On Sleep Lab

by The Stairs

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1.
Don't Abandon Your Band don't abandon your band and leave them alone to fend for themselves and don't you cry for you dog he lived a good life and now he's running somewhere else somewhere else somewhere else don't write me off today the chances are slim but I am making a comeback hold off on all the call to inform the spanish halls I might be performing somewhere else somewhere else somewhere else look out below here we come don't be so quick to show that we are done we are still one and though you run here we come
2.
Welcome to Confusion welcome to confusion welcome to the dance where there's only one song and it goes on and on and you don't stand a chance welcome to heartbreak welcome to the show where you're crying out loud in the gathering crowd and there's no one you know welcome to the train wreck to the end of the line to the end of the rope that is strangling the hope that is mangling your mind welcome to disaster to the game of the ghost where each mistake made is a compliment paid to the implacable host chorus: oh, what a beautiful feeling oh, at the end of all days oh, when your senses are reeling be grateful that you won't go through it again I am the anger that will not subside the thorn that is driven the word that is written deep on the inside I am the insight from which you must flinch when you've finally found you've been standing your ground because you can't move an inch chorus I am mediocrity I am your best friend I am that which will guide you and will walk beside you to embitter your end I am the answer I make everything clear I am everything I am everyone Babe, I am nowhere I am the confluence (in your heart, in your heart) I am the dissonance (in your heart, in your heart)
3.
Escape Clause Magician steps into a photo booth he's taking pictures to remind you that not every illusion's untrue I drag a sun spot down to your door I translate tv for the girl with the cough and mark the days as the tattoos rub off now the committee suspects I've gone soft I drag a sink hole out of the ground I know you hate this moon marching holiday and the potion convertor's wife May I know the names of six hundred sixty six stars and men who's allegience leaves scars escape, escape clause a tribe of half men live under the bridge killing rabbits to feed all their kids I'm living with them till they set of the squibs and they abandon the company store hieroglyphics appear in my x-rays my flight for Egypt takes off at 8 there's a man who can decipher I pray I'm a vessel for somebody's code (Chorus)
4.
These Damn Hands who hid the widow at the bottom of the well? who put the snowstorm inside the snail shell? and where is the man who says he don't give a damn what they say, what they say? where is the doctor, the actor, the thief? the competent critic? the confident priest? the sky is a color that no one can name, who's to blame, who's to blame? chorus: well, don't you blink when I shake hands with you you don't know what these damn hands can do who put the crow in the president's bed? who put the camera in the schoolgirl's head? and who are the ones who make you cover your eyes when they pray, when they pray? who taught the river to strangle the child? who tamed the lion, made the sparrow go wild? and who lost the world to find out the way, yes, the way, yes, the way? chorus I will take you down to the factory floor I will thresh you clean and clear and what's more I will make you wear my golden ring and I will teach you to sing I am waiting now I am waiting (for you) don't look away when I shake hands with you you don't know what these damn hands can do
5.
This Town Let Me Down "Thank you very much. It's delightful to be here." I hate it when you're alive I smear myself with honey from places even bees don't hide and hidden camera hookers travel the world by train I'm in love with a monster endlessly destined for the drain and you my friend are impossibly against everything but when you wear a green tuxedo you dance where they tell you to sing so erase all thoughts of racing home to cut off the king make your home on a star, as Mary Anna Lizbeth grows wings, she's the overseer of precious things now into the river's eye we shake like some paper taped to a car passing by and expert animators think they know which way we move I'm a sucker for sequels and here comes the one where we lose a piano grand where every single key turns to black a hopeful frequent loser makes his presence known from the back it's the way he moves that suggests he might turn and attack greet your new home Mary Anna this is where we finally unpack can everybody hear me in back? "Another year is to pass before I come of age. Come back at Thanksgiving. Return to me at Thanksgiving. Then I will answer."
6.
Smoking Armada So long we were undoubtedly strong, drawing on what we could draw and looking tanks in the nose. Who knew that it could tumble so soon, that change withers in a moment? Long days, we didn't take any pay, said what they told us to say-- it was the least you could do! My girl, you were the rest of the world; your face didn't leave a moment... Come down, deliverer, and see what we've done! Come down, deliverer, and take your place! Too late--they didn't offer to wait. They took you out of my side, just like a rib in a book, and what returned to face me was understood not to be the same thing. So long I wondered where I went wrong. I lifted up to the throne whatever jewels were around: no answer. But it's better to dance in chains, waiting for a moment! 1917 or 18, Gregorian or Julian, numbers bring me down. '68 was almost all right: paintings in the moonlight, calling down the smoking armada.
7.
Not Sorry 04:23
Not Sorry tell me your secret just before you go there's still a few things I'd like to know if I ever learned to play your game, would you see fit to give me back my name? I know it looks like I still care But see my eyes, how I'm not there and I'm not sorry I know that you must think it cheap we all must sow what others reap but I'm not sorry you want a chance to be someone you want a new sky with a modern sun you want salvation, want to go somewhere you want the boyfriend with the real cool hair well, I've seen that look somewhere before on someone walking out the door but I'm not sorry in the heart where feelings smart all things must end, girl, before they start and I'm not sorry chorus: let's smoke a joint let's get real high let's go to bed inside your sleepy head, girl count my fingers, pick your favorite one let's call Johnny up and have some fun I guess I'll see you somewhere around wherever they bring out the frowns I hope that you feel better now that you've become the golden cow and I'm not sorry yes, I've heard about your fucked up head but like you heard it said I'm not sorry
8.
