Horseshoe Theory

by Scott Steven Erickson

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1.
04:00
2.
3.
4.
04:36
5.
6.
7.
05:10
8.
04:42
9.
04:02
10.

credits

released November 18, 2016

Scott Steven Erickson: vocals, accordion, reed organ, ukulele, trombone, harmonica, glockenspiel
Jesse Ferris: djembe
Laureyn A. Grand Pa: vocals (tracks 2, 4 & 9)
Rainboe Sims-Jones: vocals (tracks 2, 4 & 9)
Mikey Caldwell: vocals (tracks 2, 4 & 9)
Wisnu Weinstock: vocals (track 10)
Sam Scarpelli: audio engineering

Recorded during the fall of 2016 at Steamboat Island Records.

All songs written by Scott Steven Erickson except “Yard Sale Sunday,” which was originally written and performed by "Four Eyed High Fives" from Vermillion, South Dakota.

Special thanks to: Ariel (for the troll stories), Morgan and Dylan (for letting me cover their song), Sarah and Patrick (for their inspiration for track 9), Atom, Gene, John, Ashlea, Chelsea, Savvy, Mike, my family, and everyone who contributed to this album, intentionally or not.

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about

Scott Steven Erickson Olympia, Washington

Upbeat, quirky, and just a tad bit nihilistic.

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Track Name: Useful Idiot
Growing up gay in Wyoming
Meant getting rubbed the wrong way by conservatives
So I’d conflate Republicans with passive-aggressive bigotry
Then I rebelled and ran the opposite way
I learned my politics from Ani DiFranco,
Michael Moore, and Al Gore
9/11 sure fucked up my high school experience
The war on terror transformed me
Into a democrat and a pacifist

But now I look back at my life
And I feel like such a puppet
A manipulated cog, a useful idiot!
Because I didn’t realize I could form my own opinions
Separate from the platitudes of Democratic politicians

Then liberal arts transformed me even further to the left
Until I found myself with anarchism
Through DIY, folk-punk, free skool, and zines
The more mainstream students referred to us as “the hippies”
Those were lovely times, even though I was still somewhat naive

But now I look back at my life
And I feel like such a puppet
A manipulated cog, a useful idiot!
Because I didn’t realize I could form my own opinions
Separate from the platitudes of idealistic punk rock musicians

Then I met a special kind of anarchist in Olympia
Who fought for liberation through book burnings and kidnapping
Who’d call their roommates classist if they dared to ask for rent money
And tag “all cops are bastards” on the property of old ladies
And find ways to be offended by literally everything
Who’d proceed to shame you if you dared to disagree with their jurisdictions

But now I look back at my life
And I feel like such a puppet
A manipulated cog, a useful idiot!
Because I didn’t realize I could form my own opinions
Separate from the platitudes of the social justice warriors’ religion

So now here I sit somewhere off the map
I went a little too far left, but then I got pushed back
I’ve seen both sides of the horseshoe, I’ve tried on many hats
But none of them quite fit me
So now I’m just a detached,
Somewhat misanthropic,
No longer myopic,
I guess you’d say a moderate?!?
Skeptical iconoclast!!!
Track Name: A Failed Lobotomy
Oh to revel in the cognitive dissonance and pleasure of being a consumer!
It’s like a hit of instant gratification as it dissolves all of your world’s tortures:

Like when you saw an old friend in a ragged jumpsuit,
Homeless and on heroin
Or how you suspect that the earth has an illness
Of Armageddon-like proportions
Or all the ways that you know that you’d like to improve
The injustice of the human condition
But it’s like a cancerous tumor you feel helpless to cure
Without resorting to prayer and superstition

But oh to toil in the cognitive dissonance and routine of being a peasant!
It’s like a dreary dream you have to sleepwalk through as you forget about what actually matters

Like your delusions of grandeur, romantic longings
And the passions of your formative years
Or all the hedonistic secrets that you keep to yourself
Or which only a few intimates hear
But you feel so detached from your ideal life,
You give in to creature comforts or fear
Finding ways to escape this bleak reality:
Fast food, porn, video games, and beer

And though they might tell you the best way to survive is simply to tune out your thoughts
Well baby, let me tell you when it comes to survival,
Your reason is the best chance you’ve got!
So don’t ever let them lobotomize that beautiful organ behind your eyes
Don’t ever let them lobotomize that beautiful organ behind your eyes
Don’t let them, don’t let them
Don’t ever let them lobotomize that beautiful organ behind your eyes!
Track Name: Gays Represent the Patriarchy!
In the spring of 2016 a [National] Union of Students made a righteous decree
That gay men aren’t oppressed enough to represent the community
Worst of all, they’re guilty of misogyny!

Chorus:
We went from GLBT to LGBT
As an attempt at inclusivity
But now we’re considering revoking the G
Because gays represent the patriarchy!

Never mind the higher risk of HIV
Or the criminal status for most of history
Or the punishment of death in Muslim theocracies
In the Oppression Olympics, that’s hardly noteworthy!

