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The Papas

by Spoonboy

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isqroll All for no one and none for all. If everyone is for themselves then there's no one for us all.
When everyone i know's still standing in the shadows of the men who left their mark, i'd rather be left in the dark.
Signature rejection of individualism wrapped in broader themes of abuse, injustice and inadequacy, The Papas: the family abolitionist's anthem. Favorite track: All One or None.
Sanden Totten
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Sanden Totten Spoonboy's lyrics are a cut above the rest, but on this album there's great production backing it all up and a through line theme that makes it all doubly rich and worth multiple re-listens.
James Whittaker
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James Whittaker definitely going to be a fav of mine for years to come. Favorite track: Sexy Dreams.
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Intro 00:25
all the kids in michigan through themes in recurring conversations i found myself in the towns east of lake michigan. fueled by an unnamed desperation i set in a quest for a shared narration, and i thought back to moments i had listened for. like how the northern lands untouched were of the beauties not yet lost, but how the urban landscapes remained unlivable. or how the buildings of detroit were home to the broken dreams of men, and in the shell of industry, emasculation. i thought to a sad, yet common story: a man who found narcotic glory, with nothing left to lose save wife and family. and i thought "if all the kids in michigan are miserable or nihilistic, or caught in the traps of the games they're playing, what does it say for a shared narration?
not coming home jamie took the car out, drove downtown for the weekend. at the old abandoned parking lot we found reasons to believe again. crumbling with the walls, we were there with a couple cans of spray paint. jamie said, "i'm not coming home again." me and tammy snuck out and met down on the subway. i'd been telling tammy "just get out of your house," she said "i wanna hear this fucking band play." the volume was beyond comprehension. we took it rough, like self inflicted wounds. tammy said, "i'm not coming home again." and all these hollowest of promises is how we strung each other on. experimenting with survival techniques, we crossed the blurriest lines between right and wrong. jamie said, "when i wind up in jail, tell the world it was all for a purpose. escape ain't the noblest cause, but if all you do is just pay lip service to your life, you'll wind up stuck eternally. and you can tell tammy that. you tell her, get out of this town someday." but seven thousand channels! disassociation. i found tammy, her head all slow with downers, she said "come on, give me my vacation." there was something about the air out that night. i'd sworn if i kissed another friend goodbye, i'm not coming home again. there was something about the air out that night, i told tammy, "you can kiss my ass goodbye, because i'm not coming home again."
Stab Yer Dad 02:30
stab yer dad of the things that have made me, i count myself lucky. i consider it fortune for things like how i wasn't taught at a young age to respect my elders. i thank goodness for my absence of a father. he could have taken me out. we'd have gone camping. i could have learned to wield my body as a weapon. these are things that i won't be missing. i remember sitting in the car with my dirty old man as he explained how "she had asked for it," and how "it was her fault." i'm only glad i didn't take the bait. i remember telling my mother. it was the last time i saw my father. no regrets for what else i've been missing. because i'm not jealous of a well adjusted family, only killing time until they learn their anomaly don't help the wounded ones, the children all of vengeful fathers. when everyone i know's still standing in the shadows of the men who left their mark, i'd rather be left in the dark. and if our fathers were our role models for god and they failed us, what does that tell us about our supposed omnipotent savior? except: we're all born to fiction, daily recreated. we play the roles from the stories we learned as kids. who bends down who plays god, is it fated that every boy on this earth should have his head stuck up his ass? we're all just like our dads. we keep learning the same shit again. and i wonder how long till it ends. well i remember when my dirty old man told me how i'd grow up to be just like him when i got old. what a bizarre thing to be told.
do you need a messiah? do you need a messiah? are you waiting to call upon a larger icon to rely on? are you waiting for jesus? are you waiting for mlk to rise from the grave and lead us? don't you know how they needed us? are we searching for guidance? are we scared that the things we need are things that we can't find inside us? are they things that we hide from ourselves? i'd like to believe that these sermons and preachers amounted to more than a lot of hot breath, but i will not be led any longer through the desert. i'd like to think that the things we put faith in amounted to more than just vague apparitions. if we don't have faith in ourselves, then it begs the question, of the concession of power. resignation to follow on. these are the words that turn sour. can we ask ourselves, do you we need a messiah? will what we've waited for come along? or should we get on our feet and walk?
hegemonic blowfish in a small room with the door locked, an attempt to keep your heart stopped. you couldn't talk, they called a professional. so ostentatious, you puffed, they blew your manhood up like a big blowfish. you took to the roles you were reawakened with, and stepped to the light with a new set of fears, though it's not over until the blowfish squeals. when i found you, you were dry heaving in front of the mirror, stripped down and screaming. you said you'd cut your appendage if it meant you'd never hurt again. you couldn't have what you never wanted. how could they say that this could be good for anyone, when anybody could see the cause for alarm in the scars in your arms? no, it's not over until the fat fish sings.
Sexy Dreams 02:35
sexy dreams i awoke from this dream i was having, kissing on this guy and playing rough in the back. i was a dyke in someone else's body. i shuttered when you came inside me. in the day i let the night time be. i would keep it to myself walking the halls of my high school, thinking back on all the lessons i'd learned. like danny's dad said "you shake hands like a faggot." i said "danny, could you tell me what exactly all your dad meant?" he said "you don't wanna be sick now. now do ya? or do ya?" me and jenny had a good time laughing and taking off our clothes to explore each other's bodies. she said "i don't wanna disappoint you, but you could never be my girl." either way, we spent a lot of time together. there were questions over gender, but we settled in the mean time. she said "that's how it is." i said "that's fine." i had a friend who had the nerve to ask the question, he'd said, "you could pull it off, why not avoid all the attention?" he said, "don't you know you could have it much easier?" but me and jenny held on to our contradiction and we didn't let it go until we'd took it to the limit, though in the end it cut her deeper. jenny's dad had had a knack for condescension. he'd said "girl, what you doing always looking for attention? could you get over this phase now? you embarrass me." so to my friend with the clever little question, i said, "i know what i could do would be easier. but by and by, i shouldn't have to."
