I (Assume I) Know What I'm Doing.

by The Albert Square

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credits

released December 15, 2015

The Albert Square is:
Sim Castro - Guitars, Vocals, Keys
Spencer Taplin - Drums
James Mack Baker - Bass

additional musicians:
Chris Hopkins - Bass on tracks 2-5, 7-9, 11, 13, backing vocals on track 3 and synth on track 11
Shawn Alpay - Cello
Mike Huguenor - backing vocals on tracks 2 and 9
Bob Vielma - Trombone
Jack Shirley - saw on track 12 and backing vocals on track 9

cover painting by Megan Hart

Thank you Bob Vielma, Jack Shirley, Megan Hart, Tom Bayles, Jeff Rosenstock, Sarah Sauerzopf, Tony Bui, everyone who played on the record, the family Brackett, Shirley Wong-Jose, the PNP crew, Mike Park, all the San Jose homies, all my MTG punx, VLHS, all of our Seattle friends, Hard Girls, Bradbury/VWLS, dem Yulia boyz, Shinobu, Diners and Dogbreth crew, the weird world of train travelers, all the other awesome bands with whom we’ve had the pleasure to play, anyone who has booked us, came to see us an/or donated to the cause in one way or another. Thank you for opening your doors and your living room floors.

and an extra special thanks to the Kong family, john Litchford, Julia and Trevor, Bente Ente Blender, David Duckett and the amazing people that inspired this collection of songs. i wish i could have written one for every person i met while traveling across the country, i don’t know if you’ll ever realize the positive impact you make on the world so, from the bottom of my heart: thank you.

written in 2014 and recorded with Jack Shirley at Atomic Garden, East Palo Alto, CA.

quit your job.

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Track Name: One Seventh of the Week
today is just one seventh of the week
this week is just one section of the year
this year is just a moment in my lifetime

so why do i give all of my time
to these creatures creeping under the bed
why do i waste all of my time
when they don’t care if i live
if i live or I die?
Track Name: Pictures of Your Grandson (Oh, Donald!)
He had a son and he had a grandson in Virginia
says he’s just been and just had seen them
photos show a child from five years ago
his story is old and he just seems to be getting older

we get quiet and the train gets a little louder
we’re all quiet as the train gets a little louder

he lost a house in a tornado
lost another five years later
he was unlucky but not sorry
"if life is for the living but you live it for yourself
you lose it all!”

Donald! I love being alone but i don’t want to be alone forever!
Donald! How can i be alone? but not alone forever!
i don’t want to be alone! i don’t wanna be alone forever!
Track Name: Galesburg, IL
heavy hands on the Burlington line
as time stands by dividing lines
these people sit on well kept lawns
and the trains roll by their sibilant syllables drawn

a pair of shoes laces untied
and unbound feet and small town pride
they’re waving at the passers by
it’s those

and i am surprised
there rarely are fences
they’re kind to their neighbors
and more so to these strangers
and they don’t shut their windows
and they don’t lock their doors
and they won’t turn their heads because ignoring is deplorable
not like these cities
where these people are cold
and i get suspicious my home makes me old before my time!

it’s water towers
it’s the grain silos
it’s the sun kissing two story skylines
it’s those midwestern towns…
Track Name: She Was a Deist
emphatic about Kansas City history
with stuttered sentences and an aching philosophy
"it’s hard being a black girl here in Missouri
when immaculate births are at the bottom of the list of your worries."

she was a deist
he cried about Jesus
“if we’re so pious, why did he leave us?”
are we alone
i don’t think so
because people like Stacy take us in when it storms is how i know so.

and on these warm a weirdly shaping nights
when the righteous preach and tend to turn out their lights singing
“it’s strange that these strangers could be bringing in danger to their own homes
when they open up their doors and their living room floors to the unknown!"

she says it’s hard being a black girl here in Missouri
when immaculate births are at the bottom of the list of your worries…
Track Name: The Kids Are All Jerks!
heaven help me how can this be?
well we all tend to be jerks in our youth!
gnashing and biting and chomping at the bit
without a sense or an intuition of the pain that comes because of it

no need to apologize
if you could see it from my eyes
you are a sweet, sweet man
and you are a wonderful father
and you’ll remain that way
your intent it has the weight to guide the rest of us.

