Four Years, Six Shows, Fourteen Songs, Twenty Six Minutes, Zero Talent

by Troublemake

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about

Put this together today. It's everything Troublemake released between 2006 and 2009. (Though - with the exception of a vocal or guitar track or two - everything released in 2009 was recorded in 2008).

When I posted it this morning, the tracks weren't sequenced chronologically or even grouped together by album, but I rethought it and decided that it'd probably be better to give a little bit or reason to the track order. After all, I like the more recent songs, but if I were listening to a record and something like "Operation: Enduring Bullshit" started playing, that'd probably turn me off (and I wrote it!) So now the newer stuff is all towards the front. It's still not in perfect chronological sequence, but I think I like it the way it is now. I can stand by the first half of the collection, but somewhere between 7 and 9, you're on your own.

Recorded in July/August* 2008:
Dirt Cult Mix Tape, Vol. II [cassette] (released sometime in '09)
Dangerous Intersections V [four band split 7-inch] (released August '09)
Turkish Techno / Troublemake [split 7-inch] (released May '09)
*["Rhetoric of Hope" recorded March '08]

Recorded in August 2007:
Feral [CDEP] (released December 2007)

Recorded sometime in Spring or Summer 2006:
Staying Afloat in Florida [CDEP] (released around the same time '06)

Download is free, but if you wanna pay for it, I'll send you a CD copy with cool stuff.

credits

released 30 March 2013
All of this info is also listed in the credits for each track, but...

Brent Henson (guitar on 4 songs; 2007)
Chris Hembrough (drums on 3 songs; 2008)
Dave Dillon (guitar on 1 song; 2008)
Noelle Stolp (guitars on 4 songs; 2008)
Pete Scheip (guitars on 10 songs; 2006-07)
Pete Stolp (drums on 7 songs; 2006, 2008)
Ryan Switzer (drums on 4 songs; 2007)
Sam North (bass and vocals on 14 songs, guitar on 1; 2006-08)
*In 2008, Alex Heil sang some parts on 1 song and Brett Wensel recorded drums for 1 song that Pete ultimately did the drums for, but I mixed in some of Brett's cymbal tracks.

Lyrics by Sam.
Music by...
Brent (1 song)
Brent w/ Sam (1 song)
Noelle w/ Sam (1 song)
Sam (7 songs)
Sam w/ Brent (1 song)
Sam w/ Noelle (1 song)
Sam w/ Noelle and Chris (1 song)

And regarding the six shows that Troublemake's played (June/July '08)
Chris (bass), Noelle (guitar), Pete (drums), Sam (vocals)

I forget some of the other bands that played, but...
Brooklyn w/ The Steinways, Full of Fancy, and Peelander-Z
Minneapolis w/ Banner Pilot, Strait A's, The Manix, Amen and the Hell Yeahs, Rational Anthem
Indianapolis w/ Dear Landlord, Off With Their Heads, The Copyrights, Rational Anthem, Kepi: The Band, Flamingo Nosebleed
Hayesville w/ Rational Anthem
Atlanta w/ Rational Anthem, Die Benny
Tallahassee w/ Rational Anthem, Saint Sweetheart, Best Friends

A note on "influences"...
Sometimes I hear something that I like enough to want to rip it off. Since I have no musical ability though, the best I can do is fumble around until I find something KINDA similar. It's never close enough that anyone can tell that I'm a thief though. Cool, right?
If I ever made any money, I might owe some of it to Rivethead (#2), Shorebirds (#3), Environmental Youth Crunch and The Potential Johns (#6), Green Day (#13).

There were other bands that I (at the very least) got ideas from, but I don't remember at the moment. I know I tried to kind of imitate a North Lincoln song at one point, but I couldn't figure out how to make my instrument sound a god damn thing like theirs and I gave up.

And if you're looking for anyone to blame for my doing any of this in the first place, I'd say it's mostly the fault of Operation: Cliff Clavin, though Crimpshrine and Aaron Cometbus definitely owe the world an apology for it as well. And so long as I'm pointing fingers, let's add Minor Threat, 7 Seconds, Snuggle, and Dillinger Four to the list. Although all of the bands mentioned in this paragraph would be better described as "inspirations" than as influences, insofar as I wasn't trying to sound like any of them. In 2006, I wasn't really trying to sound like anything because it was all I could do to string three or four chords together to write a part. From 2007 on though, I think I was going for something along the lines of Rivethead, Ringers, and just a little bit of Chinese Telephones. As noted though, I've never had the ability to actually pull any of that off. Especially in 2007, since those kids had never (and probably still haven't) heard any of those bands.

****************
In 2008, a fifth song was recorded that's yet to be finished. The music was written by Drew Fleming, who played lead guitar on it as well. Pete Stolp played drums, I played bass and wrote the lyrics.

