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Up Against Goodbye

by Rocket Park

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Full Stop 06:17
Thought I had the answers, I could not have been more wrong Every time I face the world I find I’m not so strong And still I sit here waiting, it gets so damn frustrating Living on borrowed time and dying on my own Thought I had survival skills, the character to cope That was just a fantasy, a momentary hope And still I sit here waiting, it gets so damn frustrating Living on borrowed time and dying on my own I was stable in my station and I thought I had it made Was it worth the price they offered, was it worth the price I paid When I woke up in the morning begging five more minutes’ sleep When I tried to extricate myself and found that I was in too deep They would tell me what to do and I would do as I was told While I took their coins of silver for the time that I had sold And I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s no one else’s fault But the time has come at last for me to bring it to a grinding halt Thought I had adapted, learned to play this wicked game Looking in the mirror, I could see I was the same And still I sit here waiting, it gets so damn frustrating Living on borrowed time and dying on my own
I wasted all my time waiting for some happy news I thought that I could shake off these existential blues My head keeps spinning around in the dark My head keeps spinning around over you I wasted all my cash trying to buy some peace of mind My strangulation fears vilified the ties that bind My head keeps spinning around in the dark My head keeps spinning around over you Pining, whining, running around Such a foolish lad Drinking, stinking, hugging the ground Happy to be sad I wasted all my tears on a less deserving type When I remain composed, please accept without a gripe My head keeps spinning around in the dark My head keeps spinning around over you
Call me Phantom, it’s a good name It describes me perfectly I’m your problem and solution Won’t you take a chance on me But don’t you cling too closely Slipping down suburban sidewalks Clad in black and so unreal Stealing hearts is just my way Of showing what it means to feel So don’t you cling too closely
Fade to Grey 04:25
I'm going away, leaving forever you led me on, you let me down, you made it clear that when I'm away my name and face are soon forgotten I fade to grey and disappear I'm setting a course for the horizon and as I go, say not a word, shed not a tear it won't take me long to step outside your field of vision I fade to grey and disappear awkward in my second skin and unaccustomed to the gravity memories just fly away it's all too much, I tried to touch eternity
big fish in a little pond gets nibbled by the school once it has exceeded the parameters of cool big fish in a little pond gets nibbled bit by bit once the bottom feeders have grown weary of the shit and here comes the backlash here comes the testament of fools you didn't read the footnotes to the old unwritten rules and here comes the backlash here comes another kind of mess they love you when you're down and out but not as a success little minds in little towns have nothing much to say damn you if you're moving on and damn you if you stay little minds in little towns grow smaller all the time in these parts ambition is regarded as a crime don't you let them push you 'round and tell you what to be if you're okay with yourself then you're okay by me
Menthol 04:39
She sets the scene - absurd, obscene She’s smoking menthols with a friend She takes the cake, she shimmy-shake She’s smoking menthols, end to end She’s out to lunch, exploring Mars In nitro-burning funny cars She’s smoking menthols, yes she is She crucifies with x-ray eyes She’s smoking menthols out in back She raids your tombs, she bulk-consumes She’s smoking menthols, pack by pack She leaps and bounds, obscures the sounds She’s smoking menthols for the buzz She psycho-glance, she pretzel-dance She’s smoking menthols just because
there's no need to explain, no need to tell me why I know the reasons for goodbye-bye-bye just 'cos I understand don't mean that I won't cry when I am up against goodbye-bye-bye make your decision never to decide this isn't life or death, it's just my pride and I have no desire to be your cross to bear just go about your day, don't mind me standing there put limitations on what I may feel and I'll remind you that this isn't real regardless of the little flashes deep inside regardless of the little secrets we can't hide a brand new venture is awaiting you far be it from me to obscure your view make no excuses for the crime of living well our lives are separate but strangely parallel
dig in deep or cruise the shallows lock the door and man the gallows flaunt the token symbols of your shame weight loss project, new sensations wardrobe habit alteration everybody turns out just the same tell it to Samantha and she's hanging by a thread baby, she's as good as dead drink you will and drink you'd better drain your glass you'll forget her see the cost of freedom through a haze be it Adam's rib or liquor vice will surely kill you quicker but who needs more frustrated, sober days tell it to Samantha and she's hanging by a thread baby, she's as good as dead cast aside assumptions that she'd rather not be told when her best friends say she's cold as ice and twice as slippery proud of weak mystique and frippery just last night she replied as follows "go to Hell, farewell, I'm rid of you if you think I stink, remember to spare the hints!" and I haven't seen her since
Canada 04:11
We never ran away to Canada The way we said we would It's too late now; it always was My plans were set in motion Couldn't jump for fear of injury It may be just or just because Maybe there's another world, another planet Where the panacea pans out in the end Maybe I'm your lover man, maybe a stranger Or perhaps I am a better sort of friend We had our wires crossed Each conflict was an aphrodisiac And what we felt, we felt too much You spoke of second thoughts But I could always kill them with a kiss A knowing look, a careful touch Do you remember what was said That fear of making new mistakes Burned by the "grass is greener" vibe I never did pull up my stakes
do what you do or do what you're able even if you're a little unstable join the Air Force, sign up for the Navy do as you're told and bring home the gravy you meet such interesting people in this line of work go see the world, expand on your knowledge learn a new skill, earn money for college hand to hand combat in foreign nations keeps the world safe for oil corporations your tour of duty's nearly completed one final chance to fight where you're needed go catch a bullet in your breadbasket fly back home with a flag on your casket
Gurl de Luxe 03:41
I've got myself a true romance No one-night-stand flash in the pants No textbook male commitment fears No knock-down, drag-out fighting tears A gorgeous body, lovely face And not a hair is out of place It's like she's putting on a show She's got that healthy airbrushed glow I'm feeling like a million bucks Now that I've got my gurl de luxe I used to lie about and pine Mourn losses I could not define My rust belt life before the rust Clean-shaven virtue, crew-cut trust A red meat and potatoes meal A turquoise kitchen kind of feel And orderly and quiet life Two point six children and a wife She has no ego to reject She has no body to infect A goddess from another age A lover printed on a page The questions echo in my head Is she alive or is she dead If she's alive she's how old now It doesn't matter anyhow
Stray Cat 06:27
stray cat comes up to me in the street asks me, “who took you in? did they neuter you, have you declawed? where the hell have you been?” in this world of pleasures bought and sold am I growing up or growing old? stray cat throws back his head with a laugh says, “old partner in crime, we’ve been saving a space just for you, welcome back anytime.” in this world of red hot and ice cold am I growing up or growing old? stray cat rears back and shows me his teeth and he hisses my name saying, “you were cool, back in the day but you’re just not the same” in this world of gathering moss and mold am I growing up or growing old?
Gone Away 04:13


