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Tip of the Sphere

by Cass McCombs

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Josh Loney
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Josh Loney Finally a song where Cass really belts!

This is a great album, that rivals his last one. It starts out strong with three heavy hitters, and mellows out (as most Cass McCombs albums do) for an occasionally underwhelming second half.

But there are enough gems throughout (i.e. Sidewalk Bop After Suicide) to justify any weary moments. Favorite track: I Followed The River South To What.
ivanerik
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ivanerik The most recent Cass McCombs offering... but it's actually the first of his albums that I've ever heard. After listening to it pretty much on repeat this week, I confirm it's a real grower, and if this is anything to go by I can see myself exploring his whole back catalogue. Really interesting sound. "Sidewalk Bop..." is like a slowed down twang version of early Roxy Music. Great :-) Favorite track: Sidewalk Bop After Suicide.
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credits

released February 8, 2019

Produced by Cass McCombs & Dan Horne
Engineered by Sam Griffin Owens
Mixed by Dan Horne
Mastered by Heba Kadry
Vinyl cut by Carl Rowatti
Recorded at Figure 8 Studios, Brooklyn NY
Additional engineering on The Great Pixley Train Robbery by Jason Quever
All songs Cass McCombs (BMI)

Art by Tahiti Pehrson
Titles: Mary Ping

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Track Name: I Followed The River South To What
What do you call yourself, if anything?
I do not care to call myself much of anything
If I had your dollar, I'll show you what I mean

You live out on the street, in the open air?
Yes I live out in the street, nature is everywhere
If I had your dollar, I'll take you anywhere

If I really did, what would you go and buy?
None of your business, but later I'd be high
If I had your dollar, you wouldn't wonder why

If you're so hard up, why not try to steal?
Right now I'm sunbathing, perhaps later on I will
If I had your dollar, I'll show you how to feel

Are you ashamed to beg, your youth in full power?
Power corrupts! I'm building a cinnamon tower
If I had your dollar, I'll finish in the hour

What would your mama say, seeing you this way?
My mama is a rose, my papa is today
If I had your dollar, I'll sing your blues away

Where next will you go, when the winter comes?
Out to the open highway, but why not ask my thumbs?
If I had your dollar, I'll beat it like a drum

Does the devil ever come a-knocking on your sleeping bag?
If he ever does, I'll offer him a drag
If I had your dollar, you'll make my doggy wag

What do you call yourself, if anything?
I do not care to call myself much of anything
If I had your dollar, I'll show you what I mean
Track Name: The Great Pixley Train Robbery
To your hands I give you
Aboard from Hawaii
The ship they call Northern Light

A fugitive
One of three highwayen
Who stopped the Pixley train that night

About 8pm
22 February
We forced 7000 in gold

Two were killed in the melee
A fireman of the train
And a passenger from Modesto

The leader was an
Insurance agent, this I know
The third man set for
Remote islands near the equator

When he found the ship
Would not put in there
There’s reason to believe he set her on fire

When our bomb exploded
Buckshot unloaded
We three made off in dire

To the Right Honorable
American Council
To the Hawaiian King

I swear before Notary
To make a clean breast
Of the whole thing

In hope of salvation
For surely I’ll be found before port
Before Postal authorities can act
I surrender myself unto the reward

Since I was taken
From the Napa asylum
And put on a whaler for my own good

I told the Captain
Not to let me ashore
Except under guard

If no faith is placed
In this letter
You are letting a brigand free

The passenger coaches
Were not molested
Violence I can’t see
Track Name: Estrella
I built a ribbon out of moss, plain blue moss
and presented it to you on your birthday
you laughed like the wind was nothing
your laughter still rattles me
every day, hour, always
Estrella

That was a past life, and that’s life
I’ve been reincarnated into this… thing.
that resembles nothing of the former man
but your breast stood up to celestial law
and the ribbon of distance between us was cut
Estrella

I was roused and aroused
only you can rouse me in that way
like music, language was blown out
like pulling down the sea
like plunging into the stars
Estrella

If I am delirious
it is because you are harboring my tongue
my faithless tongue
Estrella

Estrella esta noche va bien para compartir
Estrella etsa noche va bien
Tonight a star goes well to share
Track Name: Absentee
Take from my heart a splinter
Carrying wood, for the coming winter
Spider in the pile
There all the while
Leave me beguiled
Part from me
Absentee

Take from the people their dead river
Take from the body its shiver
I have something for you
I’ll give you a clue
It’s shaped like a shoe
Part of me
Absentee

As before, I am nude
As before, you are too
Aint it true

Walking on a country road late last night
I passed a stranger in the moonlight
I turned around to see
Where he did flee
But there was just me
Return the deed
Absentee
Part of me
Absentee
Track Name: Real Life
Were A your telephone
What would I hear?
And what good are words
If they never reach your ear?

