Darling Specimens

by Zoe Boekbinder

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02:24
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03:03
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01:56
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02:47
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04:04
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03:05
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03:21
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03:06
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credits

released 05 October 2011

Produced by Shenandoah Davis

Engineered by Ethan Demarest and Steven Ditore at London Bridge and Jack Straw studios in Seattle

Mixed by Christian Terjesen

Mastered by Myles Supergenius Boisen at Headless Buddha Mastering Lab

All Rights Reserved
Extropian Records

Bakery, Gravity, Make A Mess, Hollow Bones, Billy Blue, Serrated Spoon, Anything Forever, Don't Tell Me, Artichoke, and Sour Lemons were written by Zoe Boekbinder.

Paper and Glue, Salt Water, and 7 Tmes were written by Zoe Boekbinder and Shenandoah Davis.


Lead vocals: Zoe Boekbinder
Backing vocals: Shenandoah Davis, Matt Gervais, Alexandra Niedzialkowski, and Zoe Boekbinder
Beats: Philip Rabalais, Ryan Lotz, and Paul Kang
Guitar: Zoe Boekbinder
Cello: Danah Olivetree
Violin: Alina To
Stand up and electric bass: Jherek Bischoff
Trumpet: Samantha Boshnack
Trombone: Rob Ewing
Tuba: Nelson Bell
Saw: Levi Fuller
Piano and midi: Shenandoah Davis
Beats sampled by Zoe Boekbinder and Shenandoah Davis

Thank you's:

Shenandoah Davis, Ethan Demarest, and Ryan Lotz for their ears and lost sleep. Cesar Alvarez, Devin, Mary, Laney, Hollis, Sass, Twinston, Apaulo, Mal Blum, Oma and Opa, Oliver, Tessa, Kim, Autumn, Sophie, Tom, Marialyn, Justin Devine, Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, Max and Theresa, Ethan S., Benny, Brooke and Suzette (and Kitten), Tim and Kerry, Lizzy, Greg, Shannon, Dana, Viracocha, inmates at New Folsom Prison and, not least of all, the people that I wrote these songs about.

Executive Producers:

Jason Tsang, James Harley Gorrell, Jane and Joe Prendergast, and David Maynor.

Assistant producers:

Peri Sword, Michelle Verley, Alex Feinnes, Patrick, Jay Erker, James H. Taylor, Jazz McGinnis, Steve Cooperman, Alice Driver, Guido Grigat, Gergo Barany, Mark Anderson, Bernd Seume, Chloe Yates, Eric Rowe, Rhiannon Burner, Greg Nesbitt, Adam Williams, Jane Atkins, Nick Schultz, Kris Cowen, Shana Williams, Christopher LaJeunesse, Marjo Nurmio, Nathalie Boisard-Beudin, Quaid Peterson, Jess McGovern, Michael Diaz, Michael Jameson, Sancey Guillaume, Sam Ballen, Michael Russell, Melanie Massy, Greg Davids, Kelley Peters, Mac Wubben, Dietmar Bloech, Tia Shelley, Jay Jordan, Arthur Edmund, Donna Haaf, Mimi Kotner, Sid Sinerez, Kendrick Hough, Mitch Toles, Pierre Indermuhle, and Travis Fessler.

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about

Zoe Boekbinder Oakland, California

Zoe Boekbinder escaped from the circus and writes clever rhymes about love gone awry, backed by live looped vocal harmonies and electronic beats. She released her second album fall 2011 and tours internationally.

"Zoe Boekbinder opens her mouth, and the voice that comes out is ageless, beautiful, heartbreaking and wise." - Neil Gaiman
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Track Name: Make A Mess
Something impossible, something impossibly hard
was so easy it was easily my most faithful scar
It meant nothing at all, it meant everything there was,
that you held all the excuses and I took one just because

I don't want to get back all the things I left behind
No matter what I'm losing something I might never find

I am holding both my hands right up against my ribs
I am tensing every muscle so that it won't give
I have a feeling that my heart is trying to escape
and its bound to shoot out hit a wall and ricochet

But if my heart is mushy and it don't bounce like a ball
will it slither slowly out and roll on down the hall?
If it can't shoot like a bullet from the barrel of my chest
will it leave a trail behind it, will it make a mess?

