Adaptations to a Modern Age

by Scott Steven Erickson

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credits

released August 25, 2013

Musician Credits:
Scott Steven Erickson: vocals, piano, accordion, ukulele, trombone, harpsikorg, organ, cell phone
Chelsea Baker: pennywhistle, vocals (track 9)
Biscuit: vocals (5 & 13), metal bowl
Matt Buscher: percussion, bass, SodaStream
Double Decker Bus Culture (Kelli Branch): viola, vocals (9)
Laureyn A. Grand Pa: vocals (1 & 5)
Jason Leher: tenor sax, flute
Lucian: cello
Olympia Free Choir*: vocals

*Double Decker Bus Culture (Kelli Branch), Laureyn A. Grand Pa, Marcy LaViollette, Lucian, David Raffin, Sven

Writing Credits:
“Community”: words by Scott; music by Phil
“You’ll Be Missed as a Superhero”: words by Scott, Ricky Manthey, Fishbone McRotten, Náté by Nateshirt, and Whitney; music by Scott
“Leading Vestigial Wings to Flight”: words by Scott (with an homage to “Letters to Friends”); music by Náté by Nateshirt and Scott
“Memento Mori”: words by Scott and Biscuit; music by Scott
All other songs: words and music by Scott
All guest musicians wrote or improvised their own parts

Tech Credits:
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Matt Buscher at Neanderhall in Olympia, WA
Produced by Scott & Matt

Art Credits:
Designed and illustrated by Chelsea Baker
Cover art and banana drawing by Scott

Special thanks to: Ricky, John, Ashlea, Lupe, Zack, Dug, D. Grindle, Julie, Kay, Nur, Mike, Elaina, Patrick, Mattie Newts, my family, and all my aforementioned friends who contributed to this album.

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Scott Steven Erickson Olympia, Washington

A skeptical iconoclast who tries to shake up regressive paradigms with his weird and wacky songwriting.

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Track Name: Community
Call me old-fashioned, but I miss the days of folks on their front porches
Who'd enjoy each others' company, to the neighbors open wide
Before everyone retreated to private decks in their backyards
That is, on those rare occasions when they'd actually go outside

Call me old-fashioned, but I miss the days of lovingly-cooked dinners
When community was shared around the enjoyment of good food
Before instant meals in microwaves wolfed down in front of TVs
Food bereft of nutrients, sense of community subdued

Chorus:
Tell me what is happening to communication?
What is happening to community?
What is happening to community?

Call me old-fashioned, but I miss the days of human interaction
And by human interaction, I mean good ol' face-to-face
Before conversations transformed into acronyms on screens
With people separated in both emotions and cyberspace

Chorus

Well I guess I am old-fashioned because I like corporeal people
I prefer them to these abstract avatars on screens
But I guess, in that regard, I'm of a shrinking minority
Track Name: Barcodes on Bananas
I just saw a smartphone barcode on a banana
I just saw a smartphone barcode on a semi truck
I just saw a smartphone barcode on an aerosol can
There's no escaping it with any quantity of luck

I don't even have a smartphone, yet they penetrate my psyche
Telling me they have all this hidden information to reveal
Just scan this blotch of black and white to activate their secrets
Though I must confess, I'm slightly curious about what they do conceal

"From now on, I will call you 'Rock God'"
"Here is what I found for you"
Vonnegut was right, we're taken over by machines
Soon enough, there'll be no further need for human beings
Our technological ends will trump our biological means

Your phone is now your best friend - a robot with lip service
And all your human interactions are vicarious, through screens
And Big Brother is keeping tabs of all your transgressions
All your online data now conveniently linked!

