Welcome to Hard Times

by The Demigs

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    full color gatefold double LP w/ lyrics printed on record sleeves
    limited edition white vinyl labels hand-stamped and autographed by each band member (only 40 available)

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    2-disc cardboard gatefold w/ full color 4-panel insert

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about

Together with I Love Math Records, The Demigs unveil their third album, Welcome to Hard Times. Interspersing straightforward rock and roll with lush soundscapes, this double LP traverses through and beyond the human condition, while grappling with life in 21st century middle-class America. Balancing bleak prophesy with sober acquiescence and a stoic hopefulness, Welcome to Hard Times is a modern classic.

credits

released April 14, 2015

WELCOME TO HARD TIMES

Produced and Mixed by: Chris Demiglio & Alex Hastings
Engineered by: Alex Hastings at Shady Lane, Denton, TX
Mastered by: Garret Haines at Treelady Studios, Wilkins Township, PA

Music by: Chris Demiglio & Alex Hastings
Lyrics by: Chris Demiglio

Chris Demiglio: Vocals, Guitars, & Percussion
Alex Hastings: Guitars, Vocals, Keys, & Glockenspiel
Jason Bacchus: Bass & Vocals
Russ Connell: Drums & Percussion

Additional Players:
Petra Kelly: Violin
Will Kremer: Cello
Scott Danbom: Hammond M3
Jeffrey Barnes: Clarinet
Brandon Dowd: Trumpet & Trombone
Matt Cochran: Saxophone
Annie Ramage: Vocals
LaVinya "V" Coleman: Vocals
Merrie Earnest: Vocals
Matthew Morin: Percussion

Matamoros gang:
Tara Linn Hunter, Megan Storie, Robert Boler, Antonio Nogueras, Merrie Earnest, Brandon Van Noy, Annie Ramage, LaVinya Coleman, and The Demigs

Collages by: Chris Demiglio
Sketches by: Jon Rudin
Layout by: Tesa Morin

℗ © 2015 The Demigs
ILRM013 // I Love Math Records

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Track Name: Welcome to Hard Times (Vacant Houses)
Welcome to hard times
We're living off the grid and out of sight
'Cause we know the side streets and back roads to get us home
As long as we're avoiding encampment firelight
He said good luck to his last of kin
His sole surviving son, his spitting image
And you can't keep wild things
Without spilling blood
Or shedding skin
Or any ease

Change is coming up
Like it or not
Just a head in a line, and it's next on the block
She saw a bandsaw
That will cut the jewelry off
That will cut the jewelry off

You can hush your mouth
You can hide in a bush
You can't take it to heaven
No, you can't take it with you
You can hush your mouth
You can hide in a bush
You can't take it to heaven
No, you can't take it with you

Good morning, Timer
Where will we go?
Looks as though you'll lead the way
Is it a mine? Or could it be worse? Do you have them busy picking out the core of the earth?
Some need somebody to follow if they don't know better first
Goodbye, good ol' days
You left our world like a hand grenade
Now is it divine or is it absurd that the voice we chose to lead us is the loudest one we heard?
We baptized the dead, but it did not work

Days and days and days
All the photos fell like rain
All the photos fell like rain
He saw a chainsaw
That will cut the specters away
That will cut the specters away

You can hush your mouth
You can hide in a bush
You can't take it to heaven
No, you can't take it with you
You can hush your mouth
You can hide in a bush
You can't take it to heaven
No, you can't take it with you

Welcome to hard times
We're living off the grid and out our minds
Wish we knew the side streets and back roads
We got no home...
Track Name: Crossed Out Names
Do what you love before you put both feet in the grave
Well, what if I'm wrong? Well, this is the time to make a mistake
What if I'm right? My presence of mind says, “Put it away.”
We looked at the list of what life promised, then we crossed out our names

It's a no win
It's a no win
It's a no win
It's a no win
But either way, I'm caving in

