main pop girl 2019

by default genders

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the second album by default genders


released February 4, 2019


all rights reserved



james brooks Los Angeles, California

nb streampunk icon

i don't actually live in LA

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Track Name: reverse chronological order (part 2)
brenda and eddie were the popular steadies, and the king and the queen of the prom
so he was the first to be asked where he thought she'd get heroin from
the cops had some thoughts of their own about photos they saw from that night
but nothing conclusive - just talks with the usual low level guys.
to make it more potent, they'd mixed all their dope with a fentanyl spike,
and the reality is that fatalities hit new and terrible highs
cuz that tends to be the main difference between like, a tyical night
and this doctor's disturbingly stubborn refusal to say she'll survive.

[computer] how do you feel?
[spock] i do not understand the question.
[amanda] you're half human - the computer knows that!
[spock, shaking his head] the question is irrelevant.

remember when eddie was giving her plenty
of reasons to wish he was gone?
asleep on the couch with some lines he'd cut out
and the TV still on.
a flickering light that persists through the night, and an audible hum
ocarina of time droning endlessly on from the dusk until dawn.
sometimes she would wake up and suddenly find herself draped in his arms
other times she would pass him while going to class and escape from his charms.
"i love him," she'd think to herself as she left. "but i think he forgets that i'm young. someone my age, i just should not be wasting my time here replacing his mom."

[a folk singer] here we go - can i get a goddamn timpani roll? to start this goddamn song? tonight!!

brenda and eddie had started already by the time i called up from out front
with gigantic eyes i'm like, "where did you guys get this ketamine from??"
half of the way into all conversations i'd just let my side of it drop
it must have been good, cuz no one understood what i said when i'd talk.
in some deep dark corner we'd all find each other, and try to detach from the mob
just to dissolve into laughter without ever speaking at all.
years could have passed while we sat trying to act like we weren't so completely fucked up -
generations of strangers replaced by their ancestors as we just sat there and watched.
Track Name: pharmacoma (for ben deitz)
if this is a dream,
i don't wanna wake up.
it feels so good to me
like, i can't get enough

i feel like i'm in a coma
it feels like i'm in a dream
i feel like i'm in a coma
it feels like i'm floating
Track Name: christmas card from a scammer in minneapolis
at christmas, in the basement
fuzzy memories. it's difficult to place them
was it peaceful? were you patient?
with me or the predilection i had for staying
out of the papers, job placements
anything that might have taken time away from
all of the scams i was running on the days when
i lacked excuses or the wherewithal to make them
back in uptown - back to basics.
in the fitting room fiddling with the blade's edge
cut off the tag so i can walk it away and
take it to everyday people which is adjacent
if they don't want it, i can buffalo exchange it
what if they catch me? ha, let's face it
i know the cashiers here. they do the same shit
the CEO is an asshole, and the pay's shit

he's always hiring these girls who are in grade ten,
i heard that he's gone on record as hating gay men
the way i tend to abstain from making payment?
that's just the way that i'm fighting discrimination.

anyway man, what do you say, then?
i call my guy up, we can go all of the way in
the denim's forty and the shirt? let's say ten
if you got twenty or thirty, that's all it takes, man
we can get wasted! even more wasted than
my EBT and your major in illustration!
this city hates us - more than it loves prince,
white rap, black tar, and the replacements.
or washed up rock stars who never made it,
talked up so hard and never played since
at all the usual spots here, acting famous
but no one knows who they are in other places
but they can pay rent? well, okay then.
i've got a gift card, you think that we can trade it?
my parents got it cuz they thought it was a safe bet
preventing this was their entire motivation.

