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Automating Season

by George Korein and the Spleen

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Hold in hand What holds my hand To broadcast and receive In mobile cell Many windows Predictive text Guess what’s next Autotune Autocorrect Autocomplete Autosuggest Auto-maton Automation Automatron Auto-matron Awe, indignation Autopopulate all the population Automating season is at hand So popular to pander To resent what we wedded So easy to slander The handiness embedded The sum of all jeremiads Such a quaint faint feint Life is an information superhighway I’m gonna ride it all night wrong Autotune Autocorrect Autocomplete Autosuggest Auto-maton Automation Automatron Auto-matron Awe, indignation Autopopulate all the population Automating season is at hand Automating season is on Automating season is at hand Automating season is on Automating season is at hand Automating season is on To be held indefinitely
People say the word “weird" when they really mean "bad". People say that I'm weird, do they mean that I'm bad? (Sometimes) I think that I'm bad and I don't think that's weird More accurate to say that I'm lazy and scared Broad, vague, euphemistic Go-to word so you need not be specific Then there is the fabled "good weird" Spice as antidote for the humdrum People say David Lynch is weird, I don't think he's that good People say The Residents are weird, I think they are that good I tried to be weird once, when I was nine. I ran around yelling "Oatmeal!", with Beth, at Shelly Ridge. My mom told me it was really annoying, So I stopped. I met Becca when I was fifteen. I rambled for forever about whatever. I thought I was calm and clear. She told Matt Hollenberg that I was weird. At seventeen, Anna said "People say he says weird things. He does weird things. I want to know why. Why does he say weird things? Why does he do weird things? I want to go inside your head." I said "That can be arranged." Two weeks later she called "It's not you, it's me." Is that strange? I'll answer that rhetorical question Posed for rhyme's sake: No, no it's not.
You are tardy, yes, you dawdle You sass with too much cheek You talk back and get smart And I've seen the things you sneak You ought to know we know a number We can make a prompt appointment We've catalogued your faults He'll provide a potent ointment The Specialist Instruments and implements in his white coat The Specialist House calls in his white van The Specialist You can’t dispute the doctor's orders The Specialist Better than the boogie man You should meet “our mother the monster” and Uncle Gunnysack The bag man, the sack man, the small man, The lung-crushing old hag You know who knows when you are sleeping And knows when you’re awake And knows if you’ve been bad or good Love the way Santa makes the vermin quake 7 O'Clock Man is always on time Great Black Bird rules the sky Mitten-biter longs to get his mitts on your mitts, You little shits know why The hookman and the fat extractor Cook a stew that’s out of sight The Master of Midnight is ten kids tall, With a ten kid quota each night The old woman with horns is demonic, The Eating Beast is ravenous The Deep-Voiced Man sounds like Ken Nordine, Resonant and cavernous Copperpenis Owl knows how to make an impression, But no one brings as much precision to the profession as The Specialist When he sees you we’ll see results The Specialist Venig dummkopf, you’ll get set straight The Specialist Foremost in his field The Specialist I bet he can’t wait
The car walks for me The TV reads to me Microwave cooks for me The network feeds to me Let people think for me I like it free and easy I lay on the shoulders of giants I've got it down to a science Now all I need The final measure Have the fun for me Relieve the burden of pleasure Radio, sing to me
Mummify all the animals In the dusk of your empire When everything's on fire When it's come down to the wire Wash them in and out with wine Salt them, pickle them in briny brine Give them their lives again without mistakes Save their hearts from crocs and snakes Mummify all the humans When your hive is on the brink When faced with colony collapse, It really makes you think Encapsulate them in beeswax, The slavers who laid Nature low Reclaim your honey Sacrifice them to the queen of queens Aristaeus of Greece, Austeja of Lithuania, Bhramari of India, Colel Cab of the Maya, Melissa of Minoa, Mellona of Rome, All false. The true name of the one bee deity, the one true bumblebeeity, is unpronounceable in human tongue, and can only be invoked by waggledance.
This octopus, majestic gargoyle Static looming sentinel Unsleeping beauty tends her eggs Her gentle movements keep their water fresh As the clutch of eggs slowly grows, Year by year, she is diminished Where is the father, galavanting? Chowing on crabs and young octopus Stacking shells of coconuts Chewed his own tentacle, grabbed a rubber duck Her skin once vivid royal purple Deeply textured, now gone pale and slack We offer food, but she declines 53 month fast and the mother martyr dies Why? Please spread your octopus wings Why? Please do all octopus things When is your day in the sun, What sunlight there is in the deep? Could Eggdad eggsit for a shift, Release you from the clutches you keep?
I could be high They would know why I’m always late And why I can't stay awake I could be high They would know why I'm always behind And can’t think straight I could be high They would know why I am not listening I could be high They would know why I can’t account for my time I could be high I would know why I don’t really try They would know why Plus I’d be high I’ve heard it feels great! (Woo!) They would know why I did not reply Or notify Did not convey Or relay The chance slipped away They would know why They cannot rely on me To follow through Or keep an eye On what I need to oversee I made that riff When I was in Portland Legally high as hell What do you think about that riff, folks Did cannabis serve me well? Standing in the hotel bathroom Wife and kid asleep Phone laid down by the sink Sliding my finger back and forth Laying down magnificent clavinet glissandos The original drum part didn't the cut though You'll just have to use your mind's ear To imagine how fantastic that was
If I schedule more reminders If I fill the calendar If I set the notifications If I read only the right articles If I use the mindfulness app If I take more notes And actually read them If I remember the ideas I had in the shower Long enough to transcribe them If I unplug for just long enough To detox and return in time If I download the right apps If I arrange my desktop If I reconfigure my settings If I listened more than stared If I mastered this cybernetic appendage Could I unlock achievement?
The measure of your steps The record of your words The transcript of your voice The charting of each choice The assistant listens well And can always tell The device is keeping tabs The data’s in the labs The tabs are tabulated The tables tābulated The collection collated Infallibly calculated The statistics sadistically crunched The percentiles have been weighted The standards deviated They know how you spend your days and nights They know how to live well and don’t know your rights So let it be written on the tablets You have been weighed in San Jose And found wanting


released August 3, 2019

All music and lyrics by GK

All songs except "Burden of Pleasure" largely created on a smartphone using Garageband, or for "Unlock Achievement", Nanoloop.

Recorded and mixed variously by Barry Knob, Zach Goldstein and Colin Marston
Mastered by James Plotkin

Cover concept by GK
Cell phone shirt by Anthony Fasano
Photo by Liz Walsh

3 is dedicated to Kate Walsh
6 is dedicated to an octopus mother at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, as well as all mothers, especially octopus ones
10 is dedicated to Lizbot

"Happily Addicted to Birds" personnel:
Thymme Jones - drums, trumpet
Jesse Krakow - fretless bass
Kyle Press - clarinet, bird call
Arranged by TJ, JK, KP and GK
Dedicated to Lizbot (Did I mention that already?)

Kyle also played clarinet and flute on 1
The Spleentones sang choral vocals on the finale of 4
Matt Hollenberg made swarming noise FX used on 3 and 5
Eli Litwin played drumkit on the finale of 6
Zach Goldstein spoke the “he wrote that groove...” part on 7




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