Your Flaws Aren't Picturesque

by One Happy Island

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02:50
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02:50
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04:22
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02:39
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03:28
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02:25

about

Written and performed by One Happy Island:
Shannon Halbrook, Meghan Riling, and Brad San Martin.

Released May 1, 2014 on 12-inch vinyl on weePOP! Records as POP!054.

credits

released July 17, 2015

Recorded live at Armory Sound, Somerville, Massachusetts on August 23 and 24, 2013 by Pete Weiss.
Assisted by Jeff Gallagher with Michael Healy.
Mixed by Pete Weiss at Verdant Studio, Athens, Vermont.
Mastered by Peter Linnane at Patch Hill Mastering.

Heartfelt thanks to Rebecca; Clint; Larissa; Adam; Amber; Camila; Trevor; Darren; Pete Weiss; Peter Linnane; all of our friends and family who came out to the shows (and those who didn't!); our opening acts Cotton Candy, Caleb Stine, Patrick Neil Bryant (Somerville Speakout), and Sam Mulligan; Popfests the world over; the IndieTracks folks; all the presenters who've had us play; and all the great bands and individuals with whom we've had the pleasure of making music.

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One Happy Island Boston, Massachusetts

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Track Name: Tiller Flats
Do you remember Tiller Flats?
We had long brown hair then.
We spent the summer lying on our backs
in the salted air.

Do you remember Tiller Flats
and that broken engine?
We'd ride it out and have to row it back
and we didn't care.

We played the Monkees and sang along,
but I skipped all of the Davy songs.

Do you remember Tiller Flats?
How it almost cracked us?
We made our rent selling bottles back
to the IGA.

Do you remember Tiller Flats?
How the whole thing happened?
We were poor and yet we were so sure
we should stay this way.

We played Sugar and sang along
'and you skipped most of the Barbe songs.

Do you remember Tiller Flats?
Has it lasted?

We played the Beach Boys and sang along,
and we skipped every Mike Love song.

Do you remember Tiller Flats?
Could we still be there?
Track Name: Hard Drive Song
Tech support, hey can you help me?
I think my hard drive just died.
"Please describe the symptoms, sir."
It smokes and smells like all my files are fried.

Tech support, hey can you help me?
Maybe some bits still remain.
"Do you have a backup, sir?"
well just what's left within my addled brain

Oh seven days ago she took my heart and
only left behind
data from our every day:
Images of golden afternoons
and bold and blurry nights.
All the loving things we used to say
wiped away.

Tech support, hey can you tell me
how it all can be retrieved?
"You'll need a brand new one, sir."
Yeah, with a hefty installation fee.

Every night when all alone there I was
reliving the past--
data from our every day.
Love can go at any time
but I was sure the files would last.
Oh but then the drive took a holiday.

Someday
everything I save between my ears will
fade to vaporware.
Data's destined to decay.
Nothing but a hardware head
And software mind can I repair.
Tell me tech support, what do you say?
"Walk away."

Tech support, so can you help me?
Tell me how I just reboot.
"Well it will take some time, sir."
Yeah, that I won't dispute.
Track Name: Honeybun
Woah, honeybun. Woah, we've just begun
To sit and rest for a minute.
You can take another minute.

Woah, honeybun. Woah, don't run away
From the nice beginning that you've made
Or the hard next steps you've gotta take.

I know that you don't feel strong.
I promise it won't be too long
And you'll be fine. You will be fine. I know you'll be fine.

Woah, honeybun. Woah, don't run away
To a far away new place.
Our worries can't be escaped.

And you'll be fine.

I know you don't think you belong.
I promise you can be strong
And you'll be fine. You will be fine. I know you'll be fine.

And here's another thing for you:
Please let me know when you're blue.
We can hang out whenever you like.
We can hang out any time.
We'll hang out all the time … hang out all the time …
Hang out all the time … hang out all the time …

Woah, honeybun. Woah, we've just begun
To sit and rest off our feet.
Take as long as you need.
And you'll be fine. I know you'll be fine. I promise you'll be fine.
Track Name: My Particular Girl
At the movies
on our first date,
she was so cute
when playfully irate.
The popcorn was too yellow,
she couldn't stand the crowd,
the dialogue was trite,
and the explosions were too loud.
Her seat was way too thin
and her milkshake way too thick.
The heroine was passive and the hero was a dick.

