HAPPINESS HOURS
2018 | EPITAPH

SPOTIFY | ► APPLE MUSIC | ► BANDCAMP

OTHER PEOPLE'S PETS

driving past the stadium
humming 'Elegy for Tim'
I saw 10 dozen caps and gowns
peasants disguised in crowns
I felt like a king
when I saw an end as a start
or his death as just a bit part
a quick hello I might forget
I can say hello
to other people and other people's pets
 
Merideth at dawn would sit and let me talk away
Merideth at dawn
I'll pet her as I talk away
talk away

 


MIX FOR RAINY DAY

every mixtape hit serving as gifts
to the goons that got away
couldn't have played em in your new car anyway
there was something off 'Sister's Lovers' and 'Sister Ray'
should've put those picks on 'Mix for Rainy Day'
instead committed as a Valentine's display
and potentially thrown away
 
letting it lock into your cranium to hiss and hum
letting it lock into your cranium, your cranium
if we shutup I swear we'll hear
the songs of our years
when you get headaches just envision it
the tape exposed
wrapping around your frontal lobe
 
kissing that crush but then what if it just falls flat
like a hope to swing for fences but forgot the bat
or you don't even play sports at that
well an expectation is an extension of your id
to want and just wonder if you did
well I wanna sit on your roof again
not talk about people or friends
listen to ice cubes clicking and planes
amazed how without touching
we touch each other's brains
it's insane
 
letting it lock into my cranium
I'll keep that one
letting it lock into my cranium, my cranium
if I shutup I swear I'll hear the ringing of ears
when I get headaches I should just sit down
try to relax
two tylenol and a water glass

 

TWIN'S TWIST

cow-skin cowboy boots donned
but you aren't from Texas
strawberry lemonade made
but you're not a child
so you saved it
and you made it into an adult beverage
and you called it 'twin's twist'
cause it's the simple tricks that help you seem wild
sure, it's the sugar surfacing on the sour
masking a moment with a happiness hour
 
the lemon rind can reek in the summer heat
but then seem so sweet later on
 
you've got that 'Chronic 2000' high school state of mind
burning mom's gas
smashed
and it's fueling your rhymes
about the 2 liter hits
that you get with a little help from gravity
the high keeps you on the ground
when your favorite one in town isn't around
kissing other people and trying not to fall in love
dancing in the darkness
but in the daytime it's just a shrug
 
the lemon rind can reek in the summer heat
but then seem so sweet later on
finding fruit to eat in February
dreams of losing teeth later on
so sleep off that one
 
good morning boring town
buy your disguise for a dollar down
we're putting on your crown
and singing you happy birthday
and force feeding you meringue

 

WIN AFFECTION

I felt insane on Lover's Lane
wanted a cry on my daily drive
to the Park of Roses
I opposed every petal picking nice guy in the grass
I felt absurd as a lovebird
wanted to die on my morning fly
to your apartment window
where I would show my muscle and my melody off
but no on likes a chatterbox
 
I cannot win
I cannot win
I cannot win affection
win affection
 
I started parting my hair like his, that's what i did
to subconsciously draw your attention
to the arbitrary aspect of attraction
and when at my teenage worst what i do
is think of all the people in the world that aren't you
oh there's plenty, I usually only count to twenty
less dog with tail between its legs
more like my guts are on display
food out on a tray but I can't eat it
doesn't that sound defeated
 
I cannot win
I cannot win
I cannot win affection
win affection

 

DON'T FEEL LIKE DANCING

in a city named for a man with some awful choices in life
it makes sense I met a couple dozen Christophers tonight
business boys backlit by a founding father bar-light
and I just don't feel like dancing without you
no I just don't feel like dancing without you
criticizing the jukebox and making fun of the dudes
no I just don't feel like dancing without you
but it's not like dancing could undo a time I had with you
 
undo
can't undo dances I had with you
 
I saw a black and yellow bird
on a black and yellow flower
I thought about Pittsburgh
I thought about you for an hour
how come I rarely let my nostalgia have power
and I just don't feel like dancing without you
no I just don't feel like dancing without you
making excuses like 'I forgot my wallet' or '...my shoes'
no I just don't feel like dancing without you
but it's not like dancing could undo a time I had with you
it's not like not dancing would make a memory more true
 
undo
can't undo dances I had with you
 
kept commenting 'it's crowded here, it's quite a heavy crowd'
mimosas tasted medical, chemicals felt like clouds
Kathy came and talked me down, calling me a clown
for faking my face as a frown, calling me a clown
so I juggled my nostalgia and I started to stilt around

