To Risk So Much For One Damn Meal (2010)

by The Taxpayers



"To Risk So Much For One Damn Meal"
by The Taxpayers (2010)



released January 1, 2010


The following friends have been integral in the making of this album, in addition to being a constant source of support and inspiration, and deserve so much more than a simple thank you:

Alicia Moreland (for the lovely cover art and for all the support and encouragement from the very beginning), Keith Rosson (for being an inspiration, a good friend, and doing SO much work in helping this whole thing come together), Damian Vanderwolf (practically the Useless State CEO), Jay Awesome (a dear friend and kind person...oh, and our “manager”), Eric Frame (should be nominated for “raddest person of the year” for the amount of work and love he put into recording this), Michael Miew (for being down to record anytime, anywhere), Zach Archer, DAVE OCKULY, Chris Hacket, Dan “Danager” Brusich, Tony Cipolle Stevie Padden, Jeff Rosenstock, Chris Clavin, Denny Matheou, Joe Cicco, the Distant Colony, Pat Lowe, Katie Bradshaw, Nicholas Von Pless, Tonya Harding and Doug Flutie, Iraqasaurus, Joe Destroy, Simon Carrillo, our parents, the Sea Shanty, Echo Base, the Glitterdome, the Garfield House, the Tree House, Failhouse Rock, the Red & Black Cafe, the Black Rose Infoshop, all our Minneapolis friends, all our Portland friends, all our Lexington friends, Delay, Tiny Knives, the Wild, Bomb the Music Industry!, Absent Minds, Lee Corey Oswald, Di Nigunum, Neckties Make Me Nervous (r.i.p.), Bill Skins Fifth Will Punch You Right in the Face, Prick and the Burn, Nun Chuksky, Jimmy Buffett, all the wonderful people who have helped us on the road with booking shows and letting us crash at their houses, and lastly, Whiz Bang (r.i.p.) and Dakota (they adorn the cover of this album and represent the hunched-together, boxing-stance, ready-for-the-world grace we all hope to achieve).

The Taxpayers are:
Alex Taxpayer - baritone and tenor saxophones
Andrew Taxpayer - banjo and lead guitar
Danielle Taxpayer - accordion, keys, and vocals
Kevin Taxpayer - trumpet and piano
Noah Taxpayer - percussion
Phil Taxpayer - bass
Rob Taxpayer - rhythm guitars, harmonica, vocals


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



The Taxpayers Portland, Oregon

The Taxpayers originated in 2007 in Portland, Oregon. These days they are spread out all over the place. Rob Taxpayer sings and plays guitar, Noah Taxpayer plays drums, Dylan Taxpayer sings and plays accordion and keyboard, Phil Gobstopper plays bass, Kevin Taxpayer plays trumpet, Alex Saxplayer plays Baritone Saxophone, and Andrew Taxpayer plays Banjo and Guitar. ... more

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Track Name: The Windows Break
Piles and piles
of old magazines
Windows locked up and hidden from the street.
In a crawlspace, forgotten money.
People tensing and waiting to come back home.
You can feel the tension in the house
the moment you walk through the door.
Sudden madness allow me in again.

When the first train flies past the house, miles away
the screaming starts and it feels like minefield,
neighbors silently hiding in the shadows.
There's a person locked in, behind that door -
Don't let anybody catch you turning the handle.
It's a long, long night. It's going to be an awful and lonely night. can blot out the years and abandon the jungle
Cover up the tapes and refuse to look back,
but your own right hand is not gonna save your soul.
You have been followed! Ah, the mechanics.
All the reactions that seem to attach themselves.
It's been a very very very long year and it's gonna be an even longer night.

And then a screen door slams; the windows break.
A woman just jumps and scrapes at the hood of a car.
When the car backs up into a streetlight, all of the neighbors call the cops.
She falls off and the car speeds away
Headed for the border of a far away state.
It's gonna mean an hour of freedom with the radio and quarter-filled gas tank.
And a quarter filled gas tank
With the high beams on
And the windows down...


