Strange Spring Air

by shinobu

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Can't put it better than Bob put it on the Shinobu myspace: "About a year ago, while that cuddleberry Matthew Sex was on hiatus from being all metropolitan and crap in New York, and before that sage Jon Fu moved to Japan and lost 20 pounds, and before I moved to Japan and ate dog, and before the Roger Ebert of literature Mike started a blog and two other awesome bands, the four of us holed up in the Cuddle Space for a couple of weeks and recorded the 15 or so tunes that now make up our soon to be album, Strange Spring Air. Aside from one or two of them, every song was pretty much written and recorded on the spot. This led to what I consider some of our most unquestionably awesome stuff (and, I might add, some of our most questionably awesome stuff too)."

At the time of writing this Matt is living in Brooklyn, Bob and Jon are both teaching English in Japan, and I am in a new band in San Jose and considering the many daunting options for living the rest of my life. On all of our previous albums the songs were essentially written at home by me and brought to the band complete. On this album we wrote all together, often coming up with ideas as a group, and sometimes writing in a more federalist way--Bob wrote and sang on the Cat song, Matt wrote the music to Amor Fati, Jon wrote the lyrics to Tiger!, etc etc. So at the time when we are the furthest apart we are also writing the most as a unit. Suffice to say, there are odd things afoot in the strange spring air.

I hope that the album speaks for itself. I think its the best one we've done, as well as the most representative of where we've been and where we might be going...maybe. It was also the most fun to make. But in the end it is what it is--a nearly improvised collection of songs written by four friends. Hopefully that comes across more than questions of whether or not this is a punk album, an indie album, an album about lyrics, or an album about music. It's an album about friends. And the Moustache King.

Thanks to Jeff and everyone else in Bomb the Music Industry for helping us out (and especially to John for playing drums with us and doing a fantastic job). Thanks to Doug for playing with us inbetween the Jo(h)ns. Thanks to everyone who has helped us to get a show and to everyone who didn't mind when we hardly brought anyone to those shows. Thanks to all those who let us stay at their place instead of making us sleep in the van. Thanks to the wonderful people and bands we have toured with over the years: Adam Pasion, Jason Jason, Keyboard, Pteradon, I Sing the Body Electric, and Bomb the Music Industry. Thanks to Tyler Kogura, Avi Ehrlich, Jeff Walsh, Eric Fanali, Mike Park, Skylar Suorez, and Jeff Rosenstock again for all believing that we can or might make good music when very few people would give us the time of day. And thanks to our families for putting up with this quixotic quest to play music the way we think it should be played, instead of a way that will win fans, money, girls or critical acclaim. Thank you.

5 January 2009


released March 11, 2009

On this record shinobu is (in order of appearance):

Matt Keegan: trombone, guitar, vocals, keyboards, aux percussion
Mike Huguenor: vocals, guitar, aux percussion
Bob Vielma: bass, vocals, probably aux percussion
Jon Fu: drums, wisdom, aux percussion, aux wisdom

All members of shinobu, past, present and future:

Mike Huguenor
Jon Fu
Bob Vielma
Vince Tran
Matt Keegan
Jason Jason
Doug Bellucci
Jeff Rosenstock
John DeDomenici



all rights reserved
Track Name: Teachers Get Tired
unreliable mechanical eyes
trigger the movement, put it in drive.
i tried to say something i wanted,
the words came out wrong
(as words are wont to do).

[but there are too many songs about love.]

conversations bore me to tears
i run with cutlass in mouth and with plugs in my ears.
my horse is the horse before horses,
this zoo is a zoo and its time to get out of here.

[but there are too many songs about love.]

someone give me a life of action before i croak.
someone give me a life of silence before i croak.
Track Name: Cetacean History
fly the flag of the caduceus--
i swear there was an oath you swore to uphold?
the men go out on their ships most every night,
and the harpooners won't make it out alive.

[bowie says "don't believe,"
and i'm inclined to agree
cause when you're fishing in the sea
its all just cetacean history.]

all along there never was the one
you said you're after,
and the asps crawl up your arm
from off the cane you brandished at me.
you tried to heal the hole with snake oil
and white whale blubber.
there never was a hole at all.

all you ever wanted was perfection and acceptance and the people of the world have just been rearranging faces and the truth about the people is that people are just people, you know?

don't believe, don't believe
in cetacean history.
Track Name: Sometimes I Wish I Were A Cat
sometimes i wish that i was a cat,
sleeping in a sunray all day,
eating, getting fat.
cuddly unconditional love
for my family and friends.
i'd let you know every day that i love you, i love you, i love.

