Nothing Personal

by The Shots of Perspective

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Recorded winter and spring 2004 at the West Building in Toccoa, Georgia. Produced by Jamey Bozeman.


released April 1, 2004

All songs written by Altmanshofer/Farmer/Fuqua except where noted.



all rights reserved


The Free Soil Party Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Free Soil Party was a short-lived political party in the United States active in the 1848 and 1852 presidential elections, and in some state elections. Its main purpose was opposing the expansion of slavery into the western territories, arguing that free men on free soil comprised a morally and economically superior system to slavery. ... more

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Track Name: The Season of Divorce
Call this a lock of hair.
Call this a fingernail,
Some New York voodoo to remember me by.
Glenn says it's not a happy ending,
But I disagree--
I'm not so sure you aren't suffocating, too,
More subtly.

We were just children then.
It comes to nothing.
You can't disagree.

You always moved my paintings upstairs
For company's sake.
I hung my PhD above the kitchen sink,
Your blue-eyed, green-eyed, gray-eyed
Wire girl and debutante.
I'm tired of being Isabel Osmond,
If that's what you want.

We were just children then.
It comes to nothing,
This supposed sanctity.

So what are you still holding on for?
Your gift-wrapped, moulded dreams?
Kid, you'll see me on the weekend outside.

Oh, nevermind.
Track Name: Everything That Keeps You Down
I used to live my life in celluloid.
I bent the light around the flashbulb glare.
But when you end up on the cover
Of every checkout magazine,
You learn to either hide it better or not at all.

I used to live my live bound to the page,
To mirror, razorblade, and fish-eye lens.
I've seen the world turn circles
And shake the ink spots off,
But everything is typed-up metaphors or unnecessary.

So I've been spending half my life just trying to
Wake up,
But I'm bound always to painkillers and
Sleep inducers--
Everything that keeps you down.

I used to see my name on overheads.
I heard my history on intercoms.
And it's not that no one cared.
No, everybody cared a bit too much.
Vicarious or scapegoat? It's all the same.

So I've been spending half my life just trying to
Avoid the limelight
And the other half replacing all the bulbs
And aiming cameras, Vaseline--
Everything that keeps you down.

I used to live my life in golden chairs,
But it's all quartz and Pyrite nowadays. Anyway,
The supermarket impulse line,
The half-hour space between news and prime time:
It's these things that keep you down eternally.

So I've been spending half my life just trying to
Make it all right
With scripted Courier solutions and
Strikethrough lies--
Everything that keeps you down.
Track Name: Amy (Lyric Three)
I am watching Amy ascend
Thirty floors on elevator lies.
Refresh my memory here, darling:
Were you just dinner dates and bad advice?
'Cos everyone's still envious,
And why not? I've got the city on your line.

And one day Amy's gonna watch me
Turn away,
And she won't say a word.

I am watching Amy descend
Through martini haze and Monte Cristo fog.
Do you believe in resurrection, kid?
Is what's dead ever really dead at all?
'Cos I'm exactly what you thought I was,
And you bought out Ticketmaster for my fall.

And one day Amy's gonna watch me
Fall away,
And she won't say a word.
Watch me.

I am watching Amy watch me
Through cornflower- and crystal-coated eyes.
I've had it all. I've lost it all.
I've replaced it all. I've synthesized it all.
I've been caught in midair when the big clock stopped,
And half of New York watched my New Year fall.

And one day Amy's gonna watch me
Fall off the stage,
And she won't say a word.
She never says a word.
Track Name: ...Until You Do
Pack into the cattle car.
You never figured where you're going.
These universal warning signs,
These hieroglyphic DOs/DON'Ts/MAYBEs--

This is not what you wanted,
But it's all that you're getting.

You heard Coltrane on the overhead.
You thought it was a cell phone.
And if that's not a sure indictment,
God, I don't know what is.

You never had to just drop it all--
No, not at all.
So you're losing everything
Until you do.

Saw Iowa City from the air,
Floating there amongst the cornfields:
"Paris of the Prairies,"
But the prairies seem to disagree.

Everything's a beacon here.
You're 40,000 feet from home,

So let's wash off the Juniper
And call that getting clean.
You say your prayers are "closer now."
We know just what you mean.

No, this is not what you want,
But it's all you're going to get,
And maybe it's enough
Until you do.
Track Name: Everyone
I guess I might be Simon the Zealot like everybody says:
Finger on the bomb, and no one's looking back.
But if you could just disconnect yourself from the Internet
And step into the light, you just might be surprised.

'Cos every action that you take
Is counteracted, because
Everyone is responsible
For everyone.

I was in the shelter when the first bomb dropped.
Still, the ceiling caved. My watch went haywire.
But then I read your press release. Well, I just can't concede
Things would have been all right if we had not shined the light.

