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Thunderegg (1997)

by Thunderegg

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You Showed Them to Me (free) 04:03
You’re talking to me and ooh, I love the way you’re talking through me, baby. Everything I’m hearing, everything I say, it’s like you knew me, baby. Ooh, and all declension melted to sweet cliché—I knew you’d ruin me, baby. But I said I’d read your poems and now I rue the day you showed them to me, baby. Four years talking lying in a standard issue bed, we didn’t doubt it, baby. We would tie the knot, get hitched, we would soon be wed. You’d never be without me, baby. Ooh, you said forever, I trusted what you said, you were devoted to me, baby. I’ll always picture the first time you raised your shirt over your head and showed them to me, baby. I said that I loved you and I slipped on the ring, you said you loved me, baby. Then doing the dishes, you lost it in the sink. That was pretty clumsy, baby. Ooh, you said your parents would treat me like a king. You’d introduce me, baby. Next morning they dropped over while we were disagreeing. You showed them to me, baby. We sure weren’t fucking and we sure weren’t friends. It was getting gloomy, baby. So I said divorce me, and that was what you did, in fact, you sued me, baby. Ooh, I got the Porsche but ooh, you got the kids. You hung the jury, baby. Now I get to see them on alternate weekends. You show them to me, baby.
You didn’t have to coat your throat with chocolate before you sang. You didn’t have to get all set to jet so long before the alarm rang. It’s no reason to get all sad. You’ll find out what you could have had. It will float up to reckon while the rest remains leaden. Of such is the kingdom of heaven. He knows certain gals who take him on the town for some late night thrills. But at three a.m. guess who’s looking for his pals and footing the bill? It’s not good or bad, it’s just your luck. Three beers and company are worth a hundred bucks. Now throw some cold water on the engine that’s revvin’. Of such is the kingdom of heaven. Now look what you done when you set phasers to stun, not that you will. Better to just be and leave me in deep freeze, I wish you’d set them to kill. The worst is that I still can see, and you’re yawning when you visit me. If you can give a hundred and ten percent, you can give one-eleven. Of such is the kingdom of heaven. There are two convenience stores, catty-corner, I don’t know which to patronize. One costs too much and one’s a front for number-running wise guys. I only wanted a loaf of bread. I got a blackjack on the back of the head. And woke up in a daze at President and Nevins, of such is the kingdom of heaven. I thought both were candidates till I saw wonder twin powers activate. Chances for a date have turned to none or a threesome, not that that’s a complaint. You’re so beautiful that it bugs me. Why can’t you be a little more ugly? And I may be half-baked, but at least I’m not half-leavened. Of such is the kingdom of heaven. Don’t sell me any more of your lies or cries unless there’s a prize inside. I’m sick and tired of being inquired about the fire that’s burning me alive. Was it something you lit on purpose, or did I commit arson to collect the insurance? It will soon be settled when we sift through all the remnants, of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Like a Truck (free) 03:15
Like a truck you’ve got to barrel through the roadblocks set by littler people than you. Like a truck you’ve got to leave your mark, then get back to the jet black of the dark. Taken for a ride by the road signs, you’ve lost your way. When you’re crossing this ocean, there’s just one way to navigate. Let saddest streets and darkest stars separate the moonbeams from the cars. Like a truck you’ve got to feed them dust and seek out hidden channels to find the ones to trust.
Now What (free) 02:25
It’s getting kind of hard to take. You’re always stuck in the same place. It’s time to reassess your fate. Just three places you can be found: at work, in bed, and underground. No wonder you just drag around. Now you’re not getting out of bed. You’ll make the commute in your head and pop another Sudafed. The effort isn’t always worth the fruit it brings. There should be wheels on everything. Just think what these wheels could do. You could roll to the next room, or even roll the room to you. I know it’s hard to visualize a world with wheels upon its skies, where you just grab hold and you fly. Fire trucks chasing the fire, the wheels have wheels, so do the tires. Stand back, they’re rolling in the choir. The dead are rolling in their graves. There’ll be no rolling back their days, but thunder’s rolling far away. Hate to bust up your fantasy, but heavy things remain heavy even if they coast with ease. One thing that we learned too late: the problem never was the skates. The problem’s always been the brakes.
