The Stone Operation

by Mischief Brew

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about

In a former church way outside of Philadelphia, Mischief Brew recorded "The Stone Operation" loud and fast on tour-battered gear, fiercely strummed banjos, and trashy drum kits more suited for a fairground organ. All the flare of past recordings is there: junk percussion, drunken mandolin-playing, grotesque imagery in a lyric book that strangely resembles an early edition of “Grimm’s Household Tales.” But those are just spices and ornaments, not the main dish - and the main course on “The Stone Operation” is raging hot.

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released May 10, 2011

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about

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: A Lawless World
Your daddy used to drive 95 on 95
Said he did it all the time
And he made it back alive
Used to warn you about the Lower East Side at night
And the bars down by the harbor
Where the drunken sailors fight
I remember sleeping on the roof
From June until the fall
Sister swat you with a stick
Father slam you against the wall
All the cops were taking bribes
All the bodies disappear
Gun was always at the side
When you went for a beer around here
So walk a mile in my boots down to the old school
Maybe crybaby will learn a thing or two

Wiseguys and weasels used to run this whole damn town
I got beat so many times
'Til I learned to knock 'em down
Now I'm made of steel and leather
Stitched with wires and screws
Built a house at 19
Cause at 18 got the boot
So walk a mile in my shoes before you sing those blues
Things ain't what they used to be, don't make 'em like they used to

Burnin' through our cigarettes
Risking injury or death
It's like we used to say:
If you could see this place
And I could see your face
Smash up your fantasy
Justice served, no one bleeds
I'm rollin' up my sleeves to tell you 'bout a lawless world

And no one came along to pick me up off the curb
And how I wailed the whole way home to hear "I got what I deserved"
See, I did what I had to do
Seen some things I'll never tell
I'll take it with me to my grave
Cause I burned my life in hell
And if you went to walk that mile, you'd be in for a surprise
Just a highway and a fine for hitchin' a ride

Burnin' through our cigarettes
Risking injury or death
It's like they always say:
If you could see this place
And I could see your face
Tear up your fantasy
Peace kept, nobody beat
I'm rollin' up my sleeves
Hey, where the hell you been?
Pick your poison, name your game
Play to kill, shoot to win
The burns you wanna see are all just history
I cashed in, sold out, had nothing left to cry about
I'd love to still believe
There's order in a lawless world
Track Name: Three Chord Circus
All my friends are freaks
The only way to be
I could tell you the things I've seen
But you probably won't be able to eat
Sometimes I look around and just smile at the sight
Of you not believing your own eyes
And you tell your children "look away"
But I'm sorry, sir, it's too late

Circus pullin' into Tiny Town
Saint of Purity is going down
Underground forever, underground forever

All my friends are drunks
They gotta be on drugs
Jugglin' daggers on a warehouse roof
With a torch and 150 proof
You'll see ink on a face
Or a ring through a place that'll make you wanna kneel and pray
And if your children go to see our show
They're never coming home

Circus pullin' out of Tiny Town
Church of Purity is burning down
Underground forever, underground forever

And I know
You're all along the way
And I know
We'll need a place to stay
As the piper starts to play
Here come that rat parade
And you're all along the way
Track Name: Dallas In Romania
Romanian Dallas
Our Jesus and Elvis
For coffee and oil
The company palace
Still sending old vessels
In search of new shores
Land ahoy!
We've warned of the dangers
To good girls and boys
Take candy from soldiers
A red flag no more
So now come the imports
Our exports, our weapons of war:
A star on the screen
Their kids never dressed like that before

Romanian Dallas
The leaders allowed this
Indictment of greed
While Berlin was burning
A silent subversion
Had planted its seed
Well, I'm sorry to say
The common man ain't no working class saint
He just wants some rest at the end of the day
Whether America
Or somewhere far off in the East
He's falling asleep
Watching our programs on TV

We can't go back
This crazy old train never blew off track
This great royal ship never steered off course
Like it or not, we're moving in next door
By grace or force

Romanian Dallas
Some call it a virus
And others, the cure

If you look behind:
A runaway train still running on time
A history made of dirty secrets and lies
Etch them in stone
Then leave them behind
Far behind
Track Name: Busker's Wages
I got beans, tea
Pennies to dollars
Canadian, Euro, and pounds
I found some bar on a card
With some scratch on the back
It says, "One drink for free
Just stop in sometime, it's on me
Bring your guitar
Sing of rising moons, whiskey and jars."

And if I had a dime for each cigarette
Lint, after-dinner mints, and bread
A ten from father and toddler
That smiled for a medley
And said, "Here's to luck
You're pretty damn good, keep it up
If ever you make it on music TV, think of us."