We are working inside-out and left to right.
We believe in change like we believe in you.
And should the light hit mirrors, should the tides reverse,
We will try to see it as a blessing and not a curse.
Track Name: Sing It on TV
Hello, Golden Child.
It's so good to see you floundering,
Foundering and going under.
Understand it's nothing personal.
It's just we need reverse role models
To show us how to fail.

Hello. Hello.
The American Dream is not to succeed,
But to watch somebody's fall from grace
When they sing it on TV.
Hello. Hello.
And we're so non-confrontational.
We never tell you what we really mean
Unless it's "We told you so."

Hello, Barton Fink.
Welcome to Hollywood.
I understand hell's just two miles outside of heaven.
And now to test your connection to humanity
By the most intrusive means.
You're just a character we've written.

Hello. Hello.
Oh hell. We missed your play again,
But we'll just catch the adaptation
When they sing it on TV.
Hello. Hello.
And we'll be tuning into the Channel 7 news.
We believe we'll see your face again.
We just don't know what that entails.

Hello, chosen one.
We'll gladly nail you to the fifth page
Of the "New York Times."
We always knew you were destined for mediocrity,
You Messiah of the status quo,
Our Jesus Christ in a Chevy Nova.

Hello. Hello.
So let's discuss your library.
You're so well-read, or at least that's what we heard
When they sang it on TV.
So why can't you pull one more story,
Like blood from a stone,
For the good of all humanity?
Track Name: Something with a Girl in Summer
We've got these secrets lying dormant
A quarter-inch beneath the skin,
But were the flesh to tear again . . .
Well, I never learned to play it cool
And pretend it doesn't matter,
To laugh it off or just move on.

Her eyes are like a police car.
She's flashing red and blue.
I feel like a criminal
On the walk up to my room.
We're slipping out of rhythm,
Like a metronome that's dying.
This weight of past lives lived is just too much.

And I know that all the gamut of experience
And intelligence falls silent in the face
Of that indescribable
Something with a girl in summer.

So I bought a book of movie songs
And memorized them all
To manufacture some connection.
She says I run on borrowed fuel.
She thinks in metaphors and speaks in code.
I tend to sing in stolen melodies.

She's grasping for analogies,
She says, "It's meant to be like this."
I never was a Calvinist.
Well, that's not exactly true,
But she told half a dozen lies more odious.

So I'm standing at the window now,
Typing SAVE ME with my eyes.
Her hands are rattled, groping blindly.
My irises are glassing over,
Turning blue or gray,
And I'm nailed to the doorframe there
With nothing left to say.

Well, I don't believe in summer anymore.
Robert Heinlein's door be damned.
This asphalt-melting heat just wears me down.
But was there something holy here?
A sacrament? An icon? A windowpane?
Track Name: The Diamonds in Her Hands
All the mud and glory here,
And all that I can do
Is embrace everything
That's in your skin.

And she understands
That I take the mud and dust
With the diamonds in her hands.

If your eyes should turn from blue to gray,
I love you not in spite--
But because--of the inconsistency.

And if the world should stop its spin,
You don't have to promise me
That you will still hold on.
And love, if I should fall away,
You don't have to promise me
That you won't let me slip away.

All the dust that settles here,
And all that I can do
Is embrace everything
That's in your skin.
Track Name: Be My Dorothy Parker
When the media's moving on,
Disenchanted with all you offer,
I'll be there to pour your highballs.

When the rates are less than satisfactory,
When bathtub gin just nauseates you,
I'll be there to make sure you never make it.

If you'll be my Dorothy Parker,
I'll ignore all your wristwatch scars.
They're self-enforced.
You can call me Robert Benchley
If you'll ignore everything you ever made me:
Orange blossoms, brothels, whores.

When the memoirs just aren't selling,
When the biopics are mostly fiction,
I'll be there, in Hollywood or the Algonquin.

And when you turn your eye to me,
When we get everything but what we really want,
I'll be there to never give in.
Track Name: I Say That Every Time (This Is Nothing New)
I think I'm through with melancholy.
I know I say that every time,
But Jenni says she's flying in for my trial.
I'll never be acquitted on character witness alone.

I'm all full of bad ideas today.
Jesus, laugh along with them.
I know I've been so wrong so many times before.
This is nothing new.

I think I'm through with needing this.
I know I say that every time,
And I can see you rolling your eyes in the back my head.
You've been on either side, I guess.

I never thought it out so well,
And I never had to just drop it all--
No, not at all.
And Jesus saw me falling, and He let me fall.
But I don't blame Him, 'cos after all,
There was nothing He could do,
And this is nothing new.

Jamey, can you fix it in the mix?