Mission control, I've lost all control, I'll try to assist
Surely from there the irony's clear. Oh, what did you miss?
The cameras in place, each side of the wreck is captured on tape
They went through the list, the flight manifest, then they crossed out our names

'Cause I can't win
No, I can't win
No, I can't win
No, I can't win
But either way, I'm landing
Track Name: Melamine
The Earth was spurned
From the wreckage of a war and a hurricane
Black vultures like soft-bodied ticks swollen on remains
If you've seen it once, you've seen it a million times
Seldom self-made men admit help of any kind
You'll get no solace here
You'll find no quiet here

Except for the feeling you might be all alone
And singing at the ceiling
Don't tell me that nobody's home
With all the world surrounding us
There's no chance
That this all was happenstance
Tell me how this looked
Before everything changed

Modern day mother's milk mostly measures melamine
Fools the lips but not the belly
If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times
Not to play with guns
Still I hear you whistling down the barrel of a .45
You'll get no comfort here
You'll find no answers here

Except to the questions
You thought you might not ask
When every nerve and notion
Has been put to task
And stretched beyond, beyond
Like wildfires
There's no design
Or reason or rhyme
Tell me where the mountain was
Before we stripped it

This is the death of adventure
There is no wild to discover
El Dorado is pyrite
And every kingdom smolders
Unseen hands
Etch-a-Sketching across the land
This is the end of a century
Things are bad enough
Do we need to add

Melamine?
Couldn't taste a thing
Desperate and haunting
Melamine
Couldn't taste a thing
Melamine
Track Name: Pluto
Can I catch you on the flip side?
An undertow
Has been there waiting
Just off the shore

Can you hiss it to me, hussy?
Like mean girls speak
Don't tell me your forked tongue
Is serpent-chic

Been a little bit of mind rot
And gut rot too
It seems beyond me
To stop their feud

Angry hornets
Are living right up the stairs
Awful neighbors
They sting when they drink and
They share much too much

So now Pluto's not a planet?
Well, I call bullshit
I see no difference
From where I stand

Just another group of assholes
And unchecked black holes
That spin in a circle
At least that's the plan

Life is sweeter than a gingersnap
My honey got her fire back
Then tossed it with the table scraps
And all loose ends

Any moment
The hornets, they might take off
Dropping anvils
It's your head and your heart
Where "X" marks the spot

So now Pluto's just a remnant
A distant fragment
An unseen misfit
But we know it's there
Track Name: Paisley Desert
Chin up and face the music
'Cause lonely things don't die
You're switching up your mates and
If the chips fall where they may, we'll give it one more try
Echoes leave the park
Just like high fashion in the dark
Well, don't touch the lights
Don't touch the lights

I went to find your grave
And remove your name from the lexicon
Of everything that I've given up on
...for now...

Beware the olive groves
The ground swallows like it is sand
It's home to the rotten life and many a man
But if you're lucky, you might get out with youth in hand
Youth in hand

I went to find your stone
And leave one of my own
With the others
That crumble and smother you out

I went to find your tomb
Underneath an abandoned zoo
Where they keep all the things that shouldn't be seen
Track Name: Long Runs the Fox
Sending me out on a dare
Just to watch me struggle
I can't handle the cards
Toughing it out, wear a smirk, watch your mouth, mind your Qs
Then I'm crashing, no guards
Make a nice clean slate for a mind erase and recover
Mission complete, spend a night on the seat
Tune 'em out, and turn it up, if you're taken over

Enjoy the good life
While the getting's still good
Not a bit gets back, and the days don't tack like calendars could

Yeah, I'll change
But history states Rome wasn't built in a day
It took a silvery tongue, dumb muscle, and a sea of people chipping away
It spread like grapevine, left scorched earth and streaked skies wherever they were
The size of the planet, regardless who ran it, the damn thing burned

Enjoy the scenery while the scenery's still here
What a marked up place
There's no room to make your moniker clear

Long runs the fox
Red with white socks
He's cornered
But don't think that he won't bite back
The brass refracting all the summer light
We're getting closer to the end of the line
I'm opposed to being disposed in the manner of being scattered

