Memphis

by the matthew show

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about

I never thought I would release another album. The world of the single is upon us, and putting together a collection of songs to be heard as a unit seemed a bit like sending a buggywhip salesman to a car show. But in February of 2012, I brought the best band I've ever had to Memphis at the behest of a friend. We knew we would record a song by my late friend Jason Jackson at Sun Studio, but had no concrete plans for the two hours of free studio time we had inadvertently scored at Ardent. So we just started playing, and before I knew it, we had created...an album. Which, as I say, was not supposed to happen anymore. But it did, and I'm very glad to have captured this snapshot, not only of these songs, but of this group of musicians. I hope you enjoy it even half as much as we have.

credits

released October 22, 2012

Executive Producer - Fetzer Mills, Jr.
Engineered and mixed by Adam Hill at Ardent Studios and Matt Ross-Spang at Sun Studio
Mastered by Kevin Nix at L. Nix Mastering
Photography by Akisha Rundquist

matthew - vocal, guitar
Jeff Simms - drums, backing vocals
Beth Brown - violin, backing vocals
Clay Anderson - bass
Ed Rogers - lead guitar, backing vocals
Adam Hill - tambourine, mellotron

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about

the matthew show Fort Worth, Texas

the matthew show's songs are acclaimed widely, as is his podcast series The Band That Never Was, a merging of story and song. He has been featured on NPR & PBS. He served as reader and composer for the Bonneville Stories audiobook by Mark Doyon, and co-produced Beth Brown's debut album I'm Not Matthew. He is also half of Ah Pook the Destroyer. ... more

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Track Name: Poison Picking Time [Memphis version]
(copyright 2007 the matthew show)

If I were a ghost of all the things I tell you
Would you run, seek the higher ground
If I were lost, more lost than when I found you
Should I go, try to find the path again

Fly around inside
Windows look like sky

You know it’s alright
You know it’s okay
Live like you’ll die someday

If I made time the way I make my music
Would you smile more often than you do
If I smiled for once without reservation
I doubt there’d be a thing we couldn’t do

I curse the dashboard light
Home late another night

You know it’s alright
You know it’s okay
Live like you’ll die someday
They never wonder
They never question
They march crying past the grave

And I want to feel loved without feeling old
I want to feel the wind blow through my soul
I want to love you for the rest of my life
And I wish that life weren’t dying
Dying, dying on the vine

Well, they say it’s alright
You don’t get a life without pain
I can’t deny that
But all I wonder
When it’s poison picking time
Which one is mine

You know it’s alright
You know it’s okay
Live like you’ll die someday
And maybe one day
And maybe sometime soon
We can be happy again
Track Name: Square (The Nerd Song) [Memphis version]
(copyright 2009 the matthew show)

Do you remember the thing we all did
With the thing and the thing and the stuff all at the same time
No, I don’t
Do you remember the thing we all liked
Because everybody liked it and you could not say no
No, I don’t
But I remember hearing you say
What’s the matter with people who don’t do what I do
Every single day

CHORUS:

But I’m a nerd
I do not give a shit
‘Cause what you’re selling’s not a lifetime membership
You buy cool for a couple of minutes at a time
And when it’s over, you’re just old, confused and tired
But I don’t care
I was square before you got there

Do you remember the thing we all wore
You couldn’t not wear it, ‘cause somebody somewhere said so
No, I don’t
Did you know your parents did the same damn thing
Years before you came around
I didn’t think so
But I remember hearing you say
My generation’s cooler than theirs
And it will always be that way

(CHORUS)

Is it coincidence that these shoes and this band go together
I don’t think so
Is it happenstance that you sound more like everyone else every day
I don’t think so
You’ve been led around by the nose for so long
You have no idea who you are
Now sing along with the lines of this guitar

Now you’re a nerd
And it’s a rotten shame
That you didn’t prepare a single moment for this day
You can keep on talking about these kids today
Turn on that old record, let it play & play
I’ve been hanging around here outside of time
Thinking you might figure out you’ve been blind
But I don’t care
You may never, ever get there

I’m still a nerd
I do not give a shit
What you were selling didn’t pay no dividends
You bought cool for a couple of minutes at a time
Now it’s over and you’re just old, confused and tired
And I don’t care
I was square before you got there
Track Name: Innocence [Memphis version]
I won't be offering grace for the fallen
Grace for the living's much more hard to find
And I won't be offering prayers for the virgins
I'll save my protection for those with the need

I won't be offering legs for the lapdog
Or flowers for the "so long, good riddance, goodbye"
And I won't be offering candy for the babies
They'll need it much more when they open their eyes

CHORUS:
And I walk deeper in trenches
And I keep a match out for bridges behind
Every time I hear innocence die
And I walk deeper in shadow
And I keep an eye out for you in my mind
Every time I hear innocence die
Track Name: Me and Me & You [Memphis version]
(copyright 2006 the matthew show)

