Nhoj Morley

 
12/31/2017

Story

Chapters 1 through 3 with some incidental music. Put on  a happy face.

12/31/2017

Story

This short side is also called The Red Shift Suite. Put on your man-pants.

12/24/2017

Story

In the dead of night, a makeshift raft arrives at the American shore and a lone figure crawls out and quickly makes for the shadows. The tiny craft has come all the way from Afghanistan. Its single passenger is a Mujahideen soldier or freedom fighter. His name is Ahklem. Has he come to fight freedom?

No, he sneaks quietly through cities and neighborhoods and makes his way to the residence of Strumbozo, a rock musician known to be an atheist, iconoclast and sport non-enthusiast. No one answers the door, so Ahklem huddles behind some shrubbery and waits.

A few blocks away, Strumbozo is just leaving the dispensary with a large brown bag cradled in each arm. He rounds a corner and finds himself smack in the path of a strange military parade. It is a parade for those prepared to fight for their country. It includes almost everyone. Many of the marchers consider it a parade for those prepared to fight each other for their country.

Strumbozo weaves into the combatants moving against the tide until a torch ignites the grocery bags. A choking cloud of reefer smoke mixes with the tear gas and leaves everyone too red-eyed to carry on. He snuffs out as much of the stash as he can and slips away.

Arriving at his doorstep, he hears a "psssssst!" and spots Ahklem crouched in the shrubs. "You've got to help me. The fate of the world is at stake!" Strumbozo nods and pushes the door open. "Yes. I know. Come on in."

Ahklem darts inside first. "How do you know the world is at stake?" Strumbozo latches the door. "If it's worth talking about, the world is probably at stake. Do you want me to save it for you?" Ahklem looks annoyed. "No, I am here to save your world from destruction. You must do nothing but come with me to Washington DC."

Ahklem explains, "I need a guide and I need someone next to whom I look more respectable. As my sponsor, you will stand at my side before the committee and explain all the ways my faith bothers you just the same as theirs. With moral equality established, I will then announce the new Caliphate. I don't want anyone to be frightened except by you. Are you afraid to do this?"

Strumbozo slowly exhales the remaining street vapors. "I'm afraid of what would happen if you asked someone else. What is your plan?" Ahklem waves his hand in front of his wrinkling nose. "Whoa… that stuff is awful. First, we have some of mine."

 They sit by the fire as Ahklem raises his vapors and prepares to share his plan.

 

Two pairs of songs in this batch are musical palindromes. If down can be up, then forwards can be backwards. That means play either song backwards and hear the other song forwards. But that's not the point. It means that for each pair there will be a single organ track that plays forward in one song and backwards in the other. There will be two grungie chord guitar tracks in each song. One track is the song's guitar part recorded forwards. The other track is the other song's guitar part played backwards. This barn-stomping barnstormer is Red Shift backwards.

Narration by Ambassador Keyes.

Lyrics

 

Hey Sailor!

Put on a happy face

'cuz we're gonna win ... win us a war!

 

Our prayers have been heard

the balloons have gone up

Dash out from the trenches

it can't hurt that much

Real soon we'll have peace and then

we'll have Christmas at home

 

Like a beacon

these happy face'd notions

will guide the way

 

We'll help you put on

the happiest face

if it costs us both an arm and a leg

Receive a welcome rest 

on a hill that overlooks the Parade

 

Put your happy face

The walls will come down

the roof will cave and let havoc in

Our lives will be done

and we'll try to run down streets of fire

 

We've stepped in it now

On this road of no return

Stand down from pen and plough

In the war zone we say let it burn

All the air goes dark with din

Voices call for heads to roll

while angels dance on pins

 

Cash to ash and trust to dust

and balls to the wall

 

Did you hear what it's all about?

say you looked

say you have no doubt

Strike the others from the list

Strike a match if they resist

Time to close the open door

if we want things like they were before

 

We've stepped in it now

We'll never scrape this off our shoes

Happy facedown in the mud

In the war zone where the titans cruise

We'll fight teeth for tooth when

skeptics threaten a helpless truth

Must keep those angels dancing

 

Cast the doubters from the list

Cast a stone if they resist

Say the words and we'll forgive

Think these thoughts and you can live

 

Happy happy happy face

My face is so happy

My happy happy happy face

will keep me safe inside

12/31/2017
Sands/Morley

Story

The Veep and his pal discuss right and wrong.

12/31/2017

Story

The lads make their way toward Washington passing through upscale and downscale communities where folks tell upscale and downscale conspiracy theories. They all foretell of the ups leaving the downs behind. The downs tell of feeling left behind already. The ups complain that the downs are no longer far enough behind. Everyone insists that the real truth is hidden somewhere under Washington. As they travel, Ahklem and Strumbozo gather all the theories and suspicions and promise to find the answers when they get to the capitol.

