Island of the Dolls

by American Sinner

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1.
04:15
(S. Sinner/ Music & arr. S. & American Sinner) There's a black spot in the woods1 that's calling, sometimes when I think of you. Your voice in the wind calling me, Drowning my ears is all I can do. Brown-eyed demon is singing, She punctuates my dreams. Blood red lipped demon is whispering to me. And sucking the breath for my screams.2 What kind of hell we raised? That I pray for each next dawn. That damn spot out there creeping closer.1 I don't know how to put it down. Felt like tasting heaven, when we danced too close to hell. Some seal, some bind was broken. The best I have to quell it are the songs and hanging pans.3 But things are still slipping by. And I still hear her singing, in the woods on quiet nights.
2.
How was I to know? You came without a sign Fragile this side up Or handle me with care What you break you own 1 Caught in a second so slow I could taste the air As you amplified my sigh By your silent stare There's a flicker of crime, behind your eyes Yeah I see it there Your pumpkin Smile Your hollow stare Back and forth you go Rocking(,) 2 your only friend Black indifferent eyes Scapegoat in a snare 1 Variant on something seen in stores, ‘You break it you bought it.’ Here, we are referring to people that treat each other as mere objects; the kind of person who might understand their control of another, their ability to break them, as the glue of the relationship. 2 Someone rocking in a fetal position with a dolls etc. Or referring to Rock n’ Roll, a term originally referring to sexual activity. Here, the idea is that the victim eventually seeks relationships in another shallow way.
3.
05:05
Lucinda I tried To go on after our time I succeeded by most measurements But I could never forget your eyes 1 I couldn't ask you to choose With convictions too cast(e)-bound to move 2 I married fine, but I’m afraid she is wise To why sometimes my gaze goes right through Lucinda I tried, but I could never forget your eyes [Oh time your hourglass, Turns quickly as it may Or the sands of life won’t pass. If his wish you’d obey] 3 I forgave them as you asked In the letter you wrote me last In a quiet place, I try to find faith That your fevered dream will come to pass So I’ll wait until we meet again We rebuilt the fountain in St. Pete Surrounded by so much, rich in this world but Too little to confirm my dreams 4 Floating on through an excessive long life But it’s a sin to hasten to your side You deny time is finite, but how will I find you When I drift into that inky tide? 5 Lucinda I tried To go on after our time I found you before and I will again Because I could never forget your eyes 1 If I were truer to the opera, it would be Lucinda’s voice that Thomas could not forget. It was Maritana’s voice that Don Cesar recognized after he had married a veiled bride. But it did not fit lyrically. 2 Two meanings intended here. Cast, as in casting bronze. Things were set, Thomas realized he could not change Lucinda’s parents’ opinions. Second, the ‘nobility’ issue as in a caste system. 3 Original words from the opera were: ‘Despite olde time, thine hour glass, Turn quickly as it may, His sand of life shall not pass, If he my wish obey’ These seem like they would be particularly haunting to Thomas, feeling trapped in time as I imagine he felt at his hotel by the sandy beach. In the opera these are said when Don Cesar is in prison, not knowing his fate, whether he will be executed or reunited with his bride. 4 Original words sung by Maritana in the opera were: ‘Why do you sigh in contemplating your gains? Because they are too little, or too much, señor. Too much for remunerating songs of a poor Gitana, and too little to confirm the dreams of splendor which nightly occupy my slumbers.’ 5 There are a number of references in the lyrics to the ocean. The hotel is on the beach and I tried at all times recording and writing this, to imagine a somber Thomas standing in the very pleasant seaside environment that is St. Petersburg.
4.
03:21
The rail is rumbling low, you’ll see it coming soon Smile for me... when the black steel shines Carry me to my car, have someone sound the bell Lila Anne... it’s time that I should go Lila Anne...don’t cry it's time Someone should help you now I’m gone Knowing I leave you all, if only it was more Lila Anne... it’s time that I should go Remember me to anyone still there Though I fade with each new year It’s gloryland for me, it’s waiting by the Lord And I’m free when my burden is let down In peace, please go, grieve for me no more Lila Anne... it’s time that I should go
5.
Ain’t felt so good yeah I don’t know when I may never feel this good again 1 I’ll be feeling even better As the day grows dim Jody Foster in the 70’s Raised the bar too high for starlets Men will spin that tale Of stardom on that scale You’ll need somebody to look after you Don’t need more cowgirls out in Hollywood You’d come riding in from Arkansas To join a line of freckled girls Doing the Georgia Crawl 2 Young and pretty gets it every time I know some guys who know some other guys So give the camera what you got Give the people what they want So put your faith in me We'll get your act off the streets California’s rich, showing skin Ain’t that something we can do Here on our own? Well I can’t help what men will pay for There's a coked-up Santa Claus on center stage Taking half of what his chippies made They’re all half-dressed and half his age I should be Santa Claus3 1 From a mishearing of Cheap Trick lyrics (“C’mon C’mon”). 2 Arkansas and Georgia are southern states. There is no such thing as “the Arkansas Crawl”, unless you and your partner want to invent one. 3 I assume that all pimps that survive into old age have white beards and rosy cheeks…and maybe something of a small fortune.
6.
03:12
On the tip of the tongue of Arizona The only one who would never leave A bit of finery the desert didn't deserve My lady my Copper Queen They were both so young when they met Her husband had several grand schemes But he burned through the accounts and the leads ran out So he set himself swinging from a red oak beam If he'd been prone to conversation or a younger man Maybe she'd have mourned bona fide But she did her time in black and quickly faced the fact The only thing she had for kitty was her pride1 If you ever come by, ask for me I'll still be here in 315 Please come by, if you're ever near It gets too quiet sometimes, it gets too cold in here Maybe it was how he asked about her homeland Or seemed to care about her political rants How he smiled at her as if undamaged Or how he never missed her dance Finally found the heart in Brewery Gulch To tell him she was ready to need But he had a family in Don Luis She could only think of one way to leave 1 For those who don’t gamble - kitty is the pool of bets in a card game. For those who are unfamiliar with X-Men - Kitty Pryde is a superhero - her power is to be able to ‘phase’ through object, i.e. walk through walls. Kinda ghosty. For the chaste, note that kitty is synonymous with another relevant slang word here.