*This song is something that has taken literally years to make; it was the most difficult to put together of all the musical arrangements, it tried to take shape lyrically for almost a decade, and is the one song I'm most proud of, and embarrassed of, but goddamn, here it is, nicks and all.
Track Name: And The Damn Thing Bit Him!
Throw the shutters down!
Now, honey, wipe the city clean;
Wooden matches and soda cans with kerosene.
Got a bad idea and an awful position.
Back up, no hesitation –
Relay the news to the television station:
People are stupid and easy to lie to, still.

Get a job! Go to work!
Wipe the sweat right off on your shirt.
(Black and white tunnel-vision views for a new situation)
So hats off to the person who can swallow the news
that you can have your pride, but you can eat it too.
See, it's simple to swing yourself back and forth
again and again...

Consistency is what they call “suck city” -
The debt grows deep and your life turns shitty.
So fuck “making it work” -
Circumspection is a notion reserved for jerks.
My love was a race in the night by a blinding white moon,
But she got ripped to parts by a massive typhoon.
She says, “Success is joke in the nude
and disappointment is a paycheck spent on food.”
Track Name: Rapid Movements In A Bottle
Rapid movements, piled up mail.
A knock in the engine, sputtering smoke and fumes, forcing out air.
Swarming flies on a rotting apple sitting right there in the middle
Haven't had a single moment not for yourself.

Took off ten times this past year for a perfect place,
always ended up in a sterilized room with “Message in a Bottle” stuck on repeat.
Never could stand that song.

And it's always the same fucking hands holding the leash every moment that you go.
Track Name: Everything Is Awful
Same damn time, same fucking place.
Everything around here is awful.
Something isn't right here, but I can't put my finger on it.
Something isn't right here, but I can't put my finger on it.

Pull yourself right up with your own two hands;
I hope that you can.

Same damn time, same fucking place.

By the time everyone arrives,
the burners are off and the dishes are done.
The lights are turned off and the residents are drunk,
passed out in the kitchen while the refrigerator hums.

And even the dogs are asleep.
Track Name: Geodesic Prison Song
Fall of the house:
Make base introductions
to follow through a junk pile hidden in the closet.
When you walk through the halls
like a person in a prison,
use perfect pitch and elementary addition.
Try to stick to the folds, stay safe in the shadows.
Never cutting through chains in a basement.
You can't hide things in a glass house.
You just can't.
But you can pray that things don't head south.

The locks on the doors get removed with a wrench.
Every 911 call ignored.
The first snow hits the ground, freezing the grass.
But how the fuck do you quantify a dollar well-spent?
Why silence the siren?
For the noise, noise, noise.
Why the hell not go some place else?
You can't hide in a geodesic dome.
You just can't.
But you can pray nobody finds you out.

Cash rules everything around me, greed is a country on a planet under constant rotation at the bank.
Track Name: Louisiana Hot Sauce Rainy Nights
Been a long, long time;
I have been playing things through in my mind.
Prison equals narrative, but separation is damnation for our kind.
You spent years chasing after a mess
But easy livin' doesn't pay the rent.
So put stakes in words and wastelands, leave the machinery for the rest.

It was a smoke-filled room in Columbus in May
Bottles on the ground in a desolate place.
Baby, I must have missed you, but I can't remember feeling all that sad.
I must have hit every bar in that town.
I must have made a damn fool of myself.
I woke up more than once on the sidewalk that year.

But it's not crazy to gamble all those Louisiana Hot Sauce rainy nights.
It's not crazy to get your shoes and just start walking until the sun comes up.
Got miles to go, still miles to get there.
Maybe it'll be this car that makes it.
But I am not an unconditional believer.

I got more pockets than pennies these days
And I keep coming up reasons to leave this place.
It's like honey spilled on the table: an invitation for another pest.
But I got more space to fill.
A few more breaths to breathe in.
Something other than more time to sleep.
Track Name: Everybody Just Stood There
While the man in the street was screaming for help from the people nearby, the kid next to him shook violently.

And everybody just stood there.

While the woman in rags looked to the heavens with her arms out, the other prayed for a god to deliver them.

And everybody just stood there.

On the floor, in a house covered in rain from the inside out:
Floorboards creaking.
Front door shaking.
The radio blaring and all the glasses breaking.
You can run to the car, drive away from the scene, put the television on, and try to forget everything.
But there's a skeleton waiting in the basement, banging on the bedposts, beggin' for his medicine.

