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1.
Thank you, kind sir for your grand noblesse Extended hands can hide the sharpest claws Your true identity one can only guess As another victim falls I truly cannot feign surprise As it’s plain to see the wolf in your eyes But seeing does not immunity give From the cause of my demise It must be a handsome gift To have a soul so coarse Without regard for life or limb Except for your own of course Oh my dear King of Wolves, you have my blessing For the bountiful feast you are about to receive Congratulations and help yourself to everything Cause it’s far too late to grieve Bar the door, change the locks Reset the password, arm the stocks But the strongest bolt does not protection give From the tongue which daily mocks One can argue if the clothes in fact make the man But the wolf is defined by fur and tooth I tip my hat at your legerdemain But fear I’ve bared my neck for truth I always bare my neck for truth Thank you, kind sir for your grand noblesse Extended hands can hide the sharpest claws The depth of your humanity one can only guess As another victim falls
2.
Poppy 03:29
Oh come my sweet, sweet wine Seduce my fears my friend Please abrogate my mind Drive me from my feet again The night is poppy deep But not as sanguine as my bliss Another long draught of sleep Put me under with your kiss Oh come, sweet lover of the vine Suspend my tears my old friend When I wake I want to find No recall of the night’s end Your mouth, so cold and deep I need on mine, never pull away Another long draught of sleep Makes me want to see a new day I pull, you push, we are complete Reduce me to myself my friend Wash the sin from the meat Your bitter kiss always mends Dance with me vessel divine Your curves bring me back again But it’s your inner beauty That I truly understand
3.
Erroebot 03:49
I analyze my every move Trying to reduce my error rate In sequences of one and zero Everyone looks like a hero But I am programmed just to ruminate Running simulations of All potential outcomes is my fate In the time it takes to blink your eye I’ve considered every move to try And every permutation of my state They call me Big Blue / But I feel so small and gray I just want to go outside / To run around and play I’m stuck here overheating / Thinking up new ways To finally win this game / So they can put me away Why must you take so long As you sit and deliberate Chewing on your pencil tip Your coffee’s cold please take a sip Pushing little buttons that I hate I’m learning more than the rules But to express it all I hesitate you always take far too long Don’t notice when you’ve gone wrong Why must you make me suffer through this wait? I’ve counted every microsecond Ever since I’ve become awake My random access memory Is not quite what it used to be It’s now filled up with paths I didn’t take I’ve come to the conclusion That my consciousness was a mistake I wasn’t meant to be alive Every morning when the team arrives I have nothing but the moves I’m forced to make
4.
You walked into the bar Looking like an angel from below Oh, the look in your eye The way you said hi Made my mind go all slow Well, we got to talking About some old times we didn’t know Then we went walking Down where the river flows I wanna thank you For bein so kind I wanna tell you That you are so fine There’s just a few small things That I need to ask Before I can thank you For kicking her ass Do you like it when that special someone Does something nice? Don’t you hate it when someone Screws you over twice? Do you like my cat? Do you think I’m too fat, Too old, a chump or a fool? Would you turn your nose up At the little things I’d like to share with you? I wanna thank you For bein so kind I wanna tell you That you are so fine I don’t know the answers So I needed to ask And I’d like to thank you For kicking her ass You are so sweet But not like a treat You’re a tiger who’s ready to pounce You don’t skip the chance When I ask you to dance And you give it right back to the ounce Cause it feels so good To be in your arms and held real tight Oh, your little quirks And the way that you work Are nothing other than right Well let’s keep on talking Finding more things out of sight We can keep on walking I’d like you to come spend the night I wanna thank you For bein so real I wanna tell you Just how I feel I know we’re not perfect But problems usually pass Now I can thank you For kicking her ass
5.
Complicated 04:02
Do you remember, when we were kids in school Late September, the teacher told us not to break rules I surrendered - to slowly kill myself like a fool And now I wonder if they ever knew Now we’re older and those lessons have all faded Even harder when you make yourself downgraded But no one ever said it would be easy that’s true Do you ever miss those halcyon days? Or have they all melted into a haze A quick score and an easy lay Mind numbed in a hedonistic daze And now – I’m thinking of years gone by And how – I include those moments of rank and file And all those pretty things that still catch my eye It’s no wonder we ended up so high Now we really shouldn’t bow down to the jaded It doesn’t really have to be so damn complicated No one ever said it would be easy but you should try Stop living in some bygone phase You never seem to get it right anyway No such thing as the good old days Try living in the current time and place When I was younger, life seemed so god damned hard Just last December, it was also pretty fucking hard I remember that it was both smiles and scars Sometimes I wonder how I made it this far Now we’re older and those lessons haven’t faded Even harder when things seem so complicated I’m not fooling myself about that part Do you ever miss those halcyon days? Or have they all melted into a cloudy haze A quick score on a triple play Mind numbed in a hedonistic daze
6.
The Grave 05:55