Planetarium (1997) (free) 03:23
You got lost on the way and wound up at the planetarium, paid five bucks for the headphones and buried yourself in their stereo. Now it’s dark and there are a billion stars in the sky. The planetarium’s a pretty good place to hide. The stars up above us are the brightest, the astronomers all say, but where they are is darkness, and where you are is radiant day. So sue me if effect and cause are mixed up in my mind. The planetarium’s a pretty good place to hide. If you ceased to shine your light on me, then surely I would die. My heart would freeze over and darkness would settle in my eyes. When I’m with you, heaven and earth collide. The planetarium’s a pretty good place to hide.
Ephemeral 97 (free) 03:09
Ephemeral, ephemeral moments, time that I’ve spent with you is time I want to lock away. Berietta, mudslide, a Blue Hawaii, melonball on the side, a few Rumplehoos to make us lose our blues and everything’s okay. And please don’t set me down, not until you’re finished. Finished with me, that is. I don’t care what time it is. Ephemeral, ephemeral daydream, let my mind go wandering, it always knows its way back home. And thoughts of you dominate my thoughts of late, and I can’t figure out how I did without your phone calls to my dark. And please don’t wake me up, I don’t care what time it is. The last time for us, that is, unless it’s not because you’re no longer his. Ephemeral, ephemeral mood swing, why do I feel that what I’ve said is permanent and what I’ve done can’t be undone? And what compensation can I propose for a mouth that would have been best left closed? If I look in your eyes and apologize, the I’m sorry comes two words too late. And how can I deny that I’m not disappointed that the only time I know that you will hold me close is when you’re holding onto this grudge?
Well, Christina, it’s been a long, long, time, and isn’t getting any shorter. Prom pictures are still looking pretty fine, but they’re frayed around the corners. Christina, I tried to call you the other night, but then I hung up on your boarder. I had a heart attack, almost cracked, and finally got my courage back, but by then I’d run out of quarters. Christina, there’s a pain in my heart I’ve had to get used to. Christina, don’t make me start remembering how much I miss you. It will all come flooding back, like the sound of your violin floating on the wind. You used to practice in your bedroom window and I would watch, hiding behind your mom’s flower pots. Oh, Christina, it used to matter to you, but oh, Christina, I once did, too. Christina stopped playing her violin, she doesn’t think it’s important. Christina’s got a boyfriend in the east, but it’s not me, it just should be. Remember when we’d go walking in the woods out by the lake, and we would wonder if the creepers ever could support our weight. Remember when I jumped one just like Tarzan might, then I dropped just like a boulder. I guess the lesson was that every blessing should be checked at points of stress, but look what I put on your shoulders. Christina, we used to talk all night at whispering volumes. Christina, and now I’m afraid to even try to call you. We were only seventeen, but was it real, or was it just me? The music drifted out into the street. I was hypnotized by my love and my pride. Oh, Christina, it used to matter to you, and oh, Christina, I once did, too.
He don’t treat her right or even know what her needs are. Her friends all know it but he won’t let them come near her. And she thinks that she has found a guy who is sweeter. Well, he don’t treat her right, but I don’t, either. So sing a song for all those scoundrels and cheaters, the low down dirty dogs and emotional deadbeaters. Yes, raise your glass up high and let your spirits flow free. Drink to the scoundrels and drink to me. He don’t treat her right, he don’t show her affection. And I would call her every night, but I must exercise discretion. And I would buy her baubles, but I don’t for fear of detection. Well, he don’t treat her right, but I don’t either, for my own protection. So stand upon the slippery slope and toast unaccountable actions and all the shades of gray on their infinite axis. Options are always three hundred and sixty degrees, so you can choose to drink or not, but either way, you’ll be doing it for me. He don’t treat her right, not the type who would be there. Not like I will be for my wife, though I have yet to meet her. And I myself am not the type to be some sort of deceiver. This is different, cause he don’t treat her right, what’s the difference if I don’t, either?
