meanwhile1.jpgmeanwhile1.jpg

Down With the Ship: Lyrics, etc…

1)Sleeping Through The Alarm Again

Story:
I heard a really great (or at least I remember it as really great) electronic song in a music store. As I recall, it had a slow plodding bass line going underneath a heavily processed vocal loop, the vocals having to do with being some sort of ship’s captain, I think. I have no idea who the song was by, but it made me want to write a slow, plodding electronic song. This is the result. My friend heard this track and said it sounded like gangsta rap. Oh well.

2)Talking

Lyrics:
Hello. Thank you for coming. We have so much to talk about and so little time. But I think if we work together, we can get everything covered. Let’s start with the hook… Oh I am talking, yes I am talking, oh I am talking to… 2 steps forward and 1 step back and left at the place that you got lost last time. Your friends want to help you learn to trick yourself but they still can’t lie, scream “You’re no help, fuckers!” Why you running up and down the stairs last night? You’re looking for Lars? That’s right. I can see your house from here well I can see your house from here. Everybody listen please, give me your attention please, I got a special message that was written just for you, you see. All you mickey fickeys got to sing along. Say, “I’m taller than I’m wide and I’m wider than I’m long.” Oh I am talking, yes I am talking, said I am talking to you. Who was out in the street last night, dancing in the moonlight giving you chills? Well I didn’t mean to scare you but I really don’t care. You know, if you don’t get it by now, you never will. Going down with the blood in your mouth meet the man out there, he looks at you and he says, “Yes I broke through doing covers of show tunes. Tallest man alive and I’m happy to know you. I spend my days as a hotel clerk. Oh man, goddamn, you made me late for work!” Oh I am talking… Talking in your sleep with a mouth full of shark’s teeth you don’t know are there cuz you can’t see. But everybody says that you could leave if you want, just get up out of that hotel/motel bed and keep going, you’ll be gone before you know it. You scared of that fucking tall clerk? You don’t show it. Walking home in the middle of the street, well you don’t hear the cars and you’re staring at your feet. And I don’t want to be the one to take you down, feed you to the dirt that is filling up your mouth. Oh I am talking to you.

3)What’s Best

Lyrics:
Well, I remember that I woke up this morning. Well, I remember the sky dripped to the ground. Til I walked across the lawn and I was gone. You’ll never know just how I felt this morning (I can prove what I saw). And I could never prove a thing, but you know what is best for me and I know what’s best for you. I sat right down to eat my lunch and now I see you everywhere. Well, I ate the days and months and years and now I’m seeing you again. I remember the times I died this morning. I remember the way you bailed me out. And now the yard has opened up to let me in (let me in). You pushed my spine in place this morning (I can prove what you saw). And you could never prove a thing, but you did what’s best for me.

Story:
How I usually write a vocal melody is: I play the song and sing some improvised lyrics over it till I find a melody I like. Then I write real lyrics that fit that melody. But what I did for lots of these songs was to just keep the words that I originally improvised. This is one of those songs. I wasn’t thinking about what I was saying especially, but in retrospect, I suppose these words are about my girlfriend. (Does this mean that I am secretly romantic? …No! “I remember the times I DIED this morning!” That is scary! DIED?! Youch! What a spooky song! You are creeped out! You do NOT think it is cute or sweet!)

4)Long Gone

Lyrics:
I am here in front of you and I’m here behind you. Well, maybe you’re not looking or maybe you’re already blind. Sing dollars, rinse and die. Squashed between the thumb and the forefinger, I find nothing could move faster than the weight of the hand on the thigh. And if you’re still feeling homesick, stare into the lightbulb and you’ll burn out the light in the sky.

5)A Song For Picnic Singing

Lyrics:
Let’s meet for lunch, and lunch is 12 o’clock. Eat in the yard, your soup is filled with rain. Pound your fists into the ground. I think my yard would like to eat you whole. 20 feet down, you’re the bogey man, you’re swimming through the dirt like a fish swims through dirt. I can run for 1 mile, I can run for 2 miles, I can run for 3 miles, I can run for 4 miles. And I will. Drawing you up through the straw of my apple tree. Then choking on a turkey bone from your turkey neck. Hanging upside down from your twiggy chicken legs. I can run for 5, 6, 7, 8 miles. And I will. Oh I will.

