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Gentle Tour (demos)

by United Shapes

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down the steps to the basement slice of pizza for my mouth say hello to the boys in news ME wants my thirds on her desk by 10 I'll do my best but I'll probably be here 'til 2 walk past the morgue up to my desk which is also the break room I've been charged with a task I'm in charge of a page gotta make that Sudoku check my inbox weed through the crap grab another slice of pizza in time to layout my page I'm responsible for this thing 50,000 college kids waiting for their comics today I'm a newsman's son paper's in my blood sucking life from fluorescent bulbs work 10 hours a day for 20 dollars in pay but no one minds that we work for crumbs start the presses Inks and Keck making out on the sofa Scotty in the loading dock talking and smoking I remember the days when people held it in their hands turn the page tuck it under the arm take it with on a bus ride it's not electric or compact but it's never without its charm line a parrot cage make a pirate hat throw it out when you've read it it's a thankless job in a trench coat and hat from the notes the the edit spilled my coffee but it's OK got another cup of Joe and a Red Bull in waiting for this time to script-set and check the negatives my page is done print is dead when we say it is walk up the stairs to the empty box tomorrow we'll have people talking soon the trucks will go out and fill the box with fresh ink like a square Christmas stocking start the presses Richard and Tim making sure we do our work Flannery thumbing through her AP style book
Anhedonia 03:32
I’ve got good news You should feel pretty good about this news You should smile and maybe jump right out of your shoes Because this news involves your blues And how you used to never feel anything And how a puppy riding on a larger dog would bring The joy of a bowl of warm ice cream I know you’ve felt Like a mannequin or a fake blow-up doll And that sex makes you feel absolutely nothing at all Well that’s a wall that’s gonna fall Because you don’t have anhedonia anymore! There was some something wrong ya Ya weren’t just bored ya weren’t just bored I guess that’s nice Yeah that kind of sounds like big exciting news But if you don’t mind I think I’ll stay inside my shoes Because this news makes me confused I mean if I am cured just like you said And that I no longer have to feel like I am dead Then why’s my pleasure in the red? I feel the same As I did the day I told you that I felt Like the things I like began to feel like something else Like being in a special Hell …But wait, you don’t have anhedonia anymore! I’m not wrong I’m not wrong ya Ya just bored ya just bored
My little teeth wanted out so bad that they all jumped right out of my head and My little hands flapped so hard that they flew away now I can't play the keyboard My little heart beat itself to death all that's left is the hole where it used to be All of my skin melted off my bones now I look like a Halloween costume He was a solid guy but now he drifts like a vapor in and out of the empty sky we all thought he was here he was a man for a minute but then he disappeared all of my hair got the feeling they'd be better off somewhere other than on my head each of my bones sublimated and all of the meat fell right off of my body both of my lungs filled with helium now they're some of the parts that I don't have my little feet tapped so much that when they were done they were nothing but piles of dust he was a solid guy but now floats like a ghost and the rest of us can't say why we all thought he was here he was a man for a minute but then he disappeared and he never reappeared he was gone. he was a solid guy but now he's gone and the cartons have his picture right on the side we all thought he was here he was a man for a minute but then he disappeared he was a solid guy we were away for a while but now we're back and he's out of sight we all thought he was here he was a man for a minute but then he disappeared It's possible that the devil snatched his from his bed and took him out for some Chinese food or maybe there was a cat and it sat on his chest and sucked the life out he was a solid guy but now he drifts like a vapor in and out of the empty sky we all thought he was here he was a man for a minute but then he disappeared and he never reappeared he was gone.
Button’s Raven Gloss is always made from real ravens And you put it on your shoes to impress the lovely maidens And the maidens use it too to impress the handsome dudes Anybody who wears shoes knows that that’s the thing to do Edward Button is the man who knows how to catch the birds He invites them to a meal and then he woos them with kind words Then the ravens follow him to his modest gloss shop Where he cuts off all their heads with a single skillful chop He puts the feathers in a mortar and he grinds them into soot Then he takes the raven body and he holds it by the foot Then he squeezes out the gloss (which is not an easy chore) And he even sells the heads on necklaces inside his store Now when all of that is finished, Dr. Button takes a rake And he stirs the feather dust and gloss into a shiny paste Then he takes a tiny dropper and he fills up every bottle Then he puts a label on it and he tops it with a stopper Then he washes his hands and his shop opens at nine And by ten AM the people in the town all form a line And they hand over their money like it means nothing to them And then every night the doctor does it all over again Mrs. Shropshire’s a reporter with an exposé to file Yeah she’s working on a story but it’s taking her a while Because no one that she talks to will cooperate or hint At the truth behind the shoe gloss or where all the ravens went
The mood on the terrace of Salinger’s secret address is that of a cat alone on top a fence or that of a nocturne played for no audience One month ago I received an invitation in the mail, I RVSPed A town car came for me Was it necessary to earmuff and blindfold me? So back to where I am Alone with my thoughts and a cigarette in my hand An hour’s passed The other party guests should be arriving soon I would guess (Except that they haven’t yet. Surely dozens of other invites were sent. I was under the impression that this would be THE event of 1951) My mouth feels like I ate a bucket of hot garbage What’s a guy gotta do to get a drink in JD’s mansion of shadows? The stupid chairs in the rooms are my only company This place should be cramped with the cream of society. Another half hour’s gone. Nobody here but me with my tuxedo on. We’re all here at Salinger’s party And by we I mean me, because if “we”, then where are they? I know he loves his privacy but this seems like a joke to me This lousy ghost town house Limo loads of missing guests and one absentee host I think it’s obvious that Salinger either lied or his guests missed the bus Goddam you JD, I bought your sophomoric book just so I could make lame smalltalk That’s it, I’m outta here And I’m stealing his silverware as a dumb souvenir Beyond the house’s gates I look for the town car that brought me here and I wait for someone, anyone, to see that I’m ready to leave and to drive me home Now where could the driver be? Probably hiding and laughing and watching me I have no clue where I am Now I have to walk back to where I live if I can
