The Misanthrope and his Doubtful Faith

by Brooks Strause

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credits

released January 18, 2007

All songs written by Brooks Strause except Cigarettes & Whiskey by Brooks Strause and Ben Driscoll
Recorded from June 2005-October 2006
All songs recorded at Birds of Paradise in Muscatine, Iowa by Landon and Brooks Strause with additional recording at Beaver Valley Wetland by Chris Brown except 5 and 7 recorded at Beaver Valley Wetland in Cedar Falls, Iowa by Chris Brown with additional recording at Birds of Paradise in Muscatine, Iowa by Brooks Strause
Produced by Brooks Strause
Mixed and mastered by Chris Brown

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Track Name: The Brooks Strause Guarantee
Life would be a riot, I'd guarantee. It would break your little eyes if you could see. You would bleed and you would rust. You would turn your mind to dust and around your neck you'd wear a dresser key. You'd spend your days lethargic but distraught. You'd tie your little guts into a knot. You'd share demons with my sister-in-law and take it just like a punch to the jaw. It would be a disappointment, just hear me. Even with all the damage to your sanity. You'd be in spectacle shows where you'd learn to tame the crows but the dawn would wash away the memory. You'd see things like a nightmare from a dream. You'd lose your rook again to the black queen. You'd take yourself some hands full of pills and line your pockets with one dollar bills. Life would be a debt you'd have to pay, making the commute to hell day after day. You would spit and you would cry. You would vomit and you would die and nothing would have mattered anyway.
Track Name: Wasteland Blues
This is the life, baby. Wouldn't you agree? I live in hell, I don't know what's wrong with me. But I've been under the impression that it's up to us to choose. I've got them stuck in this place, man, left here in a wasteland blues. I've got no friends, got no job, no car. Mistaken for a person didn't take me very far. And I've been shit on so much I've got nothing left to lose. I've got them kick you in the face and leave you in a wasteland blues. If you've never been alone, if you've ever felt free, if you've been happy at all you don't got nothing on me. It's cold, it's dark, and damn near everything is dead. Now, that ain't the kind of thing that I want in my head. And I don't know what is up there turning the screws. I've got them taken to the basement, dying in a wasteland blues. I've got them don't know where the days went, lost in this wasteland blues.
Track Name: The Black Ribbon
I was born in my grave and I was raised in a home where my children, they put me when I was a child. I was cured of my ailments and I had to get a job to save for when I was younger, so I would go pleasantly. The womb is the tomb is the womb is the tomb and it's over just as it begins. We breathe our first breath at once with our last breath, done with wonder and confidence. And I died on the table and my mother held me close and she nursed me through illness till I was her peer. I forgot all that I knew and I broke off from the world. I was a twinkle in an eye. I was a decomposing corpse. The tomb is the womb is the tomb is the womb and it starts in the same place it ends. We breathe our last breath at once with our first breath, done with wisdom and innocence. And I won't roll back down this hill again.
Track Name: Can't Remember
When I was quite young, I used to hear the voice of God. The voice was so strong but I can't remember what it said. It was slow and deep and I swear it taught me how to fly and I just pray that one day I'll hear that voice again. And I don't think it's fair that I glided like a cherub off the stairs and now I can't even recall who I am, who I was, or who I should be. When I was sixteen, the devil told me I was wrong. "There's no such thing as fences and bridges, burn them down." I saw his point and I turned and left him far behind and since that night, I haven't seen that guy around. And I don't think it's fair that I made my choice and nobody else makes theirs and they'll never even know at all who they are, who they were, or who they should be. I will, I know, and don't think I don't care. I made this bed for sleeping, all is fair, and someday I'm sure I'll understand who I am, who I was, and who I should be.
Track Name: Kill Dance Devour
