The Room Beneath New Albion

by Paul Shapera

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jesslindsayfowler
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jesslindsayfowler This has quickly become one of my favorite love stories. I adore Alexander. Favorite track: BA S5 The Hunt.
ashadicelich
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ashadicelich I love the callbacks to earlier operas in this one! Primarily the voodoopunks in the background, but also the lines repeated from The New Albion Radio Hour used to describe the underground. Favorite track: BA S5 The Hunt.
gorange varkarian
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gorange varkarian Honestly? Top of the bops right here; Room Beneath brings a mixture of industrial and tribal music and smooshes them into wonderful tunes. Be careful -trigger warning- (**SPOILERS**) this album contains mentions of drug (a lot) and alcohol use and child abuse.
Favorite track: BA S2 The Gangster.
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1.
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.
2.
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
3.
BA S3 Alice 06:18
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
4.
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.
5.
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.
6.
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
7.
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
8.
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
9.
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.

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 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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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