-MLO

by Lionel O

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1.
2.
Higgs-Boson 03:50
There's a space between the margin and the edge keeps you in place keeps you from falling off the ledge It's a cure all It's a tonic a panacea Panasonic It's sub-rosa supersonic a light that always glows on Higgs-Boson We don't talk, but I really think we should We should talk, it might do us some good. But we only use placeholders and they hold less as we get older overtures get brazen and bolder we should keep our clothes on Higgs-Boson The more you're weathered, and the more you spin, the tighter you're tethered and you get pulled right in. It's not magic, it is physics. Call it science for the mystics. Behind those invisible doors and invisible walls, I don't know what goes on. Higgs-Boson
3.
She's on her way to the Carolinas on either a promise or a bet We smiled and waved at the airport and then we boarded separate jets. She rode shotgun in my stationwagon when I was much more than a friend. We said we'd drive down to the Carolinas, we said a lot of things back then. The sorts of things you remember second hand, but now you can't understand. You were standing there, half asleep from half a day spent in the clouds. We were having a conversation, but who remembers what about. The sorts of things you remember second hand, but now you can't understand. The sorts of things that make you shake your head and smile without warning once in a while. We were on our way to the Carolinas, but I don't remember which one you said. Oh, I don't mind being home, where the dead play dead and the flowers grow but when everything comes up roses I see red. And who's to say just when we'll go back -- on the car ride down, I was just as bored as you. And the sky's been singing songs about how the sun's been staring for way too long, but the evil eye won't touch the color blue. And the mailboxes were trapping foxes and sending them to bootcamp, parcel post. And someday, that unsent mail will come down on me like hail without a return address. Where it's from, I can only guess. She's on her way to the Carolinas because father time was getting old. He waves her off to live without her while the angel of death is waiting in the cold.
4.
5.
Pinkman 03:12
I'm a sucker for an indecent proposition. I want to fall for an elaborate ruse, and then I want to hoodwink the masses because, after all, you have to fall, for the tricks that you use. It takes one to know one, and we all know our own. It takes one to know one, or else you wind up alone. I got a speeding ticket in Santa Rosa county, because in a ghost town there's only the law. Each window was a two-way mirror like the ones beneath your eyelids, there's no telling what the guys on the other side saw. Bombed out cars, and dinner plates. Old skate boards and roller skates and the bric-a-brac of your mind that you hid too well to find and you thought you'd left behind but then we found it. You've got grudges, and you want to play them close to the chest but you wear them like they're bad tattoos. You've got bluster and vision, but I'm not all that impressed because I don't have the hunger that you do. We're on the losing side of a winning war, but once you've won, you've got to run up the score and then the sun starts closing in and your wings don't catch the wind and you fall in a talespin and then you're grounded. And now I'm running for the chase, but it feels like I'm running in place. There's a way that some things have to be, but I don't think that this is it. It's all the world versus you and me; it's juvenile, and I'm ready to quit. We had something on our side, but then that something took control and it took us for a ride, and it slowly took its toll. And now they're chasing us in pairs until that pound of flesh is theirs, and they're gonna get it, there's no way around it.
6.
I had a dream last night that I outgrew all my clothes, or maybe they outgrew me. My dad likes to interpret my dreams, but he's a lawyer. But with an eye for the absurd. And he knows that sometimes the truest things lie just beyond the reach of words. Like a needle and thread, an accident of blind ambition, you are the mark but not the mission. You are the line I've crossed so far. And on our second date, we went to the planetarium. But we're adults. But when I look up at those fake stars, I'm not thinking about Ophiuchus, but taking you home. And you tell me to get my mind out of the gutter, but I don't know where else it would go. Like a comet and tail, like an angel without a purpose you spread your wings when you get nervous. But I'm just a guy with a guitar. And when we go between the things we say and the things we mean we always get turned around. But in a certain sense, with every changing tense, we're always homeward bound. Like the borderline, you unfold like steps retraced with abandon without haste as we go further in the car. Like a needle and thread, you've got me all tied up in stitches. There's the bait, where are the switches. Pony up, I'm rags to riches.
7.
You know, I've never been to Hamilton, but maybe someday I'll go. It used to be kind of a radical town, now they keep it on the down-low and in the postcards they sell you really can't tell it wasn't vacation, not back then. In H-A-M-I-L-T-O-N. And I've never seen the lights of Marfa, they were kind of out of the way. You told me about them at a stoplight in Roswell on the way to Texas from Santa Fe. And they sit in the ground in the place they were found like some kind of alien sign. But I don't care where they come from, I just care that they shine when you're walking the razor's edge down the double dotted line. I haven't seen the Wolves since Kevin Garnett, but I appreciate the romance of cheering on a losing team that's got little to no chance. And the loser takes all when there's nowhere to fall and down looks just like up and your lights are punched out and you're down for the count. Well, enough is enough. Do you remember like it was a dream how once upon a glass of wine you said to me "I'm yours," and I said to you "You're mine?" We were a soap opera then, and that suited me just fine, but then the day came on again and the night was far behind. You know, I've never been a hard goodbye, but you've had to say plenty. You always knew that you'd see me again but hindsight's 20-20.
8.
You said you were plagued by wanderlust. You're like a sleepwalking tinman in a china shop. Have to move to someplace else or bust, it's all downhill from here. You'd walk but you just can't stop. Wearing fingerless gloves having a handrolled smoke you said you'd fall in love or else you'd go for broke but when you pulled back the gloves I saw those little glass fingers that always seemed to break before they bend paper trails always point somewhere in the way that they linger in the letters you write but know you'll never send. There were two of us, but sometimes two feels like a crowd. Waning smiles, waxing dangerous, looking in the mirror, staring back proud. They say the future won't last, but the past doesn't keep any better. But still, I always take the high road in my head. One night, I thought about giving you a call or writing you a letter but when I got up I wrote this song instead. You can send out for a punchline and get another one for free, and all the jokes will line up waiting for you to tell them what to be. You can sing out for an echo, the ricochet right at your feet, but every echo that you sing for won't sound the same when it repeats.

