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What Once Is, Wasn't

by Angus Tweed

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out of the womb, on the way to a tomb life goes by so fast my brain is bled, time's the thing that I dread I am the outcast, I am the outcast won't you please open your eyes, look to the skies I'm telling you lies ashes and nicotine fell to the floor where nothing but emptiness rested before expecting no fashion, expressing no passion I made a beeline for the door oh, when the ashtray fell astray really in fact I need no cigarettes but Alistair Crowley's wife sends her regrets the aliens landed, a truce was demanded abducting my family as pets oh, when the ashtray fell astray why should I mimic society's pace another unfortunate caught in the race modern time frantic destroys the romantic and I see the stress in your face oh, when the ashtray fell astray lost in the crowd and fading away failing ignition, my mind fell astray my consciousness tattered, my ashes were scattered I took my place by the ashtray oh, when the ashtray fell astray
we compromise our pride for crusts of bread scraps off the master’s plate our creature comforts and necessities are clearly second rate we’re at the mercy of a wealthy few that we have never met dealing in legal tender currency and our sweat, and our sweat, and our sweat we trade our freedoms for a gilded cage and other foolish things we ask, “how high” when we are told to jump twitch when they pull the strings we’re at the mercy of a ruling class that never knows regret building an empire with commodity and out sweat, and our sweat, and our sweat somebody’s always needy, somebody’s always greedy while most face mediocrity but there are no solutions, just different institutions just different forms of tyranny
I wish that I could be with you but the sky is green and the grass is blue a yellowed moon conceals the sun you cannot stop what has begun I wouldn't doubt if you're to blame but nothing seems to be the same Aurora Borealis glows for obscure reasons no one knows a light descends upon the scene depicted in a magazine flowers bloom within my mind romantic motives lurk behind
Eighteen 03:42
In her mind there's a need to be free and thoughts of catching falling stars livin' her life a cruel pipe dream lord knows she'll never get far when she says open sesame she wonders why the doors stay shut the fallen star has lost its gleam now she's just stuck in a rut 'cos she's eighteen with the mind of a child eighteen, innocence run wild eighteen, going nowhere fast and always coming in last when he arrived into her life she offered all her heart another loss she can't afford without her conscience torn apart starting over, she sold the star growing up too fast the lesson fell upon her ears she'll never get stuck in the past
all services rendered are hereby dismissed I miss the elation of knowing I’m missed you live through your letters, the bark is the bite a tear for the asking, a smile for the spite I love you more than you will ever know I hate you more than I will ever show I’ll wish you well when I’ve had time to grow I want to see you go down in flame it reeks of bad manners to have a good time a deep contemplation should punish the crime but you know distractions are sold by the square and if you don’t want to, you don’t have to care I tried to blot you out, somehow I really doubt I could ever erase you, replace you, or face you again I tried to play it cool, but my emotions rule and I’m sighing and crying and lying and dying all over some goddamn girl
boredom was my breakfast and it ate at me all day pour me out that spice of life and drink the world away lonesome was my luncheon and it made me want to choke roll me up that spice of life and disappear in smoke I'm sick and tired of it all dismal was my dinner and I wasn't feeling well chop me up that spice of life and blow the world to hell hate and hurt was my dessert I scream, you scream, we scream I'll shoot up that spice of life and find a pleasant dream I'm sick and tired of it all
I was not expecting the suggestions that you made innuendoes no outward appearances betrayed so many offers I cannot resist and most of them are on my bucket list a voyeur and an exhibitionist, we grope and bare, dare to dare the January air I was not expecting to withdraw from life like this hiding from the world in any vacant orifice I need a heroine, I need a hug I need someone to make me feel that tug I may as well surrender to the drug and take my turn for the burn, perhaps one day I’ll learn I was not expecting you to disappear again did I introduce you to a few too many men I didn’t really want the pain to end I didn’t really want to be your friend ‘cos there’s another coming ‘round the bend I don’t know who, but she’ll do if she looks just like you
I woke up at the break of dawn I mowed the driveway and shoveled the lawn I hopped in my Dodge and shaved my beard little suspecting my day'd be so weird I had a date with this girl I know she said she wanted to surf in the snow so I grabbed my board and my cool sunglasses we went down the hill and fell on our asses I never wanna surf in the snow again I never wanna surf in the snow I never wanna surf in the snow again and you can't make me go! I came to in a hospital bed with a Sony Walkman and tapes by the Dead I asked the doctor, where's my girl? He replied that she'd been attacked by a squirrel I couldn't think of words for this verse so I think I'll snag a couple of lines from the first I woke up at the break of dawn I mowed the driveway and shoveled the lawn
I guess I felt most helpless as you walked in through the door just to find me half unconscious in a puddle on the floor I wanted to leave with you but it wasn't in your plan to be saddled with a somewhat sober, somewhat giddy man hate to admit it, but I know I am a somewhat sober, somewhat giddy man there's place I'm unwelcome for unspecified crimes in unspecified locations at unspecified times I'd like to ease their worries but I don't know that I can 'cos no one believes a somewhat sober, somewhat giddy man but wasn't it a Saturday awash in countless beers when you lured me to your parlor just to kiss way the tears I'm not surprised it ended when I know that it began with the stumblings of a somewhat sober, somewhat giddy man
I hope that you'll excuse my personal views you wrote the lyrics but it's me who sang the blues every now and then my thoughts return those nasty thoughts of loving you a thousand reasons have been buzzing through my head your choice of actions makes me wish that I was dead the pace was swift, the cuts were deep the hatred had me seeing red but time's a healer and my bitterness is through forgive but not forget's my motto, this is true every now and then my thoughts return those nasty thoughts of loving you
Ugly Women 02:30
scream thy last scream and step back for a look on overdue tears we will choke control freaks influencing possible lovers insult those who don't get the joke and someone is screaming in vulgar Pig Latin he knows the world better than you the cripples are peeling my wallpapered ceiling in payment my laughter will do but I don't give a damn what the junkies are dealing they don't give a damn 'bout another man's feelings the shock from explosion will send my friends reeling and the ceiling looks better when bare cities are beaches when buildings are lifted the missiles accomplish this well take your cold pizza, don't need any breakfast I'll have my last meal in Hell pieces are scattered for sixty-nine miles and there lie a couple of puns and here, have a couple of used innuendoes my heart weights at least several tons I've just one condition for taking this action I must have the pleasure of seeing reactions like whether my death is to your satisfaction and whether you thought I would dare 'twas messy, 'twas sickly, I think it was worth it but now comes the moment I dread I'm back in my auto traversing the highway freedom was all in my head I'm not going to answer, there cannot be answers to questions about my soul I need a quick buzzword for safety and reference my stated reply: rock 'n' roll so let me relax in your well-padded room or help guide me back to the warmth of a womb I'm left unprotected from news of my doom and I'm terribly easy to scare


