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Recount

by Disappearing Ink

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1.
Nervous breakdowns, constant shakedowns; There are fewer of us, but we have less to lose. Despairing hours, or a moment of power: Tell me…which would you choose. And the time keeps on ticking ticking ticking ticking ticking ticking, And every day feels the same. Keep your distance at death’s insistence. Hold your breath and watch truth die. Schemes and ruses, scrapes and bruises: Now we know who kept their powder dry. And the time keeps on ticking ticking ticking ticking ticking ticking, And every day feels the same. They’re watching me watching you watching us, Taking liberties we’d left to rust. When I see your blood, you’ll see my trust. Suspicion showers, violence flowers, And the meekest of us will pick a side. Can’t you see how the troubles are here now? And the future is no one’s to decide. And the time keeps on ticking ticking ticking ticking ticking ticking, And every day feels the same.
2.
Shoes on the table, coat on the floor. Why bother to part your hair anymore During this renegotiation Of what counts as civilization? You'll trouble the air in front of your mouth Just to say that north is south When scofflaws offer a dear reward For going over overboard. Consequences, then we mend the fences. Consequences, then we mend the fences. Making sense is my self-defense. Consequences, then we mend the fences. Got some passports for the kids. Taught 'em that the meaning of is is is. Said nothing is certain but that we love you. Yes we are loving our children while you Fold twenty dollar bills To see the towers spill In a bunker in the hills. Counting backwards from nonzero Reading poems to the mirror Counting backwards from nonzero Now the plot is getting clearer Counting backwards from nonzero My fulfillment drawing nearer Counting backwards from nonzero Everything I need is here Consequences, then we mend the fences. Consequences, then we mend the fences. Making sense is my self-defense. Consequences, then we mend the fences. Counting backwards from nonzero
3.
Fireworks 03:44
Just to add a little something extra How about some fireworks? Never ending fireworks. We wished it would come apart. We wished and we wished And then it did And anything was possible Good or bad. And we looked inside ourselves because we had to And there were fireworks And butterflies In the vast empty chasm Where our character was supposed to be. They should have a name For the two weeks in between The nineteenth of June And the fourth of July. Will there be fireworks When we find a new way Of doing things? That’s what we’re doing, right? Sketching it out? Who’s really free? I guess we’ll see. Fireworks Fireworks Every day deserves fireworks When you’re throwing away What needed throwing away. Independence day is the day in between Something dying and something being born. Everybody’s always taking all they can get And the fishes always seem to swim right into their net But they haven’t had an honest accounting yet. Choices choices choices, please mind your voices. We will be having fireworks. Fireworks in a deeply breathing sky Fireworks on a Saturday, the fourth of July. Fireworks Fireworks

about

I wrote these songs in the summer and fall of 2020. I suspected they might sound out of date or even paranoid by 2021. Turns out they speak to this moment in ways I couldn’t have predicted.

By late December 2020 I had recorded final backing tracks, and on January 4, 2021, I headed out for three nights at a cabin I’d booked a few weeks earlier at a remote state park in Western Maryland. I took some mics out there, thinking I might record vocals if the acoustics were decent in the cabin. On January 5, I set the mics up and went to bed.

The next day I took a walk in the woods, made lunch, and did some mixing. Just after 3pm, I went outside to see if I could access any cell data and a text came through from my wife: "They've stormed the capitol. Barricades and guns drawn in the Senate."

Shaken, I went inside and recorded the vocals to all three of these songs. Lyrics I’d written months earlier now felt eerily prescient:

- Schemes and ruses, scrapes and bruises/Now we know who kept their powder dry
- Who's really free?/I guess we'll see
- Suspicion showers, violence flowers/And the meekest of us will pick a side/Can’t you see how the troubles are here now?/And the future is no one’s to decide

"Recount" is not only a reference to the presidential election. “Recount” also means to tell a story from your memory about an experience, in this case the bewildering experience of being American in 2020. I wrote these songs in a way that allows for a wide latitude of interpretation. But they are also bound up with this summer's movement against racist police violence, with the pandemic, and with our political collapse. The songs are a recounting, written throughout an incomprehensible year, and sung at a moment of national peril.

Lawrence Lanahan

credits

released March 5, 2021

Lawrence Lanahan: Drums, bass, guitar, Yamaha CP-30 electric piano, vocals, electronics

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Disappearing Ink Baltimore, Maryland

Disappearing Ink is a Baltimore band: (L to R) Kevin Corbin (bass), Lawrence Lanahan (guitar, vocals), Odell Norman (drums), and Mark Brock-Cancellieri (keyboards, vocals).

New EP: "Recount." "Surprises" released 9/28/20. "There Is No Time and Nothing's Been" released 2014 with Lawrence Lanahan, Joe Tropea (bass), and Bob Wagner (drums). Lanahan released a self-titled EP in 2004.
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