I don't want to get back all the things I left behind
No matter what I'm losing something I might never find (x3)

Every time I brush my teeth, or take a hint, or drink from jars
Sometimes when I turn a key, let myself in, or go too far
Whenever I role on tires, pull on my boots, give all I can
Often as I start a fire, say something rude or just get mad

I don't want to get back all the things I left behind
No matter what I'm losing something I might never find
Track Name: Hollow Bones
That one time that I looked at you, you said "My, your pupils grow so big!"
Thats because they're making room to fit all of you in
Now your taste is painted on the inside of my eyelids
and I can't close my eyes, I can't go to sleep
I can't chew and swallow without remembering
digesting you that Alabama morning

I was hours behind, so you said you would describe
just how the sun would set, so I'd know what to expect
You say things I never thought I'd ever want to hear,
now your words are playing over and over in my ears

(CHORUS)
What if the sun shot an arrow and it speared you in the gut?
Could I take your intestines and make them into strings,
and stretch them over your hollow bones?
If I plucked, if I strummed, would you make a sound?

We barely slept the night we met, twelve hours to get to know before I had to hit the road
Since then just some thoughts of skin but I can feel my teeth sink in
I bite down, I rip, I tear, I chew you up but swallow air
I could have sworn that you were there

My breath passes through my throat and out across my teeth
My tongue makes shapes and words come out but they're not what I mean
Two thousand three hundred forty eight miles between, one week, two weeks, three,
this trail of crumbs will come to an end and my stomach will start grumbling again

CHORUS

Every hour I'm seventy miles further away from believing its real
but my calloused finger tips remember your corduroy
Right now I can't feel your skin but I can feel your grip
You said you'd like to eat me up but not if I get you first

And then the sun shot an arrow and it speared you in the gut
I took your intestines and made them into strings
and stretched them over your hollow bones
and I plucked and I strummed, but you made no sound
and I plucked and I strummed, but you made no sound
Track Name: Sour Lemons
I was tops of toes tiptoeing
Inch by inch, I was approaching
Maze of histories before us
I prefer the ones we tore up
Inch by inch, tooth and nail
Please forgive me when I fail

Lacey stems have lost their balance
Fighting words with teeth and talons
After months of careful tracing
Dotted lines and perfect pasting
Words and teeth, I slipped up
Now I'm back to where I was

Perching owls on the wall
Lined up the nesting dolls
All the butterflies are pinned
One by one, outstretched their wings
One by one, no longer two
This is me and that is you

Maze of histories before us
I prefer the ones we tore up
I'll be first to apologize
Still the same, not eye to eye
You've got sour lemons too
Oh i can see a few
One by one, no longer two
This is me and that is you
Track Name: Serrated Spoon
I'll pick little parts of you
out with a serrated spoon
I'll fill jars with formaldehyde
and keep those parts of you inside
I'll make cards detailing each
a museum of your abnormalities
I'll build shelves for safekeeping
I'll build a room and a building
People will read about it in magazines
and come to see it with their families
for admission I will charge a fee
A line will form way down the street
Parents will shield their children's eyes
by scientists ill be idolized

(CHORUS)
I want to know you just like this forever
I never ever want to know you any better
I don't want to find out what its like to have you
cause then I'll have to find out what you're like to lose


I'll expect so much of you
more than any one person can do
There are things about you that I will see
that I'll hate because they're much like me
I'll set you up to fail I will
but when you do I'll love you still
The museum will fail and wreck my fame
and of course its you that I will blame
You're extraordinary blemishes,
the worst as gruesome as it is,
is not as ugly as it should be
You're just no good for anything

