Aleatorium

by The Old Smugglers

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about

With pounding headaches, our heroes crawl from the shores of Smuggler's Cove and into the dark and ominous woods that lie just beyond Point of No Return. It is getting late and the temperature is dropping. The screech of an owl and the taunts from the moon was enough to keep them pressing onward.

The Old Smugglers come to a clearing where they see the flicker of a lamp through a window of an oddly shaped house. In the distance they hear the faint sound of a child crying through the verses of Happy Birthday while a substitute teacher eagerly greets his classroom.

The Infamous Dr. Thunder and Mister December approach the dwelling and open the door. Heat blasts the room from an old cast iron stove. There is no electricity or running water. The hissing gas lamp on the center of the wall illuminates a menagerie of objects on a table. The shadows dance and drip off the ceiling as if the Devil himself drank the fire and gave them life.

Armed with 50 batteries, The Smugglers quickly get to work and record an aleatoric masterpiece of undeserved confidence and ill-conceived notions of grandeur as the snow starts to fall.

Lyrics and music by The Old Smugglers
Recorded by Erik Pearson
Mixed and mastered by Tom Herbers
Photography by Joshua W Murray

Last Bullet Records
LBR003
©2015 The Old Smugglers. All rights reserved.

credits

released November 13, 2015

Cap'n Thunder - vocals, guitar, drums, percussion, accordion, kazoo
Mr. December - guitar, backing vocals, bass, percussion, mandolin

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all rights reserved

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about

The Old Smugglers Saint Paul, Minnesota

Scotch and coffee, smelling like smoke and grandpa, truckload of soup cans falling from the sky, Americana shanty sounds of regret and revelation.

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Track Name: You've Got the Shimmys
You've got the shimmys and I've got the shakes
Let's all stand up to fall into the morning
It's a full house swing on a bed of nails
'Til the faces pale before the sweltering heat

You couldn't ask for a better one even if you tried
You couldn't ask for a better one even if you lied

Underneath the table there's a man with a handle
With a rap, rap, rap, to know he's still there
She lives in a painted dream and I can tell by your scowl
You did too

You couldn't ask for a better one even if you tried
You couldn't ask for a better one even if you lied...and I know you tried

You've got the shimmys and I've got the shakes
Let's all stand up to fall into the morning
It's a full house swing on a bed of nails
'Til the faces pale before the sweltering heat

You couldn't ask for a better one even if you tried
You couldn't ask for a better one even if you lied...and I know you tried
Track Name: Ocean Fell from the Sky
Burning down to the ground with a trial by fire
As the eye of the storm sings like a Baptist choir
Just beyond all horizons lay the dead and gone
And the gods coax the smoke out from its timbered tomb.

Hammer to the anvil and a spear through my heart,
Spit a mouthful of blood like a waterspout,
I reach for the earth, my lungs fill with contempt
But my soul escapes away the body broken and bent.

The morning heavens weep when my pyre ignites
As I sail to the east toward the guiding light
'Cause brimstone disguises the smell of death.
And as the phoenix rises the charcoal laments.

I looked down from the steeple 'cause only angels fall
And devils well dressed motherfuck them all.
I got a head full of bombs and a briefcase of guile
I cut off my wings because madmen can't fly
And the ocean fell from the sky.
Track Name: Black Molasses
There it is again
Like an air pocket
A wink and a slap
But nothing kills momentum

We're all going to fall
From the rafters through the floor
And it won't stop there

Another twist and a crack
Until we breathe in the sweet
Forced air remembers our lies
And the curtains will cover our bones

Dream a little more
We'll line up the rest
6 in a row
Carved in tallow and regret

You won't see it coming
And that's how I like it best
Drink it down with the dust that doesn't settle on the sill

And still I would've been there
And still I should care
It'll all wash away like the Black Molasses

The weight never settles
It shimmys and it shakes
Pulls on the wire
With a nudge and a nod

And the timbers snap
Like brittle bones
We all knock back
We all knock back
A release
From the salt
Of the day
Track Name: Angel of the Sea
Overboard
My lungs slowly fill with inky weight
Hold it still
My arms wrap the id with loving care

A night wretched up rogue wave pulls
The deck swells with sodden delight
A white knuckle cracks and bleeds
To the dance of the albatross flight

