Smash The Windows (2016 Reissue)

by Mischief Brew

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about

Our 2005 debut LP reissued! Completely remastered from the original analog tapes. "Smash The Windows" is a carnival-punk whirligig, a menagerie of the bizarre combining anarcho-punk with Eastern-European folk, Django Reinhardt-esque swing, Beat-era jazz, Celtic balladry, and straight-up anthemic rock that somehow pulls off a mix of The Pogues, Johnny Cash, Chumbawamba, Morphine, Subhumans, and Tom Waits. Recorded in Brooklyn in 2004 by Danny Shatzky and Tamir Muskat (Balkan Beat Box, Firewater), this is more of a musical soundtrack, with characters and settings, than a traditional punk record. Includes two never-before-heard outtakes: "Bag Of Pepper" and an alternate acoustic mix of "The Lowly Carpenter." Released on 180 gram vinyl by Fistolo Records as well!

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released March 22, 2016

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Mischief Brew Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Emerging from the undead ashes of PA punk troupe The Orphans, Mischief Brew started with a scratchy demo tape in 2000 and has since spread the good word of anarchy, hilarity, and rebellion across state lines and even the Atlantic Ocean a few times. We've managed to exist for over 13 years in one form or another by kissing nobody's ass and doing everything ourselves, for the most part. No rules! ... more

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Track Name: The Reinvention Of The Printing Press
Machinery mill us
Forever will rule us
Until we find out how you're wired
Gods no longer read
Through the hands of the dead
It's safe now to question the friar
If they'd stopped at the wheel
We'd never have swung in this tire

Beyond Middle Ages
Left village for nation
This masterpiece our fathers penned
Too dark to see
The olde tyme tyranny
May the bulb never burn out again
Now that we know now
Everything that we didn't know then

The book was the lash
And the word was the law
But the tyranny ended
With ink on a block
But don't put it in park
With miles to go
Need a match
Nevermore shall we read in the dark

Gargantua's hungry
His fork and knife drumming
But what if we served him no more?
If just for a day
We took over this place
To find out where our harvests are stored?
Laugh like a king while you can
Til the bastions are stormed

Nevermore in the dark
Track Name: Citizens Drive
No one knows my politics like the postman
He brings me my radical rag
I bet the neighbors are wondering
What I've got in this bag
They say the city virus broke its borders once again
Fellow down the lane packed up and ran

Where the doors all lock at nine
Every creak is like cannonfire

There's an old crooked man
In an old crooked house
He says, "I don't open up on All Saints' Eve.
You never know what devil might be waiting there
To steal your TV."
As he sits to watch a story
About another robbery
Turns on a light to stave off thieves

Where the doors all lock at nine
Every creak is like cannonfire
The world is sick
I think it's dying
I'll watch it go through these dusty blinds

Life in these houses, locked inside
There's blood on the door and candlelight
Night
Close your eyes and wish it by
Call up the police to sing their lullabies
Play a hero, John Wayne
Put guns in our living rooms
Gates 'round our names
Give us a face to join up and hate
Keep Tiny Town pure and safe

But behind these bolts, there's a brewing revolt
And it rusts in every one of us

So put a yellow ribbon on your "Exterminator"
And head westward, across the tracks
I got a dream where we all say "See you later!"
And never say "Welcome back!"

I'm looking out the window
Down on Citizens Drive
Where all the elders are terrified
Will that be you and I?

The world is sick
I think it might die
I'll watch it go through these dusty blinds
Track Name: Lightning Knock The Power Out
Peasant pick a prophet
A dozen dimes a downfall
The marble floors are cracking
Like the plaster on the walls
Paper-thin foundation
Gambler, let it ride and roll
So why are we so shocked
When the matchstick house is overblown?

Lightning knock the power out
Huff and puff and blow the pig's house down
Lightning knock the power out

Doomsday is a'waitin'
So better start your praying
Preacher, better start your saving
'Fore the devil gets his share
Run and take cover
Cause it's really comin' down out there
With your candles, cans, and matches
Watch the wheels turn back into squares

Nightstick cracks down and a riot takes the town
One job lost and here's a bullet for the boss
Seven leaders meet and a thousand take the streets
One button pressed and goodbye, it's the end

One drop in the water
And it's sayonara Disneytown
Kinda like the roots
All crackin' through the concrete ground
One squirrel in the walls
And it's just a matter of time
Nitwit got the global joystick
And long may the cockroach thrive

And that's the way it'll all go down
Lightning knock the power out
With simulation cities and computer towers
It won't take much to wipe it out
Lightning knock the power out
Huff and puff and blow the pig's house down
Lightning knock the power out
Right out
Track Name: Nomads Revolt
We'd go down to throw rocks at the river
Curses at the parade
Wedge a stone in the gear of the clockworks
Try to keep us from acting our age
Swore we'd carry on like this forever
'Til the free spirits bled
But now can you believe who's a mother
And that so-and-so's cut off their dreads?

