The Great Stupidity
A 3-D Book Experience
"Laced with silly, irreverent humor, the book is a mix of Monty Python and Mel Brooks, with comical anachronistic dialogue. The characters are instantly relatable and likeable, and the funniest bits are squarely aimed at dogma and bigotry, relevant to either side of today's political divide." -Blueink Reviews (Click for Full Review)
"A funny, respectful sendup of the unpredictable responses to a widespread plague."
-Kirkus Reviews Click for Full Review
"There’s something so delightfully contrarian about Andy Lazris’ new, as he calls it, three-dimensional reading experience that is The Great Stupidity, [an] unhinged, chaotic, and creatively anarchistic experience.... Lazris certainly knows how to put on a good show, the writing thrusts you into painful, visceral description scapes that will leave your head spinning and your heart racing."
-Colin Jordan, Rapidfire Review
When the Black Death strikes a small village in France, the village leaders send a blacksmith's son to find the other half of Saint Ambrose's toenail which was stolen from their artifact collection, thinking that it is the reason for the plague. On his way, the boy meets many who "know" how to cure it, from Flaggelates who whip themselves, to zealots who seek to kill Jews, to scientists who wave their hands and build 6 foot walls, to the Pope and the Great Frenchie himself. He meets two friends and together they negotiate the land of death and crazy to finally realize that nothing makes any sense but their own friendship. A black comedy with 12 songs, the book is an historical mirror through which to view ourselves, because when it comes down to it, nothing really changes.
Professional Song Reviews
Review by Andre Avanessian, Composer
Soldiers of France: "Balancing a brilliantly understated vocal performance with a distinct sense of lyrical maturity, "Soldiers of France" is both a smart and articulate folk tune that does what all great folk tunes do, make you stop and have a good ponder. I think it's safe for me to say that the lyrics take front and center stage in "Soldiers of France" and it's clear that a tremendous amount of time and intrinsic understanding have gone into their crafting. As with many a strong folk tune, the emphasis is squarely on the lyrics and the vocal performance that brings them to life, and it's great to hear the poignancy of the lyrics be equally matched by a strong lead vocal performance that does a very fine job of articulating them."
Reviews by Jon Wright, music educator
The Sciency Song: “Andy Lazris' original tune "The Sciency Song" offers a narrative from the perspective of a self-centered and fame-obsessed scientist, The Great Frenchie - utilizing Anti-Folk inflections and a bubbly tone to illustrate the egomaniacal antagonist in a friendly, farcical light! The simple sweetness of the recording artist is infectiously engaging, giving the experience a sense of levity and lightness in spite of the monstrous villain described by the song's lyrical content! Lovely moments of vocal harmony accentuate the tune and give bits of depth and color to the track."
The Steps of Fate: "Here, the instrumentation grants the monologue a sense of righteous confidence, or duty-bound delivery that fully endears the character and embraces the silliness of the situation. The use of organ and glockenspiel really help to give "The Steps of Fate" a religious seriousness in spite of the delicate and playful applications - drawing listeners into an empathetic space before the lyrics even fully register. Somber sounds of organ and gently strummed guitar grant the tune a sense of piousness and purity - highlighted by simple bells for added sincerity and sweetness!"
Dip, Dip, Halleluiah: "Playing with the dissonance of piety in a time of crisis, "Dip, Dip, Hallelujah" comes across as a jangly, cheerful advertisement for spiritually-infused remedies to reverse the physical malady known as The Mortality in Andy Lazris' upcoming musically-infused book, The Great Stupidity!Playful innocence characterizes the artist's voice as they outline a long list of relics turned to remedies for sale - creating a clever contrast between the energy of the music and the sinister sort of implications of the lyrical prose! This juxtaposition is engaging and memorable, and the resultant chorus of "Dip, Dip, Hallelujah" is guaranteed to be an instant earworm for most listeners!"
Just Don't Fart: "Juxtaposed against the soulful sounds of a singer-songwriter, "Just Don't Fart" manages to highlight the farcical while also tugging at listeners' emotional drives for a memorable addition to the multi-dimensional experience of The Great Stupidity. The performing artist on "Just Don't Fart" manages to deliver the song's lyrics in a profound way - really elevating the tune beyond simple satire! The result is a track that both mocks the perspective and opens the listener's sense of empathy - showcasing just how easily we delude ourselves into such specific methods of living."
Half Ain't Wholey: "Playing on the true-to-life superstitious nature of the crisis-addled masses, "Half Ain't Wholey" sets the the backdrop for the protagonist's call to adventure in Andy Lazris' The Great Stupidity. Vocally reminiscent of Anti-Folk, but with a structure and instrumental sound that conjure images of hard-faced congregants with noses in hymnals, "Half Ain't Wholey" comes across as a bit Folky, a bit funny, and a lot like a marching cadence! Pleasant and even playful vocal harmonies mingle over a marching snare and plodding piano to elicit images of marching to war, duty-bound and dire in the light of mass tragedy."