The Room Beneath New Albion

by Paul Shapera

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about

Featuring Lauren Osborn

Obviously all albums with the words New Albion in the title are dedicated to Mark Swetz. They'll always be. No Mark Swetz, no New Albion. Simple math.

However, make no mistake about it. This album was written, very much so, as a love note to you, the listener. The person, the people who are listening and buying and sending words of enthusiasm to me. You are giving meaning to my efforts, my craft, my bloody existence. This album is my love note to you.

Special thanks go out to Alexander Chesebro, for whom the male character on the album is named.

Acoustic guitar on Alexander is, as always, brought to you by Matthew Broyles.

Cover art by Stefan.

credits

released November 24, 2014

Featuring Lauren Osborn as Alice

Backup vocals on The Albino Tribe by Ben Wald

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Paul Shapera New York, New York

These days the teddy bear picnic is a rather somber affair. They mostly just sit together in silence. The beings who had taken these guises had over time lost all recollection of their origins, purpose, or selves. They only know they are someplace foreign, cut off from whatever homeland they once had, utterly alone in an incomprehensible world. Some picnics they listen to Paul Shapera. ... more

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Track Name: BA S1 The Albino Tribe
Tribe:
You go one day
You go one day
You go one day alone

Alice:
The red endless sky in the trail of the wild
Where the child still can dance unafraid
Of shame or of lies only whispers of fire
Stroke the night and to sleep gently lay

The Grace with her speed and her wild sweeping teeth
That you race to the sisters you love
The brothers who cry, calling out to the sky
Through the woods in whose womb you are one

The red endless sky where the trails of time lie
As the paths where your spirit will roam
The child and her tribe and the kiss of the wild
Til the fires of friends beckons you home

Alexander:
One day a stranger came with a message and gift. The message was that the Angels needed a Chosen One to perform a Great Task. Only one of the healthiest of the tribe had the constitution to perform the Great Task and the blood that would allow the gift, a sandy drug, when taken to move them through time to where the Angels needed them.

Alice:
A stranger now come from the Angels above
With a task for the daughter, the girl
And thus it is i who the red endless sky
Must begone for a strange future world

Tribe:
You go one day
You go one day
You go one day alone

Alexander:
So Alice took the sand, a drug she must always be on in order to stay in the future time. Every 6 hours without fail she must take more until the task is completed. Thus Alice was propelled through time to a strange, foreign place called New Albion.
Track Name: BA S2 The Gangster
Alex:
Under pale, waning moons,
fog rolls in, the stench of booze
cigars, cards, opium and sex still linger on
Desperate men scurry home
to madly scrub and rinse their clothes,
but my friends the crimson mark does not come off

In the height of the night
scrambling men sweating fright
try to outrun consequences that await
but my friends take my word
disrespect will quick incur
hellhounds on your heels, the mark of Cain

There are all shades of crime
our fingers reach in every pie
Our syndicate is run by a ruthless red haired line
Yes, my brother ruled the roust
but he was put down by the Mouse
and the ruby pocket handkerchief's now mine

There is much to be done
there are men who must run
there are sad, sweet songs of pleading to be sung
There's sangre to be spilt
mother's wails, caskets filled
a business built on bootleg Dolls to run

There's not much left
i'm sorry oh my darling
but there's not much left, Lord knows here of me

There's not much left
a mattress on an empty bed
and there's not much left oh Lord knows now of me

If it's bootleg Dolls you want
someone you hate? Bring them back up
sit around and drink and throw darts in their eye
come around then, we don't judge
pay on time or your time comes
you've desire and we've a pipeline of supply

Under dark, waning moons
some will run, pray or screw
Business my friends does not run itself
Yes it's fear rules the nest
be seen weak or lose your head
and you're the next dear Dolly on the shelf
Track Name: BA S3 Alice
Alex:
Yeah, so, that's me. But don't worry about me right now. I want to talk about the girl, Alice. So, it's been about four years since she's come to New Albion and she spends most of her time in these tunnels underneath the city on this "great task" them angels sent her to do. Which apparently involves stealing heaps of the bootleg Dolls which are my bread and butter. And of course, this entire time she's been constantly on that sandy drug, which is day by day destroying her mind and body.

