Live the dream

by Ramshackle Glory

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Paid downloads help us keep putting out music and are greatly appreciated. Free downloads at archive.org/details/RamshackleGlory-LiveTheDream

Debut album from Ramshackle Glory. We don't have physical copies available for mail order. Hit up our comrades for some copies.

www.diybandits.com (to order on CD)
www.plan-it-x.com (to order on tape or vinyl)
www.ramshackleglory.com

Click the song titles to read some ranting about them and the album as a whole.

credits

released 03 June 2011

Niki Berger: accordion, violin, saw, noise box, vocals
Douglas Fur: banjo, shout outs, bass
Luke Romano: drums, shout outs
Pat "the bunny" Schneeweis: all guitars, vocals, beat box
Wyndham Maxwell: piano
Charlie Schneeweis: horns, junk instruments

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Track Name: First song
no one needs to tell me how to get (get get) down. but won’t somebody show me how to get back up? i thought about killing my landlord, but he was pretty nice. instead, i paid my rent on time as often as i could. i’ve been making strange friends in the desert; (yeah) they love jesus and america too. it ain’t as bad as it sounds, someday i’ll explain it to you. it’s not that i mind sleeping all alone in the grass, it’s just that i’ve been dreaming since…well, maybe i ain’t woke up yet. but nothing’s been quite the same since you shot yourself. i don’t know if you believe in ghosts. i hope you’d haunt me if you were one. i’ve been trying not to steal from everybody i know but so far that’s impossible. but here in the desert, somehow i hope that someday it won’t be that way for me. no it won’t…be that way for me, anymore.
Track Name: More about alcoholism
this car is a war machine that runs on nicotine and gasoline. d-d-d-don’t you fucking know this is the wrong side of the road? who needs brakes when it’s all down hill from here? and if we ain’t died yet then maybe we never will. but i don’t wanna burn out, so won’t you please set me on fire again? i woke up afraid of losing everything; thank god that i already have. so if you love me then listen: mind your own fucking business! if you love me enough to stay, then please love me enough to stay…enough to stay away. i swear on my last cigarette that i’d love you my d-d-darling. i’d love you if i could. but since the day i was born, it’s been too late for me to be anything but what i am tonight. and what i am is drunk, and what i am is mean, in your passenger seat. seat belts are for people who have time to die; hell, i don’t even have time to sleep. because i don’t wanna miss a moment of loathing everything that i see. i stay up nights afraid of everything, till all that’s left is the shadows and me. ask me from sunrise to sunset: no, i ain’t left the house yet. i finally love you enough to stay…enough to stay away. aw, shit, i wish i had a job to quit. i wish i had a boss that i could tell to fuck off. give me the satisfaction of a dramatic exit, and not just a long car ride and a short goodbye in a parking lot. (ohohoh.)
Track Name: We are all compost in training
i want freedom, not a boss that comes in a forty ounce bottle of anything or taped scotch paper. i eat meat and drive trucks and shoot guns and don’t trust in the federal government to solve our problems. you might think i’m joking, but i’m not a republican. call me when your president pulls out of afghanistan, because that’s the day i’ll get a cell phone number, and you can call and leave a message on voice mail that day. (SINCE WRITING THIS SONG I HAVE GOTTEN A CELL PHONE. SOMEHOW THE OCCUPATION OF AFGHANISTAN CONTINUES.) i fell asleep smoking so i’d wake up on fire, because that might get me out of bed for a while and back into battle with the things that i breathe, and the holes in my arms, and the way that i think. and if freedom is doing what i want, well that means i gotta know what is, not just what it isn’t. so i’ll dig up the dirt and i’ll throw down some seeds, because the world needs more spinach, not more motherfuckers like me. motherfuckers like me! (ohohohoh, etc.)
Track Name: From here to utopia
well, i’m afraid that the circles i’ve been drinking myself aren’t big enough for the vowels that i try to fit inside of them. (CIRCLE A! CIRCLE E!) when i was young, i drank too much, and i’d be lying if i said i didn’t feel so goddamn young tonight; maybe too young to ask what’s on my mind. like: if freedom means doing what you want (well), don’t you gotta want something? and won’t you tell me that we want something more than just more beer? and my friends, if that ain’t true, won’t you lie to me tonight? well, i’ve been listening to minor threat records all day, and shit if i do not know every word. i sing along as i tie off. and ian screams he’s “out of step” as i throw the cotton into the spoon, draw up into the syringe. i’ll know just what he means until i hit a vein. but after that i won’t have to bother with knowing who i am, for a while at least. in a moment the whole world is gonna melt around me, and i’ll swear i don’t miss it as a i lie to you tonight. because i’m afraid to look the world in the eye. if nothing’s gonna change, well, then i’d rather die. and i’m too unemployed to organize a union; i’m too intoxicated to tear down a building. i’m too hopeless to look for a solution; i’m afraid that if i found one, i’d be out of excuses for the way i waste away in the gutters that i chose like fashion accessories to go with my dirty clothes. i haven’t bathed in months, but you know it’s not because i’ve been fighting bourgeois morals: i’m