Hoi Polloi

by Sotto Voce

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about

Nice to see you all again! I graduated college in May and started recording these songs the moment I came back home to Pittsburgh. This album would not be possible without the assistance of Justin Stivers (from awesome bands such as Passenger Peru and Pet Ghost Project, also formerly of The Antlers) who was kind enough to lend his talented ear to its mastering.

:) As always, much love to the SVies.

credits

released November 13, 2015

Ryan Gabos: all instruments, vocals, songwriting, production
Justin Stivers: mastering
Zac Coleman: photography

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Sotto Voce Brooklyn, New York

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Track Name: Oh! Les petits chiens
When your itinerary has run dry
The captain’s log is of no concern
Keep a close eye and become one with the earthworm
Were Lewis and Clark so shocked to find
Tiny prairie dogs plaguing their Midwest sojourn?

Oh! Les petits chiens

Mark it off at six meters and
By the way why
Doesn’t America use metric?
Were Lewis and Clark so shocked to find
Sacagawea pregnant with little Pompey?
A lesson in obstetrics

Oh! Les petits chiens

I can’t tell you
All the times I
Tried to tell you
All the times I
Track Name: Kappa Kappa Something
Chew on the head of the middle digit
Can't help sensing a hint of cracked pepper in the taste
Aw, what a waste
Your nail beds are nail cots
Bravo when there's bravado
And brava when there is not
Good grief, my rhyming dictionary
Is as orange as Fred's ascot

I heard voices, pardon me
Show that you've completed the twelve-step program to recovery

Chew fat with mailmen and bursars
Sometimes, things come down to a decimal
Break into a sob, I'm just doing my job
If it were up to me, I'd let you go free
Now that the lawn's mowed, you're thinking it's best
That idea of a mohawk should be put to rest
But in the while, take advantage of your smile
Relax before it's rush week

I heard voices, pardon me
Show that you've completed the twelve-step program to recovery
Track Name: Hoi Polloi
I’d like to extend my thanks to El Toro for this beautiful bounty
Hit a home run in inning two, so all in attendance that day could redeem a slip of paper
For a grand slam at Denny’s, and now I’m sitting alone in that very spot
You might think it strange but the waitress has been kind and I’m leaving her a generous tip

And I’ve got applications
For jobs I don’t want that will keep me busy
Until I can play gigs in the cities
But that doesn’t happen overnight
So what can I do…

If I can’t please
The hoi polloi
What good will it do to sit and stew?
I still enjoy
The practice, performing
I’ll always have some friends who think it’s cool

Walked into a coffee shop; I won’t say where, okay, it’s Starbucks
But I had a gift card to spend and I discovered mocha fraps aren’t all that different from milkshakes which is groovy with me, now where was I? Let’s see…
Booted up my laptop and used their free wifi when in walks in a friend I haven’t seen since high school
He talks my ear off for the better part of thirty minutes but I’m getting antsy ‘cause can’t he see that

I’ve got applications
For jobs I don’t want that will keep me busy
Until I can play gigs in the cities
But that doesn’t happen overnight
So what can I do…

If I can’t please
The hoi polloi
What good will it do to sit and stew?
I still enjoy
The practice, performing
I’ll always have some friends who think it’s cool
Track Name: Sporting Lint
He expressed his power in a wicked way
Solstice approaching, felt it wise to say

Blood is blood and if not, the paper’s gone

If I’m sporting lint, you can still call
Track Name: Chamartín
Unloading our luggage at the Hotel Chamartín
Eleven days across Europe, it's the American dream
Left the Pittsburgh airport about twenty-four hours ago
Tried horchata in Barcelona, 'cause Vamp Week suggested so

I'll rest up later

Next thing that I see, Señora's at our door
Wants to send us back to the States, first thing in the morn'

I'll rest up later

I admit, I overreacted, boys
It couldn't have been you
I put that scotch tape on the doors to enforce a curfew
Yeah

It's couldn't have been you, you goody-six-shoes
Track Name: Yea Verily
Seconds the motion, a change, it dawns
The room applauds, “yea verily”
What was pro tempore has since moved on
Henceforth is now known “to be”

Left you with nothing to call your own
Never considered it real
Took everything except for your clothes
Not that you’d know how that feels
Track Name: Superlatives
Boys and girls most likely to
End up on channel two news
Boys and girls voted for
Best hair, best SAT score

And class clown went to someone
Less deserving in my opinion
Class couple went to those
Ah, who knows?

Don’t trust any of these faces
As far as they can be thrown

Boys and girls most likely three
Show best effort in PE

And class clown went to someone
Less deserving in my opinion
Class couple went to those
Ah, who knows?