waiting by the window,
i'm so happy to see you,
laying by your side,
resting my head my head on your heart.
i'll lick your face,
now in your ear,
over and over, i love you, i love you, i love you, i love you.
Track Name: Antarctic Stare
spent some time at the arcade,watching kids lose their cool.
i wear a mask when i sleep,
i'm feeling up when i'm down,
i'm terrified of my dreams,
we're terrified of the sound

of the diary scenester kids,
in the back of the club with instruments and gin.

i've got that antarctic stare
when the music hits the airwaves.
all this honesty is honestly killing me,
cause i honestly don't believe it.

but the bastards will get you down,
get you feeling like you're up when you're upside down.
you're so down.
Track Name: Chase and Sanborn (A Quale of Friendship)
chase and sanborn met
bumming cigarettes from the bums
that they met
in the downtown streets of the city,
in the downtown streets of the city.

girls and coffee tasting,
watching movies and wasting time,
we could recite every line from 'plain clothes' and 'out of sight'
a young arlis howard could make you feel alright.

but those maxwell house dreams won't
hold you up when the caffeine folds
in the blood of your heart, and you know its true.

trying hard to ensure
the dregs of your cup aren't too plebian,
cause those mechanical eyes tell unreliable lies
when they're judging the human heart.

oh! sister's mary's room,
oh! the physical duplicates,
oh! my reds and greens,
and what it's like to be a bat.

but those maxwell house dreams won't
hold you up when your friendships fold
and you're left alone.

sanborn says the taste has changed,
but chase still says it tastes the same,just his tastes in friends has changed
and he could never feel the same.
but we'll always have those better times,
we'll always have those better times
with young arlis howard,
in the downtown streets of the city,
in the downtown streets of the city.
Track Name: Howard Melworm
howard melworm, you tried so hard to get your start
in the literary world but you couldn't make a mark,
all the people weren't prepared for what you had to say,
all the people were bastards anyway!
howard melworm, a modern day ibsen,
howard melworm, so full of conviction,
howard melworm, if you knew what you mean to me,
howard melworm, all your blues would be history.

howard melworm, a man with nerves of steel,
marginal relevance and reluctant sex appeal,
dedications to intellectual betters,
and casual acceptance of rejection letters.
howard melworm,
howard melworm,
howard melworm.
Track Name: Montel
man, sometimes i wish i was little!
Track Name: Jeff Rosenstock's "We"
the set was drawn up to be quartered,
in the converted comedy club,
we'll meet in chris' living room
to fit our shapes inside the bubbles...
but they fit inside of us,
and led to confused conversations
about the bands that we like
(and the ones that we don't)

[we've got no place to stay,
we've got a place to play
(so bring on hearing loss,
improve hand-eye coordination)
we've got no place to stay,
we've got a place to play
(make a list of all the things
that never fail to bring a smile to your face)
it's only two weeks until the tour,
and its $270 down the drain
(i should have gone to
diamond and gold university like my sister)
we've got no place to stay
(we've got a place to play)]

now that we're back in the backyard,
we can drink in the feeling of friendship.
because a song is just a song,
until you really want to hear it.

there's no way else to put the I in We.
so bring on hearing loss,
improve hand-eye coordination.
Track Name: Tiger!
sometimes i think about how
everything could just be one big show
that i didn't know about.
all the lights would come on,
everyone would come out from backstage,
and all the sad, familiar faces
have the biggest grins stretching out their faces.

the credits are rolling,
fucking starship's playing!
after three long seasons,
the show has finally come to an end.

but the main support can't seem to get their lines right,
and all the others are playing their parts.
Track Name: Amor Fati
we're just dust from the dustbin,
we're just trash from the compactor.
all spit and spite and nothing.

we're just drunks from the drunk tank,
we're just water from the closet,
and we leak out lies.

ignored, and ignored,
and craving nothing more,
spent, and worthless, and burnt out.

but if you told us to live again,
that it'd all be the same,
then amor fati! amor fati!
Track Name: 1995 Store Champion
from under the streetlight,
i saw a thousand drunks walk home.
and under the streetlight,
i found myself among the drunks as i stumbled home.

failed chess master,
i was born a bastard.
and nothing's going to change tonight.
Track Name: Moustache King
[moustache king,
you're never gonna get defeated.
you're never gonna get defeated.]

i heard the news--
the queen was violently deposed,
ruy lopez holds the head.
you just watched
(couldn't do much at all),
a familiar feeling...

all in all, it was another year gone by,
thinking about the tour.
and if you're feeling down,
then you know
you've got...something...
just think about all the cuddies in tennessee
and two of the nicest kids in west virginia
justin and d.l. have left chicago...
and all those folks in omaha!
i know you won't be lonely long!

[moustache king,
you're never gonna get defeated.
you're never gonna get defeated.]