Will I see you
Hold me up waiting
For the right moment
Just like an angel of the sea...for me

Undertow
Dragged through the silt of yesterday
Release control
My hands search for purchase to pray

A wade through my memory's mire
Draws up a briny mix
A cold comfort slices in
Twists the blade and the albatross sinks

Will I see you
Hold me up waiting
For the right moment
Just like an angel of the sea...for me

Washed ashore
Forgotten like an old rag doll
Battered and sore
I pull myself up to my feet

The last line a sandy grit
I'm cleansed by the sunrise glance
I narrow my eyes and breathe
To the flight of the albatross dance

Will I see you
Hold me up waiting
For the right moment
Just like an angel of the sea...for me.
Track Name: Told the World You Were Gilded
When you were born a hole was dug
and you were told the edge was the sun
You accepted the wall
And you never thought to climb.

You never knew you were nothing
You never knew of the fall
You're lucky you just knew yourself
And how you were never nothing at all.

When you lived the hole grew deep
And you were told to just believe
You remained calm
And indifferent as it evens out in the end.

You never knew you were nothing
You never knew of the fall
You're lucky you just knew yourself
And how you were never nothing at all.

When you died the hole was filled
And you told the world you are gilded
You neglected all
Because there is no such thing as time.

You never knew you were nothing
You never knew of the fall
You're lucky you just knew yourself
And the dirt washed down the drain
You just knew yourself
And how you were never nothing at all.
Track Name: Squelch
You're the last one left on this torn up sinking ship
Even the poets have found a new cause
Now you're looking for a plank that will carry the weight
Of the baggage that's been piled up for years

Look around and you'll see
All the tired tied up dreams
Like flotsam they knock on the hull
Thinking back we can tell
When it all fell to hell
The alarms cut the night to the bone

When the captain said "Stand, we'll not take her to land,
we can ride out the storm 'til she blows."
Not a hint of remorse as we're blown well off course
As the first of the crew take to the sea

The dream finally ends as you lose your last friend
The sea never gives up its dead
Track Name: Viaduct
When I woke up that day I had pennies taped to my eyes
And bottles in both of my hands
I thought I should vow to never find my way back here again
That's a far as it got

So I throw down the coppers, my eyes as red as the wagon I had when I was a kid
I opened the shutters and stammered and stuttered
As I bade the day a very good morn

Got dressed had a cup and wandered out to the street
It had snowed the air was chill
The plows they were marching their blades were a dragging it sang me a song to carry me on

Well across the viaduct and past the psycho the children were laughing they hadn't a care
The traffic hushed by as it scared all the birds from the wires who watched as I talked aloud

So I stopped for a pen and I stopped for some paper
To jot down my thoughts lest I forget
My eyes glazed over my hands did shiver
As the words spilled out and buried me deep

When I got to my car it was right where I left it
The snow had caressed it to keep it warm
Got in and it started, it sputtered and trembled
And sang me a song as we headed back home

I am real, I am here, I am scared, I do behave
I am cold, I am sore, I am tired
I do believe, I do believe
Track Name: Salad Days
The sail is full the sheets are tight
Now heel 'er out with all your might
Unfettered wake and unfurled glee
Buried deep and now set free

Yaya yahaha, yaya yahaha

A starboard gust can wake within
To lose the static, lose the din
Hiked out reeling in the rush
All caught up in the siren's song of salad days

Yaya yahaha, yaya yahaha

The glassy face and ice cold arms
Still hold you fast in all their charms
The caps collide right off your bow
With crests still breaking to slap you down

To the waiting dreams of the seaweed's might
Through the amber glow of distorted sight
Its rippled laugh will grab the keel
Help right you up help keep you real

Yaya yahaha, yaya yahaha

Now dandle your daughter to the sailor's tune
'Til the morning's breath cuts through the moon
Cast your eyes through the wall of sea
It'll work for you as it worked for me

Yaya yahaha, yaya yahaha
Track Name: Make Haste to the Smugglery
When the curtain drops and the lights go dim
We’ll sweep the day under the streets
The cloak room hangers clack like dried up bones
The last coat check is in

Songbirds are packed into the steamer trunks
Night owls let loose from the hat box
Hounds roam the grounds with their nose in the air
And the gate is latched and locked