In 2009, I decided that Troublemake should record a 7-inch called "Wohl Whips," which would be covers of songs by bands Cometbus played drums for. I chose one song each from Crimpshrine, Pinhead Gunpowder, Redmond Shooting Stars, Cleveland Bound Death Sentence, and Astrid Oto. After drums were recorded though (but before anything else), we decided that instead of a Troublemake EP, it'd be a split with No High Fives to Bullshit. We kept our Pinhead, Cleveland Bound, and Oto tracks. They decided to do Crimpshrine, but chose Sweet Baby instead of Redmond. I can't remember how far along they got before their band (and my entire life) fell apart and the plan was scrapped. Troublemake, on the other hand, got everything recorded except for the back-up vocals. For that yet-to-be-finished record (which exists only on my hard drive), the line-up was: Dave Dillon (guitar), Jim Gies (drums), Kyle Wolak (bass), Noelle Stolp (lead guitar), and Sam North (vocals).

***************
Just for fun... members of Troublemake band connections/nonsense!

Chris and Noelle have played together in Rational Anthem since early 2008. Alex, Dave, and Pete Stolp never played together, but have all also been in Rational Anthem at different times (Pete still is).

Pete Scheip, Chris, and I played together in Extra Day For Riots in 2003 and 2004. Chris quit in the summer of '04, and was replaced by Brett. Brett also did the cover art for the Dangerous Intersections V 7-inch.

Kyle played in Like Bats until fall of 2010. Their next bassist was Dave. Kyle has also played in Grown Ups.

Pete Stolp and Drew have also played together in Saint Sweetheart and Cassolette.

Jim used to play in Goat Bell, but is now in Boilerman.

Noelle also plays in Weaknights.

With the exception of their debut LP in 2012 - all of Rational Anthem's records were on my label, Traffic Street.

In 2009, I sang all of the back ups for one song (and most of the back-ups for three others) that went on Rational Anthem's sides of their split 7-inches with Strait A's and Apocalypse Meow.

In 2010, Noelle was sick the day of their show in Manhattan. Though my last tour with them was in 2009, I was in New York for the summer, so I got to sing their whole set that night (which was pretty awesome!) They've also let me sing "You Tell Me" at a few of their shows, "Slightly Used Girlfriend" at (at least) one show, and on a few occasions they've spontaneously started playing "Dammit" by Blink-182 while I was still holding the mic, so I've gotten to sing that with them too.

Just like Rational Anthem, all of Like Bats' records (except for their debut LP in 2012) have been on Traffic Street.

In 2009, I put out a split 7-inch for Saint Sweetheart (with Unwelcome Guests) on Traffic Street.

In 2010, I released a CDEP for Boilerman on my other label, Moonquake.

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about

Troublemake Sarasota, Florida

My name is Sam. Sometimes I write pop punk songs and record them with my friends. I used to run a record label called Traffic Street. I might start doing that again, now that I'm not busy shooting heroin all day.

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Track Name: Sleeping in Sarasota
Woke up and found that my tongue had turned black
Looked up the cause, it's smoking cigarettes by the pack
And poor oral hygiene, drinking too much coffee,
And too many nights spent with drugs and an IV
But also by bismuth, which you can find
In shit like the peptol-bismol I chew up sometimes
So that's what I think I'm gonna blame it on
Track Name: Use Six or Seven Times and Destroy
tried to go out and have some fun, but ten minutes in, and i'm pulling off the road
withdraw the keys from the ignition, leave my car and my friends sitting there, and walk two hours home
now my phone won’t stop ringing and i’m hanging it up every time
to spite myself, i’ll sit in this dark house alone with my gas station wine


rocks through windows in my head
why am i so hell bent on losing all of my friends?
everyone knows I don’t get it, I’m so miserable, pathetic
I should probably just go to bed


the sickness of regret keeps me from sleep
on this torture rack I toss and turn
counting on tomorrow to be a clean slate
I’m starting to notice a pattern emerge

Track Name: So Far No Good
maybe I could live in Sarasota until the day I die
so long as I got out on tour every now and then, I don’t think I’d mind
with the mattress here i've got no qualms sleeping on the living room floor
and if it's still cheap i won't mind to eat every meal at the shitty pizza place next door

what’s my plan b anyway - chasing after a future on easy street?
complacent and safe in a boring place doesn't sound so great to me
but I’m such a fucking coward, I already know what I’m
gonna do, I’ll go to school, hate myself, and just talk shit the whole time

sometimes I feel like waiting on time to pass is all i do
through the nights, through a lease, through these endless years of school
I feel so paralyzed to make up my mind, though I know I could
make the choice that's right for me, but so far no good

having something to lose is not something I’ve ever been used to
and now it’s making me hate each day
holding on to all of this seems more trouble than it's worth
i'd rather build my life with the shit that other people throw away