CHORUS

I don't have a good excuse
for the spiteful things i say to you
Every time that I open my mouth
there's something rotten waiting to come out
I think nice things all the time
but the mean ones always cut in line

CHORUS
Track Name: Artichoke
Baby be the rooftop over my head
Or I'll be the roof and you be four walls instead
I don't want to need you but there's a vacant space
The one before dug it deep, not to be replaced

If I let you in will you stretch it to fit?
Will you dig a ditch and lay down conduit?
If in time that line becomes compromised,
between me and myself, I might not survive.

(CHORUS)
Are we just two wrongs trying to make it right?
Are we lost driving circles circles cause we're blind?
Somehow its hard to trust the way you're always on my side.

Let's you and me make our rounds of these states
Maybe we're fate or maybe we're a big mistake
Will we destroy each other or destroy ourselves?
Carve your name in the wall deep inside my well

When two like us have been through this much
does it make us weak or does it make us tough?
Its been hard but we've come this far
we tangled hands and crossed a lot of land
Remember the time that we almost broke?
We peeled each other like artichokes

CHORUS

Maybe both of us just want to be ruined
We'll still trick each other while we do it
We've both been blamed for way too much and some that we believe
Whether they are wrong or right, you might still make a wreck of me

Are we just two wrongs trying to make it right?
Are we lost driving circles circles cause we're blind?
Sometimes I think you love so much that your love must be blind.
Sometimes I think you love so much that your love must be blind.
Track Name: Seven Times
One carpet of dandy-lions
Too much but I swear I'm trying
Three weeks and I can see the future
Four black and white photo booth pictures
Five days that I'm back before I leave again
Six weeks since I left but I've seen you since then
Seven times my record I feel pressured by the plan
Help me count past seven and I'll give you all I can

You said don't be ridiculous
But I can't be any less
You never dare to overreact
I just want to see you get mad
You said my eyes are not as big
As they seem when I look through them
I begin too many stories
And never make it to the end

First verse

I'm in love with anyone
That I've ever loved right now
Even though I've never been
I am sad now that they're gone
The people that I miss the most right now
I never knew and they never knew me
You never give me a chance to
Abandon my history

First verse
Track Name: Salt Water
At your bidding I fell fifty feet into salt water.
I scrambled to hold on or be lost forever.
You said it was for my own sake,
and watched as I was swallowed in the wake.
(Chorus)
I knew at once but still I'm so surprised.
You threw that stone and it skipped a million times.
How was I supposed to know I would end up in the undertow?

A weave of rope was hanging off the back of this freight liner
so I could catch myself and crawl up inside her.
I woke and I was alive
before I knew if I had survived.

Chorus

I'll learn to forgive mistakes
and be forgiven for the ones I've made.
I'll learn to forgive mistakes
and be forgiven for the ones I've made.

Chorus
Track Name: Gravity
The way you talk makes people think you're right about everything
If you told us to we'd change our minds about gravity
So when you say I'm worthless and I never pulled my weight
my back hurts from the work I did but I trust you all the same

I used to want to be just like you are
but I figured out after coming this far
We have seen so many of the very same things
but your words don't speak of my memories

(CHORUS)
I did what I wanted so you'll do what you don't
Maybe you could forgive me but I'm pretty sure you won't
If you remember just one thing, that will be the one
I don't want to be remembered for the worst I've ever done

I've only sighed like that twice only twice
I won't take sides cause I can't decide
Otherwise I won't believe the size
and I can't believe my eyes cause neither one will sympathize

You say something is wrong, something is wrong, somethings wrong
like everything I've done all I've done all along
I used to walk on nails when I was young
but now my calluses are not so strong

CHORUS

Shut in all that heat and shut in the memory
That time is time to keep, I broke a promise in my sleep
I thought I watched the screen but the screen was watching me
I broke a promise in my dream and I liked the scenery
Its not that you're wrong, no, its not that you're wrong
but you're not right for me, no, you're not right for me