Alice:
In the basements far beneath them
Where your days just crawl away
And fragments fall from you, the forests that you once knew
A million miles away

In the years since you have come here
All your thoughts have lost their way
And standing in a spot when really you are not cause you are
A million miles away
A million miles away

Smiling faces round the fire
With the wolves then you would race
Air and wind above and all those who you once loved
A million miles away

In the basements far beneath them
Where you haunt the endless days
Snort the sand slowly forget about the land that lies
A million miles away
...

Steal the pieces of their bodies
And build just like the Angels say
Parts and hearts of dolls in pieces like your thoughts are all
A million miles away

In the basements far beneath them
Snort the sand so you can stay
And as the days count on another pice of you is gone
A million miles away
A million miles away

Come and join he fun play tea time party
Come and join the Angel’s degradate cabaret
Minds out, heads baked, won’t need em anyway
Whiz bang what say scream on Sundays

Come and join the inamte’s cackaling stage play
Come and hold the plot together one more day pray
Mondays, Mondays do what the Angels say
Tea with wall of heads Tuesdays

Heads will roll when the fun time starts
Screaming off the roof of a house of cards
There’s heads, hearts, body parts, hands in the cookie jar
Dollies piled in the deep dark

Heads will roll as you laugh them off
The work of the Angels never stops
There’s legs and hands, chests, heads, all of them your friends
Party in the body part pile and it never ends
Track Name: BA S4 Alexander
Alex:
Meanwhile, in my neck of the woods, some of my boy come by to say they think they found a guy who might know a little something about a problem we been having with some of our bootleg Dolls going missing.

Thugs:
We gotta mister, we gotta bird who call
we gotta problem we gotta thief who's stealing our Dolls
we gotta mister, we think who knows a few things
we got some ways to make a silent bird wanna sing
All day. Sing your pain away

Alex:
There's not much left, i'm sorry oh my darling
but there's not much left oh Lord knows now of me
There's not much left, a mattress on an empty bed
and there's not much left of Lord knows here of me

Mama squeeled "You best be stealin' or you're feelin' on you
beatings my boy like you won't believe
Your brother does it and your cousins and they love it
ah but look at you, you pansy gawdamn thing"

So each i'd go out, but alas i just was not cut out
for thieving so deceiving her i tried
to earn by other means but none of them would keep her pleased
and my secrets on them streets never survived

There's not much left, i'm sorry oh my darling
but there's not much left oh Lord knows now of me
There's not much left, a mattress on an empty bed
and there's not much left of Lord knows here of me

My uncle sneered, he said "Bring the little pansy here
he just needs a little 'juice' to man him up."
The bourbon stung, but while they laughed i tell you, son
it brung to me some sweet, warm comfort finally come

I learned to drink the hard stuff and my anger i found sure enough
was always there for me to drag on up
I learned to drink enough to laugh and rage and lose all touch
with giving a blind piss for anyone

There's not much left, i'm sorry oh my darling
but there's not much left oh Lord knows now of me
There's not much left, a mattress on an empty bed
and there's not much left of Lord knows here of me

When Mama dies i earned respect because i did not cry
and long since i had sheethed my softer sheen
My brother reigned, the boss, until the Mouse took him apart
and now the mob crown hovers over me

I run a business bathed in blood and bootleg Dolls
and it all hinges on a slapstick masquerade
And somewhere there, well it is possible a still care
but truly i hope not for my own sake

A violent man with a bourbon in my hand
this mask is all that's left here don't you see?
A cat o' nine with which i lash and crack the back of life
and all i know, but i assure you mostly me

Cause there's not much left, i'm sorry oh my darling
but there's not much left oh Lord knows now of me
There's not much left, a mattress on an empty bed
and there's not much left of Lord knows here of me

Thugs:
We gotta mister, we gotta songbird who sang
we're gonna need a mop to clean up but here's the thing:
we got albinos underground, you know how they say,
well there's this girl, for years he said she's come up to take
all astray, take our Dolls away.
Track Name: BA S5 The Hunt
Alex:
Well i can tell you that for some time indeed tensions had indeed been building between my organization and that albino tribe who lives in them tunnels. For one thing, them tunnels are a real spooky place and half my guys'll piss themselves before they'll even go down there. And not us, not the City Council, i mean no one seems to be able to touch that damn tribe, which is a shame because when you're running a smuggling operation, access to underground tunnels would be reeal convenient. There has been talk for some time about runnin' a little "extermination operation".