This album has been in the works so long that I don't even remember how it began except that the earliest basic tracks were recorded in 2010 on a somewhat glitchy reel to reel 4 track. Later these tracks were transferred to a Roland VS-2000 workstation for additional overdubs and final mixing, but we were somewhat limited by the fact that some instruments had already been combined in one track of the 4 track master.

As for a raison d'etre, it just seemed like fun to get together and record some of the Tweed material that never got recorded with any degree of seriousness back in the day. Most of these material comes to us via rehearsal tapes, live tapes, and vague memories, and we did not reprise any songs that appeared on our official demos. The one exception is "When the Ashtray Fell Astray", mostly because the Angus Tweed demo version lacked a bass and was marred by a highly out-of-tune distorted guitar. There was some internal pressure to revisit "Autumn", but I felt it had already been done to my satisfaction by Angus Tweed, not to mention Rocket Park.

In the time since we began this project, one band member (Bob Shirley), one co-writer (Tim Bess), and one roadie (Marc "MOK" Ferris) have passed away. Fortunately Bob played bass on several tracks of this album while he was still with us. Bob, Tim, & MOK's passings gave everything a greater sense of urgency, and we dedicate the finished release to their memory.


released December 20, 2021

Brian Andrew Marek - drums, lead guitar, keyboards, vocals*
Rob Matzker - keyboards, vocals
Dan O'Connell - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, bass guitar
Robert C. Shirley Jr. - bass guitar

* lead vocals on "...And Our Sweat", "Down in Flames", and
"I Was Not Expecting", co-lead vocals on
"Somewhat Sober, Somewhat Giddy"

produced by Angus Tweed
engineered, mixed, and edited by BaM

recorded 2010-2021 in the Bargain Basement
and at Wise Guise Studios and Mid Century Recorders

art by Ryan Koster/Ripper Studio

SPECIAL THANKS: Carlton Anderson / Big Fun / Jeff Bradford / Russ Chott / Thomas Crone / Nick Ferguson / Flaming Cattle / Heidi Hafer / Robert Hanlon / Nads Helvetica / Eric Herman / Hits / KCFV / KDHX / George Kessler / Kirkwood High School / Rich Kohl / Crispy Lee / Earl Mangrum / The Marek Family / Jim Martin / Bob Matzker / Ace Medlock / Meramec Community College / Mississippi Nights / Lisa Nesbit / The Netherlands / The Nothing Dream / The O'Connell Family / Julie O'Connell (RIP) / Paula Staten O'Connell / Dave Pearson / Rastafarian Tweed / Sihn Starr Rossi / Thelonious Monster / Mike Thompson / Adrienne Travis / The Urge / Jon Valley / Matt Venn / Tricia Welch

dedicated to the memory of Tim Bess,
Marc "MOK" Ferris, and Bob Shirley


Rubberstamp Records RSR-067


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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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