The Cosmic Flophouse

by Quark Lepton

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03:20
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about

Thanks: Katie Chandler (for the pictures, and for support and patience); Tim McManus (for the use of his signature bouzouki sitar, with the dusty finish that his signature tone demands, for the Stylophone, and for being my favorite songwriter); Kelley and Alderman Douglas (for the mandolin I borrowed from their house without permission); Perrin Skinner (for helping with the arrangements of "Rattlesnake" and "Ridiculous Stars" and for being awesome); Rick Nuzum (for buying many of the instruments featured herein); Garrick Turner (for the loan of the Vox organ); Scott Higdon and Joshua Doten (for the Technics organ); and the following musicians (for being the best): The Prairie Willows, Post Timey String Band, TC Costello, Coral Reefer Madness.

For Mom.

credits

released December 18, 2015

Cover art: Katie Chandler.
Recorded and mixed by Quark Lepton at Pretty Smog studio. Mixing assistance: Katie Chandler.
Mastered by Steve Nuzum.

All songs written and arranged by Quark Lepton, except tracks 6 and 7, arranged by Steve Nuzum and Perrin Skinner.

Quark Lepton: vocals, guitar, banjo, foot tambourine, hand claps
Featuring the Stray Rays:
Higgs Boson: bass guitar (except track 2), drum machine, loops, hand claps, backing vocals
Einsten Rosen: guitar, electric guitar, hand claps, backing vocals
Schrodinger Planck: snare, ride, shaker, tambourine, shaker, hand claps
Steve Nuzum: mandolin, Stylophone, glockenspiel, Vox organ, backing vocals
Quasar Newton: Technics organ, ukulele, steel guitar, bass guitar (track 2)
Gregor Samsa: synthesizer

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

about

Quark Lepton Columbia, South Carolina

Commercial jingles for frosting eaten by spacemen.

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Track Name: Faceless Neighbors
The other night, I had a dream
I dreamt that my house had split at the seams
And all my possessions came tumbling forth
And all of my neighbors knew what I was worth.

I awoke from this vision to find it'd come true
And that, furthermore, the Earth had come unglued
And secrets and fires came boiling out
And the Hosts of Heaven knew what I was about.

Then the cosmic fabric was rent in twain
And forbidden secrets were burned in my brain
And I knew the terror of knowing everything
But just at that moment I awoke from my dream

Alone and naked, out in the field
Surrounded by strangers with faces of steel
And the grey slate of Heaven and the whisper of trees
Those faceless neighbors, they closed in on me
Track Name: The Black-Eyed Mountain Woman
I fell for a black-eyed woman east of this mountain draw
And when we reached the summit she swore she'd push me off
And everything she said to me was dark and full of dread
And filled my mind with monsters that dwell within my head

So I drove down to the valley in a Delta '88
It seemed the black-eyed woman had prophesied my fate
I tried quench my lust for her in every girl I met
I met about a hundred but I haven't quenched it yet

I fell for a black-eyed woman east of this mountain draw
And when we reached the summit, she swore she'd push me off
I declared my love into the obelisks that rose within her eyes
And then she tried to tip me off of the mountainside

So we lived up on that mountain in a cabin made of words
Her anger and her love for me would swarm like vengeful birds
No matter how often I attempted my release
The beauty of her black eyes wouldn't give me any peace
Track Name: Help, I've Been Captured By a Ghost!
Help, I've been captured by a ghost
She fills my mind with charred and blackened fantasies
Help, I've been swallowed by a ghost
She has control and there is nothing that you can do for me
Sometimes I wish that I could have an operation
To remove her and unglue her from my mind
But I've been captured by a ghost and I love her
And I will for the rest of my life
She sings through me
I can't escape
But I've been eaten by a ghost and I still see her
Whether I'm asleep or I'm awake
Track Name: The Invisible World
The invisible world is haunted
The invisible world is haunted
You can't unsee what was never real
You can't stop being who you were in a dream
The invisible world is haunted
The invisible world is haunted
You'll see a shadow
Coming in from the rain
You'll always hear the voice that calls your name
What does it matter
If you're awake, or asleep?
Your voice is shattered and it will not let you speak
Stop writing postcards
Forget my name
Leave all memories behind
And if you see me
It's just a dream
It's a strange melody lost in time
The invisible world is haunted
What lives at night
Might come in the day
Try as you might but it will not go away
Track Name: The Other Side
See you on the other side
Beyond these filthy fields
Across the minefields of the years
See you on the other side
I don't have very long
The Operator wants change I don't have
I can't be sure I hear you well
The crackling insect static swells
Your lips pressed on the plastic part
Of some reciever at the heart
Of some foreign country, across a silent sea
For me you're made of memories
Their colors faded, incomplete
Are you on the other side?
Do you really wait for me?
Memories are like photographs:
They alter and curl beneath the light
Track Name: Rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
My brain is full of evil dreams
Unseen across my path you quake
And rattle like a tambourine