Well, help is on the way
Try not to look—you're okay...
...with this life?
As it was?
As it is?
As it ever, ever, ever, ever could be?
Track Name: Everything Is a Weapon
Wished you
You could have been there
So I could've kicked your boots off your desk
But you
You vanished to thin air
You're as weak as the tweed and the twill from your vest

Everything is a weapon
From pens to scissors and then
Anything that your hand comes across
Before you pick it up and throw it at them

Eighteen hundred twenty-five days
But what did it get you?
To see the wealth and how it lives
If it makes you feel better
The corporate world is a killer
They want every minute

I think I'll take your head and tie
No need for any silver plate
Just bring your office supplies
And me, I'll bring my brand new paperweight

Everything is a weapon
From pens to scissors and then
Anything that your hand comes across
Before you pick it up and throw it at them
Track Name: Matamoros
Four deadheaded punks were out looking for something to do
Yeah, straight for the border in no specific order
They were all on a mission to
Follow the urge to binge and to purge
Before the semester resumed
O-!
B+!
Atypical and unenthused

About most everything
That isn't already doomed

Climbed inside a hole in the wall
It was $10 for all you could drink
Almost got arrested outside
It was 20 more to bribe the police
Found a hotel
Turned the room into a shell and left a tip for service assumed
It was breakfast in bed
Through the lobby we fled
Looking for the Casa del Ill Repute

Just 'cause we're not from the same cloth
Doesn't mean we're not on the same loom

Just 'cause we're not from the same cloth
Doesn't mean we're not on the same loom

Matamoros!
Thanks for having us!
Matamoros!
Thanks for having us!
Track Name: Pushers & Pullers
Used to collect
All the notes that they'd throw away
Now he's a gent
And he's pitching up the sale of the day
I'll get by so slowly
We're living in an x-ray world gone mad
And there's no sense to any of it

These are the best years
Does it scare you as much as me?
We've lost another rebel
At the entrance of the company
Dying off quicker than a heatwave
It's the way that the working class sleeps
Well, they'll play for yours
But I'll play for keeps

Or would I?
Yes, I would

I'm taking your air
I'm selling your irises to put them on display
Now he's a mint
But he's only giving troubles away
I'll get by, so sorry
We're living in an x-ray hell gone bad
And there's no use to any of it

These are the worst years
Does it kill you as much as me?
We've lost another rebel
To the service of the company
Dying off quicker than a heatwave
It's the way that the middle class sings
Well, they'll play for yours
But I'll play for keeps

Or would I?
Maybe...
Track Name: Henry & Maggie
Henry has gone away for good
Came home sooner than he should and
There he found that his old lady had been messing around
Well, what do you know about that?

Henry quickly blew a fuse
Held her down with everything he had to lose
His knuckles white and blanched
From having just taken a life
But what he saw when he looked back was...

Rorschachs in red
Trail from the living room and
End at the bed
When it's all done and said
Another bird in a pine box
Another snake in the state pen

Maggie longed for something new
With all the eyes of the hometown spies
It begged for someone passing through
No trace, no strings
Don't fly too high with Icarus wings
They fall apart like summer love

Maggie went and lost her will
Infrequently turned to constantly
The callers at the sill
When foolish girls
Think they can have all of the world and
Everything you see within its...

Fine lines are drawn and
Crossed like dry riverbeds
Ignored like a warning call
If she won't last 'til dawn
What will the townies think?
The rumor mill's got the power back on
Track Name: Mr. Timer
His name is Mr. Timer
You should know as much
I'm sure that he knows much the same
His armor's made of diamonds, and he's got that touch
Immune to any trick or trade
"He's a madman,"
The old folks say
"It's a trap, man,"
The kids proclaim

That's why he's off to rule us all
Kings are made of meaner things than wounds with salt

