New England Music (1996)

by Thunderegg

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about

Now a 20-song album with 8 bonus tracks, exclusively available with the digital download!

Recorded during the record-snowfall winter of 1995-96 and featuring (relatively) embellished instrumentation and an overall looser feel than the other recordings, this follow-up effort has sometimes been seen as the Egg's most prolonged exercise in slack. But underneath that looseness lies a vein of pretty songs, including "Supergirlfriend," "Around Mountain," and "Penned In." The imminent calling-card beats of the Dr. Rhythm drum machine make their debut here as well.

Bonus tracks: "Never Comes Too Soon," "Off the Face of the Earth," "Double-Date Brad," "(I Was an) Intern at Spin," "Vorion Promises a Spectacle of Power," "Mole Hill," "The Ballad of Bobby Barnes," "The Technomancer."

credits

released May 21, 1996

Recorded at 106 Exchange Street, New Haven, CT, between September 1995 and February 1996, and 411 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY, April and May 1996. Guest musician: Drew Margolin, lead and harmony awe in “Vorion Promises a Spectacle of Power.” Drew Margolin appears courtesy of Mezzanine. “Vorion Promises a Spectacle of Power” features excerpts from a speech by Vorion, a rocket-car/peaceful alien visitor who happened to have been sent to the New Haven Coliseum Monster Truck Rally to deliver his message on the Power of Dreams.

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Track Name: Here Comes the Blame
Here comes the blame like a locomotive train through the phone lines. You always complain when I fail to sustain your peace of mind. But I’ve got news for you: it’s that I need you too, I really do, but more than our state can allow, because if we lean on each other long enough, we’ll both fall down.

Now I’m going through withdrawal, you don’t understand how bad I want to call you. And pretend that this all was some elaborate ruse by my substitute. But I both dialed and hung up the phone, and in between, that voice was me, I heard it with my own two ears. Now I’m wishing that this was a nightmare and I’ll wake up with you near.

There will be no plane or train to take either of us out of this space. And I don’t know about you, but you’re why I’m in this place in the first place. I know you always get upset when I throw "always" at your last mindset. I say I’ll stop, but I always forget. I always wanted us to grow old together, but not just yet.
Track Name: The Girl Who Has Everything
What was the name of the boy I saw you with yesterday? Is he just another toy for the girl who has everything? His eyes tell it all, you’ve got him just where you had me. Hopeful and bright and completely unable to see.
Track Name: Everything Has the Girl
Gnihtyreve sah ohw lrig rht rof yot rehtona tsuj eh si. Yadretsey htiw uoy was I yob eht fo eman eht saw tahw?
Track Name: Edgar Martinez
With no rhyme or reason, ruined the whole season. Completely irrational, wish he was in the National.

Well, Edgar Martinez knocked in the winning run and hit something like .521. Makes me want to scream and howl, the way he murdered Wickman and he killed McDowell. I cried in my beer, I reached for my hanky after seeing what he did to my Yankees. Of course, when he went to Cleveland to proffer the proof, he couldn’t have hit pavement if he fell off a roof. Just goes to show, he’s not so smart-inez, he’s just a flash in the pan, that Edgar Martinez.

When I was a kid sitting eating my Jell-o, there was a fellow called Martinez, first name Carmelo. And when I was older, sitting sipping the vino, I’d sit and watch a player by the name of Tino, who was no match for the wisdom of Denis, but would have nailed Tippy’s hanging curve all the way to Venice. But all four combined didn’t have the career-ies to match the stats of Edgar in that wild card series.

Go home, Edgar, go home. And don’t show your face again until you’re hitting .210.
Track Name: Rack & Pinion
I’ve never seen New Haven Green at the sunrise. I’ve got a dream to let out a scream at the toll booth guy. I’ve been to a beach club called Heaven, they wouldn’t let me play volleyball. But they let me in, I didn’t question, not at all. No, not at all.

There’s something cool about the words rack and pinion. They stay by each other’s sides, they’re never separate in anybody’s diction. They always counter each other, but that’s what makes them strong. And all their disagreement moves me right along, right along.
Track Name: Other People's Coffee
Ever walk the streets and wonder what people are thinking? Ever look at their paper cup to see what they’re drinking? Ever taste their coffee in attempt to understand that their state of mind is based on what they’re holding in their hand?

Some people dump in seven Dominos, anything less and they’re comatose. But because their hot beverage has a taste so attractive, they finish theirs first and are the most hyperactive. Others would rather not be connected to that scene, instead contacting bean extract with a few drops of cream. They’re a little more grown up and they know that life’s not sweet, but they like to have a cutter to negotiate its heat. Then there’s the purists, drinking like they think they should, taking it jet black though it doesn’t taste as good. Either giving to a fault, after what they’ve suffered, or so used to sacrifice that they expect it from others. And then, of course, there’s the assorted riff-raff, who, though it looks like they have coffee, are drinking decaf. Which goes a long way down the road to explain why they’re wandering the town looking perpetually drained, but at least their lives aren’t filled with pathetic searches for public restrooms, enslavement to a diuretic. All this is not to mention specialty espresso drinks that completely control people’s ability to think to the point of derangement, so that they don’t even mind a twenty-cent concoction costing them $3.95. Even classism, the paper cups betray. Did they go to Dunkin’ Donuts or the Hot Shit Caffé? Would one say it’s with milk, while the other would say that ce que en le main est un café au lait? You never know what’s in that cup, you never know if it’s filled up, but a little checking in to what’s inside it lets you into someone’s soul, no matter how they try to hide it.

