They Burned for 18 Days!

by Disclaimer

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credits

released June 3, 2016

They Burned for 18 Days! is the second album by Disclaimer. It was made by Chris Willie Williams, with:

Beverly Williams (courtesy of Curiosity Quills Press): Vocals on “Succumb,” “Act Now—These Savings Are Not Sustainable!” and “Trapezoid Song.” Also endless patience and encouragement.

The Other Leading Brand (Michael DeFabio): Production, bass, beats, mixing, and additional sorcery on “Zen Center Hull Breach.” He mastered this entire album too. Also bountiful advice on the album in general.

Steve Knowlton (courtesy of Crabapple Tapes Co.): Bass on “Trapezoid Song.”

M. Fenn, Steve Knowlton, Ben Marlin, Lisa Nichols, Sara Prigan, Jim Secreto: Monitored phone calls on “Basra Reed Warblers.”

M. Fenn: Additional monitored phone call on “(The) Hale Boggs/Bopp.”

Tim “T-Bone” Williams: Sports-related consultation on “Act Now—These Savings Are Not Sustainable!”

Amanda Kenyon Rodgers (www.chameleonphoto.ca): Photos, artwork, and design.

All songs by Chris Willie Williams (BMI) except:
"Succumb" by Spats Ransom (Petite Four Music, BMI)
"Zen Center Hull Breach" by Michael DeFabio and Chris Willie Williams (BMI)

Thanks to Tim Rimer for loaning me the MicroKorg and Lisa Nichols for loaning me the banjo that I wound up breaking. Sorry.

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about

Disclaimer Bangor, Maine

Disclaimer is multi-instrumentalist and music critic Chris Willie Williams. He writes black-humored electro-indie-rock songs about government corruption, heartbreak, and things generally crashing to an unpleasant end. He loves puppies.

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Track Name: Priority Retcon (Previous Statements Embargoed)
Jimmy the hood. Stick a split-shot sinker on the accelerator cable.
Fast wins the race. Fast has always won the race. You'd better reread your fable.
Shriek as loud as you can in the anechoic chamber until your throat is raw.
Hope you like yanking the pendulum over and over from the same stupid lion's paw.

Careful what you aspirate when a slogan cuts the smoke:
"Fuck those felled by friendly fire if they can't take a joke."
We've said that all along.
Priority retcon.

Push poll spec scripts are the hot new foot in the door to think tank fame.
What agitprop would compel from a blocked number in Coeur d'Alene?
Selling sanity's death is a cinch when an asterisk counts as reform.
Who can remember which wasp stung her when the lineup becomes a swarm?

All the ladybugs are melted onto streetlights
And the orange glow is dismissed as deception
While dispatch is deluged with calls about spiders ballooning mistaken for weapons.

Careful with the aspartame when the press room cuts the coke.
Contort to leap your rising gorge if you don't want to choke.
You must have heard us wrong.
Priority retcon.

Previous statements are embargoed under intellectual property law.
These uncorrected proofs have been superseded. Quotations must be withdrawn.
They'll methodically smash your piggybanks--the ones you named--
And then gesture at the mess, scolding, "You should be ashamed."

Tears erode your eyes to the point you can't see anything at all.
Track Name: A Spate of Mysterious Blasts
Christmas descends, so the family has to meet.
Stuffing the garbage bags and exchanging gift receipts.
Everyone's made to hold the latest baby.
Cooking supper without taking eyes off the TV.

The ham falls to the floor as a special report
Interrupts like the pups of the Bumpuses:
A spate of mysterious blasts liberally strewn with
Kids' novelty qibla compasses.

The nation's quickly plunged into a swivet.
Retaliatory bills based on logical blivets.
Religion's redefined so's to circumvent
Protections guaranteed under the First Amendment.

Our cries about freedom are brusquely pooh-poohed
And the line demagogues use to hump us is
"God gave us the Star of Bethlehem,
So only heathens would need Keebler compasses."

Local PDs bust out electrodes and clamps.
Taxpayers fund new privately-run internment camps.
Some classy folks twist the knife with flaccid digs:
The Pork Council rebrands its product as "Patriot Pig."

All the proof you'd need to conclude that
The ad hoc investigation's catawampus is
No one asks why such "dyed-in-the-wool zealots" had
Kids' novelty qibla compasses.
A dominionist senator's spam email folder
Holds the key to these righteous rumpuses:
"Please log in and rate your recent bulk purchase of
Kids' novelty qibla compasses."
Track Name: Zen Center Hull Breach (feat. The Other Leading Brand)
Wasted love is poison, so drink up!