 

WEED TENT

looking at you on a glossy screen
as one could guess I see the hazy reflective me
like an expectation of angels or Santa Clause on Christmas eve
incense halo and us on a screen
Saint Stephen was stoned when he went
and I'd gladly crystallize in this moment
but I gave up thinking about you too much for lent
Saint Stephen was stoned when he went
 
how could I be like a martyr
when I don't really wanna die
missing you would be much harder
but it's easy for us not to try to ever meet eyes
 
Joshua tree mountain near our campsite
at first I thought the cactus was a needled cross
so I climbed atop to try to talk to jesus
believed my eyes and cut off both its arms
Saint Stephen was stoned when he went
and I'd spend eternity in our weed tent
but I gave up thinking about you too much for lent
Saint Stephen was stoned when he went
 
how could I be like a martyr
when I don't really wanna die
missing you would be much harder
but it's easy for us not to try to ever meet eyes
 
blind by our separate skies
a screen in the light
I saw your face in mine and I felt fine
 
your picture, I kissed you
mirror makeout
your picture and my picture
engage in a monogamous relationship independent of us so
how could I be like a martyr
how could I be like a martyr
how could I be like a martyr when I don't wanna die

 

SUMMER AND THE MAGIC TRICK

a sign that reads 'let's fix what's broke'
how about that line of thought's a cruel joke
why don't we both just line our coats
with all we cherish most and haggle
cause if you're always looking for the fix
you'll never see the current trips
colors of the horses and saddles
addled with the constant chore of getting better
 
but I can't find it
no I can't find it
what I should to be good
 
Summer found a magic trick
where the same thing that fixes makes you sick
but ginger ale and a saltine
isn't quite the kind that Summer means
sick of the nothing that you do, sick of staring at the tube
at marathons of food and dancing stars
I wish we had one last waltz to heal our hungry hearts
 
but I can't find it
no I can't find it
what I should to be
 
it's hard to heal when you can't really feel what's wrong
and feeling good doesn't make for feel-good songs
but Summer sang a sad one and it felt good singing along
Summer sang a sad one but it felt good to sing along

 

SERPENT IN A SUN DROUGHT

put out the china set that you got on your wedding day
leave all the candles lit
let em burn 'til election day
the dog can rip the napkins all to smitherenes
golden hair pouncing up when no one's listening
cause their stations are locked on
slow songs about lovey things
and the weather
you never
 
yelled when you needed help
you'd just wait it out
like serpents in a sun drought
cause serpents in a sun drought wait it out
 
Mary and me were 3 deep in some desert jamboree
guy sporting howling wolves
asks about scoring LSD
even the wolf on his tee could see I'm slipping
it's nice to know I'm obviously tripping
I guess I'm dripping with these
slow songs about lovey things
quick choruses
that are too high to sing, and too clever
I never
 
yelled when I needed help
I'll just wait it out like serpents in a sun drought
cause serpents in the sun don't
yell when they needed help
I'll just wait it out like serpents in a sun drought
cause serpents in a sun drought wait it out
 
sweatpants, I don't cares
heard holidays downstairs
ate ice cream in your chair all afternoon but didn't
 
yell when you needed help
you'll just wait it out
like serpents in a sun drought
cause serpents in the sun don't
yell when they needed help
you'll just wait it out like serpents in a sun drought
cause serpents in a sun drought wait it out

 

ELEGY FOR TIM

letting it lock into my cranium, claw at my brim
letting it lock into my cranium, my cranium
if I shutup I swear I'll hear
the twitch of your ear
when I get headaches I'll envision you
with right eye crossed
wrestling there with my thoughts

