The Love Songs of Oedipus Rex

by The Holy Gasp

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1.
The Wedding 00:37
2.
A BLACK ELEVATOR He went down on a black elevator He went down down He went down on a black elevator He went down down He could not keep from quivering And fingering a silver ring He penetrated into the ground He went down on a black elevator He went down down Third floor… Propose to your mama! What’s a matter, pussy? All’va sudden you don’t wanna? He went down on a black elevator He went down down He went down on a black elevator He went down down He donned a tie and boutonniere And threw a brick into the mirror And headed deeper into the ground. Second floor… Bet you think you’re real tough! Better watch yourself before your daddy cuts it off! He went down on a black elevator He went down down He went down on a black elevator He went down down For his daddy he was coming He could hear the furnace humming It was far too late to turn it around He went down on a black elevator He went down down First floor... Fight your father! Come on, mother fucker, this is all you ever wanted!
3.
WHAT I GOTTA KNOW Babe, I gotta know what you’re gonna do now. Where you gonna call home tomorrow? Is this bed we share something we share now? Or is this bed no longer gonna be our home? Do you believe me when I tell you I love you? I don’t believe you anymore when you say it to me. You say your heart has space for other people, But has it got the space for you and me? Babe, I gotta know right now If you sleep out tonight will you come home tomorrow? Baby, I put a shiny ring around your finger— I never tied no noose around your life! I don’t mind if you have space for other people, Just be clear with me if that still makes you my wife. Babe, I gotta know right now If you sleep out tonight will you come home tomorrow? How many months will it take for you to tell me What it is I gotta know right now? You’ve gotta make your mind up ‘bout tomorrow ‘Cuz I gotta know if I’m gonna stick around Babe, I gotta know right now If you sleep out tonight will you come home tomorrow?
4.
SINCE SHE BROKE MY HEART Used to have a woman Used to hold her tight Tried to treat her good Used to say “We’ll make it! We can work it out,” Because I thought we could It doesn’t make any sense Doesn’t make any sense No no no no Used to wake at 7:00 Used to shave my face Used to eat three meals Then she threw me out Took all my shit You know how that feels? It doesn’t make any sense Doesn’t make any sense No no no no Does every cat say woof woof woof? Does every dog say meow? Oh what the hell Oh what the hell Am I supposed to do right now Since she broke my heart? Ain’t got no grace Ain’t got no tact Ain’t got no spine Gonna throw me out From my own damn house And she thinks that’s fine? It doesn’t make any sense Doesn’t make any sense No no no no And every bee says tweet tweet tweet Oh every bird says buzz And it’s all because It’s all because It’s all because It’s all because She broke my heart! Used to have a father Used to have a cat Used to have a bed I’m 30 years old today And I’m getting divorced And my therapist is dead I can’t take anymore Can’t take anymore No no no no Does she hear me when I cry? When I moan at night? I’m within in those walls I’m behind those blinds I sleep on that shelf I lounge on those plates I piss in that fridge I live in that soul And she broke my heart! Goddamn!
5.
Beat Wave 02:48
BEAT WAVE He’s the kinda kid who’s gotta shave his knuckles He jams alone to his brass belt buckles He don’t complain of growin’ blinder and blinder Man, that kid’s the king of The Great Unwinder He’s got a family pack of Vaseline But he’s only one man, if you dig what I mean He’s on a Beat Wave Beat Wave He carved a little hole in his cantaloupe And he lathered it up with aromatic soap He’s hip to the scene of his sweet reminiscing And one sock from every pair has gone missing He decoupages his magazines He’s got a solo exhibition in the underground scene He’s on a Beat Wave Beat Wave B-E-A-T W-A-V-E Beat Wave B-E-A-T W-A-V-E Beat Wave Beat Wave He turns out the lights and he closes the shutters He weeps for his wife and he curses his mother He’s out of work with bills to pay But he’s not gonna get out of bed today Beat Wave Beat Wave
6.
SIMPLE PLEASURES Got a plum in my pocket Got a plum in my pocket Gonna save that plum ‘til later tonight When I see my baby I’ll give her a bight Simple pleasures I’m gonna have me one Simple pleasures Are for everyone Got a cat on my lap Got a cat on my lap Better wake her up before I’m late Ah, to hell with that, my boss can wait Simple pleasures I’m gonna have me one Simple pleasures Are for everyone Gonna go see my daddy Gonna go see my daddy Gonna leave a sip of whisky on top of his stone My daddy wouldn’t want me drinking alone Simple pleasures I’m gonna have me one Simple pleasures are for everyone Oh Devil, oh Lord, whose powers afford The freedom I have to choose? Whose sins shall I obey? From whose laws shall I stray? And which of you will I refuse? Simple pleasures I’m gonna have me one Simple pleasures Are for everyone Simple pleasures Simple pleasures Got a plum in my pocket Got a plum in my pocket Gonna hold it out all bruised in my hand I’m gonna beg my baby to try and understand Simple pleasures Simple pleasures Simple pleasures
7.
A MOST PECULIAR REQUEST Won’t you let me in your belly button? I wanna come into your belly button Oh mama, let me in that button I wanna come into your belly button I swear to goodness gracious that I will not bite Let me sleep inside your bellybutton tonight Let me come inside your belly button I wanna come inside your belly button Mama mama mama, let me in your belly button I wanna come inside your belly button Oh I don’t wanna have to throw a hissy fit Let me in your button for a little bit Damn, mama, can’t you see I’m torn? I’ve been beggin’ for it since the day I was born And all the voices tell me that it’s just so wrong Won’t you sympathize with me? It’s where I belong! Let me come inside your belly button I wanna come inside your belly button Oh mama, let me in your button I wanna come inside your belly button Oh mama, won’t you give it a try? Let me come inside your belly button and die!