at christmas, three of us blazing
in the parking lot of a bar you were DJing
i think the bridge fell - not that day, but
recent enough that everything still kind of felt strange
kept getting texts from people asking if i was OK
i got this one from this girl who was my roommate.
i owe her money cuz of all the times she saved me
getting my rent when it was way more than a month late.
it's been so long since i have even seen her first name
but there it is again - "not trying to make it a thing,
just want to know that no one i know is buried underneath
that giant pile of debris they keep showing on TV"
now, here we are getting drinks - the floor as clear as can be
none of the regular customers came
you guys are both getting paid
to keep no one entertained
and me, i'm just up here in the booth drinking and taking up space
Track Name: vietato calpestare i prati
yeah i heard about you - you're at the age when
even your friends are all now starting to lose their patience.
2006 futuristic is now just ancient
2015 and you're still out here on the same shit
what looked prodigous at one point now just seems immature
your friends won't come out to shows with you nearly as much as before.
but who can blame them, i mean who wants to suffer the risk
of being the one old guy in a room full of kids?
i mean, shit, who wouldn't find that embarrassing?
besides you, apparently
girlfriends menudo cuz they do go when they grow up
find someone new though, some new youth who don't scare you as much.
some new excuse to feel like you're still not losing your touch
even though if at all it's often recalled with disgust
outside of therapy, not once ever even discussed
like they're afraid if it got out, people would judge

[liberals] if you're so smart, then why aren't you rich?

yeah, i heard about you - back in the day when
everyone was so sure they were gonna make it
that it was not just the tools they'd used to make shit
it's a mistake early adopters [are] always making
always acting like it's a commercial
acting like life is a big commercial
companies that used to have you hitting adblock
they hit you up *one time* and you're like, "ads rock!"
and holding too many free drinks to shake hands
making too many contacts to make friends
and doing too many key bumps to keep track
of how often your chump change has changed hands
in front of cameras that those people at parties had
like an aesthetic constitutes a political act
that one day turns into some kind of residual check
a lotta people out here still probably waiting for that

[trust fund kids] if you're so smart, then why aren't you rich?
Track Name: black pill skyline
well, if i saved every cent i bet i still could not afford
that bottle of perfume you bought from an upscale department store
you picked it up, and then you smashed it on the floor
before it even hit the ground, you were right back to being bored
oh darling, fame is like a manhole in the street
people get these weird ideas about where it might lead
fucking people in this town, i can't believe
resolutely superfcial, yet obsessed with the unseen

you and me:
we don't live on borrowed time. we stole it, let's be real
well, i'm not sure we'll stop taking even though we say we will
human beings:
the ones who've lived the longest are the ones we should have killed
they will all live on forever, drinking blood and popping pills

when the lawyers used my blood to write the terms of the divorce
well, she got to keep her dignity, and you got to keep new york
so, we both dropped 2-CT-7 back at yours
the trip report you wrote on erowid won several awards!
oh darling, hate is like this river in the spring
the air around it becomes putrid and impossible to breathe.
left unchecked it will continue to increase
oh, until the day it rises up and swallows everything but

you and me:
we don't live on borrowed time. we stole it, let's be clear
well, our greed is justifiable, if we lie and call it fear
human beings:
they want to go to other planets now, and stain them with their tears
it's the good days when i wonder if it shouldn't just end here

well, i never thought i'd find the kind of love that i imagined
when that writer from the hairpin did that profile on chris evans
oh, i thought it was like thorium or free and fair elections
something very cool in theory that, in real life, never happens
darling, family is like the air we breathe
you can see that it's inside you - all you have to do is bleed
and at the end, when this has cost you everything?
i'll be cheering from the cheap seats as they drop the guillotine,
and that's the tea
Track Name: heart emoji xo
well, she was so exhausted that she must have forgot
to ask this awkward twentysomething dude if he was a cop
he said he didn't bring the money so he had to take off
because without it, either way, she isn't giving a fuck
so after locking up, she sat in bed and she thought
about the timeline of events that follows hearing a knock
looking through the peephole, trying to see what he brought
is it a wallet, or a badge? a pack of condoms, or cuffs?
she looked out at the balcony where they were set to meet
and then back into the mirror for a second, just to see
if the package she was working could be any more complete
if a rose by any other name could ever smell as sweet

the answer's no.

she hears a knock three times on the window
baby, that's how you know
it either isn't or it is and then it's over
baby, that's how it goes
romeo, romeo, you better turn off your phone
[you know?]

the world was tinted violet by the sunrise and smog
as his fingers traced the distance between home and this block
it said it's thirty-seven minutes if he opted to walk
until the red pin once again was covered by the blue dot
his eyes were set on juliet, his laces in knots
he starts to say "babe, that was great, but now i gotta take off"
but there's a distance in her eyes, as if he's already gone
so he just leaves an extra $20 hoping that's what she'd want
then he goes to ring his girlfriend soon as he's in the hall
says "baby, there's no special reason! i just miss you, is all
i'm stepping out to do some errands, and my reception might stall
so i'll just say 'i love you' now, in case the phone drops the call"

and there it goes.

