''Crooked Head''

My trajectory is so true, they float away and I don't move...

Sleeve Front:
Tribal kids  
Vinyl - Side A:
Label repeats sleeve image
Sleeve - Back:
Western kids
Vinyl - Side A:
Label repeats sleeve image
Insert - Crooked Head: 
Dog eat dog / Dogs fighting over a bone. This together with the other images can be (mis) interpreted as a comparison and contrast of western global culture with indigenous tribal cultures. 
Insert - I Hate Summer:
Continuing the 'two heads' theme... 


Tracks: Crooked Head B/W I Hate Summer
Released: 2008
Label: Matador Records OLE 837-7
Matrix A: OLE 837-7-A         GOLDEN
Matrix B: OLE 837-7-B          GOLDEN

Pressing Info:
First pressing 2500 on August 11, 2008
Second pressing 500 on January 23, 2009

Inserts: Regular insert as pictured above
Variants: No variants

LFG Post April 16 2008:

Crooked Sombrero

CrOoKed hEad
Colour cover:
Fake or rejected sleeve showing (Amazonian?) tribal people.

Extract From Record Release Announcement - LFG Post (September 28 2008)

...Say, but haven't all the last records we've released been "total bullshit"? Like Year of the Dog, and Year of the Pig, and all those YOTP 7"'s and shit, and Toronto FC, and David Christmas, and all that stuff? Well yeah, but this one is different! The ASIDE is from the new ALBUM, but its an EDIT, which means its a bit different, but not in any sort of way that cost us any more money to make in the studio, and then the BSIDE is this killer little tune that isn't on ANY OTHER RECORD OUT THERE, and is about how Damian hates summer because, well you can read the LYRICS! They are INCLUDED on the INSERT, which is a little piece of paper stuck into the 7" sleeve that has the lyrics on it, as well as the LINER NOTES. THE SONG IS REALLY SHORT, its like less than 2 and a half minutes long, and its PRETTY FAST and SORT OF SOUNDS LIKE THE UNDERTONES because we use that drum beat we used on TEENAGE PROBLEMS and NEAT PARTS and maybe one other song in our discography. Anyhow, this 7" is 100% NOT BULLSHIT except for the fact that the aside is already on the album, but not really, as I was just talking about, but its got its own ARTWORK, and the bside art looks a little like the album cover because its got the sun in there and everything, and I can tell you now that we're gonna make a bunch more 7"'s that have the sun on the cover, so you might want to start COLLECTING them ALL so that if you ever want to make that VIDEO I was talking about WAY before, you won't be missing the CROOKED HEAD 7", which is now for sale over at MATADOR RECORDS and pretty much no other websites I could really find on google.

Review By Norman Records
Good stuff really and you've got to admire the picture of two dogs ripping each others' faces off on the insert.

Crooked Head (Cropped From Wikipedia)

Spoiler: They don't collect records
The Pirahã people are an indigenous hunter-gatherer tribe of Amazon natives. As of 2010, they number 420 individuals. The Pirahã people do not call themselves Pirahã but instead the Hi'aiti'ihi, roughly translated as "the straight ones".

The Pirahã speak the Pirahã language. They call any other language “Crooked head.”

As far as the Pirahã have related to researchers, their culture is concerned solely with matters that fall within direct personal experience, and thus there is no history beyond living memory.

Daniel Everett states that one of the strongest Pirahã values is no coercion; you simply don't tell other people what to do. There appears to be no social hierarchy; the Pirahã have no formal leaders. Their social system can thus be labelled as primitive communism, in common with many other hunter-gatherer bands in the world, although rare in the Amazon because of a history of agriculture before Western contact (see history of the Amazon).

Their culture is remarkably economical. For example, they use canoes every day for fishing and for crossing the river that they live beside. However, when their canoes wear out, they simply use pieces of bark as temporary canoes. Everett brought in a master builder who taught and supervised the Pirahã in making a canoe, so that they could make their own. But when they needed another canoe, they said that "Pirahã do not make canoes" and told Everett he should buy them a canoe. The Piraha rely on neighboring tribes' canoe work, and use those canoes for themselves.

