Puppies Are Nature's Rainbows

by Dr. Something

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    High-bias translucent blue cassette tape with hand painted/block printed label and vibrant, full-color cover. Limited edition of 50 cassettes!

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credits

released December 2, 2014

All songs written, produced, recorded and mixed by Alison Dennis in a bedroom and a garage, with drum recording assistance from Mike Chastain
Mastered by Gus Elg at Sky Onion Mastering

Alison Dennis: vocals, piano/keyboards, clarinet, tenor saxophone, bass, acoustic guitar, accordion, programmed drums, and cover art

Mike Chastain: Drums

Special thanks to Jason Ferris for letting me use his garage, and to Jake, Jason, Joanie, Kevin, Martin, and Mike for songwriting and recording advice and encouragement.

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Dr. Something Portland

Dr. Something, a.k.a. Alison Dennis, is a singer-songwriter based in Portland, OR. Former projects include Dr. Something & the Pipin’ Hot Love Engines, and Coney Island Cartel. She currently plays keyboards in the band All I Feel Is Yes and has performed ad hoc clarinet and/or piano with Y La Bamba, Spirit Duplicator (née Celesteville), Pokey Twig, Audie Darling, Leonard Mynx, and Cozmo Jethro. ... more

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Track Name: Marvin Cone
The oily clouds last night reminded me of Marvin Cone
And all his paintings of big sky at the Cedar Rapids art museum,
I wondered, was he ever jealous of Grant Wood
For being much more famous than him,
While rendering an Iowa thunderhead as none other could?

The war they used to call great, and his skills as a Francophone
Brought him to France in the army, then art school in Montpellier,
But soon he left the warm shores of South France,
Went back to Cedar Rapids again,
Became a local hero and stayed there for the rest of his life

As a Regionalist, his work was the cream of the crop,
Vibrant landscapes and skyscapes, and dark farmhouse corridors,
And how I wish the rolling hills of his heartland
Still looked as he had captured them,
And not just ADM signs in a monoculture ocean of corn
Track Name: Life Inside
Rest in your cave in the sky,
It breathes hollow and dry,
Silent ghost by your side
Chilly chassis of chrome
Helps you feel right at home,
Keep life safely inside

Life inside, death in light

Parsing the glow for a sign
Someone’s on the other side
Of these vacant, noisy wires,
But they’ve no shits left to give
It’s your own hell to live,
Your own stifled desire

Life inside, death in light
Track Name: Clackamás o Menos
Any day in Clackamas, a junkie enters the bike path from another dimension
Just dodging a buzzing swarm of flying road bikes through benign intervention
Likewise, the peleton faces a narrow escape at the very next crossing
Some asshole in an Escalade runs the light, but the cyclists swerve just in time
To remain alive,
Just scraping by

C-L-A-C-K-A… más o menos
Hey, are you doing Okay? Más o menos
Are you okay? ¿Estás bien?
Más o menos
C-L-A-C-K-A… más o menos
It’s hard to tell some days, más o menos
Are we okay? ¿Estamos bien?
Más o menos

Best to stay behind steel and glass, these roads and paths are no place for frail human bodies
Concrete cascades through the trees, wraps the fields and the hillsides in motorized moats
Spending all day in a cubicle, spending all day in the strip mall making food slop for strangers,
Gazing so longingly across the freeway
At beautiful mountains,
Close, as the crow flies into the windshield

C-L-A-C-K-A… más o menos
Hey, are you doing Okay? Más o menos
Are you okay? ¿Estás bien?
Más o menos
C-L-A-C-K-A… más o menos
It’s hard to tell some days, más o menos
Are we okay? ¿Estamos bien?
Más o menos

So we'll take what we can get
Lower expectations till they're met
Subsistence levels of joy and human contact

C-L-A-C-K-A… más o menos
Hey, are you doing Okay? Más o menos
Are you okay? ¿Estás bien?
Más o menos
C-L-A-C-K-A… más o menos
It’s hard to tell some days, más o menos
Are we okay? ¿Estamos bien?
Más o menos
Track Name: Crying in a Cubicle
My phone's been dead for days,
Got no calls anyway,
And nothing to say
There is no silence here,
Not like when I'm home,
But still I feel just as alone

It's so crowded and desolate
Crying in a Cubicle
Keep it soft and respectable
Bleed out with no mess
The patter of clicking keys
And glow of computer screens
Brings solitude without solace

And since I have to stay,
I'll just pull through the day
As muted tears fall
There's so much work to do,
Guess I'll just make do
Cloaked by these modular walls

It's so crowded and desolate
Crying in a Cubicle
Keep it soft and respectable
Bleed out with no mess
The patter of clicking keys
And glow of computer screens
Brings solitude without solace
Track Name: Nothing Changes
I love you the way only a fool could love you
You haunt me as only a fresh apparition could do

You tear out of meat swaddling
Still green and segmented
And no one knows or gives a shit why
Crawl around, hug the ground,
Where you'll go, where you're from
Sometimes nothing changes your life,
Sometimes nothing changes your life

You trace silhouettes so your world won't be invisible
I silence myself so I may covertly observe
Leaning translucent bristles
Bundle tight but that doesn't
Mean our lives will ever be so aligned
Just a brush and a brush,
Side by side, nothing more
Sometimes nothing changes your life
Sometimes nothing changes my life

