Dead Receiver

by Lily Schaffer

/
1.
03:50
Ami, I just couldn't sleep awoken, briskly, from a dream I was face down in a stream not breathing, just afloat no matter what the current’s speed simply, I refused to leave how the townsfolk made a scene oh, the letters they wrote Ami, I know I’m selfish at best cruel at my worst, when under duress I hope you still believe there is a place for people like me enough about me, how about you? remember back when we were two children with a bird’s eye view of the world, from the sandbox You take my rook, I’ll take your king spin and fall down dizzily stare at clouds and make up the shape of things in the sunlight Ami I know, it’s harder to tell the velocity of your wish in a well But I’ll throw every penny if you’d shake the sense into people like me, and I know I’m often sold at the medicine show but I still hate the morning after taste of a bitter pill-ow planets shift and stars align you force yourself: the daily grind for every wrinkle left in time all our paperback hopes until the day we meet again my dear and cherished childhood friend I leave you where the sidewalk ends at the edge of the globe Ami, I know there’s nothing pristine razors in apples on each Halloween but I hope it isn’t ennui haunting like ghosts of people like me
2.
twisting knees and brushing thighs a flash and a wink I am rendered by doesn't it feel nice to be alive sometimes morning refuses to reign looking out on a barren plain it doesn't feel so nice to be alive sometimes so go, go on the record and show you're such a good detective you always could tell that I was just a shell and you knew where to unload me go, it's not conjecture, I know when the inspector leaves the scene of the crime there is nothing behind but a few bullet holes I can hear inside the walls shallow lives in flooded stalls it doesn't feel so nice to be alive sometimes magazines and fishing wire all that's left of a crude empire doesn't it feel nice to be alive sometimes so go, go on the record and show you're such a good detective you always could tell that I was just a shell and you knew where to unload me go, it's not conjecture, I know when the inspector leaves the scene of the crime there is nothing behind but a few bullet holes when the artist decides to quit the only frame up is getting used to it so go, go on the record and show you're such a good collector you always could tell that I was just a shell and you knew where to expose me go, it's not conjecture, I know when the inspector leaves the scene of the crime there is nothing behind but a human totem pole
3.
say what you want I'm not much for old haunts sympathy looks ghoulish on you it's getting late pointing fingers at fate never puts me in the mood nobody ever tells me when I'm going too hard or when it's never enough wait until the gears shift, wait until the teeth click somebody throw a sucker punch true love is easy but I can clearly surmise it's just a theory the glazed-over look in your eyes keeps reappearing you swore, you crossed your heart true love is easy but everything else is hard it's 10 to 1 we might be having fun if fun is a desperate escape some other bar then I'm driving your car I'm pretty sure there's videotape nobody ever told me there wasn't anything to look forward to wait until the last straw, wait until the cracked jaw swings on the hinge of a missing tooth true love is easy but I can clearly surmise it's just a theory the glazed-over look in your eyes keeps reappearing you swore, you crossed your heart true love is easy but everything else is hard you said it was a fucking walk in the park seems more like a shot in the dark true love is easy but I can clearly surmise it's just a theory the glazed-over look in your eyes keeps reappearing you swore, you crossed your heart true love is easy but everything else is hard
4.
I can recognize the symptoms I'm giving all my powers away
5.
03:11
married, with kids, in Minneapolis you lust over details of everything you missed your best friend is calling you from Los Angeles you’re married, with kids, in Minneapolis. there’s room for improvement, you need to buy a fridge the in laws are moving in, the heat is on the fritz read your past in polaroids, like ancient hieroglyphs mummify your memories in Minneapolis Killer Joe and that time, time, time you OD’ed in the line, line line at the waiting room in the ICU the tour bus, the toothbrush, have fallen off the grid when life hands you leather, you’ve no choice but to submit still run the risk, the cracking of the whip married, with kids, in Minneapolis Killer Joe and that time, time, time you OD’ed in the line, line line at the waiting room in the ICU saw you at Schubas, guerillas in the missed I paid for my ticket, though I was on the list exonerated from your crimes by missing witnesses just married, with kids, in Minneapolis
6.
