp.com

Ⓟ Brown Dwarf 2018
cat. no. MACS J1149+2223


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Language of Prairie Dogs Manchester, UK

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