Lyrics

 
There is a place that's warm and cozy
if that is your desire
Those who've seen the dangerous visions
will find it very dire
We find it tough to live there
among the safe and sound
the web has unraveled
and the Heavens have crashed down
 
Leaving no safe place
This is the story where
we get spaced
 
I've got no way, no path, no guide, no chase
no up nor down and no safe place
 
Buzz the bank and say I won't save face
I've stepped out of line in the credit race
Gotta get my shit together in case the missiles fall
Maybe get my sins forgiven
Just in case of a curtain call
 
No safe place
This is the party where we get faced
 
I've got no creed, no oath, no cause, no case
no mind to change and no safe place
 
This is the party where we
put on a happy face
 
No, I know a nomad man
as distinct from a known madman
I have no wish to rile
My fellow rank and file
Don't call me a deserter
I just need space to think
But I'm not holding ground
that is standing on the brink
 
No safe place this land is lost in space
No safe place so put on a happy face
 
12/31/2017

Story

Now armed with more facts than can possibly be true, the lads find themselves facing the Fog of the Unknown. While others avoid the areas where the fog is too thick, they are determined to find the dense center where they believe the truth is hidden.

As they had hoped, once at the center of the Fog, they discover they are standing on the secret hatch that leads to the Bunker of Truth. There they find, stashed away for eternity, all the truths upon which all the deceptions rely. The bunker has many shelves full of building blueprints. The lads wonder what sort of truth the plans could contain that made them have to be hidden down in the bunker.

12/30/2017

Story

Down in the Bunker of Truth, secret plans are discovered that show that buildings that look sort of like spaceships are actually spaceships intended to launch into orbit and connect together into a city in space. Even the newly refurbished Capitol Dome stands ready for an impending lift-off. Long robotic cranes will pluck supplies off the surface and particle beams will keep the workforce policed and motivated. Strumbozo grabs a few blueprints and he and Ahklem head back into the Fog of the Unknown knowing their destination must be near the center of the densest vapors. They don't know that Washington is about to become a very unsafe place.

Lyrics

 
"People are not, under their own momentum, good people. Though they are quite capable of goodness with some firm shepherding from the community at large, or a single influential person. Once this magnetic alignment is established, the result is an orderly public pulled onto a Vector of Goodness. This common motion must be maintained without deviation. It is the current and the push that allows the Goodness in us all to have a good place to be good in."
 
This is the way we've gone forever
this is the span of our stride
until we reach the shiny city
this ugly road is our guide
move along
 
This is the path
this is the way
this is the speed
of our travel today
never deviate a single step
or skip a frame of mind
should anyone lose sight of us
they must be left behind
move along
 
We are in motion 
we did the deed
a dose of dread
and regret is what we need
to chafe the senses like an ugly melody
we sung into a bottle and cast into the sea
until we reach our point of view 
this the road
this is the way
move along now
 
"Our Good Place is only there when we move together and at the same pace on the Vector of Goodness. If you move a little bit faster, or a little slower, or turn to the left or right even a smidge, the Good Place will blur and vanish from view. As will you, blur and then vanish from the sight of others who stay focused on The Path and do things at The Pace. This is The Way. Move along now… nothing to see here."
 
Keep still ya little varmints
we can make this merciful and quick
the speedy bullet is kinder to you
than the old club and stick.
your simian kinetics means
the target is in motion
like the rest of us
 
This is the road to the shining city
this is the speed of enlightenment
our destination is our nation's destiny
that waits for us forever
this is the path
this is the way
this is the speed
we travel at today
it chafes the senses like an ugly melody
we sung into a bottle and cast into the sea
until the end comes into view
this the path
and the pace
move along now
 
We are stillness in motion 
you best keep still ya little varmints
like the rest of us
 
We take the path
we know what to do 
We call it simian kinetics
but it's a vanishing point of view
 
Apes in motion
locked in limbo
kept safe and sound
 
Keep the speedy bullet
locked and loaded
the target is in motion
12/31/2017

Story

Somewhere at sea, a lone submarine receives a missile launch order that turns out to be Miss Lyle's lunch order. After a lonely truck stop is destroyed, the nation demands stronger control of its arsenal. Since no one can be trusted, the task is to be assigned to a powerful computer. The USA will demand that Russia uses it.

 

The PreAmble is the old band's opening number. An old bomb casing wore a Reagan mask but plans for the pantomime submarine never materialized.

