Cosmograf, THE HAY MAN DREAMS (Cosmograf Music, 2017).
Professor Birzer’s grade: A.
Having grown up on Great Plains of North America, surrounded by grazing horses, big skies, and farms, that guy that hangs out on a big kind of crucifix in the fields of wheat was always, to me, a “Scarecrow.”
And, that really, really scary Batman villain, Dr. Jonathan Crane, is also a “Scarecrow.” He’s creepy in Bruce Timm’s animated Batman, but he’s downright demonic in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.
When I first saw the title of Robin Armstrong’s latest Cosmograf masterpiece (and, yes, this IS a masterpiece) HAY-MAN DREAMS, I had no clue what the album would be about. After all, Armstrong loves existential themes of isolation, alienation, and timelessness. When I first saw the title, I just assumed the album would be about a farmer who cultivates hay. Maybe some lonely old guy who couldn’t figure out the modern world. I knew that Armstrong would do something wild with it, but I didn’t know what. Hay man?