Kill off Columbus
And turn the world around
After all, the nomads are settling down

Used to give most my bread to a landlord
Leave the crust for the squats
Now the death-wages we pay the bankers
Seem to kill all the flies with one swat
Hear the wedding bands strike up a number
Dear, they're playing our song
Hold your breath cause we're gonna go under
Get the little ones singing along

No way, not to so-and-so
Said he'd never change
Said he'd never grow
He'd stay always on a roll
Run beside the trains
Past the mossy stones
Now there's more hope than ever
And it's all crumbling down
And the rebels are running for mayor
In your hometown

As the nomads are dropping their anchors
Falling into the sea
As I've stopped throwing rocks at the river
Now you'll find me a'swimming upstream
There is power in unions of ramblers
That got nothing to own
But there's more in one fist-swinging mother
Swearing, "My children shall never be sold."

Out of the garden, we multiply
Telling our stories
May all the old ways die
Track Name: The Lowly Carpenter
Come labor, get ready to dance for your bread
My son, I was once where you stand
There's a beast with insatiable hunger
Its minions need crafters and skilled working hands
Needs a fortress high in the hilltops
And we are the great chosen crew
But I am a lowly carpenter
So what have I power to do?

Oh misery, call us to rise up at dawn
To turn 'way as fast as we can
We may be the mortar that cradles the brick
But I am just one grain of sand
And don't tell me of tossing the wrenches
It only brings pleasure and pain
And we are all lowly carpenters
So where we're taken is where we'll remain

And the masters shall govern with unbroken backs
Look down from the top of the hills
You can cry through the night just as much as you like
There will always be towers to build
I coulda been more than some stone-dragging vassal
I could be more than their wood-cutting slave
But we are all lowly carpenters
So what have we power to change?

And if you can't take no more then get out of the way
For we have a day to get through
We wire their castles, their prisons and banks
Know their mansions from cellar to roof
We've got hammers and wrenches and chisels
We could destroy any great wall we come to
But I am a lowly carpenter
So what have I power to do?
Track Name: Ten Thousand Fleas
I'm the mouse, you're the house
Swipe a bite of some eats
Suck the bloodsucker dry
Put the lice in the police
Gotta starve the fat cat
Every dog has its flea
Like I'm a worm at the root
Singin' sweet victory

Bag of sand
Mud and stone
Fruit and seed
As above, so below
There's vultures under your rug
Roaches flying by night
There's a leech on your back
And it's saving your life

I sing a scavenger's anthem
As I lick your plate clean
Farm and a seed
I've no reason to heed
Only breed as you feed
I'm just one of ten thousand fleas

It's the biggest mosquito
That the world's ever seen
Raccoons in your cans
Are all eatin' like kings
Who needs to use cash
When there's plenty of trash?
Or we could dive in your flesh
And just feed from your rash

Raggedy ragamuffin
Riff raff, rebel tribe
Sleep away in golden straw
While the farmer is slashin'
And a'plowin' and sweatin'
To assure every plate's piled tall

Come little boy with your slingshot and horn
Send a great fire to swallow the corn
For they'll do it to you as they did it to sheep
Sing your song of resistance so that I might softly sleep

For when I fall asleep
That's when you're wide awake
I wonder if the bed I lie in
Is one that you made
Put my ear to the street
Heard your hammers in song
I walked away whistling
Glad that I wasn't singing along
Track Name: From The Rooftops
I see the city from my roof
Scrape the sky and pierce the moon
I toss a brick and hit a bottle
I used to have such a fiery soul
Now it's full of cigarette holes
But scars tell better stories

You're just copper underwater
Your hope is just a dream
'Til you mix truth and purity
What a hell of a hangover
You won't find me underground
On the rooftops I'll be found