Jetlag (free) 02:51
And all along the earth is spinning, at every second, new days beginning, but if we run fast enough, this night will never end. We’ll reach the coast at just past seven but in our heads it’s almost eleven. We’ll keep buying time till we’ve got nothing left to spend. And then astronomers on other stars will set their telescopes upon our car and say our headlights shone four billion years ago. There’s nothing that I’d rather do than ride a particle of light forever with you and coast past heaven into the great unknown.
Rutting Season (free) 04:13
Never were there any signs to indicate it was different. Wrong chemistry, location, date, and time. Now clever words are failing me, not that they ever didn’t. There’s only so much you can say in rhyme. All those nights outlining moves while we sat stranded behind the tube, no movement ever got anyone less far. The only moving we’d ever do came when I served in lieu of a moving crew, and carried all your boxes to his car. And it’s all right. It was rutting season when you wanted me. Before I could lose my velvet, I lost you. And so tonight, is there some reason that you’re calling me? Some young buck should have stepped up in my shoes. A kitchen kiss she’d never miss, no pressure, just a steady twist. Years later he has yet to let it go. Long-distance hiss, is that what it is? Or is she pissing bliss into the mist? She’ll call him back next year to let him know. The Ouija sighed, and then said, "Son, there are more pretty girls than one. Now stop asking phantoms what you’re supposed to do. Find one who brightens like the sun, love for the shine and not the shun, and know the dead have even less of a clue than you."
In Defense of Inertia (free) 01:43
I can’t wake up in the morning because I always dream I already did. I can’t make up any stories because I can only see where I’ve already been. I can’t take up any worries because I would have no idea where to begin. So I can’t rake in any glory because I will never need what I never missed. And I don’t believe I give a shit.
She Sells Seashells (free) 04:44
Well, the way she handled herself up at the bar, I liked everything I’d seen so far. A Scotch, a schnapps, Schlitz straight from the tap, they’d give her more and she’d just set them back. I asked her who it was that she worked for, her answer came clear as golden ore: She sells seashells by the seashore. She sells seashells by the seashore. I said, You can say that pretty great, and tried myself, but couldn’t get it straight. Stuttering and stammering at all the wrong times, but she said when it’s your job, you eventually get it right. She runs a little seashell stand over in the powder sand, cause she sells seashells by the seashore. I was impressed, I must confess, that she could lay down her line without a single misstep. It was a mess with all those S’s but she said it with finesse, I tried it again, but still had no success. She leaned in close and said she’d be my coach, said if you want to get it right, you gotta start slow. Repeat: She sells seashells by the seashore. She said the most important thing is you gotta relax, brought some Red Label to our table and a bottle of Black. I emptied rocks glass after shot glass and by last call, I think I’d gotten the knack. Don’t let your tongue twist up your lips, she leaned in once more, said, just like this: She sells seashells by the seashore. The barman called out it was closing time, play word games on your own clock, not on mine. And we spent the rest of the night practicing speech, and when I came to the next morning, I was lying on the beach. Alone, alone, and not a soul in sight, but the surf sought to remind me, whispering in the morning light: She sells seashells by the seashore. I walked forever on the powder sand, searching for the seashell stand, but I found nothing, and then it occurred to me, why would she be selling something that I could find for free? Her words were lined up to deceive, and what kind of fool am I to believe that she sells seashells by the seashore.
Everyman knows everything and everyman’s a fool, but everyman’s got a whole new think coming for when he meets the likes of you. You defy all known statistics and what I pin on you. You’re an atheistic mystic, a sugar-free sweet tooth. What was I gonna do? You’re fading in the distance. You ran away, should I be chasing you? What was I gonna do? If I had to buy you a present, I wonder what I’d choose. I could buy you the opposite of what I liked, but either way I'd lose. I’m cutting tighter and tighter circles. When I drop over I come in twos. The rabbit and the turtle, I don’t know which one of us you refuse. What was I gonna do? You’re fading in the distance. You ran away, should I be chasing you? What was I gonna do? Let’s go down to the seashore or to the Delaware Water Gap. Forget all that came before and what’s coming down the track. When I’m lying, I’ll tell you that I’m lying, so even lies will be true, and in the still of the night I’ll tell you that I’m dying, dying, dying, dying over you. What was I gonna do? You’re fading in the distance. You ran away, should I be chasing you? What was I gonna do?