After 1999's "Teenage Folklore" and 2000's "The Effects of Eating Too Much Television", a third album was surely right around the corner for Rocket Park, right? Well, after cranking out two full length albums in two years at our expense while still working day jobs, we needed a breather. So we spent 2001 gigging, recording demos and tracks for various artists compilations, and responding to some indie label overtures. When 2002 rolled around and we were no closer to being signed, we thought about all we'd learned from Mike Martin (engineer and co-producer of the previous albums), bought our own recording gear and decided we would paint our own masterpiece. Little did we know the final brushstrokes wouldn't be in place for another seven years.

The actual recording of the album wasn't that problematic, aside from the occasional arguments that always emerge from a shared artistic endeavor. It's everything that followed that got sticky - a ridiculously protracted mixing process taking place in another city, personnel changes, a lack of effective leadership resulting from a debilitating divorce (mine), indecision, self-destructive perfectionism and, eventually, the demise of the band itself. Our friend Lauren warned us that putting the word "goodbye" in the title of our album would curse us. I can only counter that we were probably already doomed and were just reflecting that!

It's all a damn shame, really, because it really would've been (and, I guess, is, now that it's floating around) our best album. The material is stronger, the arrangements are more sophisticated, the performances are more assured. It's more of a band effort (and less naive) than "Folklore", more consistent (and less openly derivative) than "Television", and I think the engineering compares favorably to both albums. Eric Moore pounds the drums better than ever (the fill at the end of "Tell It to Samantha" may be one of his finest moments) and Dave Harris' bass lines always find that happy medium between rhythmic simplicity and melodic adventure. And, uh, I like the stuff I did, too.

Steve Minnis handled all of the guitar solos during the original sessions, and while there's no questioning the brilliance of the work that made it to the finished product, we were less convinced by a few of his efforts and used his departure from the band as an excuse to have Brian Henneman of the Bottle Rockets replace them. Thus we have his solos on "Fade to Grey" and "Tell It to Samantha" and a credible imitation of a meowing cat on, uh, "Stray Cat". And speaking of "Fade to Grey", Steve's short-lived replacement Scott Swartz played pedal steel and our old friend Mark Stephens of The Highway Matrons sang the lead vocal.

In closing, all I can say is - sorry it took so long! I would also like to dedicate "Tell It to Samantha" to the memory of Scott Edwards, who I learned had passed away a few years ago. He was an excellent bassist and harmony vocalist who provided the riff that ended up becoming central to that song. Our collaboration in Not Actual Size (1991-1992) was short and turbulent and it's a shame we never got to try it again without the impediment of youth. Rock on, brother.


released December 31, 2003

Brian Andrew Marek - lead and harmony vocals, keyboards, guitars, loops, glockenspiel and percussion
Eric Moore - drums and percussion
Dave Harris - bass guitar, harmony vocals and percussion
Steve Minnis - rhythm and lead guitars, harmony vocals and percussion


Brian Henneman - lead guitar on "Fade to Grey" and "Tell It to Samantha", e-bow kitten on "Stray Cat"
Scott Swartz - pedal steel on "Fade to Grey"
Mark Stephens - lead vocals on "Fade to Grey"
Lauren Banis - additional harmony vocals and handclaps on "Gurl de Luxe"

produced and engineered by Rocket Park at (subliminal banana) studios, Richmond Heights, MO in 2002
some overdubs recorded by Adam Schmitt at Parasol Studios, Urbana, IL in 2003
mixed by Adam Schmitt and Rocket Park

all songs written by Brian Andrew Marek except
"Fade to Grey" and "Stray Cat" (Harris/Marek)
"Menthol" and "Canada" (Marek/Moore/Thompson/Harris)
"Tell It to Samantha" (Marek/Edwards)
"Gone Away" (Marek/Shirley)

Brian Henneman appears through the courtesy of The Bottle Rockets
"Tell It to Samantha" is dedicated to the memory of Scott Edwards

Rubberstamp Records RSR-019


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Rubberstamp Records St Louis, Missouri

Rubberstamp Records is a DIY indie record label based in the Saint Louis, MO area and helmed by local music scene veteran Brian Andrew Marek.

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