scott miller

Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things

Released: 1993 (Alias Records)

The band: Scott Miller, Paul Wieneke, Zachary Smith, R. Dunbar Poor, Jozef Becker

Guest musicians: Don Tillman, Gil Ray, Mitch Easter, Shalini Chatterjee, Joaquin Maguire

Producer: Mitch Easter

 

He Do The Police In Different Voices (Scott Miller)

But you can't place...
Make me an offer I don't waste them now...

Are you still right?
What have you learned?
Do for yourself
Take what you can't earn

Do you still rank?
What do you say?
Take in the slack
'Cause baby your little control trip is going away

What were you believing--that I might do okay?
(Do we end up owing something?)
What were you conceiving?
Maybe just that plants and birds and rocks and things could justify my day

He know he got to be good lookin'
He got the crystal blue persuasion
He know the thing that's gonna please ya
He is un chien Andalusian
He got the friend from many stages
He do the police in different voices

 

Sword Swallower (Scott Miller)

Lawrence, I feel stupid even standing here at all
(Ooh, waiting for a clue, waiting for it)
Biting nails like debutantes and waiting for a call
(Ooh, waiting for a clue, waiting for it)

I'll raise up the roof just like Martin Luther King
Sparkle and charm just like Paris in the spring
I'll swallow the swords like I'm in the center ring

Wow!
You know, I thought that you said 'want to get high?'
(Ooh, waiting for a clue, waiting for it)
As if we'd ever let that hour of opportunities go by
(Ooh, waiting for a clue, waiting for it)

I'll swallow the swords like I'm in the center ring
Raise up the roof just like Martin Luther King
I'll sparkle and charm just like Paris in the spring

 

Aerodeliria (Scott Miller)

Aerodeliria jet ride
They don't affect me now
Elegant Stalins nine hundred stories down

Go back to sleep, Little Susie
What would you wake to find?
Arrogant laws still hoping to draw your lines

Love is real, and'll care for you
So take all the love that's there for you
Where one gets refused
We could blow down the doors in twos
I don't think we'd ever lose

Aerodeleria light speed
What won't these kids get done?
With their ibuprofen and smoked glass to look at the sun

Door to door in the August heat
Scamming down 42nd Street
But what will we do, girl, if just one of us comes through
And I'm putting my bets on you

Look what we've gotten ourselves in
Over the falls we go
Girl, don't you know what that sound is?
Losses being cut
And mercy being asked
And "Don't hate us too bad.
We didn't know."

 

Self-Righteous Boy Reduced to Tears (Scott Miller)

They'd probably give their whole success away
If that would buy us just one easy day
But we'll keep breaking any helpful tie
On our old sleep-deprivation high
And tell our old lie

And yeah, yeah, where's Julie?
I've got a feeling that she's far away
I've got a feeling she was never really dumb enough to stay

 

Jimmy Still Comes Around (Scott Miller)

Christine and Sharon are sure
You can deadbolt the doors
But the outside gets in
At the edges of the windows and floors

And ways of wasting the day
Get pristine and passe
All the tremors before California falls away

But Jimmy's world is a big thankless job
And she goes to bed loaded with phobias that she's been robbed
And although all other boys are upstages
He's a ball lightning charge but no way to stay warm through the ice age

And Jimmy's home life's resigned
To be fallen behind
Ultraviolet head-shop ideas that seem good at the time
And every vice of the age
Is indulged and engaged
A Miami exposure bust looking for a stage

And all too often the thrill is the shock
You can argue forever just where the good part starts and stops
But in the middle it swings and it rocks
They can buy their own pool and survive all the drops off the deep end

Jimmy's on drugs again
Day-Glo sportswear, shoulders are lookin' tan
Jimmy's on drugs again
Hated us yesterday
Now he's our biggest fan
Thinks he's a stranger now
Joined the elite
But he still comes around
Still comes around on the downbeat
All right

And like their ancestors did
The adults fight the kids
And containers fight off the excitement near the cracks in the lids

Jimmy makes a big deal of the deep things he feels
Imagine his shock
When he learns it isn't real

Christine and Sharon live everywhere now
You can't lock up your sons 'cause they'll find them somehow
Ohhh, they got their work cut out saving his soul
He's the tall-pouring type and no one ever told him to say 'when'

