Music


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You can listen to the songs in the player above, or right click the title link to download.

 

Architecture

An experiment to mix three different song parts together. This is based on a dream I have had many times over the years. There used to be a geodesic dome house in Westerville, torn down when a road was expanded and diverted. There’s also a house on a ravine in Westerville built in late 1960s angular style I have always loved. These were combined with my love for shopping malls and buildings long gone. The main part of the song, and especially my bass work, were heavily influenced by “Love is the Drug”-era Roxy Music. - Ted

 

Lyrics:

 

There's an an architecture I dream. There's an architecture I dream.
Somebody told me it wasn't the same, so where's the architecture I dream?

Glassy towers block up the skies, modern eyesores for modern eyes.
Somebody pointed out the angles are all right. Brick and mortal block up the skies.

 

This is all a breach in protocol. I'm hardly here at all. I'm in suspense.
Just to get a little smile from you, what do I have to do, to make amends?

 

Brutal buildings and brutal walls, empty factories, dying malls.
More is the pleasure in finding life there. Stars are torches on heaven's walls.

 

This is all a breach in protocol. I'm hardly here at all. I'm in suspense.
Just to get a little smile from you, what do I have to do, to make amends?

 

 

 

Arecibo Ghosts

Arecibo, Puerto Rico is the site of the Arecibo Observatory, an enormous radio telescope. It was seen in the movies Goldeneye and Contact, and an X-Files episode, in which the Arecibo antenna receives a signal from space which turns out to be the audio of the Voyager spacecraft's recording, sent back to us from somewhere else. I first saw it in Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.

 

In an old book about the TV show The Outer Limits, I read about an unfinished and never filmed episode about the people of Earth watching as the stars simply blinked out one by one, signalling the end of the universe. In the alternate history/string-theory comic book Ex Machina, a man gifted with the ability to talk to and command machines discovers that in his presence, radios play a distant signal of a song (by Nirvana) that was never recorded, possibly from another reality, called "The Stars Are Down". His dreams of the end of the world include references to that repeated phrase. Combine all these and imagine the Arecibo antenna receiving a message from itself a decade in the future, warning of the stars blanking out, one by one, as the universe simply fades itself to sleep.

 

I grew tired of this song, finding it sappy and weak, but I learned to like it again when our friend Harold remixed it, while happening to be staying in the city of Arecibo. This is his mix. – Ted

 

Lyrics:

 

We never hear from Pioneer.
Deep star static isn't conversation.
If you listen in your sleep,
Sounds like music from a non-existent station.

 

Stereo Specter... Radio Ghost.
Arecibo's calling... Arecibo's calling.

 

A distant pattern in the noise,
Comes through like whalesong in the ocean.
As Arecibo calls it in,
The voice is trembling with emotion.

 

"Hello hello... the stars are down... the stars are down...
we're going dark... the stars are down... the stars are down..."

 

Stereo Specter... Radio Ghost.
Arecibo's calling... Arecibo's calling.

 

The message faded just as quick.
Not even static in the sky now.
Last one out, turn off the lights,
As Arecibo ends its broadcast day, goodbye, goodbye...

 

"Hello hello... the stars are down... the stars are down...
we're going dark... the stars are down... the stars are down..."

 

Stereo Specter... Radio Ghost.
Arecibo's calling... Arecibo's calling.

 

Arecibo's calling... Arecibo's calling...
Goodbye goodbye... goodbye goodbye...

 

 

 

Culprits

Mike had this guitar riff that he’d held on to for years, and we fleshed it out into a song. I used it as a chance to try to release some of my little demons about problems with OCD and anxiety. “I worry about everything, then worry about that. I’m building anxiety stacks”.  - Ted

 

Lyrics:

 

I keep a lookout, when skies are blue.
What if something should go wrong, do we know what to do?
Out in a crowd, it's like I'm under glass.
Can't we just stay in tonight, until these feelings pass?

 

I can't shake the feeling things are dire.
I can't see the forest for the fire.
I've been worried since the day I first switched on the news.
Confidence is just a game for liars.

 

I keep a lookout, on a sunny day.
I've got suspicions that the rain is on its way.
So long I felt, it was my job to fret.
They say I'm doing better, so I am in your debt.

 

I can't shake the feeling things are dire.
I can't see the forest for the fire.
I've been worried since the day I first switched on the news.

Confidence is just a game for liars.

 

Package and label me, Stamp me with OCD
Worry about everything then worry about that.
Building my Anxiety Stacks.

 

I can't shake the feeling things are dire.
I can't see the forest for the fire.
I've been worried since the day I learned to tie my shoes
Confidence is just a game for liars.

