Self​-​Help Acoustic

by Scott Steven Erickson

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02:38
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03:00
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03:20
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05:45

credits

released August 1, 2015

All songs written by Scott (except for the lyric “Mother Nature loves us, but God kinda hates us” which was an observation made by Alaina).

All instruments (vocals, accordion, ukulele) played by Scott.

Track 1 was recorded live at Neanderhall on 4/25/2013. Tracks 3 and 6 were recorded live at Media Island on 1/27/2015. All other tracks were recorded in Icarus’s bathroom during the spring of 2015.

Mixed and mastered by Scott using GarageBand and Audacity.

All of the aforementioned shenanigans took place in Olympia, Washington.

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Scott Steven Erickson Olympia, Washington

Upbeat, quirky, and just a tad bit nihilistic.

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Track Name: A Pervert's Guide to Avoiding Loneliness
I’m too kinky for FetLife
I’m not husband material
My innermost desires are illicit and venereal
I’ve sold my underwear to a man in Luxembourg
My sex life could be diagnosed as a theatre of the absurd

I need a pervert’s guide to avoiding loneliness

I love the bears and otters
But I’ll sometimes go for twinks
Any body type is beautiful
Especially when it stinks!
I like men of many different shapes and shades and demographics
I like boys who make collages of National Geographics
Philosophers, photographers
Blue, white, or pink collars
It doesn’t matter much to me whether they are dropouts or scholars

I need a pervert’s guide to avoiding loneliness

I’ve been dumped due to differences in class
I’ve been dumped by guys who didn’t like my cats
But the biggest deal-breakers that I’ve ever seen
Were from dudes who couldn’t handle my polyamory
‘Cause I’m a slut who is versatile and has many tastes
And I don’t like opportunities to go to waste
And I might be incapable of monogamy
But rest assured, my sluttiness is done ethically

Now that doesn’t mean that I’m incapable of love
Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t value your uniqueness
Now that doesn’t mean that I can’t handle commitment
All it means is I need a pervert’s guide to loneliness
Track Name: Gaytheist
Steve got kicked out of the Garden of Eden
That was the same year I got estranged from church
In both cases the crimes were blasphemy
And third degree, premeditated sodomy

‘Cause Mother Nature loves us
But God kinda hates us
I just wish Yahweh would go suck a cock!

So this alienated teenager tried witchcraft for a while
But got occult mixed up with regular cult
Then agnosticism fit the bill for his noncommittal mind
He thought his religious views could not be defined
But then at twenty-seven, he finally realized
He could no longer let the truth be disguised
Yahweh’s homophobia was not just from being a douchebag
It was internalized hatred
Because God is a fag!
Jehovah made the rainbow sparkle, shine with radiance
Which should be enough validation for one to be a gaytheist

‘Cause Mother Nature loves us
But God kinda hates himself
I just wish Yahweh would go suck more cock!

Yahweh should suck more cock, more cock
Yahweh should suck more cock, more cock
Maybe if he had more butt sex, he wouldn’t be so uptight
And his idiotic followers’ claims could not be justified
He’d rewrite the hate speech in Leviticus and Deuteronomy
And rethink his previous objections to sodomy

‘Cause Mother Nature loves us
But God kinda hates us
I just wish Yahweh would go suck more dick!
Track Name: The Genius Song
Geniuses don’t get chosen by natural selection
They’re just a dying breed whose genes often don’t get passed along
They’re usually quite eccentric, so they don’t attract a mate
Or they don’t reproduce due to ethical choice
Or they’re queer, or they’re celibate

‘Cause geniuses are the ones
Who make the world turn
But they’re also the first to get thrown on the pyre
Every time that the world starts to burn

The ignorant and the ordinary are the ones who spread the most seed
Which apparently means they’re the ones with the most successful genes
With tweens and toddlers and buns in the oven, they produce the most offspring
Susan B. Anthony and Tchaikovsky were probably genetic freaks!

‘Cause geniuses are the ones
Who make the world turn
But they’re also the first to get thrown on the pyre
Every time that the world starts to churn

The powerful are not of the genius genus
They’re simpletons overcompensating for a quite small penis
Besides, geniuses wouldn’t want a position of power
They’re smart enough to realize that the results often go sour
But just imagine if a genius reigned and benefacted harmony
Just imagine for a fleeting moment what a better world it would be!