Story:
I found a tape of cassette 4 track songs I had recorded years ago. Not knowing what was on the tape, I played it in a regular tape player. 4 tracks play tapes at a much faster speed than regular tape players, so the song that played was slowed down a very much lot. I thought the drum loop on the song sounded neat at super slow speed, so I sampled it and built this song on top of it. The end. The lyrics were stream-of- consciousness style once again, but I like to take them at face value. (I don’t know that I can actually run for any miles at all, though, so don’t hold me to that.)

6)Fashion Model/Superstar.

Lyrics:
Oh oh, fashion model. Oh oh, superstar. Don’t you want my sexy sex? Don’t you want my sex, baby? Don’t you want my sexy sex? Don’t you? Don’t you? I know you do cuz I’m a… Oh oh, fashion model. Oh oh, superstar. Look at me baby, well look at me honey. You could’a had me, back when you knew me. I said, look at me baby, look at me honey. You could’a had me, back before I was such a… Oh oh, fashion model. Oh oh, superstar. Fashion model/superstar. Well I’m a superstar.

Story:
My friend Mose Hayward wrote and performed a comedic monologue about a young man who had successfully broken into the fashion model bizniz, and was using this fact to attempt to inspire jealousy and regret in an old love interest. By the end of the monologue, Mr. Hayward had taken off his shirt, and was dancing around the stage chanting “Uh uh! Fashion model! Uh uh! Superstar!” I wanted to preserve the moment. I don’t know if I fully did it justice, but Mr. Hayward doesn’t like my music anyway, so who cares?! Goddammit!

7)Heaven

Lyrics:
Heaven’s round my feet.

Story:
I have some really really awful records of Broadway operettas. I don’t know how old they are (old enough that there aren’t any dates listed anywhere on the records or their packaging), but they are horrible. I can’t stand to listen to more than about a minute of them at a time. …And yet, I love to sample them. I think the women’s voices are terrifying, and I like hearing them howl the same couple words over and over. With this song, I sampled the record as I turned it off, so it’s all warped and warbled. I have no idea what the woman was actually singing when I cut her off, but it sounded like “Heaven’s ’round my feet” to me.

8)Beached

Lyrics:
The roots reach down into the earth. I follow them there, dig for all I’m worth. I find myself back on the beach. Their arms reach high, higher than mine reach.

Story:
Yes, another instance of operetta sampling. Actually, this song marks my very 1st use of sampling ever. I recorded it in 1996, and I didn’t have a sampler or anything, so I did it manually. I think what I did was, I taped a coin to the record, so that the record player’s arm would hit the coin and bounce back, hit the coin and bounce back, endlessly. You can hear in the song that it didn’t always bounce back to the same place, but I think it worked out fine. When I recorded this, I was just messing around. I never intended to release the it. But now, years later, it’s the only song from that era that I still like. Wow.

9)Skin Deep

Lyrics:
You used to keep your sex and violence locked in seperate rooms, now you can’ttell the difference. Blame society or mental illness, not that you could tellthose two apart either. I am still scared to die, but I got all of my bags packed, and I am working through it. Beauty is only skin deep. They say that beauty is only skin deep, but yourskeleton looks pretty good to me. I used to keep my sex and violence locked in seperate rooms, now I can’t tellthe difference. Blame society or mental illness, not that I could tell those two apart either.

Story: This was going to be on “How To Decompose”, but I cut it. I didn’t think it had turned out right. Now it’s probably one of my very favorite King Toad songs ever. I like the guitar parts.

10)Making The Most Of Ourselves

Lyrics:
The tiny cracks in your face, the little holes in your head. I’m gonna take what you gave. You’ll be my blue-light special. We’ll not waste one drop, not one bit what we got. My new plan, I’ll tell: we’ll feed off of ourselves. The tiny cracks in your face, the little holes in your head. We’re slowly drifting away, can’t help from falling apart.

Story:
I recorded this song the 1st summer in my 1st apartment (1997). I redid the vocals for the album, but left the music the same. I do remember what the lyrics are about, but I’m not telling. It’s nasty.