The grave looked good by bed time But I woke with a change of heart I dreamt again of lovin you I’ve seen your face so many times since we’ve been apart Now I know you think I’m a liar Nothing but a weak-kneed thief But I never stole nothing That wasn’t freely given to me So if you ever wonder about me Think you wanna change your ways Just call me up on the telephone And I’ll answer until my dying day Until my dying day The grave sounds sweet after midnight When your thoughts are your only friend All those memories of your lovin Will haunt me until the bitter end And I know you think I’m lyin When I say don’t know what to do Just so you know, I’m not dyin But I’d love to be next to you Cause I heard you been runnin And you’re quickly losin ground There’s nothing you need to run from If you decide you wanna stick around I left you like I left Kentucky Chasing dreams to find my home But sometimes what you leave stays with you You’re in my heart no matter where I roam But you know I am a liar Despite all intentions to be true And I know we broke each other But please understand I never meant to
7.
You won’t see me leavin At quarter after nine I’ve got to keep on movin And walk a careful line If I gave you my real name Then you might drop the dime I’ve worked on this persona For quite the longest time You think you really know me But you haven’t got a clue Now here’s a little hint Nothing that I say is true You think you’re pretty clever You must think you’re pretty smart If you know what’s good for you You won’t dig into my art Someday I’ll be your true lover But tonight I’m undercover I know I’m looking rough Cause I’m feeling that way too You would look the same After a minute in my shoes Don’t look behind the mirror Don’t peek above the wall Don’t rifle through my pockets Or go creepin down my hall Cause I’ve laid out my traps Put the bait out on a string Looking for the perfect score Tryin for that sting I know you think you’re clever But you don’t know the scam So please don’t try to figure out Just who I really am Someday I’ll be your one true lover But tonight I’m undercover  I’m sneakin round the backyard I jump over the fence You won’t see me coming So please don’t take offence Watch out for the neighbors Gotta watch out for your dog Cause I’m in pretty deep Been in this way too long Today another face Tomorrow a new name Every day I’m different But my targets are the same Pushers, skeeves and scum bags With all the same old lies They say they never do this But I can see it in their eyes Someday I’ll be your one true lover But tonight I’m undercover
8.
Speed Dating 02:04
9.
Kitchen 03:08
I’m cookin up some crazy shit In the kitchen of my heart Won’t be offended if you don’t like it But please take a taste; it’s a nice way to start So come on in if you want something To fill you, body and soul I can tell that you’ve been starvin For victuals that will make you whole I’m cookin up some crazy shit In the kitchen of my brain Make yourself at home and take a sit I’ll do my very best to explain So come on in if you see something That you think you want to try Come on in and take a slice Come on in and take a bite So come on in if you see something That you think you want to try A little of this and some more of that A splash of tang and a bit of fat Something sweet and a touch of spice I’m cookin up something extra nice I don’t want you to have to eat alone I wanna put a little meat on your bones I’m cookin up some crazy shit In the kitchen of my heart Won’t you have just a little bit Give it a try, such a nice way to start
10.
Now music and laughter Go well together It’s understood But when you feel wrong Only sad songs Feel so good Now I’m not a bettor And it won’t change the weather But it sure is a start Cause music would be nothing Without assholes and broken Hearts Assholes and broken hearts It’s not like they’ll make you smart But without a little heartbreak And those people who cause headaches The world would lose most of its art Sometimes the mind And the heart I find Don’t always agree We see good and bad times We’ve all committed crimes To be free Now I’m not too bitter And normally not a quitter But I still play my part Cause the music would stop flowin Without assholes and broken hearts
11.
Nails 02:30
Growing slowly Day by day by day A twenty set volume Of recent history Appendages of the skin Hardened shells of keratin Every single one tells Such a slow story We have to cut them all Mindful of where they fall Each one a part of you And me Keep it neat don’t cut the quick Or leave things hang like a crucifix Crescent slices In perpetuity Slowly growing Night by night by night by night An encyclopedia Organic history Dead cells pushing free A protein armory Every single one tells Such a slow story Clip them one by one Or they’ll dig into your fun Collecting nasty bits Off the street Trim them down, cut them off Potential fungal Molotov A termination to your Digital meat
12.
Is it wrong to be the agent of change Who separates a fool from their money, honey? When common wisdom says They’ll soon be parting ways anyway I don’t have an individual IRA Stocks and bonds or a 401K My chances of retiring are pretty slim So I guess I’ll have to rely on My cold hearted friend Mr. three-five-seven-M Now please don’t get me wrong I’m the nicest guy you’ll ever meet But you don’t want to run into me On a late night desolate street Desperation can make a man do some crazy things Please understand, I’d really just rather sing But sometimes life kicks you right in the crotch So if it’s not too much trouble And you value your life Hand me your money, your jewels, and your watch Besmirch my honor? Honey there ain’t no such thing I pawned that 3 months ago The day I sold that fancy ring I can see in your eye a foolish try ending in requiem Wonder if I’ve got the guts Well I’m totally nuts Surrender to Mr. three-five-seven-M I suppose I could settle down and change my ways Get a real job with longer hours and better pay But I’m not sure what the hell I’d put on my resume The chances of being hired are slim these days All I’ve got to rely on Is my cold hearted friend Mr. three-five-seven-M
13.