Bruce McCall 05:28
I've never met the man personally but my professor in art school said she met him once at a thing How can somebody be seen universally but fly under the radar when I drop his name on my friends I can imagine him there in his studio surrounded by zeppelins cars and unsinkable boats Washing a brush he will turn and look down at the street see the bright yellow taxis, the red of a street vendor's rose That I've seen a lot doesn't mean anything there are so many that I've never seen where does he put them all where does he put them all Bruce McCall where does he put them all where does he put them all Bruce McCall I went to his residence on the upper west side to witness the urban absurdist at work in his home He wasn't there but I knew that he wouldn't mind if I broke in and smelled all his furniture and ate from his stove Doing this lifted my spirits in ways that I cannot describe And at once the ideas began to flood into my mind Soon I'd amassed a collection of canvases Each a perfect realistic depiction of a witty punchline But there's still this one thing I need to know after he signs the thing where does it go? where does he put them all where does he put them all Bruce McCall where does he put them all where does he put them all Bruce McCall people say illustration is a lesser form of art I think that people have the horse behind the cart how can a giant pink heel be a luxury condominium? that's not a question he asks of himself how can a fluttering leaf be a parking ticket? the same way that a castaway separates paper from glass where does he put them all where does he put them all Bruce McCall where does he put them all where does he put them all Bruce McCall People say illustration is a lesser form of art I say people are stupid where does he put them all where does he put them all Bruce McCall where does he put them all where does he put them all Bruce McCall
Somewhere there’s a trail And somewhere there are woods That someone ill equipped Erected awfully quick With stink root, caulibroccoli Pine trees with giant cones That stick to whatever They land on then explode Burn it down baby now start it again now Burn it down baby now begin it again now Cacti skunkamanders Cacti hairless bears Cacti ancient sinkholes Cacti everywhere Pointy boulders rolling With great difficulty Purple underbrush With purple poison berries Burn it down baby now start it again now Burn it down baby now begin it again now Somewhere there’s a trail And somewhere there’s a tree That someone made with jagged Broken glassy branches In this inferior wilderness You have to cling to anything That’s not made out of snakes Burn it down baby now start it again now Burn it down baby now begin it again now Let’s you and me pack a lunch And head down to the trail That’s lined with body parts And bloody clothing Babe if I were to go missing While we’re in there I hope that you never get Another boyfriend
Montauk 03:01
we drove down to the end of the world and we walked for a while in the purple sand we were told that it would be cold, that our gloves would be worthless to warm our hands we were inspired to make the long drive after seeing a painting of who lived there big and small, they were feathered and all of them diving for fish in the frozen air how did they do it? how did they leave everything behind and inch through the night? could I say to myself that I'd do the same thing? hitch a ride through the fog and the ice we looked high and low for a soul, there was no one around to be seen for miles but there in the drift lay a silhouette stiff as a board. it had been there for quite some time. one dead seal is your host in Montauk. Montauk is a ghost. one cold coast is at most an odd landmark. Montauk is a ghost. past the living postcards past the people inside them at work and warm past the big duck and the woman inside reading tabloid trash wating to go home A lighthouse sits at the end of the world looking down at the restaurant and wondering why no one's around except for me and my friend in this place where ice cream falls from the sky we will live here we will fashion a house out of timber and stone we will put up a sign that reads "we are happy now leave us alone" we were far away from the car as the sun started drowning itself in the brine and there in the drift was that figure still stiff as a board. it was watching us the whole time
Hydroxyzine 04:07
X-Y-Z Hydroxyzine Cutest little pill I’ve ever seen Not afraid to go to bed not afraid of anything Somnus X-Y-Z Hydroxyzine You’re the only one I really need That’s not true I need all thirteen Somnus X-Y-Z Hydroxyzine What once was hell now’s a dream Take it for yourself and see what I mean Somnus X-Y-Z X-Y-Z Hydroxyzine Laying on my bed and staring blankly Beats wanting to strangle everybody I see Somnus X-Y-Z Hydroxyzine One does the trick don’t need to take three Not afraid to talk to people not afraid of anything Somnus X-Y-Z Hydroxyzine Cutest little pill I’ve ever seen Not a wolf in a cage or a ghost in a sheet Somnus X-Y-Z Somnus
I've never lived here but I've always been here like the guy in the black and white picture at the end of the movie it turned out he'd been there his whole life but he'd never lived there except for the once and it didn't work out right He died outside, had a fight with his wife and he ran all around in the maze of the mind of the ghost of the love that was trapped in his heart And speaking of love there's a heart on my sleeve not the sleeve but the front of this white t-shirt not a shirt but a mug not a mug but a glove not a glove but a No. 2 pencil When it's sharp and I hold it straight up on the desk it's a relative I know from pictures But a picture's enough to rekindle the love Like a sister you see just at Christmas And the people who aren't from here wish that they were And the people who are know they're smarter than the people who dream of New York cuz they know that the grass isn't greener it's harder And it grows to incredible heights and it turns into metal and glass and burnt coffee And the light from the sun is that guy from the maze with the axe trying to hack through the city They thought that they knew us Well how could they know us? They read in the shape of a cloud we'd been bad So they blew into town and they took souvenirs from a place that I had never seen though I had But instead of a snow globe they took the whole thing leaving only the snow and a hole in the globe By the time that I got there I got there too late to do anything even say that I'd been there. I love New York I love New York I love New York It's written on my shirt.