Hey, Mr. Timer, can you spare a sec?
I'm sure that you might have a few
When we're all goners and the last heartbeat's kicked
Will you exist if not in view?
"He's a mean man,"
The girls all say
"He's an old friend,"
The menfolk say
And that's why he'll outlive us all
Every circus needs a master as we travel even faster to the wall
Track Name: Any Other Pattern
Left field/right brain
Start/stop. Long day.
Dogs in the yard
Easy on your heart
Let it go before you lose your skull
Dr.'s orders, play it cool and
Wear this/don't do that
Watch it all on replay, and see right where it's at

Any pattern but the one that she got
Can't keep thinking this way
'Cause she would rather not
Hear one at all, if this is the new beat
Might not sound pretty, but at least it's still working

Right field/left brain
Red/green. Lose/gain.
Medication's laid out
Too quiet without you around
Sweet pea, let me tell you something
This is how I whisper sweet nothings
I've got your back
Doesn't mean I don't love you 'cause I don't use tact

Syncopated—that's the one that she caught
Can't keep talking this way
'Cause she would rather not
Have one at all, “if this is the new me,”
Misery loves company, but does company love misery?
Track Name: Distress Signals
My girl plays guitar but mostly when nobody's home
Yeah, it rips me in half 'cause she don't want to play with me anymore
Old dirt, new skirt, party-burned
At least you've got your chords
I miss talking to you through pedals
So plug into the board

And bring back the girl in the band
I dig the connection
Spare me the sitcom romance and resuscitation
Watch my lungs implode like the sun

My SOS should be heard by every S.O.B. that I know
False advertising
Bait and switch is lying
So get out on the floor
Old hurt, new shirt, take a turn
Before they're not anymore
I miss flirting with you through amplifiers
So rendezvous at the chorus

And give me the girl in the band
And leave the moderation
Tell me that you've got a van
And that we're going

Eastward
Westward
Northward and
Southward
Inward
Outward
Jetward

I miss the girl in the band
Track Name: Dead by Monday
Back off—I'll be dead by Monday
Maybe find us at the side of the freeway
Overdosed on the comatosed, and I feel nothing
Live in the wreck of a Hollywood set
'Cause we're just hiding and blaspheming and fighting

It's 90 miles until the end of the world
Takes 30 seconds to explode
Sounds like a good time, but you best bring a girl
'Cause no one likes a parasite, and you're a parasite if you come alone

Step off—I'm gonna kill on Sunday
Two clichés in an unlit alley, and I'm oversold
On your green and your gold, and I feel lucky
Walking the yard
With the white picket bars
Is enough to get any hands bloody

All we need is a distraction
All we want is just a fix
Cut me up until I'm fractions
Nobody wants to be presumed
But then that's the way we get our kicks

Just a mile until the end of the world
Takes 30 seconds to explode
Sounds like a good time, but you'd best bring a girl
'Cause no one likes a parasite, and you're a parasite if you come alone
Track Name: One Light Year from Now
Oh, what to do
When nothing feels brand new
And everything is beyond passé and worn out shoes
Better than I probably deserve
American complaints in a half-southern twang
Ain't I got the nerve?
Simpletons got smiles second to none
Envious of what naivety does, but I'd hate to rust

Maybe I
Just need one last ride
Through the stratosphere and the unknown fears of a microcosmic life
Anywhere but now and here
And when all of this over
You can meet me in a light year
I'll see you in a light year

Now of the age
Success is measured by wage
Phone in a bluff, I'm absentia
Fortune favors different slaves
Notably
Not where I thought I'd be
Left in the wake of the guilt and the ache
Will it ever ease?
I can mend
The question now is, "When?"
Or does it return like a mark from a burn?
Does it dig itself back in?

