Zoe's Cabaret

by Salinger

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When Brad and I were deliberating over names for this project, concepts ranged from "Titletown" to "Allah and the Single Ladies". And ya know, maybe it was a blunder the magnitude of the Iraqi invasion to forfeit a name as rich and relevant as "Allah and the Single Ladies." (While we are on the topic of US foreign policy: for the next record I'm putting together a song that views modern hookup culture through the lense of Operation Iraqi Freedom. You think I'm joking. You'd be mistaken.)

So then why Salinger? After all, I hated Catcher and the Rye, and Brad read the SparkNotes (and yet managed to secure a better grade on the test for the book than I did). Yet, that sort of event characterizes me and Brad's four-years-and-counting friendship, a freefall through a sonic vacuum that has seated us at the feet of the indie rock gods.

Here is an assortment of songs spanning two years and several heartbreaks. There truly is something for everyone here - a saccharine piano ballad about religious sectarianism, an electro-pop lament of a lost love, an emo song swiped from the Elliott Smith collection, and a modern rock banger (heh) compliments of Brad. Four songs, about 12 minutes. I don't think a second of it is wasted. We emptied our coffers into this, and we hope you'll saunter your way to Zoe's Cabaret.

Special thanks to
Caitlyn, Ken and Seth (the weekend warriors of Salinger) for lending their talents to these songs
Our parents for not murdering us when we came home to our respective houses at 2 AM on several occasions after recording
Our friends for putting up with our shit and inspiring some of these songs (you know who you are)
Cory Kinchla for the years of laughs
John #1 who is always ready to help at a moment’s notice
John #2 who is apparently making us a video
Aromantic Comedy for sitting this one out.

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released August 4, 2017

Salinger is:
Bradford Barker: vocals, bass on tracks 2 and 3.
Sean Burke:: guitar, bass on tracks 1 and 4, keys
Ken Polk: percussion, programming, mixing and mastering,
Caitlyn and Seth: guest vocals on Backseat Serenade. “Rainbows in Zoos”, compliments of Bill Watterson



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Denizen Records Topsfield, Massachusetts

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Track Name: Time (Over You)
Missing you
No time with you
I want to love you but I want some time with you
The things you say
Make me feel okay
But the things you do
Make me want to love you

Time over you

I want to be
I want to be together
When I'm with you
I want to love forever
You know it is
I know you feel the same way
I know it's hard to say
Far too hard for me to say
Track Name: Cats and Cattle Prods
Cats and cattle prods
Demolition derby demagogues
Babbling Babylon
As the discharge returns to the dog

Armed with proofs incontrovertible
Animosity and vertigo
From each other a mere stone’s throw

They’ve got the monopoly on love, they say
A monopoly on truth

Would be nice to know, who’ll be saved and who’ll be damned
But God won’t make up his fucking* mind
Getting nowhere, they are parallel paths you trod
When the roads diverged
The crooked demiurge up and left
“I’m not coming back”
Tighten the noose
Pray away the slack

A wafer, a couple pence
Orchestrated this sickening dissonance
One big swath and a very short fence
Just sprawling, smoldering nonsense

You better adapt, you better collude
Time is warping all of your pews

Which lives were lost, in service to the good faith
Reason won’t put us in our place
Can’t both be right, inconceivable both are wrong
But can we eschew
The believer’s brew
That’s been stewing for far too long
Spoil the broth
And spare the rod

When the good Lord comes to take us home
It’ll make tremors felt by every bone
But the fissure will only be widened
There’s no innovation in open wounds
The rift cannot be healed by the flesh
Of low-hanging fruit of the womb

It’s alright
Track Name: Burly Cat's Inn
Baby why have you gotten out I thought it all went so very well. Too long, maybe cause I'm too young. You shouldn't have waited for my time to come.
If you knew me the things that you can't see, maybe that's why you left so hastily. Closer, I knew the time was over, I knew it always was coming closer.
Baby why don't you still want me, it's something that I can't see. What do you mean to me? Baby did you ever even want me? Or was it just a little dream? One that has been so mean. Perhaps we'll have a relapse we'll get a momentary lapse of togetherness. This time we won't have to rewind, though I don't know what I would have to remind. Baby why do you try to spite me? All I did was like you. Show some fortitude. Make up? Why did we even break up? I shouldn't even wake up. My heart has found its fate now.
Track Name: Backseat Serenade
December 19th, 2016: There’s one less longing heart on the interstate tonight. There’s an empty bench that will not come to life again. My crooked smile and a little piece of you left on the dashboard will give everyone a clue, but they’ll never know the chemicals or the truth. It’s called the backseat serenade: the tune of the bad boys’ who’ve got it made. Who could have ever thought I’d be among them? I thought love songs couldn’t lie. But I suppose honest words in pillow talk are in short supply. Perhaps a natural reaction of a caffeinated state. A dosage of dopamine that I could not…thought I could find it when we searched in empty parking lots - that was not the case, and I only found an onslaught of fears. But I fell in love with the way you fall from grace. The way that radiant smile crept across your face, and the way you finally put me in my place. Still plays on the backseat serenade. I’d come onto you through the spades, but I guess that goodnight kiss aftertaste didn’t last long enough (but I swear I tried to savor it) as every nerve ending was crushed. You’re my chemical affection, baby that is true but without chemistry, what becomes of two? You’re my cerebral affliction and I could never outsmart you. But now you’re stuck in my head like a rainbow in a zoo. Now a hundred miles between us and a lateral accord: you keep the faith, I’ll keep the distance and never assess what for. Abandoned. Bedridden. Declaring good riddance.