Gentle Tour is United Shapes' fourth album, and needs to be enjoyed while driving around in the car from one end of Long Island to the other. As you may have suspected from the sunny blue sky and fluffy clouds, this record is a real happy slice of lemon pound cake compared to our usual sick, miserable garbage. It's all story songs, too, so if you're into story songs, then have I got the United Shapes album for you, pal.

Featuring songs about a college newspaper, a famous literary recluse, a funny line from the movie Clue that I decided to turn into a whole four-and-a-half-minute song, a city in Long Island where Rufus Wainwright is believed to sometimes be the mayor, this guy who does paintings for the New Yorker magazine, this girl who does paintings of glaciers for nobody, hot sex with WASPy twins in the Hamptons, dogs, birds, that time they locked John Lennon in a small room and made him listen to "Good Morning Good Morning" for 7 days straight without food or water, and other references to places in New York, including the main one, New York.


released December 17, 2012

Drew Cave - guitar, trombone, drums, vocals
Joseph Devens - keyboard, guitar, drums, synths, vocals
Written by Devens-Cave
Produced by United Shapes


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United Shapes Austin, Texas

United Shapes are an alternative pop/rock duo formed in 2004 in Austin, TX by Joseph Devens and Drew Cave. New studio album Confuseograph now available on Flim Flam Records.

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