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credits

released December 31, 2011

jake krohn guitar & drums
halim beere violin
david green guitar
lonnie wilson bass
remco vander heide bass
lewie fitz drums
matt acuff vocals
nora loreto vocals

Recorded in my apartment, mostly. Thanks to my generous friends for their time and effort. Also thanks to Carol Kresling, Amy McGann, Jesse Greener, Lindsay Dwelley, Mike Gervasi, Raf Fiol & Kompoz, Sarah Sandin, Svein Mikkelsen, Matt Harris, Johnny Moreno, Melodyne pitch correction software & Paul Millspaugh. And Adi Ashburner, Tyler Quiring & Matt Robinson. They should all be rewarded for their help, not stigmatized. It’s a shame they’ll be stigmatized.

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Matt Kresling Los Angeles, California

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Track Name: Church of Summer
It’s so good of you to be concerned,
in shirts and ties and oh-so-earnestly,
but I’ll take modernity.

I won’t be sending money
and I won’t be spending Sunday with you,
so you go tell Him about Me.

My attendance is fine at the
Church of the Latter Days of Summer.
Praise the Eel River—
let it baptize me.
And I’ll worship Our Lady of Constant Sunburn.
She’s the one true god-
damn thing I can believe.

So are you a man on a mission
or a salesman on commission,
and am I acquaintance or acquisition to you?

You say you just want to help the helpless,
and on its surface that sounds selfless,
but your central purpose is to help us help you.

I imagine that if one
subscribes to doctrine that defies good sense,
a rising subscription rate improves one’s confidence,
and everyone you convince is proof in its defense,
as if popularity amounts to evidence.
But contrast the empty pews in church this Sunday
hence
with the crowds at the beach
who have heard the Good News of the
Church of the Latter Days of Summer.
Blessed are the surfers—let them baptize me.
And I’ll worship Our Lady of Constant Sunburn.
She’s the one true goddamn thing,
the one true goddamn thing,
the one true god-
damn thing I can believe.
Track Name: Let Your Hair Go Gray
Tresses of a girl
framing corpse-like face,
fooling no one.
Let your hair go gray.

Eye-catching color,
just not in the way
that you think it is.
Let your hair go gray.

The measure of acceptance
of your actual age
is called wisdom.
Let your hair go gray.

Who do you think you’re fooling?
Who do I think I am?
Just someone who loves you as you are. (x3)

Proved beyond disproving,
yet still needing validation?
Paul McCartney,
let your hair go gray.
Track Name: Our Turn Beneath the Wheel
Metal, metal to horizon,
sea of cars and level rising.
Driving to our own demise
into its metal jaws and headlight eyes.

But it’s not over yet,
while there’s still hope for a
dystopia,
dystopia.

The car killed the age of horses
and tempted men with the fruits of contoured steel
and now it’s our turn beneath the wheel
(but even our extinction beats walking).

As the air itself begins to darken
and the neighbor’s omen won’t stop barking,
can you look around and say it’s working?
The road to hell is paved…
and parking’s terrible,
horrible.
Is there still hope for a
dystopia?
Dystopia, dystopia.

The horse and carriage succumbed to car and driver
and soon we’ll understand how that must feel
when it’s our turn beneath the wheel
(but even our extinction beats cycling).

It happens slowly, so slowly
no one knows what’s gone.
In a true dystopia,
no one notices what’s wrong.
You don’t notice,
baby, you don’t notice—
you’ve got your headset on.

What kind of backwards fool endorses
whatever the alternate course is?
It was worse when we relied on horses;
embroiled in our wars for hay.

Charge at thrice the speed of horses,
as if we fear that someone else may steal
our turn beneath the wheel.
Track Name: Hand of a Woman
I stood in the street last night
and watched the wet hand of a woman
take shampoo from her bathroom windowsill.
What I hoped was the hand of a woman,
what I hope was the hand of a woman.
Track Name: Eureka Oh God Eureka
It wasn’t always overcast and gray,
and long before the sky was filled with wires,
before the scent of rubber tires and gasoline
became its signature,
a Yankee clipper moored in Humboldt Bay,
the crewmen all along the rail admiring
the redwoods growing to the waterline.
They said, “All this paradise is missing
is an indian massacre.”

And the fog that settled then
still hasn’t lifted today.

Eureka oh god Eureka,
should have left it the way
that they found it, oh
Eureka oh god Eureka,
oh no.

The lumber barons of the town became,
like the feudal lords from whom they were
descended,
resentful of the trespass of the citizens
across their wilderness,
so they leveled it for lumber for the frames
of mansions more easily defended;
something everyone can share
from the window of a tourbus.
And we’ve got a name for their plunder:
our architectural heritage.

And the rain that started then
still hasn’t let up today.

Eureka oh god Eureka,
should have left it the way
that they found it, oh
Eureka oh god Eureka,
oh no.

Look what you’ve done,
O pioneers.
Watch the bars let out,
hear the shouts of your spawn in your ears.
This parking lot, this curbside waterbed frame:
is this what you hoped would appear
when you first came ashore?
This laundromat, this Sears?
When you first came ashore?
This mill of souvenirs?
This towering forest of billboards?
Put your disappointment here.

It appears now the West will be lost,
the same way it was won.