heaven help me how can i be
this lost and cauterized? i just want to run and hide
and these mistakes we make aren’t ours to bear or internalize
and how i wish i could take my own advice!

because i am a mess you see
i’m afraid to try because i might die
you are a sweet, sweet man
and you are a wonderful father
and you’ll remain that way
your intent it has the weight to guide the rest of us.
Track Name: Pins and Arrows
Snowed in on a spring day
you’d swallow it down if you could
it’s the softest part under the shell that shows
and the last thing you want is for anyone out there to know

and i know how it goes
when life throws you these bends and those bows
those pins and those arrows
believe me, i know how it goes
these bends and those bows
those pins and those arrows

now i know we’re all vulnerable
it don’t make you weak you’re incredible
and you make me oh so proud
to have friends like you around
and you share those parts that hurt
which makes us love you even more.
Track Name: (Nobody Is) On Your Team.
i know this is where i came from
judge and jury it ain’t the shape of things to come
everything has stayed the same since i’ve been gone
and i can see how i may have come out wrong
you may not know it by looking at me
hell, i wouldn’t believe it myself
but here is the hand that i plan on playing
because these here are the cards that i’ve been dealt

when you’re thinking of starting over
but the beginning is no longer what it seemed
when these houses are no longer homes now
and it feels like there’s nobody on your team
Track Name: A Skull. A Door. The Middle of the Desert. (Waldorf)
as we steer to the middle of the desert
i say, “God, i can’t believe it.” as if i believed in God at all
and the bodies all around the door keep on knocking and they ask for more
they say, “God, we can’t believe it.” as if they believed in God at all

there’s a steer skull on a door in the middle of the desert
you’d be pressed to find the walls at all
the roof has collapsed and it has fallen in again and again and again…
Track Name: Agnes (I Assume I Know What I'm Doing)
the sun it recedes in Indiana
when the night time hits that’s the time that i wanna
have her confidence and her curiosity
but i lack the sense and it is baffling me
how after 31 years i’m still light years behind

because agnes is this girl i know
that has complete command of her entire world
and i assume i know what i’m doing

the bigger it gets the more depressing it is little daughter
and you gotta keep kicking if you’re gonna keep that head above water
because you’re deliver us from mediocrity
this lack of sense and it is baffling me
after 31 years i’m still light years behind

you’ve got these parents that restore my faith
that we’re going to make it out of this hell okay
and they’ll shower you with their love, unconditional
because you’re going to bring these people to the polls
you’ve got the strength and the grace to change how we all see it
oh, Agnes! what do i do?
Track Name: Sum of Our Parts
insignificant in this canyon where we disappear together
as you sleep with uncovered feet
right now this is our time in this freezing winter weather
here’s me at my best i can never compromise
i can never find a balance no matter how hard i try
and i wish i had a job and i wish i had a home
and i wish i had a place away from this communal space
but if i had a job and if i had a home
i’d be swallowing that status quo you never would have made your mark
and i would never know

some of our parts break like waves
these parts weigh heavy these days…
Track Name: Get Back Here
i’ve been trying to get back here for years to no avail but i keep trying
my heart stopped beating and turning gears
it has failed but it keeps trying

you’re the fleur-de-lis of curiosity
and i’m a masochistic man trapped in this sinking pit of sand
and the jokes they’re stale but they carry it so well
and i guess it doesn’t matter when you’re cool

it’s taken getting here to know you belong there

it stinks these streets they smell like piss and blood
and there’s nothing charming now about my “hood”
but these drinks they’re cheap and plentiful, you see
and i can spend my days reflecting on all the bad habits i’m collecting.

disgraceful little dance, you’re ruining all my plans
Track Name: Assuming (Instrumental)
there aren’t any words. it’s just instruments.
Track Name: I Am Not a Closer.
terrified
that they’ll find me out so i will hide
and bury everything inside
does it look like i know what i’m doing?
i don’t know
i’m just assuming
as we do
swallowing my fears all these years
finally now i can say that
i’m alive
for the very first time
leaving all that weight behind and i’m so high
we’ll never get it right but still we try!