American Dream

by This Mad Desire

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1.
it’s a lifetime sipping trouble. it’s a waiting for a call. it’s a passion for the freedom to do anything at all. oh yeah! it’s cocaine in the limo. it’s new york or anywhere at all. your eyes asked for a lifetime. i told you that i might call. so what oh well. guess there are things you can never tell. i just wanna know why you told me we would be together. no one knows what the best thing is for you and i. all i know is together means forever ’til we die. so what oh well. guess there are things that you can never tell. i just wanna know why you told me we would be together. deep in my heart, i have felt so afraid. deep in our hearts, we have felt so afraid. afraid. afraid. afraid. these long california nights. hollywood or nowhere at all. we’ve got the passion for the freedom to do anything at all. so what oh well. guess there are things that you can never tell.
2.
and you find yourself face down in the gutter with a smashed-in face that only a mother could love and for that there’s even some doubters. you know it’s true, my sister and brothers. and it’s not enough to mask your feelings. this time they’ve got you hanging from the ceiling. it takes a strong bite out of your soul and last time you checked you weren’t safe at home. and you’re gonna get through. you’re gonna get through this. you’re gonna get through like this wasn’t happening to you. this internet you love, you thought it gave you a voice like coke or pepsi, illusion of choice. every false headline lives forever in a chaos of questions that binds us all together. was it the russians who put you up to this? the devil made you do it and sealed it with a kiss. the antifa walks with supremacists and burns all the witches in street justice.
3.
i want you to be closer to me. i want you to feel the things we see. the plane is off the ground. we fly the speed of sound just to be free. you’ve gotta let it move your bones. everywhere we are we’re coming home. it’s a little dance we do, an icelandic romance to pull us through. do the reykjavik shuffle. eyjafjallajokull volcano hidden in the land of ice and snow. across the lava rock so hot we cannot talk as the aurora glows. we’ll take you to the blue lagoon and swim like fish beneath the moon. then we dream on down the street, another party to get to. do the reykjavik shuffle. (or the gimli glide...) we found a place where the huldufolk won’t find us. another tropicool place where the people won’t mind us.
4.
i want you to know that i’m not lonely even though sometimes i am alone. deep in your heart you know that you can always find me even when i am light-years from home. i make a point to only look forwards because you can never ever turn back. none of us is getting any younger. none of us is getting any younger. i wanted to stay. i wanted to believe. i wanted to stay. it was not my choice, not my choice to leave. i know you have so many questions. and i know life it falls short on answers. i don’t know why someone’s father is gone. i don’t know why some mothers die alone. i want you to know that life’s too fucking short to do anything you don’t love. make your dreams come true and i will promise you i’ll be forever with you. i always try to forgive and to forget but it gets so hard when you can’t live with it. some people i’ve seen they get wiser with age and other people just get older and some lash out in a rage. some people live lives for others that they want to impress and at the end of the day it’s all regrets. so i say to you now that there is no time for later. i say to you now that there is no time for later.
5.
i try to think of practical things like dangerous hearts and permanent flings. i try to keep my motor set to drive. and crash the car while staying alive. it’s never too late to start. you can always try to steal my heart. it’s never too late to dream of how things are and should have been. stand up and dream again! stand up and dream again! because tonight will never end. when i’m with you and only with you, my heart comes undone. is this the night? i’ll make it all right. scars moon rain and sun. it’s never too late to start. you can always try to steal my heart. it’s never too late to dream of how things are and should have been. stand up and dream again! stand up and dream again! because tonight will never end.
6.
we’re separated by our politics. we’re separated by our alphabets. we’re separated by demands for more. we’re separated by the love of war. separated - look at how we fight. let’s not be separated tonight. separated by our religion. we’re separated by the color of our skin. we’re separated by a border wall. we’re separated by anything at all separated - look at how we fight. let’s not be separated tonight. we’re separated by our cunts and cocks. we’re separated by our hateful talk. we’re separated by our vanity and greed. we’re separated by the jealousy we keep. we’re separated - look at how we fight. let’s not be separated tonight.
7.
He used to drive a truck but now it drives itself. No one gives a truck if he survives his health. Corporations streamline to preserve their wealth. Put robots online and people on the shelf. American Dream. American Illusion. She used to work three jobs to feed her kids. Due to automation, $he’s hit the skids. She lays awake worrying it’s something she did. Too late to imagine she was just outbid. American Dream. American Illusion. We’re all alive together. We’re all alive together. Artificial Silicon Intelligence. New technology free from consequence. Prey on people that have no defence. Makes you wonder if the means justify the ends.
