"Secret Weapon"

by The Qualia

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released April 27, 2010

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The Qualia New York

The music of New York-based duo The Qualia speaks to the heart as much as to the head. Reflecting the passionate and analytical personalities of Lars Casteen and Rossen Nedelchev, the group’s music combines a wry humor and dancefloor sensibility with lyrical depth and jangle to create their own brand of modern new wave music. ... more

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Track Name: Split in 2
With all the sirens I unwittingly had stepped above it,
the yellow ribbon meant to keep us out.
The helicopter overhead getting the footage of it,
the broken window he had hurdled through.

They said that he was split in two.
They said that he was split in two.

I couldn’t help but stand for a few minutes, fantasizing
as all the crewmen swept his suitcase out:
a healthy social life and a career in advertising.
I snuck away with both his tennis shoes.

They said that he was split in two.
They said that he was split in two.

I tried them on as soon as I stepped through the door that evening,
a conversation piece to chat about it.
Where they come from, I myself still have some trouble believing.
I hope they do a better job of keeping my feet true.

They said that he was split in two.
They said that he was split in two.
Track Name: Station Wagons
Let’s take the bikes out for a ride,
‘cause I don’t care if it’s too cold outside.
Throwing snowballs down the road,
(oh) let’s see if we make some cars explode.

And I don’t even care if the station wagons lose control,
spin off of the road, rolling down the shore, out of reach.
And I don’t even care if the ice cracks under the tires.
Let’s watch the driver drown, on fire off of the frozen beach.

We should dig into the snow
(oh) by the cliff-side, where the cars drive slow.
Pack the snowballs nice and tight.
Let the lighthouse look for them all night.

And I don’t even care if the station wagons lose control,
spin off of the road, rolling down the shore, out of reach.
And I don’t even care if the ice cracks under the tires.
Let’s watch the driver drown, on fire off of the frozen beach.

Riding home, all tied in knots,
laughing soft so we don’t get caught.

And I don’t even care if the station wagons lose control,
spin off of the road, rolling down the shore, out of reach.
And I don’t even care if the ice cracks under the tires.
Let’s watch the driver drown, on fire off of the frozen beach.
‘Cause I don’t even care.
No, I don’t even care.
Track Name: Captain of Industry
You show up late when it happens, looking for a ledge and eyes to watch you.
One last poem from the napkin, for your teary guests below,
but I’m not crying.

You’re still a fifteen-year-old industry captain.
You still cash the same old checks, and I’m not bought.

A few cheap months follow, then it’s new stories and the clothes to prove them.
It’s all too much to swallow, but I let you explain as you close your eyes.

To me you’re still a fifteen-year-old industry captain.
You still cash the same old checks, and I’m not bought.

On the phone you’re angry.
You say I’ve wandered away from where we dropped it.
You claim the years have changed me;
I’m the company I keep, and you “don’t know why.”

Because you’re still a fifteen-year-old industry captain.
You still cash the same old checks, and I’m not bought.
Track Name: Got Bit Again
(shoo bop bop)
Eight years I’ve been off the road,
(shoo bop bop)
but life at home has been a heavy load.
(shoo bop bop)
Two kids and far too much land.
I know they won’t approve, but I hope they understand.

Late at night the bottle rattles,
rolling on the floor to and fro.
Try to stay away if I can,
but oh no…

(oh) I thought that I could handle the abuse
the rolling wheels lay on me,
over and over again.
(oh) I thought that I could manage to stay loose,
but now it’s obvious I got bit again.

(shoo bop bop)
The day done, I wait for the call –
(shoo bop bop)
a reason to stay out, anything at all.
(shoo bop bop)
Slow down for one final score
to keep my hands from shaking as I reach for the door.

It’s all hugs and shrieking children,
housework that I haven’t begun,
no money, no quiet moments,
and no fun…

(oh) I thought that I could handle the abuse
the rolling wheels lay on me,
over and over again.
(oh) I thought that I could manage to stay loose,
but now it’s obvious I got bit again.

(la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la)
Track Name: Volcanoe
(ooh aah ooh aah)
I want to sacrifice myself to the volcano.
I want to see just how far down the fucker goes.
Throw away the burning reservations –
I might not get them back, but I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care.

(ooh aah ooh aah)
I want to kill and eat everything in the caldera.
I want to stick the vitamins to my lucky bones.
Every little salted, white crustacean –
they might not hold me up, but I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care.

And I won’t bring a rope to help my climb back.
I won’t bring a radio.
If anything waits across the gap
you’ll never know…

(ooh aah ooh aah)
I want to hammer through the rock of every chamber.
I want to drown in the ensuing lava flow.
Maybe it will “bring me new perspective,”
but even if it won’t I don’t care, I don’t care, look, I don’t care.
Track Name: On Strings of Love
A moment in the park
before it gets too dark.
I’m trying to relax,
but insects fill our tracks.
The steps we leave are taken by
barbarians and slugs –
at least we have the kites above,
tied to us on strings of love.

Connected at the wrist
for one last summer’s tryst
below the coasting planes.
Most of this will change.
The walking paths and butterflies
will silently succumb.
At least we have the kites above,
tied to us on strings of love.

It’s too beautiful today.
The lines converge and slip away.