Well I'll spit on your fuse
Twist you out under my shoe
Yeah go ahead and knock it down, child
It's nothing new
I'll just watch the buildings burn
So wake me up when you've freed the earth
You say I sold my values
Yeah, but you pay for the view

I see the city from my roof
Like a foreign land from a family room
Oh how I once detested its abuse
Now the lights all look like stars
And there's solace from afar
I toss a smoke and watch it tumble
Into the whisper of passing cars

On the rooftops I'll be found
On the rooftops looking down
Track Name: The Gypsy, The Punk, And The Fool (A Tale)
Lay the sleepy children down
Battered hand on baby's brow
Embers turn the night to smoke
Bottled shells of revelry
And ghosts of old jokes
Horses tethered tight
To them, hay
Into beds of straw, the strongarms fade
What are the words to The Gypsy Lament?
Carnival not haunted by the Lent?
Sing of no surrender

Saw a fiddle, cracked, in the settler's shack
That look on his face said, "Don't come back"
As the crusty and the Gypsy had their spat
Which one owns less of the land
One has asked the other if there's space
The other laughs, "You'd hardly last a day.
For all your beanfields and your 'pay-no-rents'
Can you really sing the rogue's lament?"
You'll hang before you surrender
I will not surrender

The boy could have grown to never strain a hand
Yet now he speaks of working his own land
And father's bribery is all for naught
For the morals of these stories can't be bought
How I marvel when idle ease is shed
To tend the wheat that soon shall be your bread
If you choose rebellion over sweet content
Can you really sing the rogue's lament again? No...

I'll sing the rogue's lament never again
I'll sing the rogue's lament never again
For when you roll your own bed,
Your days beyond self-led
You cannot sing the rogue's lament again
For when you bake your own bread,
The baker's always a friend
I'll sing the rogue's lament never again
Track Name: Roll Me Through The Gates Of Hell
I am a leader but you will not follow me
I ain't no preacher, for I'm full of blasphemy
See you in hell, boys

Like an angel who'd been dancing with some devils
I'm a bad girl with hope for a better day
My laughter is spiced with mischief
I won't toss the salt, kiss it up, or pray
When you offer pink or blue, I'll take the blackest
When you offer only two, I'll offer three
When you point me in a direction, I'll run backwards
And at the border of utopia, I'll toast to anarchy

Cause fire and rock, I'm coming home to you
As I'm pickin' the bones out of my dinner stew
Open up the gates of hell and roll me through
Fire and rock, I'm coming home to you

So you're sayin' Satan's army's rising up soon
Well if it is, I'm the Secretary of No-State
No state!
Got wrenches, rocks, and bottles in my tool pouch
My desire is society's jailbait
Cause there's tons of guys a'mopin' 'bout the workday
Dimes by the dozens
Their song weighs a thousand pounds
But there's nothing like a lady with a buzzsaw
I just might build your house
But I just might tear it down

Yes barkeep, I will surely have another
To the witches! To the goblins and the trolls!
I'll be coming to recruit your rebel children
There ain't no use in lockin' doors
There's one of me in every home
With mud on my boots
And blood on my jeans
I'll take those pretty dresses
Tear 'em at the seams
Roll me through the gates of hell, ah please
And I'll be back in your daughter's dreams
Track Name: Ain't It The Life?
Never sing "no surrender"
When you've just learned to crawl
It's all bravery knowing
When to fly and to fall
But down here by the ocean
Things just don't seem so bad, on our backs
And we've all forgotten
Whatever had made us so mad

Always fall into slumber
At the end of the day
May you dream of a world where
There ain't nuthin' to say
Every answer, "Whatever"
It's all easy to take in my place
So let's get stoned
And watch the Main Street Parade
Pura vida!

Coconuts and bananas
Rum and sugar cane juice
Fillin' up on papaya
All this passion and fruit
What the hell? Have another!
Martyrs thousands of miles out of sight
May all we do be all for our delight

And I dream as the factories climb and crumble
On and on and on
May all we do be all for our delight
Track Name: A Liquor Never Brewed (With Guignol)
There was a knockin' at my door
It's the dreaded landlord
He wants his rent and wants it now
And he is careless how
He left us in a vacant daze
Askin' how we got here
And we retired to slumber
But the glasses never were rinsed

There was a tapping on my back
It's the dreaded foreman
I think I see a smile
Through his teeth and his cigar
He put my hands to working
Said they'd otherwise do nothing
And I made a thousand things today
I'm sure I'll never use