I do what i hate everyday 'cause i'm piss scared of regret
but either way, I’m pretty sure that’s what I’ll get
if i could pull myself together maybe i' could just up and quit
maybe i need a boost or maybe i'm just full of shit
Track Name: Rhetoric of Hope
Sometimes I feel so hopeless
Thinking how a corrupt elite
Has such a tight grasp
On the reigns of this country
That boxcutters start
Looking pretty good to me
I won’t lie; it’s crossed my mind

They merged the right with the left
To replace dissent
With their glorious
Rational consensus

Why’s everyone clamoring
For corporate sponsored unity?
Like the fake left isn’t already
Plenty busy
Throwing in towels
Laying down arms in defeat
Is this it? Swallowing shit?

I’m not represented
Let’s not pretend
Democracy in this country’s
Anything more than a fiction
Battles fought; brain cells lost
It kills you to go on
When you can’t win

I think most people disagree
With this asshole future scheme
But they can’t connect
A to B
The candidates they praise
Policies the same
They’re digging their own graves
Are the only ones to blame
I can’t commiserate

If they’ll forever marginalize
Anyone that challenges their lies
If honesty precludes success
Maybe I’ll play fake patriot like the rest
And never let slip, what I believe
A flag pin can say all that I need
Track Name: High Fives to My Life Coach
we took turns around the room
exchanging wisdom faking gratitude
when everyone got quiet and looked at you
"it's never too late to drop out of school"
you were just trying to be witty
but it really struck a chord with me
this whole process has worn me down
ground me up and spit me out
every miserable ugly day
everytime i played and lost their games
without these i don't know who i'd be
it's better to be angry than complacent
it gives us an excuse sometimes to get wasted
as long as we're aware and never satisfied
we might keep our lives form slipping by
the future still scares the shit out of me
i see scores of collections agencies
and i've got this funny feeling that no degree
can save me from the forty hour week
today a dreadful year came to a close
and i've only got one more to go
as awful as i know that time will be
fuck it 'cause for three months i am free
i second guess myself
think i've done nothing right
think i'd be happer with
another kind of life
but i know i've got to think
i know i've got to set
a plan into action
but i can't yet
Track Name: The Winner of All Losers
we drove up to the show on the rain-slicked road
i was thinking about all the books and songs i never wrote
is it my state in life or my mentality
is my brain too slow or is it too busy
i go to school and do well but i feel dried out
why am i only good at the shit that i don't care about
so i sit in car wash parking lots and scratch out my contempt
i camp out behind strip malls and scream until i'm spent
fuck all of the people with their faces in jars
fuck anyone who ever wrote anything at all
if it didn't mean something if it was just to sound cool
if you ever even had a choice then fuck you too
but maybe i'm ungrateful at least sometimes
there are people even in this town less recognized
for their bands for their songs but what's fifty cds
mailed with my own stamps to strangers for free
maybe that's still something still maybe it's not
maybe it just proves that i don't know when to stop
but still i sit in car wash parking lots and scratch out my contempt
i camp out behind strip malls and scream until i'm spent
Track Name: All My Friends' Parents Hate Me
the last body on the blacktop falls
under the streetlight we sang our songs
thriving on chaos and dying each night
self-destruction never felt so right
what is it exactly that you condemn
is it what we used to represent
my downfall keeps to a righeous path
ears to the ground for my last laugh
windows smashed and blaspheming
happy in my depravity
ex-friends idle are all fucked
but me i'm not giving up
ex-friends idle collect dust
as our monument does rust
and now there's no more trust between us
knocking on the door but no one comes around
the music's up way too loud
you know they'll never let you in
'cause they've learned their lesson
they bring to the table anger and lies
and you your violent crimes
fistfight midnight dress code black
so you won't see them creep up
to stab you in the back
this is the end and i never said
that i wanted to be anything
Track Name: I'd Wear My Seatbelt If I Didn't Think It Might Save My Life
i woke up today feeling mean
it's strange how a bad dream
can root me up and make obsolete
all that's happened since i was sixteen
folded up into my seat claire reaches in to play
music to cover the sound of crossing the skyway
i never felt so sick in my life
as i did riding home that night
i couldn't look in the backseat
without it sweeping over me
but i don't care about any of that anyway
i'm not going to let some shit from five years ago
ruin my day
forgive this jumbled mess
what i'm trying to say
is that sitting now in this room with you
everything seems okay
i take you for granted there are plenty of times
when i'm less than excited about being alive
but please don't ever be fooled
into thinking that's anything to do with you
i argued with cops and got you tickets
i go out and come home with yellow limbs
i'm just an idiot who doesn't know how to act right
i'm an overdramatic addict who can't see the bright side
forgive this jumbled mess
Track Name: God (Can Suck a Fart Out of My Asshole)
