The Battle of Hampton Roads

Album: The Monitor (2010)
  • The Monitor is the second studio album by New Jersey Indie rock band Titus Andronicus. The LP is based loosely on the American Civil War, singer Patrick Stickles explained to the NME: "It doesn't take place in olden times, nor does it necessarily feature any characters that participated in that conflict. Really, it is a record about how the conflicts that led our nation into that great calamity remain unresolved, and the effect that this ongoing division has on our personal relationships and our behaviour and how they're all out to get us (or maybe not?) and yadda yadda yadda."
  • The album title is a reference to the USS Monitor, the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy, and this epic 14-minute track refers to the battle between the Monitor and the CSS Virginia, which took place on March 8–9, 1862. The release date of the record is according to Stickles, the band's "way of celebrating the 148th anniversary of this historic event."
  • The Battle of Hampton Roads was arguably most important naval battle of the American Civil War from the standpoint of the development of navies, its major significance being that it was the first meeting in combat of ironclad warships. Both sides claimed victory but present-day historians agree that the result was victory for neither.
  • The lettering of the album title on the CD cover is taken from an actual letter written by Abraham Lincoln.
  • The album features guest appearances by various friends of Patrick Stickles portraying various historical figures in spoken word parts. They include Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn and Vivian Girls guitarist Cassie Ramone who play Walt Whitman and Jefferson Davis, respectively. Stickles explained the casting of the Hold Steady singer to Spinner UK: "Craig Finn was an easy one, because Walt Whitman was one of my favorites for the time period, representing a unique and important thing in that time. Craig is a really great guy, really very open and magnanimous. I think Walt Whitman would have appreciated what he called the adhesiveness of his character. Furthermore, he's definitely in the top tier of lyricists today, and Walt Whitman was obviously the premier poet of that time, in my mind. And [Finn] lives in Brooklyn, and that's where Walt Whitman was from, so it's pretty much a slam dunk, as far as I'm concerned."
  • There's a lot going on in this 14-minute track. Ponytail guitarist Dustin Wong performed the guitar solo, and there are also a horn section and even bagpipes, which were played by Brett Bondar, a resident of New Paltz, New York, where the album was recorded.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Benny MardonesSongwriter Interviews

His song "Into The Night" is one of the most-played of all time. For Benny, it took him to hell and back.

90s MetalFact or Fiction

Test your metal - Priest, Maiden, and Beavis and Butt-head show up in this one.

Which Restaurants Are Most Mentioned In Song Lyrics?Song Writing

Katy Perry mentions McDonald's, Beyoncé calls out Red Lobster, and Supertramp shouts out Taco Bell - we found the 10 restaurants most often mentioned in songs.

Neal Smith - "I'm Eighteen"They're Playing My Song

With the band in danger of being dropped from their label, Alice Cooper drummer Neal Smith co-wrote the song that started their trek from horror show curiosity to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Does Jimmy Page Worship The Devil? A Look at Satanism in RockSong Writing

We ring the Hell's Bells to see what songs and rockers are sincere in their Satanism, and how much of it is an act.

Famous Singers' First FilmsSong Writing

A look at the good (Diana Ross, Eminem), the bad (Madonna, Bob Dylan) and the peculiar (David Bowie, Michael Jackson) film debuts of superstar singers.