 

 

 

Ghost Girl

I had written an upbeat major-key song influenced by the Jam, called “Latchkeys and Helicopters”, sort of a little tirade about Generation X. It went over like a lead balloon, but I still really liked the tune and fought to keep it. We slowed it down, I put on some echo and chorus, and put it in a minor key, and it sounded sort of like “Head on the Door”-era Cure to us. I wrote the lyrics based on an old (and now public domain) horror film called “Tormented”, which I had seen on Mystery Science Theatre 3000 but always felt would be a great story if acted better. In the film, a man is haunted by the ghost of the woman he spurned and let drown, until she drags him into the waves with her.  That film dovetailed nicely with my love of Robyn Hitchcock’s song “My Wife and My Dead Wife”, which also stars a ghostly drowned woman calling to her lover. - Ted

 

 

Walking beside you, by the angry sea.

It was plain to see you were angry with me.
You waded out into the threatening tide…

One last cruel smile on your face - you didn't even try to hide.

 

It's always the same, you blame me for your situation.
Put that smile away before you cut someone.

It's always the same, always the same, I hear you calling my name in vain.
Ghost girl, won't you leave me alone?

 

I packed up all your things, put the boxes by the door.
Someone came and took them last night, left seawater on the floor.
The fog at my window, the drizzle at your grave.
Unwelcome reminders of the girl I didn't try to save.

 

It's always the same, you blame me for your situation.
Put those tears away before you drown someone.
It's always the same, always the same, I see your face in every windowpane.
Ghost girl, won't you leave me alone?

 

I took a walk down to that fateful beach,

Saw you floating out there just out of reach.
The seaweed in your hair - it looks like a crown.
You reached out and took my hand, Now you're dragging me down (and I'll drown)

 

It's always the same, you blame me for your situation.
Put those tears away before you drown someone, namely me.
It's always the same, always the same, I'm running out of air calling your name,
Ghost girl, don't ever leave me alone...

 

 

Harry Dean Stanton

Mike wrote this one, music (except the bridge) and lyrics, and it’s the only song here that he sings. I had a great deal of fun playing the hopping little bass riffs.   I think I can say it’s about the sense a guy gets when he’s suddenly single and living out of fast food containers and watching too much late night TV. – Ted

 

Lyrics: Unavailable.

 

Parasite

This song has been around for over ten years now. I first wrote it back in maybe 2002, inspired by then-locally-based psychobilly act Thee Invaders. It doesn't exactly sound like the rest of the stuff we play, but it was really fun to play. I also wrote another song back then, called Codename, a spy theme, which we unfortunately never recorded in studio. I still have my old one-man demos of it, though. Maybe it’ll get unmothballed someday. – Ted

 

Lyrics:

 

You're parasitic, you're a parasite.

 

You thrive upon / adoring looks
from all the sad eyes / caught on your hooks
You burrowed down / under her skin
Treated that woman like a / mannequin

 

You're parasitic, you're a parasite.
So hypocritical, to be in the light.

 

You want attention / you mistake it for love
Your kind and kindness fit like / foot in glove
Fooled by your magic / they think you're slick
It's not a talent / it's just a trick

 

You're parasitic, you're a parasite.
So hypocritical, to be in the light.

 

You say you're a victim, I say you're a charlatan.
You're a monster to the ones you love the most.

What makes you tick? What makes you flee(flea)?
What'll make you stop b-b-b-buggin’ me?
If no-one's listening to you boast,
You're a parasite without a host.

 

You're parasitic, you're a parasite.
So hypocritical, to be in the light.

 

       


Populuxe

This one I think we were most proud of. It grew into something so far off from its original inspiration that it became an entirely new creature. The first few lines popped into my head in one piece while first capturing the bass line; I had to Google them to make sure I wasn't just lifting something from someone, they were so complete. I heard them in the voice of Robyn Hitchcock, a big influence on me, and I was sure I was cribbing from him, but I wasn’t.

 

The title is a reference to the Atomic Age architecture that gave us such things as the L.A. Airport and the classic Las Vegas sign. The first verse was simply about false friendship and people’s little power battles. From there, it turned into a litany of 1980’s Cold War fears. The eventual album mix will hopefully include an air raid siren and Ronald Reagan’s “Bombing Russia” open mic gaffe.

 

When played live, this song went into an extended experimental bit called “9183”, the lyrics for which were usually improvised from a set of memories about being a kid and constantly being afraid of World War 3 – and movies such as “The Day After”, “Testament”, “Threads”, “When The Wind Blows”, etc. This came to a head for me in Septmember 1983, during a heated confrontation between Russia and America. Go to Wikipedia and look up KAL-007 if you’re curious.  – Ted

 

Lyrics:

 

Guess what else you get from me? You get nothing. 
Guess what else you get from me? You get nothing. 
With the eyes of a tyrant, mouth of a living doll, pulled on electric threads inside your neck.

You cast such a shadow, I feel like nothing.
You cast such a shadow, I feel like nothing.
With the voice of a siren, and I mean the air raid kind,
I can be civil, but I'm defensive.

 

That was a world away, that was a world away, that was a world away from here.