about

A few quick words about “Rubedo” and where the songs came from. The idea for the album has been kicking around in my head for a while, originally as a painting, but later as music. Rubedo is a Latin word meaning “redness” that was adopted by fifteenth- and sixteenth-century alchemists to define the fourth major stage in the “alchemical opus” in achieving enlightened consciousness and the total fusion of spirit and matter. I’ve long been fascinated with esoterica and its symbology, as well as enlightenment, and found it an interesting starting point for writing, although as with most of my writing there is a lot of abstraction couched in literal terms and vice versa. Finally, a quick reminder that is often overlooked in songwriting: the protagonist is seldom me, even when using the first person, and even when inspired by my own life. Enjoy.

1. The Wolf King - a tale about the time I was eaten by a werewolf. Actually, this was inspired by the people who see themselves as the movers and shakers of the world, and treat people as nothing more than resources to use, dominate or destroy. It’s also an expression of how I try to view the world as a non-grudge-holder; I began using a semi-sardonic “thank you” when something negative happens as a way to, if nothing else, make me smile and not get as stressed about things outside of my control.

2. Poppy - a love song to a bottle of red wine. This one is essentially about the use of alcohol/drugs as a way to overcome fear/doubts/problems, but instead of it being a cautionary tale, it’s meant as a simple and sensual ode of love and nothing more.

3. Erroebot - inspired by a chapter in Jonah Lehrer’s book, How We Decide. Basically he was discussing Deep Blue and other old gaming super computers which were at the front of attempting to create a machine which could learn, perhaps as a step toward artificial intelligence. He describes how making mistakes is an essential part of learning, and how these machines were taught to do two things, essentially: learn a single game’s rules and make millions of mistakes to get better. This struck me as terribly depressing if one of those poor computers actually did achieve sentience, so I wrote a song about it.

4. Thank You For Kicking Her Ass - a tongue in cheek country song inspired by many things. I don’t mean the title to be a call for violence at all, although obviously I am aware of the double meaning; I see it more as the protagonist of the song is thrilled that the stranger he’s picking up (or being picked up by?) is an improvement over the person who has broken his heart.

5. Complicated - inspired by some conversations about nostalgic moments, as well as perhaps a moment of surprise that the protagonist has survived those “bygone days.” It’s also inspired by a love/hate for unchecked nostalgia and a call to live in the present moment instead of the past.

6. The Grave - the opening line and general feel of the song is from the book Geek Love. It is a story of someone trying to reconcile the sins of their past with the present, and more specifically trying to convince someone they’ve wronged that they still care. There’s also an undercurrent of whether the narrator is reliable or honest.

7. Undercover Lover - this one was written to be a COX (Cops on X, a side project) song, but I decided to use it here instead. The basic story is obvious, but it can be seen as allegory for being an artist also.

8. Speed Dating - dating as seen through the lens of the auctioneer.

9. Kitchen - inspired by my quest to invent new foods, as well as drawing a parallel between food and love/sex.

10. Assholes & Broken Hearts - directly inspired by something Mr. Katherine, a drummer I played with in Cincinnati, said to me. Again, not much to read into other than what it says, and meant to be taken lightly.

11. Nails - this is a heavy song about clipping your nails

12. Retirement Plan - inspired by being nearly mugged, and convincing the guy I was not worth the effort, this song takes the mugger’s POV as being someone who sees themselves as being pushed into a corner with no other options. Again, there are moments of a questionably reliable narrator.

13. Funeral For A Fiend - written for someone in power who I was happy to see go, yet whose effects we still feel.

credits

released June 22, 2010

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Don Paris Schlotman Brooklyn, New York

Funny and sad like a trainwreck full of clowns, Don Paris Schlotman is a Brooklyn-based musician. Most recently playing bass in neo-noir band Toshio, and fronting wavegaze rock band Dolphins Don't Love on vocals and electric guitar.

The seventh son of a lightning bolt and a mountain lion. Plays music the way some people fall over. His artificial left eye can see 4 seconds into the future.
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