Pirahã build simple huts where they keep a few pots, pans, knives, and machetes. They make only scraping implements (for making arrowheads), loosely woven palm-leaf bags, bows, and arrows. They take naps of 15 minutes to, at the most, two hours throughout the day and night, and rarely sleep through the night.

They often go hungry, not for want of food, but from a desire to be tigisái (hard). They do not store food in any quantity, but generally eat it when they get it. Pirahã have ignored lessons in preserving meats by salting or smoking.They cultivate manioc plants that grow from spit-out seeds and make only a few days' worth of manioc flour at a time.They trade Brazil nuts and sex for consumables or tools, e.g. machetes, gunpowder, powdered milk, sugar, whiskey. Chastity is not a cultural value. They trade Brazil nuts, wood, and sorva (rubbery sap used in chewing gum) for soda-can pull-tabs, which are used for necklaces. Men wear T-shirts and shorts that they get from traders; women sew their own plain cotton dresses.

Their decoration is mostly necklaces, used primarily to ward off spirits. The concept of drawing is alien to them and when asked to draw a person, animal, tree, or river, the result is simple lines. However, on seeing a novelty such as an airplane, a child may make a model of it, which may be soon discarded.

According to Everett, the Pirahã have no concept of a supreme spirit or god, and they lost interest in Jesus when they discovered that Everett had never seen him. They require evidence based on personal experience for every claim made. However, they do believe in spirits that can sometimes take on the shape of things in the environment. These spirits can be jaguars, trees, or other visible, tangible things including people.Everett reported one incident where the Pirahã said that “Xigagaí, one of the beings that lives above the clouds, was standing on a beach yelling at us, telling us that he would kill us if we go into the jungle.” Everett and his daughter could see nothing and yet the Pirahã insisted that Xigagaí was still on the beach.

Commodity Fetishism:

Test Pressing on RHS (probably)
Test Pressing on LHS


Chemistry is just a word we use to describe what occurs, when subtle changes in our minds make energy from common lives
Jacket - Front

Jacket - Back
Jacket - image on inside of gatefold

'A' side & 'C' side
'B' side & 'D' side

Lyric Sheet - Front

Lyric Sheet - Back


Year: 2008
Label: Matador Records OLE 807-1
Matrix A: OLE-807-1A RJ STERLING 17723.1(3)
Matrix B: OLE-807-1B RJ STERLING 17723.2(3)
Matrix C: OLE-807-1C RJ STERLING 17723.3(3)
Matrix D: OLE-807-1D RJ STERLING 17723.4(3)
Inserts: Double-sided insert, as pictured above
Variants: First Press and Repress

Year: 2014
Label: Matador Records OLE 807-1
Matrix A: OLE-807-A S-90377
Matrix B: OLE-807-B S-90378
Matrix C: OLE-807-C S-90379
Matrix D: OLE-807-D S-90380


Announcement - end of 'Tentative' Post LFG (Sept 09 2007)
Also tentatively we're starting to work on our next record tentatively entitled The Chemistry of Common Life. Get some knowledge.

''Interview'' extracts from LFG Post (July 15 2008)

Hi so the new record has been announced for Oct 2008 and its called "The Chemistry of Common Life" - what does it mean? 
The title comes from a book of the same name printed around the turn the last century,
which was about the chemical properties of different types of edible and hallucinogenic mushrooms. Originally the title was going to refer to drugs and nature somehow, but now I'm having a hard time remembering how the title was connected to those ideas. It was also along the same lines as "Looking for Gold" was, using the alchemy-fascist metaphor to refer to the spiritual re-organization of society. It doesn't really have any practical value as an idea to me, but there is hierarchy and order at all levels or nature that I like to think about when I'm thinking about people and how we're all arranged socially and spiritually. And somehow at the base of that is this scientific order that's governing the smallest particles and molecules whose organization is what's governing everything at the top in the first place, and the idea was to try and stretch that elementary social cohesion all the way up to the top and try to make sense of how things run up here.

