dave malloy

the laundry
(2006, in progress)


joe works in the laundry: a great humid cavern stretching for miles in the subterranean belly of an eternal palace on the sea. joe, the twin sisters, the dryer quartet and the cantankerous seldom seen boss up top, trying to restore the clean of all ("lavar").

a woman of cloth arrives and teases the boss's cigar into taking on the greatest task, the cleaning of the worlds fabric ("the customer"). but joe has become weary of his work, the meaningless, the lack ("time/aw, my hands are all wrinkled"). he visits "the tailor" who loves all he sees. he speaks to the sisters who loves the stains so so that they save them in a pile under their cobwebs ("blueberry stains").

they all try to help him, the dryer quartet too, ("joe c'mon joe") but joe cant anymore...all the soap in the water. he leaves, to go and see the rest of it all, to drink pure ("the departure").

he is gone for a long time ("out in the sea"). he meets a mermaid and falls in love for a while ("song of the south"), has a bad seaweed trip ("where are my hands?"), meets a trio of authors at a booksigning espousing the merits of fatherhood, artisthood and buddhahood ("maybe have a baby"). at the end he meets the beavers, who explain to him the naturalness of their dam ("bet you never saw a beaver like me before motherfucker").

but joe's not quite there; he comes back exhausted ("amazing"). finally, the doowop quartet lets him in on their secret...they collect the boss's cheapo wine bottlecaps, they're the prettiest thing cause they want them to be ("wine"). holding the bottlecap in his hand, joe maybe gets it.

with kenny rudzinski, trumpet on "song of the south"