Packrat

by T. Hallenbeck

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1.
Wrath of God 02:56
Time goes on forever, the world is so wide, But still I wake up feeling empty inside. My dreams are full of sweet revenge on enemies and crooks, But the visions and the bright lights, I just read about those in books. I'm arrogant and lazy, heck, I'm just plain bad - Tiny evil seeds lace half the thoughts I've ever had. But what if there is no cosmic ledger of my misspent years? What if no one's watching? What if no one hears? chorus: Am I invisible? Am I undead? What happens to those pangs of love and hate that haunt my head? Everywhere I go, the Devil gives me a nod, So why can't I feel the wrath of God? I shout and I scream but I don't make a sound. I wander all day long but cast no shadow on the ground. The universe is cold and still and all I do is stare. Maybe no one's looking back. Maybe I'm not there. (chorus)
2.
Swallow this pill - oh, and here's your freewill - go and do not sin again, my son. It's a beautiful day - they've sent me out to play - but I'm not allowed to have any fun. I know full well I'm on the highway to Hell - the guy on my doorstep says that's fair. But the one saving grace about that terrible place is that Robert Johnson's already there. Every day at noon, some Satanic goon hauls Robert Johnson to the lunchroom stage. And while the damned dine on rats, Robert shows those cats that he's way better than Jimmy Page. He whips out the riffs, the diabolical gifts that made him the Devil's pet. And when he rocks the Hell-house, No one, not even a Hell-mouse, is left standing when he's done with his set. I have no idea what I'm talking about - I'm making this up as I go. The guy on my doorstep is preaching again and I shouldn't interrupt the flow. But when I ask him if he's heard Robert Johnson's sad tale, he says, "I'm sorry, I don't know who what is. But the bright swift sword of a vengeful Lord must have reduced him to an indistinct fizz." The guy wanders off, and I wonder where Bob J. went when his terrible debt got paid. And I wonder if any in my circle of friends has ever made a similar trade. I know full well I'm on the highway to Hell - the guy on my doorstep said that's fair. But the one saving grace about that terrible place is that Robert Johnson's already there.
3.
Lazarus 02:42
Lazarus my friend, you're just in time for happy hour and some daily bread. Lazaus my friend, you were sorely missed. like you, I have nowhere to lay my head, so let's get in trouble and raise the dead, yes, let's get in trouble and raise the dead. Lazarus my friend, do you know how we've waited, and how we swore that we'd never tell? Lazarus my friend, do you know what you are? Like you, I know the side roads all to well, so let's get in trouble and raise some hell, yes, let's get in trouble and raise some hell. We won't blow your cover now that you're here. we'll hide you from family and nuts and police. You're among friends now, there's nothing to fear. We know you'd rather be resting in peace. Lazarus my friend, do you know who you are, and why we welcome you in from the rain? Lazarus my friend, can you say where you've been? Like you, I'm full of worries and doubt and pain, so let's get in trouble and raise some Cain, yes, let's get in trouble and raise some Cain.
4.
Everything has changed since I ditched my former masters I have been reborn into a beautiful land Full of lost chances and unwitting disasters Puppet strings pulled by invisible hands Nothing is the same now that I've walked away from the bad place I have been reborn into a world of light Got a lotta sunscreen and I'm wearin' the clownface I'm much too free and it's much too bright Aimless, soulless, godless, goalless So little to do, so much time to do it in Loveless, faithless, rootless, graceless So little to do, so much time to do it in I was built to endure My heart's strong and pure No roadblocks, no hassles, no red tape It's a brand-new phase Till the end of days Thanks to my great escape Nothing is the same since I threw off my shackles So many breathtaking sights to see Everyone's so happy and it raises my hackles I've got no one to meet and nowhere to be Aimless, soulless, godless, goalless So little to do, so much time to do it in Loveless, faithless, lawless, graceless So little to do, so much time to do it in I was built to heal fast From the sins of the past No roadblocks, no hassles, no red tape It's a brand-new phase 'Till the end of days Thanks to my great escape
5.
Juke Joint 02:17
