The Jester

by Adam Balbo

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about

Recorded, mixed, and mastered in July 2012 at The Complex Recording Studio in San Francisco, California.

credits

released November 5, 2012

Adam Balbo: vocals, electric guitar
Mr. Andrew: drums
Laura Mahan: keyboard

Album art: Helen Lee

Recording, mixing, and mastering: George Rosenthal

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Adam Balbo Oakland, California

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Track Name: If I Were Me
IF I WERE ME

I'm shit for brains.
All this bullshit's on my brains.
I was hanging out with the lizard.
He just gave me his seven best buckets of rain.
Buried in my bullshit are kernels of undigested pain.
Now I'm a walking, talking cliché. I know it's lame.
The story's always the fucking same.

You say that one times one times one equals three.
I don't know what I would do if I were me.
You say that one times one times one equals three.
I don't know what I would do if I were me.

I stuck my hand right though
Some stupid, eternal burning flame.
Now nothing, nothing, is invisible.
& even Peter, he forgot my name.
It's a harm-wrenching twist.
A mystifying mist.
Now nothing at all can comfort me.
Not even getting high, drunk, or pissed off.

You say that one times one times one equals three.
I don't know what I would do if I were me.
You say that one times one times one equals three.
I don't know what I would do if I were me.
Track Name: Someday
SOMEDAY

Someday. Someday.
When the sands of time have fallen.
& the shattered hourglass has blow away.
When there’s nothing to be known.
No insults or threats to throw.
When no one’s around to fear The Reaper’s final moan.
Someday.

Someday. Someday.
When the shadows have all lain down.
When the sun expands & sputters out.
The Earth’s just a cold rock spinning around in space.
The seas have boiled & burned away.
Beauty has long since ago decayed.
& The white-gray ash of ugliness is all that remains.
Someday.

Someday. Someday.
When there’re no truths to behold.
& Every single myth goes left untold.
When the hearts that held them dear have stopped cuz they’ve grown old.
Every thump, beat, pound, & patter.
Every whisper, grunt, & roar of laughter.
Every tick-tock, white-noise clatter will eventually fade away.
Someday.

Someday. Someday.
All the memories that each of us has saved
Will wane, fail, ebb, crumble, peter out, or wither away.
Not even heaven’s grace
Can intervene to save us.
The great cosmos will carry on
As it did before there was any of us.
Someday.
Track Name: Anything For You
ANYTHING FOR YOU

Is there anything, anything that I could do for you?
Anything, anything, anything for you.

I'd float your boat. Lend you my coat.
Take the words right from your throat.
I could pull your leg. Yank your chain.
Wind your crank. Or pick your brain.
I'd choke your chicken. Scare your monkey.
Pet your cat. Or call you honey.
Nothing could be too big or small.
Name it. Anything at all.

Is there anything, anything that I could do for you?
Anything, anything, anything for you.

I'd take you by the arm. Buy the farm.
Keep you warm. Do no harm.
I'd serve your muse. Light your fuse.
Break you news. Or fix you booze.
I could piss you off. Or turn you on.
Clean your pipes. Or cut you lawn.
No request would surprise me at all.
Name it. It's your call.

Is there anything, anything that I could do for you?
Anything, anything, anything for you.

I'd hedge my bets. Stave off empty threats.
Forgive all debts. Help clean up this mess.
I'd down my tools. Bend the rules.
Chit chat with fools. & ride this mule.
I'd kick a habit. Pander to the rabbit.
Tell me what it is. I'll do it, goddamn it.
This is a chance you don't want to miss.
I'll do it. As you wish.

Is there anything, anything that I could do for you?
Anything, anything, anything for you.
Is there anything, anything that I could do for you?
Anything, anything, anything for you.
Track Name: Do What You Do
DO WHAT YOU

Nickel-and-diming in a micro-niche, when my fable fell on the floor.
It was you who tapped my gently on the shoulder.
The fates took turns banging on my door.
Just woo me with another lucid verse.
I don’t care what any of it means.
Just take me to wherever you’re going.
‘Til tomorrow, I’m totally free.

I’ll be happily confused and awfully amused.
You just do what you do.

Awestruck and dumbfounded by the shitstorm’s rage,
I took refuge in the cellar, where I found you on the stage.
You fashioned a blade made of double-edged wit.
An alloy so sharp, you pierced bullshit with it.
Even though it’s strong it’s not too heavy or brittle.
It’s actually quite light, and you can bend it a little.
I saw you gallantly stab and gut words of their meaning.
Then, you wistfully add, the moon’s so pretty this evening.

I’ll be happily confused and awfully amused.
You just do what you do.

Down in dank basement’s soft flickering light,
You groped your ideas in the dark naked night.
You got smudge marks on the image of long-exalted sage.
Then took out God’s handbook and ripped out a page.
You crumpled it up and lit it on fire.
Because irreverence is sacred, you said, and can be inspiring.
You spun long yarns, like about one crazy night
How, down in the Podunk fiefdom, you fought the good fight.