Chorus

Now for a dose of some reality:

I do not represent LGBT
And that supposed community don’t represent me
I can understand the need for solidarity,
But not at the expense of individuality!
Because identity politics often can lead
To a slippery slope of collectivist thinking
To a dangerous dichotomy of us vs. them
To the myopic delusion of ubiquitous oppression
Just because we like dick, doesn’t mean we hate women! x2

Chorus

And now we’re considering revoking the G
And then all we’ll be left with is a BLT
(Which I guess isn’t so bad, unless you’re a vegan… or a pig)
Track Name: Troll Girl
The troll girl was found under a bridge
On highway 18 outside of Lost Springs, Wyoming
Naked and ragged, she was only 8 years old
The tests suggest she had no memories
The mayor gave a 30-day decree
If by that time no one had come to claim her
Then she would join the Randolph family
Those sterile newlyweds were only 23

Oh, trolls!
Sometimes we can never be redeemed
From the decisions we made at 23

The moment troll girl turned 17
She headed west to the Willamette Valley
She instantly loved the anonymity
Blending in with Portland’s freaks with a fake ID
She even found some reputable jobs
A school bus driver, part time selling weed
But after all her merchandise was robbed
A questionable business deal bought her a pregnancy

Oh, trolls!
Sometimes we can never be redeemed
From the decisions we made at 17

So troll girl had a son
He started smoking at age 4
9 years later was a Juggalo
With gang leanings hardcore
Then troll boy met a new troll girl
He knocked her up at 12
His mother chased them down the street
Took her katana off the shelf
They were not welcome at her house
So they moved under a bridge
Birthed on the banks of the Willamette
What a fitting way for trolls to live!

Oh, trolls!
Sometimes we can never be redeemed
From the decisions we made at age 13
Oh sometimes we can never be redeemed
Especially when our stories can’t be believe
But they’re true, they’re true, they’re true
Track Name: Horseshoe Theory
I’m tired of virtue signaling to fellow hypocrites
In static echo chambers of staunch collectivists
I won’t do time for others’ crimes, my uncommitted sins
I’ll stand up for social justice, just not for indoctrination!

So let me anoint the entrance to your safe space
With my privileged, white male tears
After repenting for my original sin
My only saving grace being queer
Otherwise my opinions would be irrelevant
There would be no more barriers to your justified prejudice
For it matters not the content of my argument
Just where my levels of oppression intersect!

We’ll redefine such horrors as racism and violence
And anyone who disagrees will be forcefully silenced!
We’ll fabricate ethnocentric delusions of oppressions
Through trigger warnings, manspreading, and microaggressions
Conjuring a problematic plight of victimhood
While ignoring the true privilege in these petty, first world problems

So let me anoint the altar of your safe space
With my privileged, white male tears
After repenting for my original sin
My only saving grace being queer
Otherwise my opinions would be irrelevant
There would be no more barriers to your justified prejudice
For it matters not the content of my character
Just where my levels of oppression intersect!

Let’s prioritize our feelings above our liberties
And call upon safety councils to silence enemies
We’ll stamp out any dissenting attempts at inquiry
We’ll use authoritarian measures to achieve true equality!!!
Track Name: I Am Not Hardcore
I’m really nothing special when it comes to games like Scrabble
But I can sometimes dominate at Trivial Pursuit
Even though I’m often written off as unintelligent
And my input’s often written off as naive, slow, or cute
But I am not naive, I’m just an optimist
I can fully comprehend what a fucked-up world this is
Because of this, you might presume I simply just don’t get it
But I do go far beyond your perception of dim-witted
I just try to look beyond the gloom to find what makes life worth living

I often patch my clothes to make them more functional
But I sometimes patch them just to make them look more snazzy
But over all, I hate to waste, hence I reuse my clothes
I don’t do it to fit a scene, or just to strike a pose
But I am not hardcore, I just try to be myself
It’s inevitable along the way I’ll look like someone else
Because of this, you might presume I pretend to be somebody
But there’s so many folks upon this world, our identities get muddy
So I just behave the closest to the ways that make me happy

I’ve a new laptop and I’ve seen what androids we’ve become
Everything’s electronic now, our friendships and our sex
No need for face-to-face friendship because we’ve got the net
Our entire lives are simplified to a photo and some text
But I am not my profile, it’s just an effigy
Depicting the most brief cliff notes of the story of my life
Because of this, you might presume this flashy screen is me
But really it’s just a snapshot of the point where I’ve arrived
The complexity of my whole life, now condensed to simply 2D

I’ve made these neat little categories to define myself:
Artist, atheist, independent, a FUCKING WHITE MALE, gay
And the world wants so much clarity to which ones I belong
As long as it’s known what I am, it doesn’t matter what I say
But I’m not my identity, I’m too ambivalent
My soul cannot be limited to symbolic, dull compartments
Of each these things, you might presume I’m the equivalent
But humans can’t be subdivided to easy, quick departments
Our identities no more a part of us that our words or our apartments