8.
I DON’T WANNA WANT IT I’m just so sick of sex— I don’t wanna want it I’m just so sick I’m sick of sex I’m just so sick of sex— I don’t wanna want it I’m just so sick I’m sick of sex I’m sick of sex I’m sick of sex I’m sick of sex I’m sick of SEX! I’m just so sick of sex— I don’t wanna want it I’m just so sick I’m sick of sex I’m sick of sex I’m sick of sex I’m sick of sex I’m sick of sex I don’t wanna want it I don’t wanna want it I don’t wanna want it I don’t wanna want it I don’t wanna want it I don’t wanna want it I don’t wanna want it I don’t wanna want it God I want it Gimme Gimme Gimme Gimme
9.
THE ARRANGEMENT I don’t care if you’re conflicted I don’t care if you cry I don’t care if you hate me Believe me so do I I don’t care if you bite me If you claw at my skin and my hair I don’t care if you love me I don’t care, I don’t care In the evening, when the sky is bruised And the roof beams are beaten by the rain And the wind thrashes wildly Against a helpless windowpane I’ll be your Daddy, I’ll be your Sir And you’ll do as you are told And in the morning, when I kiss you, withhold I don’t care if you’re working I don’t care if you’re ill I don’t care if you’re in mourning You’ve got orders you’ve agreed to fulfill I don’t care if you’re bedridden If chemotherapy has taken all your hair I don’t care if you’re sick of all this shit I am, too, babe, but I don’t care In the evening, when the light bulbs burst And the floorboards have rotted and decayed And the wallpaper boils and bubbles And the mattress has gone to fray I’ll be your Master, I’ll be your God And you’ll clean up everything I soil And in the morning, when I kiss you, recoil Treat me like shit, treat me like shit We both know, darling, you can Treat me like shit, treat me like shit We both know, we both know I am Treat me like shit, treat me like shit We both know, darling, you can Treat me like shit, treat me like shit We both know, we both know I am
10.
A DIVISION OF ASSETS You got a mop for your floor You got a bedroom door You got a fridge for your food You got a good attitude You got a pretty little home that you tidy on your own I’ll bet you drink your coffee out of a mug But me, little ol' me I got drugs You got a doggy that you walk You got an alarm clock You brush your teeth every day You got a job that’s okay You got a curly-haired niece with a sweater made of fleece Whom you can call upon for cuddles and hugs But me, little ol' me I got drugs I got drugs I got drugs I got drugs You got clean underwear You got some subway fair You got a place gotta be You got a bachelor’s degree You got a happy little smile I haven’t seen in quite a while And now you never speak—you only shrug And me, little ol' me With my cauliflower ears and the patches on my knees And the soup I eat alone with plastic cutlery Oh I’m endeavouring to be A part of your family Have you got to be so goddamn smug? I got drugs! I got drugs! I got drugs! I got drugs! D-R-U-G-S, I got ‘em
11.
I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU You can leave your dirty dishes in the kitchen sink I’m gonna love you Leave a red sock in the wash and turn the t-shirts pink I’m gonna love you Babe, you got no need to stress I signed up for the tidy but I’ll take you in your mess I’m gonna love you Yeah I am I’m gonna love you Anyway I can You can leave your phone at home and disappear for days I’m gonna love you I never need attention, baby, anyways I’m gonna love you In the whole damn world I know I’m never gonna find no better girl I’m gonna love you Yeah I am I’m gonna love you Anyway I can You can tell me not to touch when you come to bed I’m gonna love you You can bring up every awful thing I ever said I’m gonna love you You can pack up all your things You can leave me forever in the morning I’m gonna love you Yeah I am I’m gonna love you Anyway I can
12.
A DAILY AFFIRMATION You got to love yourself In the morning When you wake up And you drain the black tar out of your heart You got to love yourself In your gorilla suit In your bathroom mirror When you’re confronted by the ape that you really are You got to love yourself Anyway you can You got to love yourself With your tiny dick And your fat ass tits And the hair on your head that just won’t stay You got to love yourself Like an ugly child Like a crippled dog Like a fat fuckin’ baby crying all damn day You got to love yourself Any way you can You got to love yourself When your daddy dies And your wife walks out And your kitty cat cries and cries ‘cuz she went away You got to you love yourself When you hate yourself When you berate yourself My man, listen up, there ain’t no other way You gotta love yourself Any way you can
13.
A BOY AND HIS COOKIE I want a cookie that never ends To last me all my life A cookie I can eat and eat With or without my wife With or without his wife I want a cookie that’s always there To catch all of my tears To hold me in my hour of need And sooth my nightly fears And sooth his nightly fears Oh I’ll never stop eating, I mean it, I swear I’ll keep it with me everyday everywhere And I’ll sweep up the crumbs And I’ll vacuum the rug I promise, I promise, I promise… I want a cookie that’s always whole That’s bigger than I’ll ever be One that’s warm and gooey and soft And baked only for me Oh I’ll always be hungry, I mean it, I swear I’ll cling to her side everyday everywhere And I’ll brush twice a day And I’ll floss before bed I promise, I promise, I promise… I want a cookie that’s always there Each morning when I wake And lets me eat the whole day through Despite my tummy ache Despite his tummy ache Oh I’ll always be starving, I mean it, I swear I’ll cling to your side everyday everywhere And I won’t run away If you don’t run away I promise, I promise, I promise…

