Love Stories & Picture Shows

by fairfax, ak

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1.
04:09
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
2.
04:13
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? Well… I guess I'm doing just fine"
3.
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
4.
02:39
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'
5.
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
6.
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?
7.
01:42
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 Falling as the wind kisses my face I begin to wonder will I feel anything at all?
8.
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 Away
9.
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!"
10.
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...

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released January 17, 2012

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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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