You gotta make haste to the Smugglery
Find that sway in the bottom of a glass
Make haste to the Smugglery
Drain it all down ‘fore the sun breaks

There’s a velvet shroud o’er the tops of the homes
All the fires have gone out
The moon’s on the rise with a sparkle in its eyes
The foreman starts another shift

The wind kicks around all the boats at the dock
And rattles down the alley way to boot
Street lights flare shadows crawling everywhere
Better find your way, better push off the ground

You gotta make haste to the Smugglery
Find that sway in the bottom of a glass
Make haste to the Smugglery
Drain it all down ‘fore the sun breaks

With the soot and grime washed down the drain
And the bones have been picked clean
The ne’er-do-wells cast out on the swells
The sea’s a friend to me

It’s the night’s last stroll through the sleeping streets
The chairs have all been stacked
The sun will soon return and you’ll start to feel the burn
Better line them all up, better make ‘em all fall

Make haste to the Smugglery
Find that sway in the bottom of a glass
Make haste to the Smugglery
Drain it all down ‘fore the sun breaks down.
Track Name: Best Parking Space on the Block
My windshield may be cracked and dirty
The blades are old and rotten
And you can stick your legs through the rust hole in the floor

Radio’s been busted since 1978
Tires are bald with the belts popping out

Radiator’s leaking like an old man
He’s coughing up blue smoke, and choking on the blue smoke
Brakes are screaming like a banshee through the night

Hold on tight here come some more train tracks
They’ll rattle your cage and they’ll throw you back in your place
Sparks are flying like it’s the Fourth of July

The heater’s busted so wear a hat and coat
And I don’t like the look of all that engine smoke
Well the radio’s been busted since 1978
Tires are bald with the belts popping out

Fly around the corner got to use it to your advantage
Now reel it in tight ‘cause the bumper’s got a bandage
You’re an off track rooster tail filling up the back seat
Cutting down the cul-de-sac burning up the back streets

Frozen tree watcher through the intersection’s main vein
Hood wink blocks up a hill down the passing lane
Looking for a slalom, looking for a drift
Catch it all supped-up hanging on a frozen rut

Radio’s been busted since 1978
Tires are bald with the belts popping out
You gotta kick the door if you wanna get out
I just found the best parking space on the block.
Track Name: Posthumous Son
Push them up and push them out
Tempt us with hands down the front of your pants
Bitrate’s increasing is just the beginning
Reserve and control the facade of freedom

Made up of endless scars and TV screens and movie stars
With soleless shoes, demanding rules
How many emotions can you stand to lose?

Higher and higher the altitude rising
And all are gasping for one breath of air
The system's not broken, we're all meant to fail
The war is continued and fought forever

Made up of endless scars and TV screens and movie stars
With soleless shoes, demanding rules
How many emotions can you stand to lose?

You can't take it back
You can't take it back
The interest accrues as you take it all back.
Track Name: Clipped Wings
I remember all the things you said. Every word.
"It could be worse," is not an excuse for your poor behavior.
Sometimes the thing that's holding you back is all in your head,
Tying you down until you are dead.
Track Name: Return to the Sea
Like a bad penny, an old dog chewing in the woods
A good idea from a fever dream burning down the
Waking thoughts slipping through the teeth

Like a frayed notion, a last drink of scotch
A raindrop falling through the cracks in the mortar
While a white pail gathers up the rest

I will return, I will return, I will return to the sea

Just leave me by the shore let the waves drag me back into their arms
The rocks and sand will bleed the days away
The moonglade winks and cuts down to the quick
And leaves nothing but the bones, dried out and alone, for me

Like a leaking faucet, a pressure valve hissing like a snake
A lampunlasi shattered on the floor as the fire
Coats the room like a gallon of paint

An uncomfortable silence, a spilled glass of rum
A breakdown hidden by a wry, crooked smile
While the crowd slowly lists on their feet

Just leave me by the shore let the waves drag me back into their arms
The rocks and sand will bleed the days away
The moonglade winks and cuts down to the quick
And leaves nothing but the bones, dried out and alone, for me

I will return, I will return, I will return to the sea
And I'll drag you down, I'll drag you down, I'll drag you down to the bed
Track Name: The Devil Always Knows
He walked six by six by seven
To the Boulevard late last night
Looking for angels from heaven
With halos so loose they ignite.
He bought round after round
And the shots all went down
So smoothly by red neon light.

