Pelicanman: Planet Chernobyl

Planet Chernobyl. Poem, libretto, opera. There’s more than one Planet Chernobyl. You’ll find that here, in the words of poet Charles Plymell, the vision of bassist Mike Watt and the orchestrations of singer/composer Petra Haden. 

Pelicanman—the band of two, featuring Haden and Watt—is sharing a preview of Planet Chernobyl, the 15-part opera with a libretto by poet Charles Plymell.  Stream Part 1 today, April 26, which happens to be both Plymell’s 88th birthday and the anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. 

Planet Chernobyl will be available everywhere on June 16 in digital, CD, and vinyl formats, including a limited edition blue marble vinyl pressing. The album features artwork by Tanya Haden.  Pre-order a copy now from our online shop or from our Bandcamp store.

For more information about "Planet Chernobyl", read an in-depth overview from Benito Vita at Watt's Hoot Page
Pelicanman "Planet Chernobyl"
Parts 1 - 15
Recorded by Petra Haden and Mike Watt at their own separate pads
Mixed by Mike Watt and Petra Haden at studio tHUNDERpANTS
Produced by Petra Haden and Mike Watt
Mastered by Cian Riordan
Vinyl master by John Golden at Golden Mastering
Photo of Plymell by Mark Reinertson
Photos of Haden & Watt by Steven Perilloux
Art by Tanya Haden
"Planet Chernobyl" libretto by Charles Plymell
part 1:
Radioactive waves upon California shores, on our watch, in our blood. Oil spills, forever in our waters. Oh, brothers and sisters in catastrophic universe, catastrophic man. Oh, brothers and sisters, catastrophic man.

part 2:
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fukushima. Chernobyl energy greed. Contaminated land and sea, ignoring, Mother Earth's plea. Silent radioactive death falls on nature, neon, suburban ennui.

part 3:
The mountains of Kentucky blue grass, flattened into chemically-poisoned streams. Radiation oozes cancer whispers in Paducah, West Virginia, all politician's pockets burn, to nowhere in Dakota.

part 4:
There is no sarcophagus large enough to contain, death that binds, all living creatures contaminated, transformed to death entwined, the viruses and bacteria, the germs unseen in chemical dead time.

part 5:
A string of paper dolls on a clothesline hung, best minds the age began, giant shovel claw dug in sacred earth maw. Stirred spirits that lay buried demons loose in minds of war, arms and energy prevailed, toxic greed earth in travailed, in ignorance and bliss, irreversible invisible Holocaust years.

part 6:
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fukushima and Chernobyl lay invisible net, for the homeless in cardboard shelters to clean up for token pay, liquidators in Belarus kill life for vodka and medal from the state.

part 7:
Last gasp plutonium and chemicals dying in catastrophic universe, great to grasp for endangered life of rhinos, elephants, penguins, seals, whales, dolphins, dogs, cats, men, women and the pelicans.

part 8:
The black flag of time waves sub-atomic particles and endless grime, Kentucky blasted, Dakotas and Canada mountains gone in strip mine, abandoned cattle bawling for water with gas leaking in toxic brine.

part 9:
The devil closes the prison door, sweet mother I can no longer mind the store, bring the dosimeter and gun, eyes like fish, the dead bird of Sappho washed ashore.

part 10:
On pristine beaches no more, or beautiful ghost lake of Karachay, new Ferris wheel in Belarus radioactive seat on top, never used, all manner of deception, men with foam on their lips killing animals.

part 11:
On hills and mountains of poison they bury the earth within the earth, kerosene mixed with bleach keeps the skin from sticking to pillows at night, when the hollow children's hearts pump, heavily in lost dream, heavily in lost dream.

part 12:
Hanford toxic site, two hundred miles around more than town to town, where cowboy put the mustang down, grazing on bad ground because railroad dick man of old now, government clone to him told.

part 13:
Death thrown into the sea Pompeii, in mobspeak they say, make it simple, let the radioactive waste swim with fishes. Contaminated ships sunk in Mediterranean waters, where all marine life dies, beyond count after European Union restricts dumping toxins, toxins, toxins.

part 14:
Water in great Columbia River cools reactor coils until it boils. The engineering was marvelous, "Just amazing. Did heat the water a bit", official engineer exclaimed, as feathers on a Chieftain's headband drip, in ruptured tomes where white man buries earth in the earth and dumps.

part 15:
Government speak into the seas, of fatal dose, of half-million half-lives, once pure water under heavens, marked where jet streams cross the sky, in droves and no one knows, the smell of navels in ancient orange groves.