So come with me, our limitations slowly melt away
’Til it’s just us, no facades, no fronts
In sweet ambivalence is where we’ll stay
Track Name: Siri Says
I don't want to go back to the gym with me to go to sleep and I'm still waiting for you guys are the same time and the other hand it to be in the morning is the only way to the next day you're there is a very good at the same thing over and over again with the new album

The fact I can be used for this one was injured in the morning to all of them and I don't think that you have a great way of saying it would mean so so happy to see my tweets and you have a great way of saying it would mean so so happy to see my tweets and you have a good time with you guys have to go back and I don't think that you have a good time to go back and I have a great day

I'm at a time when the sun goes on to my mom and my dad and his colleagues at a time when the sun goes on to my mom and my dad and his colleagues at a news report that is not an easy to play the piano is not an easy to play the piano is not an issue that the two of them and the rest is history is not an issue that the two of them and the rest is history

I love you so much fun and addicting but it is a great day to be a good day to be a great day to be a good day to be a great day to be a good day to be a great day to be a good day to be a great day to be a good day

The fact I can get it right away with the new version is better to be the first half of the year and I don't think that I have a great way of the year and I don't think that I have a great way of the day after a long day at the same thing to say I have a good time with the new version is the only thing that would make it a lot of the day after a long day at the same thing to say I have to go back and I don't think that the new version is the only thing that would make it a lot of the year of high quality of life and the only one that is the only one that has a great way of life and the only thing that would make me happy and the other hand is the only one that is the only thing that would make me happy and the other hand is the only thing that I can get
Track Name: Game Over
I'm all for dissolving the stigma around mental illness
But I also firmly believe
Your sickness does't absolve your sense of accountability

Abuses are never excusable x2

I don't want to sleep with a weapon next to my pillow
I don't want to have to lock my cats and heirlooms in my room
I don't want to carry my phone to the bathroom in case I am confronted
I don't want these panic attacks, or sense of impending doom

Abuses are never excusable x2

Now I don't feel guilt, but I feel sympathy
The offense wasn't my actions, just how they were perceived
The abuser's justification is just delusions she's believed
I do not deserve these acts of such hostility

"Friendless and heartless" accuse the friendless and heartless

You claim that you're assertive, when you're really just a bully
As your housemates walk on eggshells to avoid eruptive fury
You demand respect and kindness when you're acting like an asshole
A hypocrite projecting the worst aspects of your shadow
You leave such gaping holes in your account of what transpired
Like death threats on garage doors, and threats to slash our tires
You claim that I don't give enough, you've no sense of proportion
As you sic your clueless beau on me, attempting extortion
After months of ingratitude while draining my income
You still believe delusions that you're just a helpless victim

But you're not a helpless victim
Far from a helpless victim!

Now I don't feel guilt, but I feel sympathy
The offense wasn't my actions, just how they were perceived
The abuser's justification is just delusions she's believed
I do not deserve these acts of such brutality

But I know that I will heal
I just hope that you can heal
But I don't want to see you again
It hurts to feel such hatred from a former friend
But still I don't wish you any harm x2
Track Name: Resilience
Even through these trying times, love still finds a way to thrive

The artist finds a way to circumvent the censor
While truth-sayers transcend their corrupt predecessors
Through the tiny victories and significant pitfalls
We learn to persevere

And through in these troubling times, love still finds a way to shine

It all comes down to the most intimate interpersonal
To dispel collectivists’ repugnant arsenal
There’s so much to admire, cherish, celebrate
To realize that life is beauty consummate

And even through these trying times, love still finds a way to thrive
Even through these troubling times, love still finds a way to shine
Track Name: Yard Sale Sunday
we met a yard sale sunday
i fell in love but you didn't see it
i bought your phone but it didn't work
so i took it back, got your number instead

meet me at the bridge at a quarter to 3
I wrote you a book and it really means a lot to me
it's 4 oclock and where are you?
got a million other lines if these don't work for you

I was waiting for the bus it was 20 minutes late
and when I got on I started to hesitate
wonder what was on your mind when I didn't show
Tried to call you but I think they disconnected your phone
by the time i got there you were already gone
but i looked out at the water anyway
i hope that we can meet again some day

I know it sounds strange and it's kind of funny
but I fell in love at a yard sale sunday
never thought i'd be happy about a broken phone
now I know i'll never be alone x2

never thought a yard sale would be our first date
well this is something that the poets are gonna celebrate
thought I'd be alone for the rest of my life
but now that I met ya, I want you to be my husband

now we go to yard sales hand and hand
and we kiss in front of the lemonade stand
our wedding rings may only cost 25cents
but they'll always remind us of the day that we met

I know it sounds strange and it's kind of funny
but I fell in love at a yard sale sunday
never thought i'd be happy about a broken phone
now I know i'll never be alone x2

Yard Sale Sunday! X4