Haphazard

by S. J. Tucker

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about

S.J.'s very first album, released on her Mom's birthday in 2004, Haphazard is a fun, raw, masterful ride. Many happy owners of this album claim to "never get tired of listening to it" and several claim to have "nearly burned a hole in the disc, from playing it so often." Starting with the unapologetic a cappella piece, "Cross-section", hanging out "In the House of Mama Dragon" for a minute, getting us back in touch with our "Heart Beat" and ending with the wild grace of "Eulogy Song", Haphazard was recorded in a single week, in Memphis, Tennessee. Accessible, fun, and honest, there's nothing lacking in this first release. In 2014, Haphazard celebrated its tenth birthday, and this year S. J. celebrates 13 years as a full-time indie artist. That's definitely something to sing about.

credits

released March 27, 2004

Music, Lyrics, Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Percussion: S. J. Tucker
Congas, Little Djembe: Jay "Trainwreck" Timbs
The Ragged Rabble Chorus: Jenn Matters, Andrea Morrison, Kris Klink, Scott Sumers, Mallorie E. Gareis, Trudy "Mama Dragon" Herring, Trevor "Tempest" Rush, Leif "The Yellow Dart" Ericson, Andy Sims, J. Cooper, and Melinda Mattison
Mix-down: Willie Pevear
Rehearsal Tapes: Brandon Sams
Photos: Moji O., Angel by Jeff

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Track Name: Cross-Section
You watched me walking in; I know you did
viper's glance like I've never seen, taking me in
Like a vessel, like a parcel, like a package, like a dream.
Did you notice, oh, I wonder: our meaning didn't correspond, and I
Wasn't looking back the way you looked at me.
I wonder just which part of me you think you want
to get to know.
I hope you realize it doesn't work that way;
That's not how it's supposed to go.
You can't make a pretty cross section,
tear it out, and leave the rest behind,
so it won't be so scary if you change your mind.

You see somebody under glass, under makeup, under fantasy,
and it's the lazy way to think 'oh, this time I've found the one for me.'
Because faery glamour fades
with dirty socks, compromise, and rent to pay
So I think you'd best step away.

The truth might be too much for you,
so don't tell me you can take it.
Look before you leap, my friend.
There's a lot here to set straight.
It only gets better.

I wonder just which part of me you think you want to get to know.
I hope you realize it doesn't work that way;
That's not how it goes, no.
You can't make a pretty cross-section,
tear it out, and leave the rest behind
So you might be forgiven if you change your mind.
You will not be forgiven if you change your mind in time.

The truth might be too much for you,
so don't tell me you can take it.
Look before you leap, my friend.
There's a lot here to set straight.
It only gets more complicated.
Yeah.
Track Name: Face-Down
Wednesday's come and gone; five years
I throw no roses in
Just drive across the bridge and be done
Wonders sing above my head, swirl swirl in the riverbed
I'm a stranger in this town
I'm a stranger to this city that leaves its taste on my tongue
but Wednesday's come and gone

Blown free out to sea like all the other days
I never sit still yet still his spirit stays

Like a lover long drowned
singing all the way down
Face Down

Love has come and gone; three years
I begin anew
Just drop the torch onto the bridge and walk on alone
Dead regrets buzz inside my head, no, go girl, it's better left unsaid
Stranger to my own heart--stranger to my own heart says
You always were the stronger one

I realize all this time
I've only been afraid of pain
someday I'll be more at peace
but for now I am running like rain

Like a lover long drowned
singing all the way down
Face Down
Left alone in this town
singing all the way down
Face Down--Turn around.

Do the Wonders sing above your head?
Are you dancing in the riverbed?
You know you left your taste on my tongue
You know you left your taste on my tongue
but that love has come and gone

Blown free out to sea with all the other dreams
I keep so still yet still my spirit screams

Like a lover long drowned...I turn around, not looking back or looking down
Track Name: Crystal Cave
I woke up on a journey, the road ahead in my mind's eye
its lessons universal and its beauty hard to hide
The way, it opened for me like the drawbridge of a castle
Underneath the tragedy I found the Cave of Crystal
Do not fear the traps you set years ago,
now seething to taste your blood.
Knowledge will not come unless you're bold enough to peek inside.
Follow Inanna's footsteps down. To hell with the bumpy ride.

Follow Inanna's footsteps down.
We'll find what you need in the Underground.

So what if the story takes you to where the river's dressed in black?
The Ferryman will know you by the Reaper on your back.
The way will open for you like the drawbridge of a castle.
Wild times ahead before you find Merlin's Cave of Crystal.
Whether on Dragonwing you fly, or gust of an idea from the mind,
don't you look above for what you're hoping to find.
It's been inside you all along, child.
Hiding inside you so many ways; burning brightly all these days.

