Roger

by The Canoes

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about

Recorded in our house, 1100 Garnett in Evanston, IL, while we snacked hard.

"Perhaps The Canoes should have waited until winter to release their debut LP, Roger, because the record is brilliantly warm. The Chicago band’s folky take on melodic garage rock slowly simmers but never boils over. Overdriven guitars seamlessly blend with breezy tempos for a laid back approach that’s pleasantly intoxicating."
-- Loud Loop Press

"From the opening explosion of the debut album, Roger, from the Evanston band The Canoes ("We'll Meet in Minnesota") I knew I was hearing something special...this is solid debut from a band with a lot of potential and an approach that more bands should embrace."
-- thedeli.com "CD of the Month"

credits

released May 19, 2011

all songs by the Canoes
engineered by Matt Kordonowy
mastered by Kate Durkes

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The Canoes Chicago, Illinois

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Track Name: We'll Meet in Minnesota
soft drugs you sold,
white lies you told
to feel in control.
big girls and tough guys
who convinced you that to live
is just to die.
but me, i know you better,
i know under your sweater
there's a world you want me
to find.

we'll meet in minnesota
one of these days.
all the cash and love i owe ya
i'll be sure to pay.
and one day you'll get bored and i'll get mad
and i won't be seeing you again.

don't look back and don't look down,
there's 87 condos bursting through
our town.
buy yourself a big one and move right in,
tell me 'bout the good life
and your first husband.
Track Name: Dealer's Choice
you got your hang-ups
and you got your chains;
you got the reasons that you stay the same.
you got your mama and you got no dad,
your sister's a drunk, your bro's
a drag.

and if i left with you
where would you take me?
new york city is fine, but it's a shitty
place to live.
a long time and afar, far, far, far, far.

take your sorrys stuff 'em in a sack,
hang up the phone--no one is calling
back. and i know there's things that
you're gonna regret.

and i know now you're thinking
it's a pity, and it is.
i don't know why you left
for new york city, but you did.
a long time and afar, far, far, far, far.

well jump back
in time:
yeah, i can feel your hand in mine.
like an animal that's gonna die,
yeah, i can feel your hand in mine.
and i know one day i'll find
a sugar daddy by your side.
and i know one day we'll die,
yeah one day you'll take it away,
take it away.
Track Name: Tom's Bomb
well a long time ago
when the world it felt better.
when your mom wanted to go, but
your dad wouldn't let her.
well come with me, oh come with me
to your home.
to watch your only family
explode. and they go:

we are not safe, we are not safe.
we are not safe, we are not safe.

your mom and a friend walking
hand in hand,
seen from your daddy's van.
well, your mom and a bomb
and a guy named tom:
your family on the run.

well a long time, a long time,
a long time, a long.
a long time, a long time,
a long time, a long. and we go:
we are not safe, we are not safe.
we are not safe, we are not safe.

your mom and a friend walking
hand in hand,
seen from your daddy's van.
well, your mom and a tom
and a ticking time bomb:
your family on the run.

we are not safe, we are not safe.
Track Name: Middle West
i've got two books sitting on my night stand,
i bought them last week at the
mall.
one's about the conflicts in the middle east
and one's about nothing
at all.

that's ok because right now
i feel like a camera with no point of view.
take a picture with the lens cap on
just to say that i've got something to do.

da dee da da da...

tell me what you think about
the coup in iran
way back in 1953.
can you stand it in the middle west
when you've seen all that there is
to see?

tell me what you think when i say the words,
iraq is still a colony.
shut me up with a cold blank stare
and a jug of liquor from tennessee.

if i asked would you read my book
about the middle east?
if i asked would you spite me for not
ever saying please?

da dee da da da...

i've got two books sitting on my night stand,
i bought them last week at the
mall.
one's about the conflicts in the middle east
and one's about nothing
at all.
Track Name: American English
don't go overusing commas,
teacher tells me that's bad form.
when i get home i think of mama,
sliding on the rolling stone.
up those school punks, lose those swim trunks;
take me to the lake.
your legs my legs, my hands your hands--
let's be each other's first mistake.
oh, sally, don't feel so sad.

now, dad he hasn't always been
swimming in a river of gin.
he used to look pretty trim
'til mom left and things, things got grim.
he got lost and he got hurt and
he takes it out on you.
he got lost and he got hurt and
he doesn't know what to do with you.
oh, danny, don't feel so sad.