 

Tiny suns colliding shine us to nothing.
Tiny suns colliding shine us to nothing.
Pull up the console! Nostalgia for future days!
I miss the fears of years gone by.

 

Those days so long ago, they taught me what not to know, taught me just what to hold so dear.
That was a world away, that was a world away, that was a world away from here.

 

In your warm embraces, my fears are baseless.
All the passing faces melt into faceless.
Not really dreaming, just keeping the nightmares at bay.
I feel I've fallen from the tree.

 

Those days so long ago, they taught me what not to know, taught me just what to hold so dear.
That was a world away, that was a world away, that was a world away from here.
Memories of yesterday, I watch them melt away, fin de siecle for today.

 

 


The Jetty

One of the last songs we worked on, it was still very rough at the final recording sessions. There are some bad notes in this. Bad notes. Another experiment in having multiple parts to a song that don’t coda. My voice is a mess on this one, as I recorded the vocals while playing a particularly tricky bass line. The second part of the song is clearly “Let’s Go To Bed” by The Cure.

 

Though I’m a huge fan of the works of Terry Gilliam, I’ve never seen the film “12 Monkeys” from beginning to end. I’ve seen the start in one sitting and the end in another. “12 Monkeys” is based on a short experimental French film “La Jetée” (“The Jetty”, meaning an airport boarding ramp). Also never seen it in one sitting. A man remembers a moment from his childhood, seeing a beautiful woman at an airplane boarding ramp, before a moment of tragedy, and is sent back in time to prevent that moment of tragedy, only to be frozen by the beauty of the woman he saw as a child.  The lyrics are based on that time-travel love and death story. Some lyrics were Babel Fish-ed into butchered French. – Ted

 

Lyrics:

 

It’s history, I left those days behind  /  I hope you live… in interesting times

I want to scale the walls that separate the decades

I want to be… neglected in your eyes

 

I saw you there, so long ago, now all I see, is all I’ll ever know

I remember you like this, a frozen moment

If I delay, I know I’ll never go

 

All those years ago were just to see you

All those years ago, to go, today

Time stops, you look right through me,

Out of phase with you, so here I’ll stay

 

Looks like I’ll have a chance to know you,

Looks like we’ll have a chance to be

More than just two strangers on the tarmac

Je vois ton visage à la jetée.

 

Ton visage à la jetée…

Ton visage à la jetée…

Ton visage à la jetée…

 

There's No Sense

This was originally inspired by a memory from college, and was combined with a re-reading of Stanislaw Lem's Solaris. The sound of constant rain and isolation somehow evoked this. In many ways, this song makes me think of Power Corruption and Lies by New Order. There’s references to Solaris in there, and to the music I listened to in college when I was stuck alone on campus when everyone else went home for break and I stayed in our dorm house alone. - Ted

 

Lyrics:

 

I'm all alone inside this house again
The skies are beautiful and gray
Rheya's ghost is at the door again,
Drowned in the memory of a day that washed away

 

There's no... There's... no sense.
There is no sense in anything, the skies are missing that radiance.

 

Big chair and two and five and seven
The distant highway rush is waves
The floors below sink into darkness
The submarine bells are ringing in the rain

 

There's ... no sense. There's... no sense.
There is no sense in anything, the skies are missing that radiance.

There is no sense in anything, the skies are missing that radiance.

 

I'm all alone inside this house again
The skies are beautiful and gray
Rheya's ghost is at the door again,
The submarine bells are ringing in the rain,
Are ringing in the rain, are ringing in the rain,
Are ringing in the rain, are ringing in the rain...

 

 


Todd's Song

Mike wrote much of this and wrote the core idea of the lyrics. It’s a Pixies pastiche essentially. The lyrics are about a guy Mike knew who moved from city to city because he didn’t ever like where he was living at any moment. My lyrics were inspired by this Todd guy, the staccato lyrics of the Pixies, the bridges and tunnels and subways and trains that cover the East Coast, and also a few bits of Talking Heads: it’s my idea of a parallel to “Cities” and also a flipside to “The Big Country”.

 

Lyrics:

 

I've been to Boston. I didn't like it.
It doesn't matter, 'cause you don't live there anymore.

 

Went to Atlanta. So fucking humid.
I didn't like it, so I don't like there anymore.

 

I've been to DC. It's all historic.
It doesn't matter, cause we don't live there anymore.

 

I moved to Philly. Could not afford it.
I didn't like it, so I don't live there anymore.

 

Oh, all along the seaboard. The country's eastern seaboard,
I, I will make my home. I will make, will make my home.

 

Monongahela, The Allegheny,
I loved Pittburgh, but I don't go there anymore.

 

Went up to New York, will all the hipsters.
I can't afford it, but at least I won't be bored.

 

Oh, all along the seaboard. The country's eastern seaboard,
I, I will make my home. I will make, will make my home.