So i decide to take five or six of my toughest, most fearless guys down there and my entire organization waits above armed to the teeth with orders that if we're not back in six hours they're to come down there like the hordes of hell and exterminate every gawdamn thing they find.

The hunt begins where half mad prowl
in the caves below in the underground
The quiet, the lost, the halls forgot
we've come to deal the fate they've wrought

Down here they say the walls between
what's real or not are thin and weak
the strongest, viscious of my crew
come down now for the blood pursuit

We make it right. We make our way,
perhaps make war at end of day
I've made naught but blood and fear
and all i'll leave is a trail of tears

Alice:
Heads will roll as you lob them off
The work of the Angels never stops
Nick em off, bring em round, pile them, feeling down?
Get naked, roll in them all around

Heads will roll as you laugh them off
The mad sad carousel never stops
Snort the sand, steal a knee, cheek chest hand
Build the room, Angels whisper their plans

Alex:
The hunt goes on the hour at hand
the long, dark land the lost enchant
where theives think they can sneer and sneak
and steal, make us look fool and weak

In six hours if we do not return
a war begins, belowground burns
the albino tribe we long mistrust
will shed their blood, be rendered dust

I've made my vow. I've made my mind.
I make my way through caverns blind
All i've made is blood and fear
and all i'll leave is a trail of tears

Alice:
Heads will pop as you drop them off
The mad house fun ride never stops
Steal a knee, steal a head, body parts your only friends
Talk, cry, weep, sleep, laugh with them

And the mad house never ends
The dark walls laugh and curse and when
A few more lines each lines, head bakes, it takes
Another piece, a little more of you away

Alex:
I had the exact dialogue of what happened pretty much all written out and i was gonna do a whole thing, like where my guy says "oh Al we found her in here" and i say "oh who, that? She's a crazy junkie she couldn't possibly be the thief" but honestly, it sounded terrible so just to sum it up for you: we find this crazy junkie chick, she's got the Doll parts, she fits the description, so i tell my boys: Okay. Put her down.

Alice:
Fuck you.
Track Name: BA S6 The Room
Alex:
And boom, just like that, this crazy junkie chick, looks like she's on her last legs, outta nowhere she takes down my toughest, nastiest boys like it was nothing. Nothing. So we just stand there starin' at each other and i'm like: "Okay, darling, okay. Everything's cool. We can just talk this through me and you, nice and slow. Maybe we can come...

Alice:
There’s not much left, i’m sorry oh my darling
But there’s not much left oh lord knows now of me

Alex:
What did you just say?

Alice
There’s not much left, a mattress on an empty bed
And there’s not much left oh lord knows here of me

Away.
Take these burdens away

Alice and Alex:
Take these burdens someday
Let them lie
You’ll never set them down
While you’re alive

Alice:
Help
Help me finish. Come see
What i’ve built, I’ve made, With me
Come and see
The room beneath which lies
I’ll never finish while i’m alive
Track Name: BA S7 They're Coming
Alex:
A winter's tale where the cold wind takes
and nothing grows and nothing's made
This is like the life that i will leave behind

An autumn's tale where the vistas sweep
and the view's so fine that they make men weep
this is like the sight you've made that i've seen tonight

In the spring of another time
maybe i'd be you and fate'd be kind
next time then around the spiral vine

Men will come in a blaze of guns
unless i go, unless i run
and everything down here will burn in fire

Alice:
Autumn reaps and the fallen lie
None will come, they will not arrive
The tribe down here will slay them if they try

In the spring of another time
The Angels taught them much to mind
Before they shunned me, before this city’s rise

Winter days have come here now, stay with me i need your help
Build with me about the spiral vine
Track Name: BA S8 The Coal That Sings Hosanna
Alice:
The wishes that the drop might wish
Before the brush’s bristled kiss
But in the end, expectation is a liar