Follow Inanna's footsteps down.
We'll find what you need in the Underground.
Follow the daughter's footsteps down.
We'll find you a king in the Underground.
Follow the Lady's footsteps down.
Go into the Green in the Underground.
Follow Inanna's footsteps down.
Believe what you see in the Underground.

Girl you must prove bold and brave
Go wandering inside the Crystal Cave
You will know it as your own mind before the sun dies away.
You'll see your heart's dreams come into play.
Shining, shimmering, all these days!

Follow Inanna's footsteps down
We'll find what you need in the Underground.
Follow the daughter's footsteps down
We'll find you a king in the Underground.
Follow the Lady's footsteps down
Believe what you see in the Underground.
Follow Inanna's footsteps down.
You'll find what you need in the Underground.
Track Name: Stickit
You can light a match and say 'that's me,'
but you're a liar
if you run around and never catch a single thing on fire.
Now, what good to me is a knife or a pair of
scissors that won't cut?
Just gives me an excuse to stab you with something,
with scissors turning in your gut!

You better listen up, boy, I'm only saying this one time.
Best stick some reason to your rhyme.

Now, my inner-child hates you, but the woman can't let go.
We are trouble in the very same sack, but you're pot and I'm oregano.
Why is half of me dead set on saying, 'I'll get him for that!'
While the rest of me just loves you and keeps holding me back?

Oh, there's something wrong, but damned if we'll say it.
It's never the right time.
Best stick some reason to your rhyme!

Now, I wish I knew the language of guitar strings about to break.
That way, there'd be no faltering. You could tell it by the noise I'd make.
There are no pretty words to say, 'you are f*cking up real bad!'
So I'm left with the choice of aiming everything I've got
right at your head.

Now, I open my window wide as wide and I'm staring at the ground.
I know you're not even watching me, without turning around.
Unless you start fighting back soon, I just might slip away.
Better tie my wings down, love, the edges of my conscience have frayed.

If you don't watch it, I'll give up on you this time.
Best stick some reason to your rhyme, better stick some reason into your rhyme;
best stick some reason to your rhyme!
(Stick it, you know where you can stick it, boy!, etc.)
Track Name: Mummy Medusa
mummy medusa will rock us all down

she calls you from the shadows, never lets you win
you wander down to the gorgon, not knowing how to begin...
all you know, she'll never let you go, stoneboy, no

mummy medusa will rock us all down
tendrils hang my head i hang my head down
rapunzel dripped her tendrils over
charming boy is left to wonder what the signal means
tendrils hang my head snakes kiss my head now

kiss from the snakebite awakens you there
curled up in shadow paralyzed but aware
no pain, no living, no sign of her
cold stone you've gone
the chisels pierce your fur, perfect your stare
and mummy medusa will rock us all down
yellow eyes animating you, cold scales a soft new home
stone eyes closed close to her breast
her heart is hissing, children, come...

for mummy medusa will rock you all down
rock us all down.

stone boy wants to get me stoned
cold concrete his heartbeat's home
warm smoke rises in yellow eyes
his heart is hissing
i am alone

riccochet her off my shield; i scream from icy hero's skin
kissing life behind concrete lips, i flash mine eyes at her and win.
mummy medusa will rock you all down

rapunzel's left her tendril tower
trailing snakes and dreams
bare feet warm and growing scales, she
licks prince charming's screams

mummy medusa will rock us all down...
Track Name: Follow Me Down
I've been counting crows again
and no one wants my name
The blue motel goes ghostly as she fades
into the gray of the Saturday rain
I'm a war zone--
If you lose me, you can find me,
I'll be dancing down the shingles.
My rooftop's always free from prying eyes
And the leaves will collect your little white lies my friend
So follow me down the river
with no shame
Follow Me Down.

Bitter spectres beckon: 'Let it rain.
Why don't you turn, weary traveler?
Why don't you fly?
Why don't you fall?'
The brown and yellow leaves are all
They coast down dreamy breezes
and tremble in their dancing as much as we.
It's a war zone; terrible turning journey
of a deathwish down

And there, along the river's path we follow:
pagan rain-kids with nowhere else to go
Let it furrow
Let it follow
Follow Me Down.
Track Name: Tattoo Grrl
She sees herself in little black lines
This is not meant to be
She finds herself in little black words
when her world's gone out to sea

She's a fever I don't want to avoid
It seems like she will still be standing
when the world's destroyed
and we could talk for hours
yeah we could talk for hours
in little black lines

There's a heart here with a hole in the middle
ripe and ready for your poison
Skin's a patterned fever
she's a fever
and you're a fever I don't wanna avoid.