Jimmy's on drugs again
Day-Glo sportswear, shoulders are lookin' tan
Jimmy's on drugs again
Hated us yesterday
Now he's our biggest fan
Thinks he's a stranger now
Joined the elite
But he still comes around
Still comes around on the downbeat
Down down

Jimmy's on drugs again
Day-Glo sportswear, shoulders are lookin' tan
Jimmy's on drugs again
Hated us yesterday
Now he's our biggest fan
Thinks he's a stranger now
Joined the elite
But he still comes around
Still comes around on the downbeat
Downbeat
Down down down down

 

Take Me Down (Too Halloo) (Scott Miller)

It was a perfect day for a suntan (Take me down, take me down)
So we sold ourselves to the sun man (Take me down, take me down)
I can only say it was different then (Take me down, take me down)
Wavin' goodbye from the air
On our way across the barrier of sound

It was a chilly day in the big time (Take me down, take me down)
So we took our act to the five-and-dime (Take me down, take me down)
And I don't want to cry as the days waltz by (Take me down, take me down)
With our worlds built in backyards
Down in splinters and shards on the ground

Take me down
Take me down to Halloo-ci-nation town
Take me down
Take me down to Halloo-ci-nation town
Take me down
Take me down to Halloo-ci-nation town
Take me down
Take me down to a loose and strange town

It was a dicey day for solutions (Take me down, take me down)
So we said we want a revolution (Take me down, take me down)
That'll break all the hearts in Stockton (Take me down, take me down)
That'll numb all the pain in Compton (Take me down, take me down)
That'll blow off the dust in Houston (Take me down, take me down)
That'll burn off the fog in London (Take me down, take me down)
That'll spill in the docks of Boston (Take me down, take me down)
That'll prove once and for all time
Ohh, we got an overactive mind of our own

Take me down
Take me down to Halloo-ci-nation town
Take me down
Take me down to Halloo-ci-nation town
Take me down
Take me down to Halloo-ci-nation town
Take me down
Take me down to
Halloo-ci-nation town Take me down
Take me down to Halloo-ci-nation town
Take me down
Take me down to Halloo-ci-nation town
Take me down
Take me down to Halloo-ci-nation town
Take me down
Take me down to a loose and strange town

 

Don't All Thank Me At Once (Scott Miller)

No one twisting his arm...

She says, "Oh babe, I've got a lot on my mind"
And me having been such a good soldier
And do I have to fight and win forever?
Don't all thank me at once

 

Idiot Son (Scott Miller)

Father, you know that I don't mean disrespect
But the house is winning
I don't want to be there when they collect
(Father) the gratis-riding days couldn't last
Smoking courtesy cigarettes and rolling up the tinted glass

You're smart enough to make the numbers appear
The way the shouts around the table want to hear
But when it's over and the life we know is done
What will you say to your idiot son?
What will you say to your idiot son?

I dreamed that I was being chased over ground
I was climbing over backyard fences on my way out of town
(I dreamed) but every place I came to was new
And my legs gave out as I cried out
"I don't think we can still get through."

And I saw real estate that I would not call land
And not a council seat would fail to understand
But on the day there's really nowhere left to run
What will you say to your idiot son?
What will you say to your idiot son?
Oww! Say this!

You're smart enough to make the numbers appear
The way the shouts around the table want to hear
But you never had an ounce of faith in anyone
What will you have for your idiot son?
How do you explain to your idiot son?

 

Some Grand Vision Of Motives And Irony (Scott Miller)

I try to live up to the times I've seen
But I'm feeling broke and seventeen
Reduced to things I have to do
Always the eyes, never the view

They say that you're not really choosing me
You're biding time and using me
But if that's why you're here
Girl, I don't mind
Come back next year

Wake up one day
'Cause I got no other way to make you need me
Wake up one day
And it's not your job to make things easy
Wake up one day
With some grand vision of motives and irony
And no one in love with me

I stood on tried and true philosophies
When I should've been down on my knees
You push and I feel like I should shove
And are we gonna be left with anything like love?

Wake up one day
'Cause I got no better way to make you need me
Wake up one day
And it's not your job to make things easy
Wake up one day
With some grand vision of motives and irony
And no one in love with me

 

Spot The Setup (Scott Miller)

What's goin' on?