But geniuses are the ones
Who make the world turn
But they’re also the first to get thrown on the pyre
Every time that the world starts to burn (churn, etc.)
Track Name: Martyrs to Salary
I haven’t worked on art since I got this job
I haven’t had the time to complete a song
Just a few snippets of half-assed poetry
But nothing worth keeping
I get texted and called in on my days off
It seems I’m perpetually on call
It’s been a crash course in learning how
To assert my boundaries

But the triumphs of the labor movement cannot be
Lost on the martyrs to salary
I refuse to let the reversal of labor history
Happen to me

In the human services, it’s usually so
That the most compassionate are often those
Who are overworked, and the ones who get roped
Into pulling others’ weight
When they’ve already given all their share
And of their burnout, they are keenly aware
It’s the double-edged sword that accompanies
A strong work ethic

But the triumphs of the labor movement cannot be
Lost on the martyrs to salary
I refuse to let the reversal of union history
Trample me

So what ever happened to the 8-hour day?
And whatever happened to holiday pay?
Or compensation for 60-hour weeks?
Or a guaranteed weekend at the very least?!

In most other countries, this isn’t allowed
Where their labor laws are clearly avowed
French employers can’t demand more than 35 hours
But not in the USA
Where the American Dream is, for most, an illusion
And personal balance is just a delusion
Where most of our workers come to the conclusion
That their lives are not their own

But the triumphs of the labor movement cannot be
Lost on the martyrs to salary
I refuse to let the reversal of labor history
Trample me
I will be free
I said I will be free!!!
Track Name: Election Day
The gas prices go down
As Election Day comes up
To appease those remaining voters
And get them buttered up

All the elected officials
Start to feel anxieties
Will they get reelected?
Or get duped by the opposite party’s schemes?

There are but two political parties
In true dichotomy style
Two sides to the same coin
Two sections split by one aisle

Each side picks one contestant
From a narrow, privileged pool
Who can bring the big bucks?
And be the biggest corporately-sponsored tool?

On the surface, each contestant
Must look squeaky-clean
No history of Mary Jane
Or anything even remotely obscene!

You see, the American public
Just won’t tolerate
Anyone but a Christian
With a moralistic, empty clean slate

But once the contestants fool them
To believe in their facades
The people will bow down again
To those twisted demigods

Never mind their records
Might be tainted with war crimes
If it’s not drugs or sex-related
They are A-Okay in the prudish public’s eyes!

And once your foot is in that door
It’s smooth sailing from there
Human rights violations, genocide
Just don’t let them catch your love affair!!

And burn those high school yearbooks
Signed by your stoner peers
Stick to institutional violence
And you just might win an extra four years!!
Track Name: Trans Bogeywoman
“Hide your daughters from that man in the women’s bathroom!!!!!”
Shriek the transphobic, Family-Focused evangelicals in the courtroom
What a way to invalidate – they’ll equate one’s identity with a motive for rape?!

What a desperate scheme, a delusional dream
To try and reclaim the zeitgeist for the Right Wing
But they lost that foothold way back in the 80s
And lost all credibility by blaming the gays
For 9-11, Katrina, and Haiti

So now they’ll refuse to decorate cakes
But they can’t stop the bum rush of weddings for the gays!
They know they’re on the wrong side of history
So, they try to pit the LGB against the T

But we’ll stand strong beside our sisters, brothers, non-binary siblings
And refuse to see them stripped of their dignity
Or forced into scenarios to be faced with bigotry
Sure, restrictions on a bathroom might not seem that evil
Until one remembers “separate but equal”!!

The state can’t dictate who we are in our hearts
Or limit our genders to our reproductive parts
We see this kind of backlash with each social improvement:
An increase in “religious freedom” movements
But that victim mentality must be rearranged
Or else be toppled by unstoppable societal change
Track Name: The Tragedy of the Dakotas
A cloudburst on the Great Plains
An abandoned gas station
Surrounded by the ghosts of bison
Drowned in blood of the Lakota

The tragedy of the Dakotas
Buried hearts and broken treaties
Can we transcend this brutal heritage?
Can we restore our humanity?

A tacky tourist trap
Shadowed by a monument
To genocidal maniacs
Might as well keep Andrew Jackson
On the twenty dollar bill
Seeing as we haven’t cured this
Tendency toward racism
With hatred thrown at Native children
Apartheid in the rural towns
Next to reservations

The tragedy of the Americas
Buried hearts and broken treaties
Can we transcend this brutal heritage?
Can we restore our humanity?

Now travel south a continent
Or sail west across the seas
And you’ll find the same sad story
From the Maya to the Maori
Oppression with guns, germs, and steel
Smallpox blankets to a thousand peoples
With biblical delusions of manifest destiny

The tragedy of the First Nations
Buried hearts and broken treaties
Can we transcend this brutal heritage?
Can we restore our humanity?