if you don't have any proof to offer me / than i have no reason to believe / that there are little red monsters in the core of the earth / or valid reasons to worship a carpenter / if you're asking me to operate on faith / then i'm asking some questions / to see if i've got this straight / noah's ark, every creature, one pair / tropical lizards and polar bears / well, how exactly did he manage that? / i don't remember reading about noah's thermostat / there's never been a book dictated by a god / western religions are based on fraud / moses never parted the red sea / dinosaurs are not a conspiracy / how fucking stupid do you have to be / to buy into christianity? / i'd rather live in uncertainty / than with a slave mentality / staying poor, making others rich / resisting temptation, not scratching the itch / leaving things just the way they are / and just keep workin' real hard / no, we can't have our reward just yet / but they promise we'll get it when we're dead / how can you accept such stupid lies? / do you really think there's a white robe and harp waiting for you in paradise? / there's no paradise / so get your shit together and start living your life / while there's still time.
Track Name: Integrity is Cool
it takes money to make money / and i fuckin' hate money / insurance, repairs, and gas / employment is a pain in my ass / i thought it'd be cool to have some stability / some extra money in the bank, a little security / fuck this company, they're ripping me off / fuck this city, county, fuck this country / they're taxing my ass off / fuck money, fuck it all, i'm out / now i remember why i haven't worked in two years / i'd rather be poor than miserable and just a little less poor
Track Name: No Talent, So What?
for so long now i've wanted to share / but the kids in my town, well none of 'em cared / they said i couldn't sing and on stage i looked dumb / i just accepted it all, i took it all like a chump / i got beat down, i didn't get back up / i got pushed down, i wasn't strong enough / to keep doin' the things that i wanted to do / to keep living my life the way that i choose / my band broke up and i quit hanging out / but i still had frustrations that i needed to push out / and i still had a need to be a part of the scene / to give to it like it's given to me / i heard some kid say that cometbus blows / i read that twain hated the things he wrote / criticism and self-doubt never leave my mind / i don't know if i have talent, but i have a good time
Track Name: Operation: Enduring Bullshit
they don't work for their money / we give it to them / on the condition that they'll use it / on what's best for us / a trillion dollar never used submarine / is just one of countless violations of trust / we've got people starving / we've got people dying of cancer / but here at home our calls for help / are too expensive for them to answer / democracy in the middle east? / how 'bout at home? / (we got) a system so fucked and useless / that nobody votes / if our foreign policy wasn't drafted by assholes / if their sole consideration wasn't greed / than there wouldn't be so many people that hate us so much / and i'll our wasted defense money could be spent on
the things we need
Track Name: The Avian Flu
our nation's built up the nuclear might / equivalent to ten tons of dynamite / for every man, woman, and child / on the whole god-forsaken planet / more americans live in poverty / than have in the last quarter century / but all i hear about on the news / is shit about the fucking avian flu / just the other week i was unlucky enough
to stumble into a room tuned into fox news / they were asking americans how they felt / about the latest national tragedy / it was their quote unquote big story of the day / about some beloved horse who broke his leg / now maybe you disagree with me / but i place more priority on things / like our nation's rekindled romance with imperialism / gossip, rumors, and idle chatter / instead of the things that really matter / our news is a joke and i cannot cope / feeling like the only one who seems to notice / the average ceo of a large american corporation / makes more than 400 times the worker's ration / and people on the other side of the globe / are suffering from our actions but what do you know / if you were to turn on the news today / all you'd fucking hear about is jonbenet / i guess to talk about the little iraqi girls that we've killed recently wouldn't be as safe
Track Name: North Miggelopia
she said "everything you say sounds like him" / i said "everything he says sounds like me" / but in my head i wonder if maybe she's right / i was almost seventeen
you were two years younger than me / when we started hanging out after school / when you looked up to me and still thought i was cool / i can't believe all the shit that's been thrown at you / i can't believe that you've made it through / it's hard to believe you're the same shrimpy kid / i used to smash fish-shaped mailboxes with / and i know how bad you miss those days / but last night when we picked up spillane / didn't it feel a whole lot like the way it used to? / you say you miss having fun without having to get drunk / or having to get fucked up in one of a dozen other ways / and i know that nights running from police / make for really good funny memories / but those times weren't always as great as they now seem / and lately we haven't really needed drugs / well certainly not as much / as we did for a long time there / and on those nights when you're feeling blue / or you're bummed out or there's nothing to do / call me up 'cause i'll never tire of hangin' / so long as it's just you, me, (maybe chris), and madden