about

The story of a troubled marriage further burdened by the death of the husband's father, and further burdened still by the death of his therapist.

"From the most painful and precarious of predicaments, The Love Songs of Oedipus Rex rises as a creative masterpiece."
-DOMINIONATED

"This is weird. This is weird music."
-FAT MIKE of NOFX

"Powerfully enigmatic."
-AESTHETIC MAGAZINE

"... even though so much of the album is primal (in lyrical content and instrumentation) -- raw, even crude -- there is a sense of refined craft, of every choice being a deliberate one. Smart and funny, brash and vulnerable... with an unsettling, terribly insightful humour. These songs build in their own psychoanalysis and yet they're never too clever or distant from their content."
-STEPHANIE BOLSTER, Governor General Award winning poet

"...an immediately captivating mix of genres, anchored by a powerful vocal performance... ultimately unlike anything you have probably heard before.
-SACRED EXILE

"...how extraordinary is frontman Benjamin Hackman’s voice? Quite literally, he could sing about anything, anything at all, I’d listen."
-GRUNGECAKE

"...beautiful and powerful... lovely and inspired.."
-AIPATE

"...a riot, filled with boundless, ecstatic energy."
-OHESTEE

credits

released September 7, 2018

Written & Composed by Benjamin Hackman
Recorded by Dale Morningstar on Toronto Island
Mixed by Craig Saltz
("The Arrangement" recorded & mixed by Matt DeMatteo)
Mastered by Andrew Mitchell
Costuming by Ashley Feldman
Package and design by Fynn Leitch
Produced by Benjamin Hackman

Benjamin Hackman – Vocals, congas, bongos, auxiliary percussion
Joseph Organ – Organ, piano, vocals
Mathew Somerville Wronski – Electric bass
Oso – Drums
Karen Ng – Alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, flute
Christopher Weatherstone – Alto saxophone (on "The Arrangement")
Robert Stevenson – Clarinets
Nicolas Buligan – Trumpet, tuba
Tom Richards – Trombone
Natalie Wong – Violin
Nathan Smith – Violin
Cory Harper-Latkovich – Cello
James McEleney – Double bass, vocals
Sebastian Shinwell – Electric guitar, sitar, vocals
Michael Davidson – Mallet percussion
Jessica Upton-Crowe – Vocals
Sara O. Shahsavari – Vocals
Nixon Boyd – Vocals

This recording was made possible by the generous financial support of the Ontario Arts Council, The Canada Council for the Arts, and FACTOR. We also wish to thank our sponsor, Caplansky's Deli.

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The Holy Gasp Toronto, Ontario

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