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credits

released April 10, 2010

Recorded by Owen Ashworth at Advance Base, Chicago, IL & Jason Quever at Pan American Recording Studio, San Francisco, CA
Julie Lispector recorded her own vocals for "Man O' War" at home in Bordeaux, France

Mastered by JJ Golden

Cover art by Heidi Anderson

TOM128

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Casiotone for the Painfully Alone Chicago, Illinois

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Track Name: Tom Justice, The Choir Boy Robber, Apprehended at Ace Hardware in Libertyville, IL
Steelman frame in a creek bed
took the money & you fled
counted months til they found you
they had your bike they were bound to

26 from here to home
26 no gun just notes
26 without a shot
that‘s more than Bonnie & Clyde got

you know they called you the Choir Boy
before they had any hints
that you only ever pressed your palms
so you wouldn’t leave prints

don’t they say you can’t go home
Thanksgiving you should have known
read your rights & cuffed face down
in front of Ace Hardware
in your hometown

order called & they read your name
on your feet as judgment came
all those times they thought you were praying
Tom you should’ve been praying

you know they called you the Choir Boy the way you cleared those safes
but you only ever bowed your head
to keep your face off the tapes
& Tom I heard you were smiling when the feds rushed in
was it a kind of relief
to pay for your sin
Track Name: Optimist Vs. The Silent Alarm (When The Saints Go Marching In)
we’re skeletons of cigarettes
& empty cans & bottles
& we tear out of the parking lot
the engine at full throttle
& we planned a route with all right turns
so lights won’t get us caught
we got a mess of cash in duffel bags
& every penny’s hot
well hallelujah well hallelujah

oh & we’re laughing through the fear that we’ll never make the clear
oh & you’ve never looked so dear
it‘s the end of our career

we’ll ditch the car in Wisconsin
& hide out in the trees
& I know a dude in Madison
who owes some favors to me
with the money in the back seat baby
we could buy a house
& raise a little family on Schlitz & Mickey Mouse
well hallelujah well hallelujah

oh & we’re laughing through the fear
that we’ll never make the clear
oh & you’ve never looked so dear
it’s the end of our career
Track Name: Natural Light
I got some news on you from a friend
you’re in Charlotte again
teaching Spanish at high school

he said you’re going by Joy
you cut your hair like a boy
& you don’t talk to your old friends

I found a picture from before the fight
we’re in natural light
& you’re sitting on my lap
like everything’s alright

I’ve walked around with you on my mind
the names we used at the time
you know I’ve changed myself since then

I’ve thought on things that we said
what if we’d had the kid
I guess he’d be 15

I found a picture from before the fight
we’re in natural light
& you’re sitting on my lap
like everything’s alright
Track Name: Traveling Salesman's Young Wife Home Alone on Christmas in Montpelier, VT
here comes the frost that freezes every year
shutter windows hang the Advent calendar
what are you doing on your own with frozen ears
I know we’re changing like the trees in Montpelier

you took a job that put you on the road
for days & weeks in motels’ sleepy TV glow
with static filtering through pay phones in the snow
it drowns your home by Christmases & love-you-sos

& all our promises come so easy
they fill distances til our next meeting
but you’re always off the phone
long before I’d prefer to be

& I know that we should get some money saved
I’ve felt the kicking growing in me every day
oh we’ll live fat & happy when you get home you will say
but I’d eat beans if you’d just stay

& all our promises are so fleeting
when all I really want is you close to me
but you were already out the door
by the time that occurred to me
Track Name: Man O' War
waded out into the tide
stung by jellyfish & died
left a wife & child behind
ages 36 & 9

Christmas morning pictures fading tinsel glare
Kim how long you gonna stare

never sleep without a light
hate aquariums alright
older boyfriends all your life
& usually they have a wife

blame yourself blame your mother blame the sea
blame a lover blame psychiatry
to never know what kind of man your father’d be
how you’d wished he’d kept a diary
Track Name: Northfield, MN
you took the baby to your mother’s end of June
& kissed her for the last time
on the bed in your old room
then up to Northfield in the Fairmont just you two
you always drove the getaway
so you wouldn’t have to shoot
& after a couple jobs like clockwork
where not one of you had slipped
you were on your way back to Wisconsin
hit a deer & flipped

came to on the pavement
bleeding hard from the crash
calling to no one
he was as gone as the cash
but there was the Ford flipped under an overpass
the baby seat strapped in the back
the windshield smashed & red streaked
as an exploded dye pack
& so you crawled in & you closed the door
& laid on what was now the floor
& swore that you would figure out the rest
when it was morning
Track Name: Killers
oh my god
what if we had an accident
oh my god

til you’re dead
that’s how long you’re a parent
til you’re dead

you know I meant what I said
I think you’ll be a good mother
but honey look at us now
we barely support each other

take the pill
I know it makes you crazy
take the pill

call in sick
I’ll get some movies
call in sick

I know your mom was your age
when she had your brother
but honey look our lives
how could we support another

we could be killers
just for one night
Track Name: Harsh The Herald Angels Sing
how harsh the herald angels sing
I‘ve been puking my guts all morning
oh to bear the hex
of unfairer sex
it’s difficult & it’s boring

I guess I just quit drinking
I guess I just quit smoking
guess I’ll need some names
Alan William or James
doctor tell me you’re joking

I take the bus to the free clinic
on Clemens with my headphones
on & no music
please don’t sit next to me

Glad Lee the Cross-Eyed Bear
walks into a bar
she says you don‘t know
how lucky you men are

the tenants who live below me
they pretend they don’t know me
coz they don’t see a ring
now they know everything
they whisper & don’t hello me

but talk your shit man I don’t care
it’s _____ for a boy for a girl it’s Claire
Track Name: You Were Alone
you were alone
I saw you from that second story window
no sign of Jerome
he burned your would’ves
right down to the cinders

so why’d you go
the party‘s full of friends
that you lost in the break up
did you think he’d show
& be impressed by a new dress
& your sister‘s make-up

you were alone
canvassing to save your reputation
sobbing to Simone
about how he up & left no explanation
& how you drove

out to his place to pound the door
& wake the neighbors
til they yelled he ain’t home
now go & get some sleep
do us a favor

you were alone
hiding from the rain in the gazebo
shivered to the bone
& hoping for a taxi to retrieve you
well if you need a ride home
I‘m on my way up to Orinda
& you can wear my coat
Track Name: White Jetta
been this way for almost all my life
wasn’t born here Mom & me moved here when I was 5
these Kansas City boys are dull as butter knives

had this little car since I was 17
the tape is busted got a boom box in the back seat
blasting Misfits all up & down these streets

to stay the same to never change
to stay the same to never change

the college kids in KC all leave in the fall
don’t have time for letters or long distance calls
if friend you leave then friend you’re dead to me

Mom‘s been sick now for a long time
she says she hopes I’ll want a family after she’s died
she says the less you feel like a child
the more you‘ll want a child

to stay the same to never change
to stay the same to never change
to stay the same to never change
to stay the same to never change