Love Stories & Picture Shows

by fairfax, ak

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released January 17, 2012



all rights reserved


fairfax, ak Minneapolis, Minnesota

"That might have been the loudest folk act I have ever heard" - Steve McCllellan of First Avenue.

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Track Name: Manhattan
I'm stranded in a desert of picket fences
Watching the best years of my life decay
I'm movin' to that place they call Manhattan
I'm gonna find me a place to stay

Happiness will come any day now
The town I left behind is not my home
I can't wait to see all their faces
Yeah, they'll see how much I've grown

I'm only lonely in crowded places
No one really grows up anyway
I'm homesick for a place that don't exist

I can't go back the old way
So I'm leavin' that place they call Manhattan
And I'm gonna find me a new place to stay
Track Name: Just Fine
Why can't it be like the movies?
And why can't I seem to drink you off my mind?
I made myself a martyr
For things I know were my own damn fault

And I can barely look myself in the mirror
When I get on that soapbox and preach to the culture
I only pretend to belong to

I thought about you more than you think
But not as much as you would have wanted
And now I think about you way too much
I think there's too much thinking going on

I began to self medicate
With some unusual home remedies

So I left, and I ran
Into the arms of a seemingly endless list
Of so and so's and so's
While the familiar smell
Of unfamiliar town
Stains my clothes

And by chance I run into you
In the coffee queue at the shop
"It's nice to see you too
What's that?
I guess I'm doing just fine"
Track Name: Frankie Last Year
Hometown heroes and superstitions
Are what keeps this town's heart beating
You'll never smell sawdust
In the nooks or crannies of its buildings

Nothing ever changes
Nothing ever grows

The boys at public are fixin' to win state
And I'm so tired of the repetition
Gotta get out before it's too late
Nostalgia is this town's religion

That night I went to the tavern
And I had myself a beer
I talked about the future with an old friend
Frankie Last Year

"I'll believe it when I see it. Nothin's waiting for you out there
The world gives guys like us a whole lot of nothin'
So stick with the nothin' you're given
Sit back and grab a plate of that old time religion"

I knew that Frankie hated this town
Yet we argued through the night
I thought this place had finally got to him
And then I realized

Frankie's got nothing
And if I leave he's got even less

When you live on a steady diet of glory days
Eventually you're gonna have to make more
Sittin' in that tavern with Frankie
I just can't afford

Well that morning I awoke
And I ran wherever my young legs would still take me
Travelin' from state to state
No one would stake me

I had nothin'
And now I have even less

I lived on a steady diet of glory days
Now I need to make more
Sittin' in that tavern with Frankie
Is all I can afford
Track Name: The Stranger
The stranger walks a path
He considers to be less traveled
When everyone else walks a dustier road
And he continues using moral shortcuts

He ignores what he knows
Through pretense and precaution

Holdin' rosary beads
Don't make you a man of faith
And knowing that fact
Won't stop you from pretending

You aint got nothin'
Track Name: Keep You Warm In The Night
Servin' drinks
A lady winks
And all the boys who cleaned up tonight
They are wondering
What she thinks

I see you staring a whole through an empty glass
Scorned by lovers past
And you wonder how long this pain you feel
Is gonna last

A salesman in a cheap suit
A one-eyed prostitute
And all the hypocrites who come spend their money here
To avoid giving it to the poor and the destitute

Young lady you look middle classed
Still livin' in your past
And you wish that your life wouldn't go by your eyes
Quite so fast

Calluses and scars
Broken hearts
In the honky tonks and bars
I've seen it all
And when the mighty fall
I'll be listening to their tales
In dim light
So trust me when I say
That you look like you need
Somebody to keep you warm tonight

The paint by number savant
And the debutantes
And all these poor drunkards they're too inebriated
To understand, or know what they want

So when I see you drinking for two
I can't help but wonder if you're ready for that somebody new

Calluses and scars
Broken hearts
In the honky tonics in bars
I've seen it all
And when the mighty fall
I'll be listening to their tales
In dim light
So trust me when I say
That you look like you need
Someone to keep you warm tonight
Track Name: Loose Leaf Love Letter
He liked to taste the seasons
So he moved to where it smelled like winter
Unfamiliar faces in familiar seeming places
Or maybe that was just the smell of the carpet

Or maybe it was the cardboard smell on his hands
From the packages of ex-lovers
He had been receiving

She used to write poetry
From what she thought was a simpler time
And the verses would swim in his head

And every goddamn folk song
Would remind him of her
And every cliche movie line
Would remind him of a time

Rummaging through a box of mementos
He listed on the back of a loose leaf love letter
The things he wanted, and the things he wants
And the things he should and should not do

Find that bottle of wine she gave me and drink it
Let the memories stain my vision
As bad as merlot stains my teeth

Throw that box of letters off a bridge somewhere
And find some new songs to listen to

And find some new legs to stand on
Lord knows you're gonna do it again
And finally forgive yourself
Who the hell's gonna do that now?
Track Name: Plateaus
I'm standing on the tallest of man made plateaus
My soul is crushed by spiritual glass ceilings
My bags are packed
And I left notes

I tried to call God collect the other day
He didn't pick up, and I know why

as the wind
kisses my face
I begin to wonder
Track Name: Invisible Monsters
As I lay down to sleep
My electric shield, I ask my mother to keep
Just for tonight
I want to face them alone, just for tonight

She kissed my forehead, said goodnight
And turned out the light
Walked so slowly out the room
I should get some rest

They'll be coming soon

I awake to see nothing outside my closet door
But then I remembered they could get me right through the floor
What's that outside my window
And what's that nippin' on my big toe?

I've been saving the courage all day
Now I hide underneath the covers
And hope whatever it is will go
Track Name: My Father's Lullaby
All alone my father raised me
Supporting us on dock worker's salary
When I was young he took my hand
At the time what he said I didn't understand

He said to me,

"Son, all the good in this world's worth fighting for
Cherish what you earn 'cause nothin' is free."

He went to the pub at the end of the day
There was something about him the people would say

I'd peer through the windows
And listen to his words so profound and true
"Boys raise your glasses and sing away!
Sing, to what bothers you."

He stood on the table and let out a cry
And the boys sang an old lullaby

Now I'm old with kids of my own
I'm still longing for that feeling of home
To make extra bread I unload F. Johnson's truck
He slipped me a shiny silver dollar, and wished me the best of luck

My wife worries we'll give the kids away to the orphanage
If we can't make more
I said, "I can't do that, because someone once told me
That this is worth fighting for."

I go to my son in bed he lie
And I began to sing my father's old lullaby

A year ago my father had passed
After years of work he could rest at last
Thousands of faces came to the funeral that day
There was something about him the people would say

At the end of the service it came no surprise
That honoring the man's life wet our dry eyes

We went to the pub at the end of the day
I said, "Boys raise your glasses and sing away!"
Track Name: Love Stories and Picture Shows
Well the times sure been rough these days
I think I lack the ability to stand
I'm walkin' them city blocks
And the beggar's got more in his hand

That's all I've gotta say about that

Love stories and the picture shows
Are a lot like drinkin' alone
They ain't the greatest or the smartest things
But right now they just feel good at the time

And those songs on the radio
Start to make way too much sense
And I'd sing along but I can't remember the end of that one famous line
So excuse me if I sing la la la...