Empires rise, empires fall
Empires had their free-for-all
But now it’s time to evolve
Empires strike back, empires stall
Empires can get overhauled
To bring restorative justice once and for all
Track Name: Working Class Grit
I am grateful for my experiences of living in an apartment complex. As a teachers’ kid, I mostly knew the world of cul-de-sacs. Sure, we lived in rentals, and our first house was a double-wide, but growing up I never knew what it was like to share your walls with strangers.

But as a kid, I wouldn’t have noticed the significance. As an adult, I’ve loved this working class grit: hear the neighbors making love, hear them binge on Netflix, see them working on their cars as I feed the washing machine. The one on the right has never really worked, and the dryers will just eat your change unless you set them to extra high heat.

I remember when the cops tiptoed past our window to handcuff the dealer two doors down. I remember the Draconian child-rearing with which I disagreed, or the domestic disputes which still haunt my tender heart. They still haunt my tender heart.

But I also remember seeing kids of different races playing games across the crumbling pavement of the derelict tennis court, shooting hoops in the one basket still standing. Seeing families make a home out of units all the same - some of them had such character with their patio potted plants and cozy grill setups with tacky patriotic decorations.

As I leave this place, it saddens me that I never knew these folks: the quiet nerds who lived next door and had their groceries delivered, or the family who’d have deliciousness wafting out their window after midnight when they finally got home, or all the tattooed young adults living paycheck to paycheck whose lives were probably not all that different from my own. They were probably not all that different from my own.

When I first moved in, I naively thought this was a real chance for community. I’ve always romanticized the idea of a friendly neighborhood with communal block parties and open-door policies. But I should’ve known all along that wouldn’t happen here, seeing as I’ve never experienced that anywhere. Even in trusting hick-town Wyoming, the neighbors still maintained a frosty veneer. I guess in our culture of social distance, proximity’s not enough reason for someone to welcome you in. But I’ll still keep an open heart, just in case.
Track Name: Anti-Thesis
Convictions can be dangerous, so be careful with your certainties
From the Midwest to the Middle East, convictions end in casualties
So I thought I’d use my songs to make a difference
I climbed an ivory tower to fire a dozen insults
A minstrel using intellect as a weapon against convictions
But then I’d crumble and sulk when it felt like no one listened

It’s about time I quit being so serious
And realize my songs aren’t a thesis

I wrote songs like academic texts
Stanzas fact-checked
Proofread coda signs
Spell-checked chorus lines
Online view count obsessions
Peer reviewed chord progressions
All with the intent as nothing more than sounding smart
‘Til the end result
Sounds nothing like
An actual piece of art

It’s about time I quit being so serious
And realize my songs aren’t a thesis

So who cares if my songs appear anecdotal?
I’m not a scientist, I’m simply a yokel
Who wants to use my songs to exude joy
Without necessarily proving a point.
Track Name: Vitamin D
There’s an afterglow when returning to your regular life
After a night of coming close to the life for which you actually strive
So now I’m trying to figure out just why I’m in this funk
Despite good friends, the weekend, and getting slightly drunk
Connecting to an audience, a spectacular performance
Now I’m wondering why these passions must return to lying dormant?

Maybe it’s my job, the most obvious scapegoat?
My consolation prize for not making it as an artist
With dreams turned to hobbies, labor turned to rent
Feeling burnt out from all the efforts that I’ve spent
Sacrificing myself to the daily grind
While after work doing nothing but zoning out behind
A variety of screens in a desperate attempt to unwind
Moratorium on all projects except for the tasks I’ve been assigned

Tell me, how do you find joy in your mid-to-late twenties?

Maybe it’s mental illness, and potential diagnoses?
If I start taking medication will it affect me artistically?
End the ups and downs, be the perfect worker bee
End the sadness but also the impassioned creativity!!
I’m skeptical of pharmaceuticals, as I am of psychiatry
But who’s to say the many ways my life could improve
If I’d only start believing in psychopharmacology?

Tell me, how do you find joy in your mid-to-late twenties?

Maybe it’s my love life, and related neuroses?
Worried I’m being too aloof, worried I’m being too clingy!
My fatalistic expectations that it eventually must end in misery
Getting hung up on the details, wondering why he didn’t kiss me?
Or if I should take it as a sign that he forgets our plans so many times!
And though he’s claimed repeatedly to be alright with polyamory
Who’s to say he will not be exactly like the previous three
Who claimed that was their deal-breaker after months of relating openly?

Tell me, how do you find joy in your mid-to-late twenties?

Maybe it’s my diet, or my erratic patterns of sleep?
But it’s hard to be regular with the hectic hours I keep
None of which is improved by the quantities I drink!
Or maybe it’s all just the Pacific Northwest?
And my resulting severe lack of Vitamin D!