Into the Oubliette (free) 03:31
If you stripped away your memories, would there be anything left? Things you forgot you remembered, things you remembered to forget? Things you might have already thought before, wiped clean from your head. Last seen falling through a hole in the floor, into the oubliette. I know it all sounds like a joke but that’s not my intent. It’s just I have so many memories, but I picked them as I went. If I’d chosen different ones, I’d be a different guy, I guess. He spiraled down and was never found, dropped into the oubliette. For example, I went to the zoo when I was three or four. I hated my ice cream sandwich but don’t remember anything more. I got busted with an open container on Eleventh Street with Seth, but what I did the day before vanished into the oubliette. I remember jamming with Jake eating stuffing sandwiches and watching pay-per-view Black Sheep, but I don’t remember what my baby whispered in my ear that night before I fell asleep. Maybe I was preoccupied with things that hadn’t happened yet, but that’s thousands and thousands of heartbeats flushed down the oubliette. October twenty-second 1995, I know I woke up and went to bed, but to my mind, anything else that happened that day is long rolled over and dead. And ninety-nine percent of my waking life, it’s no mystery where it went. I called it on the carpet and banished it to the oubliette.
The American standard is slipping and it’s all your fault, all your fault. The social fabric is ripping and it’s all your fault, all your fault. Nobody noticed anyone up on the ladder but they saw you fall off the shelf. You could have avoided that disaster if you could change a bulb by yourself. I was the one who was the missing person, I shot the gun but didn’t mean to hurt you, I thought you and I were both made of vapor. Imagine my surprise to see that you had fallen down. The American standard is slipping and it’s all your fault, all your fault. The social fabric is ripping and it’s all your fault, all your fault. Nobody but a fool ever tried to matter to anyone but himself, and then you had to go and ruin ancient patterns, make me think of you and nothing else. I was the one who was the distant person, I was the one on a mission of aversion, I thought you and I looked bad on paper. Imagine my surprise when I found how I’d come around. The American standard is slipping and it’s all your fault, all your fault. The social fabric is ripping and it’s all your fault, all your fault. And of course he’s hoping she’ll be flattered that she’s the one he’s fallen for, but of course by then they both will have scattered to opposing ends of the corridor. I was the one who was the kissing bandit, I think that I want you but I don’t think I can stand it. Everybody’s saying I should tell you later, imagine my surprise when I say that I think I love you now.
The Mighty Battlecat (free) 03:40
Your voice echoes in my head as I’m lying in my bed and pays no mind to my kind silence or respect for my weakness. It repeats reassurances I know I never heard and sings a song of memory that hasn’t any words. There once was a time when I thought I had a chance, told her when she wasn’t looking was when I danced. I could make her laugh when I talked about the past, but impressing in the present was a little tougher task. I wished upon a fuzz ball that came drifting my way that you would fall in love with me one day, but the wind would not permit it and the wish will not come true. It blew the seed back to me instead of blowing it to you. By then it will be too late for that because Cringer never became the Mighty Battlecat. So let’s fast forward to when I’m thirty-four and I’ve rented a car to visit you and yours. I almost get lost on the ride across, but for once I take a right turn at the fork. I’ll know you wound up with someone strong because your driveway is so long and I’ll know that I won’t dress like him and I’ll hope that you won’t rub it in. But injury would be insulted twice if you said the same thing that you said tonight, that you have warmest memories of times forgotten long and gone. Why couldn’t I have been there to remind you all along?
Dumb Show (free) 01:03
Why do you make me feel pathetic, and give me a headache? Why do you make me feel that I’m all washed out and I’ve got something to cry about?