We sort of lost the trail on that idea and the song "ChemCom" is about the beginning of life on earth and how intense it is to think about the molecular division between living and non-living matter, and what it is. At the base of all life is this magical chemistry that is pure science that somehow turned the switch on at some point millions of years ago,
but how did it happen? One idea is that these small pools of proteins got charged by lightning and turned into proto-living material, but how? It's hard to think of the start of life as a linear process, where these little particles joined together somehow
into strings of proteins that somehow clicked on and joined together, all the way up to cells and then multi-cellular organisms, and then larger creatures and so on. Its just such an mind-bending thing to try and think about - everything in the universe is just these arrangements of particles, these relationships between the resulting molecules - of all the millions of combinations, somehow life happened, it could have been anything, but from somewhere life started. It just tells you that life isn't about properties really, or individuals. It's about the interaction between those single properties that makes things happen - it's not about like hydrogen, or oxygen alone - it's the interaction that makes water. It's heartening to carry it forward - it isn't about you, but about how you interact with the world and people around you.
Same stuff as Hidden World, but different
We've always been interested in evolution, and Chemcom basically refers to the first evolution, from inorganic to organic. The insert art is crystals and rocks handing a baby over to trees and birds, its crazy.   
What makes you want to write about those types of things? 
I think life is the best idea anyone ever had - I want to pay tribute to it. A lot of people have wondered if Fucked Up became a religious band because we talk about god all the time, but thats not really the case - we are a bunch of people who don't believe in god but know that life would be a lot easier if we did. All the lyrics I write are about trying to find god in nature, like looking for these unexplainable and mystical processes that you can look at with a microscope, you know the memory stored in DNA, or the brightness of the sun - thats god I think and thats what's important for me to think about.

CMU Interview extract from LFG Post (July 16 2008)

What inspired your latest album?
I tried to bring the natural elements of 'Hidden World' further into the record this time. The LP isn't about ideology, it's about reality - things that never change. The songs are about lightning, the sun, birth, death, these elemental fixtures that are the basis of everything else. Look into the sun and empty my mind.
Hidden World
What process do you go through in creating a track? 
This time we were in a rush so we only gave ourselves enough time to write the most basic pieces of the song before we went into the studio. When we started recording we only knew about 25% of each song, and just wrote the rest in the studio. The entire process took about nine months - two months to write in the practice space, and six or seven months to record. We recorded the drums and bed tracks, went out tour with the rough mixes for a few months, and then went in every few days to add new things when we had ideas. It was like painting a picture over a really long time period. If we wanted in the middle of something, to have a French horn, or a guest vocalist, we would just call them and resume recording when that person would come in. 
Which artists influence your work? 
The sun, thunder, lightning, Mucha, Fernando Torres.

In the same spirit:
See the Hidden World lyric sheet  for more on Vibrations and Hums

Extract From LFG Post (Feb 07 2011)

You may remember last time we finished a full length album I made a funny post that counterpoised the mastered CD I got sent in the mail by the mastering company against a screen shot from my laptop computer of 2001 "A Space Odyssey" where the earth is eclipsing the moon and the moon is being eclipsed by the sun at the same time or something, and then put the CDR right on the screen as if it was eclipsing the entire thing. A lot of you probably didn't understand what was going on in the picture, especially because I posted the lyrics from the title track that contains shit like "The Vale the midwife birth the key", which I myself don't even really understand. 

Sleeve Notes:

The Chemistry of Common Life LP - (LFG Post Dec 27 2010)
This was the first time we commisioned a photograph for an album cover that wasn't a picture of the band. Our friend Mimi Cabell (mimicabell.com) took about 600 different shots over a few weeks in mid town Manhattan in July of 2008. What we realized later (by reading the wikipedia of our own album) that what she'd inadvertently captured was Manhattanhenge, where the sunset lines up perfectly with the street grid of New York, something that only happens twice a year, and allows a perfect view of the sunset looking west on the major streets of midtown. The shot is somewhere between 30th and 40th if I remember correctly. If you look closely you can tell that its not just one image, but a composite of about 35 different shots line up ontop of each other, which is why you have some people and cars overlapping, and explains the relative brightness of the sun and the lense flare everywhere. The shot is supposed to represent the main idea behind the record, which is the unity between culture and nature, and the idea that the literal source for all human culture and life is the sun. Even though the title is taken from a 19th century book on wild mushroom identification, what it means for the album is how everything thats cultural about our lives has its source in nature and science, and that there really isn't a divide between the two spheres. The song ChemCom describes the theory of the origin of life on our planet that states that tidepools containing abiotic proteins were zapped by lightning bolts continually for millions of years until finally the electricity (the sun) and chemicals (chemistry) fused to create the first living matter (common life), which describes the title and also the album cover.

