Menos el Oso

1. The Game Needed Me

We don’t have money
so we can’t lose it,
but you touching me like piano keys,
you can’t buy that movement.

What do we get from
this soft transaction?
We know the money lies
and we can’t put a price
on this brand of action.

We’re all just selling time
You got a lot to lose
The paper is a ticking clock
You got a lot to lose

What does it cost for
this life of excess?
Would you ever miss your desk’s caress?

There is no mouth to
trace its shape on you,
but you seem to let it fuck you anyway.

What you got to lose?

2. Memphis & 53rd

“Come on man,” she said,
“We have to leave this town.
I can’t stand another day without the rain.”
I said, “We’ll leave now, you can pack our things,
let me get the bill, and I can make it straight.”
It was same as yesterday.

We’d been gone
and the miles stretched down the long road,
we moved as fast as we could.
Through the heat of the desert
and cruelty of that Buick’s seat
just to keep on.

That night we laid on the floor of the desert
but I could barely sleep, yeah, I had this dream:
There was a man in a black car
with a man in the back seat
and I woke up in a cold sweat
with her lying next to me.

We sat on the corner of Memphis and 53rd.
As they filled the tank we had a drink.
She whispered, “Let’s get moving.”

The next night we laid on the floor of the desert
but I still couldn’t sleep.
There was a man in a black car
with a man in the backseat
and I’d wake up in a cold sweat
with her lying next to me.

3. Drilling

This is us on a western Atlantic coast:
with no place to be, just taking in the sea.
Tonight with a constant buzz,
staring at the ocean crashing
on all the rocks below
in this foreign home.

This old story:
When we’re gone I feel I’d never miss anyone
You lay in the grass along the edge

“Is this a dream?”
you ask, and I don’t say anything
because it may be a dream.

And we come to this place
like two convicts that have escaped
from the prison of everyday
and for the moment we have our stay.

You know tomorrow comes like disease to us.

From this cliff’s edge gulls fly below us,
diving into the sea below us.

And I’m not cold tonight beside you.
And we’re not cold tonight.

This old story:
When we’re gone I feel I’d never miss anyone
This old story:
Expatriate, you’re coming home.

4. The Fix

A swimming pool with no bodies
is a problem that we can fix.
He dropped his clothes on the chaise lounge
and asked, “Are you gonna come in?”
and in the night the only light
was the glow of the surface.
As they slid in the rest of them
continued their talking and drinking.
They’ll never notice us.

So this is the difference between
living and not living
these are just bodies.
We have a purpose
and the gravity
pulling us from them to we.

The distance between our bodies
is a problem that we can fix.
They moved slow through the current and found
their bodies touching.
Her hands move to pull him under
for some kind of kiss,
as he slides in the rest of them
continue their talking and drinking.

5. El Torrente

He couldn’t move as seasoned as he was.
There was something in this one
that was too much for him.
He had a daughter he hoped to live through.
Four years old, ten years reach to this girl.

Please let my girl go
without knowing what I know
Don’t let her read this day
on my face when I come home

Detective, take note of all you see,
like her hand still holding the smallest leaf.
Her neck angled too far for her body
and her body’s position at the base of this tree.

He took measurements on a pad of paper,
noted each bruise and abrasion.
How could this happen to a girl so young?

6. Pachuca Sunrise

Midnight on a beach on the Mediterranean
and I miss you,
even here taking it all in.
The sand, silvered, carries the moon
on it’s shoulders.
Is it possible to put this night to tune
and move it to you?

Don’t cry, I’ll bring this home to you
if I can make this night light enough to move.

Cargo ships move by
tracing on the horizon line.
There’s a luster from the city lights
on the waves that kiss our feet
and we’re thinking of going in,
the time’s getting thin.

This is a city for not sleeping
and the clocks are set by feel.
At this moment from where I sit,
none of it seems real.

7. Michio’s Death Drive

Feel the earth under your feet
and walk, foot follows foot,
into the sea.

Watch your step, read the sign

Learn to swim or learn to sink
or stand with ocean to your neck and
sunken feet.