I used to go out with supermodels
But it didn't make my life okay
I used to be the cold stare, don't care
Stay fresh in the Fridgedaire
I just assumed that was amore
I didn't spot the setup

I used to get A's in psychology class
But it didn't make my life okay
I used to be the point-blank, think tank
What I say or daddy spank
I just assumed that would pay the way
I didn't spot the setup

And I could always be the judge
And bear the grudge
And tell you where you lost it
And I could always be the one
Shade your sun
And steal your fun away
But it didn't make my life okay

That was my mistake
I didn't spot the setup
That was my mistake
I didn't spot the setup
That was my mistake
I didn't spot the setup
That was my mistake
I didn't spot the setup
That was my mistake
I didn't spot the setup
That was my mistake
I didn't spot the setup

That was my mistake
I didn't spot the setup
That was my mistake
I didn't spot the setup
You were a prince to give me a chance
I didn't spot the setup
That was my mistake
You were a prince to give me a chance
I'll do better next time

 

Inverness (Scott Miller)

At night I know
That there's someplace I can go
When there's no placing waking light
And I'll dream cliches
That I've dreamed a thousand ways
I'm not above cliches tonight
The playground viewed from blessed height

Ohh, Inverness
I bet you've never actually seen a person die of loneliness
Ohh, Inverness
All in good time

Trusting smile
That I'd die for all that while
Who stayed the night and made you frown?
Oh, poor dear
Did you let him much too near?
Let's get a pen and write this down
While there's still time to warn the town

Ohh, Inverness
I bet you've never actually seen a person die of loneliness
Ohh, Inverness
All in good time

I used all I had
I wasted my best
Ohh, Inverness
I bet you've never actually seen a person die of loneliness
Ohh, Inverness
All in good time
All in good time

 

Rosy Overdrive (Scott Miller)

Rosy's showtime favors some restraint
Into change, to any who she ain't
So force her to do anything but choose
'Cause she hate what she win when she bet what she lose
And she have what she hold when she red what she blue

Rosy knows life stories ain't so smart
Change her own around until it's art
Strip off truth until it feels like clothes
And she write what she see cause she left what she know
And she make for the man with the heat when it snow

Rosy sharing time
Why would you be so hard to find?
Rosy Overdrive
Why do you look so half-alive?

Rosy low-fi, no preventive cures
"Threw my youth away - now I want yours!"
Lovers too embarrassed to turn blue
What's the girl with a gun in her hand supposed to do?
Say, "It's not me. I was in 1982!"

Rosy sharing time
Why would you be so hard to find?
Rosy Overdrive
Why do you look so half-alive?
Half-alive...

Rosy sharing time
Why would you be so hard to find?
Rosy Overdrive
Why do you look so half-alive?

 

Slit My Wrists (Scott Miller)

I thought love would come so easily
Once I had time to spend
And who would guess
That time was not my friend
(Mother) I don't assign vindictive blame
That you'll cry when you read
No, not for trying
Just to give me what I need

But what I need is not fresh tears
I need not to feel the loss of the love and the years
What I need is not ways to go on
What I need is to slit my wrists and be gone

The more alone I felt the more the celebration grew
All the way down Van Ness Avenue
But I no longer take so lightly walking down that street
With nothing left between it and my feet

But what I need is not cut cost
What I need is a life where I've won
All the times that I've lost
What I need is not ways to go on
What I need is to slit my wrists and be gone

 

Isaac's Law (Zachary Smith)

Keep all the tea in China
All the tin in Aberdeen
There's just no way to strike
A bargain with the cold machine

You can dance around the subject
Fight about it till we're gray
It never seems to make
The slightest difference anyway

It's all around you
You can feel it on your tongue
The taste of Isaac's Law
The taste of Isaac's Law

Never mind the architecture
Leave the details to the young
It makes for fairly decent reading
When the monkey's done

You can stand and face the music
Block an ear against the noise
Make no mistake about
The howling of your master's voice

It's in the system
You can feel it in your bones
The ache of Isaac's Law
The ache of Isaac's Law

Making time with Maxwell's demon
Take a powder, lose the doubt
There's just no way to keep
The precious stuff from running out

Keep all the tea in China
All the bones in Amon Llaw
There's just no way to strike
A bragain when it's Isaac's Law

There's no mistaking
When it's wrapped around your heart
The hand of Isaac's Law
The hand of Isaac's Law

 

The Second Grade Applauds (Scott Miller)

Little Joe says, "Tired of ropin' steers"
Branding and fencing off the years
Spirit warriors dance out from the pines
Dance on the graves of our designs