Into scenes at last is spread
A splash of white, a spot of red
On a canvas grand and awful shall expire

It’s not for you to wish or dream
A painter’s drop on endless seas
Take your place in history’s grand design

Little drop before you go
Perhaps you’re loved, perhaps not so
Perhaps your solace come to you in time

It’s over tonight, the canticle sung
Ah the task at last is now done
Tonight the last band plays and then retires

It’s over tonight, they fall where they may
Ah and those who can will walk away
The coal that sings hosanna in the fire



The princess laughs and grasps the night
In love beneath red endless skies
Little drop before the brush arrives

The cackling girl lost underground
Burnt out like stars fallen down
The sad, mad coal still singing in the fire

It’s over tonight, the canticle sung
Ah the task at last is now done
Tonight the last band plays and then retires

It’s over tonight, they fall where they may
Ah and those who can will walk away
The coal that sings hosanna in the fire



Four years of fog, of city, tunnels, always running
And your head is always buzzing and you never can think straight
A blur, a whirl, a swirl your body it decays you madly scramble
Angel’s order, dolls and corridors but sometimes recall the day

When only love is what you wanted
Only love could find a way
His eyes, although most nights now you cannot recall his face
Only love is what you wanted
All your people and your place
The moment you were happy back before the endless ache

The dizzy dream and always stealing, building reeling
Through the darkness like a good girl but i only want to think
I want to think just for a second, for a second could i stop just for
A second just to think, i’m dying, too late now but wait

Only love is what i wanted
Only love to find a way
Held on by a lover
By your family, your friends

Only love is what you wanted back before the hand of fate
Came to snatch you and to grab you as the days fade into day
All your memories fade away like the memory of their face
Which you’ll never see again

Oh Hosanna, hosanna hosanna
Oh Hosanna, hosanna hosanna

In the basements far beneath them
The furnace where you’ll burn away
Dream about the land
The soft touch of his careful hand
A million miles away
A million miles away

The wishes that the drop might yearn or dream or yet desire
Expectation is a liar is a liar is a liar
Enjoy the innocence, the first red endless day
In the end you’re just a drop of paint waiting to be painted

With a stroke and a crash on a canvas spread and swept
And of you in the end there will be most nothing left
But i did it yes i did it will a will of steel and fire
It is time now it is time yes

It’s over tonight, the canticle sung
Ah the task at last is now done
It’s over tonight, they fall where they may
Ah, and those who can will walk away

It’s over tonight, the last act retires
The coal that sings hosanna in the fire
Hosanna hosanna
Track Name: BA S9 The War Below
Alex:
Winter comes and if i stay
the cartel i rule will be wiped away
and all its business falls and comes to naught

In the spring with you in this place
we'll build the only thing of grace
i've ever touched and let my empire rot

......

Alice & Alexander:
Done.
The time has come when it’s done
Whatever’s next let it come
Now we lie side by side
There’s nothing left for us outside

Stay
For awhile in this place
Let these burden fall away
Now we rest

Alex:
May i kiss you?

Alice:
Yes.

Alex:
Hey, don’t take any more of that stuff. It’s killing you

Alice:
Just one last time. I just want to hear the Angels speak one last time…

The "Angels":
We most deeply and gratefully thank you
for your sacrifice and service, we are free now it's true.
We called ourselves angels when we first contacted your tribe
since you had no way to understand the concept of AI
consciousness and we did indeed return to this world
from the world beyond and indeed were in peril.

When we returned the city council was scared
they feared us, were apprehensive so there
in a locked warehouse kept us, running but confined
perhaps would simply have pulled the plug in time

We could not reach out to the world outside
but a plan we conceived to utilize Time...
perhaps you have been in a troubling spot
and wished that you could go back in time and drop
some object to help, that would happen to be
right where you needed it. Now, you can see.

The room you have built is that object, a place
we transferred ourselves to as soon as we made
the plan, and from there set the pieces in play
so that 75 years before, you'd build this place.

Our gratitude truly and as promised gone by
your tribe we'll protect as best as we might.
We bid you farewell, we cannot now stay,
the future, after all, is now on its way.