A Little Bit Ludicrous

by Adam Balbo

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credits

released April 8, 2017

Adam Balbo: electric guitar, vocals, harmonica
Mr. Andrew: drums
Jonathan Moyer: electric bass guitar
PJ Bottoms: tenor saxophone

Recorded and mixed by George Rosenthal at The SF Complex, San Francisco, California, on February 24-25, 2017.
Mastered by Jonathan Kirchner.
Artwork by Helen Lee

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Adam Balbo Oakland, California

Get in touch about anything. adambalbo at gmail dot com

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Track Name: Patapon's Foodbowl
Fuck it. I’m free. I’m fucked. It’s folk. That’s fair. l really don’t care
I’m just taking a dump in left field and even the left fielder doesn’t care
Doesn't ask me what the hell I’m doing, doing that way the fuck out there
I greet him meekly and explain: Oh, I’m just taking a stroll
Trying to reach Maurice taking a shit in Patapon’s food bowl

You can choose to use a crowbar to pry open their tiny minds
Moan and piss and tweet and click to convince someone to pay some mind
Then shove what’s left of your compassion up some crack that’s hard to find.
You always campaign on how little you care - take a fucking poll.
Meantime, I’ll picture Maurice taking a shit in Patapon’s foodbowl

After sharing your theory about how humpty dumpty was shoved off the wall,
you measure the chaos in a dismal test down at the local science hall
Then recruit an army of janitors to invade your favorite toilet stall
Back on the fortress edge, you flash me your glory hole.
Now we both can peek at Maurice taking a shit in Patapon’s foodbowl

You serve up reheated revenge with chilled resentment to all your guests
I idiotically shoved two fist full in my face - Now it’s me no one gets
And you’re so fucking mad: they all seem like lemmings or, worse, fucking pests
When you’re tired of everyone's goddamn shit - and patience has taken its toll
There’s alway Maurice taking a shit in Patapon’s food bowl
Track Name: Shut Up and Listen
I don’t give a fuck, but I still fucking care
A dickhead with a heart - my brain is you know where
I'm freelance bullshit artist, crafting my fiction
Sometimes I just shut the fuck up, and try listening

I’m an amateur loser with no pedigree.
A professional fuck-up with no proper degree.
When I stick my dick in the wind and just start pissing,
I realize I might need to shut the fuck up, and start listening.

Free speech is not a privilege - it is technically a right.
Don’t disregard your adversary; offer a high five.
Its demeaning to assume anyone needs your permission.
It takes practice to shut the fuck up, and just listen.

To the whites of their eyes, there’s two ways to reply
Brandish your best rhetoric - or bite tongue and eat pride
Pick your battles when confronting the inquisition.
Resign for a time to shutting the fuck up and just listening

Justice is blind but she can be long-winded.
Half your talk is wicked, it’s not your duty to be pigheaded.
You out to conquer all? Are you open to another position?
Either way, you probably need to shut the fuck up and try listening

God’s lawyers can be prone to sanctimonious verbiage
The devil’s advocate is a distinct, yet serious privilege
There’s more than one way to extract an act of contrition
Not always, but yeah, I shut the fuck up, and try listening

None of this is ironclad - just a rule of thumb
There’s a fine line between prudence and something really dumb.
Make room for subtlety in your flawless glorious vision
I’ll humor you and shut the fuck up, and try listening

I blow it out my ass and turn the other cheek.
My breathe smells like coconut; I got a pube stuck in my teeth.
What in our shallow, pathetic existence could be missing?
Maybe I need to shut the fuck up, and try listening

This kind of advice fits on the back of a car.
Balanced, rational argument only gets one so far.
So, I add crass irreverence - with a nod to tradition
That includes shutting the fuck up, and just listening

You can scare or shoot the rooster, but the sun’s still gonna rise.
Could the dim explicit thicket shit - open your eyes?
Or chintzy slabs of facts dash - your favorite opinions.
It takes guts to shut the fuck up, and just listen.

Make an honest case - put a conclusion at the end
Reason might fight bias, but we all chew on what we’re fed.
Orthodoxy is shared among tribal affiliation.
You’ll have to figure out when to shut the fuck up, and just listen.

I made peace with my demons, now what the fuck do I do?
Find a meeting of minds with someone in the room.
With so much still to say, let this be my modest submission:
Sometimes we all need to shut the fuck up, and just listen.
Track Name: Cool Shit
people doing cool shit - trying to figure out what to do
focusing on what really works and making it come true

studying the shit out of everything
trudging through the flood of negativity
listening to everyone from slave to king
tossing your best hat into the brutal ring
inspiring us to do it too

people doing cool shit - trying to figure out what to do
focusing on what really works and making it come true

quaint - like a notion of civility
The thankless task of forging public policy
quietly building trust in your community
with a lavish budget - threadbare shoestring
inspiring us to do it too

people doing cool shit - trying to figure out what to do
focusing on what really works and making it come true

drawing from humanity’s old wellspring
summoning the will of creativity
humdrum stuff like fucking governing
a disciplined life passion not a fad or fling
inspiring us to do it too

people doing cool shit - trying to figure out what to do
focusing on what really works and making it come true

prosaic - like a sense of common decency
not beholden to the dogma of either wing
from Chicago to Pretoria to Chongqing
Reimagining the limits of what could be
inspiring us to do it too

people doing cool shit - trying to figure out what to do
focusing on what really works and making it come true
Track Name: Not Even Me
I’m not me anymore. I got busy, busy being born.
If you pass this way again. I’ll be in the cloud or on the floor. Nothing now feels worth it. It’s all approximately worthless.
I pass my days in a listless haze. I’m never whole, I’m always torn.