Not the Sleeve

The Sleeve

Show Poster:
Pictures HERE

"Alternative Cover" by Enkeling

Polaris Prize:
Universal Praise

Son The Father (From Song Meanings.com)

Father, father, come see what I've built
Made civilization out of the Nile silt,
Built your monuments out of my brother's bones,
Exalted your words in flesh-bound tomes

It's hard enough being born in the first place,
Who would ever want to be born again?
It's taken this long just to get to this place,
So what's the point in ever being born again?

Papa, papa, come and watch me play
The whole world before me I laid to waste
Built Jerusalem out of these hidden worlds,
But I won't share it with the other boys and girls

More embarrassed than I'd hope to admit,
The living embodiment of perfect.

Daddy, daddy, are you proud of me?
I did it all for you because of what I believe
The sins of he father carried out by the son
From Cain and Abel until the last living life is done

Again we stand slack-jawed 
As our fates are moved by the hand of God
A God is what we see as we stare into his Papal eyes.

  • 0
    Song Meaning:"This song is about how we've wasted our lives in history, on bullshit.". That's from lead singer Damian Abraham's mouth while on tour.
    lazyoldsunon May 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation:I believe it's about taking the power of the father (representing the government or higher power (possibly God?)) and taking it as your own to save the mother (Mother Earth or humanity) "A reversed Oedipal complex based on power and not on the sex"
    ndocon December 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Awesome song. It's about the futility of religion, tying to look at the bible with an open mind, from a different point of view. It's about mistakes and evil being inherent and being passed down.
    cizzydoon January 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My Opinion:Yea, it's definitely about religion -- specifically Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The verses focus on, as cizzydo said, evil and corruption and how they are passed down from father to son [generation to generation]. Then I believe the chorus is essentially asking why anyone would want to be born again back into all this evil/corruption? It's a really well written, intelligent song.
    RainyDaze3on June 05, 2009   Link

Commodity Fetishism:

Test Pressings:

''Year Of The Pig''

Front Panel - Front
(WYR? variant has two separate panels rather than a jacket)

Front Panel - Back
(YOTP lyrics)

Back Panel - Front
(WYR? variant has two separate panels rather than a jacket)

Back Panel - Back
("The Black Hats" Lyrics + Credits)

Vinyl - 'A' Side
 (WYR? Variant)

Vinyl - 'A' Side
(WYR? Variant)

Stats #1: (WYR? US - Stamped labels)

Tracks: Year Of The Pig B/W The Black Hats
Year: 2008
Label: Whats Your Rupture?
Matrix A PO307 A re PGold
Matrix B PO307 B Salt

Pressing Info: 
First press of  3500
1 Set of 30 rejected test pressings
1 Set of approved test pressings, indistinguishable from the produced 12"

No Inserts

Stats #2: (Matador - Stamped Labels)

Tracks: Year Of The Pig B/W The Black Hats
Year: 2008
Label: Matador
Matrix A OLE 828-1A ?0307 A re 17863-1
Matrix B OLE 828-1B ?0307 B Salt 7863-2

Pressing Info: 
Matador press of  1000
10(ish) RTI test pressings

No Inserts

Stats #3: (Vice UK - Printed Labels)

Tracks: Year Of The Pig B/W The Black Hats
Year: 2008
Label: Vice
Matrix A VICE-006-A2   SS   JB
Matrix B VICE-006-B1   SS   JB

Pressing Info: 
Vice press of 500
5-10 test pressings

No Inserts

(Thank you to Kevin Pedersen for the YOTP pressing info!)


1. What's Your Rupture? press: (White stamped labels, separate double-sided front and back panels instead of jacket)
2. Matador press: (White stamped labels, separate double-sided front and back panels instead of jacket)
3. Vice press: (Printed labels, jacket with same 'front' imagery as above panels, ineer sleeve with same 'back' imagery as above panels.