 

MEDIUM IN THE MIDDLE

in the silver awning's symphonic repeats
I heard a silver fox's Saturday cig speech
I heard aluminum litter concrete stoops
I heard 'Hotline Bling' on constant loop
I saw a heart shaped as our state tattoo
the silver fox said he should move
there's nothing new to bite into
 
feeling medium in the middle
feeling of an average state
feeling like a rock stuck skipping on a great lake
 
providing poppers to the party passing em out like its cake
I almost did a spit take of my cornflakes
no thanks, no it's not late, I'm not straight edge
just already have a headache
so no thanks, i'm straight
 
feeling medium in the middle
feeling of an average state
feeling like a rock stuck skipping on a great lake
 
feeling so medium now in the middle
not quite west but still a little
the karaoke crests at two or so
i'll sing a song that you would know
it's 'Carolina in My Mind' 
cause it's there we thought we might find
a couple days of satisfaction
a couple dazed and lacking passion
our brains would wade inside a dish
with soft-shell crab and grouper fish
a drink of choice could not explain we avoid avenues of rain
avoiding outside altogether
a void is fine if we're together
so maybe you could pass the time with me in an Econoline
with me in an Econoline
with me in Carolina

 

HAPPINESS HOURS

tried to get to know that guy Steven
couldn't really access any of those thoughts
it starts out as a childhood familiar feeling
but then it all just gets lost in the wash
of thoughts like
'every gigantic white cross
is made by the same gigantic white cross company'
and I think about that because I'm from the midwest
and I have a vague interest in the art of market cornering
or 'hey, maybe someday you'll have a baby'
the same way we were babies
well isn't that shit crazy
how I think in these terms lately
 
happiness comes in hours
distraction is a daze
lovers deserve flowers
love is just a phrase
that I invented somewhere around Summit Avenue
I'm in love with the idea of you
 
I started searching for my story
mythologizing that man
who's at the center of all those plot twists
oh hey, there's your character again
but if I rearrange the story
or magnify what I see
or execute a freeze-frame
moments can just be
so
 
if happiness comes in hours
well it looks like it's that time again for me
gravestones deserve flowers
lovers deserve poetry
that I crafted cleverly to be sung in key of G
to give a moment some clarity
(well a poet would say a moment's like)
they'd say it's like a picture in a frame
or the clouds before the rain
the rumbling of a train before the tracks abruptly end
it's the car before it quits on the way to your first day of work
or the last day of school
still feeling the cool of the air
through your patented moon-roof
hearing the blown subwoofer mumbling some sung truth
it was your daily rock-block of Jimmy Eat, Joni, and The Jam
it's the calming 'California' chorus
just before the engine slam
...'California, I'm coming home'

 

CREDITS:
Steve Ciolek - Vocals, Guitar, Keys
Matt Climer - Drums, Vocals
Toby Reif - Guitar, Vocals, Trombone, Keys
Ryan Starinsky - Bass, Vocals, Keys
Kyle Kerley - Trumpet, Flugelhorn (track 4,12)
Emily Rittenhouse - Piano
Chap Sanders - Tambourine, Shaker
John Agnello - Wall of Shit
Lyrics by Steve Ciolek

Produced, Engineered, and Mixed by John Agnello
Assistant Engineer: Emily Rittenhouse
Recorded and Mixed at Water Music in Hoboken, NJ
Additional tracking at Russell Street Recording in Brooklyn, NY
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, NY
Assisted by Steve Fallone
 
Artwork by Tess Pugsley
Lettering and Layout by Zac Little
Screen Printed by Pat Crann at Shout Out Loud Prints
Album layout by Jason Link
 
Thanks to Blair Dickerson, Brett Gurewitz and Epitaph Records, John Agnello, Rob Grenoble, Emily Rittenhouse, Carlos Hernandez, Alex Lipsen, Danielle DuBois, Pat Crann, and the kind humans who have inspired and encouraged us to make music.