Someone beat us to the water.
Somebody took it all that day.
Somebody--and there's no use naming names, but someone's trying to parch us out and pick us off.

Before we start to get desperate and suck the damp rust from the sprinkler heads,
Please allow me one last lucid appeal
Because our dignity's now all that we control.

See where the cameras are confined?
Their visible sector's 30 degrees.
It's enough for a nice stand-up backdrop, but clearly actual events are out of frame.

We could put a fist through the world
Or we could do something more practical.
Imagine a scene of such potent unity that people realize they hold some cards.
Track Name: Act Now--These Savings Are Not Sustainable!
We now offer two scrumptious seafood strains:
Press-formed fillets and cut-from-block minced.

Our venom gloss on fish lips causes clear distress and pain
So we can guarantee its plumping power is intense!

Our new leading-edge viral messaging speaks to the youth market's savvy:
It starts off, "We know you guys like sports stars
But our contract talks fell through with Drew Bledsoe.
Good thing our stuff speaks for itself!"
And former Packer Johnny Jolly says so.

The "More M&A, Less FDA" lobbying campaign was a big win.

Our unique ocean additives shrink our bulk goods' brains
To save you on shipping weight. It's just good sense!
Track Name: Notice of Controversy
That blood in my stool can't all be mine.
They say my bones have started growing, though my skin and muscles aren't.
Don't they know who I am?
Don't they know who I am?

See that EBITDA? That bitch is all me.
I scouted that spill site. I drew up our bid.

I was in and out!
No prolonged exposure!
I stayed well within coverage parameters!
So what's this "notice of controversy"?

My teeth miss when I try to chew
Thanks to Ortho-Orange #42.
Spitting stitches like a torn screen door.
Isn't this what I pay premiums for?

I anchored the annual "30 Under 30" list
Yet you'll oust me with a vote of no confidence?

Shouldn't my appearance prove my commitment
To our shareholders on a go-forward basis?
And how does a form letter count as arbitration?
I'd have creamed them in an Oxford-style debate.
I felt a snap.
My escort had to catch me.
My personal effects box clattered down the stairs
Facedown on the notice of controversy.
Track Name: Pronktown Alpaca Farm
Surround yourself with loyal alpacas and all the beauty you deserve.
You're allowed some contemplative downtime to help restore your nerve.

I know it can be hard to be outside without knuckles pressed on your eyes
But if you can bear to peek through your fingers, at least your worst-case worries vaporize.

So if human nonsense gets to be too much,
You'll always have this safe spot that no one else can touch.

I have no doubt you'll get to where you want to be,
But here's some strength and love should you feel the need.
Track Name: Silverplated Wound
The front desk made me leave my phone.
No gifts worth more than ten dollars.
I smuggled you some Sour Patch Kids
But your lunch actually looked good.

They raided your place the next day.
Got your books, got your computer.
Lucky thing you fell when you did.
A rich vein, your silverplated wound.

I checked you in as "Xena Arcade."
Said I couldn't find your wallet.
I will be back with a lab coat
And we'll walk right out of there.
Track Name: Silverplated Wound Epilogue: Sworn Affidavit
Your affiant is an interim squad leader for the 101st Federal Defense Team.
My duties include containing dissidence to maintain government continuity.

We received an alert from our online watch unit.
Soft threat words were observed on a college message board.
A student was boasting of "a plan to dismantle
The power structure and make the plutocrats cower."

We converged on her dorm and performed a flashbang sweep
And standard preemptive canine neutralization.
Our target was not home but a search was carried out.
We retrieved a printout of The Anarchist Cookbook.

Overnight surveillance revealed no activity
But we picked up a call from St. Julia's Hospital.
The target was IDed in an effort to abscond
With a man wearing scrubs and a poor counterfeit badge.

We arrived on the scene and took possession of both.
They were tagged, transported, and secured in separate cells.
Each confessed to a plot to stage disruptive sit-ins
On crucial trading floors and in high-traffic corporate suites.

Your affiant finds no violent intentions, but indefinite detention remains prescribed
To put us back on track to meet this year's plan for revenue from prisoner storage fees.
Track Name: Scurry! Scamper! Skitter! Scuttle!
"Judge Crater, call your office!"
Ugh, these codes are osteoporotic.
He's put in his time, but service means dick in times this chaotic.

We made our way to Coburn Gore, well north of the epicenter
And took a pharmacy with intent to fortify ourselves for the winter.

But blood pressure cuffs make decent restraints
And the pills had me feeling brave.
And I'd read all the insurance pamphlets hawking "coverage from jism to grave."