7.
05:10
I'd seen the painting on your tent, but the artist was no Van Rijn1 First time in the flesh, I thought I misplaced my spine We were angels altogether2, floating through the days Laughing at the looks, conjoined twins and my bloody face 3 You think I only love you, 'cause I always love the saddest things But you're the ones who keep on singing, "our lives are all steam and springs." So I'll bite the heads of someone, while you sing for the crowds We must have mattered somehow, to make you scream so loud For me at least it was more, than often requited lust If we are machines as you say, it’s with you I'd like to rust You fought through and around me, and yet I miss it now As the calm is slow expanding, faint but relentless somehow 1 For some reason, people only know painter Rembrandt Van Rijn’s first name. 2 Old figure of speech for being intoxicated. 3 A sideshow ‘Geek’ was an act where a person, usually falsely, portrayed themselves as an unintelligent wild man. These acts often involved biting the heads off live chickens.
8.
04:08
I’m not expecting anymore I never really asked for much Sometimes someone to be close to me Sometimes not to be touched For a few hours anyway.. I can’t remember anymore Why I’ve been in this room so long Or what might choose to bloom here if Some of these weeds were gone 1 I’m not worried anymore Freedom’s just another word..some dirty girl said 2 And what do I.. what do I have left? I can’t even find my head My frame and its host haunt two states Depending on the memories I dig up My room, you wearing nothing but your red flag No I didn't bury them deep enough 1 A recovering drug addict said something like this to me once. - Scott 2 Janis Joplin. Narrator will remember when he/she sobers up.
9.
04:29
Probably not born smart, if you think that you were born lucky1 Pain or fortune, such is risk But gold is always near And the big wheels keep on spinning You’re figuring someone’s got to win They all laughed when you rode into town backwards on a mule2 They sent you home penniless For the love of God, for the taste of whiskey Those hungers they’ll…they’ll do you in Now your luck's as dry as those antelope skulls 3 Kissed by Sands4, then forgot For the love of gold… 1 A friend of mine who used to say “I was just born lucky” and thought he’d strike it rich in Vegas hung himself in a psychiatric ward. 2 I thought they put Jesus on a mule backwards and drove him into town. I’m frustrated that I can’t find this image of ridicule (again) in my bibles. 3 Antelopes are not native to the United States, but we could really use some. 4 The Sands Hotel was an historic Las Vegas Hotel & Casino that operated from 1952 to 1996. -Nic
10.
04:07
I awoke from the dark dreaming of you again Slipped through the hollow between current and air I was thinking of you, but you're not here I try to find your face, but it’s never near enough I don’t glow bright enough to leave I only meant to say hello, I know how it must seem Along the Ridges, detailed in iron and stone I fade in and out, fired filament bones1 People and places with good souls Must taste better.. to the demon folk We were in love in the quiet in the dark With your hands and your eyes you took me apart Maybe you remember me? Backbone of sticks and stones, numbers god only knows Fractured family pride? An island cast aside. A lettered board2 calls out, I lack the strength of hand A crowd of ravens3 pick through glass and sand 1 Fired filaments were used in old flash camera bulbs. 2 You may know this as a ouija board. The ghost can’t remember or never knew the word. 3 A group of ravens are called an ‘unkindness’ or a ‘conspiracy.’
11.
Lost in some diner Where my friends are few Seems I go out and have some fun But it darkens all moods There’s more pretty girls than one..they say But what’s the use? When to the last of them I’m looking born to lose My mind goes south And my mouth gets loose Been torn apart to the point I start talking bloodshed blues [People in this country, What’s the backstory? On down the road, People and their faith...I think it was in the papers] A voice soft and holy Is guiding me Cackling on the radio Setting out schemes There’s a sheen on the highway That I always see From the back of a state trooper’s cab Led from the scene
12.
04:19
You have to be clean As you stand on judgment day In robes washed white by torrents of blood As you stand on judgment day Don’t take no sins, No ugly sins As you stand on judgment day On every sinner’s head the word ‘Mystery’ 1 As you stand on judgment day So bow down kneel and pray As you stand on judgment day There’s a winnowing sound as your body falls away 2 As you stand on judgment day It’s gonna rain blood, it’ll rain fire As you stand on judgment day A legion of souls all balanced all weighed As you stand on judgment day 1 Reference to Revelations 17. I only know it from a lyric in Dylan’s “Foot of Pride”. 2 Matthew 3:12
13.
I shook all night, my mind aching with hurt pride As real as ghosts, as real as you or me I’ll keep the story simple, the truth is more complicated I’m haunted by you, you’ve never been, you can’t be Last night I read your letters light with your perfume Your soft voice always drove kind nails in me All the sheets are hovering but then I can’t be certain I’m haunted by you; you’ve never been; you can’t be Last night I searched the photographs for a memory I spent the evening clinging to your ghost I shook all night, my mind aching with hurt pride You’re a thousand miles away from me. Down here, the snow is falling. Do you even sense I miss you? I’m haunted by you…
14.
03:02
Hear the wind blowing through the autumn leaves There’s that one voice that’s calling me And if it’s in a voice, thin and gone I’ll still be singing you this lullaby Chestnut and bay…dappled grays All pretty horses, I’m sure I’d cross the ocean time has had me cross And see them with you if I only could All I want baby is to care for you But time has taken me too soon Hush little baby now please go to sleep And I’ll be singing you this lullaby Never despair, baby, now don’t you cry I’ll still be (always be here) singing you this lullaby
15.
03:09
My coffee grows cold as I turn to face A shadow shift, a five foot mist I could swear that a sip from my cup was gone And the rim I find was cold as ice Again I hear the hardwood floor With descending creaks like smallish feet Walk out there, just like before They're all asleep except for me With her firefly eyes guarding me Her voice comes faint on a chill In the midnight moon through the trees Her bright smile haunts me still A single flower, magnolia, each night She leaves beside my bed You see in this way, she broke me in time Now I don’t sleep, I only dream In the southern summer’s tired heat I don’t so much mind the chill When the sunlight spills through the leaves Her bright smile haunts me still