Ever walk the streets and wonder what people are thinking? Ever look at their paper cup to see what they’re drinking? Ever taste their coffee in attempt to understand that their state of mind is based on what they’re holding in their hand?
Track Name: Dog Leg
Dog Leg, I can’t see you true. Every day I get a different angle on you. And I don’t want to sink another ball in the drink. Dog Leg, you’re not worth it, I guess I’m through.

Dog Leg doesn’t let you walk away without getting in the last word and ruining your day. We’re going to have to let you go, is what Dog Leg will say, even though you were just about to quit anyway.

Dog Leg has these bosses who she can’t interrupt. She wants to be me when she asks me to speak, but she’s them when she tells me to shut up.

Dog Leg looks all right at first, but there’s a lot that you can’t see. And if you hit into her rough, then you’re history. And she can’t fire me, I already Q-U-I-T. I know she did it first, but that’s a technicality.

Dog Leg I still win cause I’ll never have to see your face again.
Track Name: Backtracked Baby
I was enjoying our conversation so I taped you on my machine. You were secure in my ad-miration, you were the woman in my dreams. But when I played back my recording, you sounded different than you did before. I noticed your peculiar wording. You seemed to have an accent, but I wasn’t sure.

Then something bizarre happened, something crazy and perverse. I dropped my machine onto the floor and it started playing in reverse. At first it all seemed garbled and I was about to throw the tape away, but when I listened closer, I realized that the words were clear as day.

An eerie cloud filled up my transom as splitting pain took over my head. In disbelief I sat and listened to a deep croaking voice that said, I have taken over your body, and of course I’ve stolen away your soul. I am evil and dark and satanic, but you’re too stupid to ever know. With each of your backtracked phrases, sensation rocked my spine. I went on a date with Satan, and I was hoping that she’d be mine.
Track Name: As They Might
I think I am where I was intended, and I’m pretty sure you’re not here, too. But jealousy was a deadbeat roommate, and I was jealous of everyone except me and you. Is it all right when things don’t work out as they might?

I think I’ll sit and write you a letter, and maybe a song with jazzy chords just for you. I think I’ll tell you that I miss you, and that you’re a friend I can’t afford to lose. And it’s all right when things don’t work out as they might. It’s OK because they work out just the same.
Track Name: Wallet Full of Ones
Wallet full of ones and I’m rarin’ to hit the town. Buy a couple Little Debbies and a two-liter of Royal Crown. Head out to some hotspot smokin’ Basics with the bouncers, just outside the door. My wallet full of ones keeps bulging in my pocket and it makes me feel pretty secure.

Wallet full of ones, it’s a wallet full of fun. Not enough to rent a tux, but plenty for a Copper Kitchen cheeseburger deluxe. The world is full of cool stuff, and I can do a ton when I’m struttin’ down the street with my wallet full of ones.

I saw Judy on the Avenue but she couldn’t look me in the eye. Her brown eyes were fixed on that fat rectangle at my thigh. Well, she asked me out to coffee, but I said no just to keep her in suspense. Then I walked to Sam Goody, bought a new compact disc, and now I’m wondering where my money went.

Wallet full of ones, it’s a deal that’s been done. My pants are back hanging the way they used to back when, there’s a lot of worse fates than a wallet that’s thin, and I’ll just put out the tip jar when my shift starts at ten. When I punch out at six you can be certain I’ll walk out with a wallet full of ones again.
Track Name: Around Mountain
I went around the mountain. I got set adrift for sixteen days. When I got to the other side, I saw a ski lift winding down from the top, out to where I lay.

I cried, and kept heading for Lincoln, wondering about the time I wasted, why is it being complacent doesn’t mean you’re not working, just means you’re not thinking?

Finally I hopped on a bus. Sat with pictures in my wallet, thinking of us. And I remembered those days in the wind and the sleet and I realized how easy this whole thing could be.
Track Name: Involver
Still miserable after all these hours, somebody please grant me superhuman powers to finish the worn-out years that I’ve started, to build my life’s work out of what you discarded, to run down the tracks, catch your train that’s departed, to remember the song in my head when I parted from you. Some song always reminds me of you. And if I don’t start pretending that I’m starting to care, I’ll start to believe I don’t want to be there with you, and I don’t know if that’s the truth.

