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All Are Saved

by Fred Thomas

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So that’s it? Eternity equates to forever walking towards without arriving any place? With some beasts leashed And the rest so hung up on the majesty of having two functioning feet Don’t con yourself with comfort Don’t talk about the future In the fur patch shaved and sutured In the tangle of tubes where I lose you Everything is changed And the rest of us remain So could we exchange our lifespans? Or would that be a shitty deal? My eight potential decades-- sloppy, selfish and unreal For your thirteen years of walking in one clear, pure line Even with all this ridiculous talking I can never get through And I can’t get any help I can just stand here in front of you and embarrass myself So drag me out of the river in a backwards baptism Take it back to the beginning To make sure there’s no revisions and we are all of one mind While we watch this reel rewind And I see myself there completely lightweight wasted on like a single drink In 2003 in Baltimore Smashing my first flip-phone on some piss-soaked alley floor corridor Crimes of the heart Crimes of the convenience store A whole history of crimes felt more important at that time I see them all from last to first as they play out in reverse I get to find everything I ever lost I get to uncast every curse See every upturned motorcycle, every page from every bible All my acid stomach mornings and my nights of deep survival See those horses in the stables Teenage tears and jumper cables See me rattled and insane from all the changes strange and mangled See that never-ending room filled up with everything consumed A pile of everything consumed to fill a never-ending room Hear every song sung to a dog on every walk with every dog.
Winter is in a state of constancy And meanwhile, all the old friends Are just that And I’m wondering-- when they built the schools Did they realize they placed them directly adjacent from the parks and the woods? And the structures enclosed? The places kids could go and feel safe to be unknown? A shelter for the stoners, the fumbling first-timers The jelly legs and anxious elbows of the awkward lovers With no time for the burden of nostalgia Hands full with the ever unfolding hell happening Because it’s always there in the lids of your eyes and at the corners of your mouth The museum-like qualities of your parents house (with butterfly wings pinned to the walls) But I was running past you when you were running past me In these puppet days In these puppet nights In this puppet century I was looking for you while you were looking through me In those puppet days, in those puppet nights In that puppet century I was running past you while you were running past me In these puppet days and these puppet nights In this puppet century.
July 01:37
How you wanna live? Can you conceive of a living wage? Or does it all just sound like something somebody else would say? Even when they talk so calmly They say "There's only a couple of questions we've got to ask." You know the pavement is always hungry For those drops of your blood For that knee in your back Life is so incredibly long Like a kiss on a bridge between two nervous-ass kids Terrified of doing everything wrong Fickle, belligerent, fully existent And I don't wanna talk to all the people in their pickup trucks Moving all their mouths To make it hurt so much You won't get my blood in some apologetic stop-gap gush You'll feel it all at once in a red, raw rush Overworked doctor is smoking in the doorway of the clinic While protesters picket different perspectives of the same prison The peace signs in pictures chucked up by the diminished Mean "Nobody's safe from the law" Cause they don't give a fuck They don't give a fuck about us.
If it’s gonna be a monster movie then make it ugly In the scenes the demons see What scares them the most is the way that no one leaves In a whisper on a front porch “Could you be more? Could you be more for me?” It’s not enough. From a memory of an unclear time When your parents were the only people And the sunlight on your old block And the parking lots where you learned how to get free.
Bad Blood 04:09
Bad blood saturating the sheets and the blankets Good god, there are ghosts floating up from the pavement They flip over the houses, blood runs out from the basements In it's unholy flow You remember this whimpering, thick, nauseous feeling From your step-brother chasing you around with a staple gun when you were young. It was fun and then suddenly pain became a very real thing Do you remember that feeling? Similarly, this isn't fiction. Well, actually mostly it is Or a series of IRL moments cloaked in the vagueness that songs give But when there's nothing to say and you've got to say something Fuck, I don't even know. We pass on the street and say "hi" cause we have to Even though both of us are clearly just like "I FUCKING HATE YOU" So stilted and silent, not awkward just angry Hey I gotta go, but I'll see you at the show It's that song everybody loves, but the lyrics are garbage And it stresses me out how often you're mentioned It's like everyone we know collectively vomited up a pile of brown sweaters or something and were so impressed with the results That they put them on the wall And I'm so sad you're in my head And I'm so sorry it's so venomous Especially because we've got like maybe four or five words ever spoken between us But I can't heave my heart into my mouth I can't tell you I can't stop you I don't want to This first day of school shit just seems to keep happening Everybody says "Man, it's so cool. We're so glad you're doing your own thing!" But worse than disdain is colossal indifference The smiles are so big And there's no one at the gig I'm either deep in the woods or on TV for everyone And I know-- it's disgusting how much I think about myself in relation to nothing The things that aren't gonna stay just aren't gonna stay Like; I was getting a tooth pulled in the free clinic in Portland in 2007 The dentist turned out to be this dude, a drummer whose band I'd recorded, and somehow that was comforting Then the Novocaine block kicked in It closed up my throat and I was ready to go home Maybe once this record comes out then I can stop drinking That might look good on a press release or something If they even still do those, Wait, I'm certain they still do those And then the summer comes and then the fall comes And then the winter comes and then the spring comes And then the summer comes and then the fall comes And then the winter comes and then the spring comes And then the summer comes and then the fall comes And then the winter comes and then the spring comes.