we speak american english,
we speak american english.
20,000 words are the same shit,
freedom's all you got to put up with.
we speak american english,
we speak american english.
yeah, fuck it if you don't understand us,
i can barely understand us.

everybody's looking for,
looking for the next big thing.
everybody's looking, looking for the,
the very biggest next big thing.
late at night i lie awake
and think of her and what she did.
every night i lie in bed
and think of her and her new kid.
i don't want to be like them--no--i don't
want to be like them.
i don't want to be like them even though
i know that i am...

we speak american english,
we speak american english.
20,000 words are the same shit,
freedom's all you got to put up with.
we speak american english,
we speak american english.
yeah, fuck it if you don't understand us,
i can barely understand us.
Track Name: Great Lake Mistake
big trouble in our small town,
a robber named james and a
killer named john.
how can i love you when you're not around?
when the world in sighing with one sad sound?

tell me 'bout your family
and tell me 'bout your mom,
tell me 'bout your boyfriend
and the pills he's on.
illinois is like your own time bomb,
a burning planet you gotta get off of.

i am hoping you're the queen.
when i see you tonight on the t.v. screen.
and in my mind you're still sixteen
when i think of you tonight, kathleen.
when i think of you tonight, kathleen.
when i think of you tonight, kathleen.

hey cool dudes that are skippin' school,
chasing older girls who know what to do.
i'm not for you, no i'm not your style,
but you still call me up every once in a while.

when i get kicked, you get crowned,
show a little skin when you parade around.
if we're not lost, how will we get found?
i'm looking for you, still hoping for you.

i am hoping you're the queen.
when i see you tonight on the t.v. screen.
and in my mind you're still sixteen
when i dream of you tonight, kathleen.
when i dream of you tonight, kathleen.
when i dream of you tonight, kathleen.
Track Name: Bobby Goat
my baby's like an extinct bird,
like a bible written without words,
she was here maybe once
before.
take me with ya to your mom's,
i'll sleep out on the futon,
but she did
not think twice.
my friends and i will take a ride
across the channel to the skokie side,
and we will
not think twice.

she treats me like a brother,
like i'm not allowed to love her,
but i will fight these days.
my baby's like an extinct bird,
like a bible written without words,
she was here maybe once
before--one time, one time before.
Track Name: Each Town Once Was the Frontier
all i want is one more beer
before i stumble out of here;
maybe you can take me for a drive.
speeding through north platte cornfields,
the plains are fine if you've got wheels;
your west coast heart has got to let it slide.

though most things won't keep you here,
each town once was the frontier,
each town once was the frontier, you know.

take a right at this stop light,
i'm not that indisposed tonight;
i'm not that much of a cross to bear.
custer's hair like pale sunshine,
he cut it all off before he died;
his heart was black, but his soul was midwest air.

though most things won't keep you here,
each town once was the frontier,
each town once was the frontier, you know.
(repeat).

though most things won't keep you here,
each town once was the frontier,
each town once was the frontier, you know.
everything will disappear,
each town once was the frontier,
each town once was the frontier, you know.
Track Name: Bob and Jerry
try to understand what our songs mean,
sunday afternoons in the park at three:
festival tie dye, complete with beads.
i will lay down rhythm, you always play lead.
we sing fifth and sixth folk-style harmonies;
we still sing like we mean it.

oh, oh, jerry:
i am sick at heart,
but i am ready.

we still sing all of our old protest songs,
but the war is lost and the war is gone;
besides, no one cares about wars anymore.
for 37 years i have played the part,
i have stood back up on stage
as you belted out your heart.
and i've loved you from the start.

oh, oh, jerry:
i am sick at heart,
but i am ready.

try to understand what our songs mean,
tuesday afternoons at your house at three:
i'm tired of singing, i wanna live instead.
i could find a place in this world for you and me,
find a rented bungalow that is nestled by the sea:
we'll smash our guitars over our left knees.

oh, oh, jerry:
i am sick at heart,
but i am ready
oh, oh, jerry:
i am sick at heart,
but i am ready.
Track Name: Illinois, Chicago
what does it mean to live here?
the city's all right, but i swear:
if i don't get to the top
of that old skyscraper shop,
i might as well be living
on the moon.

i might as well be living
on the moon.
i might as well be living
on the moon.
i might as well be living
on the moon.
you might as well be living
on the moon.

i might as well be living on
andromeda, the setting sun,
i might as well be living
on the moon.