Just cleaned the barrel of my favorite revolver, just want you to see me as an involver, just want you to be able to depend on someone who is me but who isn’t a friend, someone whose hope flows on without end, who snaps when they fasten and breaks when they bend around you. I crack when I wrap around you. And if I don’t start pretending that I’m starting to care, I’ll start to believe I don’t want to be there with you, and I’m afraid that that’s the truth.

Stupid, uprooted, and most of all polluted, tired of being the batteries not included and selling myself to some overlord master who lurks in the walls underneath the cracked plaster. The radio’s on and the beat rises faster, till a sudden explosion and my mind’s already past her for you, and unforeseen visions of you. And if I don’t start pretending that I’m starting to care, I’ll start to believe I don’t want to be there with you, and I wonder if I really do. I wonder if I ever knew.
Track Name: Supergirlfriend
We were both under the impression that we gave and got nothing back. Where these gifts were going, neither of us could say. But in the larger cosmic order, someone was being rewarded. We should have tracked him down to pry what we gave away.

Sometimes I think you were perfect and I just threw you back because I’m happier when I am stretched on self-loathing’s lonesome rack. You made me full of life but when you woke me from the dead, you dulled my only knife, you made it lose its edge. So that when darkness fell, I could not defend, and depended on the strength of my marvelous girlfriend.
Track Name: Penned In
I didn’t know what to say to her, I couldn’t find my pen. Before I could lay the blame on her, the pen resurfaced, she hid it on purpose, it’s all just so typical. And if things grind to a halt, I can always say that it never was my fault.

I don’t know what I told her, but it must have been the wrong thing. And I should offer her my shoulder, but I’m wearing my new shirt, and salt stains it worst. It lays there in rings and leaves behind the hurtful things I didn’t know I said.

I don’t know where I walked last night when she sent me on my way. Thinking we’d had a blow-out fight, when we never raised our voices or made each other’s choices, so that when she told me to get out, I stayed.
Track Name: Sparkling Wine Regrets
You stood behind the register as I walked through the door, you asked me if I needed some help, I said I wasn’t sure. I said I had a friend who just finished her paper and maybe she’d feel like celebrating later. But you could see in my eyes the depth of my affection and you said that you had a couple of suggestions.

So you showed me red and white and you showed me champagne, and you showed me sparkling wine, which is basically the same. But you could read my expression of scared hesitation and you said, "Wait, son, I’ve got one more recommendation. Don’t buy her anything, don’t try to be so pleasant. You’ll scare her away with all your smiles and your presents. Just say congratulations and be on your way, and she’ll want you all the more, just like they say."

Oh Lord, the door chimes rang in alarm as I walked out of the store, that bottle tucked under my arm. Never thinking it could ever cause such harm and that I’d turn her off when I turned on the charm. I wish I could recork it, replace the foil wrapping, and pretend this whole damn bottle thing never even happened. Oh why, of all things, did I have to ignore your words, why didn’t I back right out of your store?
Track Name: Billiard
I went and bought you a cue stick, monogrammed so you won’t lose it. In its own carrying case to be sure that it never ever breaks. Unless I play you, and you smash it over my head. You shouldn’t play billiards with an ex-girlfriend.

You always used to beat me, I always said I let you win. There are different ways to beat me, you said, swung the stick, and stove my head in. I said I’d play you, I didn’t know what to expect at all. My head is aching after you scratched on the 8-ball.

Swinging that cue stick like you were Zorro’s twin, sending me to the floor with a lance and a spin. Chalk in my eye and a bump on my head, I know we both thought it would never end. But it did and we both lost, and it’s like I always said. You shouldn’t play billiards with an ex-girlfriend.
Track Name: Lighthouse
I was cold and frightened, I was lost at sea. Oh please now lighthouse, swing and shine to me. Guide me and give me light so that I may see. Oh please now lighthouse, swing and shine to me. When I reach your shores, I know what I shall be. Oh please now lighthouse, swing and shine to me. You led me to an office up in a tower tall. To watch over your light, to shine your light for all.
Track Name: Myrtle ’95
Well I’m cookin’ up a party, if you miss it, you’ll be sorry, cause the guests have already arrived. That’s right, it’s Myrtle ‘95.

Circulating the floor, everyone knows that he’s gonna score tonight. Myrtle ‘95. Loungin’ on the couch, he’s sunk into a cushion and he’ll never get out, but that’s fine, it’s Myrtle ‘95. Hans Schiller and My Fucking Mother are servin’ up the beer, but Poldi isn’t frightened cause the White Shadow is here. Sit tight, it’s Myrtle ‘95.

And the Party Chef is takin’ tickets at the door. Organizing a session of round the horn. Till then he’ll work the tap and keep the keg alive. No rest for the weary, Myrtle ‘95.

If it’s all too raucous and you need somewhere to hide, the sensitive guys with the guitars are playing softly on the side. But they have wine. After all, it’s Myrtle ‘95. And just when it seems like you’re gonna lose control, Corky McGlown hands you a fat bowl. This is the life, and it’s just tonight, it’s out of sight, we all feel all right—it’s Myrtle ‘95.