Past Tense

by Strawberry Riot

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released December 1, 2016

Sidney Abernathy - Guitar, Banjo, Vox, Ukulele
Stella Martinez - Bass
Kyler Christie - Banjo, Ukulele, Guitar, Percussion Sound Engineering
Toby Archuleta - Sound Engineering, Moral Support <3

Special thanks to Kae Piler and Toby Archuleta for listening to me practice and becoming my inspiration and my best friends. Special thanks to the Dog House and the Bungalow for hosting shows and keeping our scene alive.
Additional thanks to Austin Torrez, Megan Teeters, Troy McCoy, Vincent May, The Sewell family, Jacob Dekins (for convincing me to learn the ukulele), Robyn Edmiston, Mars Odette, Todd Harris, Nolan the cat, Winnings Coffee, and everyone else that I forgot.



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Strawberry Riot New Mexico

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Track Name: If Everything Should Go Wrong
Pour some water in my glass and use the last few drops to whet your appetite
But you can’t keep much down these days not even a small bite
And under a microscope imperfections don’t become more clear
They grow to enormous size and completely disappear
I may completely disappear

So fuck everything besides this blacklight that lights up the room like a crime scene
And my left hand pinching my right arm asking if it’s all a dream
I put my head on your collarbone no wonder I feel alone and hey what do you think we’re all doing here?
You said “I don’t know man, I don’t have a plan but in the morning it will all be more clear”

There are ideas worth saying that are harder to communicate
But if the pressure gets the best of me I’m sure we can all agree to self medicate
So I’ll try not to be selfish I’ll try not to take more than what I’ve been given is what I’m thinking about as you point out where your last will and testament is hidden

And my friends say you can only go up or down
Maybe he’ll come around
Don’t let it get you down
My friends say you can only go up or down
Track Name: Be The Spange You Wish To See
I can roll cigarettes in the rain
I can climb on top a mountain
And shoot lightning in my veins
I can crush a lightning bug and make it die
I could do the same thing to myself
But I won't try

Seems like I gain a year every thousand miles or so
And I call into question the things I think I know
Like human apathy and friends and loyalty and
Punk rock unity and vast uncertainty

Portland isn't important New Orleans is nothing new
Sacramento didn't leave me mementos Sun City left me blue
I've seen enough parking lots and goddamn rooftop squats
To know it doesn't matter where you go

I can roll cigarettes in the rain
I can watch the lights dim and flicker in my brain
I can watch sunsets turn to sunrise
As the pupils grow and shrink inside our eyes

I feel like an empty gas tank
i feel like an unlocked car
I laid back down in the gutter
And I saw a shooting star
Track Name: Carlo Rossi
I’ve got a backpack too small for my bookshelf
I’ve got a bookshelf too big for me
I’ve got a plan at least I had one
I’ve got a bad case of uncertainty

I’ve got a bottle of Carlo Rossi I bottle up my feelings
And there’s things I’d like to say but I don’t know how
But the bottle’s run dry I think I need to throw up now
I think I’d better leave now

But I’m still in New Mexico for another week or so
Why don’t we have another drink on the roof of the rail yard
I wish it didn’t have to be so hard
I wish I didn’t have to go

There is a silver spoon in the driveway I think I left it there
There is a towel hanging up in the bathroom that’s covered in my hair
And if this ashtray could betray our secrets it would spill our tears
If this porch light could wait up for me it might take months or years

And this warm spot on the pillow it may soon grow cold
There’s still a couple things I have to do before I get old
But I’ve got responsibilities and things that don’t concern you
I don’t think you hate this ukulele half as much as I do

By the time these last few drops are gone I will realize where I’ve been wrong
Fill that empty jug with water and hit the road

But I’ve always wanted to go to Mexico
There are no white sandy beaches anywhere in Colorado
I could take or leave these “stars” if I knew I could see a million above me and when you look up at them are you asking yourself: Where do you want to be?
Track Name: Play Dead
“Stay with me tonight” are the words that made the best night of my life
Being terrified in a different way made me feel alive
And it’s a far cry from the cries that nobody seemed to hear that night
I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t talk, just play dead and sleep it off

Stay with me tonight and I promise you the best night of you life
Being pacified is the very thing that’s kept me alive
Keep your distance, keep your guard up
I didn’t know that I could be this tough
But I know that enough is enough and I’m sick of being messed up

Dirty on the inside and a shower couldn’t wash clean
The stains on my arms and legs and the bad dreams
And something’s changed inside me because I used to know the word ‘no’
A bit too lenient sometimes, just play dead and let it go

