Light Up Gold

by Parquet Courts

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about

Little was said about Parquet Courts' debut effort, American Specialties. Released exclusively on cassette tape, the quasi-album was an odd collection of 4 track recordings that left those who were paying attention wanting more. A year of woodshedding live sets passed before the Courts committed another song to tape. The band's first proper LP, Light Up Gold, is a dynamic and diverse foray into the back alleys of the American DIY underground. Bright guitars swirl serpentine over looping, groovy post-punk bass lines and drums that border on robotic precision. While the initial rawness of the band's early output remains, the songwriting has gracefully evolved. Primary wordsmiths A. Savage and Austin Brown combine for a dynamic lyrical experience, one part an erudite overflow of ideas, the other an exercise in laid-back observation. Lyrically dense, the poetry is in how it flows along with the melody, often times as locked-in as the rhythm section.

“This record is for the over-socialized victims of the 1990's 'you can be anything you want', Nickelodeon-induced lethargy that ran away from home not out of any wide-eyed big city daydream, but just out of a subconscious return to America's scandalous origin," writes Savage in the album's scratched-out liner notes. Recorded over a few days in a ice-box practice space, Light Up Gold is equally indebted to Krautrock, The Fall, and a slew of contemporaries like Tyvek and Eddy Current Suppression Ring.

Though made up of Texan transplants, Parquet Courts are a New York band. Throw out the countless shallow Brooklyn bands of the blasé 2000's: Light Up Gold is a conscious effort to draw from the rich culture of the city - the bands like Sonic Youth, Bob Dylan, and the Velvet Underground that are not from New York, but of it. A panoramic landscape of dilapidated corner-stores and crowded apartments is superimposed over bare-bones Americana, leaving little room for romance or sentiment. It's punk, it's American, it's New York... it's the color of something you were looking for.

-Tim Hodgin

credits

released 15 August 2012

Austin Brown guitar
A Savage guitar
Max Savage drums
Sean Yeaton bass

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Track Name: Master of My Craft
I got a gold medal record time, gold record, diamond mine,
name in print, tongue, tshirts, and minds.
thread count - high
commissions - high
hourly rates - high
a minute of your time? forget about it.

I didn't come here to dream or teach the world things,
define paradigms, or curate no livin days, with high thread counts and staircases high.
People die I don't care, you should see the wall of ambivalence I'm building
I got no love for the living.
Death to all false profits around here we praise a dollar you fuckin hippie
Wanna walk around in my shoes and then tell me how it feels
Ya know Socrates died in the fuckin' gutter!
Track Name: Borrowed Time
I was feeling nostalgic for the days when my thoughts dripped on to my head from the ceiling. I remember the feeling of the museless existence. Of the drunk, bored and listless, endless waiting for something that I knew wasn't coming. And it seems these days I'm captive in this borrowed time. I was up to my neck in motivation neglect when I felt soft waves of purpose crashing onto the surface. I was feeling nostalgic for the days when my thoughts dripped on to my head from the ceiling. I remember the feeling of the museless existence. Of the drunk, bored and listless, endless waiting for something that I knew wasn't coming. And it seems these days I'm captive in this borrowed time.
Track Name: Donuts Only
Like a red state's Baptist fervor. Like a small town's unsolved murder. Some secret's are just best resting in the tombs of buried thought-slums. As for Texas: Donuts only (you cannot find bagels here). And I'll reserve my highest Hosannas for the communion song that served with light beer, and a chorus that inspires the score played in my myth-steeped years. “There's a hole you shant fall into,” sang the church choir's young male leeds, in our home team's jersey/robes sewn by our sisters, moms and nieces. This you gave us, although worthless, fed five decades' dormant hustle. In result, his life was rubbish. Celebrated? Yes, but rubbish.
Track Name: Yr No Stoner
Two young fingers in wet cement,
There's a new impression built in front of my apartment.
BG & EE that's so sweet
I wonder what E's gonna say when she sees.

Storm chasin hippies at a discount mall
Megaphone muppet poster on the wall
Speaking in stones like we've never heard before
You take the risk, I'll get the reward

There's billionaire buses on my unlit streets
Hey who's that walkin up? That looks like E
Let's hide in the bushes so that we can hear her say
"Who would build a monument for me anyway?"