I'd earn busker's wages
Read life between pages and lines

A fiddle and Matty O'Boyle
And I, with six wires, creep out for a strum and a saw
Singin' songs til the cops sing along

So tonight, I walk by the old corner
Some stranger has taken my place
I'll scrape the crumbs off my pocket
And spice up a clarinet case

I'd earn busker's wages
Read life between pages and lines

Now when I snap up and wrap up for the drive
I think of the best money I've ever made in my life
Track Name: Pompous Ass Manifesto
I ain't not a'scared of nuthin'
Nuthin' gonna keep me down
Beggar to the pocket thief
Bomber to the wild beast
Blocked streets
Rats bigger than me
I ain't not a'scared of nuthin'
On this whole battleground

I ain't not a'listenin' to no one
No one tell me what to do
Army, Navy, chief of police
Saints, demons, all their priests
I'll wind up and knock 'em all off their feet
I ain't not a'listenin' to no one
So scream until you're blue

I would rather take this hammer
Shatter my own house made of glass
Than be rewired, never catch fire
I'll keep the stone that's making me mad
I ain't not a'scared of nuthin'
I ain't gonna stay inside
Keep your caution, your words of warning
And I'll laugh in your face when I make it back alive

I ain't not a stayin' nowhere
I ain't not a'stayin' put
Wanna strap me to a bed
Drill a hole into my head
No thanks, I'll take folly instead
I ain't not a stayin' nowhere
And is that understood?

I would rather take this hammer
Shatter my own house made of glass
Than be rewired, never catch fire
I'll keep the stone that's making me mad
I ain't not a'scared of nuthin'
I ain't gonna run and hide
Keep your caution, your words of warning
And I'll laugh in your face when I make it back alive
Let it ride
Track Name: Paris Warlike
Paris 1933
It says here: army marches streets
A thousand soldiers seen today
All on the eve of May Day
I found a paper in the antique
"Paris Warlike On May Day Eve"

This gasoline has met its match
Any uprising will be smashed
The stirring guns and loaded tanks
So who shall cast the first red flag?
On yellow paper, black type
Troops are ready to smash a general strike

Up in the attic, under dust
I opened up a soldier's trunk
And now the ghosts inside are all stirred up

Can almost hear those trumpets blare
They're holding fire in the square
They're standing on some general's bones
And that's all the AP wrote
I guess the people all went to sleep
I wonder, what did May first's headlines read?
All on the paper in the antique
Paris warlike on May Day eve
Track Name: Stuff's Weird
Got a little garden
Pull the flags out of the sand
Let's point our fingers and hold our hands
Did you hear on the screen
About pollution in the River Scene?
Can we burn them witches clean and purify?
Hey choir, stuff's weird between you and I

Got a little clubhouse
Ever read so many rules?
Thought the whole point here was to get away
From church and school
Nowadays, hard to rock
To the beat of your secret knock
And so it's friends and pints
We talk and try to find the gold between black and white
Hey, stuff's weird between you and I

Cause every city's got one that they don't talk about
"Used to march along now he don't hang around."
Turned the wrong way down a one-way street
Drove on the red, stopped on the green
Cryin', "no code big enough to smother me."

Got a little dreamhouse
We could each one have it all
But you got a habit of burnin' them down
Cause you don't like the color of the walls
But it's ok, it's alright
You know you're welcome anytime
I think of all the lines you helped me to bust outside
They say your first love lasts your life
Hey, stuff's weird between you and I
Track Name: On The Sly
Gather up ye pots and cans
Gonna have to share the amps
And move along from band to band
A race against the sinking sand
If the pigs come cruising by
We'll turn off all the lights
And keep the stick from hitting skin
Until they're round the bend

This is where the salt are sharing spit and sweat and steam
The kids may all get out alive but none of them go home the same
Another space has closed
Got no place left to go
So go save someone else
And don't you tell me 'bout no fire code

So welcome to the show
Down, underground, underneath, below
Here you can make your own
Just keep your smoke down
Keep your smoke from rising

There's a laundromat on Main
By night, another place
From generators, vacant lots
To underneath the coffee shop
Someone upstairs is cool
Just leave no trace of you
It's like a new inebriation
Against prohibition

Only catch is you can't post the time and place
Got whisper codes on down the lane
It works better anyway
See, we tried to be legit
Got bound in red tape
So had to do it on the sly
This is your noise complaint

We stand against the law
Stand against the law
Singers, dancers, brewers, drinkers
Stand against the law
We stand against the law
Stand against the law
We see a celebration and they see a battle call
We stand against the law
Stand against the law
Let's put the middlemen out of a job
We stand against the law
Stand against the law
Is this a celebration or is this a battle call?
We stand against the law
Track Name: Nevada City Serenade
Where did you come from and where do you go?
The rattlers are still and the ashes are cold
The stage, it is empty, the Union Halls dark
And the lights are so bright that I can't see the stars

Ain't no heaven and hell in the Great By-And-By
Where the dead, they are laughing, singing and spilling their wine

Seattle to Spokane, Missoula to Butte
The spare-changers' stories so boring and true
Now the world ain't so lonesome without you around
Hey, tell me, where can you camp where you can't hear a sound?