* Matador & Vice variants have WYR? credits

Sleeve Variants - (Click on picture to enlarge):
WYR? (separate front & back panels)
Middle: Matador (separate panels, as above, but with Matador info + barcode sticker on back panel)
Bottom: Vice (Jacket)

Sleeve Variants - (Click on picture to enlarge):
Top: WYR? (stamped labels)
Middle: Matador (stamped labels)
Bottom: Vice (printed labels)

Printed labels from the Vice variant


Sex work, the "oldest profession" has always been one of those tricky jobs made into a languid moral debate that places practitioners into the dangerous no-mans land of legal limbo. Like the war on drugs, prostitution is never going to disappear, and attempts made to its further criminalization only make sex work extremely dangerous for those who do it.

We're putting out "Year of the Pig" in June, which will address some of the issues brought up in 2007 surrounding of sex work, specifically the trial of Robert Pickton in British Columbia, following the disappearance of more than 60 prostitutes. All too often victims are made the scape goats, chosen to characterize and wear the sin or moral outrage society chooses to place on particular activities. While it is prostitutes who are arrested, raped and murdered trying to make a living, they are also made to internalize and launder our own guilt and shame surrounding these issues.

SPOC, the Sex Professionals of Canada, work to make prostitution (which is not illegal in Canada) a safer occupation for its practitioners. They work to decriminalize those aspects of sex work that remain illegal (read the article), work to organize prostitutes toward activism and maintain a "bad date list" as a safety measure against bad johns.

Hard issues like sex work, drugs, poverty are issues that people are often afraid to face head on, yet usually have direct effects on people who they make live or work most closest to. SPOC deals with these issues every day, and we are proud to make this attempt to support their work. So please flood the block for this benefit:

"Pig Public Statement"  (LFG Post - June 13 2007) 

In 2007, the good become superior and the bad become worse. The enlightened continue on their path to understanding and contentment. Take a stand, speak your mind during this Pig year."

The theme for Year of the Pig is exploitation and violence against women, using prostitution as a main symbol. We recorded this while the Robert Pickton trial is picking up here in Canada - Pickton is a farmer from British Columbia who has been charged with the murder of 26 prostitutes from one of the poorest districts in Canada. We feel that violence against women, represented here by the issue of prostitutes rights in particular, is an issue that is still taboo, and rights for sex workers is an issue that people are still afraid to look at head on, and deal with in a meaningfull way. Sexism exists everywhere and as we've seen in the Pickton case, it can far too easily manifest as abuse, rape and murder shut out from the public eye. This violence is more easily accomodated when working prostitutes aren't protected by the full scope of the law in their workplaces, and when their role exists outside of the purview of our collective morality. In this way, we also view violence against prostitutes as symtomatic of our society's tendency to try and launder our collective guilt and shame through a third party, in this case prostitutes. They exist as a special part of our culture where we can lash out at them, of our own shame and guilt with sexual issues of shame and possesion, and blame and exploit them, instead of dealing with those issues ourselves. Sexism and violence agaisnt women exist, and as long as there are classes of society that we keep beneath our collective moral societal obligations, those classes will bear the full brunt of the hatred and fear we can dish out. We also with to state that "Year of the Pig" is not the attempt to condemn Robert Pickton, or any other individual specifically for any specific crime - the scope of these issues are broader than isolated incidents. The habitual compartmentalization of these sorts of crimes is part of the problem - we wish to state that sexism and violence persist not simply due to the actions of a few deviant criminals, but because as a whole we refuse to properly deal with these issues.

We wrote "Year of the Pig" according to the spacial and spiritual rules laid out in the Chinese Zodiac. We do this once a year – last year was "Year of the God", next year is "Year of the Rat". It is a special process we only bring out for these yearly rousing recording sessions. It is a 60 year cycle, so accordingly there will be 60 of these 12"'s, by us or by the bands we pass it down to. The combination element for this year was gold, so (as usual), we tried to surround ourselves with as much gold as possible in the studio – a few people came up who had fronts in their mouths, and we all had to borrow our parents jewelry. The lights from the studio were cascading off all the pieces in the room. The Heaven element for this year was fire, so we also managed to put up a huge fire in the middle of the floor. We did the drum tracks only with the fire, because we had to move the set-up onto the roof of the building. For us recording is all about balance basically – we usually try now to have certain people come in to lay down the area in a way we don't really understand – we just sit there and eat handfuls of salvia while these dowsers come in and point to what instruments are ready, you've got these geosophists pointing us in certain directions, sigils are going up all over the place, it can get pretty real in the year of the fourth trine.