just lazy and i’m young. i’ve seen the best minds of my generation dying drunk or high from the rooftops to the parking lots, stomped to death in west philadelphian squats. they’ve got me waiting on a day when we can say “fuck the police!” with a little bit of integrity, when it will mean: “i’ve got your back if you’ve got mine!” give me a scene where i believe in more than bad hair cuts, guilt, and misery. i don’t know where i fit between the vegans and the nihilists. that might be the first thing i’ve said that wasn’t a lie tonight. because there’s gotta be something more than lying in the front yard, naked, screaming at the constellations. i want something more than an apology to say when i look the world in the eye. i’ll tell you, man, my friend william came to me with a message of hope. it went: “fuck you and everything that you think you know. if you don’t step outside the things that you believe they’re gonna kill you.” he said: “no one’s gonna stop you from dying young, and miserable, and right, but if you want something better, you gotta put that shit aside.” i thought about how for thousands of years there have been people who told us that things can’t go on like this: from jesus chris to the diggers, from malthus to zerzan, from karl marx to huey newton, but the shit goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on. now, i’m not saying that we can’t change the world, because everybody does at least a little bit of that. but i won’t shit myself: the way i’m living is a temper tantrum and i need something else, need something else, need something else to stay alive. (ohohoh.) and on the night that i play my last show, i’ll be singing so loud that my heart explodes. and i’ll be singing, and i’ll be singing: we are free! oh, but won’t you promise me that we won’t ever forget what the means? i know it’s hard to give a shit sometimes, but promise me we’ll always try. because i don’t wanna hate you, and i don’t wanna hate me, and i don’t wanna have to hate everything anymore.
Track Name: Never coming home
the trains roll by my porch, down here where nothing can live, and i’ve been smoking too much because i am no exception. you knew that already, i think. if you want salvation, then you ought to go see a priest, because forgiveness from those that we hurt in this world never was guaranteed. i’m coming home, it’s late again, i’m high as i’ve ever been. you’re sitting up, you’re in our bed crying for a ghost again. no room could be as dark or as empty as ours is, because i’m at home but i’m not here, and i never am. i wonder how many friends roll past my house in the night? in boxcars they sleep with hearts stashed in their backpacks. they’ll make california all right. a promise from me is just a lie i ain’t told yet, so i’m ready to die but i’m not willing to watch you watch me die here in our bed. i’m lying down, i’ve been nodding out since i don’t know when. the lights are on, you’re standing up screaming at a ghost again. darling, i’m home; hell i ain’t left this house of ours in days. but i’m not here. i never am. so i just can’t stay. my darling, i’m never coming back from where i’m going. my darling, i’m never coming home. my darling, i’m never coming back from where i’m going. my darling, i’m never coming home. never coming home again.
Track Name: Vampires are poseurs
i don’t believe in heaven. i do believe in hell. it’s down the street from here, and we both lived there for years. we burned the calendars for warmth, and the alarm clocks just for fun. we closed the blinds to make goddamn sure that we could never see the sun. you could set a watch by the bottle returns and the ashtrays overflowing on the floor. (what? 520!) nothing’s free but time when you’re so damn poor. but the past was death row, and the future’s a battlefield. i hope we choose the right war. because i’ve been fist fighting gravity since the day i learned how to breathe, and i still wake up on the same cold floor i fell asleep on. so i won’t, but we shall overcome someday. i can’t do it alone, but i shall be free someday. i don’t know how to live, but i’m sick of learning how to die. vampirism is for poseurs in junior high. we made our own postal system to cross the continent. as long as freight trains run and loners pick up dreamers with thumbs, who needs governments to get a letter to you, or a mixtape to me, or a postcard to johnstown? what’s a thousand miles between friends? what’s a friend that’s not worth crossing a country? but i owe money and broken hearts from philly to sydney and back to vermont. (what? yeah!) i regret a million things and that’s only what i haven’t forgot. but the past was a mine field, and right now is a prison break. i hope we make it alive. when who we are doesn’t stop where the law begins, then we’ll storm their court houses to survive. so i won’t, but we shall overcome someday. i can’t do it alone, but we shall be free someday. i don’t know how to live, but i’m sick of learning how to die. vampirism is for poseurs in junior high.
Track Name: Of ballots and barricades