There was a ringing of my bell
I picked it up to answer
They said they were my comrade
But they couldn't say my name
So I asked about the sun and moon
And what their thoughts on time were
They hung it up in madness
And went on to punch the clock

And somewhere there's a sound of someone singing
I got an invitation once to liberty
They had a mischief brew, but no goblets were used
Besting rum or porter
'Tis a liquor never brewed, never brewed

There was a rapping at my door
It's the dreaded policeman
He had a ticket to enter
Signed by fools and stamped with laws
He questioned me on politics
Scorned my generation
For not respecting elders
And the land's authority

So when the landlord came to knock
I said, "Come back tomorrow!"
There's more life I'll be living
Than just slaving from your wage
And to the troop and foreman
Make yourself the things I don't use
For I'm off into the forest
For a liquor never brewed

Today, I'm following the sound of someone singing
I got an invitation once to liberty
They had a mischief brew, but no goblets were used
Besting rum or porter
'Tis a liquor never brewed, never brewed
Track Name: Departure Arrival
You know I could never fall asleep on a train
All the time dreaming 'bout a'moving away
Finally awake
I wonder, what if I pulled the emergency brake?
Doors are still open, and I wish they would shut
Then I could stop thinking: should I jump down and run?
Only on page ten
And I think I gotta start all over again

When the tape slows down
It means the battery's dead
May your songs never get stuck outta my head
If I ever fall asleep,
I'll remember my dream
Where everybody's there and nobody leaves

Something below me starts a'crankin' to life
The platform moves backwards
'Til it's outta my sight
The tracks start to split
Got another ten hours 'til my next cigarette
Biked 'round the city 'bout a billion times
Now a few seconds left until I leave it behind
Almost at the end
I close my eyes, and we fall over the edge
Track Name: Bag Of Pepper (Bonus Track - Outtake)
Not worth a bag of pepper
You grainy salty Europe
The Christians hold their noses at another peasant birth
That patch of silk you wear is all you're worth
No pinch of pepper on the bird

Not worth a spoon of sugar
In a lady's spot of tea
Pity the poor will never know the joys of ivory
To give Arabian ambrosia to a Cheapside cockney
The fall of the British Crown I'd rather see

Not worth a bale of cotton
Sold at the auction block
When northern aggression puts you out of a job
There are fresh fields elsewhere, new chains and rocks
And everywhere you turn, another cop

They've never seen steel
They touch it and bleed
They'll make for good servants
To wash master's feet
Can't get what they got
Boss says, "Get a job!"
Plenty of shoes to shine
And marble to mop

Not worth a pound of coffee
In a corporation's mug
Thanks to backwards nations, you can save your sweat and blood
"You see, we use wood, dear. And they use mud.
And that's why we look down and they look up."

Not worth a barrel of oil
Sing the air raid lullaby
Pick up screaming little one, run from falling sky
But don't you cry
Rats don't have feelings, not like you and I
They don't go the same place when they die

The world is concrete
Corn, gasoline
Oil, wood, sugar
The dawn's coffee bean
One million children
Or one of our own
Which side weighs more?
A ton of pepper or a ton of gold?
Track Name: The Lowly Carpenter (Bonus Track - Acoustic Mix)
Come labor, get ready to dance for your bread
My son, I was once where you stand
There's a beast with insatiable hunger
Its minions need crafters and skilled working hands
Needs a fortress high in the hilltops
And we are the great chosen crew
But I am a lowly carpenter
So what have I power to do?

Oh misery, call us to rise up at dawn
To turn 'way as fast as we can
We may be the mortar that cradles the brick
But I am just one grain of sand
And don't tell me of tossing the wrenches
It only brings pleasure and pain
And we are all lowly carpenters
So where we're taken is where we'll remain

And the masters shall govern with unbroken backs
Look down from the top of the hills
You can cry through the night just as much as you like
There will always be towers to build
I coulda been more than some stone-dragging vassal
I could be more than their wood-cutting slave
But we are all lowly carpenters
So what have we power to change?

And if you can't take no more then get out of the way
For we have a day to get through
We wire their castles, their prisons and banks
Know their mansions from cellar to roof
We've got hammers and wrenches and chisels
We could destroy any great wall we come to
But I am a lowly carpenter
So what have I power to do?