Haphazard

by S. J. Tucker

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Stella Montgomery
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Stella Montgomery I don't know what it is about Follow Me Down specifically, but it is one of the most raw and beautiful pieces of music to ever reach my ears. Ravishing in form, achingly evocative, and yet also subtly soul shattering in deliverance --- definitely worth your time for a listen through this wonderful debut album. Favorite track: Follow Me Down.
Elf Crisis
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Elf Crisis Talk about raw, this album is a shining example of the idea that "less is more". Simple arrangements and solid songwriting show us, strongly, how Sooj was feeling when she wrote these songs. In particular, the guitar part on Follow Me Down blew me away. I spent a day listening to it on repeat and blubbering to myself like the Double Rainbow guy about how beautiful it is. Favorite track: Follow Me Down.
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1.
You watched me walking in; I know you did viper's glance like I've never seen, taking me in Like a vessel, like a parcel, like a package, like a dream. Did you notice, oh, I wonder: our meaning didn't correspond, and I Wasn't looking back the way you looked at me. I wonder just which part of me you think you want to get to know. I hope you realize it doesn't work that way; That's not how it's supposed to go. You can't make a pretty cross section, tear it out, and leave the rest behind, so it won't be so scary if you change your mind. You see somebody under glass, under makeup, under fantasy, and it's the lazy way to think 'oh, this time I've found the one for me.' Because faery glamour fades with dirty socks, compromise, and rent to pay So I think you'd best step away. The truth might be too much for you, so don't tell me you can take it. Look before you leap, my friend. There's a lot here to set straight. It only gets better. I wonder just which part of me you think you want to get to know. I hope you realize it doesn't work that way; That's not how it goes, no. You can't make a pretty cross-section, tear it out, and leave the rest behind So you might be forgiven if you change your mind. You will not be forgiven if you change your mind in time. The truth might be too much for you, so don't tell me you can take it. Look before you leap, my friend. There's a lot here to set straight. It only gets more complicated. Yeah.
2.
05:36
Wednesday's come and gone; five years I throw no roses in Just drive across the bridge and be done Wonders sing above my head, swirl swirl in the riverbed I'm a stranger in this town I'm a stranger to this city that leaves its taste on my tongue but Wednesday's come and gone Blown free out to sea like all the other days I never sit still yet still his spirit stays Like a lover long drowned singing all the way down Face Down Love has come and gone; three years I begin anew Just drop the torch onto the bridge and walk on alone Dead regrets buzz inside my head, no, go girl, it's better left unsaid Stranger to my own heart--stranger to my own heart says You always were the stronger one I realize all this time I've only been afraid of pain someday I'll be more at peace but for now I am running like rain Like a lover long drowned singing all the way down Face Down Left alone in this town singing all the way down Face Down--Turn around. Do the Wonders sing above your head? Are you dancing in the riverbed? You know you left your taste on my tongue You know you left your taste on my tongue but that love has come and gone Blown free out to sea with all the other dreams I keep so still yet still my spirit screams Like a lover long drowned...I turn around, not looking back or looking down
3.
04:24
I woke up on a journey, the road ahead in my mind's eye its lessons universal and its beauty hard to hide The way, it opened for me like the drawbridge of a castle Underneath the tragedy I found the Cave of Crystal Do not fear the traps you set years ago, now seething to taste your blood. Knowledge will not come unless you're bold enough to peek inside. Follow Inanna's footsteps down. To hell with the bumpy ride. Follow Inanna's footsteps down. We'll find what you need in the Underground. So what if the story takes you to where the river's dressed in black? The Ferryman will know you by the Reaper on your back. The way will open for you like the drawbridge of a castle. Wild times ahead before you find Merlin's Cave of Crystal. Whether on Dragonwing you fly, or gust of an idea from the mind, don't you look above for what you're hoping to find. It's been inside you all along, child. Hiding inside you so many ways; burning brightly all these days. Follow Inanna's footsteps down. We'll find what you need in the Underground. Follow the daughter's footsteps down. We'll find you a king in the Underground. Follow the Lady's footsteps down. Go into the Green in the Underground. Follow Inanna's footsteps down. Believe what you see in the Underground. Girl you must prove bold and brave Go wandering inside the Crystal Cave You will know it as your own mind before the sun dies away. You'll see your heart's dreams come into play. Shining, shimmering, all these days! Follow Inanna's footsteps down We'll find what you need in the Underground. Follow the daughter's footsteps down We'll find you a king in the Underground. Follow the Lady's footsteps down Believe what you see in the Underground. Follow Inanna's footsteps down. You'll find what you need in the Underground.
4.
02:18
You can light a match and say 'that's me,' but you're a liar if you run around and never catch a single thing on fire. Now, what good to me is a knife or a pair of scissors that won't cut? Just gives me an excuse to stab you with something, with scissors turning in your gut! You better listen up, boy, I'm only saying this one time. Best stick some reason to your rhyme. Now, my inner-child hates you, but the woman can't let go. We are trouble in the very same sack, but you're pot and I'm oregano. Why is half of me dead set on saying, 'I'll get him for that!' While the rest of me just loves you and keeps holding me back? Oh, there's something wrong, but damned if we'll say it. It's never the right time. Best stick some reason to your rhyme! Now, I wish I knew the language of guitar strings about to break. That way, there'd be no faltering. You could tell it by the noise I'd make. There are no pretty words to say, 'you are f*cking up real bad!' So I'm left with the choice of aiming everything I've got right at your head. Now, I open my window wide as wide and I'm staring at the ground. I know you're not even watching me, without turning around. Unless you start fighting back soon, I just might slip away. Better tie my wings down, love, the edges of my conscience have frayed. If you don't watch it, I'll give up on you this time. Best stick some reason to your rhyme, better stick some reason into your rhyme; best stick some reason to your rhyme! (Stick it, you know where you can stick it, boy!, etc.)
5.
03:27