The canned chorus of senselessness. The callousness makes me wince.
I stop what I’m doing and just listen, in a frozen stupor at the stupid door.
We all need some grounding in something boring or astounding.
But every now and then, it’s good to get shaken to the core.
I’m not you, him, her or them. I’m not even me anymore.

When you conjure up the shame, it feels like a farce or a game.
But I hear the chilling echo in the neglected annals of yore.
Who am I to presume? Didn’t we both jump over the broom.
In the din, my shout’s a whimper. In the silence, a roar.

It’s neither here nor there. How quaint that you still care.
All the best laid plans, you never know what’s in store.
When all you’ve known has crumbled, and even heads of state are humbled
All seem powerless to direct where the biggest burden is borne
I’m not you, him, her or them. Hell, I’m not even me anymore.

In the captive mind of pettiness. In resentment spawned from thoughtlessness.
I mutter gloomily: "I fucking guess". Like Winnie-the-Pooh’s friend, Eeyore.
In the grand prison of self-righteousness, echoes boom; nothing’s confessed
Like that donkey, I get depressed. Being right can’t be it’s own reward.

Even all the wisdom of Solomon can’t get the dead dove to fly again
or persuade the zealot fundamentalistfrom unleashing misery and gore
Sometimes, it all feels hopeless when violence robs what’s precious.
The despair, I can only guess. I have the luxury to ignore.
I’m not you, him, her or them I’m not even me anymore.

Some people have an impressive, boundless gift of forgiveness
Others bury their hate inside, dig their heels in and brace for war.
A dash of agony is cathartic;Pampered self-pity pathetic
We all have a struggle; Whether on the front lines or in fucking bubble core

Sometimes, shit doesn’t work whether you’re decent or a jerk.
Us, we'll hammer out a plan. We’ll just make up our own lore.
I take no joy in another’s demise; a bird can’t haul its cage away if it’s gonna fly
If you find a quick high in what you despise, Learning shit will become a chore
I’m not you, him, her or them. I’m not even me anymore.

Revolution can be tedious with spells of giddy deliriousness
and self-indulgent disobedience, serious, cheesy, and mysterious
I dumpster dive for ideas from the Dakotas to either Korea
I follow furthest conclusions from the Hague to fucking Bangalore

the narcissist dressed in a spiffy shirt; the swaggering amateur on high alert
politely debate, but the trolls go berserk when the warriors claim to be pure
I have a moral compass lodged near my hippocampus
I won’t just blurt out what it says crouched in the shrubs of metaphor
I’m not you, him, her or them. I’m not even me, not me anymore.

You angrily to squeeze the balloon, displacing the agony and gloom
I squeak the air out slowly, drawing fake giggles and sarcastic snores
There’s tons of indignation from crude insults to high oration
I’m just a modest scribe, an obscure, rambling troubadour

I’m just a drop in the bucket, tossed in the ocean off Nantucket
I’m a single grain of sand, lost in the snaking, rambling shore
I’m so infinitesimally small. Go on, squint, you won’t see me at all
When my dust gets blown away, things’ll pretty much be - as before.
I’m not you, him, her or them. I’m not even me anymore.
Track Name: A Little Bit Ludicrous
to avoid feeling like a useless piece of shit
I convened a meeting on the monumental mess
a quorum of one, still there was some suspense
not really surprised and fairly impressed
I plundered the search box for recompense
signed my surrender, dropped any pretense
gold and myrrh - and burning frankincense
shit was everywhere, packed in really dense
in short - to condense:
it was all a little bit - ludicrous

the big top convention had already commenced
shouting mean chants instead of drafting a defense
some actually polite in a different context
proud, if bitter, feeling dispossessed
sifting through the scraps of Apollo's mess
herded past the labyrinth of common sense
captive to a series of unfortunate events
hearing the paeans, then promptly taking offense
in short - to condense:
it was all a little bit - ludicrous

gratuitously huge - gorgeous immense
amorphous, formless, and nebulous
staring in the bowels of ruthlessness
egregious, fruitless, and tortuous
when the wrath surpasses metamorphosis
its monstrous, obnoxious, and imperious
the gracious stand aghast at the hideousness
labeled sell-outs, bigots, even blasphemous
in short - to condense:
it was all a little bit - ludicrous

the minutes of the meeting - all its contents
were just a shapeless heap and didn’t make sense
mostly boring as fuck, sometimes pretty intense
nothing bud light would care to present
I watched it unfold at my own expense
It just pissed me off and made me fucking stressed
I chucked that crap past the wall and the fence
passed a quizzical bird, perched chirping its two cents
in short - to condense:
it was all a little bit - ludicrous

after popping some corn for the apocalypse
I needed a dose of the innocuous
joyous, judicious, and generous
fabulous, glamorous, and frivolous
hilarious, ingenious, miscellaneous
marvelous, miraculous, and idolatrous
variously vacuous and virtuous
illustrious, impervious, androgynous
in short - to condense:
it was all a little bit - ludicrous