Absentminded Eulogy

by The Common Man

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released December 6, 2015


- Archie: vocals; acoustic, electric, and classical guitars; fretted and fretless bass guitars; drums; percussion and oddities; piano; programming; clarinet

- Roshni: vocals ("The Twist", "Irons in the Fire", "The Twist")

- Chad: drums ("Voodoo Groove", fractions of "Fractions" and "Irons in the Fire"), snare rolls ("There Is a Girl")

- Trevor: lead guitar ("Voodoo Groove")

- Ryan: alto sax ("Gina's Place", "Little Souls", "Scattering Cinnamon", "Fractions", "Would You Be My Favorite Doll"); tenor sax ("The Twist"); clarinet ("The Masquerade")

- Nathan: alto sax ("Little Souls", "Scattering Cinnamon", "Fractions"); tenor sax ("The Twist", "Gina's Place")

- Mitcham: alto sax ("The Twist", "Gina's Place"); bari sax ("Little Souls", "Scattering Cinnamon", "Fractions")

- Alexander: cello ("There Is a Girl", "Little Souls")

- Mike: violin ("There Is a Girl", "Little Souls")

- William: violin ("There Is a Girl")

All lyrics written and music arranged by Archie.

All music written by Archie except:
"Fractions", "Irons in the Fire" (Archie, Chad)
"Voodoo Groove" (Archie, Chad, Trevor, Greg)
"The Twist" (Archie, Glenn Tilbrook)

"The Twist" originally performed by Merry Go Rounds.
"Irons in the Fire", "Voodoo Groove", and fractions of "Fractions" originally performed by Ground Rules.
"Would You Be My Favorite Doll?" originally performed by Chicken Dinner Faceplant.
"Gina's Place" originally performed by The Tides.

This album owes its life, in a mix of particular orders, to Alexander McIntyre, Tony Scimeca, Kevin Daffon, Chad Miller, Trevor Loranger, Greg Hendler, Roshni Malde, Ryan Konopka, Nathan Weiskirch, Mitcham Tuell, William Sandberg, Mike Stearns, Bennett Kane, Jesse Ross, Elvis Costello, Alex Weiss, and Mom & Dad. So blame them, not me.

Recorded at the Pillow Fort, January-December 2015.

Album art & booklet by Mike Stearns.



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The Common Man Atlanta, Georgia

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Track Name: Fractions
I think I need a new Narcissus
'cause I deserve a deeper pool than this
One half infinite immersion
one half soon to join his twin
Tonight we smash the mirrors!
But my, don't you look ravishing today?

Why not give it a fighting chance?
Trade in your wisdom for sincerity
You bare your teeth to phantoms
that spiked collar sure goes well with your leash
I've got my liberty
there's only one thing left for you to give to me

This is an abbreviation
stuttered, muttered, diffracted thought
Consciousness that once flowed in streams
now rots in pools of distracted drought
so I find myself hunched over puddles
seeking absolution beneath the grime
I'd like a new Narcissus
it's getting hard to idolize these idle eyes

This is the fault in my gestalt
this is the error of my pride:
Break me down and every piece
is more diluted, weaker than the whole
There's something lost in each transaction
troubled mind for idolatry

It's time to accept my obsolescence
so I can continue to grow
It's time to create in a vacuum
if it will fill even the tiniest space

Well - who's in the mirror and who's fallen behind?
There's the deepest you in you - but who is that inside?
I'll trade mosaic of the mind without a second thought
for a life outside the self that can be swiftly swept aside
but I'll need a new Narcissus -
one that isn't the ugliest part of me
Track Name: There Is a Girl
There is a girl who seems to me to be so out of focus
Like clouds on the sea she stifles me along the rift that broke us
She stands by the door and secretly knows every place I try to go
Then out of the corner of my eye she seems to grow

She may know the way.