I just saw a smartphone barcode on a banana
I just saw a smartphone barcode on a T-shirt
I just saw a smartphone barcode marketing a smartphone
There's no escaping it despite how underground you lurk

Though I will admit, it is not all bad
And I'm not really a Luddite, I am just a drama queen
The age of information does have its benefits
Just beware the side effects behind that tiny screen!
Track Name: Post-Apocalyptic Porches
The world's end is the edge of the porch, and we stare into the abyss
While my bike lays imprisoned in the ice
It's a full moon - you'll be leaving soon
You'll be gone before the cycle is through

In the library's possibility to bring me to life
Through a glowing soul who radiates the urge to revive
All the ways we've forgotten to live and to thrive
In a world that's preparing to die

You represent so much of what I yearn to become
And you've taught me to do it myself
Though I must confess, to some degree, to the system succumb
But I've made a few steps backward with your help

In the library is somebody to bring me to life
Through a glowing soul who radiates the urge to revive
All the ways we've forgotten to live and to thrive
In a world that's preparing to die
Track Name: Monstrosities Within
A body of knowledge
Knowledge of the body
The body, knowledgeable subject of fear
Knowing all the ways this beast can defeat you
Can shorten your lifespan
Destroy your career

Statistics unlikely
A small probability
Just enough to ignite paranoias
Pertaining to each others' bodily workings
The untouchables are everywhere lurking

Inhibit the urges of our diseased bodies
Prohibit the actions of those who are naughty
Inhibit, prohibit, inhibit, prohibit, inhibit, prohibit
Inhibit our disgusting bodies

Please don't touch me
I wouldn't want to expose you to my germs
Blood-borne pathogens
And leprosy
You'll catch them unless you learn

Disease and infection
Result from erections
So might as well reuse that Christian shame
Use latex and rubber
To go undercover
Spelunk that enticing, forbidden terrain

Still nothing's enough for complete peace of mind
Abstinence-only is the only kind
Of sure-free protection
Shameful resurrection
And even those damned monosexuals go blind

Please don't touch me
I wouldn't want to expose you to my germs
Blood-borne pathogens
And leprosy
They'll catch you unless you learn
How to hide from human skin
'Cause you see, it's such a thin
Boundary
Which will hardly protect you
From the unspeakable horrors
That lie within

Let's go even further
Become safe and sterile
Eliminate each inescapable risk
No contact! Or touching!
Or Platonic cuddling!
We'll wear rubber gloves to touch even a fist

Round up these infectious, disease-ridden bodies
We'll trap them in someplace they'll safely exist
Electronic voids we can view through a screen
So we can avoid all the dangers
That phyisical contact will bring

Inhibit the urges of our diseased bodies
Prohibit the actions of those who are naughty
Inhibit, prohibit, inhibit, prohibit, inhibit, prohibit
Inhibit our disgusting bodies

Please don't touch me
I wouldn't want to expose you to my germs
Blood-borne pathogens
And leprosy
You'll catch them unless you learn
How to hide from human skin
'Cause you see, it's such a thin
Boundary
Which will hardly protect you
From the unspeakable monstrosities
That lie within
Track Name: Postmodern Nihilistic Hedonism
Some people approach a conversation as if it were a fight
Using nonexistent statistics to prove who's in the right
Well I don't want another reshuffling of winners and losers
I'll approach a conversation as if it were a dance

Because when you talk, you don't learn anything
But when you listen, you do

Does this mean I'm another derelict of postmodern ideology?
Too open to alternatives to form a solid opinion
All I learned from four years of taking anthropology
Is that everything is relative and nothing's absolute
And that there is no such thing as a universal truth

Because when you talk, you don't learn anything
And when you listen, you do

So sometimes, I verge on nihilism
But what's it even matter?
Who cares where an opinion falls in the arbitrary wrongs and rights?
It's a gray scale of nothingness on a background of oblivion
In the span of all infinity, I'm an insignificant blip!!!
So what's it even matter?
Everything is nothing!!
What's it even matter?
Everyone is doomed!!!

But then, I snap out of it
Think of all I have to live for!
Think of all the pleasures abounding on this earth
Think of chocolate and kitty-cats
Accordions and pho
Studio Ghibli and Bjork
The Simpsons and used bookstores
Leinenkugels, narwhals, musicals
The taste of fresh-ground coffee on the threshold of your lips
Or the blissful revelry of a lover's hands upon your hips