May you live with starlight on your shoulders, Avoid all potholes and falling boulders, May you see all shooting stars and never miss one. May you find a town that fast cars pass Where no one can fault you for parkin' your ass, In a low-down honky-tonk juke joint like this one. May the road always rise to meet you, May this harsh life never beat you, May you avoid all hornets' nets, and never piss one... off. May you hold your own and speak the truth From a comfy, cushioned, duct-taped booth In a low-down honky-tonk juke joint like this one. May your dull grind never fail! May you find your Holy Grail! May your slow burn never stop! May your best-laid plans not flop! May you fend off every goon Who walks beneath a silver moon, May you never have to eat a toad or kiss one. May the howling someday cease, May you someday find your peace, In a low-down honky-tonk juke joint like this one.
6.
Hey Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore My family's rotten to its awful core We can't let this slide Let's go for a ride I drove nine hours and I'm all sore Someone's gonna lose the trailer home Someone's gonna hafta pay Someone's gonna hafta explain Someone's gonna hafta get out of the way chorus: And now I stand before you humble I've fallen off my high horse Last night I got drunk and passed out And dreamed of the redneck divorce Now I appear before you humble Last night I screamed myself hoarse At flying monkeys and creepy little people As I dreamed of another redneck divorce You're not a wizard - you're just a very bad guy Forget it buddy 'cause it ain't gonna fly We can't let this go You reap what you sow I drove nine hours and real men don't cry Someone's gonna hafta buy some beer I bought it last time Someone's gonna hafta get gas and not pay I did the last crime (chorus)
7.
They tell me that I've done terrible things Please madam, don't leave me out here to die They called me names, then they pulled off my wings Please madam, don't leave me out here to die They tell me I've committed unforgivable crimes Please madam, don't leave me out here alone I know some things now that I've crossed that line Please madam, don't leave me out here alone chorus: Close your eyes - what do you see? I see sunlit lands where orchards grow. Close your eyes - what do you see? I see a perfect world: another Idaho. They've run me through their cages and their torture machines Please madam, don't leave me out here to die They've made me an extra in their nightmare scenes Please madam, don't leave me out here to die They tell me that I've done terrible things Please madam, don't leave me out here alone They called me names, then they pulled off my wings Please madam, don't leave me out here alone (chorus)
8.
Someday he'll be the ultimate scam artist - he stands and thinks and wonders while the fast cars go. Let's stay up late tonight, and see what our funny friend drags home. Soon to be the ultimate flim-flam artist, he watches, waits, and listens while the dealers deal. Let's stay up late tonight, and see what our slippery friend drags home. chorus: I'm jealous, so jealous - I'm really so very, very jealous of Joe. Consumed, intrigued, bright green with envy - I'm really so very, very jealous of Joe. Someday he'll be the ultimate con artist, He lurks in quiet corners while the schemers scheme. Let's stay up late tonight And see what our fearless friend brings home. Soon to be the ultimate scam artist, He learns the little things while the dealers deal. Let's stay up late tonight, And see what our squirrelly friend drags home. (chorus)
9.
Kitty Hawk 04:57
No good ever comes from standing around. No one gets anywhere by hugging the ground. Few have envisioned so many strange new worlds, So many bright futures as I have. No good ever comes from staring at dirt - All you get is vertigo and drool on your shirt. Few have built so many strange machines With as capable hands as I have. chorus: I'll be the Orville, and the Wilbur - your back yard Will fill with old bike chains and aluminum poles. My early inventions will flip and destroy themselves, Marring your beacheads with wreckage and holes. But my crazy ideas will blossom like daffodils - New worlds will open before your wide eyes. And the time that got lost, and the fortune it cost Will be paid back the day that I come home alive. No good ever comes from reining it in - You fall back, you fall down, you never begin. Few have built so many oddball machines With as capable hands as I have. (chorus)

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Recorded in Emeryville CA, 2006

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released October 1, 2006

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T. Hallenbeck Oakland, California

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