about

The Island of the Dolls. (La Isla de las Muñecas) Outside Mexico City, a young girl drowned in a canal. Soon thereafter, the ferryman started hearing her tell him to bring her dolls. The island is now covered in dolls in various states of decay; a devotional monument to loss & the life that may persist after death.

credits

released November 22, 2014

American Sinner is: Nic Lavalier – Bass, vocals, keys, synths; Plug ‘Ug’ Lee – Drums, vocals; Scott Sinner – Guitar, lead vocals, accordion, banjo, keys, synths.
& Krissy Downing – Violin, vocals; Mike Prince – Drums on 6, 9, 10, 12.
Nic, Plug, & Scott – hand percussion, fx & samples.
w/ Rakhi Baby Bear – backup vocals 7.; Queen Raj – backups 3, 7, 11; Kiki Troo – lead vocals 14, backups 12.
All songs written by American Sinner.
Recorded, mixed, mastered by S. Sinner.
Actors/Actresses/Models: Ashley Eastman, Giotino Angle, Clementine McLain, Queen Raj, Mademoiselle Magu, Julie Pelletier, Buck Naked Action, Veronica Sawyer, Willy D McB, The Hippie Cheerleader, Mr. Railroad, Lindsey Clark, Honey Bee, Blanca, Goldie, Hayden, Tish.
Additional Photos: Queen Raj, Sweetpea Sunshine, Jax the Magnificent.


Principal gear used:
Recorded, mixed & mastered in Reaper

VSTs: ReaPlugs, Valhalla, Variety of Sound, ToneBoosters, FXpansion, Klanghelm, Melda Productions, Sonimus, Overloud, Amplitube, S-Gear, TSE, & Ignite.

VSTis: Synthmaster, Oatmeal, Organ 3, Dune, Crystal, Shortcircuit.

Pedals: VFE Dark Horse, Pale Horse & White Horse, Moog MF Drive, Voodoo Labs Giggity, Subdecay Liquid Sunshine, Vitruvian Mod & Prometheus DLX, Mad Prof. Simble & Sweet Honey OD, Way Huge Pork Loin, Strymon El Capistan, EHX B9 & POG2, Zoom 50G & 70CDR.

Guitars: Reverend, Italia, Republic, Epiphone, Walden.

Banjo: Alvarez

Accordion: Hohner

Basses: Squier Vintage Mod, Lidl upright, Peavey t40, Ibáñez Musician, Spector, NS Designs.

Mics: Golden Age, CAD, Shure, Blue, EV.

Amps: Fender, Quilter, Carvin, Egnater, G-K

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American Sinner Maryland

American Sinner is a rock n' roll stiletto switchblade dance along the edge of a knife that opens up for stabbing. They are not your run-of-the-mill musical tricksters in harlequin unitards holding bouquets of flowers behind their backs. No!...they got it all -manliness like Bowie and femininity like Tina Turner. They got it all so when these boys are randy to rock, you better let 'em. ... more

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