The Drag

by The Drag

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This is the first release by the improvising collective, The Drag, led by Sarah Marie Hughes. The album is a collection of improvisations, some free and some structured, that are inspired by Baltimore and the political and social climate of 2016 - 2019. The album includes Hughes' poetry and interpretations of her graphic scores. The ensemble has an eerie telepathy; probably a result of the highly sensitive natures of each of its members. The music is emotional, descriptive, raw, rebellious, and immersive. Post production additions and choices by engineer Garrett Long give the album a cohesion and flow, while allowing each track to speak for itself. Many thanks to Garrett, Tristan, and the Watermelon Room for their openness and creative and supportive energies.


released December 24, 2019

Sarah Marie Hughes - alto and soprano saxophones, flute, vocals, recorder, bells, poetry, graphic scores

Samuel Burt - bass clarinet

Joseph Leo Arkfeld - moog, keyboard, bells/percussion, voice

Steven Arnold - bass, keyboard, brushes, bells, voice

Recorded/Mixed/Mastered by Garrett Long at the Watermelon Room / Baltimore, MD/August 28th, 2019
Assistant Engineer - Tristan Heles


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The Drag Washington, D.C.

The Drag is an improvising collective led by Sarah Marie Hughes on alto and soprano saxophones, flutes, and vocals. She is joined on this album by Samuel Burt on the bass clarinet, Joseph Leo Arkfeld on moog and keyboard, and Steve Arnold on bass and brushes. ... more

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Track Name: Monopoly House
Monopoly House by Sarah Marie Hughes

Change me to your beer pong playing
2020 Trump up baby.
Money hungry
Monopoly house,
Quiet as a girly mouse.
Open up my see-through blouse
With a push up bra.
Origami fixture for your
Blind pub crawl.
Then turn me around
And call me a whore
So you can grab me
Without closing the door
To your idea of your freedom self.
I'm on your shelf
For all to see
And the baby you bestow on me
I'll have regardless--
No choice in your harness.
Collecting your tarnish
'Til i feel hardly human.
Track Name: What Is Serious?
What is serious?
What is art?
What is my art?
Am I a serious artist?
Am I serious?
What is serious?
What matters?
What is the matter?
Is it a serious matter?
Where is the love?
Why does it hurt?
How can I help?
How can I love?
Who cares for you?
Who cares for me?
Track Name: Broken World
Hi folks, this one's called "Broken World".

I don't take my future seriously.

How do I live in this society?


Why do I feel like I'm dying?

How to breach the clouds?
Track Name: What Is Serious? II
What is serious?
What is art?
What is my heart?
Am I serious?
Artists, am I serious?
What is serious?
What matters?
What is the matter?
Is it a serious matter?
Where is the love?
Why does it hurt?
Track Name: Choices
Give me your reality
you try mine and then we'll see
who really is the one we need
and who is one to bury deep.

Speak with my tone just for today
sing my tune and then we'll say
which voice is to be kept at bay
and which is to be lifted.

Try my eyes on in the sun
see my daily pigeon run
search the faces of the ones
who join me in my cages.

Meet my people for a day
take stock in every glance my way
the truth that you are bound to say--
each look was purely granted.

Whose life is more enchanted?
Track Name: The Saleswoman
Um, so
My phone number is 410-800-7XXX.
Figures that I was randomly given an 800 number--
I've been trying to sell the idea of me
To myself and to others
For a long, long time.

I was never just unconsciously me
Because I thought You were looking at me.
Constantly performing for you and never just existing
Because I was always hiding the hatred in my heart.

How could I risk you finding
How <awful> I really am?
Too many times I've not been able to respond to you in a timely fashion--
My mouth blocked by all of the un-shareable thoughts
That my broken organs throw up my throat.

How do you use these things?

That's definitely not right...
Track Name: Cancer Dancer
Cancer Dancer answer the question:
How do you feel inside?
Hard to tell,
For all your friends are feeding on your lies.
Limitless ownership of your consequences...
Virulence remains obscured.
In constant limbo, pain ignored
As false
And too pervasive to be loved.

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