I died today for just a minute, a blur to gray, then I was wide awake, what’s that, it’s blood, you’re soaking in it, I died today for just a minute. You heard me say I died today, I have no witness to substantiate my claim, but name something different to explain my pain and my blood running down the drain. Last thing I remember is fireflies growing bigger and bigger till they overflowed my eyes. One flew away, took my life with it, I died today for just a minute. I died today right where we lay and wondered what respects you’d pay, and if my last wish you’d obey, and if you’d stay up till dawn and pray for me to rise again from that stony end, for me to sit bolt upright, grip the posts of the bed. It’s upon your faith that my spirit depends, please don’t let me down, please don’t let me descend to the darkness where I am confined, baby lend me your breath, put your lips to mine, and if I wake up in the middle of the night, I’ll know it’s to you that I owe my life. I’ll love you beyond mortal limits with a fire that can’t be extinguished. I’ll hold you tight until the finish. I died today for just a minute.
Find the Stoned Guy (free) 03:29
We seize the hair by the roots and wrench it for the sacrifice, then meet the glare of the group and dare them to tell us otherwise. Never was there such truth staring face to face with so many eyes. We breathe the air of the tomb. Can you find the stoned guy? Was it me, or was that just your muse descending from the flaming sky, in the atmosphere burned and consumed, a mere handful of dust when it arrived? Still you think that you can improve on the body of work that was left behind. You already know that he found you, but can you find the stoned guy? So you think you’ve got something new that will make your name eternalized. What were you planning to contribute that hasn’t been contributed a million times? Oh, how painful and oh, how soon you’ll realize how hopeless is the enterprise. There’s only one thing left for you to do. Come and find the stoned guy.
Sprung from some formal list, well-appointed finalist, welcome to analysis. Was that all you expect from this? He raised his hand and formed a fist, forbidden question on his lips. If I should lie would you subsist? Was that all you expect from this? They speak of crimes in ancient times when blunted weapons brought tears and cries, so blunted words now he resists. Was that all you expect from this? Behind the penciled goods and greats lie the deceptions of a fake. I think your work is fabulous. Was that all you expect from this?
You Are So Mean to Me (free) 01:35
Mean to me, you are so mean to me, you are so mean that when you’re nice, I don’t know what you mean to me. Be seen with me, you won’t be seen with me. You won’t be seen, because you know you’ll raise a scene with me. Because I know you’ll dash my love to the ground, left in a pile upon the floor next to my crumpled evening gown. Your way with me, you have your way with me. You have your way till I can’t stand it—now get away from me. You are so mean to me.
Robert Earl Hughes (free) 02:13
We drove like hell for Monticello to the grave of Robert Hughes and at twelve tolls of the bell we felt the earth begin to move. Trees crashed all around us amid the crumblings of the tombs, we were sure we’d met our doom by resurrection’s cold monsoon. But then a shadow still and strong cast a silence upon the gloom, laying sheets of morning dew, quenching fires as it grew. And it rose still steadily till it blanketed the moon, and then it rode upon the winds to fill the starry night’s ballroom. Robert Hughes. Robert Earl Hughes. Peaceful and translucent, it wasn’t long till it consumed everything that we imagined and every last thing that we knew. The final act of the specter before it exploded out of view was the voice of a sonic boom calling out "I forgive you." The words faded in a red dawn somehow beautiful and new. We had seen the rising of the dead and we felt risen, too. For if a spirit’s always bigger than the form that it assumes, then there is no bigger spirit than the ghost of Robert Hughes.