CHORUS
Track Name: Don't Tell Me
Where are you sleeping?
Where are you sleeping?
Don't tell me you're not at home
Cause babe, I need your loving

Don't tell me what I need
Don't tell me that I'm weak
Don't tell me who to love
Cause thats not up to me

You told me not to let go
You said you can't swim on your own anymore
Baby I won't let you drown if you let me be your ocean

You complain that I'm far away
If you say the word I'll leave today
I would give most anything to be close to you

Where are you sleeping?
Where are you sleeping?
Don't tell me you're not at home
Cause babe, I need your loving
Track Name: Bakery
Remember that day in the bakery?
I shook your shoulders, hadn't seen you in a week.
You said you'd been there right in front of me,
so I must be crazy.

Looking for a place for the things that I own.
Now I found one but you were my home.
Said you would never give up on me,
which is like saying that you should, but you're too full of charity.

Tell me so.
I'm horrible.
Tell me so.
You're believable.

Remember that day in the hallway?
Just had a question, didn't think you'd react that way.
You twist every single word that I say
so I'm the one that's gotta change.
Oh, I'm the one that's gotta change.

Tell me mean things, say its good for me.
Say I just have to change, don't have to leave.
I could say a lot of things about you,
but I'll try not to.

Tell me so.
I'm horrible.
Tell me so.
You're believable.

Remember that day in Missouri?
I tried to tell you how I needed you to be.
You said you were always doing everything for me
and I was blind if I didn't see.
I must be blind, cause I couldn't see.

Remember that day in the bakery?
I shook your shoulders, hadn't seen you in a week.
You said you'd been there right in front of me,
So I must be crazy.
Oh I must be crazy.
Oh I must be crazy.

Tell me so.
I'm horrible.
Tell me so.
I'm delusional.
Tell them so.
You're believable.
Track Name: Paper and Glue
You told me I was a view that only birds can see
and you sat upon that piano in hopes it would impress me.
I've got a message for you from me
your little plan worked and I'm waiting for delivery.
I'll build you a piano in my bedroom.
I'll make you wings out of paper and glue
and you can fly wherever you want to baby.

Up through that trap door to the tower
I laid on rafters, wasting my hours.
Like you said, i'm an old wound.
I'm looking for a window to see through.
I'll trade a hundred of anything for you.
I've said it before but its never been true.
I'm used to doing just what I want to.


You're always changing the maps you make me.
You told me you hate how clumsy I can be.
Yesterday I went back to that room
where you told me the secrets that you knew.
I stood on a table to get a better view,
proceeded to tell myself lies about you.
Climb back up on your piano.


Up through that trap door to the tower,
I laid on rafters, wasting my hours.
I've been dusting off my old wounds,
but none measure up to the ones collected from you.
I used to get just what I wanted to.
Track Name: Anything Forever
Have you ever heard, in your whole life, anything worth listening to?
Have you ever seen, in your whole life, anything? Do you have a story in you?
Have you ever felt, in your whole life, anything you thought you'd never get through?

(CHORUS)
Not saying that you can't have fun, you know how.
Not saying you can't get things done, just look at you now.
I was thinking that you just might be getting it right.
You just might be getting it right.

Pages all torn out and tacked up, screws in place, attaching the bed posts to the boards.
Porch is all swept clean and the mail is in, key slid under the door.
Old history is all boxed up and shipped out, except what's sunk into the floor.

CHORUS

I've seen a lot of people try a lot of different ways.
The ones that I like best are ones I tried to emulate.
Tried them on but nothing ever seems to fit just right.
Your's is way to loose for me and their's a bit too tight.

Have you ever said, in your whole life, anything worth listening to?
Have you ever done, in your whole life, anything? Do you have a story or two?
Have you ever loved, in your whole life, anyone more than they could love you?

CHORUS