Give me ground rules
You know I'll obey
Go quietly down my resume
But all I want now is to throw it away
To see the second grade applaud all day
Hooray!
To see the second grade applaud all day

Causal virtue, actions neatly chained
Rule-driven heartbreak unexplained
Slips in mid-step, glass across the floor
Fine china lives to be no more

And we can't run the film the wrong way
A thousand pieces to a glass on a tray
But it would be worth any price I could pay
To see the second grade applaud all day
Hooray!
To see the second grade applaud all day

 

Last Honest Face (Scott Miller)

Julie Ann, look what we've done
Worn out our welcomes every one
Things didn't get done just 'cause the world knew we were near
And things weren't said 'cause they're what we wanna hear
Ahhh
Oooh

Quick to use up our finest thrills
Quick justice angels at crossed wills
Now it's more like we can't say two nice words on the phone
And baby, the trains don't run where we used to go
I guess you oughta know

I used to think of you as someone I'd come crying to
You used to put me in my place
I used to think of you as sun that would come shining through
You had this town's last honest face
Last honest face

Going through people's closet shelves
To see if it's what we hide ourselves
Selves...

I used to think of you as someone I'd come crying to
You used to put me in my place
I used to think of you as sun that would come shining through
You had this town's last honest face
Last honest face

 

Even You (Scott Miller)

Tell Cath and Celie that the breaking point was found
The shit came down
One too many times
To get up from the ground

Go admitting freely
That the real world intercedes
Fills its needs
Beautyless and summed
Point by point, one by one

But oh, Cindy Lee
Don't say you don't love me
Oh, Cindy Lee
Never say you don't love me

Say that you don't think
It was ever in our hands
And the firmest stands last a while
Then find higher ground, other plans

But oh, Cindy Lee
Never say you don't love me
'Cause maybe even you jump
At a chance you see
At a chance you see
Don't you know they got you
Too easily, too easily
Even you
So easily

Oh, Cindy Lee
Don't say you don't love me
Oh, Cindy Lee
Never say you don't love me

 

Ballad Of How You Can All Shut Up (Scott Miller)

My name is...
HOWSOMETH
How are you?
Treat me like an object
Sell me something I haven't already got
Causal virtue
Actions neatly chained
Another wasted afternoon
Here comes everybody
Here it is tomorrow
If and when...
Waiting in lines and answering phones
Legal means
Decisions made too fast
A pyramid structure
Elegance of line
Sense of place
It's all rigged
We all told you so
No one ever got through
The leaves change color

Come on over baby
I can show you what it's like
Why, this can't go on for another night

Dreaming I'd been looking good in your photographs
(You know that, you know that)
Dreaming I'd be getting vertigo at last
(Kim Novak, Kim Novak)

You can trash my little dream
(Wrong again, wrong again)
You can laugh at my little dream
(Wrong again, wrong again)

But you can shut up while it ends
(Oh baby, oh baby)
You can shut up while it ends

Leave the leaves
Believe what you like
It's change
Change your name
Leave town

 

Give In World (Scott Miller)

Sha-ley-nu
Face the tears down
Look and don't avert your eyes
Take a photograph in case your memory lies
There's the cash
There's the travel
There's the life they've got for you
Do you want it just because they say you do?
Sha-ley-nu

Sha-ley-ni, Sha-ley-ni
It's a right-now world
And will you wait the long wait for me?
Sha-ley-ni, Sha-ley-ni
It's a give-in world
And will you fight the good fight with me?

See the play
Play the hit
Hit the spot
Spot the fake
Fake the count
Count the take
Take the lead
Lead the way
Weigh the risk
Risk the change
Change the plan
Plan the time
Time the move
Move the mouth
Mouth the name
Name the place
Place the blame

Learn the faces
Build the basis for a year
Rub the surface of the ice until it's clear
Sha-ley-na
Face the stares down
Face the lay down and the law
Do they know you just because they found a flaw?
Sha-ley-na

Sha-ley-ni, Sha-ley-ni
It's a right-now world
And will you wait the long wait for me?
Sha-ley-ni, Sha-ley-ni
It's a give-in world
And will you fight the good fight with me?

Sha-ley-ni, Sha-ley-ni
It's a back-off world
And will you stand some hard ground with me?

 

Track 20

Sorry, I don't know why I did that