He drank sixty proof of whatever
his angels dared him to imbibe.
Shot for shot, all together drink up!
The Boulevard is lit and alive!
He bought round after round
And the shots all went down
So smoothly by red neon light.
Profound is the sound
When your smuggler stays down
'Cause the Devil he knows your delight.

He had 600 counts of transgression.
"What's 66 more?" so he thought.
As always he turned to aggression
When he's smuggled more often than not.
He bought round after round
And the shots all went down
So smoothly by red neon light.
Profound is the sound
When your smuggler stays down
'Cause the Devil he knows your delight and your flaws
and the je ne sais quoi to exploit all of your imperfections.

He stood six by six by seven
And familiar the face from before
He fucked all the angels from heaven
His dishonor has made him the whore.
The mirror reflects
All his sins and regrets
Even through inebriate sight
Shipwrecked and inept,
"Is this really correct?
I've been staring at myself all night?"
Astounded he's found
When he's found on the ground
And he never really left out the door
Profound is the sound
When the smuggler stays down
'Cause the Devil always knows that he's right.
Track Name: Beat the Fire Outta You
Got all riled up with the coffee and soot
Found you holed up at the Halfway House
Been a long day dragging this pine-box fill
And Allis doesn't give a damn

I beat the fire outta you, beat the fire outta you,
I beat the fire outta you, beat the fire outta you
Boiling hotter than a good goddamn

Down by the well with cast iron gate
The wind cuts to the quick
Best not linger with your mouth agape
Best not look my way

I beat the fire outta you, beat the fire outta you,
I beat the fire outta you, beat the fire outta you
Boiling hotter than a good goddamn

I'm the keeper of the embers through the long cold night
Dreamer of the ash and smoke
Log hauling drifter through the moon-glow's wake
Just to stumble back again

I run hotter than hell with a temper to match
And I can strike anywhere
Don't you go looking for a stoop to light
Might not walk away

I beat the fire outta you, beat the fire outta you,
I beat the fire outta you, beat the fire outta you
Boiling hotter than a good goddamn

I beat the fire outta you, beat the fire outta you,
I beat the fire outta you, beat the fire outta you
Boiling hotter than a good goddamn
Track Name: Bullet
Fired my last bullet into the belly of the night
It just kept on weeping, holding the stars real tight
There’s a foreign dog sniffing in our backyard again
Where I planted all my secrets taking o’er the patch

The porch light burned out, windows leak like a sieve
I’m wrapped in a blanket keeping an eye on things
There’s a group of laughing children playing tag in the dark
The wood smoke feels welcome as I drift in my thoughts

The church bell tolls softly like a beacon in the night
And I wash upon the shore, the chill dances with delight
I step out from my slumber to shake out last week’s fog
Stars and night help find the stride to carry me back home

Let’s have a drink to the best laid intentions
Line ‘em all up, just don’t trip and fall
Were you down by the river holding hands with a whisper
Tying ropes to regrets and watch ‘em sink like a stone

Raise one more glass for our fallen intentions
Kick ‘em to the curb let ‘em wash down the drain
Raise one more glass for our fallen intentions
Drink ‘em all down don’t let ‘em come back

Raise one more glass tonight!
Track Name: We All Walk the Plank Alone
When you look past the waves
And find nothing but shame
And the wind slaps your pride
To leave you limping and lame
Tied your 120 bass
To your only good limb
And you’re covered in piss
And ready to swim

When your lung’s filled with bilge
And your mouth’s filled with bile
You’ve chopped your guitar
To stoke the dying fire inside
Your thick skull’s cracked open
And you’re bleeding out hope
The yardarm’s inviting
And you’ve plenty of rope

When you’ve sunk your last ship
And you’re smuggled to the floor
When your peg leg is rotten
And she’s left through the door
You’ve got one last bullet
In your rusty old gun
Batten down the hatches
And give up the fun

When your lung’s filled with bilge
And your mouth’s filled with bile
You’ve chopped your guitar
To stoke the dying fire inside
Your thick skull’s cracked open
And you’re bleeding out hope
The yardarm’s inviting
And you’ve plenty of rope
The best advice I received
From a dirty old salt is
"We all walk the plank alone..."

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