mummy medusa will rock us all down she calls you from the shadows, never lets you win you wander down to the gorgon, not knowing how to begin... all you know, she'll never let you go, stoneboy, no mummy medusa will rock us all down tendrils hang my head i hang my head down rapunzel dripped her tendrils over charming boy is left to wonder what the signal means tendrils hang my head snakes kiss my head now kiss from the snakebite awakens you there curled up in shadow paralyzed but aware no pain, no living, no sign of her cold stone you've gone the chisels pierce your fur, perfect your stare and mummy medusa will rock us all down yellow eyes animating you, cold scales a soft new home stone eyes closed close to her breast her heart is hissing, children, come... for mummy medusa will rock you all down rock us all down. stone boy wants to get me stoned cold concrete his heartbeat's home warm smoke rises in yellow eyes his heart is hissing i am alone riccochet her off my shield; i scream from icy hero's skin kissing life behind concrete lips, i flash mine eyes at her and win. mummy medusa will rock you all down rapunzel's left her tendril tower trailing snakes and dreams bare feet warm and growing scales, she licks prince charming's screams mummy medusa will rock us all down...
6.
I've been counting crows again and no one wants my name The blue motel goes ghostly as she fades into the gray of the Saturday rain I'm a war zone-- If you lose me, you can find me, I'll be dancing down the shingles. My rooftop's always free from prying eyes And the leaves will collect your little white lies my friend So follow me down the river with no shame Follow Me Down. Bitter spectres beckon: 'Let it rain. Why don't you turn, weary traveler? Why don't you fly? Why don't you fall?' The brown and yellow leaves are all They coast down dreamy breezes and tremble in their dancing as much as we. It's a war zone; terrible turning journey of a deathwish down And there, along the river's path we follow: pagan rain-kids with nowhere else to go Let it furrow Let it follow Follow Me Down.
7.
05:28
She sees herself in little black lines This is not meant to be She finds herself in little black words when her world's gone out to sea She's a fever I don't want to avoid It seems like she will still be standing when the world's destroyed and we could talk for hours yeah we could talk for hours in little black lines There's a heart here with a hole in the middle ripe and ready for your poison Skin's a patterned fever she's a fever and you're a fever I don't wanna avoid. She reads between all enemy lines just to see what she can see On the street she serves up her little black heart Says 'The world thinks out loud, and then there's me.' But the pretty girls write all over the hands of their boys We stand apart while the world's destroyed and we talk for hours yeah we talk for hours going over the little black lines Read between all the lines; little colorful lines Oh, black ley lines; my skin's on fire; you're telling me to run but i can't leave cuz it's down to me, and there's singing to be done Oh, pretty girls write prophecies all over the hands of their boys But we stand apart while our lovely blue world is destroyed and we talk for hours yeah we talk for hours going over the little black lines. There's a heart here inked over with the lines of learning your patterned skin's a fever and you're a fever I don't wanna avoid.
8.
07:43
Come and listen in the twilight time, speak in incantory waves Bring your drum down to the fire and watch the surface change. Boundary illusions all shatter at your will come midnight when the gates roll back and the family goes still. Ah, here we are in the midst of spirits dancing Join the trybe in a waking dream. Let your song continue and the imbas quell your fear we flow with baited breath; round about the spiral go when the Bards, my love, have spoken, you will know. Spend the night, gold-throated changeling, hard-headed angel tonight we dance in open air let the spiral take you. We'll be with you when you dare. bring your heart for drumming then journey on; handle with care. See the magic embers fly Listen in the twilight time Ah, here we are in the midst of spirits dancing Join the trybe in a waking dream. Know your song continues; let its imbas quell your fear unleashed about the spiral go and when the questing bard inside you speaks you will know. *** I keep shifting into Dragon at the most improper times I keep hearing rushing water from another room. There's a tingling all along my bones; I'm soaring in my mind, fearing more my capture than my doom. I am waiting for more lightning but would prefer just not to wait let me ride a tradewind to it and come down some other day I cannot stay. Something missing here; parking lot full moon prayer cut the circle down. Make your own way. Lightning will strike for you as many times as it has to. Follow your own light.
9.
Come for the day and stay a year That's the way it goes around here In the House of Mama Dragon Trudy's house becomes a home for all who seek and laugh alone It's the House of Mama Dragon Tawt I taw a puddy cat well, she's got two, and fish on top of that! In the House of Mama Dragon Stick around and soon you'll be cashing in on STRAGEDY! In the House of Mama Dragon Remember, thou art god. Now take your cookie. How's she gonna cast circle today, with the carrot or the athame In the House of Mama Dragon? Wit can bite and smiles can shine but not when you leave your teeth behind In the House of Mama Dragon When it comes your turn for the ritual cup/and your time is up and/if your mind goes blank just make it up!/who gives a ****!! In the House of Mama Dragon Remember, thou art god. Now take your cookie. Remember, thou art goddess; yes. Crone jokes I've never heard before: "of course, you realize, dis means war!" In the House of Mama Dragon Dragonlady doesn't speak in fire but she'll kick your *** when things get down to the wire Just like the Trickster when you raise his ire. So all who seek and laugh alone, just consult your local Crone. She will take it all in stride. Disbelieve the light in my own eyes; she claims to be disorganized! Just don't expect a place to hide the bodies! Remember, thou art god!! Remember, thou art goddess, yes!! Remember, when the gods all stutter on your precious name You have the gift of humor; no one who meets you will frown for very long or ever be the same.
10.
03:30
tHE skeleton inside insists that every step's a toy A eULOGY for a hEAVY mETAL bOY how close is he to being gone compared to all the rEST down thru the clouds to find what's Left of It"what were U thinkin? What r u tHINKIN?? bREATHING lifelike bones of mist dEAD-eND aNGELS co-exist how close are WE to being GONE compared to them" flyin round confused about what the gods were thinkin, and What we were tHINKIN?? The sun makes you sICK so you hURL up a sky sHOT thru w/ sTARs and easier on the eye I I I feel a nITE FLITE comin on, cry 2 your new sky and what's left of the old world do you find yourself thinkin wHAT are we tHinkin??? tHE sKELETON DANCE forces up all jOY oNE Last hURRAH with your hEAVY mETAL bOY sKip all the gRAVEYARDS sTONE bY sTONE all aLONE and WHAT R U THINKIN????