The Psychic's Wrong Again analog park is violent after dark so always stay on guard and rush across the yard our cargo is human that's why the lights are dim they hate the way I drive with every thought they hide who lets you rattle like electric bird cage? an electric bird cage we're all living in a hospital we're all changing our names we all make each other breakfast the psychic's wrong again she's wrong again she's wrong again she's wrong again the typewriter's sting the telephone's ring the clock's aggressive tick the candle's burning wick the table and the chair the car beyond repair the white picket jail the hammer and the nail this is the story of a foreign air raid and the settlers who stayed they're all living in a hospital they're all changing their names they're all here to make you breakfast the psychic's wrong again and we're just rattling trying to make some noise the cello, the trumpet, the crowd is here by force good blood on bad days the air raid shook our town camera then action in traction the curtain comes down who lets you rattle like electric bird cage? an electric bird cage we're all living in a hospital we're all changing our names we all make each other breakfast on sleep lab on sleep lab on sleep lab on sleep lab the psychic's wrong again
9.
Oh! Sunday Morning there's a light that's shining, Sunday morning it's where I want to be where the river meets the trees the sun is singing all over me there's a house in the valley, reeling with the feeling of the people inside see the laughing bride see the young man drunk on his pride chorus I want to stay here the rest of my life you know this time, well, I feel all right there's a cloud of bluebirds up in the grey sky moving like a dream you know that I believe at last, the world is happening to me and at night there's a rhythm to the darkness pulling like a train it let's me know I'm home it tells me so that I'm not alone chorus and from my rocking chair, I'll send you letters, dear to let you know that I'm thinking of you the springtime is so clear, we all wish that you were here the tall green grass is whistling for you there's a church made of flowers, high on a mountain it's Sunday morning, all right, and every spark of light is like a prayer, it's perfect and bright chorus
10.
Fireflies (November 10th) It's a decent day for November 10th weeks of driving rain fell across my bed and I know a girl who wears tight eyes and she never goes outside and she never goes to school and I know a boy who wears stocking feet and he never calls his mom and he's sorry for it all day long and I dream one day they go outside walking in their little night time lines dream they touch a flower blooming encased by the falling snow when it goes oh baby it goes in dirty fog sometimes I feel I'm enclosed in dirty fog cause the city feels like a knife tonight and I'll never go outside and I'll never go to school cause I've been reading books and I've got ten shelves left words will kill me someday and then I'll gently slip away oh how easy it is to gently slip away! oh how easy it is to gently slip away! And at night I dream of places in the sky where the shadows fall in even lines and the night time is for fireflies night time is for fireflies night time is for fireflies night time is for fireflies
11.
Bug Hospital 01:50
12.
Einstein & His Enemies Today I'd like to go away and tomorrow to return Mahatma cabbie driving me to hotspots in New York it's alright let's go with the batty boxed in relatives painted post our host let's not be short with the thanks and honor every rivalry Einstein and his enemies bleeding fangs and skeleton keys Einstein's early memories don't choke boats float down the sinewy seaweed stream open book take a look you'll find yourself in the strangest places here I stand compass in hand fixed for fighting nights waltzing on the balsa wood at the most deadly height photo shop, 1 hour here's your relativity speed of light goodnight I promise not to fall apart
13.
Crooked Horse I'm going out riding on my crooked horse I'm going out riding on my crooked horse for she's the one who tracks a steady course through the debris of my divorce I will meet you at the drunken house I will meet you at the drunken house and as you pray facing the south quiet as a mouse, I will sell you out sometimes I feel like a loaded man a broken can, a telegram sometimes I fly into the wind until the flies fly back again out in the sea in a little boat out in the sea in a little boat or deep in the woods, in some tiny grove I will share with you my treasure trove and we will live like a king and queen yes, we will live just like a king and a queen we'll make a bed out of the forest leaves and my crooked horse will lie down in between chorus I hear you calling out strong and loud I hear you calling out both strong and loud and though the world is mighty proud my crooked horse, well she's fallen down who blew out the candle? who blew out the candle? who blew out the candle? who blew out the candle? I am a witness to the times, I am a witness to your crimes, I am a witness to your lies and all the guys you left behind and looking at you now and laughing all the while my crooked horse will smile his crooked horsey smile go, horse!
14.
We're So Underground We're Practically In Japan you could leave but what would Helen think of you she's so down with everything you damn kids do I myself economize my words it's true oh no, here comes the worst days all over again there's a bird bodied doctor in the south who's assembled teams to monitor my mouth he suspects there's more then there is coming out "hey doc, I need time to take this all in" we're so underground we're practically in Japan if you can't stop at least throw up your hands and wave to everybody in the band it's not clear if their heads are in the sand but I hope they play that one song I love moving westward is a hobby during June documenting every step in front of shoes don't forget to glance at what's behind you weave them into one that's advice which I have none we're so underground we're practically in japan (While you were parking the van I came up with a plan how to signal to home that you're still holding his hand are we digging a grave or are we reaching japan? Everyone's so exhausted all this shoveling of sand)
15.
All Hands On Hano Street You imply that houses fly but I know that elevation originates in our toes 100 yards and county barns speckle landscape stately farms our vision can can isolate the dust while every actions traces back to trust hello bedroom hello moon I've missed you how've you been I ask you how's your issues? is it true? the kids alright? The party starts when stars align I know you've come from half way cross the world to sit with me and pass the time with words sparrow, spider, slug and snail sing melodies memorized back in the forteenth century it sounds familiar this I know I'll sing the tenor with the crow this documentary's just about to rust every action traces back to trust here we go, kick start the swoon, you're lovely your tests to fly without balloons impress me all hands on hano street, recruit the people that you meet on your wayward backwards journey to the one who never falters once the seed is spun washed up on town landing lanes my child were fifty men that bathed in zen during trials congress, cowards, courts, await they file in through iron gates represented by a peasant dressed in rags who orders up exhibits from the lab a pedestrian foot bridge covers turnpike I read all of the spray paint from my bike down the slope, look left and right I once fell down and almost died but I've taken hits to the head before and always made it back to my front door