Think of all the possibilities to be done with mind, and hands
All the creations in the ether, waiting for innovative beings
To set their cogs in motion, to roll out shape the universe
Think of all you can experience, think of all you can achieve
Or you could say it's all meaningless and fade
You could say it's all meaningless and fade
You could say it's all meaningless and fade into lonely obscurity!
Track Name: Runaway Train
Life is like a runaway train
Careening around every hill
Caressing around every curve
At a slightly-more-extreme-than-comforting pace
But no matter which ways my caboose will swerve
I'll approach each horizon with grace
Track Name: Just a Parasite
You hate the bourgeoisie 'cause it reminds you where you're from
You hate the proletariat 'cause it makes you look dumb
Instead of fighting a class war, you're sitting on your ass
While mooching off your friends who, by the way, are working class
An armchair revolutionary full of righteous talk
But you rarely take an action, you just love to sit and squawk
You reprimand your roommates which they do all your dishes
And instead of contributing, you get lazier and vicious

Lazier and vicious! x8

You'll pinpoint every detail of each activist group's flaws
Which you use as your excuse for never fighting for a cause
You're even more judgmental of those who are employed
While you exploit their hospitality, get confused if they're annoyed
You say "if they really wanted to, they could give me the boot"
But your excess gamer lifestyle and the streets do not compute!
You're in denial of your privilege for you know that you'd be shunned
If your hypocrisy was revealed through your hefty trust fund!

Hefty trust fund! x8

So instead you play it off as though you come from rags and dimes
And ignore the same scenario you've caused a dozen times
When your host becomes so fed up with your shit that they take flight
But you still remain oblivious - you're just a parasite!

Just a parasite! x16
Track Name: Social Butterfly, Country Bumpkin
I am a social butterfly, I'm also a busy bee
And though I try not to be careless, I am carefree
And I'm sorry, but I cannot be the man of your dreams
But if it's any consolation, I can be me

Long ago, I gave up on my delusions of Mr. Right
Because all the good he did was to render me blind
To the admirable qualities in those who were right before my eyes
But didn't reach the perfection of my unobtainable prototype

I can be a city mouse, but I'm more a country bumpkin
I'd like to live in a quaint little house lined with tomatoes and pumpkins
But no matter where, I'm happiest when you are by my side
Even though we don't quite match each others' fantasies of Mr. Right

In many ways, we have contrary perspective of the world
And differing opinions of where our lives should unfurl
But over all, the overlap is vastly similar
Our reflection in each others' eyes is quite familiar

Goldfish and elephant both describe my memory
Though I yearn for moderation, I still end up with extremes
But luckily you seem to know how to balance me out
You dig down to the root of what my bias is about

To be honest, you're probably the closest match I've found yet
Your qualities compliment mine more than anyone I've met
And I sure am glad I gave up on my delusional prototypes
Because you're so much better than that asshole, Mr. Right!
Track Name: You'll Be Missed as a Superhero
You say end of a coma,
but I say end of a chapter
At least for everyone here
who's been graced with your laughter

I hope you know you'll be missed, Lupe!

Lupe, you once told me Olympia
Is the worst place that you've been
As far as people making a huge deal
About the pigment of your skin
It's ironic in a place boasting to be about
Breaking down systems of oppression
That limiting people to their demographics
Is the popular obsession
But you see your friends foremost as people
And not by the ways they're identified
Because everyone is equal to your non-judgmental eyes

I hope you know you'll be missed, Lupe!

You'll be missed for your awesome threesomes
You'll be missed for your hospitality
You'll be missed for your ability
To make each birthday a special formality
You'll be missed as a yoga princess
You'll be missed as a superhero
You'll be missed for all the times you baby-sat
Kai, Scarlett, and Bandito

I hope you know you'll be missed, Lupe!

You say end of a coma
But I say end of a chapter
At least for everyone here
Who's been graced with your laughter

I hope you know you'll be missed, Lupe!
Track Name: My Cabboose Will Swerve
Life is like a runaway train
Careening around every hill
Caressing around every curve
At a slightly-more-extreme-than-comforting pace
But no matter which ways my caboose will swerve
I'll approach each horizon with grace
Track Name: Leading Vestigial Wings to Flight
Is it pathetic that one of my main motivators for success
Is nothing more than a ploy to prove my worthiness to my exes?
I'd like to make the perfect album
And achieve just a little recognition
So I can say "Hey, look at this! Look at what I've accomplished!
I've made something remarkable all without your involvement,
Now here I am without you, so just look at what I've become"
But when I think of it, this method of reaching toward success
Is probably not the best, or healthiest rule of thumb

So when I peel off the layers, and analyze my psyche
I realize it's not my ex I'm actually trying to impress
I'm just desperately trying to convince myself
Of my own worthiness