I love you the way only a fool could love you
Track Name: Life Is Good when You Have an Accordion
Life is good when you have an accordion
In your arms to hold and squeeze
Life is good when you've got a grand piano
To play all day, to tinkle and tease

Give us some keys, if you please,
Hammers and reeds, oh yes indeed!
Come sing along, squeeze and tinkle this song
Spread it everywhere like an infectious disease

Ooooh ooooh aaaah
Ooooh ooooh aaaah
Ooooh ooooh aaaah
Ooooh ooooh aaaah

Life is good when you have an accordion
In your arms to hold and squeeze
Life is good when you've got a grand piano
To play all day, to tinkle and tease
Track Name: But Not for Us
The cat’s in the cold cuts, she’s resourceful that way
There is nothing I can do, the world is her footpath
The brakes on my bike just gave out in the rain,
So I decided to hold on for dear death,

‘Cause the best minds have been bought,
Then destroyed, then laid off,
Then replaced with less expensive models.
The best we can do now
Is watch waters rise and then
Laugh at our obsolete goals

The cat’s in the pantry, and the fish are on their own,
Adrift in this world, with no corporate sponsor
The stakes got so high that they toppled to the ground,
Now we’re alone in our fight to stick together.

‘Cause the best minds have been bought,
Then destroyed, then laid off,
Then replaced with less expensive models.
The best we can do now
Is watch waters rise and then
Laugh at our obsolete goals

I bet we’ll miss being human,
Miss our power of language,
But some DNA must linger
As life carries on
Track Name: Not Amused
I can’t keep bending this way, I’m gonna break,
And I’m already feeling sore
Your stage directions are wearing me down,
Can’t play this part anymore
‘Cause I’m not a muse, and I’m not amused,
I’m not gonna wait here all night long
There’s no use in molding me to fit where I don’t belong

I’m bowing out; this is the end,
I’m done reading this script you’ve penned
It’s not like I’ve no other choice,
I’ve got my own words and my own voice,
I’ve got my own words and my own voice

I’m weary of this Pygmalion trope
It will do little to change my taste
Now I’ve got plans that you won’t appreciate,
And I won’t let them go to waste
‘Cause I’m not a muse, and I’m not amused,
I’m not gonna wait here all night long,
You won't mold me to fit where I don’t belong

I’m bowing out; this is the end,
I’m done reading this script you’ve penned
It’s not like I’ve no other choice,
I’ve got my own words and my own voice,
I’ve got my own words and my own voice

I can’t keep bending this way, I’m gonna break,
And I’m already feeling sore
Track Name: Puppies Are Nature's Rainbows
Puppies are nature's rainbows
And kittens are gifts from evolution
And otters with dripping whiskers
Can calm your heart, please your brain
Why not dream through the pain?

When you are barfing and groaning and sore,
Just think of things that you adore
It might not make you feel better, but it could,
So dream of blithe contrivances galore
Cute fuzzy creatures and visions of love,
A placid lake, or roaring waterfall,
That which is calm or exciting and fun
Can soothe you when you're in illness's thrall

'Cause puppies are nature's rainbows
And kittens are gifts from evolution
And otters with dripping whiskers
Can calm your heart, please your brain
Why not dream through the pain?

Popsicle sunsets precede lollipop moons
And cotton candy clouds that taste so fine
There is so much celestial crap
That you can cram with sugar in your mind
But I suppose if nausea's your curse,
These images won't seem so sweet
Let's turn our focus to other glad thoughts
With positivity we can't be beat

What's that you say?
My advice is null,
'Cause phantom jackhammers
Keep pounding your skull,
That my platitudes
Incite rage and not hope,
This isn't helping you to cope,

But puppies are nature's rainbows
And kittens are gifts from evolution
And otters with dripping whiskers
Can calm your heart, please your brain
Why not dream through the pain?
Track Name: Shitsplosion at the Lloyd Center Macy's
Should not have eaten spurious leftovers,
But that’s hard to remedy now
I caught the westbound MAX at an inopportune time,
And now I’d better think fast lest I shit my pants

I wish we hadn’t just left Hollywood,
There’s a grocery store right near there
We were headed downtown, where public restrooms are so scarce,
But at the Lloyd Center stop, I knew I had my chance

It was gonna be a shitsplosion at the Lloyd Center Macy’s
Gotta look nonchalant and make a beeline to the bathroom
It was the first sign I saw in this god-forsaken mall,
May I please my salvation in its waste disposal station,
I prayed to the void!

So I bolted ‘cross the grass of the dingy park
With an awkward and penguin-like gait
Toward that red-labeled concrete slab just to the North,
And then I entered that box of bright lights, perfume and socks

It was gonna be a shitsplosion at the Lloyd Center Macy’s
Gotta look nonchalant and make a beeline to the bathroom
It was the first sign I saw in this god-forsaken mall,
May I please my salvation in its waste disposal station,
I prayed to the void!

Tried to downplay my sweat and my urgency,
Feigned some interest in the housewares,
I caught the escalator while avoiding strangers’ stares
Then in the corner I saw the loveliest sight of all

It was time for a shitsplosion at the Lloyd Center Macy’s
Gotta look nonchalant and make a beeline to the bathroom
I made it just in time to save these lucky pants of mine
I truly found salvation in this waste disposal station

And there I reached a place of sweet relief,
Where my previous worries were expelled from my soul
Sure, there was pain, but it mercifully subsided
When I’d cleansed my body and accomplished my goal