Rope

by La Mano

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04:15
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06:36
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04:03
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about

This is about half of the album we made in Lloyd's bedroom in Oakland, the last project I did in the USA, before leaving for West Africa and then Europe. I haven't included everything because 1 song was damaged on my master tape, 1 song was kind of awful, and a couple of others were more Lloyd's- I haven't stuck exclusively to my own material but I've sort of been trying to keep this an archive of songs to which I at least wrote more than just my guitar part. Sort of.

Lloyd was a guy I'd worked with in the film biz- he was a set builder and I was a camera man, and when a mutual friend (R.I.P. Mitch!) heard I was looking to start a band hurry-up-quick, we were introduced. We seemed to see eye to eye, so I phoned Mike, with whom I'd played in Wonder Merriment, and we made the 7" single of This Grope b/w Life Is Expensive. That was supposed to be it, but we were having fun, and so we continued. I set up my 8-track at his place, and we wrote and recorded the "Rope" album, played, I think, one show in SF, and a mini-tour in Arizona (I think there were 3 shows and one crazy party...) before I left the country.

In listening back to this now, I hear the reasons for re-forming the band later in CZ with Dalek on drums. There's great stuff here, but it's all very much seat-of-the-pants, which was the whole point back then; it was never supposed to be professional. The main problem, though, is something that I have come to regard as a major transgression: it doesn't groove. At all. Groove is obviously something intangible and subjective, but I think you know it when it's there, and it's just not there here. I love Mike's style of drumming, but let's face it: the guy is a doctor, was working insane shifts at a hospital, then playing in the band for fun after work. After all, that was the deal from the beginning, and in retrospect it's amazing that he was able to hang out with us at all, let alone offer the kind of commitment he did. But you can't expect the elusive and mystical element of booty to appear under those circumstances.

As you may have figured out by now, Lloyd and I went on with the band (with Dalek, the new drummer) later, based in Tábor, CZ. We toured Europe for about 3 years, some of it good and some of it not good, but always an adventure, and always in a state of change.

credits

released January 10, 1992

Mike: d., v.
Lloyd: b., v.
Phil: g., v.

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Phil Freeborn Missouri

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Track Name: I Feel You
I can swim in the water, I can sing your name
I can sing in the water, I can swim in your name
I can stop in your senses I can stare at your way
I can stare at your senses I can stop in your way
And I stand in your storm and I stream in your brain
And I stream in your storm, I can stand in your brain

I can scream in your sabbath, I discover your state
I discover your sabbath, I could scream in your state
I can stray in your garden, I can see in your pain
I can see in your garden, I can stray in your pain
I can swim in your lust, I can sink in your sweat
I can sink in your lust, I can swim in your sweat

And I steal, and I like it
And I steal, and I like it

And I feel you
I feel you
I feel you
And I fall down

And I starve in your absence and I shame in my waiting
I shame in your absence and I starve in my waiting
I confess my impatience and I concede to your vanity
I concede my impatience and I confess to your vanity
And I test the luxury, I acquiesce to the sanity,
I test the sanity, I acquiesce to the luxury

And I give birth again
I get drunk, And I give birth

And I feel you
I feel you,
I feel you,
And I fall down
Track Name: Tomorrow Comes Too Soon
It was the pacing, boys
The pacing of history got all fucked up
You tasted victory, boys
And then you crusaded, again and again
You went insane, boys
You braided the rope that's hanging us now
And it's profane, boys
What made you think you could talk your way out

Too late to apologize
Too late to theoreticize

You went insane, boys
You went insane, boys
Track Name: Seagull Song
I walked out on the pier
And the seagulls, screaming in my ear
And the air
Cold on my face
I walked on my own two feet
And I crawled on my hands and knees
And I went
To the top of the place
In brine air I climbed
One handful of earth at a time
And the taste
Bitter on my tongue
I caved in to the buzzing inside
The only way I knew that I was alive
Was by the way
My eyes stung
It halved me at the waist
And I fell, of blessed grace
Well, hello
My old friend
I walked out on the pier
And the seagulls, screaming in my ear
So this
Is how it ends

I walked out on the pier
And the seagulls, screaming in my ear
So this
Is how it ends
Track Name: Nobody
Here's this box
And on the box
Is a picture of what's inside the box

Open the box
See what happens
Maybe what's inside floats away

Nobody, nobody, nobody's gonna
Help you any more

Well I was so in love
With you I wrote your name
On everything that I could get my hands on

Open the box
Do that sin
It isn't keeping the outside out, it's keeping the inside in

Nobody, nobody, nobody's gonna
Help you any more