Don’t trust any of these faces
As far as they can be thrown
The coup is a success when you’ve
Made a move to dethrone
The king and queen
Of prom
Track Name: The Girl Is Much Too Good for That Young Man
Say what you will of the ring
But the girl’s much too good for that young man
Yes, he’s a smart pretty thing
But the girl’s much too good for that young man

Jealousy
Never comes at the right time
Plain to see
Neither have I

The vow he made is not a bluff
But the girl’s much too good for that young man
Play cards often enough
Yet I am still dealt a bad hand

Jealousy
Never comes when it’s welcome
Plain to see
I’ve done nothing but help them
Track Name: Ethel
'68, you felt things could never be great again and so you
Left your fate in the cracked concrete of a Pennsylvania road

Having never met, think it's a safe bet
The pain you felt was real
Your escape route let you go on without
An illness death cannot conceal

Like a poet, you gave new meaning to the word "freeway"
And so the papers printed their obits, but your kin kept it as hearsay
No why or when

Having never met, think it's a safe bet
The pain you felt was real
Your escape route let you go on without
An illness death cannot conceal
Track Name: Race You to the Top of That Hill
Good for what ails you
Such and such
Like a juicebox hero
Race much?

Race you to the top of that hill
Faster, faster, faster yet still
The grass stains reflect my Oshkosh
Won’t come out clean in the wash
But it’s mine most of the time
‘Cause neophytes and philistines can’t beat my time
At the finish line

Cards on the porch
Popsicle stick
Saved birdy from the housecat
Make a list

Race you to the top of that hill
Faster, faster, faster yet still
The grass stains reflect my Oshkosh
Won’t come out clean in the wash
But it’s mine most of the time
‘Cause neophytes and philistines can’t beat my time
At the finish line
Track Name: Mincemeat
What’s the point of slipping some poison
To a snake, lush with the stuff?
I’ve got myself five vials and no better sense
But to get it off my hands

What’s this go for on the streets?
In the jungle, I’m mincemeat

What’s the point of pulling a thorn
From a lion’s paw, when he’s got three others?
I’m caught in between predator and prey
I won’t be thanking them for the dance

What’s this go for on the streets?
In the jungle, I’m mincemeat
Track Name: Bitter Bouquet
How gracious, you sent flowers
In a bitter bouquet
Track Name: Describe the Kill
Trying to find the words to describe the kill
Mouths hang open, they’re swine to the swill

But pigs aside, the cat’s got your tongue

Yawns over yonder and wandering eyes
Spare the details and hop to the lies

Despite efforts, she’s gathered her young
Track Name: Thank Fuck for Asterisks
Counting the ways I’d been asking for trouble
It was a matter of time
Shouting out obscenities on the double
Now to pay for the crime
Oblivious, never knew no better
How my pleadings were spurned
In-school suspension, parents received a letter
And a lesson was learned

Human biology
Ain’t the root of your problems
My first grade teacher’s leniency
Is what needed solving

Thank fuck for asterisks, as long as it’s written
It’s Kevlar to the cusser
Vowels get sucked into a tiny black hole
And there you have it: a buffer

Human biology
Ain’t the root of your problems
My first grade teacher’s leniency
Is what needed solving
Track Name: Director
He said, “I could never be your pet,
Only your love when it comes down to it”
She said, “He’s there when I need him and
That’s all that really matters to me”
‘Despicable’ is the word
That best describes how she treats him
And that goes double for the way
He absorbs and reciprocates

Look around
Everybody but her loves you so

Business and pleasure don’t mix
But it’s the weekend, so they’ll resign together
His friends could not be more direct
And neither could he, it’s his occupancy
It’s high time to dim lights and request
A détente; it’s for the best
Left in a state of sheer nonplus
It’s killing you, it’s worrying us

Now look around
Everybody but her loves you so
Track Name: We Should Rock 'n' Roll Sometime
Cutting out coupons from the paper of the news
You salvage but you never use
Whether shirt of gingham, striped, or checkered square
Proof shades make it easier to stare
Hanging by the cages that borrow and bar youth
Rub dirt on the Earth that injured you
Cut a tree in half because you’re curious of age
But you can’t bring yourself to turn a page

As she paints her portrait, it pops into her mind
We should rock ‘n’ roll sometime

I’m gonna need some time dear, I doubt you even care
He begins peeling a pomme de terre
My dove, it disappeared, you know I lost it in the sun
Patience says I’m not the only one
Existence times progression: the pity of us all
By the way did you see he’s going bald?
While you looked away when you were sitting on the fence
Timeliness met its recompense

As she paints her portrait, it pops into her mind
We should rock ‘n’ roll sometime
Track Name: Look at Me, I'm Sandra Oh
Plan a route to Bethany
By way of Boston
Betrothed to the mob
Betrothed with children

Leave them alone for one moment and what have they done?

Feel the feel of something
Feel the warmth of the strings
Oh, sweet nothing
Oh, you pretty things

Leave them alone for one moment and what have they done?

Mean looking hot wings
Need to sign a waiver
Flip cup at a funeral
That’s what I call flippant behavior