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Shrink Wrap

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Shrink wrap is to packaging what frames are to paintings... or so I thought when I wrote this song in 2008. It's really just a commentary on how "content" is validated by its "packaging" or frame. I actually recorded two versions of this song; in the end, I incorporated some of the first version into the second (you can hear the first version under the introductory narration in the video, but not the mp3). The video itself consists mostly of me getting my hair cut by Joe Petrillose on Linden Avenue. Joe worked there with his father Tony, who continued working at the barbershop well into his 90s. The activity of cutting hair represents, I suppose, a "packaging" strategy for young professors. Videography by Susan Schwartz (with some meat shots by Rob Ochshorn).

Shrink Wrap
Words and music © 2008 J. Ochshorn

1. shrink wrap is to packaging as frames are to paintings
lending some sort of credibility to what's inside
stretched over content glistening and tight
making legitimate all that might have seemed suspect in its own pale light

2. shrink wrap is different from, lets say, Saran Wrap™
which can't ever seem to transcend what it is — a mere plastic layer
marred by those creases or corners not sticking there
peeling away like a time bomb that's ticking where fingers pressed together as if in prayer

3. i've brought some items home — opened, rejected them
shrink wrap discarded left creaking in garbage pails next to left-over meals
with wax paper inserts box tops and carrot peels
return lines have taught me just how it feels with package exposed, contents revealed

4. such loss of perfection has left me gazing, distracted
yet seeking redemption with my credit card ready — yes it's all above board
while stockroom employees plug in the power cord
wrap it up again, they're implored, as it was in the beginning — aura restored

Production notes:
Song was arranged, produced, and recorded on Garageband software by J. Ochshorn. All instruments and vocals by J. Ochshorn. Instruments include some software instruments (e.g., drums and bass) played live on a midi keyboard by J. Ochshorn.
Recorded at home in Ithaca, NY, February 2008.