Shootout At The Sugar Factory

by Tris McCall

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about

*Shootout At The Sugar Factory* was recorded and produced by Jay Braun at the old Stanton Street location of Melody Lanes. At the time, I was living in Union City, New Jersey and traveling into Manhattan to make music. The lyrics reflect this: most of the songs are sketches of North Hudson County, and a not-unsympathetic look at the Wall Street commuters who lived alongside the Latin Americans whose center of gravity was our own Bergenline Avenue. Consciously or not, all my neighbors were consumed with politics -- local, national, and international -- and they had strong opinions about the appropriate use of urban space.

Chances are, if you know my music, this is the Tris McCall album you're most familiar with. I had a really good band behind me -- the New Jack Trippers -- and we were playing shows as often as we could. Most of these songs were fitted for that band, and since these musicians were punk rockers from the Brooklyn garage scene, I tried to apply that aggression to the topics that were obsessing me. The *Shootout* was designed to be loud and immediate and easy to play in a basement setting. Because of this ease of animation, these songs have never quite fallen out of the repertoire.

Start here: "The Night Bus", "Dancing To Architecture", "The Man From Nantucket"

credits

released December 11, 2015

Some of the musicians who played on this project:

Drums: Robin Van Maarth
Bass: Sasha Alcott
Guitar: Martin Nienstedt
Electric violin: Karen Meehan
Singing: Rachel Fishman and Regan Solmo
Brass: The Porn Horns
Wurlitzer, synthesizers, lead vox: Tris McCall

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

about

Tris McCall Jersey City, New Jersey

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Track Name: Scatter My Ashes On The New Jersey Turnpike
Two by two the brakelights slide by. My yellow pills will keep me all right. I count the change the basket catches and watch a pretty girl with fake eyelashes. The traffic moves in august rhythm and with every breath I'm right there with them. I fall into the groove that I like -- collecting tolls on the Jersey Turnpike.

I wish you shared this tollbooth with me. I've been saving up this case of sherry. Here's a dollar twenty five back -- won't you please make some eye contact? See, I'm a man -- I'm Harvard educated! Somewhere along the line I faded. And if I die before I wake, scatter my ashes on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Track Name: Dancing To Architecture
Everything out of whack has all been corrected since you took me to the sack. Now I'm staggering drunk with the beauty of Sunset Park. I even make sense of the art books! It wasn't scary, was it? Think again. Easy does it. Take it in and count to ten. The doorman at the Met could have sworn I was a philistine -- not a new rock prophet to the Guggenheim. I'm dancing to architecture. I'm dancing to art, and I'm fine. These double features blow my mind.

McKim, Mead & White did the city up all right, but the oinks of Robert Moses should have chosen something red to ride a speedway to your head like a Frederick Olmstead rockscape. I want to kiss you on the inside/outside from balustrade to fire escape. Glass and girding and mixed concrete. Keep it flirting -- short and sweet and incomplete. I'm open to suggestion with a skyline to remit, 'cuz girlie we were planned correctly and this town can take a hit.

So baby come here and stay real close. Endless summer on overdose. I'm cut loose like a top spins dizzy from a battle side. Speeding through the city on a ricochet thrill ride. I'm dancing to architecture, and I'm fine -- she brings the sunshine.
Track Name: Machines To Make You Feel Good
Alison looks up at the clock and the digital scanner by the television set. She's in love with her microwave, kitchen aid, and electric blanket. She once tried to get outside but she found herself tied in another tube. There's no outdoors anymore through the door -- just a diode and sirens to elude. How could machines make you feel good? Knock on wood.

Alison flashes with telling current like the LED on a breathalizer. She left her girlfriend for a synthesist, and a synthesist for a synthesizer. She's on drugs, she plugged, she's in love with machines and she's on overdrive. She's online even when she's turned off. She's electric. She never felt alive.
Track Name: Go Back To West New York
The time has come for hard words. Ancient thoughts, lighting rod, burn away this facade. You polish up the rubbish. Set it shine on display. Want it more when they say "welcome to the food court -- now go back to West New York. We'd let you touch the merchandise, but you're really not our sort. Welcome to the food court -- now go back to West New York. There's so much to acquire, and life's so short." I might unball my fists if I knew what words were worth but it's hard to strike a bargain when you've sold your soul at birth.

Damn you for this hunger. Some desire murdered joy. Give me strength to destroy. Can I smash your window? Can I force you to feel what I feel. You would kneel.
Track Name: A Commuter's Prayer
The alerts are raised to orange. Stare into the abyss. I know some get bizarre enjoyment out of this, but I take no comfort in the sound of the police. Lord won't you get me through the Lincoln Tunnel in one piece. Tunnel big tunnel black tunnel and the lights flash. Traffic moves traffic one direction into the black. Car windows float past like a celluloid strip that's jumped from the reel. Spin spin big wheel.

I freak out at every little rash and they're stopping everybody with a moustache. A man in a trenchcoat cursing 5-0 under his breath. Lord won't you get me through Grand Central without horrible death. I used to dream big like a mansion and a yacht. Now it seems just surviving is asking a lot. Red streaks on white tile and thinking about how it's a long way down before we start to come out.

