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  The Shiny Violence Of Summer
  (7:35) [10/01/01]
  Liner Notes

Sidewalks start to blister,
Young ones got to roam,
Traffic turns to thunder,
I do believe I feel at home.
Heat waves, "Hello amateurs,"
Beat cops wonder why,
All the nameless squirming,
Hotter than a funeral in July.

We are like the Parthenon statues.
We hold up the institute's half-truths.
We are carved by those who've loved us,
& those who don't
Apply the lacquer-coated crust.

Shiny violence, baby,
Of the summertime blues.
Our soles collecting each road smear
'Till tar's an inch off my shoes.
Tiny hurricanes, baby,
Of the rotating wind;
It's the wings of some insect beating next to our skins,
They fan while drinking our skins.

Cars & knives & liquor,
Metallic do-si-do,
Armpits promote the swelter,
Something's got to go.
Water tower sweat stains
Rains from way down low,
Asphalt rivers, sulfur
Suffer dreams too scorched to know.

Stone scared of all those silent societies.
Stone scared of Quickie Mart Pakistanis.
Stone scared of nuns & cops & librarians;
With secret nods,
They're fudging up the odds again.

Shiny violence, baby,
Of the summertime blues.
The tar's an inch under my soles
When blacktop elevates shoes.
Hear the snapping of ozones,
Feel the laserbeam sun.
Thank the Lord for the night time:
That's when we try to have fun,
We ring the doorbells and run.

Car wreck & a license suspended;
On skates 'till the summer's all ended.
Let there be high schools for every punk band.
Let's crack this parking lot with our drum flams.

Narrator: Hi there.
Our Hero: Hey.
N: Hot enough for you?
OH: Stick a fork in me, I'm done.
N: It's not the heat so much as the stupidity.
OH: Hm, more of a dry heat really.
N: On foot today, I see.
OH: Yeah, you hear I got in a wr--, bender last June.
N: That sucks.
OH: Right up here by the mailbox.
N: Mailing a letter of something?
OH: Cop said my fault.
N: That sucks.
OH: Sux. Yep.
N: & the Gremlin?
OH: That great heap in the sky.
N: Man, but I liked that car.
OH: 10 more months.
N: Yeah?
OH: 'Till I can drive again, man.
N: Sucks. (Pause.) Hot though.
OH: Yep.

From the boiled brains of Texas
To sunburned Idaho
& the smokestacks of Chicago
Burn the memories that you know.
Carbon cakes the nostrils,
Chrome then bakes the eyes,
Fever sucks out the swallows,
They're cooking up some delicious lies.

Moon's shine jumps in my car keys & flickers,
Moonshine eats through a Freemason sticker,
Moon shines roofs of expensive SUVans,
Moonshine beads up the roof of my brain pan.
The windshield drops;
The neighbor's zapper pops in time.

Shiny violence, baby,
Of the summertime blues.
Our soles collecting each road smear
'Till tar's an inch off my shoes.
Tiny hurricanes, baby,
Of the rotating wind;
It's the wings of some insect beating next to our skins,
They fan while drinking our skins.

[“The Shiny Violence Of Summer” written by Mike Beckman & Roughly Enforcing Nostalgia, Why Won’t The Durned Thing Play Music ASCAP, 2003]
liner notes
Each August’s end seems to mark a wave of petty teen vandalism; is it some last fling of protest against the encroachment of "Back To School Days"& school’s steadying disciplinary hand? In the bridge, HooHah’s creepy Rocky & Bullwinkle-style Narrator & Dan’s carless delinquent pull up a midday 7-Eleven curb& jaw through excruciatingly pedestrian small talk, à la Stan Ridgway’s “Can’t Complain.” Alternate titles include “Creedence Clearwater Reviled” & “What Happens When A Heat Mirage Is Louder Than Your Own Thoughts?”

Additional Musicians
HooHah - Lead Vox, Lead & Rhythm Guitars, & Bass Guitar / Greg “Place On The” Boerner - Rhythm Guitar & Background Vox

Thomas Dolby - “Cruel” / Jim White - “When Jesus Gets A Brand New Name” / 16 Horsepower - “Cinder Alley” / Michael Hutchence - “The Passenger” / Perry Farrell - “Song Yet To Be Sung” / Johnny Cash - “I’m Leavin’ Now” / Neil Diamond - “Thank The Lord For The Night Time” / Eddi Reader - “Nobody Lives Without Love” / The Flaming Lips - “Bad Days” / Wes Harrison - “The Saga Of The Duck Hunt By Car” / Rod Serling - The Twilight Zone - “The Midnight Sun” (Spoken by Lois Nettleton, Betty Garde & Tom Reese) / Rod Serling - The Twilight Zone - “I Shot An Arrow In The Air” (Spoken by Edward Binns & Dewey Martin)

"It was midsummer, the heat rippling above the macadam roads. Cicadas screaming out of the trees and the sky like pewter, glaring.

The days were the same day, like the shallow mud-brown river moving always in the same direction but so slow you couldn't see it. Except for Sunday: church in the morning, then the fat Sunday newspaper, the color comics and newsprint on your fingers.

Rhea and Rhoda Kunkel went flying on their rusted old bicycles, down the long hill toward the railroad yard, Whipple's Ice, the scrubby pastureland where the dairy cows grazed. They'd stolen six dollars from their grandmother who loved them. They were eleven years old, they were identical twins, they basked in their power.

Rhea and Rhoda Kunkel: it was always Rhea-and-Rhoda, never Rhoda-and-Rhea, I couldn't say why. You just wouldn't say the names that way. Not even the teachers at school would say them that way.