about

S.J.'s very first album, released on her Mom's birthday in 2004, Haphazard is a fun, raw, masterful ride. Many happy owners of this album claim to "never get tired of listening to it" and several claim to have "nearly burned a hole in the disc, from playing it so often." Starting with the unapologetic a cappella piece, "Cross-section", hanging out "In the House of Mama Dragon" for a minute, getting us back in touch with our "Heart Beat" and ending with the wild grace of "Eulogy Song", Haphazard was recorded in a single week, in Memphis, Tennessee. Accessible, fun, and honest, there's nothing lacking in this first release. In 2014, Haphazard celebrated its tenth birthday, and this year S. J. celebrates 13 years as a full-time indie artist. That's definitely something to sing about.

credits

released March 27, 2004

Music, Lyrics, Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Percussion: S. J. Tucker
Congas, Little Djembe: Jay "Trainwreck" Timbs
The Ragged Rabble Chorus: Jenn Matters, Andrea Morrison, Kris Klink, Scott Sumers, Mallorie E. Gareis, Trudy "Mama Dragon" Herring, Trevor "Tempest" Rush, Leif "The Yellow Dart" Ericson, Andy Sims, J. Cooper, and Melinda Mattison
Mix-down: Willie Pevear
Rehearsal Tapes: Brandon Sams
Photos: Moji O., Angel by Jeff

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