Sinner I am, and I'm sure a devout one could tell, but I still can't believe I deserve flaming hell. Every night I walk out to the palisade to check on the city and make sure it's okay.

Off the top of the Chrysler Building sunlight gleams. The guards are in the subways with M16s. I won't say I'm innocent, but I never asked for this fight. Lord won't you get me home to Jersey one more night.
Track Name: The Man From Nantucket
Drunken driving through hypnogogia. Water black as policy bursts through over you. Jump the divider, swim for sanctuary -- a beautiful girl is wasted now and turns blue over you. On a black dirt road the vanguard flipped. Gasping for air with pants unzipped. Rough kissed loose lips sink ships, yes they do. At a party with the Boston earls. The Great Society traffics in girls. The leaders of the free world's balls are blue.

A family album smeared in blood. The brahmins pop their cocks and pour their brew over you. Gail and Louise and the hired help bring sandwiches to the boys legislating their rule over you. From every schoo in Massachoo headless men row crew and football and shove cigars in sugar walls in varnished halls of truth. And from Palm Beach to Hyannisport, the murder goes on daily like the sport of kings -- the framing of the shrew.

Out pressing flesh with the poor. U Street condo riding a whore. And as the police lights scour the shore, I am the man from Nantucket. All the mean streets get renewed hope, and all the staffers' asses get groped. Grinning, winking back at the pope -- I am the man from Nantucket. Claw at the carseat in torrents of fear. Gasp as the bubbles of air disappear. We've got to have some music for the new frontier.
Track Name: The Night Bus
Roll through the rubble of St. Alex Place to your brand new bubble in outer space. Keep your mouth shut on the night bus. They're looking haggard from the second shift. Staring out staggered across the rift. Keep your mouth shut or they might just. Pitch black streetlights Union City Jersey City trash fires bistros sprung up in the projects. Starfleet commander on a westbound rocket. Are you happy to be home or is that a knife in your pocket?

Roll past the deli and court of appeals. He's got a celly. He's cutting deals. Keep your mouth shut on the night bus. She's a mechanic with tools you need. They're all Hispanic and you're a Swede. Keep your mouth shut or they might just. Tim Berg first week Morgan Stanley feeling manly overhead projector with a lecture on commuting. Orientation on how to draw your weapon. There's a war out there, stupid -- ain't no half stepping.

Mi hermana es una bruja -- un comunista con fuerte en sus palabras. Mujer bonita, let's coexist! I'm a mosquito. Chip in my wrist.
Track Name: Another Public Service Announcement
This is a beautiful street so why the empty beercans at my feet? The trash receptacles are clearly marked as such. Can't you losers read? This is a beautiful day, but now there's garbage in my way. Somebody's littered on the sidewalk again, and I'm going to make that man pay. This town's got a bad rep though it's a great place to be. It might seem like a small step but it matters to me. Don't throw your wrappers in the bushes. Don't throw your crap on the curb. This town's got a bad rep that it doesn't deserve.

Hey that's a pretty fancy ride. I'd like to ask you why you'd pour a full cup of coffee out the passenger's side. Mister if I ever see that car again on the avenue (not that I expect to), I'm taking out both headlights and your windshield, too. This town's got a bad rep and so you treat it like a dump. Instead of showing us our respect you show us bagsful of junk. Get the hell out of our gardens. Get the hell off my curb. This town's got a bad rep because of jerks from the burbs.

It's not right to find the roadside lined with the remains of your pork fried rice. So when we're disinclined to treat you nice, please don't act surprised. I know you're out for a good time and you're just tooling around. But if you disrespect my city, I'm going to have to take you down. Don't want to hear your excuses for why you pissed on that tree. When you mess with Union City, fool, you're messing with me. This town's got a bad rep which we'll work to undo. This town's got a bad rep because of assholes like you.
Track Name: Robert Menendez Basta Ya!
I work the tunnels -- those Conrail tunnels -- suturing with iron and sweat. Son desperados and losing blood. With the will of one, a champion to get all we can get. Robert Menendez basta ya! Projected by the multitude to bring our manna down. Ain't no pretender can wear this crown until he proves that he can move some solid ground. In the big tent we represent. We stand as one by native son. Our arms are strong, but all alone, they're much too short to box with Washington.

I inspect housing code for district 12. The housewives there all treat me like a clown. Nobody gives a damn about a lonely code inspector. We'll see how they feel when their house falls down. Robert Menendez redeems us all -- every lonely public servant waiting for the call. Roar of the engines!, those brakes and calipers. A little too tight with those waterfront developers.
Track Name: Philos2k3
The more you think, the more you know. The more you know, the less you know. The less you know, the better you feel. The better you feel, the better you feel. Nobody can see himself in me and that is why I feed my own history. Nobody can see himself in me, and that is how it's gotta be.

The more you sleep, the less you're awake. The less you're awake, the more you dream. The more you dream, the more you scream. The more you scream, the less you sleep.

The harder you try, the better you do. The better you do, the more they put you down. The more they put you down, the harder you try. The harder you try, the better you do.