12/25/2017

Story

Russia agrees to use the machine if they can build a counterpart for the US. Both computers are programmed with more info than any person could know. Both sides agree to switch them on at the same time. When the moment comes, both machines instantly activate their arsenals. Their displays say "SHOOT NOW! QUICK! FIRE! HURRY UP!" The pre-programmed two-minutes of doubt-time to overrule or commit starts to tick by. Everyone wonders if their computer knows something they don't. The displays say "ADVANTAGE EVAPORATING! IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED! PRESS COMMIT NOW!"  

Both sides determine that their best hope of survival is total nuclear annihilation. Each side declares exemption from accusations of madness by claiming to make only one half of the decision. Millions brace themselves for the end of everything. "The choice was not half-mad, it was half-sane."

 

Lyrics

 
Once upon a time…
 
Jimmy told us not to feed the bear
The grain stays on the farm
he said our oily debt
was a greater threat
a sweater will do less harm
Then we polled the great electorate
and Jim was cast away
next time we chose to zap them with a Reagan
 
Ronnie built us peace
peace through strength
everybody feared that 
we might take a red shift
 
Hey sailor, did you see the news?
of strutting Ruskie troop reviews
tanks rolled in Gdansk again and
the mountains of Afghanistan
Panic loomed in dangerous days
Ronnie advanced in crazy ways
Sending troops and raising flags
and putting boys in body bags
 
Will you please keep still
while the Titans cruise their nuclear destiny
With your hands tied behind your back
Tinpots for hire are paid by us the rhetoric buyers
did we sign our lives away?
 
Gorby let the wall fall down
The bombs fell too without a sound
The tanks were rolled across the bridge
and up the road to Ruby Ridge
Then they happened onto Putin Place
Now they're pu'tin' on a happy face
 
It's time to
put on our man pants
 
Are you waiting still?
Then stick around and brace yourself for war
It isn't MAD anymore
locked behind our bunker door
we got the nukes to settle the score
When the time comes to hit the floor
 
Nyet! Who left open
the Windows of vulnerability?
 
A little man whispered
"Come and dance…
come and dance and clap
those little hands with us
We can set the world aflame
then everyone will scream your name"
 
Those lads
they danced the Kremlin's way
ta-ra-ra boom-de-ay
they took our pants away
this is not the KGB
this pumpkin has a USB
relax and enjoy the show
When Jesus comes he'll wear the pants
until then we drink and dance this night away
 
Serfs' up
and are they angry
but we are hot stuff
let's set the world on fire
the forgotten folk are on the march
to a promised land for oligarchs
who scream their name
until one mushroom-cloudy day
when the missiles rain…
12/31/2017

Story

World War III gets off to a slow start. A thousand tiny individual acts of conscience-inspired sabotage have led to a complete failure of both nuclear arsenals. Bombs did not explode. Parts were substituted. Invoices were faked. Complex atomic formulas were bullshit. Yellow cake took the place of yellow cake. The public's relief quickly turns to anger and those responsible for preventing society's destruction face swift justice. With WW3 finally behind us, we can move on to a new kind of warfare.

Meanwhile, the lads have reached the steps of the Capitol.

End of Book 1

 

This was the band's closing number.

01/01/2018
01/03/2018

Story

It's gonna be a sort of cowboy song I reckon.

Lyrics

 
Come and stand with us
and hold this fort til dawn
We'll table our disgust
and give our brain and brawn
 
In here the faithful wait
for God's point man to arrive 
while others postulate 
that all can stay alive
 
Come and stand with us
and hold this fort til dawn
 
With either side in charge
the other is under siege
Either way we get a world
that no one can believe
 
Partisans hope to win for keeps
with vitriol and taunts
'Til then both sides will defend
this fortress no one wants
 
When can we get on with it?
When the castles fall
 
When will there be room for all?
When the castles fall
 
When will it be enough?
When the castles fall
 
Who can tell it like it is
when the castles fall?
 
There will be no reckoning
No one up against the wall
All will be forgiven
When the castles fall
 
Two scoops for everyone
When the castles fall
01/08/2018

Story

Chapter Six is the palindromic sibling of Chapter Eight.

Lyrics

 

 

Which way is up?

Which way is down?

From Pittsburgh to Duluth

we sought an azimuth

 

We were safe inside our dens

but not from the wily Fox

He could reach into the pens

by talking from a box

He polished shiny turds

with soothing gritty words

the Fox said...

"Gravity don't make no sound

Gravity won't let you down"

 

The Fall of Man will be held up

until we know what's going down

 

Shadows march along the wall

with shouldered arms enough for all

Jutting chins and rolling eyes

that spin from Al Phaboy and Missile Thighs

What's going down? Who's going down?

 

United we will not stand

Divided we will not fall

Not when we can float to Superland

 

Down is up and up is down

Gravity will crush this town

 

Which way is up is up to

the one who wears the crown

should it be a heavy anchor

or a levitating clown

A repulsive magnetism wins

as the moral compass spins, the Fox said...