We went to see them in the funeral parlor where they were waked, we were made to. The twins in twin caskets, white, smooth, gleaming, perfect as plastic, with white satin lining puckered like the inside of a fancy candy box. And the waxy white lilies, and the smell of talcum powder and perfume. The room was crowded, there was only one way in and out.

Rhea and Rhoda were the same girl, they'd wanted it that way.

Only looking from one to the other could you see they were two.

The heat was gauzy, you had to push your way through like swimming. On their bicycles Rhea and Rhoda flew through it hardly noticing, from their grandmother's place on Main Street to the end of South Main where the paved road turned to gravel leaving town. That was the summer before seventh grade, when they died. Death was coming for them but they didn't know.

They thought the same thoughts sometimes at the same moment, had the same dream and went all day trying to remember it, bringing it back like something you'd be hauling out of the water on a tangled line. We watched them, we were jealous. None of us had a twin. Sometimes they were serious and sometimes, remembering, they shrieked and laughed like they were being killed. They stole things out of desks and lockers but if you caught them they'd hand them right back, it was like a game.

There were three floor fans in the funeral parlor that I could see, tall whirring fans with propellor blades turning fast to keep the warm air moving. Strange little gusts came from all directions making your eyes water."
- Joyce Carol Oates, "Heat" (1991)

"I leaned an elbow on the counter, crossed one foot beind the other and took a long slow drag on my cigar. I liked the guy ----- as much as I like most people, anyway ----- but he was too good to let go. Polite, intelligent: guys like that are my meat.

'Well, I tell you,' I drawled. 'I tell you the way I look at it, a man doesn't get any more out of life than what he puts into it.'

'Umm,' he said, fidgeting, 'I guess you're right, Lou.'

'I was thinking the other day, Max; and all of a sudden I had the doggonedest thought. It came to me out of a clear sky ----- the boy is the father to the man. Just like that. The boy is the father to he man.'

The smile on his face was getting strained. I could hear his shoes creak as he squirmed. If there's anything worse than a bore, it's a corny bore. But how can you brush off a nice friendly fellow who'd give you his shirt if you asked for it?

'I reckon I should have been a college professor or something like that,' I said. 'Even when I'm asleep I'm working out problems. Take that heat wave we had a few weeks ago; a lot of people think it's the heat that makes it so hot. But it's not like that, Max. It's not the heat, but the humidity. I'll bet you didn't know that, did you?'

He cleared his throat and muttered something about being wanted in the kitchen. I pretended like I didn't hear him."
- Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me (1952)

"Swimmin' in the slime
Peelin' off the dock
Baby got a purple skirt that is polka-dot
Beauty in decay can be the only way
When you are not

Wind is blowin' strong
Rainin' in the world
Nothin' but a sag where there used to be a curl
Cloudburst comin' on
The weatherman was wrong ----- it's hot

Kill the referee
I'm callin' off the match
Gimme somethin' real -----
Babyface will need a peel tonight

Collision traffic mess
Failure or success
Who you lookin' at and tryin' to impress?
Join you in your pain
Are you lookin' for the same? . . .

Blow that horn, a car's been towed
Guess we'll have to sue
So pass that glass, did you have to ask
Deep inside we're blue."
- Stan Ridgway, "Deep Blue Polka Dot" (1999)

"But by the time I was moving around uptown, it was hotter still. That pavement in the middle of Main Street was so hot to my feet I might've been walking the barrel of my gun. If the whole world could've just felt Main Street this morning through the soles of my shoes, maybe it would've helped some. . . .

And it's so hot.

It looks like the town's on fire already, whichever ways you turn, ever' street you strike, because there's those trees hanging them pones of bloom like split watermelon. And a thousand cops crowding evr'where you go, half of 'em too young to start shaving, but all streaming sweat alike. I'm getting tired of 'em. . . .

Everybody: It don't get you nowhere to take nothing from nobody unless you make sure it's for keeps, for good and all, for ever and amen.

I won't be sorry to see them brickbats hail down on us for a change. Pop bottles too, they can come flying whenever they want to. Hundreds, all to smash, like Birmingham. I'm waiting on 'em to bring out them switchblade knives, like Harlem and Chicago. Watch TV long enough and you'll see it all happen on Deacon Street in Thermopylae. What's holding it back, that's all? - Because it's in 'em.

I'm ready myself for that funeral.

Oh, they may find me. May catch me one day in spite of 'emselves. (But I grew up in the country.) May try to railroad me into the electric chair, and what that amounts to is something hotter than yesterday and today put together.

But I advise 'em to go careful. Ain't it about time us taxpayers starts to calling the moves? Starts to telling the teachers and the preachers and the judges of our so-called courts how far they can go?

Even the President so far, he can't walk in my house without being invited, like he's my daddy, just to say whoa. Not yet!

Once, I run away from my home. And there was a ad for me, come to be printed in our county weekly. My mother paid for it. It was from her. It says: 'SON: You are not being hunted for anything but to find you.' That time, I come on back home.

But people are dead now.

And it's so hot. Without it even being August yet.

Anyways, I seen him fall. I was evermore the one.

So I reach me down my old guitar off the nail in the wall. 'Cause I've got my guitar, what I've held on to from way back when, and I never dropped that, never lost or forgot it, never hocked it but to get it again, never give it away, and I set in my chair, with nobody home but me, and I start to play, and sing a-Down. And sing a-down, down, down, down. Sing a-down, down, down, down. Down."
- Eudora Welty, "Where Is The Voice Coming From?" (1963)

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