Everybody just stood there.
Track Name: The Cold Front
Unchecked growth climbing up the walls.
Clear and calculating, mathematically-involved individuals resolve that:

“When the Cold Front hits, all you people better hit the deck.
When the Cold Front hits, you better hide or you're gonna regret it.”

My husband lives inside a hole.
My brother reads the Bible.
He shakes the walls and threatens us all that:

“When the Cold Front hits, all you people better hit the deck.
When the Cold Front hits, you better hide or you're gonna regret it.
When an angry God comes down, you're gonna totally get it.
When the firestorm hits the town, you're gonna beg for death.
You're gonna beg for death.”
Track Name: A Matter Of Simple Deduction
I was walking alone in an unfamiliar town when the buildings started to shiver and shake.
Shimmering rain came down in sheets and then glittered like glass on the empty streets.
I could see your face in the wind;
I could hear the orchestral storm begin to sing:
“It's the end, it's the goddamn end! Come on, baby, light that fire!”

It's a matter of simple deduction.
It's a matter of complete control.
You can hold hands with the man in the tower,
but you just can't guarantee a place for your soul.

So there I was, right? Stuck in the street.
Not a soul for miles, on my own two feet.
Glittering glass, piles of trash, stuttering into the w-w-wind.
I could see your face in the air,
I could taste your skin on my lips.
But this is the end, this is the END! Come on, baby, light that fire!
Track Name: Some Kind Of Disaster Relief
My, my, my, what a position:
The love of my life smoking crack in the kitchen.
Lovely long nails and a nasty half grin:
“It's a livin',” she shrugs.
It's a missile disguised as an ethic.
It's a rabbit suffocating in a rabbit hole.
It's politics as usual.

Some kind of disaster relief.

Honest homes,
simple words,
and honest hopes
are like skipping stones.

You can tell that things are getting terribly real when the suckers in charge don't even gotta lie to the people.
And the only megaphone left working is attached to a steeple.
It's a concrete national forest.
It's a kid with a gun at the age of 10.
It's like the last dying gasp of a friend.

Some kind of disaster relief.
Track Name: It Gets Worse Every Minute
The bars of the cage,
and the trash in the gutter,
and the people coming out of the clinic:

It gets worse every minute.

It gets worse every second.

My lovely city (my lovely danger).
My favorite lovely stranger.

And the tooth for the bone
And the rat for the apple
And the knife for the throne
And the crib for the rattle
And the bars of the cage
And the trash in the gutter
And the people coming out of the clinic:

It gets worse every minute.

It gets worse every second you're in it.

It gets worse every minute.

It gets worse every second.
Track Name: My Brother Isn't Dying
Skeleton frames of buildings rotting out at the edge of town.
An old man walking away from the bus door with his arm stretched out, acting like an old friend, or something like that.
Trash piles getting sucked up by fire.
Sympathy getting shoved through the phone.
Saying, “I might not have known the man, but listen man, I know what it's like to be alone.”

If you say it like you mean it, you probably don't mean it.
If you act like you care, you probably don't give a fuck.
My brother isn't dying, he's just locked up in an institution.

A ride from the house, down 7-mile boulevard gets terrible (like pictures from television magazines).
Bits from the table, eating the bits from the table over and over again.
Trash piles getting sucked up by fire.
Sympathy getting shoved through the phone, again.
Saying, “I might not have known the man, but listen man, I know what it's like to be alone.”

Front door open of the house.
Leave the front door wide open,
and they'll bring it out.
Track Name: Let The Wheels Turn Slowly
I saw old women waiting at the bus stop, with the rain coming down.
And I saw people circling like buzzards to the tune of the traffic below.
I know.
Let the wheels turn slowly.
I know.
Let the lights go down.

Teachers with brandy in their coffee.
Younger cousins getting excited about a movie.
I know.
Let the lights go down right now.
I know.
Let the parents go out for a night on the town.

Taking turns making phone calls to old relatives.
Stuttering into the phone.
I know.
Let the words find their own way out.
I know.
Let the lights go down, let the lights go down.

On your own now, leave again.
Find a home and learn to lower your hands.

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