Maybe I
Could see you one last time
From the stratosphere, it's crystal clear, it's a microcosmic life
Anywhere but now and here
And when all of this is over
You can meet me in a light year
I'll see you in a light year
You can meet me in a light year
I'll see you in a light year

I'll be there in a light year
I'll be there in a light year
Track Name: Arches
On my hands and knees
Sifting through a sea of pictures
Some faces have moved on
But there's none that I miss like yours

Gonna drive it down the coast
Pack of Parliaments and toast to you
I've been high and I've been low and
I've been lost a time or two

Will you shuffle feet down the aisle
Or will you skip?
Put your troubles in a heap of burning invite slips

We're not getting any younger
Doesn't mean we're growing up
A decade has decayed and gone away
Right in front of us

Gonna drive it out of town
Windows down and arms extended
It takes two falling arches
To keep this bridge suspended

Will you drag your feet down the aisle
Or will you waltz
In the sand or
Concrete slab in the one horse towns we're from?
Track Name: Athena Goes to War
5th and High is covered in snow and
The Baptist Church across the street is the only place I know
Where I can give you my letter
Pull your hand from your yellow sleeve
I haven't lost you yet, but I've been bereaved

While Tommy's dad fakes a suicide
Put a bullet through the wall and lived a week on gin and pride
'Cause that's the way we grew wild out in the sticks

Herald runs the daily: “The Duke is Dead”
A paragraph in the the finest of print that nobody read
Say it on the radio
A hundred thousand watts will do
Coming at you in stereo
Always at full volume

All my friends were living out on the res
Putting every color of warpaint on, but they bet everything on red
'Cause it's here, 'cause it's now, 'cause it's cheap and we're young

Station wagon's cold, and the same song's playing
Way too young to see hearts breaking
Wished that we could've fixed it, but sixth grade hands were tied
Didn't want to walk those steps or pull into the drive
Track Name: Yeller
Looking rather rabid
Been there since birth
Keep her out of habit
'Cause I know what she's worth
Can't parlay a tidal wave
Haven't you heard?
Don't want to teach an old dog new ways to beg for the ten cent cure

So tell me
Where will we be in another twenty years from now?

You've been a good friend
When we were having a ball
You've been the worst friend
But it was probably all my fault
Wonder where the money goes
I've got a good guess
No one really ever knows
No one really ever gets it

What's the next move?
Is there any room?
With seven billion here

Set it on an ice flow
Penny for your two cents
No matter the way the wind blows
It's the current that binds and bends

Yeller
Track Name: Welcome to Hard Times II (Black Cat/White Ghost)
Well, the black cat came home
He was a shadow of his former self
But the same one that I had known
He was as pale as a sheet, as quiet as death, and thin as a rail

We must have walked a million miles
To the edge of the map, through every trap and every maze
Pieces moved from tile to tile
Following me like a rook to a king
We needed the chase

Keep marching on
That's all you're good for
I know that you're not sure
What you're here for

The black cat finally crossed my path
Under a ladder, the mirrors were shattered, now a bad moon will rise
A red coat stretched across my back
It was a flick of the wrist, a knife with a twist, and a change of the tide

On this godless earth
The meek shall inherit nothing
Except the pains of free fall and stillbirth
Everything is here for the taking

Keep marching on
That's all there's time for
It's the disease
But it's the cure

The black cat came home
He was a shadow of his former self
But the same one that I had known
He was as pale as a sheet, as quiet as death, and thin as a rail
Track Name: Monochrome Blues
Gathered up all my sins, and I bathed in every one of them
Some to regret, some to retell
Some to forget, and some to send me off to hell
But it's worth it if it gets me to you

Keep catching flack for having faith
Just a sign to me the end of days is nearly here and gaining fast
But to what end and by which means shall we last?
Only do it because it makes me laugh

So sing
Sing for your supper
Sing
Sing for the summertime
Oh, sing until the last breath
Comes rolling out your chest
You only get one ride

Tallied up what all was lost
Be it accident or be it caused
And no amount had come to mind
No albatross to bear
No scars that I could find
But none of us will ever make it out alive

Might as well sing
Sing to be a better man
Sing
Sing for the afterlife
Oh, sing
Oh, sing
Oh, sing until the last note
Comes falling out your throat
You only get one rodeo