8.
i write love letters in self-defence. i hope she hasn’t read them yet. the birds never sing and the sun never shines romance yet here we are doing this dance. it’s all a set-up, this moonlit night. your lips your teeth your hair are a little too right. and i don’t know if this is true but my heart it knows it wants you, it wants you. oh my heart it knows it wants you. the words you speak to me, so trembling and sincere, shrouding fantasy with fear. the waves crashing on the beach. conversations in the air. if they’re not real then i don’t care. the moon is a spotlight and the sky an electronic screen. the couples here are actors and the breeze is make-believe. life doesn’t always follow your secret plans. so why not take a chance? i write love letters in self-defence. i hope that she hasn’t read them yet. the birds they will sing and the sun shine romance and here we are doing this dance. it’s all a set-up and nothing is what it seems. the couples here are actors and the breeze is make-believe.
9.
RED SHIFT 04:27
in daylight i hide my stars a noncommittal celebration of darkness, hiding the scars that compel your conversation there’s room enough for the both of us us, except me it’s a compromise to conflict it’s continental drift! it’s strength broken by strength it’s a total red shift! there’s room enough for the both of us us, except me
10.
When Jesus came from Jupiter with a smile on his face, he invited us all to spend a year in outer space. We called up Richard Branson to dust off the virgin galactic and tripped ourselves on out to the light fantastic. Unrepentant and brave, with a determined grin, we drove ourselves from bondage to unearthly sin. We’ll be coming back for you someday. Hercules came to Hamilton and took a look around. He found some land on the mountain and thought he’d settle down. He lit a bright fire in the factories by the lake. In his mind, these were the candles on the cake. He thought about Olympus that place from which he came and realized he preferred it here where no one knew his name. We’re coming back for him someday. Everyday we wake up is stranger than the last. Lurch toward the future while we exhume the past. We can’t keep our good memories of historic celebrities. We can’t have our Pudding Pops and our Bill Cosbys. Jesus came back for Hercules and brought the mighty Thor. Then they took the rainbow bridge up up and away from shore. We watched them fly away with electrifying speed. They collided with destiny and satisfied every need. They’ll be coming back for you someday.
11.
PERFECT RING 03:16
one night i burned the house i loved. it lit a perfect ring. in which i saw some weeds and stone beyond, not anything certain creatures of the air frightened of the night they came to see their world again and perished in the light now i sail from sky to sky and all the blackness sings against the boat that i have made of mutilated wings
12.
13.
ELECTED 03:44
I’m your top prime cut of meat, I’m your choice. I want to be elected! I’m your Yankee doodle dandy in a gold Rolls Royce. I want to be elected! Kids want a savior, don’t need a fake. I want to be elected! We’re all gonna rock to the rules that I make. I want to be elected! Elected, elected, respected, elected! I never lied to you, I’ve always been cool. I want to be elected! I gotta get the vote, and I told you ‘bout school. I want to be elected, elected, elected. Hallelujah, I want to be selected by Everyone in the United States of America. We’re gonna win this one, take the country by storm. We’re gonna be elected! You and me together, young and strong, We’re gonna be elected, elected, elected, Respected, selected, call collected, I want to be elected!
14.
What you’re waiting for is here. We’re running riot now and all those things you feared, we got rid of them somehow. I called the President and she called Adam and Eve. We got what you meant. Honey you won’t believe…. Believe. Operators are standing by. Operators are standing by. When you’re ready to give it one more try, operators are standing by. I know we’ve made mistakes but we can fix them now. And all that pain you faked, we can forgive somehow. Somehow. Operators are standing by. Operators are standing by. When you’re ready to give it one more try, operators are standing by. Operators are standing by. Operators are standing by. When you’re ready to give it one more try, operators are standing by. We will fly a great plane across the sky. It will all be there for you and I. So when you’re ready to give it one more try, operators are standing by.
15.
this race against time. not a moment too soon. i wasted my whole life not knowing you. in the paris of love where the heart rages past. no it’s never enough. it all moves too fast. when we first met, already in love we were. how soon we forget. i could never know for sure. in the paris of love where the heart rages past. no it’s never enough. it all moves too fast. Anna please Anna please because i want you.
16.
Course contre le temps. N’est jamais en avance. J’ai gâché ma vie sans ta présence. Dans Paris enragé où l’amour fait la loi. Ce n’est jamais assez, j’ai besoin de toi. On s’est connu comme si depuis toujours. Seul reste le doute. J’ai le coeur lourd. Dans Paris enragé où l’amour fait la loi Ce n’est jamais assez, j’ai besoin de toi Anna, please. Anna, please. J’ai envie de toi.

