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OK Smartypants

by The Max Levine Ensemble

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One Click 01:12
i believed in you that night. your maybe slightly drunken eyes, and i won't forget how you smiled when you were waving me goodbye. and i thought 'if a moment really lasts forever, we'll take the streets and run off together, write books by rearranging letters of the few words that we know...' there was a spark that was there that maybe failed to ignite, well i saw it in your eyes. though in context it might have had a different meaning, i made a pact with myself one time to live with foot in the grave, and i'm not given up on that dream. If nothing's meant to last, then i refuse to apologize for passion... that's giving up, and it seems so... ugh.
OOHHHHHHHHHOhhOHH, as slowly as we're dying, i'm gonna make a fucking racket. i'll see the clocks crash from the walls, before i watch their hands tick slowly backwards. when we keep quiet, it keeps us up at night, when we don't scream we feel fucking paralyzed, it ebbs and swells and we're trying like hell, just to let it oooooooooooooooout! so when tonight i skate and fall, then the asphalt will mean that much more to me. i'll let my skin scraped up and bleeding, consecrate a pact with the fucking concrete, though the concrete's harder, we push through all of it, we see this world but we feel so far from it, and with our hands, find we can take back a small part of it. a part of it... oooh oooh oooh a part of it... and then a thousand fucking saints will try to tell you what your life's like, and everyone's an expert right? uh huh. we keep our heads up and tread, through this mess of a mess of a world that we live in... when you wear your politics like its the gospel to your holy religion, you make a decision, tell me what do you do? ah, tell me. OK smartypants, what do you do when you get bored? what do you do with your boredom?
i thought about you today on the metro terminal, and what we talked about. it seems like you're into hanging out, so we've at least got that much going, and that's something we got. you know I thought about you today, through all the duck and cover, this condition that has got me screaming: ONE MORE TIME I'LL STAY IN BY MYSELF, HOLD ON, BUT THIS TIME I'LL HOLD OFF... but then I thought about you. and i thought: we could take out the bridge this summer. or we could climb up the firetower.
i saw you hanging around the corner, i think you wrote something about it, it was a metaphor. it was something about an ice cream shop. you remembered how your friends said you knew how to have fun, so you went to their party, and watched them all get drunk. you went dancing at a show, and you stayed out pretty late, and you wrote a song about it, and someone put it on a mix tape. what they didn’t know was how hard you could take it, your heart slowly eroded before you let them break it. and the part of me that gets sad saw you, feeling alone and was confused. how you knew that you were loved, but couldn’t find someone to love you. you spent a week in california, and they said it made a difference. your friend came down from boston, just to see you off. and that's what he said, and it was partially true. he said, "would you write me a letter," you said, "that's the one thing that I can't do." (do do do do) and i would love to get to know you. everybody seems to miss you.
Nuclearadio 02:56
pour your little heart out on a six string, and I'll tell you how much it's fucking worth to me. come on, it's plain to see that these chords come to easy, they're as easy to repeat, a photocopied replication. another song for "our generation." an imitation of an imitation of an imitation... my mom asked me "where's the voice in this country, i said everybody's got one, they're just garbled and clumsy, reared up to spit back referential newspeak... in a postmodern fucking paradise. KC's fear was her broken sprit. and that transmitter in her yard? she said "it's good for something, I know, but I don't use it." and "the politics of broadcast?" she said, "come on! can't you tell me what the use is?" i said, the truth is, i do this, mostly out of boredom... and on and on on on... i know you won't request this song, but this one's strictly for the good old boys in the back of the truck, singing "turn up the radio as long as they don't sing about..." the cracks in the mortar, they're tearing up the borders, and they're building us a brand new town. and i've seen it in the animals in kennels, they truly represent the alienation that goes all the way down. and then I hear about the "nuclearaniamercampaign," broadcasted vaguely from some passing TV, I'll think this through more clearly... and the boys in the back sit and tune through all the static, and a voice flickers over the air. and they don't understand the "this is not enough," oh no they don't pick up much past: "turn the radio up, TURN THE RADIO UP!" when she says "this life is trash," it's not that she's being dramatic, she's just telling it straight up like it is. her voice flickers and fades, ah nuclearadio...
The Accident 01:54
we had learned to survive. to get past the accident. when we both emerged alive, we heard "you share these lungs, now learn to breath." when we first came through the night, did you expect to come out all intertwined? so messed up and mangled and unaligned? i couldn't see how we could come out any stronger, but we had learned to. when we first came through the night, we learned we'd have to divide, but I could tell, though I couldn't understand why, the muscles you took for yours were also mine. no I couldn't see. and I've had friends for whom loneliness was an unfulfilling, consuming monster. an ever expanding void the size of the universe. and I know first hand how it can feel, when you're torn wide open, those scars still bleeding, it's somewhere I once hoped I'd never have to go back to, but sometimes you have to, so we have learned to.
my how things get stranger these inherited behaviors i couldn't say where we got 'em. and i am as much a product as the remainder of all the advice of the strangers that i never wanted. as concerned as we were when we learned how things could turn around i think we preferred the words we heard about to the ones we're exposed to though i have heard some things about a million times i still find not a lot to respond to... so we don't talk though it seems to be the one true cure for the disease that tears relationships apart though you'll say something like "how's it going" watch me cringe i never want to hear those words again and when i said "shut up," i just couldn't stand to talk through the white noise again when you had no idea how much it burns me to hear you say "hey how are you" what's that mean? oh sad silent human beings, your immortal trait, your most tragic flaw.
