Great Plains: Home of the New Totem

by Alright Already

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1.
03:17
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04:23
3.
03:38
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03:54
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04:59
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04:38
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credits

released March 15, 2007

Sean MacGillivray - vocals & guitar
Lachie MacDonald - bass
Jeffers Lennox - drums

Additional vocals by Alicia Penney, Paul Hammond, Jon Epworth, and Greg Boone


engineered and recorded by J. LaPointe at The Archive
mastered by Noah Mintz at The Lacquer Channel

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about

Alright Already Halifax, Nova Scotia

Lyrical post-punk math-rock influenced by Braid, Weakerthans, and Plumtree.

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Track Name: Karoshi
{1. KAROSHI} I was born to burn the candle at both ends putting out fires with the sweat that drips from my brow and every night I try to comfort this lonesome apartment it ain’t pretty and it lets a cold draft in but it’s close enough to my friends if I get to see them I’ll be thankful for the weekend and I will sleep in what I can’t keep in keeps me out until
I can’t keep up with the demand I supply all this time for the working day to spend it all in service of frets below and fights above all else I’m screening my calls to take up arms against despair and its defence I’ve been so covert but the ears on the wall have overheard my plan to do as much as I can but I haven’t got it down pat I’m gonna have to fix that
I’ve been going for eight days flat-out full-tilt unwavering when I’m waving my hellos goodbye for now but soon we’ll figure out where our patterns overlap if the differences detract more than we accept two courses two correct times departure and
arrival defiance and survival of the fittest kind in front but left behind why the harder you try the nights of our lives on a weekly scale in cheap fluorescent lights will pale a sickly pallor it gets worse by the hour and harder not to laugh I’ve spent time and a half fucking off on my friends if this is how my life ends cheque to cheque stipend to stipend I think that I’ll retire then to an everlasting weekend

additional vocals by ALICIA PENNEY
Track Name: Rabbitears
{2. RABBITEARS} As the last dying wavelets of the fading hockey season ebb into the river deltas of the spring and
summer bargains you and I stood miles apart ankle-deep in the current and laid back you could still see glare from the
headlights even after the cars had passed by our retinas were imprinted images fading fast from memory at least as fast
as you will let me shake the static out of my hair I think that the anchorman is wearing ties he’s hanging by threads of
polyester cotton empathy cast in smiling monochrome I suppose he’s scripting all our best advice I sat admiring your face
reflected in the steel-cold slate-grey the darkened screen was flickering we saw spirits in the pixels as they sputtered to
a stop we held hands in their dim demise I know that the test pattern is telling lies I can’t believe we fell asleep long years ago on this couch awakened by the monotone we’re still dozing through this piercing false alarm the soft light of a silver screen filters the best parts of daylight into the living room a numbness washes over me the technicolours are fading into a black and white the talk show host has alibis she’s getting by on babies kissed with collagen lips for the cameras outpourings of anguished affection you can tell her anything I think the city can still hear me singing but I don’t care if they’re listening point your rabbitears skyward hear the old songs getting tired of being dirges by the fire of the pale screen that’s displaying the first rings of another last hurrah que sera, sarah whatever’s meant to be between two and three divide in long form in short order then subtract the remainder of the day
Track Name: Warheads
{3. WARHEADS} Here lies a traffic jam diffuse particular congestion we’re all charged up with nowhere to go we’re all fired up and blowing like snow horizontal on a driving southwesterly there’s bald-faced boredom on the driver’s face next to me our eyes meet our heads nod our ankles flex and it’s on anxiety wears a happy face it’s distracting, and it fills the space that’s left by the pretty girls that you never met that’s left by the old mistakes that you can’t forget clenching on a black vinyl steering wheel the white-knuckled gaze of determined sex appeal their eyes meet their heads nod they spit out sentences that run on like warheads new pencils to push white doves in the hand and black hawks in the bush the silos are silent tonight as the caretaker turns out the light fingertips drumming on the desk anticipating red buttons to press they’re just like candy when you’re craving a fix they’re just like candy when you take it from kids playing with a cast-iron poker face these chain-links like allies and fingers are interlaced their eyes meet their heads nod he’s taking his clothes off his eyes glaze his head bobs a sleeping hand lances out for the bombs like warheads new pencils to push white doves in the hand and black hawks in the bush the silos are spoiling for a fight in a place somewhere far from alright
Track Name: A Trained Eye
{5. A TRAINED EYE} I couldn’t make it work I’ve parsed through these lines I can’t compile I don’t know why naught for a second take it took a flawed process to find no one wants us to walk off a bruised leg limping forth, claiming our prize while wiping our eyes I’ve been on this system for days now I’m timed out of tiring of the syntax of what we say waiting
for the right time to tell you that it’s too late for the novel I’m writing down all my bad ideas committing them to paper planes and throwing them at you what could possibly mean less a day for the deadline to meet a hasty retreat from the front to back we sway side to side delay to decide the match struck like a deal three times it took a trained eye and eight glasses of wine and a break for three solid minutes of silent repose it’s late I suppose maybe but who knows if you would always have the last word my first impression was negative charged with the duty of building a consensus the bricks and mortar stand up straight stiff upper lip now I feel good about it when we both can’t wait jumping the turnstiles running the length of high-voltage tracks jumping across without looking back for security our hitching breaths are slowing us both down too the cameras are catching a tired me following after you

