ONO - Red Summer LPAmerican Dreams Records
ONO began Red Summer in 2015 and finished three years later. It is a record about Chicago, racial violence, and the long arm of history, starting with events as distant - and relevant - as 1619, the year the Dutch ship Pearl filled with African slaves appeared on the American East Coast. This is where the record begins - the unsettling, carnivalesque overture “20th August 1619.” Frontperson Travis begins “SOLD! 23 ‘Negars!’ N-E-G-A-R-S!! FIELD ‘Negars’ good as Gold! Money down!” It’s a jarring moment, but what’s not jarring about the arrival of slavery? Ono frequently packages disturbing lyrics or content into absurd, even catchy songs. Take the groovy funk track “I Dream of Sodomy,” an ONO live staple for nearly six years. P Michel’s earworm bassline is a persuasive siren, so much so that when the chorus - “I Dream of Sodomy” repeated multiple times - hits, somehow it’s hard.