Abridged version from the day it was written. Superman is in his late forties. He is living in a run down motel in old Vegas. Having been pardoned by death, he has turned into a recluse. He finds it difficult to fight the urge to save people in distress; he is coping with addiction. He has taken to unplugging his phone. One night, while driving around aimlessly, he managed to tweak his car radio so that he could receive transmissions from the police dispatch. He has since disassembled and reassembled the radio five times. So we arrive at the scene of the song. Superman finds himself stuck in traffic while a schoolbus full of children teeters over the edge of a broken bridge that passes over a ravine. He receives information (over the police dispatch) that an aging Hollywood starlet is standing on the roof of the Four Queens casino threatening to jump. Lyrics: there’s a fly on the wall a phone jack and a dead receiver you can try and please them all you can never fool a true believer you know there’ll be damage even if you pick up the phone there’s no firm advantage in leaving well enough alone there’s a bus stuck on the bridge traffic’s backed up and it’s neverending you can try and save the kids there was never any harm in pretending that there won’t be damage even if you see it a mile away there’s no firm advantage in taking the detour, they say dispatch calls from the ground 10/4 and we’ve got a jumper you can try and talk her down but she’s never getting any younger you know there’ll be damage even if they bring out the trampoline there’s no firm advantage in meeting the police at the scene
7.
Jessica was a weather vane she swung both ways you know what they say, when it rains, it pours sometimes there wasn’t a drop for days Jessica was a weather vane with a hurricane on the move there were 2 Jessicas but I decided on you It’s all fun and games when you don’t name names it gets Grimm, your pseudonym gives you away on your wedding day Jessica was a pendulum she swung both ways you know what they say, in every family heirloom, there's a tell tale closet case Jessica was a pendulum in an ever shrinking room there were 2 Jessicas but I decided on you pillow fights and truth or dare wrestled down to our underwear it gets Grimm, your pseudonym gives you away by catching the bouquet So.... there were 2 Jessicas when we collided though I'd deny it I've realized that [I think I broke your your heart, but in spite of that] if you haven't gotten sick of me yet I've decided on you
8.
Adrian and Napoleon’s army 2nd string; never thought they could harm me did they cease and desist? did they put up a fight? did it curb your appetite? or quench your thirst for life? Adrian, the sky goes on for miles no one really really made me smile like Adrian, the troops are lined up for battle you gotta get back in the saddle Adrian and the wrath of Poseidon try to reel 'em in in, but the fish aren’t biting did you think it was cute? did you think it was coy? was it just another marketing ploy? you had your radar on search and destroy Adrian, sky goes on for miles no one really made me smile like Adrian, ship is homeward bound I never thought we’d touch the ground Adrian, the troops are lined up for battle you gotta get back in the saddle Adrian, I’d follow the sound I never thought we’d touch the ground
9.
10.
memory erased, you hadn’t slept for days 'til you penned the edit no mention of me your name on the marquee all your well earned credit you look all beaten and bloody but it’s all part of the show bet you have your understudy hidden somewhere down below it’s a trap door to the second floor of a whole new you and I could write it all on the bathroom stall but what good would it do? cellar door ajar we wandered all to far into your collection your version is down pat you point your finger at every vintage selection who cares who took the first sip? we were drunk by the time we left save for a surefire hangover cure there was no kind of sober to get it’s a quick chug or a gateway drug to a whole new me and I could write it all on the bathroom stall but what point would there be? sick of running late, you circumnavigate all your past transgressions blame it on the current certain that you weren’t off with your directions we were inebriated we peered over the ledge to a gaping cliff below us all it takes is a single misstep it’s a sealed fate or a leap of faith to a whole new us and I could add it all on the bathroom stall but it wouldn’t amount to much so glad we didn’t keep in touch.
11.
This is a terrible song for so many reasons. I guess I keep it up to remind myself of how much of an asshole I've been, generally; this song is immune to revision.

about

This album starts with a phone call and ends with a dial tone. The cast of characters:

- childhood friends where the sidewalk ends
- serial killers, con artists and condo owners
- an aging, nihilistic Superman
- frenemies
- old haunts
- ignorant white people visiting ancient ruins
- might-have-been rock stars in the midwest
- Grimm bisexual girls
- very attractive mental patients
- thieves, liars and hypnotists
- bathroom stall musings


This one is my favorite. One day, maybe.

credits

released July 30, 2013

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Lily Schaffer Washington, D.C.

Lemonade is my only studio album. Dead Receiver is my favorite album. Under the Microscope is a concept album about Nobel Prize winning chemist Fritz Haber. Go Fish is somewhere in between. nancymagil.bandcamp.com was my alternate persona years and years ago ... more

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