Let me tell you all about my particular girl:
If things are slightly not right,
she's uptight
And they must be rearranged.
So strange, but more peculiar 'bout this particular girl:
What a surprise,
of all the guys
why oh why
did it just have to be this
calm and careless
laissez-faire-ish guy
who caught her eye?

For our wedding,
we eloped.
So romantic or so we had hoped.
She laughed about the bugs
and the store bought lemonade
but then frowned and cursed the traffic
from the Labor Day parade.
She got hot and irritated;
my socks didn't match my tie,
then the hotel where we spent the night had awfully slow wifi.

When I moved in,
a disaster.
She got so red when I marred her plaster.
I got a little winded,
took a break as she unpacked
and it really seemed to bug her
when I polished off the snacks.
She looked at me askance
when I smoked a couple bowls
and then found the wrong way to put on the toilet paper roll.
Track Name: Clouds
There are shorter distances, sure,
from Porter Square to New York.
There are shorter distances, sure.
That’s not what distance is for.

There are subtle differences, sure,
between the queen and her court.
There are subtle differences, sure.
She took one look at the door and said
“That’s fine but it’s still mine to ignore.
That’s fine but there’s still time to explore.”

And I know her heart as solid and
she knows just where her head is.
She’s all of concrete but she’s
clouds around the edges.

There are wider irises now—
wide as the sky to the ground.
There are wider irises now.
Whenever she comes around they say
“She’s great but she won’t stay settled down.
She’s great but she still waits to be found.”

And I know her heart as solid and
she knows just where her head is.
She’s all of concrete but she’s
clouds around the edges.

There are
shorter distances,
subtle differences,
wider irises…

I’ve grown tired of this now.
I’m like a ship run around.
So tired of this now.
Forever feeling through clouds
for some trace of her,
some place she’s aloud.
She’s there but she’s
all air to me now.

And I know her heart as solid and
she knows just where her head is.
She’s all of concrete but she’s
clouds around the edges.
Track Name: Lark and Owl
I went for the kiss goodnight.
I was nervous, but I thought that it felt right.
But just when your eyelids fluttered down,
you hit the ground.
So I picked you up off the lawn
and put you in your bed with your clothes on.
You woke up with the sun to start your day--
I had just hit the hay.

Your lovely eyes intrigue me,
but how I wish they wouldn't close so freely.
When you start to nod off I know
again tonight I'm gonna wind up alone.

Next time we met in the afternoon.
Your jiggly ass and silly faces made me swoon.
Farmers market, and a berry pie to go,
with a large espresso.
But after dinner and two glasses of wine,
you were sleepy, we were running out of time.
I tried to make a move but it was too late--
your head just fell on your plate.

Larks and owls don't sing similar songs.
They don't even tend to get along.
But I don't think it's presumptuous
to say that love has found the two of us.
I'll spend a night staring at the wall
if I can spend it with you.

I'll stick beside you, you know.
When you're out cold, I got no place else to go.
Even sleeping you distract me from myself
better than anyone else.
And when you roll out of bed at dawn,
I'll have already put the kettle on
and be right there with you to watch the sunrise.
Won't you be surprised?

Your lovely eyes intrigue me,
but how I wish they wouldn't close so freely.
When you start to nod off I know
again tonight I'm gonna wind up alone--
but not really alone.
Track Name: b -> f(ly)
Be functionally:
Unaffected, unconnected, darling.

When I tell myself, “I’m over this.”
It spins and spills me ‘til we
don’t know what we’ve missed.
When I tell myself, “I’m over this.”
It spins and spills me ‘til I
think that I’m convinced
that oh, we’re gonna be a system.
Yeah, we’re gonna be a system.
Still, a litany insists that we…

Be functionally:
Unaffected, unconnected, darling.
Track Name: Brad Gets a Job
Put foot on bus
and hand on railing.
Pull dollar out,
put dollar down.
Wait eight or ten
then ten or twenty.
Stand up again.
Go on, get out.