about

Friends, Family, Co-conspirators:

The origins of this album can be traced back to 2017 when I recorded Operators Are Standing By with Mark Zubek of Zedd Records in Toronto, Canada. We wound up releasing that and the other dual single Paris Of Love / Paris Amoureux. Videos were created for these at Digital Canaries Sets + Studios in Hamilton, Canada.

By late 2018, I had written a batch of new songs mostly dealing with the strange times going on in America and decided to start making demos with the idea I would re-record them "properly" later on.

The other running factor here is that in Hamilton, Canada, we have recording studios in our libraries with microphones, recording gear, and instruments. As such, I decided to track and mix at the library, which I thought was very DIY/punk rock, and also spoke to a fundamental truth of this album's theme about how we're all alive together.

Eventually, I had enough of these and four tracks I'd already done with Mark plus a few others I'd recorded at earlier sessions with the late Jim Perry including the Percussion Interlude, which is, as far as I know, the closest thing to a drum solo he'd ever professionally recorded.

One of the songs I did with Jim before he was taken from us is Perfect Ring, which is based on what I believed at the time to be the last writings of a teenage girl who committed suicide when I was in high school. As such, any and all profits realized from this song are going to be donated to mental health and suicide prevention organizations in North America.

Once I had the bulk of the songs selected, I asked my friend Dan Konopka (OK Go) down in Hollywood to add drums to a few tracks including Antifa and the Supremacists and Red Shift. On Red Shift, my friends Big John Leacock and Samuel Adeolu contributed some background spoken bits -which I think really added a cool dimension to an already otherworldly track.

One major delay during this process was in July 2019 when I was attacked on the street and beaten to a pulp by a meth addict (who apparently had a knife). He punched my eyes shut very quickly and did a real number on me. That's part of the reason why I have made Antifa the lead-off track as it talks about having a smashed-in face -which I think is totally symbolic of what's going on in America at the present time.

There are two cover songs on this album. The first is What the Astronaut Noticed and Then Suggested by Bob Wiseman, who is an iconoclastic Canadian singer-songwriter who is known for writing songs that are often political in nature. It comes from an album called Lake Michigan Soda. I actually have covered another song from that album on my demo collection VALHALLA (Response of a Lakota Woman to FBI Intimidation circa 1973 Pine Ridge). Go check him out!

The other is Elected by Alice Cooper -which I thought would be fun as this is an election year and on the cover of the album, I'm seated in an Oval Office set (located at Digital Canaries and which you can see in our Operators video). Also my son Erik Hawthorne sang background vocals on that song -which was really fun to do.

And special thanks to Phil Demetro at Lacquer Channel for mastering this album. He and I have been in touch since my last proper album in 2008.

I've included stories for each song here on bandcamp to help create context. Thank you for listening and my full thank-you's are in the liner notes in the PDF booklet.

-Mackenzie Kristjon

p.s. for more info, opportunities, etc. contact macsonfire@gmail.com.

credits

released June 25, 2020

Executive Producer: Mackenzie Kristjon
Individual tracks produced by Mackenzie Kristjon and Mark Zubek of Zedd Records in Toronto, Canada.
Individual tracks mixed by Mackenzie Kristjon, Mark Zubek, and Daniel Konopka in Hollywood, California.
Mastered by Phil Demetro at Lacquer Channel in Toronto, Canada.

Cover Image by Mackenzie Kristjon and Mark Jenkyns. Taken at Digital Canaries Sets + Studios in Hamilton, Canada.

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This Mad Desire Hamilton, Ontario

The music of Hamilton, Ontario-based Mackenzie Kristjon. Like "Neil Young on David Bowie drugs". For more info, please contact macsonfire at gmail dot com

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