To spend the afternoon like this
does wonders for my blood,
staring at the kites above,
tied to us on strings of love.
Track Name: This Weekend
My mind is set
to try to forget the working day.
I’ve trained enough –
been practicing what to say.
I’ve done the research to death;
I think I can pass tonight.
I’ll wear the clothes,
I’ll drink,
and hope everything’s alright.

We can pretend this weekend.
We’ll be best friends this weekend.

Pretty soon,
across the room I feel the stares.
I can’t look up,
but I know you’re all there.
I hope you don’t think it’s funny,
identifying me,
but if you laugh,
please do it quietly.

(guitar solo)

We can pretend this weekend.
We’ll be best friends this weekend.
Track Name: Should Be Home
Somehow I’m underground again,
and I’m trying to get where each day ends.
Dodging investors and police,
(oh) maybe tonight I’ll get some peace.
It should be home by now, I know,
but every day the urge gets stronger just to go.

When I’m back again it’s not enough.
The edge of the steering wheel feels rough –
turning through corners long since lost
and falling asleep from the exhaust.
It should be home again, I know,
but every day the urge gets stronger just to go.
Track Name: Silent, Silent
Silent, silent,
miles below the ground,
trembling as the button’s pressed.
Silent, silent,
cracking through the mountains
its particles ingest.

Silent, silent,
beneath the harbor walls,
heading down the docks again.
Silent, silent,
breathing on the window;
it’s dying to get in.

(oh be ess ee ess ess ee dee)
Track Name: Dark City Streets
Hold close onto my coat.
Try not to make a sound.
Hold close onto my coat
or we’ll be found.
Stay near to the wall as they pass.
Time for one final breath –
try to make it last.

The rumors chill my bones
(about the ones they’ve trapped).
The rumors chill my bones,
but we’ll adapt.
Always be prepared to retreat.
There are worse things than monsters slipping through our dark city streets.

Grab every knife you see.
You better hold them close.
Grab every knife you see.
Let’s make some ghosts.
I always foresaw this bleak day.
If you want to survive,
you have to claim some prey.

One pellet in the brain
when they’re against the wall.
One pellet in the brain,
and watch them fall.
I don’t want to sound willing or mean,
but expect times like these to become routine.

EVERY NIGHT.
FROM THE TIME OUR OLD SUN FALLS DOWN,
‘TIL THE HOUR WHEN IT STRUGGLES BACK UP –
THIS IS NO TIME TO PROTEST OR TO DISAGREE.
THERE ARE WORSE THINGS THAN MONSTERS
SLIPPING THROUGH OUR DARK CITY STREETS.

Hold close onto my coat.
Try not to make a sound.
Hold close onto my coat
or we’ll be found.
Always be prepared to retreat.
There are worse things than monsters slipping through our dark city streets.
Track Name: Didn't Know
Something’s wrong.
The river stopped.
The birds are gone,
crashed through our frozen windowpane.
My knuckles ache,
fingers stretched out.
The streets are fake –
I wish I could explain.

You could listen as I told the details of the day,
how each day’s shorter and more cold,
but I can’t bring myself to reach across the way.

They tore the lights out of the sky.
(oh) They tore the lights out of the sky.
(oh) You didn’t know.
(ooh ooh ooh) You didn’t know.

The buildings creak –
lamp poles bent down.
The bridge is weak,
but your alarm clock marks the year.
A frosted ring around the eyes.
The clouds are string.
I wish I could be clear.

I could tell you how it’s been since winter came to town.
Maybe you’d prick me with a pin.
You’d whisper “sun is overdue” to keep me from feeling down.
Even if none of it were true,
at least I know you understood the state I’m in.

They tore the lights out of the sky.
(oh) They tore the lights out of the sky.
(oh) You didn’t know.
(ooh ooh ooh) You didn’t know.

(I guess you didn’t realize)
(You didn’t even realize)
Track Name: I Was Born to Get High
A:
Life is sweet.
I know why.
It’s a joy to waste time.
Not much left to conquer.
Not much overcome.

B:
Nothing else caught my eye.
I was born to get high.
When the walls are hollow,
when the floors are gray –

A & B:
try to have a good time,
try to slip away every day.

(oh) No matter what’s coming down,
odds are good it’s come before,
the best option’s to ignore it ‘til it goes.
They say it doesn’t hurt to drown –
you just let your legs go slack.
It takes focus to relax.
Well, you know.

(oh, no matter what’s coming down)
The sidewalk will catch me if I act too rashly,
a cushion of concrete planting kisses on my feet.
(oh, no matter what’s coming down)
I’ll float like a feather through months of foul weather,
awoken, with teeth ground. That awful leaking brake sound.
(oh, no matter what’s coming down)
Metal cold, windows black – keep balance. Express track.
At home they are waiting for hours of self-negating.
(oh, no matter what’s coming down)
An endless attraction to pointless distractions –
comparing my patience to standby light constellations.
(oh, no matter what’s coming down)
My fingers keep sliding, somehow I’m still riding.
These minutes always last, while the months just stream past.
(oh, no matter what’s coming down)
The car shrieks and crashes – my coat pocket catches,
encrusted in clover, howling as we all turn over.