There is a bird that sings for me - unseen, unmoved, unanswered
Like cracks in the ceiling it powders me: the whim become the master
For mine is a song so out of key, you may not take the melody
Can you imagine life without your very own Me?
Track Name: The Twist
He was a doozy, he'd knock you dead with charm
She was a floozy so she naturally dove into his arms
(I bet their kids will look divine)
It was about that time I shut the TV set
and started wondering if life was just a joke I didn't get
(Waiting for the punchline)

| Where is the punchline, where is the twist?
| Is there a deeper truth or is there just a gist?
| There are a thousand stories I would tell if they were true
| and a million thoughts I've never had if life is deja vu
| Why don't we give it a twist?
| 'Cause I am through with this

I got to drinking; what else was there to do?
I got to thinking we're just metaphors from someone's point of view
(Just lines in conversation)
Through one-way mirrors through which we may not see
Our mastermind peers in and probes our cosmic surreality
(It's time to go to sleep)

I drew the blinds and stumbled into bed
With troubled mind I tried to fall asleep but I woke up instead
(Into the superdimension)
The beings there had never heard of planet earth
They vaporized my essence but they told me they would hasten my rebirth
(Into a world of huge headaches)
Track Name: The Masquerade
Set in scenery exotic
Q feels queasily quixotic
Sifting through the sequined curtains
Knowing she won't see him lurking
Lamps switch on behind the blood-red shades
Enter the cat and the King of Spades
Strings slice the silence like razorblades
Oh, the masquerade

He lays down his crown and scepter
She purrs like a preying panther
Q won't bear the sound tonight
Staccato stilettos on pulverized pride
They begin their courtly promenade
He flicks her whiskers, Q dons his face
Q rips the curtains and cocks his hate
Oh, the masquerade

Love goes through its own contortions
(Contortions, distortions)
and vengeance is the sweetest poison
(A denouement of Greek proportions)
Q lay dead beside the King
The cat completed their gory ring
So if you're Q, the cat, or the King of Spades
I'd find yourself a safer game to play
Else you might find yourself filleted
On the facade of the masquerade
Track Name: Irons in the Fire
Irons in the fire and life is in the black
Brought to the point of no return and back
Living on the edge of the world in my ancestors' berth
Watering the flowerchildren bursting from the earth
I'll have a garden by the sundown and a forest by the dawn
A feast to gather and an art to subside on

I want for everything, but I did not ask for this
Where he who studies all his life finds bliss in ignorance
Where I could be a monster and I'd still command your pride
Where waters flood my mind, I hang my memories to dry
and watch the colors run

Down on galaxies of sand
I'm feeling stronger every day
Ready to leap and hoping to land
To emerge from my home in the waves
and breathe

Deepen the breathing, deepen the voice
Deepen these dimensions down to a point
And release your focus to roam in the mist
of whatever you've allowed to exist
Irons in the fire and things are heating up
You never know, this could be enough
Track Name: Would You Be My Favorite Doll?
Would you be my favorite doll?
You don't have to think or talk at all
But when I pull your string you'd better sing
There's a good girl, now here's the thing
Listen to me good and don't you fight
Don't do as I do, just do as I might
Be my typewriter be my mental health
and if you won't, I'll put you right back on the shelf

Would you be the trick up my sleeve
when I'm looking to commit a little Adam & Eve?
We can beat around the bush if you catch my drift
and if you tear at the seams, maybe I'll get you fixed
Oh, baby be bad, baby break my back
Yank off my arms, have my legs for a snack
Stare me down with your button eyes, turn me to stone
Put my head in a box and I'll moan, moan, moan

Would you be my favorite doll?
I'll bet you don't have the gall
It's a full-time occupation both night and day
and if nobody does it I might go insane
So patch up your faults and stitch up your pride
Ready the ring, here comes the bride
Pin your willing effigy upon my wall
and then you can be my favorite doll
Track Name: Seasoning for the Season
Seasoning for the season: lemon pepper grain
Pumpkin bagels brighten gloomy days
The night is warm
Bracing for the storm
Keep me warm tonight

Take your shoes off, step soft on the rug
Have some hot chocolate in your favorite mug
You give me your smile
Won't you stay a while?
Stay a while with me tonight
Track Name: Gina's Place
Gina holds the schoolboys in the palm of her hand
Her smile's always sultry and her laughter's always canned
Nothing can deter us, lord knows how we try
and if you've ever been to Gina's place, I'm sure you know why

She said -
If you're feeling, if you're feeling, if you're feeling all right
Come on over come on over, we'll turn out the light

| She sets the boys on fire in that pleasurable pyre
| and I'll submit my guilty plea
| Tonight, Gina's for hire
| It's my one desire, but I'm not the only fish in the sea