This minute’s mine,
the next ones aren’t.
My I.D. card
Opens the door.
Press desk to chair
then chair to carpet.
Ask passively
what it’s all for.

What would you do
if you knew you were getting paid anyway?
I’d tie up all my time
in some grand design
so it can’t escape.
What would you do?

You knew the bills
would come at some point.
Your orders were
filled long ago.
Singing all day
would just be heaven.
But what’s the sun
without the snow?

Scoff office work
if it consoles you.
Know though that you’re
a lucky man.
Our world was built
on stubborn systems.
Move to the wild
or just give in.

What would you do
if you knew you were getting paid anyway?
Find a thousand tiny chores
to unlock the doors
And let time slip away.
What would you do?

What would you do
if you knew you were getting paid anyway?
I’d tie up all my time
in some grand design
so it can’t escape.
What would you do?
Track Name: Love Song
If I wrote a love song for you
There would be another love song
In the list of all the love songs.

You’re real and you’re mine,
you’re not some sugared ideal
So this is not a love song for you
and I never will write a love song for you.

And anyway, I’m pretty sure that all those other love songs are about you.

I don’t know how to write down all of you: worst, middle, and best.
You’re not three verses and a chorus or two.
No, you’re not just perfect and your flaws aren’t picturesque.
Of course you’re great and I love you, but you’re not just a nice mood

If this was a love song for you
There would be another love song
In the list of all the love songs

But my feelings are just mine
And I have them just for you
So this isn’t a love song for you
And I never will write a love song for you.

And anyway, I’m pretty sure that all those other love songs are about you.

If I wrote all these things down and I sang them, everybody would know
You’ve heard what I’m thinking – why can’t that be enough?
I know that it’s brave to open up out loud
so I guess I’m a coward; I want some things for just us.

If this was a love song for you
There will be another love song
In the list of all the love songs

But you're real and you're mine
You're not some sugared ideal.
So this isn’t a love song for you
And I never will write a love song for you.

And anyway, I know that all those other love songs are about you.
Track Name: Popcorn
Friday night,
you're picking that banjo a string at a time.
Please don't let me rush you, Grandpa,
but it's past your bedtime.
Leave some bluegrass there to mow.
Leave some blues for the next show.

Under your skin,
popcorn is popping out of rhythm again.
My eyelids are buzzing and Karen is waiting,
hot-tempered and thin.
Please don't click your dominoes.
Please don't dance on our young toes.

Karen's got springy black hair
and I heard she wears black underwear.

Any old fool can be a preacher,
just put on sunglasses and crawl through the dark.
All you square dancers can't forecast the weather.
I'll just build an ark.

Shit-kicking cowboys look at me raw,
I'm a gold nudie suit.
They drove their pickup trucks over from Wal-Mart
just to piss on their boots.
Keep between the ditches boys.
Keep being part of the big noise.

Soft-armed girl looks like all the others,
you can't tell them apart.
I buy her Bud Light while I drink Dr. Pepper,
it massages my heart.
She's my buffer from the blues.
She's my Buffalo Bayou.

Yelling about some song she heard.
She might as well be making up words.

Under my collar,
scars and a sunburn look something like this.
Here's my Winchester that I've never shot
so that I cannot miss.
My aim's just a little low.
My aim's really just so-so.

Grandpa says, hey,
let's pop up some popcorn, a pot of decaf.
I drank all that coke and got nothing but hiccups,
I can't help but laugh.
Yes, she's too young anyway.
Yes, there's just nothing more to say.
Track Name: Foretold
It was foretold.
It was templated.
It was fourfold more than sentiment.
It was foretold
before it arrived.
It was alive.

It was foretold.
It was slated.
All it asked is that
we waited.
It was foretold
it was prophesized.
It was alive
before I was.

