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End Vogue

by Spencer Owen

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Ryan M
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Ryan M This was my favourite album of 2012; astounding for something released on such an independent level. Three or four tracks here are as good as anything you'll hear anywhere. Spencer Owen isn't afraid to try things that might sound ludicrous on first hearing, but his music is ludic rather than ludicrous; playful but sincere. Don't be afraid to listen. Favorite track: The Great Stare (for Marie Falconetti and Paddy McAloon).
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2 Fights 03:42
There's a chill in the room that will lead to a sway. The sway may bring warmth to a comfy plateau. There's a chill in the sway, though, that will lead to alarm, and a jump of alarm is no go. Two fights: fight the wiry way; fight the chill in the room. Two fights: fight against the fight, fight against alarm; fight against the cold, fight against the chill in the room. If this is your room and you do not sway, the stasis may cause a certain bite. But if this is your sway, though, and it leads to alarm, you will jump all the way to your doom.
I trusted many people of authority, and I trusted their machines. With a moment of distraction or priority misplaced, I knew that things would change. (Just a blip on radar. Tried to see it coming. White is luminous green. Blackness of the small screen.) I was counting their money. What lives one single digit could have cost! And after several different occupations, I could say I counted money for 'em all. (Just a blip on radar. Tried to see it coming. In millions of colors. Always stands to reason.) And then I bought the bank that I belonged to. And then I moved an island with my mind. (Just a blip on radar. Always saw it coming. Tried to see it coming. In millions of colors.) And then I stood atop the spire of the tallest landscape. And then I felt the dark matter destroy my senses.
I can hear the sound of all you beautiful singers harmonizing. You're singing: "I believe in the power of my song. Do you believe in the power of my song?" I can hear the sound of all you goddamn talkers overlapping. You're saying: "They put the words on the LCD, then they put the pictures on the LCD." (Oh, drop it…) Please take the minutes of the meeting, then copyedit; format; print it on the bottle. Now I'm talking to you about you. Now I'm talking around you about you. Replace the moment with the moment I gave you. I can hear the sound of all you beautiful singers harmonizing. You're singing: "I don't believe in the LCD. Do you believe in the LCD?" I can hear the sound of all you goddamn talkers overlapping. You're saying: "They put the pictures right into my mouth, then they put the words everywhere." Please take the minutes of the meeting, then copyedit; format; print it on the bottle. Now you are reading the words from the bottle. (Oh, goddamnit…)
There have been countless close-ups of this single face: some on camera, some imagined in the minds of this fickle race. Surely those are many greater that remain inside one's head; nonetheless, an imprint made on anyone who's ever said: "This love and this hatred overwhelm me. How can I behave in ways that are good for me? The laws of this state will condemn me, but the great stare will never cease to haunt me." Look -- look -- they are reacting -- people walking, sitting, driving, all reacting. Bound by many sets of laws, they just cannot be let go. But these eyes cannot be blamed. They are a side effect of every natural rule. (Of this face, every direction reminds me: epicene, impassioned, limitless, untiring. In it is war and silence and tranquility. And what is melodrama but sincerity?)
Shut the world out for a minute. You will know you are almost there. Bring your kids to the ramshackle shelter. They will bang out the rhythm of the earth. Put some plastic in front of your face. Wipe the sweat from your glowing red brow.
Cryptoquote 06:02
On the radio there was a message, and it was on most every billboard too. It said: "Today, the world begins to end. And by the way: check us out." And on another station, there was a song -- an inarguably famous tune. It was about the very same end of that very same world, and how there is no question of what to do. And as the tires rolled impatiently below the open window, and fuel ejected noisily into open reserves, and rays of sunlight melted the adhesives from wall posters -- as California city life designed its people's day -- that genius from the radio, and from some of those posters, he came to life and sang that very song to you. And in that massive room he knew what day it was, and he cracked a big old grin -- and, well, you smiled too. (Just this morning I sifted through your letters, even though I've never forgotten what they said. It's really all about the feelings in the words; with all interrobangs and punctuation marks, you've got --)
Beside the static, studded path, our people tag along, connecting dots and dancing right on cue. Each person has her life to live, but sometimes she just gives it up in service of a thought, recurring: you. "Is she standing ever closer? What's the impetus behind this act of stimulating motion?" -- henceforth, every single crisis. Almost a year later, the voice forgotten soon, it pipes up and it asks you how you're feeling. Thus the pattern set in stone is prophecy fulfilled, and so something is heard again above our very ceilings. "Why's she standing ever closer? What's the big difference between this one and other recomposer? I should lean at the precipice." Don't you ever start at the end? The rest should come quite easily now.
Start to Go 04:15
Why is the weather so important? What did it ever do to make me care? Who is the human that will hear me, whether or not the sound is really there? Where is my one and only lover? Who is that man that she is marrying? In my perpetual life of ceremony, what's on the pillow that I am carrying? When did the business start to come? When did the kindness start to go? Did you forget the first rule of your existence, or is that the only one that you don't know? What is a spotlight? Who dares to run this show? And who, of all you cowards, will face me? Don't you have the courage to say "no?"
Hapax 10:23
Play the darkest song you know, then play a bright one right away. It ain't the dark song getting brighter. You'll see the dimming of that day. Refrain, refrain, the lines that I sing, in a story, in a song, in a sequence of things -- refrain, refrain, it's one better than I. All my vocals are sung underwater. Well, mischief is mischief, but sometimes terror lies within. And it's that serious feeling outweighing the mischief again. Well, lightness is well and truly light, but sometimes darkness lies within. And it's that serious feeling -- again…


VIDEO FOR "WATER DRINKERS": www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRUsPC2LNsU

"A persuasive singer, Spencer Owen displays well-honed musical chops on this quirky album. Each song takes at least two listens to properly digest, owing to Owen's penchant for flitting between styles." - Rachel Swan, East Bay Express


released July 22, 2012

Produced by Spencer Owen & Drew Stoeckel
Written, arranged & performed (except where listed) by Spencer Owen
("Water Drinkers" and "The African Section" co-produced & co-written by John Acquadro)
Recorded by Drew Stoeckel in spring 2011 at the Crystal Palace, Santa Cruz, CA
Mixed by Drew Stoeckel in summer 2011
Mastered by Chad Clark in autumn 2011
Album artwork by John Acquadro in spring 2013 with images sourced from "Water Drinkers," dir. Alec Owen


Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.



Spencer Owen Los Angeles, California

Also of Spencer Owen Timeshare.

Elevator music for the best elevator ride of your life.

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