Hidden in the rustling reeds
And unseen threat my mind espies
I feel the keen bite at my heel
And upon this darkened path I'll die

To those who would offer advice
On how to tread unhallowed ground
Rather than to roll the dice
That makes a rustling, rattling sound
Who straight ahead would travel right
And not inside the darkness dwell
I know that I should heed your words
But I don't listen very well

Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
Play your song in triple time
For when you stop, for Heaven's sake
The dance that ends, it will be mine

Rattlesnake, rattlesnake
My brain is full of evil dreams
Unseen across my path you quake
And rattle like a tambourine
Track Name: Ridiculous Stars
Riding tonight the dark edge of the world
I look out my windshield to see
And wonder if you are watching tonight
The very same black sky as me

Out in ridiculous stars
I wonder if that's where you are
And are you lonely, or being loved
Out in ridiculous stars

On the first day that you felt my heart beat
Did you know what I'd become?
Of course, the answer is certainly no
Under ridiculous stars

Out in ridiculous stars
I wonder if that's where you are
And are you lonely, or being loved
Out in ridiculous stars

I know there are those who will look out tonight
And read your face there so clear
But are you lonely, or being loved
Under ridiculous stars?

Out in ridiculous stars
I wonder if that's where you are
And are you lonely, or being loved
Out in ridiculous stars
Track Name: The Signal
One day I hope to receive the signal
That's transmitted from beyond
And to derive the hidden meaning
From a world I've never seen
To be lost in its sublime translucence
That comes in colors like a dream
One day I hope that I will travel
To a world unlike this one
Where there's no troubles in the nighttime
And there are good times 'neath the sun
Where I'll see my
Old companions
Who I mislaid in days before
And there are waves that
Lap upon my feet as I lay on the shore
Track Name: The Train
Back in the city
All the lights are off
When the train pulls in again
Then everything is lost
Hear the whistle blowing
Go find a friend
When the train pulls into town
You won't see her again

And now, it's closing time
It's closing time
For good
It's closing time
It's closing time

The otherworldly warble
Like a cosmic bird
If you hear it loud enough
It's the last thing you ever heard
Leading you to madness,
Taking you away
When the train comes into town
On its grim foray

Back in the city
Silence all around
When the trian pulls in again
There's no one to be found
Track Name: You've Been Selected
You've been selected to apply
I'll take eternity to decide
If something in the fine print feels right
I'll offer application to my love, tonight

You have been optioned by my heart
Please don't take this whole or in part
As a contract, express or implied
For you to take up residence as my bride

Please don't get caught up in
Words I'm saying
Please don't read between the lines

You've been selected to apply
Celebrate with the important ones in your life
If you're lucky you will receive
Notice of my intentions by...
The fifteenth
Track Name: The Cosmic Flophouse
Well I said the first time that I met you
I was not a human being
Now after all of this time's passed
You know what I mean
Well I'm gonna live forever
And I'm never satisfied
And I might be nice for the first hundred years
But then I'll have to say goodbye
There are no nice guys in eternity
Didn't your momma tell you that?
The afterlife is a fraternity and
No woman can compete with that
So sell your pretty dresses and go back
Well I told you that the cosmic order
Was built for guys like me
And in the universal flophouse you're a border
And I'm a sheriff''s deputy
Well I'm gonna live forever
And I'm never satisfied
And I might be nice for a thousand years
And I might let you be my bride
But I'll never swallow my pride.