Peanuts 01:52
peanuts i remember you throwing peanuts at some car off across the highway, saying "it's the principal that stands," as we drove across what seemed like an ocean then. and it was overdue when you told me at a truck stop off in nowhere how you struggle with your past. i know you do. and i remember you told me how you thought one's father defines one's country, and "what if it was true, what they say about how your mother defines your home?" and you can switch the parts up all you like, but what you were talking about was justice. and i remember you said you fight where you stand. you said "it's all or nothing, kid. if it's in your backyard, it's in your courthouse," and you said "it's all or nothing, kid. you can't have the half without the whole. and if you never dream of something bigger, you'll never get out from where you are." and i remember you said you fight where you stand. i remember you.
Carol Rhodes 02:46
carol rhodes carol rhodes knew that she seemed as a sculpture of stone, to those who grew up living history's end. she said "if there's something worse than not living to see what the worth of your work is, it's living to find no one's heard that you fought for it." and carol rhodes, well no one ever said that it would be understood. and history books, well they said "this is how things always looked. it's not to be shook." harold arthur grew up fighting for something that then seemed impossible: liberation from a law. he said "when you're not worth as much as the other folks riding the bus, you put up a fuss. put your life above some law." and harold's blood, no one ever said that it would be understood. and carol rhodes explained "sometimes you just do what you know that you should, even when it don't feel good." carol rhodes, she said, "history books may have said this is how things always looked, but things have been shook. they have been shook. and carol rhodes, she said, "if there was just one thing that could be understood: it's that we've since seen things that we thought then impossible."
all one or none if "listen up, it's your fault, don't try to blame me," is all that you hear when your dear ones fall, expect no help at all. "if you want your old life, then you're crazy." that's how you'll be met when you've spent a night away from home. but when you're there, you can't stay, no. it's not fair, but when you're there, you go crazy. step inside your old house, where you learned about fear. don't be scared, there's a polyp in your mama's head now. look around, it's the mark of an era. it's the chemicals that cause the cancer. calls for help will not be answered. this is simply how we will relate. the culture that we all take part in leaves us feeling cold and hardened. you will not give. you surely will not take, when it's all for no one and none for all. if everyone's for themselves, there's no one for us all. but when you're there, you can't stay, no. it's not fair, but when you're there, you go crazy.
the mamas and the papas i will be with my mom at the end of her life as i know that she would be for mine. it's not obligation that leads me to say it, it's just how i intend to spend the time. no person who gives out a part of themselves will ever be truly forgotten. these parts will change hands, and they surpass lifespans, alive as long as they are passed along. i remember the parts passed to me, and after she's gone, i will remember my mom. my mother sat like a book on the shelf through the cold autumn years of her life, replaying her memories like a tape on repeat over and over in her mind. she'd always been the kind of a mother who would put others before herself, this much i know. there were men in her life who took well advantage before they got up to go. imagine all of your memories of mistakes that you made played over in your mind like the loop of a tape. do my mother's regrets, for which she lost rest, do they keep you awake at night? could you tell me that father? do your memories haunt you, sir? or are you content with what you left behind? i will be with my mom at the end of her life, but sir i will not be for yours. you've done nothing to earn it and frankly, you don't deserve it, so you won't be receiving that reward. there are people who's names are passed down generations, and sir, yours is not one of them. consider it a consequence of a mistake that you made, for which there will never be amends. how is that for a memory to keep you awake? there are parts that you gave to me, but there are parts of us all, i think, that are better off left behind. there are parts of us all that are better left to die.
I am a Dog 02:33
i am a dog over the course of these times, we have been beaten up like dogs. we have been starved. we have been victims of neglect. and our histories erased, these are the hands around our necks, but when you're squeezed this hard you burst, it's cause and effect. because if you back a dog into a corner, she will bite you wherever she can. i am a dog and i will bite you wherever i can. indiscriminate in rage, we may not issue our demands. if we are dogs we will bite you wherever we can. through the panes of broken glass and the shattered pavement stones, we will be glanced upon and judged by the moralistic. but what use is a moral code to the daughters of broken promises? to the sons of abusive technologies? we are the ones who know too well, that if you back a dog into a corner, he will bite you again and again. i am a dog and i will bite you again and again, and again if i have to. i am a dog and i will bite you again and again. and if you back a dog into a corner, she will lash out and bite you. i am a dog and i will bite you wherever i can.
My Antonia 02:30
my antonia i imagine you in a place wide open and beautiful, where the sun sets wildly over the horizon, in the moment you learned we can't concentrate on everything, though it breaks your heart as strongly as you'd like to. these sun bleached memories see you stand on the beach aside the ocean, underneath the clouds above the badlands. i see your picture like a still frame standing strongly beneath the sun, when it was you, me and no one but the ghosts we shared. though there was always talk, we could have lived without it, though we'd come to doubt it, always surrounded by it. and for whatever lost, there were the hundred things we'd learned. to the point of no return we would stand by it. and i imagine you like all that's pure left in america, the red grass prairies, the niobrara river. though in the moment you learned we can't concentrate on everything, you will always be my antonia shimerda.


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released May 1, 2011


Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.



Spoonboy Washington D.C., D.C.

"a poor man's belle and sebastian" - MRR

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