Our nominal leader never thought of dissent.
He's not worth his weight in wet garbage.
You leave your flank open when extending a hand
And that's how he fell to our bitch.

Being a good general's no different from being a cult leader.
Plant a worry in your followers' minds and reproduce it like a puppy mill breeder.

The radio's spotty, but it picks up strange things when satellites collide.
One night, some Japanese gobbling came through that I knew could shore up my side.

I said, "I intercepted an encrypted transmission that's proof they're behind it all!
And the captain tried to hide this from you!
Oh, the sheer, unbelievable gall!
They're plotting a bloody invasion 'cause they feed on the Western World's anguish.
They're pure evil—they don't even have a word for 'love' in their language!

"So load up on guns and bring your friends!
We're going on the offensive!
Put that stale Crunch 'n' Munch down!
This new training's gonna be intensive!
You never know who's a collaborator;
Who's your friend and who's a faker.
So we need to ensure we retain our roles as the sole job makers."

The more power I consolidated, the easier it got to scare 'em.
They cleaved to me and I had the pick of the chicks to plop in my harem.
We picked up adherents and prisoners alike.
We're the Little Militia that Could!
But when we happened on an Asian community, that's when the story got good.

"Don't think of them as human;
Think of them as animals.
They're terrorists and killers and, who knows, maybe cannibals.
Normally we'd infiltrate, but we don't have the right eyes.
So whoever brings back the most ears wins the grand prize!

"Scurry! Scamper! Skitter! Scuttle! 13 Mauve! Tagi Is Groggy!
Our firepower outmatches their ippon seoi nagi!

"Of course they'll splutter and protest, 'We're Chinese! Check our family crest!'
But chatting isn't how we do things in our new gilded West."

Most were shot, some became servants.
Kangaroo courts to show I'm fair.
They wept and wept and wept and wept, and the more they did, the less I cared.

"They wrecked our dollar, spoiled our water,
Probably to blame for those smells!
But we'll see how smug they feel when they spend their lives in jail cells!"

If my soldiers hesitate with the beatings and waterboarding,
All I do to gin them up anew is play this recording:
[Some kid yammering in Japanese.]

I forgot to anticipate just how whiny my followers got.
"Can you have your own tricked-out Brinks truck?
No, you absolutely may not.
No, we're not gonna rename all the streets and schools after your cats.
No, you may not borrow my slaves to work the birthday parties of your brats.
No, you may not have seconds, sloppy or otherwise.
All the strafing and flensing have made me impatient with your cries.
So get back to sculpting my likeness as a huge, radiant Horus...
While I'll stew about feeling like an incontinent ouroboros."
Track Name: It's Fan Death
The barricades on Stadium will blink away the last joule.
The final flake of chemtrail snow will melt on your tongue.
Delamination claims the bootleg Snoopys on the ice cream stands.

Count the potholes to locate the buried crisis garden.
The sites were scrubbed. Construction GIFs abruptly beg your pardon.
Despite the damning evidence, a story starts to harden.
It's fan death. It's fan death. It's fan death. It's fan death.

Pulitzers to podbusters to forging money orders.
You adapt but you don't lose the eye of a reporter.
I thought I saw a woodchuck, but it was only a rusted pipe.

The official explanations are insulting and pernicious
But declining public comment only makes you seem suspicious
Like a "days since our last accident" clock that's displaying "---."

Whirling blades chop molecules, which causes suffocation.
I've found that schools that question this lose their accreditation.
A shoe-leather dyslogy for an entire nation.
It's fan death. It's fan death. It's fan death. It's fan death.
Track Name: Trapezoid Song
Your hair's a trapezoid, you toss and turn so much.
They force you under in your dreams although you claw and clutch.
I wish I could smooth out your life the way I rub your back
And heal the wounds that you've incurred being dragged across the cracks.

But I will disappoint you
'Cause love isn't real; it's just something in songs.
You're still alone when I hold you.
I can't protect you when the bad thing comes along.

Some DJ plays "Here Comes the Sun" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice?"
"Clear Channel seems chipper today," you smile through melting eyes.

And we'll sing like we believe it
But that's belied by your soggy pillowcase.
The moment's nice, but it's fleeting
And its absence makes the world harder to face.
We can't be in this together.
You'd slide through me if the atoms were aligned.
Intimate times are the most painful.
Yours is full of razors, mine has feline spines.

You show me scars you don't remember getting.
I joke, "That's where they installed the chip."
You don't think that's funny.
Track Name: (The) Hale Boggs/Bopp
Something unknown has curdled the waters.
We are inured to licking flyswatters,
Conditioned to react by cocooning.
Weapons mistaken for spiders ballooning.