I’ll be happily confused and awfully amused.
You just do what you do.

You squeezed all our sadness into a small pool of joy.
Then bent expectation like a child with a toy.
You rammed our disgust with a dump truck of trust.
Met ecstatic relief with straight-faced love.
You purged all our anger and filled us with fear.
Left us all wondering how anyone could be anywhere but here.
You surrounded assumptions and dissolved all our doubt
Until cynicism retreated, if just for an hour.

I’ll be happily confused and awfully amused.
You just do what you do.

After pausing a moment for dramatic effect,
You closed your eyes, raised you arms, and took a deep breath.
You opened them up, pulled out a vacuum flask
Filled with some kind of potion for one final act.
You drank the concoction made of God-knows-what,
Mumbled, cursed, then said, quote, “Who gives a fuck?”
Awkward, silent smiles cracked all through the room.
You took a bow, waved goodbye, and said, “Hope to see y’all soon.”

I’ll be happily confused and awfully amused.
You just do what you do.
I’ll be happily confused and awfully amused.
You just do what you do.
I’ll be happily confused and awfully amused.
You just do what you do.
I’ll be happily confused and awfully amused.
You just do what you do.
Track Name: Bello
BELLO

There we were in a fictitious field,
Under an invisible bridge.
We would talk for hours, just
Facing the imaginary wind.
& Giggling at the verdict
Under a grapefruit moon
Me holding out my empty dish;
You dangling your little spoon.

Bello, Bello, Bello - How could you do this to me?
Bello, I already miss you. Now, I don't want you to leave.

We took our thoughts to a watering hole,
Through the park & down the street.
You crouched with your plastic toy claw,
Me choking on poetry.
We ran into the man who says nothing.
He was clutching the kitchen sink.
You wanted to pretend to punch him in the face.
I suggested that we buy him a drink.

Bello, Bello, Bello - How could you do this to me?
Bello, I already miss you. Now, I don't want you to leave.
Bello, Bello, Bello - How could you do this to me?
Bello, I already miss you. Now, I don't want you to leave

We met up with the king in his castle,
With his two fists full of salt.
He challenged us to a staring contest.
I immediately laughed & lost.
But you stood there, with your glare & stared
Him down 'til he lost his cool.
Now the image of your eyes are burned in my mind
& I still feel like a fool.

Bello, Bello, Bello - How could you do this to me?
Bello, I already miss you. Now, I don't want you to leave
Bello, Bello, Bello - How could you do this to me?
Bello, I already miss you. Now, I don't want you to leave
Bello, Bello, Bello - How could you do this to me?
Bello, I already miss you. Now, I don't want you to leave
Track Name: The King
THE KING

Yeah, you traded in your terrible tantrum.
& Now you’re thoroughly thronging the theme.
You know, I don’t give two shits or half a fuck
At the risk of sounding mean.
So, you straddled the sycophant
& Slobbered over several sad souls.
I’m sure all the wide-mouthed, wackjobs now
Will puff it up with pristine prose.
I heard you thwacking the loser.
After gawking, I found my stash.
It was right where I had left it
In a sack, stuffed behind my dram.

Who gives a fuck? Go blow a die and squeeze your luck
The jester put it to the king innocently: “Who gives a fuck?”
The jester put it to the king bluntly: “Who gives a fuck?”

The jester has a unique position,
Last in line for his majesty’s ear.
Distinct among the court, he’ll tell it to him straight,
Regardless of what the king wants to hear.
Oh, he’ll bring in all his royal functionaries,
With their opinions and reams of facts.
Every blow-hard pundit, crank, talking head,
& Breathless, fuming partisan hack.
Then there’s the yammer of the moral crusaders,
The cool, bland technocrat,
The bunk jargon piffle & hooey egghead drivel,
Yeah, the king listens to all of that, but…

Who gives a fuck? Go blow a die and squeeze your luck
The jester put it to the king impatiently: “Who gives a fuck?”
The jester put it to the king earnestly: “Who gives a fuck?”

One day the king was getting restless.
He confided to his groom of the stool:
“I wonder of the things of ordinary folks
In the dominion over which I rule.”
So, he summoned his best knight and his butler,
His standard bearer & his herald-of-arms,
The royal secretary &, of course, the jester
To lend the trip his dispassionate charm.
They all descended the castle staircase,
Down through the cold, empty, stone foyer.
The king’s entourage then crossed the jaw bridge
To explore the realm for the day.

Who gives a fuck? Go blow a die and squeeze your luck
The jester put it to the king succinctly: “Who gives a fuck?”
The jester put it to the king with no hint of irony: “Who gives a fuck?”