11)Car Parts And Eggshells

Lyrics:
What about the man with the busted up brain hole? I can’t tell you, I don’t know. I need to know about the wires and the lightbulbs, you will talk now. I don’t know about the goddamn car parts, the batteries, lightbulbs. Who you think you’re talking to? It ain’t me, buddy. Thank you, thank you. Keep walking now, brain or holes or no. I don’t want to talk about the busted up car parts, the washed out car parks, thank yous, thank yous. I know the way and I could’a shown you. What’d you hear about the hollowed out eggshells sitting in the window- sill two doors down? Beauty is only skin deep, they say that beauty is only skin deep. Looking for the man with the busted up eggshells, hollowed out eggrolls. I will talk now: You never seen the one but you’ve seen the other one and you think you might be wrong, but you’ve never been before. So you try it and you like it and you keep it and it works, in the way that a broken down, useless piece of shit works. Which is to say this again and again and again and again and again. What?

12)Out Cold

Lyrics:
I hear you talking. Where you been hiding? I’ve forgotten where I’ve been. I hear you talking. Where you been hiding? Yes, it’s so nice, this grey and white. I’m here all the time, I’m there all the time, and in thousands of places. If I could rest here a lifetime a year, and keep my perspective. I hear them talking. It pulls me back out and I’m moving away from here. I wish I could find you. Where are you hiding? I feel so far from anything.

Story: Last summer I smashed my thumbnail and passed out. I’m told I was only out for about a minute, but it was a wonderful minute.

13)Gleam

Lyrics:
When you are moving in the daylight I can see your yellow eyes. When you are running in the twilight I can see your yellow eyes. And you go to your homes and you look and you see the faces and you don’t recognize a single one of them. Well that’s the time when I can see your eyeballs glowing like a flame. Said you’re alone, we’re all alone anymore. Said you’re alone but you don’t feel alone so much these days. Say you want to wake up and find yourself in the same place you put yourself the night before. I say I don’t, and do I mean it? Only you know for sure. When you are talking in your sleep then I can see your yellow fangs. You slit my throat when you smile, and I don’t mind. I go to sleep dead each night and am surprised to always wake up again. The spirit is in the flesh and the flesh is in the dirt and the dirt is in the plants is in the plants is in the animals, and you are taking over. You say you are taking over. And who am I to deny that?

Story:
I wanted to write a song with one chord. I guess I’d already done it, but I like the idea. So there it is.

14)A Hurtful Employee

Lyrics:
All the time I gave to you is mine, mine. And all the money you gave to me is mine, it’s mine. All the things we shared together are mine. Here is comes again, here it comes now. I was embarrassed, what I never would do about it. I found it awkward, had to see it through. I was embarrassed and I thought you were, too. All the talking we did together was mine, mine. The attention I gave to you is mine, it’s mine. And all the time we shared together is mine.

15)Rusted Oil Drum

Lyrics:
I’m sleeping in a rusted drum and eating from your hand. I tried to call you Thursday night, but I don’t know how to land. I never done this before. I fell alseep on Friday night and woke up Thursday morning. I wanted to tell you everything, but I had to heed the words you’d given me earlier.

16)Two Steps

Lyrics:
I am always two steps behind you, I live two steps behind you I see your face before the pain comes streaming down now

Story:
2 summers ago I got smashed in the face and blacked out for just a second. But what a second it was!

17)A Picnic For Song Singing

Lyrics:
Well, I don’t want to be on the only side. I don’t want to be the only one to hide. I just want to see you deicide to clap your hands. This is not a choice in the sense you are thinking. Said: I don’t want to be on the only side, standing in the sun when it’s raining outside. I don’t want to be the only one to know your name. Cuz I have (he has) never been anywhere before (oh, let’s bring it on down). The warm evening sky, clearer than it could be, bluer than I have seen in years. Oh, please don’t leave me, please don’t leave me, please don’t. I met a man who said that he had seen this sort of problem before, but he did not seem inclined to help me. I have seen roots of the trees holding you down like twine to the ground. And in four years, nobody will be able to tell you apart from the dirt that they’re walking on. Ha ha.