I just drank a beer, I don’t know why
I just drank three more, I don’t know why
Then you came down, we fooled around, and now I’m clean & dry
It’s the difference between me and me & you

I ate a box of Krispy Kremes today
Shouted at myself to go away
Then you came back and I relaxed and now I’m all okay
It’s the difference between me and me & you

CHORUS:
Why do you leave me alone with myself
The last place I ever want to be
‘Cause the difference between the wrong thing and the right thing to do
Is the difference between me and me & you

I had sex with Tina Fey today
Then the TV stopped and made it go away
Then you came in, my favorite sin, and I knew what to do
It’s the difference between me and me & you

Maybe I should kill myself today
It’s the only thing to make me go away
But I find that it’s too much of a cruel a thing to do
Not so much to me, but more to me & you
Track Name: Union Station [Memphis version]
JFK died not a half mile from here
You can still see the plaza when the weather is clear
I can give you directions or take you right there
On the bus down to Union Station

It's an old town, it's a young town, though it's long left the stork
And it hopes and it prays it'll become New York
O say, can you see the East 35 fork
On the bus down to Union Station

Union Station, the keys to the kingdom
The jewel in the crown, we're open all season
All the black ones and the brown ones and the ugly white women
Take the bus down to Union Station
On the bus down to Union Station
Track Name: The Impotent Rage [Memphis version]
I’m in the cube, not on the stage
I’m 31, I’ve got the impotent rage

I play the lotto, I gotta win
So I don’t have to do this shit again

I eat the nougat, it’s my reward
For waking up and coming here and being bored

I coach the Yankees, from New Accounts
I make the money so my wife’ll let me whip my pee-pee out

I have a dream, it’s mine alone
That me and her and the mortgage company own

I know why the bird sings in the cage
I’m 31, I’ve got the impotent rage

Bought Krispy Kreme, went down real good
Just like the monkey on my monkey said it would

Turned on the news, it was Iraq
My wife’s been in here changing stations, where my Jesus at?

Well, here I am, on the road again
Just like that piggytailed old hippie said

And here I am, not on the stage
I’m 31, I’ve got the impotent rage
Track Name: The Last Words of Sigmund Freud [Memphis version]
(copyright 1994 Carl Finch and Little Jack Melody, No Class Music, BMI)
Track Name: Old Enough [Memphis version]
(copyright 1999 the matthew show and Jeff Simms)

When you were young, you mapped the sun
And all its features swirled about
And now you stand, PhD in hand
With no one to acknowledge it
But I for one, I see that sun
And I will help you follow it
'Cause you're not done yet, and you're not having fun yet
And you are much too young

Old enough to grieve about your life

A father and his son, playing in the sandbox
Potential lying everywhere
But away melt the grains, to sweep away the pain
Of all the things that might have been
And I for one, I am that son
And I ask for it back again
'Cause I'm not done yet, and I'm not having fun yet
And I am much too young

Old enough to grieve about my life

There's still a chance to come around
Track Name: Bring Me Safely Down (being The Ballad of Shithead Jackson) [Memphis version]
(copyright 2000 the matthew show)

I will be there when all your gypsy days are done
I will be standing by the stage at night to help you sing your songs
Sing out along
Give me the will to carry on
Give me the strength to sing my songs
And I will never be alone
And I will never be the one
Who always finds you there alone and tired
When all along you were the only one I admired
Bring me safely down

This flyover town is such a crappy place to be
I need a rock and roll location for my rock and roll dream
What does it mean
This path that leads us to our beds
Our greatness waiting till we're dead
And I will never be alone
Bring up that melody so strong
That I can scarcely hear the words or music
The voice it lent itself you long ago, now use it
Bring me safely down

You're smoking up your mind
You've abandoned common sense
And you're afraid to let it out
All that natural-born pretense
And you do wear those clothes so well
That tell the whole world what you think
Yeah, you're cranking up that velvet
While you're smashing all the pink
Into a memory
A precious memory

Are you the blade that will cleave our common foe
Do you feel man enough to try what I feel man enough to know
It's painted gold, but it won't roll your 20 when
Your sagging eyes are growing dim
And I don't want to be alone
Or see you dragged down by the stone
Into a middle age that you see coming
It doesn't give a damn for you
So keep on running
Bring me safely down
Track Name: The Lesbian Song (Southern Belles) [Memphis remastered version]
(copyright 1996 Jason Jackson)

She's a lesbian, my sister and her car
Wears patchouli extract, and dances in a bar
They say her boyfriend killed someone when he was a Marine
But I think it's just a lie, his gun looks really clean

CHORUS:
Southern Belles don't wear long black veils
In the springtime when it rains
And I have failed to make friends outside of jail
'Cause I've forgotten everybody knows my name

I got tattoos on my elbows, where they say it hurts the most
Got rings on all my fingers, and diamonds on my toes
I got a mirrored headboard, martini sunrise breath
I don't know why I wanna live alone, I bore myself to death