The sweep of the landscape was stunning,
As they moved briskly down the slope
Of the commanding heights of commerce,
Where the dealers gamble & monetize hope.
They pass the picture-perfect, gentile estates
Through the brainstorm and data mines.
Beyond the labs that bottle lightning
& Dreams produced on assembly lines.
They make it to the depth of the valley,
Near the base of the towering spires,
Where the clerics, hawkers, artists, & peasants
All toil merely to inspire.
The king happens upon a place to rest
At the wellspring of humility.
He & his attendants are left to reflect
On the fringes of his sovereignty.

Who gives a fuck? Go blow a die and squeeze your luck
The jester put it to the king plainly: “Who gives a fuck?”
The jester put it to the king simply: “Who gives a fuck?”
Track Name: Holes
HOLES

There’s a hole underneath each eyelid, inside of which sit our eyes.
There’s a hole where the window sits, for us to look outside.
There are two holes in our snout to sniff to breathe or to blow.
There’s a hole in the middle of both our ears and a trap below the nose.

There are a whole lot of different ones, a whole lot of different holes.
What’re you gonna do with yours?

There’s space between our fingers, so we can pick things up.
There’s a yawning gap in the golden silence when no one can shut up.
There are holes in our argument sometimes when we think.
There’s a slit down the middle of our ass when we have to cause a stink.

There are a whole lot of different ones, a whole lot of different holes.
What’re you gonna do with yours?

There’s a hole in the head of the cycloptic trouser snake.
There’s a ditch beyond the bushes where at night it lies awake.
There’s a hole where we come from & six-foot deep one when we die.
There are little wells in your cheeks when you pout your lips and wonder “why?”

There are a whole lot of different ones, a whole lot of different holes.
What’re you gonna do with yours?

There are holes so black and massive that not even truth escapes.
There’s a wormhole in my pocket, where I fit all boundless time & space.
There’re holes punched in the cards we were dealt, laid facedown on the rug.
In all the barrels in your arsenal & two pairs of arms wrapped up in a hug.
Track Name: Almost At A Loss
ALMOST AT A LOSS

Jimmy cracked corn, but I didn’t care, at least not at first.
Like Aunt Susan said, man, that guy Jim must be cursed.
There he is all day, cracking his corn for better or worse.
You can fistfight the facts, but pull your head out your ass before your bubble bursts.

Bring out your big ideas, so everyone can see them.
Bring out your biggest sounds, so everyone can hear them.
I’m almost at a loss for what it’d take to keep believing
That things are finally starting to turn around.

I mined my mind for some golden rules. That made my head ache and the room kinda spin,
Laid-out, shit-faced, better off dead, trying to wipe off this shit-eating grin.
I even failed preaching to the choir, since half their ears were made out of tin.
So, I threw up my arms and tried to kill them with charm, but even that, they considered a sin.

Bring out your big ideas, so everyone can see them.
Bring out your biggest sounds, so everyone can hear them.
I’m almost at a loss for what it’d take to keep believing
That things are finally starting to turn around.

I looked up some theses on the tragedy; there’s too many for any one to read.
There were 10,000 pleas and heroic offerings laid at the feet of the beast of greed.
& There was scant defense for the herd of white elephants, charging in a great stampede.
The echo chamber shook when every prick with a book recited their immaculate creed.

Bring out your big ideas, so everyone can see them.
Bring out your biggest sounds, so everyone can hear them.
I’m almost at a loss for what it’d take to keep believing
That things are finally starting to turn around.

I dusted off the gemstones I collected for free in the vast junkyard of dreams.
When a funk wafted up from the rhetorical dump, taken from sea to shining sea.
The scapegoat shepherd cringed when the wretched stench mixed with rancid verbal red meat.
The sacred cows mooed and the fat gorilla screeched. When the music stopped, someone lost their seat.

Bring out your big ideas, so everyone can see them.
Bring out your biggest sounds, so everyone can hear them.
I’m almost at a loss for what it’d take to keep believing
That things are finally starting to turn around.
Yeah, I’m almost at a loss for what it’d take to keep believing
That things are finally starting to turn around.
Track Name: Stupid Assholes
STUPID ASSHOLES

Thoughts can be like peanut butter, all stuck to the tongue.
Talk leaves lips, that shit sprays & spits, like rounds from a machine gun.

Don’t listen to them. It doesn’t matter what they say.
Idiotic, thoughtless talk just leaking out of their faces.
They’re just being stupid assholes.

Opinions can be like bubble wrap, snapped one by one really really really fast.
When they’re all popped, what’s left is a useless, wilted piece of plastic crap.

So, don’t you listen to them. Who the fuck cares what they say?
Idiotic, thoughtless shit just dribbling outta their thoughtless faces.
They’re just being stupid assholes.
Don’t listen to them. It doesn’t matter much what they say.
Idiotic, hollow babble, just wafting outta their vacant faces.
They’re just being stupid assholes.
They’re just being stupid assholes.