It was a picture of itself
resting on a ledge above.

It was foretold.
It was lifted.
It unfolded as
if scripted.

It was foretold.
Unclassified.
It was alive
before I was.

And if you put it on screen,
critics would shout,
“It’s routine”:

I was the boy with the angles
set perpetually to sag.
You were the girl with the bangs
who put the bagels in the bag.
Track Name: Serial Killer
We sat in my backyard and you looked down your nose at me,
Asked me if I might be the love of your life.
I responded in kind; said I'd love you unconditionally,
Through and through, but sweetie it's not true.

'Cause no, I couldn't love you if you were a serial killer.
I can't accept just anything
I couldn't love you if you were a serial killer.
I'd like to or maybe I wouldn't.

Maybe you would say that
It's just a small thing and it doesn't really reflect who you are.
But I don't think that that's accurate.
I think that being a serial killer is a pretty big deal.

And then maybe you would say that
You were trying to get help and I should help you.
But I think I could be the biggest help by calling the police.
This goes beyond couples counseling.

'Cause no I couldn't love you if you were a serial killer.
I have limits and that's way out past them.
I could understand if you weren't okay with being a vegetarian
But this is a little different from that
Or maybe it's not but I think it is.

Maybe you would say that
This shows off some really great qualities I value.
You're a hard worker
And you know how to get the job done.

But find another way
I don't think you understand that this killing thing takes precedence
I'd rather you were lazy than serial killing a lot of people
Or even just a few people. That's still a problem.

'Cause no I couldn't love you if you were a serial killer
I have limits and that's way out past them.
I couldn't love you if you were a serial killer.
I mean I guess you're probably not but really I couldn't ever handle that.

But really, sweetie, I guess you're probably not a serial killer.
It's hard to say definitely but I don't think that you are.
So I'll say I love you through and through
On just a few conditions.

I don't care if you're Republican
Or you belonged to a frat house or you play way too much World of Warcraft.
Just please don't be a serial killer.
Please don't be thaaaaaaat!
Track Name: Guitar Lesson
Sitting at the old white Wurli,
mighty in the suburbs of my mind,
my life's not gone the way I planned--
I'm still a happy man.
Then a new student stumbles in.
Welcome in!
With a pimply sneer, you take out your guitar.
You just want a lesson, maybe two, well,
here you are.

You cover up your cheeks with shadow
and twist your naked chin into the wind.
Behind sunglasses in the rain,
you're faking so much pain.
Play me a song, let's hear it now.
I like how
you judge the world one weird chord at a time,
inking up your sleeves, complaining on the
family dime.

So sit.
Prepare to learn.
Prepare to let me take a turn.

All I teach are these pop songs--
I need no more dissonance.
This conflicted not-so-young man
found old-fashioned ignorance.

I recall that teenage feeling--
you hate the world but want to change it too.
My life's not gone the way I planned,
but this is who I am.
Thrilling is the sound of ugliness--
you're obsessed
but one day you will want to rest your ears.
I gave it up and haven't dyed my hair black
in twenty years.

All I write are sunny songs,
you'll bring no more dissonance.
Building this house took some time--
white picket innocence.
Someday you'll wear khakis too,
there's no need for owning up.
You may love the darkness now but
nothing's darker than growing up.

So sit.
Prepare to learn.
Prepare to feel your fingers burn.

You will play these happy songs--
take comfort in melodies.
I'm my daughter's father now.
The family remedies.
Learn to love Bach and the Beatles,
happy just showing up.
Sure the world is full of darkness--
Nothing's darker than growing up.

Every day brings satisfaction,
mighty in the suburbs of my mind.
Down the road you'll know this feeling,
happy but resigned.
Track Name: How Do You
How do you cook
Without burning everything?
How do you leave
Without forgetting anything the first time?

Why didn't the change happen earlier?
I don't know how to be grown.

How do you know the way
When you've only been there once before.

I lost my sweater.
But it's okay.
It was already stained.

How do you clean
Every day as you go?

How do you look up
And not fear for all of us?