about

I wrote "The Carolinas" in the summer of 2009, and finished "Pinkman" in the summer of '13. You can get a lot of living done in five years, and I hope that it comes across here.

The long and short of it is that this album is about places I've been, places I haven't, and the people that inhabit those places from my offing. That said, each song should sound like it inhabits a slightly different space than the last.

I used to be proprietary about the divide between my regular persona and Lionel O, but now I could care less. It's more compelling just to be yourself, and not to hide behind your songs. Still, I hope you like them.

Best,
-MLO
info.lionelo@gmail.com for any and all enquiries.

credits

released February 14, 2015

I wrote and produced everything. I also played guitars, sang, did synth and tape stuff, played electric bass, and did auxiliary percussion wherever necessary.

Julian Chin - accordion, percussion
Matthew Davis - sousaphone
Tim DeCillis - drums, percussion

Ben McFadden greatly aided with recording.

Jesse Montgomery took the cover photo in Summer of 2010. I still look like that, more or less.

Kevin Hein helped me with the album art.

"The Carolinas" recorded in Spring of 2010 in Oberlin, OH.
"Hamilton, Bermuda" recorded in late Summer of 2011 in St. Louis Park, MN, and Spring/Summer 2013 in Chicago.

All other songs recorded in Chicago at the Ballroom or in my bedroom in Fall of 2012, or March-July of 2013.


Thank you Mom, Dad, Ari, Grandparents, Max, Tommy, Caroline, Cubby, Charlotte, Farah, Jesse, Michael, Meade, SamO, Noah, Stella, Rose, Kemi, Alia, Ben, Meagan Day, Max Sollich, Lizzie Conner, Cody Darling, Tom, Will, Jason, Ozzy, Cody Westby, Bill Fox, Nick & Jen, Pat & Jamie, Ken Camden, Jais, Danny, Courtney, Jameson, Grace, Alexa, Nick & Rebecca, Asha, Lauren, Emelia, Becca, Elisabeth Albeck, Vito, and Julian, Matt and Tim. And you.

C and P Matt Orenstein for Orensongs (ASCAP), 2014, all rights reserved.

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Lionel O Los Angeles, California

My name is Matt. I live in Los Angeles, and am pretty easy to find.

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