Straighten Up: About the E.P.

Last summer, my band Spanish For Hitchhiking began recording our third album. (I’m very excited about it, and can’t wait to share it with you all.) But then, as the pandemic kept us all at home alone, we had to stop working on it, and stop practicing in my basement. To keep things moving, I spent many evenings in April recording the vocals for the record in a pieced-together vocal booth, also in my basement; there was an ironing board and a couple musty blankets involved. That ended, and I missed rocking. So I set out to record a handful of songs that felt new, that didn’t exactly feel like “me,” or at least the me that has sung whispery vocals over acoustic guitars for most of my adult life. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) I set a few rules to keep things interesting. I wrote about some characters, pulling from overheard conversations at convenience stores and liquor stores, about high hopes with scratch-off tickets. And so here we have Straighten Up; 5 songs, 5 characters (one of them being me, in the clarity-seeking fifth track). I hope you enjoy it.

Get it on Bandcamp | Read the lyrics cuz they’re f’ing poetry man | It’s also on streaming stuff

Straighten Up: Lyrics

FREEDOM

i want it badly enough to wait
and i’ve told enough lies to know
i gotta get things straight

i heard you had it written down to say
what you told me last night, sounds like
you’re goin away

freedom from
freedom

i drove here slowly so I could be
the last one to walk into the room
to say what’s with this scene

and i saw you holding what you call a friend
the last guy i thought that you’d try
to pin in your pen

freedom from
freedom

i guess freedom’s calling me its way
but i’d do anything not to
have to decide today

freedom from
freedom

LUMP SUM

With the flick of a wrist,
You can get out of a spot
When the casino you pick
Is the parking lot

I’ll take 2 number ones
3 number twos
And ask the first girl I see
For the numbers to choose

He seems to know how to hit
When the tickets are hot
He just picks up his Bic, says
“Yeah I get that lot”

If he gets out of the car,
He’s got a fish on the line.
He’ll take just one number six, winks,
And one number nine.

If I could hit on seventeen
I could get you everything
But he’s the one, he’s a pro
But easy come, easy go

There’s a place on the beach
When the numbers do come.
I know it’s just out of reach,
I know I’ll take the lump sum.

If I could hit on seventeen
I could get you everything
But he’s the one, he’s a pro
But easy come, easy go
And I’ve got the one, this I know
I see it come, and watch it go

YES SIR

Yes sir, yes sir, that’s my baby
What’s she done wrong now? She’s gettin’ shaky

Yes sir, yes sir, she’s feelin’ hazy
What’s she into now? Just say it plainly

Keep cool
You say “keep to the right”
as far as see, it’s just a Saturday night
(and that’s alright)

Yes sir, I heard, you think she’s bein’ lazy
What’s she thinkin’ now? Just about her baby

DREAM

You kick around here
And you get down down
If you can, find a handout

The scene around here,
Is on its way out,
So you say and lay the pack down

You hit one last year,
And pissed it all,
And you scratch what’s on the street now

I think you better come with me
We can lock the doors and dream

A week of last year,
You got cleaned out
You saw leaves and you saw sunshine pal

I think you better come with me
We can lock the doors and dream
leavin’ I don’t make a sound
You just lock the door and leave the ground

GONNA GET CLEAR

you’d see me walking stumbling down the road
sayin take it easy man

you’d look me right in the one that’s closed
straighten up! if i can, if i can

With heavy wings
Nothing to fear, now
I’m further in
I’m gonna get clear, now

i felt it coming, breathing down my throat
stealing the air away

now i can just go where i’ve wanted to go
alive on each side of the day

With heavy wings
Nothing to fear, now
I’m further in
I’m gonna get clear, now

This night, alright.