"Gravity don't make no sound

Gravity won't let you down"

01/08/2018
Sands/Morley
01/15/2018
Morley

Story

This sixth incarnation is supposed to be a sort of bluesy plum loco.

Lyrics

 
Words for sale today here's how to order
Got words and facts and themes
and pictures of your dreams
Get some try some you can trust them
and believe
 
Rest upon our shoulders My Great Leader
While we carry on the burden on our backs
We will feed you follow and fear you
It's a bargain that we can't afford a miss
 
So we took some well-read dark upstarts
and errant sons and nailed them to
the fact transmitting tower
It said by word and deed concede
here's how to order now
 
Can't think about anything right now
Can't think about anything else
Don't want to go down in pieces
Just want to go down in peace
We're gonna get lost in space
We're gonna get torn asunder
 
I'll not buy your pitch today so sue me
Can't lose my freedom to the barrel of a song
We'll survive your new world order
and we'll claim a space where everything
is up for debate

 

11/13/2017
Lyrics by Frank Trust

Story

Back in the early '80's, my pal Frank (alias Sir Bubbles Varoom) had a fascination with abandon car plants in Detroit and books and stories about the Depression. He took polaroid photos of rusty buildings around Zug Island and then headed to the local bar to get more smashed. All that stopped when he fell through a rotted floor and filled his legs with pins and pain. Except for the getting smashed part. He favored little red brick bars near the Rouge River plants around shift change time. He liked to watch the workers. He learned to emulate their walk and dressed like them. It was one phase of a serious long-term Hemmingway-complex.
 
Along the way, he wrote song lyrics. They were mostly bits and pieces on cocktail napkins or little promotional flyers from a bank lobby. I would collect them when possible from the floor of his car. That way I could do what he never did… finish something. I stitched something together that finally met with his approval. He insisted it be clumsy and ungrammatical because that is how they talk down at the little red brick bar. I can tidy it up now because he can't stop me.
 
 
 

Lyrics

 
How can we be so cruel?
How can we be so kind?
Perpetually out in the cold
Life, the eternal soupline
 
In this land of profit and pressure
of thrown down hands
of demigods and New Deals
Receive yourself on the soupline to paradise
Hope filed away in a back-logged appeal
 
I'm that little guy, never did make it
to the American pie-sky
Who's gonna shape it?
The tickling fingers of the invisible hand?
The created Creator with the unknown plan?
We're a board brain trust with cold hard numbers
of the common man and the union people
 
I never bargained for you
You never bargained for me
Let's write it off as manifest destiny
 
Work the line! Stamp it! Shape it!
Cold polled steel! For product and progress!
Mother's breast-assembly line-animal machine
Now don't confuse it!
 
Soupline- so benign Soupline- so sublime
 
Mechno-facture each artifact as a prayer
and a hymn to our steel sky
 
Anything but necessity such are the lust of the mind
Anyway exceptional means can be bought can be sold can be mine
All of our wants and all of our needs Manufactured without soul
For that I live and that I breathe for that I have lost all control
Now that we're here, nothing is clear but the rat race to the end
of the soupline
 
It's Paradise.
 
10/29/2017
01/13/2018

Story

A strange little number from 1983.

Lyrics

 
I come from out of the shadows
down underneath far from all this glory in the Heavens
I can't think and I can't breathe just standing here
humbled by your overwhelming presence
We'll hit the beaches… we'll come up fighting
We'll take the blame for it all
Until Old Glory stands on every flattened peasant
 
Praise Babylon and Hail be upon our Great Leader
A shake or salute, a wink or a nod,
it pays to be right with God
Praise Babylon with all of our last breath
 
We don't want anymore speeches
We've suffered a bad case of rhetoric constipation
We won't be making anymore disposable lives
or any binding arbitration
We like a steady job, a plot of bricks and sod
We like a room with a view
and a screen full of happy news
a team that will never lose might just do
 
Praise Babylon and Hail be upon our Great Leader
A shake or salute, a wink or a nod,
Pay to be right with God
Praise Babylon with all of our last breath
 
Hey, Mr. President! Do you see these little guys
underneath this Great Administration?
No, you'd rather smash your fists
into creeps and columnists
A hero of a new Holy War
Never speak the whole truth aloud
Until every knee is bowed or broken
 
Praise Babylon and Hail be upon our Great Leader
A shake or salute, a wink or a nod,
Pays pretty well to be right with God
Praise Babylon with all of our last breath
Sands/Morley
11/06/2017

Story

Three different items have previously served as Chapter 10. Somehow, this one is going to work out.