"don't get to close" you said, "cuz this is gonna burn," they say "kids don't play with fire," but we're kids we never learn. and that's how i came to see how Holden Caulfield was your prophet, but the prophesy was self fulfilling and you know it. and we were so naive. Yea so naive, we could have turned back and walked away, you were fucking screaming, and I could not see, you'd given your best warning. that the ghosts that you held close had told you "hear now what we say, the world is gonna push you down, so push the world away," and they said everybody knew you were a firecracker, but i found out the hard way... the love we held on to was so caught up in our belief, that the dreams we had were stronger than the forces of defeat, but then our dreams they one by one, were swallowed by the situation, of aggravated tension, yea, and miscommunication... though i didn't have a clue... i found out. i woke up from a dream when I met a generation, who were terrified of Love, though convinced that it could save them, when like all things consecrated it turned out to be a lie, it couldn't save them from the thing that had grown inside... i met a generation that had lost their only friends, to a suicidal culture that had forced them to pretend, that the fuse that grew inside wasn't ready to ignite, but kids will play with fire and we lit up the fucking night. i found out, i found out, i found out the hard way. i found you were a firecracker.
i know you're bitter, well are you worse off for those bleeding open eyes? that see how sour of a place this can be, well hush now don't you try to say you're sorry, could i blame you for it? you've earned it. it's your right. i know you're bitter. nobody tells you how dangerous it is to believe that a world this fucked up, could co-exist with the naivete they got you holding on to. but they'll tell you that you're crazy. and they got phds. now now now come on sucker, who you gonna believe? if you're not dulled yet by addiction, yours will be prescribed. i know you're bitter. we get overwhelmed. just like everybody fucking else does. too confused, go ahead you lose, when you've deconstructed "everything..." to find it blackened in the center. i know you're bitter.
franny came home tonight, on a train ride to the comforts of a former home, to try and take a break, find out what went "wrong." well it's a con and it's that thing called "america," it's that cold, cruel academic drone, it's how they've got you trying to find what is you're searching for... if you'd take my advice, don't be the one that's fooled. it's not a competent world. say can't you see how they've got you spun around and around. but it's not a competent world. don't be the one that's fooled. it's your right not to belong. your badge of honor. franny came home. franny came home. franny came home tonight, and I think you ought to think on coming on back too because you, you know that you were always one of the smarter ones, they took you off and stuck you to the side where they could teach you convoluted explanations why, till they convinced you what they got was what it was you were searching for. (but it wasn't.)
do you do you do you do you do you wanna see a part of my body? a portion to study? and cover all the rest up in sand? or posted on a billboard in fashion, like a physical action, or the muscles that retract on command. is it good to take a picture? A fixture? a still representation of light? when it's the fluid motion intuition that keeps us running in the night? da da da da da da da da da da... and then and then and when, and when I finally heard your heartbeat, your lungs heave, i thought "my god what a complex machine! is it within to touch this, to crush this, when it burns hotter than the core of the sun?" oh have you ever been so close to someone that you melted into one? and when combined realized, it crystallized how much damage could be done? da da da da da da da da da da... and you said "kisses like these assassinate presidents, these are the things that bring down empires. the buildings downtown won't even stand up to this." i thought "kid, hey let's repeat history." time's just a matter of when to take action? action's just a matter of how strong you been livin'? you said "kisses like these will shake the foundations." i thought "kid... is it good... for a girl... to hear... you're beautiful?"
The Loss 00:49
it's too late now to think of what you could have been, she said as she braved the cooling air, and though you'll try, you'll never escape that feeling, there's a place you'd rather be, but you're not there. she said: seasons change, as well as youthful minds, just how long do you think you can cling to these vines? her name was Summer. and I said "you're asking questions you know well there's no answers to, the kind that get answered for you." countdown to a meltdown, might as well run for your life. for it's depleting and receding like the early morning tide. well I just smile, I got time. her name was Summer, and she changed just like the season, and she left without a reason, and she was gone. but then came Autumn, but her beauty was deceiving, amidst the colors it was freezing and she died. and she died. NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
these kids i met dressed like insubordination, hopped the latest trend to the nearest bus station, i admit back then i did not know such contempt, i was swept by the current and i just loved to watch them dance. to the rhythm of their stride, their oscillating groove, unchecked and wild. the smile i can't hide, creeps slowly from behind. the blood drains from my heart, and reminds me i'm alive. i loved to watch them dance. at those old shows, the whole world outside faded. the chaos we chose was just less complicated. the sense of control was the thing we were after, when things fell apart, we kept up, we moved faster, the drums out and the tension thickened. we held our breath, til the beat kicked back in. then everyone was moving, everyone was moving, no one took the time to breath. (badmouth) you try to take a breath? well not in this life. i've got my reasons to be here. i love to watch them dance. to the rhythm of their stride, their oscillating groove, unchecked and wild. the smile i can't hide, creeps slowly from behind. the blood drains from my heart, and proves that i'm alive. i loved to watch them... bitter to the connection i'd felt when i was young, it no longer fazed me, that i'd thought "this could be the one, that finally fucking saves me." i'd only come around to see if there was something left for me, but all the kids, they just seemed fucking crazy. all thinking: "this could be the one, that finally fucking saves me." we carried on, carried on until the sun had almost come, but it was just something to believe in. and in the end it wasn't what we needed. it seemed the smallest of concessions, but i never found a soul with the heart to mention, just how they'd jumped at the promise of redemption. but what meant most was once we'd faded and became ghosts, to let go, when you'd lost hope.


in case we run out of download credits, this is also available for free download at tmle.terrorware.com/discography


released January 1, 2008




The Max Levine Ensemble Washington D.C., D.C.

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