Watch your step, read the sign

You’re the mask on my face
at the masquerade,
painted black.
You can take a place at our table,
if they even let you in.

Feel the earth and dig it up,
put yourself in the hole.
When the tide comes in,
you’ll never feel anything again.

You know how a finger folds,
and you know what you need to breathe.
Our hands catch on everything
when we’re not asleep.
I drive too fast at night
because accidents happen to other men
and not to me.

Walk into the sea.


“Menos el Oso”
Suicide Squeeze S-047
CD / LP / iTunes / Stream
Released August 23, 2005
Running Time: 45 Minutes

Produced by Minus the Bear and Matt Bayles
Additional Production by Chris Common

Mixed by Matt Bayles at Robert Lang Studio
Engineered by Matt Bayles, Chris Common and Jake Snider
Recorded at Studio Litho, The Bat Cave, and the Aquahaus
Mastered by Ed Brooks at RFI

Additional Percussion by Chris Common
Additional Vocals by Heather Duby, Josh Staples, Judah Nagler and Michael Richardson

Design by David Knudson
Photography by Cory Murchy and Erin Tate

Dedicated to the loving memory of Cheryl Bogdanovich Murchy

8. Hooray

It’s cold and snow’s actually on the ground
of this no-snow town,
and instead of cars
the street’s trafficking in sleds.
Men become boys again

There’s a war on the corner
with no guaranteed winner.
It’s just a snowfall of snowballs–
evidence of the winter.

And I can feel my hands again.
We’re almost home.

It’s 2 PM and our snow is falling still
as our good city lay still.
And our friends are packed
around some no smoking bar
warming on alcohol.
We step into the silence,
yeah, we step slowly and quiet.

All boys come on and girls join up,
just don’t grow old.
All boys come on and girls join up,
we’re almost home.

This is all we want:
Time to be with us,
a home to lift the cold.

Still cold, the snow’s turning into rain
and melting away.
And all these days slip by us,
so let’s keep them.

9. Fulfill the Dream

I saw her with another man walking downtown.
She’s not mine and she’ll never be
by my side walking downtown.

I only met her once before:
She was alone in a back booth,
a drink and a cigarette.
Smoking like she was waiting for someone.
Me stealing glances as she stole my breath.
The next one’s on me.

“May I take this seat?”
The rest of the bar recedes.
We talked on traveling back roads
over seas.
“Girl, a change sounds good to me.”
She said, “Who can find that kind of time.”

I’d only met her once before:
She was alone in a back booth,
a drink and a cigarette.
Drinking like she was waiting for someone.
Me stealing glances as she stole my breath.

And after it’s done,
The sun comes up and she’s gone.

After it’s done
you just move on.
A night can’t show
what’s made plain by the sun

10. The Pig War

It’s been so long
that it seems like I’ve never
been to the San Juans.
Can we go soon?

Girl slow down with me.

If we leave now
we can catch the last boat out,
and that’s the best one,
on this clear night
under pin-prick light.

The wind on the boat’s deck
is a cold hand on the neck
or slipping into our cold bed.

It’s been so long
that it seems like I’ve never
danced with anyone.

She moves so well.

If we go outside
we can take in a haze of
Roche Harbor light
and drink a bottle of red wine,
forgetting to tell time.

Just sit still,
we’ve moved enough.

11. This Ain’t a Surfin’ Movie

When I turned the page
The corner bent into a perfect dog-ear,
as if the words knew I’d need them again,
but at that time I couldn’t see it.
I would read that page everyday for the next year.

She sang a short tune.
And I came from her soft touch and slept.

We sat on a shoreline watching wind scalp the white off the waves.
Sitting on a shoreline, and if I could do it, I’d dog-ear this page.
We spoke about growing old and filling the future’s empty stage.

I hope the weather holds,
but you don’t need the sun to make you shine.
These island towns don’t care for city folk,
but I think we can starve the city from our minds.

I know we won’t want for much,
It’s just me and you and a bed and a shoreline.