She reads between all enemy lines
just to see what she can see
On the street she serves up her little black heart
Says 'The world thinks out loud, and then there's me.'
But the pretty girls write all over the hands of their boys
We stand apart while the world's destroyed
and we talk for hours
yeah we talk for hours
going over the little black lines
Read between all the lines; little colorful lines

Oh, black ley lines; my skin's on fire; you're telling me to run
but i can't leave cuz it's down to me, and there's singing to be done
Oh, pretty girls write prophecies all over the hands of their boys
But we stand apart while our lovely blue world is destroyed
and we talk for hours
yeah we talk for hours
going over the little black lines.

There's a heart here inked over
with the lines of learning
your patterned skin's a fever
and you're a fever
I don't wanna avoid.
Track Name: Heart Beat
Come and listen in the twilight time, speak in incantory waves
Bring your drum down to the fire
and watch the surface change.
Boundary illusions all shatter at your will
come midnight when the gates roll back
and the family goes still.

Ah, here we are in the midst of spirits dancing
Join the trybe in a waking dream.
Let your song continue and the imbas quell your fear
we flow with baited breath; round about the spiral go
when the Bards, my love, have spoken, you will know.

Spend the night, gold-throated changeling,
hard-headed angel
tonight we dance in open air
let the spiral take you. We'll be with you when you dare.
bring your heart for drumming
then journey on; handle with care.

See the magic embers fly
Listen in the twilight time

Ah, here we are in the midst of spirits dancing
Join the trybe in a waking dream.
Know your song continues; let its imbas quell your fear
unleashed about the spiral go
and when the questing bard inside you speaks
you will know.
***

I keep shifting into Dragon at the most improper times
I keep hearing rushing water from another room.
There's a tingling all along my bones; I'm soaring in my mind,
fearing more my capture than my doom.

I am waiting for more lightning but would prefer just not to wait
let me ride a tradewind to it and come down some other day
I cannot stay.

Something missing here; parking lot full moon prayer
cut the circle down.
Make your own way.
Lightning will strike for you as many times as it has to.
Follow your own light.
Track Name: In the House of Mama Dragon
Come for the day and stay a year
That's the way it goes around here
In the House of Mama Dragon
Trudy's house becomes a home for
all who seek and laugh alone
It's the House of Mama Dragon
Tawt I taw a puddy cat well,
she's got two, and fish on top of that!
In the House of Mama Dragon
Stick around and soon you'll be
cashing in on STRAGEDY!
In the House of Mama Dragon
Remember, thou art god. Now take your cookie.

How's she gonna cast circle today,
with the carrot or the athame
In the House of Mama Dragon?
Wit can bite and smiles can shine but
not when you leave your teeth behind
In the House of Mama Dragon
When it comes your turn for the ritual cup/and your time is up
and/if your mind goes blank
just make it up!/who gives a ****!!
In the House of Mama Dragon
Remember, thou art god. Now take your cookie.
Remember, thou art goddess; yes.

Crone jokes I've never heard before:
"of course, you realize, dis means war!"
In the House of Mama Dragon
Dragonlady doesn't speak in fire but she'll
kick your *** when things get down to the wire
Just like the Trickster when you raise his ire.
So all who seek and laugh alone,
just consult your local Crone.
She will take it all in stride.
Disbelieve the light in my own eyes;
she claims to be disorganized!
Just don't expect a place to hide the bodies!

Remember, thou art god!!
Remember, thou art goddess, yes!!
Remember, when the gods all stutter on your precious name
You have the gift of humor;
no one who meets you will frown for very long
or ever be the same.
Track Name: Eulogy Song
tHE skeleton inside insists that every step's a toy
A eULOGY for a hEAVY mETAL bOY
how close is he to being gone compared to all the rEST
down thru the clouds to find what's Left of It"what were U thinkin?
What r u tHINKIN??
bREATHING lifelike bones of mist
dEAD-eND aNGELS co-exist
how close are WE to being GONE
compared to them" flyin round
confused about what the gods were thinkin,
and What we were tHINKIN??

The sun makes you sICK so you hURL up a sky
sHOT thru w/ sTARs and easier on the eye
I I I feel a nITE FLITE comin on,
cry 2 your new sky and what's left of the old world
do you find yourself thinkin
wHAT are we tHinkin???

tHE sKELETON DANCE forces up all jOY
oNE Last hURRAH with your hEAVY mETAL bOY
sKip all the gRAVEYARDS sTONE bY sTONE
all aLONE
and WHAT R U THINKIN????

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