There was a twister, and the twister pulled off a whole side of this great big Victorian house, pulled the filthy pink siding and full sheets of plywood and strands of contorted insulation right off it, and there were forks and dishes and serving trays and kitchen knives and chairs and splintered table leaves all up in the swirl. And inside that open wound a small room regaled with tarot cards and crystal balls glowed in absurd exposure to the violence and the tumult and the strains of wind music wisping through and frothing the moonlit air. And there the figure of an inert human sat, staring at her cuticles, unperturbed, imperturbable. And inside that room and ever more concentrated inside her crystal ball dwelt all metaphysics from all history, completely divorced from the smashed drywall, the exposed and cracked and swinging 2x4s, and all the wars of nature without. The twister was called Arras. From this dream I awoke, haunted by a thought for the new record.
As we age, we engage more and more deeply with the world. Fewer opportunities for deviance or self-expression present themselves, and life's responsibilities tear at the edges of even those meager opportunities. This album represents some of what we have been able to shore up and separate from the tumult and insanity of our attempts to build lives for ourselves as engaged adults in America. In devoting our most precious resource, time, to these songs and this work, we become fuller human beings.
released January 30, 2017
Lives of the Obscure is Mike & Keith & Sean & Nick.
Recorded between January and (like) July of 2016 at Salvation Recording Co. with invaluable guidance, vision, and wizardry by Chris Daly, except "Blueblack," which was recorded 'in the field,' as it were, by Nick, and the solo in "Daylight Ritual," which was recorded by Sean.
You called to say goodbye
but i died
my fingers curled around a bottle of red wine
i called to say hello
when i was below
you met me there after a little while
you saw my psychic powers and you smiled
into my blueblack eyes
Track Name: Cold Zodiac
Summer hung a lung and I sang along while we stung at the Thrush’s Nest.
We pretended you were bent and on the mend, and we read the stars for them.
Lining up the suckers one by one. They get broke on the broken sun.
Combine my hand and your eye and their underfed lives.
They pay their interest on the magic astrological signs.
Track Name: Young Satyr
How are you? I feel like a goatman
with an enslaved octopus
Fastening me to my corpse.
Tommy boy, he reads all the zines
when he’s climbing in his trees
he hurls the dumb ones down at me. A Zeus with thunder.
You obliterated everything
when you told me how you love
Nietzsche and that piece
you wrote was just bullshit
but that’s for goats to chew on.
You came out of a mossy
hole in a birch trunk
You were choking flowers.
I’m cinched to this arborvitae
covered in zines.
Steel amaranths sprout around me.
Don’t blame me
if I seem skeptical
of your dismissal.
I am a born skeptic
as you are a trained psychic
whom Nietzsche loathes
Track Name: Daylight Ritual
You have your brain and you eat it too
You got me chained to the kitchen sink with 8-ball
outlook not so good
I am out here fishing
I am in here courting ruin
You wanna break but I cannot stop the dominoes from falling
You wanna break my fingers off and plant them in the garden
under the big birch
I am out here fishing
I am out here courting ruin
O I cannot predict now
The smell of moral disinfectant
All my replies are moldy
In the waiting room of the clinic
Dirt sigh glistens
You're miserable but your satisfied
Piles of dead surround you
Old whore petticoats to Paradise
Now i am out here fishing
Feeding on a daylight ritual
You would slip beside me
Wake me after you've been writing
We will break the shining
We will hide in nighttime to symmetry
Track Name: Bugger
In all ways we knew what we had done
we witnessed the fall and the decline
everyone drew blood
everyone had fun
how much depended on how close you stood to the front lines
cloud residua library nebula
anyone know where the time flies to?
inkwell gone corrupt history melting up
refusing to follow a timeline
you know what it is?
it’s all likenesses
what are we doing?
why do we bother to transcribe?
my brother sits down
he knows he’s a fuck up
he’s down on his luck, so I
tell him he’s lucky he ain’t a duke
and no one’s writing about his life
Track Name: P.M.O.S.
Psychic Maude Origin Story
Well, I first met Maude on a soccer field. Shit was real.
She wore shin guards and kicked a crystal ball.
She kept a tarot deck up in her head. Shit was death.
She counted cards before she placed her bets.
Track Name: Ashtray
Her ashtray comes from South Dakota.
I snuffed it out in Roosevelt.
His head was never finished.
In that regard I can relate.
Maude was at the Frontiers.
Maude was at Versailles.
Moon was like an angel
with hollow blackout eyes.
We are all subject to erosion.
It’s an inevitable fact.
I am always losing something.
The universe will take it all back.
Track Name: Bargain Boys
There is a war happening
in that bargain bin.
Capone & Noreaga and Beethoven.
The laser pointer shoots,
and I am struck dim.
I wonder who it’ll be this year
to do me in.
I wanna rip it out of its context
I wanna tear the house off the map
I make it drown drown drown
Track Name: Prefrontal Vortex
I stare at double doors
I feed drunks on all fours
We have ourselves one more
Mirrors stare at mirrors
looking hazy with your lazy lies
I see diamonds in the coal black eyes
We’re ten miles to the front
Wives and kids crushing lunch
Doors swing like bi hedonist
Shells blast like drunk chemists
We are gypsies in a chain-link line.
Between cities, eating clay and rinds.
I see dates on an aging calendar
and choke that month until it dies.
Track Name: (sitting) Ducks
I stumble out with Maude’s "advice"
Swinging off my ears on vines
She says “your intuitions, fast as light,
swing alive in a spangled mind”
She says, “In every version of life
my sturdy footsteps brace
your crew composed of horse
our deathbed embrace, and:
She says “I believe in every God
that we have conquered or paid for”
She says, “you think you are outside
but you are running through door after door after door”
She tells me it’s a simple life
an immaterial life
“Deathless child of many earths
I believe em all
I believe em all
I believe em all”