Flash of a Smile

by Scotty Houston

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thegalestorm Excellent music to groove on. Favorite track: Midnight Bagel Baker.
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1.
Bow 02:52
Flash of a smile Sitting still for a while or turning soil after a first rain Smoke in the air The smell of his hair breathing shallow to hold in pain Hold it like - hold it like this Tie the bow while I hold it like this The present is always a gift it comes, it goes, like the caws of a crow Blue of the sky The sound of her cry Counting the stars A swing and a sway Hold it like - hold it like this Tie the bow while I hold it like this
2.
Fly 02:26
In the spring, she burned all her money Dingaling! And the bees burned their honey And I thought that I heard the flap of a wing Then the sun went down And everybody got high And the chance we took Made my insides fly If you think you can tell me a story If you did, I think it would bore me Cuz I’m old, and I’m smart, and I know everything Hey, what’s the matter? Is it bad that I’m badder? Huh. If you take your map and you burn it Take a lake, then jump in cuz you’ve earned And I thought that I felt a bit of a sting Then the sun went down And everybody got high And the chance we took Made my insides fly
3.
Bright Blue 03:24
Had enough of the radio news Lady pulled a Britney choosing the wrong shoes Out of the dark blows a black balloon Took you to town crying Papa Calhoun Whatever happened to The time we burned bright blue? Had a good bickering But what about the truth What about it? Fill up your tank with a cold despair Sputtering engine sputters hottest air Whatever happened to The time we burned bright blue? Had a good bickering But what about the truth What about it? My baby don’t care about the horse race My baby don’t care about the horse race What about truth? What about justice?
4.
You caught it anyway, despite your attempts At being better than anyone at building a fence Now your xenomegaphonia has tied you up And all the air inside the room has given up And gone back up to the stars Now you’re the disease that you sought to serve Everyone is running from you and your boomerang curve Sitting on a lawn chair, dreaming of god All the air inside your heart has given up And gone back up to the stars Hope you’ve given up Have you given up?
5.
Time makes you stronger Crying makes you weak The scars on your hands from the fire make you weep Try to control it The shaking of your voice Five minutes to showtime You’ve run out of choice You know it’s a fact You’ll open your mouth, it’ll turn up slack The birds in the black, they always fly back for more Again and again They say they’re going to promote you With a plan they have conceived Oblivious to injury, the problem they can’t see Time makes you weaker Crying makes you strong The shock from the microphone Will clip you if you’re wrong You know it’s a fact You’ll open your mouth, it’ll turn up slack The birds in the black, they always fly back for more Again and again You know it’s the truth You’ll open your mouth and it’s full of hoof The birds in the black, they always fly back
6.
Cards on the table in the Monday morning light A game left unfinished from the previous night I never meant to hurt you but I took some delight That's the very worst part of a very good fight I’m not going to tell you That I did everything right (‘cause I haven’t got the right) All I’ve got to levy is a promise of brevity All my bones are aching My heart is dusty-dry We’ll count the same stars Til the day that we die If a cockroach can survive a nuclear war Then you can hang on just one year more What’s it going to be? All the billions in the sea? This is it. If you choose, could be sorrow for days, sorrow for days You can be so free and name all the birds in every tree That’s a promise baby That's the promise of brevity
7.
Up and away alone Zeppelin with hydrogen bones Lightning bothers the sky Clench your teeth Everybody’s learning to fly Every day gets longer We need to take something stronger Between you and I It’s quite a venture A thirst to break A quiet quencher Can’t remember much before Longest hallway, darkened doors Somebody whispered your name Clench your teeth You get three tries in the game Every day gets longer We need to drink something stronger Between you and I It’s quite a venture A thirst to break Loudest quencher
8.
Unbreakable 02:48
Daddy died from too much love In an avalanche of snow Ma's around but they don't talk Stepdaddy took a toll She asked me to write a letter To myself, as if she were me I did it, and in it I drew her my chart Showed her how I longed for love to be She's got glass in her blood, this woman of mine She's got glass running through her in vines Forever endeavor She's stubborn as they make 'em Can't do enough right She springs back with a smile After a fight And when there is a darkness In the middle of the night We lay up, stay up, to well come, welcome To welcome the light She's got glass in her blood, this woman of mine She's got glass running through her in vines Forever endeavor
9.
No Receipt 03:44
My conversation skills are a mess I attribute this to many broken words I’ve memorized the length of your address And all its curls Someday, maybe We’ll talk about the way we used to laugh Count it down, baby Fill the list with anything you lack One by one you know I’ve got your back We stayed up late and talked about the past Put a spin on anything too dark Our memories no longer what they were Amber sparks When you feel a cold dark forming No glare to mark your way Out of spite, the sun is going to find you Burst and blind you We figure out our method to survive Tangled knot tied tight with baling wire Stride to stride much shorter than before Feet to floor Someday, maybe We’ll talk about the way we used to laugh Count it down, baby Fill the bag with anything you lack With no receipt, there’s nothing to take back