You looked up at the sky and the clouds were a guy you denied last July. When he cried, didn’t bite, called him child, said goodbye. Weren’t you warned that a cloud is a storm? You forget, you get wet, you forget, you get wet. And I vow that I won’t be a fool for you now. And I vow I won’t go to the pool with no towel. It feels cold to my toes, then you spin, push me in. You forget, you get wet, you forget, you get wet. I was soaked to the bone in my clothes, nearly froze, but could not tell you that it was not a good joke. Frozen through, lips were blue, trembling, too, but I knew, you forget, you get wet, you forget, you get wet. Long ago I was told to control what I hold, not to go and disclose what was bold in my soul. But my feelings for you excepted all the rules. You forget, you get wet, no such thing as "except." So you stop, wonder why some traditions don’t die: Why do newlyweds all have a ball at the falls? Memory can obsess, memory can oppress. You forget, you get wet, you’re not dead, you’re just wet. A mistake I will make, it’s a risk I will take. Drive me out to the lake, I will plunge for your sake. Water black, it forbids, water cold, I jump in. I forget, I get wet, and I want to get wet. Then I hear something splash, coming from the lagoon. Then I see you swim under the glow of the moon. Then I pull you in close and tell you I love you. I forget, I get wet, I get wet, I love you. I’d say I love you if I knew that there’d be any use.
Household Name (free) 02:37
I don’t want to be a Household Name, I came to play, I thought you came for the same, and then you went and took your toys away. I guess I’ll never be a Household Name. Twin reverberations reverb out the door, Baby Lindbergh don’t live here no more. He got less than he requested and provided the rest. When you build up expectations, what do you expect? I saw a man with an amp on Amsterdam Ave standing in the rain trying to hail a cab to take him and his Fender back to his pad, where he can plug in the guitar that he doesn’t have. I don’t mean to intrude, but if you want to have a group, there’s better ways to do it than saying that the group is through. I got the axe and you got the tubes. I guess we’ll leave it at that. I guess we’ll leave it to you.
Endless Screw (free) 03:38
Why don’t you ever play with your dog? He doesn’t even know you. You sneak home late along the edge of the lawn, his teeth he still does show you. You never gave him no water, never gave him no meat, and still expected him to protect you. He ran away and years later, you saw him down at the beach. He pretended to forget you. It’s an endless screw spinning forever and ever around and around you. You estimated it’d be belated, but I procrastinated, too. I thought it’d finally happen when you moved to Manhattan, but it never did, boo hoo. There are different kinds of faith and there are different kinds of truth, I got stuck in the express lane of the milk and honey route. I shot past the off ramp that would have taken me to you, aimed my dashboard at the night and asphalt of the endless screw. When you took my hand at the party, I was never gonna let it go, then you guided it to shake with the man who stood in your shadow. It isn’t funny that you’re hanging with a joke. It isn’t funny you’re still lovely when you’re dancing with him slow. I may never have you, but I have the dog that once was yours, and I named him Rover. And I felt more fruitful than anyone who’s ever even had fruit has felt before. Looked like things were gonna blow over. But everything was anchored by precalculated damage, till I wished upon a plane and it turned out to be a planet. Like before with the fuzz ball, we know it won’t come true. It’ll just spin in eternal orbit along the endless screw.
Champion Said No (free) 01:26
Stirring up the drinks and squeezing up the limes in the kitchen sink, twenty at a time. Such efficiency is my guarantee if you forget about the Champ and go out with me. Instant approval is pretty hard to get. Champion said no, but darling, I say yes. I have always liked you as a far and distant sight, and I thought I might step up and ask you out tonight. But I know you like the Champ, that ever-oily mendicant. Proves we’re a perfect match. We both want what we can’t have. Things don’t always work out for the best. Champion said no, but darling, I say yes.


The fourth, eponymous CD was a major step forward, boasting many of Thunderegg’s most enduring songs, among them "You Showed Them to Me," "Rutting Season," "There Should Be Wheels on Everything," "I Died Today (For Just a Minute)," "The Mighty Battlecat," and "The American Standard Is Slipping (And It’s All Your Fault)." If you’re just getting acquainted with the Egg's lo-fi period, this is a great place to start.

Deluxe edition for the diehards, now faithfully restored to the original cassette's 90-minute-plus running order!


released November 18, 1997

Recorded at 411 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY, February to April 1997, 81 Cleveland Lane, Princeton, NJ, June and July 1997, and 510 West 110th Street, New York, NY, September to November 1997.




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