xerxes cover Xerxes was our second album on Touch and Go Records. It was released in the spring of 1994. Like the first three albums, it was produced by Brian Paulson. It was also recorded largely at Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Mn, with additional recording and all the mixing taking place in Chicago.
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Lyrics (all lyrics (C) 1994 arcwelder)
Smile
All My Want For Need
All Mixed Together
Passing Thought
Let Down
Down To The Wire
Change
Attic
Pound
The Carpal Tunnel Song
I Hear and Obey

Smile (w. graber)

And all you want to do is smile
And take it everywhere you've been
Advice like yours a moral play
I'd walk from hear to here you say

And death's not knowing that your dead
Never life or fear or trial
So you want happiness instead
All you got is just a smile

[chorus]
All you want to do is smile
All you got to do is smile

Can't help the helpless with your help
Can't be the selfless by yourself
Can't turn an inch into a mile
Can't make me happy with a smile

Stood in a forest for the fools
And said what no one wants to hear
A tree that falls without a sound
Take your smile I'll be around

[chorus]


All My Want For Need (s. macdonald)

Life will have to go on
With or without you here
I've known it all along
And now it all seems clear

All my want for plans
you don't understand
All my want for need
overcome by greed

You burn your bridges down
And yet you won't free me
Same life different town
As far as I can see

Unless you give it all
I don't want to fall
Unless your feelings grow
I don't want to know

Take a step back
And open every door
If the room is black
Will I be assured

All my want for plans
you don't understand
All my want for need
overcome by greed

And I've tried to tell you
About what I go through
But I take the fall
Cause I want it all
If I mean something
But it's only passing
Could you really blame me
If I set myself free
Will my heart grow fonder
I can only wonder
And the point I've come to?
Happier without than with you
When you say you love me
I can hear but can't see
And I want to scream it
Do you really mean it


All Mixed Together (w. graber)

Came for the green slop pie - all mixed together
It's that I... nobody's got one yet
You see I was Mark Merrill
And he was just another who dragged it out far to long to believe
Is it to be... Is it to be...
Is it everything I was lead to believe
If it's good - then it's form without substance
If it's clear - it's all the thing that you hate...

[
chorus]
All mixed together
With lamps of fire
We fixed another
With laps together
A lapse of reason
Stuck in the mire
If it was easy...
Another liar

Came face to face with death in the washroom
And I'm never not alone again
You see another door to door man
Another partial vision
On a mission learned, and only believed

Well it's not me... it's not me
It's not anything I'd pretend to conceive
If it's unknown... it'll burn in the fire
If he's pure... he's just another liar

[chorus]

It's all mixed together
But I cannot remember
Walk only where I'm s'posed to
With fear and only endings...

[chorus]


Passing Thought (w. graber)

Blood the martyrs seed
An altruistic greed
And it all is lost... this is just a passing thought

Words too big to know
And fear you can't explain
Hope at any cost... this is just a passing thought

[chorus]
Where to start... where to begin
Pass you the note... Pass you the note along...
Nothing long... nothing long

Leaves of many loves
And root of only one
There's no place to go... this is just a passing thought
Tabula Rasa
Suggestions only rule
When it's all unlearned... the truth is not a passing thought

[chorus]


Let Down (w. graber)

You were the only one
I was the one who never tried
You were the one.. the only one
I'll build your hope - then make you cry
While others broke the rules
And everything is open
I build them up - I hide away
If no one would tell - no one would say

And self righteous lonesome's still lonesome
Love of my life, where are you now?

No decisions left - it's only sideways glances
If it tastes like shit - it's probably shit
Re-use old ways to disappoint
Another set of claims - like open ended fear
These are the terms, or no return
These are the terms, or no return
And you, you believe far too much
You believe far too much in good

If there's really no one
If there's really no one
Love of my life, where are you now?

If I let you down - I let you down
I let you down - I let you down
And it is everything I never wanted
It's everything you ever hoped for me...