Efficient kitty, kill, dance, devour. I could watch you put them away all night. What's a murderous will to do during this killing hour? Just feed, little machine, feed. Oh baby, I will never be what you are. This body only can admire from afar. And I'll never learn your steps. It's just how I was built. Efficient kitty, kill, dance, devour. I could watch you put them away all night. What's a murderous will to do during this killing hour? Just feed, little machine, feed. Oh babe, I've noticed that your mother taught you well. Your fingers perfect for sending souls to hell. And mine perfect for this. It's just how I was built. It's slowly coming back, the only thing I've ever learned. Beauty shade into black. Leap like you mean it. Efficient kitty, kill, dance, devour. I could watch you put them away all night. What's a murderous will to do during this killing hour? Just feed, little machine, feed.
Track Name: Cigarettes & Whiskey
I know a man named John Daniel and I met old Jim Beam and many a time I've seen that Old Crow flapping his wings. I ain't walked straight since the week before last. I can't remember nothing that I ever did. No, I ain't got no past. And I don't need no woman in no dirty magazine, just cigarettes and whiskey and a pretty song to sing. Now Phillip Morris was a friend of mine for many, many years and I rode upon the Camel when they started boxing my ears. And with a Lucky Strike of the hammer to the back of my head, I've read all them warnings but what the hell, I ain't dead yet. And I don't need no angel with a golden set of wings, just cigarettes and whiskey and a pretty song to sing. Lord, keep me safe in times of trouble. Lord, keep me wild in times of calm. I don't got time for making time with my friends' girls. I don't got time for no pretty little thing on my arm. And I don't need no girl who needs a big old diamond ring, just cigarettes and whiskey and a pretty song to sing.
Track Name: Blue and Burdened
Oh, I would like to be something I'm not. Somebody with what I haven't got. Yes, I'm happy with the sting of my suffering but I want to shed some tears. Tell me something I don't already know. Let secrets fall like dominoes in a row. I'd be content not to hear, so whisper it in my ear because I need to feel those tears. Let's get the stink of dead companions off your body now, my dear. Let's take your guilty conscience for a walk. Let's strip that last coat of paint off of your cabinet now my dear. Believe me baby I just need to talk. Oh, I would like to get this all over with. To give this backwards world a gift. Yes, I know it ain't that tough, but I don't need it enough. All I need right now is tears, so make me cry. Oh, I would like to be the same man I am, but as a kitten instead of a lamb. Sure I can't escape my place, I just can't stand the taste. All I want to taste is tears. I need their tracks on my face, for me and the human race. I just want to shed some tears.
Track Name: It's That Easy
Watch the time go by. Watch his mind go blank. Watch his face go white because he's dying to see you. Just give him one more chance. Try it all one more time. See the lights as they dance because they want to cut in on one with you. Because you're the prettiest thing that's ever walked in here and all anyone thinks is, "I want more." Hear the voices; conversations rise up around you. Watch the drinks come from all over the room. You know your eyes are see-through. It's written on your face. Nobody's even gonna try. Because you're the prettiest thing that's ever walked in here and all anyone thinks is, "I want more." On the stereo there plays a song. It won't last long. It catches one at his weakest as he bitches at the bar. And she just left. She just left him. She just left him empty. The record stops, the speaking drops, and people say they're sorry. And feelings gone or was it all along or maybe he's just getting tired. He picks up the phone, the reciever's on, and he talks into the wire. "Time's going slow and summer's going fast. Maybe it's all over and maybe it's the last. My eyes are tired of crying and my mouth is sick of talk. And nothing's getting better but my feet don't wanna walk." And he puts down his head like a parody commercial. Alcohol splashes in his skull and drowns out his inertia. He's driven home, he sits alone, thinking mean about her. He finally comes to the conclusion that he's better off without her and it's that easy.
Track Name: You Gonna Need The Devil
You want a penthouse apartment on the thirteenth floor. You wanna strut right up to the devil's door. Well knock hard, but don't ring no bell. The devil's got a head like a dance floor mine field if you gonna do the tango, better do it well. If you wanna please everybody you gonna need the devil.You got ideas brewing in your little head. You wanna show everybody that you meant what you said. Well, sing it loud but don't steal no tune. The devil's got an ear like a pitchfork tuning fork, tap his foot but leave your life in ruins. If you wanna please everybody you gonna need the devil.You got a thought of getting you some kind of revenge. You know some bad folks you used to call friends. Well, think it hard but don't take no advice. The devil's like a doctor with a big, bad fee. If you gonna ask a favor you gots to ask nice. If you want something and you're hellbent, the devil's help may be heaven sent. Negotiate but hang on to your soul and don't let the devil get on no roll. If you want a bad miracle, if you want a miracle bad, if you wanna be happy and sad you gonna need the devil.