about

"On Sleep Lab feels like an undiscovered rock classic, written about in invisible ink on the pages of a well-worn issue of Rolling Stone." - Erasing Clouds


"The Stairs are a natural treasure." - Nashville Scene


For the complete story please visit : thestairsband.tumblr.com

credits

released May 2, 2005

On Sleep Lab

Produced by The Stairs. Engineered by Darren Ottaviana & Ryan Walsh. Recorded November 2004 - April 2005 @ Moontower Studios, Cambridge, MA & the various safe houses of Allston & Dedham, MA.

The Sleep Lab Staff:
Eric Meyer - Drums, Vibes, Bells, Marimba, Keyboards
Leeore Schnairsohn - Bass, Vocals
Evan Sicuranza - Guitars, Keyboards, Piano, Vocals
Sean Spada - Organ, Moog, Piano, Keyboards
Ryan Walsh - Guitars, Keyboards, Piano, Melodica, Samples, Vocals

Sleep Lab Assistants:
Shanti Archer (Flute on 9), David Bentley(Cello on 1,2,5, & 8), Natalia Cooper (Vocals on 7 & 14), Tyler Derryberry (Melodica on 9 & 14), Kristina Johnson (Vocals on 5), Quentin Lewis (Banjo on 7, Vocals on 1), Matt Parish (Vocals on 15), Aaron Perrino (Vocals on 12),

Lab Manager: Priyanka Dewan
Lab Archivist: Stuart Von Stein
Web Presence: Ben Chappel
Art Layout: Ryan Walsh & Aaron Perinno

All Songs Copyright 2005 Summer Is Loaded Music
All Songs Written by The Stairs

Thank You: Edward Morneau, Chris Macek, Hugh McDonough, Neal Block, Ben Chappel, David Mogolov, David Berman, Okkervil River, Shearwater, Minus Story, Choo Choo La Rouge, Machine Go Boom, Water School, Soltero, Bop the Curtain, Ho-Ag, Roh Delikat, David Lowery, Ernesto Gianola, Emma Westling, Bethony & Scott from CD Spins, John Ling, Rob Johanson, Kendall Smith, Rynne Smith, and all our families, friends, & loved ones. To all those who played and/or listened: This album is for you. Thank you!

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The Stairs Dedham, Massachusetts

In 2001 three friends from Dedham, Massachusetts were awarded a cultural grant. They decided to record an album that included everyone in their town that wanted to participate. The finished album was released under the name The Stairs. This is what they made. ... more

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