Were A your nuclear bomb
What would I dream?
And would A care at all
Would I squint into the gleam?

Pleased to meet you
The world is at your command
Real Life

Were A oxygen
How would I breathe?
And if A lost it all on red
Tell me, how would I grieve?

What can A say is real,
Numbers or words?
And were A the wind,
Is I for the birds?

A is nowhere
I, a puzzle, a game
Real Life
Track Name: Sleeping Volcanoes
Sleeping volcanoes
Under our heathen shambala
Ready to blow molten shale
Any minute
Help me Armageddon!
Help me to be calm
Help me Armageddon!
And I’ll help you with your song
We’re the refugees
Drifting your trees
Our the shadow never sleeps
All over the world
All over the world
Little boys and girls
Don’t forget the old ones too
Someday that might be you
We’re all over the world

Thank you to the authentic fake
Our true enigmatic uncle
Welcome to coo coo land!
Home of the fake
Help us Armageddon!
And we’ll help you every day
Help us Armageddon!
And we’ll help you in every way
In Babylon
Though you wake up and find us gone
Our beat goes on and on
We’re all over the world
We’re all over the world
Don’t forget the elders
Someday there might be helter-skelter
All over the world
Until the next world
The third world
Or the next world war
Class war all over the world
We’re all over the world
We’re all over the world
We’re over it!
Track Name: Sidewalk Bop After Suicide
I walked these sidewalks
Through so many years
I got chunks of sidewalk
Coming out of my ears

Same old sidewalk
Same old crowd
Same old distorted feeling
Same old thunder cloud

One in a million
A million in one
All stomping the sidewalk
Polka-dotted with gum

Magical feeling
Cool breeze through my hair
I walked to the park
There aint nobody there

Magical baby
Magical song
Magical sunset
All summer long

Streets been my silence
Streets been my bed
I’ve bled, puked and cried here
And dreamt I was dead

Seen a ton of bad omens
Walked through you fighting with your lover
Stepped over a few purple bodies
And dreamt I was another

The street lamps came on
Fireflies all around
Dreaming of my baby
Somewhere in this town

Stood out front a bar
Watched the people inside
Stepped on my cigarette
And into the night
Track Name: Prayer For Another Day
I want to live in a magic mirror
In the real world
Full of rain
I will

I want to live in a day like today
But not today
I will

When the city is silent
And we wake up to the rain
Alone together in a strange bed

When nothing is preserved
And nothing is agreed upon
And everything is silent
And wind rushes through paper
I will

Listen, through a magic mirror
In the real world
Another day, that’s just like today
Full of rain, just like this rain
That is silent, just like this
I will
Track Name: American Canyon Sutra
Pile of cash- Trash
Pinched into a butterfly by a rubber band
Where are you my brothers that I may share these spoils?
Where are you my sisters that I may repay my debt?
What a lot it is to spend this trash alone
What a lot it is, what a lot it is…

The garbage dump may have turned
Into a recycling center
But it looks exactly the same
The same broken bed frames,
Soggy cardboard, gulls
Same trash I saw here when I was a kid
In fact, this used to be our playground

In American Canyon
Where Walmart employees and customers
Are one and the same
They’ve even built apartments here
To add a residential coffin to the bargain
Guess I’ll stay forever and work for the company store

Where are you? Where are you?
Where are you to share these spoils, this sacred American trash?
Black as my soul is, don’t leave me here alone
Here to fall into the bottomless canyon of nightmares
Falling, falling, falling…

In American Canyon
Where trucks and homes are bigger
The cops are moistly white
And they have a recycling center
And a Walmart
Track Name: Tying Up Loose Ends
Tying up loose ends
Before I gotta go

I found a box of old family photographs
Who are all these people?
I think this one’s Aunt Dorothy
Is that her husband?
What was his name?
He was gone before my time
I think they lived back in Ohio somewhere
Is there anyone still left who can tell me
Who all these people are?

Tying up loose ends
Before I gotta go
Track Name: Rounder
Were a radia gunslung
Were a murdream boysroom
On a slight of jadeself
Are you tied of drying, rounder?

Dimed a thousand cycles
Come around to meet we
Holding each folding
How are you keeling, rounder?

Were a rounder too

Plant a seed to vulture
Damned to returning
Who married the widow
Were a round man turning, rounder?

Hostess of November
Were the horses clodding
On slick embers going
Past the gamblers odding, rounder

Were a rounder too

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