18)The Silly Duck

Lyrics:
I had a dream to let you by. Oh, damn you. Eyes peeking through, blood boiling grey. And in your fingerprints, you’ll find your heart somehere safe. I would like to meet the ones who’ll show me how to decompose the songs that keep the world stacked neatly. I had to look you in the eye. Oh, God help you.

19)King Toad

Lyrics:
Bigger than you I am, buried by the grains of sand. Can’t get past the size. Windows to the soul, shows you what I know. Or shows the bugs in my eyes.

Story:
These lyrics were written years ago. Just a joke about being frightened by the importance/lack of importance of microscopic organisms, and the corresponding importance/lack of importance of myself.

20)Fever Song

Lyrics:
Hello hello. I do not need to sleep anymore. I have already been. I do not need to eat anymore. I do not know if I could stop this, I do not know if I would want to stop this. I do not need to eat. I do not need to sleep. I do not need.

Story:
I was delirious with fever and hadn’t eaten for 3 days, so I wrote and recorded this song on my cassette 4 track. Obviously, I can see where the “I do not need to eat” part came from, but I’d been sleeping constantly, so I don’t know what I was talking about with “I do not need to sleep”. Silly fever-head.

21)Mary’s Skull

Lyrics:
There are 20 things inside this box that you will never see, and 3 things you might. Well, 1 is a bed spring, 2 is a box turtle, 3rd thing I don’t want to talk about. I don’t want to know about you, and I don’t want you to see me. Do not believe the words that I tell you, do not belive the things that I say. Do not believe the words that I tell you, and stay out of my goddamn way. 1 time, 2 times too many, 3 times, 4 times you’re gone. Mary’s skull can see through me, I see it while I sleep. See it while I’m going away. There are 30 obstacles between me and you, so look out. There are 20 things inside this box to just forget about. I’m not trying to cause trouble! Love potion! It’s a love POTION! Love potion #9.

Story:
I might have had a fever (a different one) when I wrote some of these words, I can’t remember for sure. I DO know that I have no idea what any of the lyrics are about. As for the music, I realized that I write most of my songs on acoustic guitar, and then end up transferring them to electric. So I made a point of starting out on the electric to see if it made a difference. …Did it?

22)606

Lyrics:
When the trolls came and ate my friends, I took a little bite myself. I need to go lie down. You see this? I made this out of exactly what you are thinking. He was gonna kill me. Maybe. It’s hard to see with the sun in your eyes. I have been to restaurants carpeted in layers of dead skin, and watched the ghouls compose themselves one slab at a time. You see I made the best of this. You’re never gonna see me again. See, I made the best of this. I’ve felt the crunch of bones, but thankfully not mine. I stubbed my toe, I bumped my nose. I have to lie down. I’ve been to restaurants carpeted in layers of dead skin. I am running. I am. Well, whatever happened to 606?

Story:
Most of these words came from dreams. I would be very interested to know the meaning (if any) of 606, or why I should wonder what happened to it. Alas, I do not understand.

23)Some These Days

Lyrics:
Sweet dreams.

Story:
I know this song from Charlie Patton’s version. I don’t know where he got it from. My version has less words than Mr. Patton’s.

Hide-a-Track(s)

Turkey In The Straw

Lyrics: Had a little turkey and it wouldn’t lay an egg So I took a little hatchet and I took it’s turkey head And the little turkey hollered and the little turkey said, “I’d be better off alive, you’d be better off dead.” Turkey in the hay Hey hey hey Turkey in the straw Haw haw haw Pick ’em up, put ’em down, anyway at all Ain’t no other turkey like the rukey in the straw Well I knew a little fishy and he couldn’t find a wife So I sliced the little fishy with my little fishing knife And the little fish y hollered and the little fishy cried, “You’d be better off dead, I’d be better off alive.” Turkey in the hay Hey hey hey Turkey in the straw Haw haw haw Round ’em up, move ’em out, anyway at all Ain’t no other turkey like the turkey in the straw

Story: This was originally an instrumental. I just wanted to try to write a song with 10th notes. (Artsy fartsy bastard.) I don’t know how I came upon the idea of turning it into “Turkey In The Straw”. I like it this way, though.

Down With The Ship

Lyrics: I want to live on the ocean floor. I’m going down with the ship. Hey.

Add to Technorati Favorites