Das Kapital

sung-spoken, like you know the territory
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The Famous Orchestra performs an allegory of life under Das Kapital at The Hideout, Chicago, Illinois

We’re up in the K’s now, and that’s “K’s” with a capital K, and that stands for “Kapital.” If you know one Viper song, you probably know this one, which has been a mainstay of the act since before the Orchestra, and came about largely as a result of historical accident: I happened to be reading Marx’s Capital Vol. I the same summer I was learning “Trouble” from The Music Man to sing at my mother’s 35th high school reunion. So I wrote a summary of the former and put it in the mouth of (to paraphrase John Mulaney re: his Sack Lunch Bunch algebra tutor as played by UW-Madison alum André De Shields) a con man who saves your soul despite himself.

The reference track is from our 2000ish studio recording, Everything for Everyone.

The Viper & His Famous Orchestra, “Das Kapital,” Everything for Everyone, 2022

Want it faster? Here’s an R-rated live version I think from Mike & Molly’s in Champaign in August of 2009:

The Viper & His Famous Orchestra, “Das Kapital,” live at Mike n’ Molly’s, August 2009 (many thanks, Rod Blagojevich)

And in the small-band-within-the-big-band tradition of Artie Shaw’s Gramercy Five, Tommy Dorsey’s Clambake Seven, the Benny Goodman Sextet, or Cootie Williams and His Rug Cutters, here’s The Viper & His Second String, featuring just 5 strings and just 5 arms (John’s second arm was in a cast at the time) The Viper & His Second String playing it at the 19th Street Coffee House in Milwaukee a year later.

The Viper & His Second String, “Das Kapital,” live at the 19th Street Coffee House, Milwaukee, WI, May 2010

the kind of music your great-great-great-grandparents warned your great-great-grandparents about