And he's the fool with the purity, self pity No one would tell - and no fool would ever know



Down To The Wire (music arcwelder/words w. graber)

Sign - like the sign of things to come down
To the wire
And if I... minded half of Let Down
To the wire

[chorus]
I have no fear
I have no pride
I have no right
I do not mind
I was the one who lost this time
I was the one who saw the lie
I have no drive
I have no hate
I do not mind
I was the one who lost this time
And it's like everybody wants a peace that I.. can't

Give - what you wanted to give away for free
Down to the wire
And say - what you wanted to hear next time around
Down to the wire

[chorus]

I have no hate
I have no hate
Down to the wire



Change (s. macdonald)

Hey - be wary of your heroes
They will always disappoint you
OK I know that you are lonely
You're reaching out but only - they don't even respect you

Now I don't mean to make you feel sad
But I feel down when they treat you so bad

Always another passing fancy
And you only call me when you're feeling down
They, they all get to hold you
I get to console you if no one else is around

Now I don't mean to scare you away
But I have a need that won't go away

Oh no - be wary of your heroes

Again I don't want to hear it
Don't want to be near it, it only tears me apart
So now, call me yours or let me go
Call me yours or let me know and let me make a new start

Now I don't mean to scream at the stars
But you dodge the truth like so many passing cars

Oh no - be wary of your heroes
Change the way the wind blows
Change the way the wind blows

So long


Attic (w. graber)

Unlock the door
Up the stairs to see
And light shines through
A window near the peak
Here's the Khouri
Here's a man
And someone cries
And someone cared
Did a good job
Was a good man
Got it all out
Better in the end

And no it doesn't count
Through everything on call
And no it doesn't mean
Anything at all

Searchin for (made everything sensation)
Something that might mean (and nothing too much)
And here's the box (lived up to expectations)
And opened everything (say something for yourself)

Here's the Khouri
Here's a man
And someone cries
And someone cared
Did a good job
Was a good man
Got it all out
Better in the end

And no it doesn't count
I don't believe in fall
And no it doesn't mean
Anything at all

I don't believe, I don't believe

And now you know what I mean
But you don't know what I mean
Cause everything's all right
And nothing happens tonight

I have your ring
Down the stairs and lock the door.. again

I don't believe


Pound (music arcwelder/words w. graber & s. macdonald)

Take down
And now take along
What you can't now

And sorens eyes
Good for value prize
Where's your head now

40 times
Maybe 50 times
Where's your heart now

Compromise
If you can find the time
Where's your pride now

When I walk out the door it'll be a sunny day
And the breeze floating by blowing worries away
From my mind
I feel fine

Come around All of the fear and the paranoia
Maybe half a pound All of the stress is unhealthy for ya
Where's the sky now All of the pain and the aggravation
All of the grind and the desperation
Cut it down til you feel proud If you want heat you should start a fire
Where's your thoughts now If you want hope you should fuel desire
If you want help you should try to find it
Hit it and quit Forget the pride that you leave behind it
While we still can
And we'll end pound

Hit it and quit it
While we still can
And we'll end pound


The Carpal Tunnel Song (s. macdonald)

A close encounter a combined IQ of thirteen
Time spent memorizing the paint on the walls
Move it outside a hint of lemon and protein
There's no slowing down the swimmers at all

And then it was over and done that's it
And then it was over and done that's it

There was a problem the solution a problem again
The other side set on laissez faire
A crack in the image another form to amend
If a tree fell in the forest would anyone care?

And then it was over and done that's it
And then it was over and done that's it

Get out your instruments and play a sour suite
Cue the credits and fade to black
Round up the horses and make a hasty retreat
And pray to yourself that it's not coming back

Because it is over and done that's it
Because it is over and done that's it


I Hear And Obey (music arcwelder/words w. graber & s. macdonald)

It's not Bill
And it's not Scott
It's not Brian
And it's not Rob
I don't know where to begin...

Begin where it's simple
Begin at the end
Begin with all you can't defend
Begin at the end...

And disappointment bring the least
Well this is less the you conceived
It ends with the first

Before the beginning
And after the end
It can't be funny
It didn't bend
I didn't want this at all... at all... at all.

A blindered horse A wind up toy
I'm on auto pilot I am a cog in the machine
Am I a mindless drone Or heartless sap
Now matter how you slice it I am a cog in the machine

They say to stay in school then get a job
But mainstream society doesn't care if your happy
I play the fool go with the mob
Corporate America doesn't care if I'm happy

Settle down And play along
Die unfulfilled Just like anybody else
And well now damn it now I live a lie
Write it down I'm not like everybody else

Today I march along I follow blindly
I do what they tell me I hear and obey
I sing my song I treat 'em kindly
You are my master I hear and obey

I didn't want it... It's all the same No face no name
I didn't want it... It's all the same Big town small game
I didn't want it... It's all the same No risk no gain
I didn't want it... It's all the same Big weight small frame

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