additional vocals by JON EPWORTH
Track Name: Turn Around
{4. TURN AROUND} Slowly I walked into the lobby of this relatively upscale downtown restaurant the busboys were buzzing like bees as the moisture condensed on the miniature trees the maitre d’ caught sight of me and he asked me with disdain “how can I help you” and I said I’ve just walked five blocks in the rain I’ve got reservations a table for two I’m expecting a friend she’s roughly this tall she was just heading out of the house when I called she’s taking a cab across town she’s here he said and he smiled turn around he said turn around so I turned around and there you were
Track Name: Halogen
{6. HALOGEN} The halogen flickers dimly sensing the coming daybreak balanced precariously on both feet he stumbles up these steep hills fighting the urge to fall lost in the pulsing whitewash tripping the light refracted pushes his way through the swaying bodies these lines are taut and torpid this ritual’s still in vogue but there will be a reckoning for superstars in waiting they’re queuing up and clueing in the pumps are primed and ready feel better won’t you I can’t speak clearly don’t you even try to speak this language I got lost in the translation just fell prey to hesitation speak clearly don’t you even try a satellite fixes orbit around a speckled constellation the strobe lights are oscillating signalling their intention flashing an SOS the monotone warning klaxon blending into the background like wallpaper fading slowly this film is too familiar I am not even here but guided by dead reckoning I’m pushing for the pavement the time elapsed but not too fast will circumscribe this longing who’s gonna want you who’s gonna tolerate this guilt trip down the arteries don’t get hardened
but try to lay low just move quick stick to the back roads speak clearly don’t you even try

additional vocals by ALICIA PENNEY
Track Name: Do the Suburban
{7. DO THE SUBURBAN} Lately your performance leaves so much to be desired but I don’t see any good reason for you to get fired up about it yet I think sometimes you just forget the I in team you claim to be is isolating you from me if we could talk just for a minute I think that the plan is better with you in it you’d really belong here if you just admitted you came for the same amenities that we did my friends we do the suburban try to unwind the wife and the kids are just put here to pass the time break it down to the last degree this is our only choice I’m sure you’ll agree there’s tremors in the cubicles and secretly they’re saying I ain’t afraid of no president I ain’t afraid of no see-ee-oh I ain’t afraid of no management it’s a long walk to the water cooler I needed it yesterday I need it sooner I worked hard to be a winner not a loser even though we’re not beggars we still can’t be choosers we’re caught up in undercurrents of deception like chairs of the boardroom lined up for inspection these bridges will burn us only if we let them now there’s plans on the whiteboard for an insurrection my friends we do the suburban just to survive the house and the car only help us to live the lie wake me up for the main event through the ether the message is sent down from the ranks below these troops have high morale
although their momentum is building slow it’s building this is a black mark on your permanent record

additional vocals by PAUL HAMMOND & GREG BOONE
Track Name: Unnatural
{8. UNNATURAL} I couldn’t get close enough to see things clear I needed a shortcut for my eyes and for my ears we built an express lane from this world to my brain it was the next logical step it was the last thing that was left that we thought was sacred and sanctified by skin enclosed and protected but now you’ll find within a gridwork of dark grey paths connecting my this to my that in tandem with my veins I’m watching the data pump and strain you are zero to my one and we can’t stop what’s begun I am always connected I can’t ever turn it off I can’t ever walk away quickly enough that was what went in so this is what’s coming out I watched your eyes fall like dead weight to the floor when you saw the connectors mixed in among my pores as you held my hair back pinned my ears down flat I knew you couldn’t relate but save the polemic it’s far too late to argue against it you know I’ve always wanted this there’s too much potential for me to just dismiss the problems that we could solve if even a few evolve you can’t say I’m not the same this is still my voice this is still my name but spoken louder than ever before I wish you could see what I died for I am still on the network and I’m not ever getting off I can’t read these replies quickly enough how did what you believe compare with what you found out or will you look back on this and wonder plaintively how you could say it’s not natural that nothing we do is natural but if anything we’ve built is natural then you can’t tell me that it’s not natural
Track Name: Tantramar Station
{9. TANTRAMAR STATION} The wind in the wires is a telegraph sound it’s harmony for the transformers’ hum searching for ground their tune’s in my head as I survey the salt flats’ expanse and as the night falls I search the towers for st. elmo’s dance he steps lightly illuminates the tantramar and it’s good company you don’t know how lonely we are out here
for fifty years we’ve shouted to the farthest reaches the voice of canada but now it seems nobody hears it these curtain arrays once stood for a nation’s pride from deep in the marshland we’ll throw it to the other side these coveralls will never stop the radiation’s pulse it throbs in the rectifiers pounding out its grim results this relic of the cold war is rusting on the
plains and the songs that it sings are just tired refrain from reminding me now of the time that’s still left to expire from holding our breath so we scale the rigging to keep these guys pulled tight to balance the tension for infinite line-of-sight and you’ll know our callsign by chords so urgently strained an act of parliament will cover up the cold remains of a structure its shadow on the shifting tidal bore engrave the epitaph on the sands of the fundy shore the arc of a wave the tiniest length carries the words in a dozen tongues we cast it away with all of our strength the details revealed the stories are
spun on a spool of wire an ancient desire coiled on ceramic to disperse the heat and swept by the winds to stoke up the fire we’re holding our breath we’ve yet to expire

with apologies to GORDON LIGHTFOOT