That's B! BG! He'll build it for you babe
You know BG, he'll give you what you need

It's a pretty far walk to the DMV and I don't know too much I just got the keys.
Track Name: Yonder is Closer to the Heart
Pocket contents: Rizla pack, spare change, receipts in wads. Stacked in camps across my desk, each day another pile. Time was measured in balls of lent, laundry claim tags and number of cents it takes to drown your brain into a just-dowsed former fire. Coffee breaks and lamb's tail shakes aren't arbitrary marks. Paycheck stubs, good sex and drugs can fade away distractions of the mantra of “keep going” that is lodged into my thoughts. They reply on days when yonder is closer to the heart. This thickness is just enough to wade through.
Track Name: Careers in Combat
There are no more summer lifeguard jobs. There are no more art museums to guard. The lab is out of white lab coats, cause there are no more slides and microscopes. But there are still careers in combat, my son. There are no more roles on TV shows, there are no road-cone dispensing jobs. There are no spots left for park ranger cause there are no bears left to save you from, but there are still careers in combat, my son.
Track Name: Light Up Gold II
Twice an era comes a knock at my door, suspended in a window-crashing gaze of a poor spark of recognition. It's the thrill that dies first, but, I can think of something worse: the curse. Light up gold was the color of something I was looking for. Steady was the pace kept in that tear-leaking sway, sifting like miner through the conscience debris, hunched down, gleaning embers from a burning field trying to find something warm and real.
Track Name: N Dakota
Train death paintings, anti-meth murals color the ghettos of N. Dakota. Bismark tractor association, coffee and toothpaste. This was vacation... I saw, while squinting, the hidden layer in those lost-era grain elevators. Feudal beginnings, amber wave looseness, post-Nordic grinning tired and toothless. Cigarette advertisement country—wild and perfect, but lacking something. In Manitoba they called it boring, at night we hum to Canada's snoring. Westbound taken, exiled Texan from a former Dutch trade encampment. Former slave quarters tucked by the alley. Serf population too high to tally.
Track Name: Stoned and Starving
I was walking through Ridgewood, Queens. I was flipping through magazines. I was so stoned and starving. I was reading ingredients, asking myself “should I eat this?” I was so stoned and starving. I was scratching off silver ink. I was deciding what to drink. I was so stoned and starving. I was walking through Ridgewood, Queens. I was flipping through magazines. I was so stoned and starving.

I was walking through Ridgewood, Queens. I was flipping through magazines. I was so stoned and starving. I was debating Swedish Fish, roasted peanuts or licorice. I was so stoned and starving.I was holding some wadded bills, I was reading that smoking kills. I was so stoned and starving. I was walking through Ridgewood, Queens. I was flipping through magazines. I was so stoned and starving.
Track Name: No Ideas
What could I even say to you Rene?
If I could stop reacting then I'd be acting like your fool because
What could I even say to you Rene?
I could follow you but then you'd never see me right behind

I went to a shrink and he found my brain
I have no ideas is what he found

What could I even say to you Rene?
I could meditate and sleep all day but I wouldn't know the first step to take
What could I even say to you Rene?
Are we candles or are we wax, and with facts like that I'll never know how to relax

I went to a shrink and he found my brain and I have
no ideas is what he found
no ideas is what he found
no ideas,
Track Name: Caster of Worthless Spells
We measured the distance of the space between islands. Gazing out into the river Styx she said “It's no river at all. It's a tidal estuary,” was her only line, she delivered it well. Oh, you're just a caster of worthless spells. They called it the pyrex age, the glass dawn of our thought process. Later to be chronicled in violent history books. “You suffer” on karaoke, cause there was no English translation for hell. Oh, you're just a caster of worthless spells.
Track Name: Disney P.T.
My girl is...
a bowl of hash, a familiar looking rash, my girl's my secret stash, a shampooed pile of trash. My girl's a borealis-lit fjord. My girl is a summons ignored. My girl is a beer, freshly poured. A lost tribe's library stored. My girl is off-track betting. My girl is a traffic light. My girl is an unmade bed. My girl is a moonless night. My girl is choppy air. My girl is a Golden Corall. My girl is a curse word screamed. My girl is not their scene. You've been getting lots of similes but I want your disease.
Track Name: Tears O Plenty
I drank right from your tears of plenty. I exchanged all the gifts you sent me. Dreary beats over fast-rapped verses leaked through windows in hatchback hearses. Snacker's conference at the buffet table double dips in the goose pate mold. Posthumous pranks left in the casket. Plain Jane shining in her spotlight moment. She lived for the same moments we did: morning coffee refilled and endless. He stumbled into some dinero. Laughing at the wake like a Catholic hero.
Track Name: Picture of Health
My last guilt-themed solicitation delivered slowly in hesitation, it could not soothe me, could not seduce me into repainting these strokes so loosely. How I remember my ex-blue t shirt. Where the hole in it fell... Plain-dressed, wilting and wired, you were the picture of health. Wine glass drowning, postponed narration make every new drag no mere frustration. I fell in debt to those country crooners mourning lost love like Spanish funerals. Dye the grey hair you grew in secret to a root-colored shell. Frozen mid-sentenced smile, you were the picture of health. (No prognosis implied)