Is it crazy to think that basic human rights can be more than illusion
I am not a monster it’s taken me so long to come to that conclusion
And I want them to know they broke me in more ways than I can show
And sometimes I still have trouble sleeping at night
But at least I sleep alone
Track Name: Not For Lack Of Trying
This is me doing coke off of Journey’s greatest hits on a Tuesday night
And hyperventilating in the bathroom while the boys watch the fight
This is me acting like I’m having a good time but inside I am dying
This is me not getting laid but not for lack of trying

And this is you not caring this is you sitting alone at the bar
This is you being cool doing whatever, wherever you are
This is your callous response and my jealous reply
I used to think of you as a pretty sensitive guy
And this is you and your leather and the sweatshirt that you leant me

And this is me in Massachusetts, drunk on a Wednesday afternoon
Trying to tell you I’m probably going to be home soon
But it doesn’t really matter I am useless and by the end of the year you will be headed for Texas
And this is me six months down the line and I am just trying to have a good time
‘Cause I could go anywhere but right now I don’t care I could pack my bags or change my hair

And this is you not caring this is you sitting alone at the bar
This is you being cool and I am lonely and you’d rather be a lone star
And this is you talking with your friends and I am not sure if I’m one of them
This is you looking out at the road and wondering where it goes
This is me being jaded and selfish me walking around in the dark in my bare feet
Because I don’t want to go home and I don’t want anyone else to see I’ve been crying like a baby
It’s not a big deal these things tend to happen all the time we can even make them rhyme
I know you well enough to know you’re sick of everything you see including me

And this is you not caring this is you sitting alone at the bar
This is you being cool doing whatever, wherever you are
This is your callous response and my jealous reply
I used to think of you as a pretty sensitive guy
This is you and your big wheels and me and my bicycle
And I hope it’s enough to carry me home
‘Cause I can barely carry myself
And this is me I am happy so fucking happy
And I don’t want to be anyone else
Track Name: Paris Is For Lovers
Of all the gin joints that we sucked dry
And all the ice cubes soaking up the tears I’d cry
Waiting for a reply I watch my memories slip away with the passing of the days gone by
And all the games played trying to win this round
I know its crooked but it’s the only one in town
And don’t you know that there’s a war outside?
I’m scared to lose but I can’t find a place to hide

And you said it’s like the end of Casablanca
I don’t think they got it right
But it’s hard to see the big picture when your thinking’s so black and white
But it’s not the end of the movie yet there’s a plot twist here I can’t forget
And I admire your acting ability

And all the songs got put on reply
For another few minutes that we could stay
And all the dialogue we’d rehearsed
For a time to be well read and well versed
One liners and loose ends
Pianos I wish we could play again
Your good looks and my musicianship
What was the start of a beautiful friendship

But you’re no Bogart at heart
These things just tend to fall apart
And I think it could have been a classic
And not straight to video, I’m trying to let it go
And not repeat all the lines you already know
But I was more like Roman Holiday, just trying to run away
And go for a ride, so I did
And as you walked away I’m pretty sure I heard you say:
“Here’s looking at you, kid.”
Track Name: Justice
Vigilante justice doesn’t seem to cover it
I heard you spent a while paying for someone else’s sins
And I know that we all reap what we sow
But don’t I wish to be the reaper again
You said that courage isn’t a badge or a bullet
I think that you’re the bravest soul I know
And I’m still angry when I think about sex and love
I wish I’d met you a year ago

It’s better to walk away from a fight but if I had the chance I would do it right I’d put a knife in his back and never look back

It was the first and the last time you talked to an officer
Squeezed the trigger and the man on top of her
And I know that you regret that day but if skin could talk I know what mine would say
My palms would be grateful my knees would weep for the knowledge that something could make them weak
I know you’re thinking that I couldn’t possibly know
I wish I’d met you a year ago

It’s better to not think about those nights but if I didn’t I don’t think I could see the light and I don’t think I’d be standing next to you if that was something I couldn’t do
But I meant every word and every move and we met at the exact right time that we were supposed to
Track Name: Goodbye
I’ve got friends in holy places
Collectives and safe spaces
And friends on the road who’ll never be alone in places they’ll never call home

And I am getting better at starting over and leaving dead ends
And I can feel myself getting older every time I begin again

And I hope when you leave you take me with you
In your phones and in your hearts
I hope you take pictures of sunsets and silhouettes and famous works of art

And I hope that the sights in Europe are as good as they say
I hope you find your muse in a grand cathedral or a seaside chalet

I’m not an atheist because I believe that god exists
But we’d be more powerful today if the devil got his way