Track Name: Revision One
I set a fire last night for you, but you didn't even notice. Caution's never been the thing for me. I'd rather take time up in a little pill bottle or dream a dream softly about you or burn my heart up slowly over you. I said a prayer last night for you, but nothing really happened. Reparation's thrown into the wind. The rosary's scattered on the floor all in pieces. Pieces of my heart are there too and on the page of my notebook is you. I paid a price to be here and the gates of some hell materialized. I've revised, compromised, and ideal eyes show nothing of a past I've chosen to forget and I've fallen for a dream just like you before I set these eyes on you. So now I'll throw goodbyes at you and move on to something not better but not the same old thing I'm used to.
Track Name: Get Well
I got time for smoking cigarettes in the dark. I've got time for talking too much about people I don't like. I've got time all the time but I ain't got time for you. I've got time for reading Franny and Zooey again. I've got time for wishing that you'd get well soon. I've got time all the time but I ain't got time for you. Life may be short and mine may be shorter, I ain't that sad to say. And what will I have to show for myself come judgement day? I didn't let you get me down with all your hell-bent self-destruction. When you was like that I never had no time for you. I got time for not leaving the house for five days straight. I got time for losing friends like it was my job. I got time all the time but what are you trying to do? I got time for feeling like shit at appropriate times. I got time for dreaming about my impending doom. I got time all the time but I ain't got no time for you. Life may be short and mine may be shorter, I ain't that sad to say. And what will I have to show for myself come judgement day? I didn't let you get me down with all your hell-bent self-destruction. When you was like that I never had no time for you. Now, I don't mind a little foolishness. I done plenty of that myself. Take it outside and let the breeze cool it down and maybe we'll be friends again.
Track Name: See the Light
Listen child, though you're far away from me. The eyes that have seen glory are the ones through which I see. If you know what you are, then that's not what you will be. You'll find you know nothing, little one. Someday I'll sing you that song, but I'm afraid I'll wait too long. And it ain't no wonder at all, learn to hear and learn to call. Set a fire dark and cold in your head. Tell a joke, tell a lie, have a harsh and wicked eye, but never let the devil in your bed. The fruit of knowledge has now fallen from the tree and you would pick it up and taste it, but it will not make you free. And if you run too fast, you may do worse than skin your knee. Every minute you're in danger, little one. Someday I'll try to do it right, now only if I still see the light. And it ain't no wonder at all, learn to hear and learn to call. Set a fire dark and cold in your head. Tell a joke, tell a lie, have a harsh and wicked eye, but never let the devil in your bed. Never try to beg when you've been fed, never try to sleep beside the dead, and do not as I've done, but as I've said. And it ain't no wonder at all, learn to hear and learn to call. Set a fire dark and cold in your head. Tell a joke, tell a lie, have a harsh and wicked eye, but never let the devil in your bed.
Track Name: Back to the End
What kind of eyes had I that words touched me more than fingers ever did? What torture and relief overtook me when I closed each precious lid? What catalyst made beauty so it poisoned me to tears? Whose voices were those that filled the back room and sang, "Oh, go back to the end. Oh, get back in the ground."? What kind of heart had I that it was hard and cold before the rest of me? What curse was on my mind to tell me everything would end in misery? And it was true and it was deep inside my soul and the voices in the back burst into laughter and sang, "Oh, go back to the end. Oh, get back in the ground." What kind of man was I to reset faith and doubt in everyone I could? What kind of fool was I to tell the honest truth to help and think it would? What mysteries of earth were here to keep me for so long? What other than the voices in the back room that sang, "Oh, go back to the end. Oh, get back in the ground."?y