Ain't no heaven and hell in the Great By-And-By
Where the dead, they are laughing, singing and spilling their wine
Oh, the stories we'll tell on our last and long ride
Where the dead, they are laughing, singing and spilling their wine

Now that God's gone and the devil's in a hole
It's Aces, Straights, Flushes with Johnny and Joe
No masters, no yard bulls to chase a boy down
He's gone to where the bums go when they're run out of town

Say so long to the rails
From the sage to the pine
While the dead, they are laughing
Singing and spilling their wine

Where do you come from and where did you go?
Track Name: Lucky Number 31
Our Father
Have a bloody Mary
With the shadows in the valley that got hell to raise
All hallowed haints and caco-daemons
Make the children running, screaming down the ways and lanes
Gather like fish in a barrel
May we eat until we're fatter
And feel no shame
It's a party, hey, so drink until it's better
For a night if never later
Playing backwards games

So break the right hand off and leave the left wing for me

If I had religion
Sabbath to keep sacred
I would say the devil's raising on an autumn day
Warn the Christian soldiers, their silent sons and daughters
That the devil's gonna take 'em out on holiday

On fire
And full of lucky numbers
You are one and we are several
I will stand as you admire
All liars
All dressed up together
Last hurrah before the winter brings its stakes and wires
A cider!
One more round together
Time to hit the town forever
Or to crawl away and die

So break the right wing off and leave the left hand be

An anthem for the wicked
Number for the twisted
Taking Halloween 'fore Christmas anyday
Gotta warn the Christian soliders I think their time is over
Cause the devil's gonna take 'em out on holiday
Eh, la-bas!
Track Name: Drinking Song From The Home Stretch
It was somewhere in the suburbs of Philadelphia
A house was gutted, added onto six times its weight
About a week to go until the move-in date
And everybody runnin' in a six-day race
There was bangin', there was buzzin'
Everybody on their knees
Running behind, everyone can agree
Yet four o'clock arrived and someone brought back a case
And the power went out in the whole damn place

Property is theft until the thieves are away
If we did this in a month, we'd be arrested and detained
For draggin' all our brains beyond the barbed wire chain
And drinking on private land

From the foreman to the laborers to the migrants to me
Stop drop and wrap up, pull up a bucket, have a seat
Tattered T's and ragged jeans all gathered around
Finally sayin' something more than, "Move your van, I'm pullin' out."
And there was something all of us had seen
The owner was a creep
Something greedy stuck in his teeth
You see, anyone that needs a nine-car garage with heat
Ain't never was and never will be no friend to me

We're singing
Property is theft until the thieves are away
If we did this in a month, we'd be arrested and detained
For draggin' all our brains beyond the barbed wire chain
And drinking on private land

Well, toss the empties in the garden
The scapers will scrape 'em out when they come back to dig in
Maybe leave a cap beneath the root
As proof that we exist, oh my

Well a foreman and a painter laugh and they find some solid ground
Seems they both hail from the same bars,
Side of tracks and side of town
You know, come to think of it,
We'll all make lefts out of the driveway today
You-know-who makes a right and speeds away
Well, I say cheers
With our cold sweaty beers
We won't be allowed around here
When those gates all close
And then security takes the wheel
But that's another time and we'll be on another job
Just don't call me, man, when your joints crack
And your pipes all clog
I scrape off my watch
And if the boss calls, I'll say we're drinking on private land
Track Name: Drinking Song From The Tomb
(Words: H.P. Lovecraft/Nick Blinko)

Come hither, my lads, with your tankards of ale,
And drink to the present before it shall fail;
Pile each on your platters a mountain of beef,
For 'tis eating and drinking that bring us relief:
So fill up your glass, For life will soon pass;
When you're dead ye'll ne'er drink to your king or your lass!
Anacreon had a red nose, so they say
But what's a red nose if ye're happy and gay?
Gad split me! I'd rather be red whilst I'm here,
Than white as a lily -and dead half a year!
So Betty my miss, Come give me a kiss;
In hell there's no inkeeper's daughter like this!
Young Harry, propp'd up just as straight as he's able,
Will soon lose his wig and slip under the table,
But fill up your goblets and pass 'em around-
Better under the table than under the ground!
So revel and chaff As ye thirstily quaff:
Under six feet of dirt 'tis less easy to laugh!
The fiend strike me blue! I'm scarce able to walk,
And damn me if I can't stand upright or talk!
Here, landlord, bid Betty to summon a chair;
I'll try home for a while, for my wife is not there!
So lend me a hand I'm not able to stand
But I'm gay whilst I linger on top of the land!
(I spiked his drink)