i got arizona residency one day too late to vote on this election day. every year before i’ve been too drunk to register. then i’d say: “i don’t believe in it anyway.” i still shake my head at ballots cast for elephants, and shake my head at ballots cast for donkeys, because i swear to god our leaders will be death of us. there’s no ballot we can cast to set us free. but there’s no brick we can throw that will end poverty, and we can’t blow up SB1070. things will never be as simple as when i was twelve years old reading karl marx in my bedroom alone. (SB1070 IS AN ARIZONA STATE LAW THAT ALLOWS LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT TO DETAIN ANYONE SUSPECTED OF NOT BEING A DOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT, AND ARREST ANYONE UNABLE TO PROVE THEIR CITIZENSHIP.) since there have been laws, there have been criminals. there have been thieves since there’s been property. and the way will come again when none of those things are around; i just hope it’s before people go extinct. so vote november 2nd if it seems right to you, or don’t vote if you think it just holds us down. just tell me what we’re gonna do on november 3rd to make sure there’s no government left to elect two years from now.
Track Name: Bitter old man
i was born a bitter old man who got his heart broken in catalonia, 1936. i haven’t felt right since, so i gave up on life before i arrived. i knew this place wasn’t safe for anyone but fascists and republicans and their apologists. (IN THIS CONTEXT, “REPUBLICAN” IS A REFERENCE TO THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR, NOT THE CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL PARTY IN THE UNITED STATES.) but i swear to god, i’m gonna die full of naive optimism; a teenager’s heartbreaking conviction that things can be different. oh yeah, things are gonna be real different when we’re finished around here. i always wanted to die young. i always wanted to die young. i always wanted to die young; now i feel younger every day, and i just hope i die younger than i am. i can hear you from a dozen states away shivering through a dope sick morning of no money left and nothing else to steal. lord only knows that i’ve had my share, because there were years when i was ready to die, but it’s only been recently that i’ve been willing to live. and i swear to god, i didn’t plan for things to end up this way. i had a teenager’s conviction that i would be different. oh yeah, i was gonna be real different than the person i became. i always wanted to die young. i always wanted to die young. i always wanted to die young; now i feel younger every day, and i just hope i die younger than i am. but now living’s a struggle, except when it isn’t. (yeah), i woke up this morning and i wasn’t in prison, but i can’t promise that i’m far from it. i’d still kill a man for cigarette, but with friends like you, who needs homicide? so this song goes out to all our homies locked down. come on back now, we need you around. that judge, he doesn’t know what he’s done. no, judges never know the things they do. how could they?
Track Name: Your heart is a muscle...
dalia never showed me nothing but kindness. she would say: “i know how sad you get. and some days, i still get that way, but it gets better. it gets better. it gets better. sweetie, it gets better, i promise you.” and she tells me: your heart is a muscle the size of your fist. keep on loving. keep on fighting. and hold on, and hold on, hold on for your life. ian built a cabin in the woods to live in. for years, terrifying noises kept him up at night with a twelve gauge under his pillow. he’s living in boston now, going to art school. i forgive him. i forgive him. hell, i’ll admit it: i’m proud of him. serena’s an architect and a carpenter. she’s such a feminist she says she isn’t one, because goddamn, my gender shouldn’t matter. and her motorcycle glides through the streets of providence, down to the warehouse district. the paint job is as stunning as her knowledge of medieval building techniques. your heart is a muscle the size of your fist. keep on loving. keep on fighting. and hold on, and hold on, hold on for your life. this one goes out to georgios. he knows how to dance. abby banks, your book is beautiful, and fuck anyone who says otherwise. scott, i love you and you make me glad to be alive. i promise that i’m gonna pay you back. you always know how funny everything is, even when i’m so serious that it’s gonna be the death of me. like the time that our friend chuck came over to our house. he said he needed somebody to take care of his pets, because he was going out of town. i asked him: “where?” and he said: “new mexico.” i asked if i could get a ride. he said: “no, you don’t want to follow me where it is that i’m going.” he pulled out of the drive way. that was the last time we saw him, because he drove straight to his parent’s cabin and put a bullet in his head. your heart is a muscle the size of your fist. keep on loving. keep on fighting. and hold on, and hold on, hold on for your life.
Track Name: First song, part 2
i took the needle out of my arm about a year ago today, and every day since then i’ve been taking the needle out of my brain. so when i’m staring down at my hands i can’t explain just what it is that i’m thinking of, except thank god that all my veins have to pump is my blood. and i’ve done you so much wrong i can’t believe you would still talk to me. and i say so much bullshit i can’t believe that anyone around me can breathe. i know that it’s a little dramatic, but the word for not changing is “death.” so i’m getting better, my friends, but please don’t hold your breath. and i met a man in rehab the first time, an organizer in prison. he lived in chicago when the cops shot fred hampton, but he was just a kid back then. justice doesn’t flow from police guns. i’m reminded of that all the time. as long as there is a law, peace will be a crime. what the news calls economics, i still call it violence. if your god is a judge or a jailer, i’m still an atheist. but i try to have faith in the things that will happen; i get saved from myself when i do. so maybe “god” isn’t the right word, but i believe in you.