It started back then and we
haven’t stopped building today
Eurekas, oh god, Eurekas,
what for?
Eurekas, no god, Eurekas,
no more.
Track Name: I Can Tell From Your Pictures
I can tell from your pictures
I can tell from your pictures
I can tell from your pictures
that my life has been empty.

I can tell from your pictures
that my life has been empty.

What a varied life you lead
in places I may never go.
Oh, what a nice-looking family.

Here is every photograph
in which I look amazing;
my windowsill lined with my trophies.

Look at all the things I’ve done,
some that I myself have missed
taking photos like scalps for my friends to see.

What once was an afterthought—
‘Oh, let’s get one of the group!’
(and then forget).
Now it’s the raison d’être.

Let me hear everyone just admit:
‘I can tell from your pictures
that my life has been empty.’
Track Name: New York Friend
No, her father musn’t know.
She tells him that she won’t
be going anywhere.
And oh, her brother mustn’t hear.
I can’t come to the door—
she’ll meet me in Times Square.

So what am I to make of her pretending
she hardly even knows me?
It doesn’t take a cynic to surmise
that if she’s lying to her brother
and she’s lying to her father,
it’s likely that she’s lying to her friend.

But no, I just don’t understand.
I don’t know how they are—
it’s all so complicated.
And tonight, I can come to the apartment—
her family took the car
to their house upstate.

So what, do I think I am the exception,
the one with whom she’s honest?
I’d have to be a fool to not surmise
that if she’s lying to her brother
and she’s lying to her father,
it’s likely that she’s lying to her friend.

If she’s lying to her brother
and lying to her father,
it’s likely that she’s lying to her friend.
Track Name: Old Man You Won't Live
Here is a man, to begin:
his malevolent eyes and his wax figure skin
sliding off of his skull as it tips off its holder.
Jaundiced without and within,
trunk bent at the waist from the weight
of the chips on his shoulder.

Everybody’s debating his legacy
but it’s too soon to assess the wreckage
amid the wreckage;
and it’s too soon for forgiveness.

Old man, you won’t live long enough to
see all the damage you did.
Old men never live long enough to
see all the damage they do.

Contemptuous and pitiless,
inflexible and bigoted, obstructionist
and bitter and blind.
Still you have to feel sorry for them:
they can hardly still manage to kick us
and pull up the ladder behind them.

And if you still believe that wisdom
is the function of age,
here is the proof it is not:
your school board, supervisor, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Honor your elders for what?
The fools in the Senate, Court, city council, and the
head spot at your dinner table—for what?
For what? For what?

Who’d give a man whose ideals were fixed in 1970
authority over us in 2010?
Who’m I kidding?
That’s all we’ve got.
Old men who won’t live long enough to
see all the damage they did.

But now, it can’t be long now…
but oh, how long has it been
since our first predictions of how
it can’t be much longer?
I’m afraid, I’m afraid, I’m afraid
that the only consolation we have is:
old man you won’t live.
Old man you won’t live.
Track Name: Woodley Island Sailors
We may not have the chance to make mistakes
like this again.

Someday you’ll envy
the Woodley Island sailors
who stare at the water
and think of what they’ve done,
‘cause when you try staring
all that you’ll remember is when
we had the chance to make mistakes
and didn’t.
Track Name: Ghost of the House We Shared
Jacket hung where she left it,
her second-hand chair.
Here’s the spot where we said what
we ought to have left unsaid.
A box of pain still stashed
beneath this bed.
She left her books,
but made a gap on a shelf in the head
of this young ghost
in the house we shared.

It’s been weeks, maybe more,
since the drapes have been drawn.
The lawn isn’t mowed,
and the bike with the basket is gone.
And if you’ve happened
to glance up from the road,
perhaps you’ve caught
a glimpse of the shape inside
not moving on
of the ghost of the house we shared.

Damned to wander room to room,
serving his penance, paying
for words he meant but can’t remember saying,
at twice the rent that he wants to,
and it’s haunting him.

Is that a dress on the line?
All the cobwebs are gone,
along with the sign advertising
the room to let.
He’s got some new blood
to exorcise that debt.
He’s feeling fine,
but doubts he’ll ever begin to forget
about that ghost,
that sweet young ghost,
about the ghost of the house we shared.
Track Name: Sleep In A Bed Different Than The One You Woke In
Sleep at last despite the din
through the window overhead
from an unfamiliar street.
What wonderful strange linen
with a hint of unknown smoke.
Asleep in a bed different
than the one you woke in.
Sleep in a bed different
than the one you woke in.

Strangeness is its own reward.
Exchange the walls you’ve known,
for the feeling in the neck
when you fail at first to recognize
the person who just spoke
asleep in the bed different than
the one you woke in.
Sleep in a bed different than
the one you woke in.

Satisfy your need for shelter
and adventure at one stroke;
sleep in a bed different than
the one you woke in.

Never mind if it’s of roses
or of nails or solid oak,
sleep in a bed different than
the one you woke in.

When your old bedroom feels like prison
and your headboard like a yoke;
the feel of your springs like knives
and your sheets like sand;
when the water left
on the nightstand
tastes like so much nothing,
sleep in a bed different than
the one you woke in.
Sleep in a bed different than
the one you woke in.