she texts him "baby, i can't wait to see you later! [heart emoji] xo"
it either isn't or it is and then it's over, baby, that's how it goes
romeo, romeo starts walking home
Track Name: reverse chronological order (part 1)

eddie used to say that it was almost like a room
that you had to hit the fourth plateau to even get into
and time folds in upon itself if you can make it through
and your past and future selves are all inside waiting for you

and he says:
"that's how i always know just what to do."
brenda, is that true?

eddie says it's wrong to think of time as like a loop
he says people perceive cycles cuz they can't handle the truth.
"it's more like spinning plates," he says. "it's delicate, aloof
and it's all gonna break down one day and there's nothing we can do."

and he says:
"i think it's gonna happen soon."
brenda, is that true?


in the heat of the war
are you scared or are you sure
that when your knees hit the floor
you will know what you are?


well, we got to the funeral bout quarter after two
less than a week after brandon used a white belt as a noose
he wiped his seratonin after eddie broke the truce
all the pills they found were yellow, but it's clear he had the blues

and he said:
"baby, i did it all for you."
brenda, is that true?


in the heart of the storm
as you swing back and forth
we all have roles. this was yours
it was ordained when you were born

in the midst of the swarm
small mistakes start to form
something big - something more
a nagging thought: a deathless roar


well, the basements in this city are all portals into hell
and the saints built their basilica in an attempt to quell
any influence of demons on the kids that tend to dwell
in the gulf between macalester and a wright county jail

and i guess:
i guess it's gonna have to do.
and you know that's true.
Track Name: sophie (emphasis mine) [ft. beth sawlts]
i had a dream that
one day you showed up
at where i work and you paid
all my student loans off
like it was nothing
oh like it was nothing

i had a dream that
it was the morning
and i wasn't waiting for my iphone
to start ringing
i was just sleeping
oh like it was nothing

today somebody told me they want the old me back
i know, i know, i know - somebody had to hold me back

today somebody told me they want the old me back
i know, i know, i know - nobody who knows me
wants the old me back

i had a dream that
my dress got ripped but
i could just go out on my own and
buy a new one
like it was nothing
oh like it was nothing

i had a dream that
i was fifteen and
i could see everything that
was about to happen
and i could stop it
oh like it was nothing

today somebody told me they want the old me back
i know, i know, i know - somebody had to hold me back

today somebody told me they want the old me back
i know, i know, i now - not even the old me
wants the old me back

it's like you always told me
it's like you always said
once i could feel it starting
there i was at the end

it's like you always told me
it's like you always said
i got my arms around it
that's how you know it's dead

it's like you always told me
it's like you always said
i can't just choose what people
do and do not forget

it's like i always tell you
it's like i always say
baby, i'll always love you
to your eternal shame
Track Name: checking in with the old gang
the way the wind starts to bite us as we step outside
the impersonal pressure of her hand on mine
i know, i know, i know

the way i signal success to you with bright wide eyes
oh, that you catch a glimpse of in between strobe lights
i know, i know, i know

do you feel it?
do you feel it or don't you?
well i used to, baby
but i'm not sure i still do

do you feel it?
do these tired old lies feel true?
well i used to believe them
but i'm not sure i still do

the way we all come together as the tempo spikes
and get in line for the bathoom, two or three at a time
i know, i know, i know

in the back of a taxi at the end of the night
is it love, or intertia, or are we just tired?
i know, i know, i know

do you feel it?
do you feel it or don't you?
well i used to, baby
but i'm not sure i still do

do you feel it?
do these tired old lies feel true?
well, i used to believe them
but i'm not sure i still do

when we were young the future looked so bright
now that we're closer, we can see that it's on fire
i used to think the best was surely yet to come
and now sometimes i think i'll die before it does

do you feel it?
do you feel it or don't you?
well i used to, baby
but i'm not sure i still do

do you feel it?
do these tired old lies feel true?
well i used to believe them
but i'm not sure i still do

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