Because nobody truly made me feel insecure, except for me
Their rejections were nothing more than my own self-doubts embodied
It's that monster who sometimes glares at me,
Hiding deep behind my eyes
And peeks out when I look in the mirror,
Grumbling from time to time
Telling me I'm not thin enough,
Or that my sense of style is tacky
That my eccentricities are just too much!
And that coolness I am lacking
It tells me to work harder,
To become much more attractive
In personality and dress,
In appearance and in action
It says "How would anyone ever even consider loving you?!"
And I just sit there and take it, knowing damn well it's not true

So now that I've unveiled the monster's mask
I begin the tedious, but worthwhile task
Of realizing my belittlement is primarily done by me
I'll start with my empowerment, make a list of my accomplishments
And I'll keep it somewhat serious, but a little bit silly

You see,
I'm a relentlessly curious explorer of humanity
I'll approach each new perspective, and assess it eagerly
And I have the ability to achieve my heart's desires
I am beautiful, I am powerful, and amazing!
I'm a vessel of creativity, and I truly love to sing
With spiritual conviction, and insightful clarity
And I am filled with so much passion that it often overflows
Spilling out in waves of love, down the many paths it goes
And I am a light-bearer, invoking souls to share the light
Passing it on and glowing, leading vestigial wings to flight

And if I truly love someone, but the sentiment's not shared
It's not due to my character being flawed, or impaired
It's just a slightly offset match, so I shouldn't take it so personally
Because I am very desirable, I'm attractive, I am worthy
Track Name: Watching the Fireworks as the World Explodes
When you feel the weight of the world pressing down on your shoulders
And its magnitude makes it crude to even go one more day
And each dismal glimpse of humanity you see on the news
Keeps adding one more hue to your ever-growing bruise
And you feel so powerless to actually make a change
When you have so many burdens, so many debts to pay
And none of your old remedies are working anymore
And you find it hard to survive amongst so much that you abhor

When all you can do is cling to this lawn chair on the deck
Of a catastrophic ship that's about to be wrecked
And all you can foresee is cataclysmic events
And you consider just ending it now so you can escape this mess

But instead of giving in to the undertows,
Here's a consolation that I propose:

We'll have an apocalyptic party
Let's just go out with a bang!
So if you bake the cupcakes, then I'll call the bands
And we'll throw a great big festival to commemorate the end
We'll send out invitations through snail-mail and text
Let's invite everyone we know, since we don't know when we'll see them next!
And use the time we have before this party ends
To let it be known how much we appreciate our friends
'Cause they're all we have left when we get to this state
Of being too nihilistic, having too much on our plate
So we'll shoot off some fireworks, and write one last song
But since it's Armageddon, we'll all have to sing along
So just sing your heart out, and hold my hand
And let's cherish every moment until the utmost end
So just sing your heart out, and hold my hand
And let's cherish every moment until the utmost end!

So as the ship's about to sink, we'll look up at the stars
And revel in our gratitude for how lucky we are
To have had the chance to sing and dance in merry frivolity
To have been lucky enough simply to be

So as we watch the fireworks as the world explodes
And it's like we're watching time-lapse as the Earth erodes
We nostalgically reflect on all we did and saw
Until all there's left to say is "Ooh" and "Awe"

Oooooooohhhh Aaaaaaaaaahhhh x3
Track Name: Memento Mori
I don't believe in omens, so let this not be something morbid
A reminder of impending death should not be merely mournful
And I don't believe in God, at least the evidence hasn't convinced me
And I'm well aware, in all likelihood, this life is all there is

But 'tis no reason to despair; eternity is daunting
How can one appreciate a life that never ends?
There is beauty in finality, the end result of something precious
It's a one-shot opportunity to have had truly lived

So I refuse to waste it on a promise or a gamble
In servility to a structure based on collective wishful thinking
Or stifled by the framework of its cultural conventions
Ubiquitously ingrained, but with which I don't agree

My life is brief, but valid, with works that could outlive me
Echoing affirmations down the span of centuries
But even if it's not so, and my work's lost with my body
That would still be no excuse to let my talents atrophy

So with that being said, I declare this proclamation:
To fulfill each of my endeavors to the best of my abilities!