Fucked Up, David, Octavio, Hail Wilsim Publogy June 22 2007 CE

"Friday" - (LFG Post - September 14 2007) 

Hi it's me, Octavio. I have no life and they are making me update this on a Friday night. I have to work early tommorow morning anyhow at the stapler factory, so I'm not going out tonight anyhow.

This zine The New York Times reviewed (sort of) Year of the Pig. You can find it here. They couldn't say our name, but we're pretty sure they were talking about us, and not the Japanese band "Messed Up" that was on Blurred Records and is pre-JABARA:

That’s the name of a monstrous new 18-minute song by a neo-hardcore band from Toronto. And the name of the band? Well, suffice it to say that if newspaper coverage were a priority, the members might have called themselves Messed Up instead. You can find “Year of the Pig” on iTunes and elsewhere. The 1980s Portland, Ore., band Poison Idea is an obvious influence, although Poison Idea wasn’t known for composing multipart epics about sexism and serial killing and the meat industry. In any case, this is an unreasonably stubborn song, building momentum slowly as the guest singer Jennifer Castle murmurs the lyrics (“Pigs at the trough show no fear”) and Pink Eye, the band’s lead singer, roars them (“Pigs at the trough getting fat!”). The band trudges slowly along for six minutes, then builds momentum, then lurches forward, riding a relatively sleek groove as Pink Eye declaims the words (“Ashamed of the pig in our head/Ashamed, so we kill ’em instead”) as the band stretches up and surges forward and, finally, collapses in a heap. This is the second installment in a series inspired by the Chinese zodiac; with any luck, “Year of the Rat” is up next. (By Kalefa Sanneh)

"Interview" - (LFG Post - January 03 2008) 

AU- with the Year of the Pig release the band embarked on a 18+ minute opus not unlike what we found on 2004's Looking for Gold which also featured a 17+ minute song featuring all things unconventional. Can you tell us a little about this process and how it all came together?

10KM- Those two tunes don't really share that much. We scripted Looking for Gold to be really long, made sure it had a lot of parts and gaps that you could separate. I also think LFG is a lot more in line with the rest of our catalogue in that its loud throughout and is based on a conventional instrument set up. We were able to shorten it easily into "Invisible Leader" as a result. Year of the Pig started just as a 4 note riff I used to play onstage when I was setting my gear up and it just became a long song because thats how much music we wanted there to be. It was the most fun song to work through we've done. We'd never worked closely with other musicians before, and it was great to work the song out in practice with Max, who played organ and keyboards. We wrote sort of a skeleton of the song in practice and then fleshed a lot of the parts out in the studio, like a lot of the timing and most of the guitar stuff thats on the song.

Sleeve Notes:

"Artworx" - (LFG Post - December 27 2010) 

The art on both sides of this 12" is by Ferdinand Hodler, a 19th century Swiss painter. This was a tricky record to choose cover art for, because it deals with an issue that doesn't really lend itself to subtle representation (prostitution) and we also didn't really want to go the literally route by putting some slaughtered pig on the cover of the album (although we did that for one of the 7" versions of this song because it was a sick photo). We spent a few days in the library until we came across this Hodler piece which fits really well because it kind of alludes to prostitution through public sex (because there are a bunch of men and women sleeping in a public place) but also the central guy seems to be about to get whats coming to him. The central black figure is obviously meant to connote Death and this fits the theme of the album, which is that the problem with our conception of sex work is that the responsibility for carrying with social taboo is with the worker and not the consumer. The cover is meant to allude to a get-back wherein the consumer is meant to pay the ultimate price, not the prostitute. We thought the art and the lyrics on this album were pretty cohesive, but lots of reviewers just thought the song was about animal rights :(.