I finally found the courage, I gathered all my wits
My mind was in the gutter and my eyes clung to her naughtier bits
I didn't get to say a word, I saw the smile on her face
and that night I slicked my hair back and I snuck out to Gina's place

She said -
If you're feeling, if you're feeling, if you're feeling all right
Come on over come on over, tonight's your night

Well I kicked and fussed
Well it was all a bust - I waited round her door until three
She'll leave you in the dust in that mecca of lust
I thought I had the skeleton key

Was it something I said or did I do something wrong?
I went over to Gina's place, all I got was this lousy song
Track Name: Voodoo Groove
Big Mama Marble lounged across her velvet throne
sniffing bags of cocoa, throwing the dogs their bones
There in the black light, stage fright snagged my wrist
The gramophone cackled; I heard Big Mama hiss

| "Down, down.
| Gonna poke, gonna prod, gonna make you move
| to the voodoo groove."

The skeeters are a-humming and I haven't slept since Mardi Gras
I found a black magic bible crawling 'cross my hotel floor
They put a voodoo spell on you you cannot cure
I'm haunted by the image of Big Mama's mask forevermore
Track Name: Little Souls
Little bells toll ad infinitum
Little souls in their streams drift away
I tuned in to a swell to bid bitter farewell
to those sentenced on this judgment day

Life gave me lemons so I planted a tree
and now I sing a sour refrain
'Cause the seeds filled the ground and the juice filled the clouds
and my skin burns in the acid rain

| And I loathe that my love never lingers so long
| as my tasteless regard for routine
| But day after day, the debris dies away
| and sugar, it still tastes as sweet

Now the man in the moon moans a miserable tune
and I know the sun has seen better days
So I say to you from a worms-eye view:
Never put your umbrella away
Track Name: Scattering Cinnamon
Red wax glaze on hazy glass - I remember well
The vacant shells of the all-star cast lying where they fell
Photos, prose, and evening clothes in piles on the floor
An apple core on dustless bones spilled out the closet door

There between the coffee cups and damp deserted sheets
I started saving you up, so doting, so discreet
The wine, the weed, your voice so sweet, the pretty chords you played
The lawn that loomed above the street that I'd cross every day

And I believed in love.

| My heart grows fonder in absentminded eulogy
| among the choir across the pyre, singing in your memory
| It's my original sin, I'm scattering cinnamon
| on flames I should have left to die to sweeten soot with scent of spice

Skin and bones with a pixie cut, she'd be the death of me
She kills me with her pretty face, she kills with apathy
I'm tired of her bitter smirk and the blandness in her gaze
I'm tired of her sour sighs and I've only had a taste

There I was lost in a song, lost in a girl who didn't love me long
Maybe love, maybe lust, maybe just a desperate act of trust
There I was vowing to chance to have her in my arms by the break of day
We both cried out in the lawn and held each other closer as the rain kept on

...my heart grows fonder, the nights stretch longer
fading in and out of blue
It's my original sin, I'm scattering cinnamon on flames I should have left to die
Now what of me remains alight?

Here I am burnt in the sun, dreaming of my tightest ties now long undone
Never having laid to rest the sentiment that I regret I left unsung
Here I am, here's the song, here I'll learn the heartless art of moving on
It was love and it was lust, what the hell, it was a bust
and everything worth saving up is gone, gone, gone, gone, gone.
Track Name: The Twist
I live in the passing shade of the lone cloud on a new spring day
and in the breeze my thoughts drift off to you
All our time spent in the sun, mowing the grass one by one
tasting love on every breath we drew
Winter nights that chilled my blood, you poured hot chocolate in my mug
my eyes followed the steam up to your grin
When love's not just another song, dusk becomes another dawn
twisted with a hint of peppermint

| Yawning in the yard, you add the color to my sky
| Hand in hand, we're out of sight, we're out of mind
| My daydream boat, alive, afloat, soft breath on my sail
| Sewing seams of conscious streams to bear us out of each inhale

I awoke atop a wake, waiting for my wave to break
riding out the remnants of the storm
Sensing just ahead of me the instant of eternity
before I shrug my slumber on the shore
Lifetimes pass before my eyes open to catch the gold sunrise
set scene for your sleepy serenade
There's a sweetness in your sighs that steals the show from starry nights
and lets love loose into our lovely daze