10.
When I lift my feet up In my swivel chair Both feet up off the floor I can spin around A wave that’s churning backward Bring me back to town If I could pull in closer Get the timing right Jump and land upright on shore Got a slapback echo And a strobing light Drop the shadow to the floor There’s always time to travel But there’s no time travel My only wish is one wish more I’d ask for brighter lights A more careful process A gentle start, a better day If I could pull in closer Get the timing right Jump and land upright on shore Got a slapback echo And a strobing light Drop the shadow to the floor
11.
Gonna take a green ride, a ride rode in silence Stacey on the passenger side, wine in the cupholder I should explain Been a crazy long time since we drove up to Boulder Bag of rocks at your side to skim the edge of the water Nearest the brain Playing all those oldies in the mezzanine of your mind No one there remembers the summer you went blind You can swim to the island, or throw a stone from here So close you can see it, or put an eye out on it Blind in the rain Playing all those oldies in the mezzanine of your mind No one there remembers the summer you went blind The summer you went blind
12.
There was a day full of sun, just a week ago Went by the Bay, down by the beach, girl with a radio Blasting it loud, dancing around, drinking Clicquot Straight from the lip, put in a spoon to save the bubbles, like this: I took her to town to see how she’d play with her shoes on Christmas lights in her eyes, gaze of the neon Blasting it loud, couldn’t slow down, there was a problem Policeman’s advice was to call Condi Rice to play piano, like this: Back at the beach, Stacey’s a peach, running barefoot We eat sticky rice, it tastes very nice with some vinegar Blasting it loud, dancing around, drinking Clicquot Straight from the lip, put in a spoon to save the bubbles, something like this:
13.
Coffee 03:22
What if I reached out To get my hand slapped once again For all the years that I put in Down payment on a friend But that friendship never sailed Or it only sailed one-way That’s always been a problem I don’t know who to pay Wake up, wake up Someone’s making coffee I wonder what you think Because thinking is your thing But you’re not big on solving problems And you’re too afraid to sing What if I reached out And got that hand slapped once again? You know I’ll probably do it It’s a script that never ends Wake up, wake up Someone’s making coffee You wouldn’t take another day
14.
Working every hour of the night in the flour and the SAF yeast Poppy seed and cream cheese The knocking at the backdoor is distracting It’s fast acting, I am rising Visitors surprise me I'm a midnight bagel baker It's what I do and thank you please You hold the lox and I will sing off key There’s no escaping This hole-y moly love I’ve never seen the sun rising cuz I’m always in your heartbeat Stomping on my aching feet Boil it and bake it, double whammy got a Grammy ™ for this bagel song Bitter doughnut, savory breakfast bomb I'm a midnight bagel baker It's what I do and thank you please You hold the lox and I will sing off key There’s no escaping This hole-y moly love Got to sleep sometime
15.
Conspiracy 03:35
You’ve got to bake a mystery Before you can convince the judge You must allow for conspiracy If you poke your finger into the heart You don’t have to believe, you don’t have to believe Please apply your instinct When you’re tugging at the edge of a rug Once they know you’re onto them There’s going to be a call for your blood You don’t have to believe, you don’t have to believe Only you have the power to change Only you don't have the power to change anything If they didn’t do what they did But didn’t not do it at all You’ll have to prove that insanity Is the sanest proof after all You don’t have to believe, you don’t have to believe Only you have the power to change Only you don't have the power to change anything It’s got to be a conspiracy It’s got to be a conspiracy
16.
Joan 03:18
Hey now lady get what you wanted Hey no 50 cents on your dollar You know, no one flourishes You go where no one courages Hey now tell them there’s no tomorrow No more living on what they borrowed You know it’s time to take the risk Walk in, slam down the coldest dish Welcome Welcome to Welcome to your life
17.
They came to tell you something That you already feel All turn down together, to make room All of your problems are gone tonight The city is empty There’s nobody dreaming We haven’t had the mischief We haven’t had the strife There’s a sudden lack of paper in your unreported life All of your problems are gone tonight The city is empty There’s nobody dreaming The things we are changing Are filled in with grey We left all our money out on the street All of your problems are gone tonight The city is empty There’s nobody dreaming All of your problems were magical errors The city is empty There’s nobody dreaming Nobody.

about

Flash of a Smile excerpts songs recorded at ChezFly in 2016/2017. Remixed Fall 2017. PM me if you want the B sides.

credits

released January 1, 2018

All songs by Scotty Houston, Ⓒ 2018 Melodious Thump Music (BMI)
Extra special thanks to Cherie Chavez: lyrics on Bow and Unbreakable, vocals on Bright Blue, photography.

For Pam. We miss you. <3

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Scotty Houston California

“In the dark times. Will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times.”

- Bertolt Brecht

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