Alexander the Great — Act 2

by HUCK

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Ben Walker
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Ben Walker I've seen Huck sing "Xander" live a few times, and always wondered how it would work recorded. Now I know, and it's splendid. Favorite track: Xander.
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05:27
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about

HUCK & THE XANDER BAND

present

ALEXANDER THE GREAT: A FOLK OPERETTA

ACT 2: Xander; Letter from Louise; Statement after a Death; Thanks But No Thanks.

Written by Humphrey ‘Huck’ Astley.

('Letter from Louise' references 'A Cap to Wear in Both Worlds' by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī. 'Thanks But No Thanks' quotes ‘I Whistle a Happy Tune’ by Oscar Hammerstein.)

Huck — vocals, rhythm guitar.
Jamie Cooper — lead guitar.
Billy Quarterman — bass guitar.
Tommy Longfellow — drums.

Co-produced and engineered by Richard Neuberg at Strawhouse Studios, Fencott.
Mixed by Jimmy Hetherington at PCE Audio, Oxford.
Mastered by Tim Turan at Turan Audio, Oxford.

Thanks to Seb Reynolds, Tom Sharp, Matt Halliday, Simon Minter, Pier Corona, The PRS for Music Foundation, and The Cambridge Junction.

Special thanks to everyone who has faith in this project.

© 2014 Operetta Records / PinDrop ProDuctions

[Press/bookings: seb@pindroppublicity.com]

credits

released February 27, 2014

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HUCK Oxford, UK

Humphrey ‘Huck’ Astley, poet-singer-songwriter and musician with The Epstein and Crandle. Pamphlet 'The Gallows-Humored Melody' coming this Fall with the Albion Beatnik Press. The Epstein's 'Burn the Branches' available here: theepstein.bandcamp.com ... ... more

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Track Name: Xander
I was a bored little boy who emptied the Hell out of Pandora's Box,
The Hell out of Pandora's Box and it burned up the City I loved,
Till nothing was left but a Church and a TV and a fucking Starbucks,
And I understood why St Thomas Aquinas said knowledge was dangerous stuff.

So I came to NOLA and swapped the Inferno for the Flood,
The Inferno for the Flood and surfed a mattress right to the top
Of this empty hotel full of boxcar kids for a family caked in mud,
And nobody tells the End of the World when to stop.

They call me Xander, Xander the Great,
From the Lone, the Lone Star State.
Well they drink to my past,
While I spit out my fate.

We go down to Checkpoint’s and hustle beer money out of the tourists,
Beer money out of the tourists playing on the pool table.
Johnny sits in the corner and sings out the scores like a Greek Chorus.
We go back to the Bird’s Nest and get as high as the Tower of Babel.

When the kids are in bed, Johnny gives me the eye and tries to get friendly,
The eye and tries to get friendly talking life imitating art.
“If you’re Peter Pan leading the Lost Boys, I guess that makes me Wendy!”
And he sings me to sleep before the homesickness starts.

They call me Xander, Xander the Great,
From the Lone, the Lone Star State.
Well it ain’t my fault
If I arrived a little late.

(I had that dream again last night —
The fire skipped across the sand
And slipped into my daddy’s car,
Whistling, whistling through the cracks.)

What if we don’t wanna be saved?

They call me Xander, Xander the Great,
From the Lone, the Lone Star State.
Well they drink to my past,
While I spit out my fate.
Track Name: Letter from Louise
“Dear Alex, you’ve hurt us all real bad this time.
Your Father’s a broken man, but claims he’s fine.
He asked me if I knew where you’d be found — I guess I lied.
My Momma had so much concern for him, she prayed and cried

“But anyway,
I know you felt that you just couldn’t stay
And face a punishment everyday.

“That rumor you heard is not to be believed,
Though sometimes I wish it was, so I could leave.
I’m not gonna ask you to save yourself for such a girl,
But you’re not the only one losing faith between two worlds.

“Rumi once said,
There is a passion that need not be fed
By anyone at all, live or dead — so he said!”

Johnny, stop rolling your eyes…
Track Name: Statement after a Death
Well I found him with his eyes rolled back into his head.
He was lying like a Painted Angel on the bed.
I said, Johnny, what’s the story? You slept through Labor Day!
And I told him what he’d missed, till there was nothing left to say.

Then my eyes fell on a needle dangling from his arm,
And before I thought of freedom, I sounded the alarm.
So the paramedics came, then you Boys in Blue arrived.
Now I’m held here in this station, hoping Johnny’s still alive.

Is it true, sir? Has my Dad come all this way to gloat?
Where’s the good cop from the movies to wrap me in his coat?
You’re not shepherding the helpless — you want someone to blame.
If you wanna know the truth, I wish I’d never said my name.

If my Father’s on the other side of that door,
You can tell him I don’t want no bail, Officer.
Track Name: Thanks But No Thanks
I could deny myself everything I want,
And then blame everybody else for why I’m a cunt.
I could look at the World around me
As a whorehouse that surrounds me,
At infection as the price of having fun.

Made ill but made to be well.
Gimme medicine before I go to Hell.
Do the dance they call Descent of Man.

My soul is mine or it ain’t.
Help yourself to the lives of the Saints.
Keep me out of that old Master Plan.

I could destroy myself every single night,
But the End of the World would shit me out in the light.
I could make it a solemn habit
To follow the white rabbit,
But I wonder when I’d learn that vermin bite?

Today I’m taking my leave.
Party’s over and it’s time for me to grieve.
Nothing like a song to mark the end.

'Whenever I feel afraid, I hold my head erect
And whistle a happy tune, so no one will suspect
I'm afraid…'