Dreams of limitless light and of an unfading flower While crashed on the cushionless couch In the trashed college house After another series of regrettable hours A collector of faces A thief of ideas A hoarder of hardships And we’re all here Gathered at the table with frozen features Over unopened beers But who are you to tell me how to ruin my meal? And who am I to tell you how you actually feel? In the exhausted bathroom and the insincere kitchen Cryptic admissions seem to be written In the toothpaste smear on a spit-flecked mirror Where your stare returns itself The tightening throat The covered blue boats The failure to pass that 101 class The half-hearted shrug The cum on the rug And the way that they say each other’s names The books on the shelf and the food in the cupboard Are different brands of empty promises A bag of moldy baby carrots sits atop a pile of empty pizza boxes And outside the spike in crime And the clack of skateboard wheels Let us know that spring has finally arrived These complication days, don’t let them stress you out Because everything is exactly the same Just going under a different name now The banishment you’re swallowing has no nutritional value The night has already passed The city has no center That unfading flower and the limitless light And the repeating sound So familiar by now But I say it again because I want you to hear But I say it again because I want you to hear.
Bed Bugs 05:04
Let's stop and talk on a slow street Your guy is cross-eyed and muttering Looks at me like "Now who the fuck is he?" And I tell you, man, I wish that I knew Trash-scavenged mattress and a stuffed bear Bedbugs crawling through your lover's hair You got that thousand yard stare I get itchy just from talking to you Drained hopes sinking with the August sun Floating out on the freshman year beer run It's so hard to have fun But there used to be a way to get through All your amazed days fade But all of the damned dogs they think they've got it made And no matter what you say You know that you are gonna do it anyway Do it anyway Knuckle tattoo says "I H8 2 LIVE" On another dickhead who assures me that I'm just too sensitive You can't tell everybody to fuck off forever Then be mortified when they finally do You had a textbook breakthrough on a shaky plane Seated next to kid, hyperventilating She’s so embarrassed by her dad's use of slang And nobody ever gets to feel cool These days I'm only saying something if I'm swaying That's the only time it doesn't feel like I'm explaining So if you see me and I seem too entertaining I'm not singing, I'm just talking to you But you don't want a funeral unless everybody comes And you don't want to kiss until you're adequately numb And you don't want to speak, not even just to say goodbye Because you don't want to share how you're in shadows all the time And you don't want to think about the people that you knew They're a tug on your sleeve, they're an embarrassment to you Just some bones in the sun, just a decomposing rind Just a sitcom that aired before you were even alive Your friends are full-length mirrors that you pulled out of the garbage Orange juice soaked cotton balls to convince you you're not starving You need somebody to fuck, someone to call when you get down And some people to make wonder why they even stick around Now you don't want to drink, you say it feels just the same as water And you don't actually even like me, I just subconsciously remind you of your father His flannel shirts that smelled like cigarettes and rain And a whole catalog of things that you wish never had to change But it's never been quite like it was when you were a kid Puffy eyes, play fights, bug bites, Jif peanut butter, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, strawberry allergy, beestings All of the people are asleep But tomorrow the punks and the cops will both have to eat And whatever those people say You know that you've got to do it anyway Do it anyway.
Expo '87 02:30
I get so hung up high on expectations I get so sick at restaurants and on family vacations And I leave every situation invariably feeling dumb But you've got to be a little bit dumb Otherwise you never get anything done And you've gotta be kinda hit Otherwise you spend your time smiling entirely too much Wincing while you're waiting For that next soft punch So give up, fuck up, stay out Cause no one's keeping score now This punishment, it doesn't fit But fuck it, we've got it You still know what all the drop-outs know And anybody who's ever lost a tooth It doesn't bring you any closer to the truth, But you do start to recognize things So can you keep your firm belief in those ill-fitting jeans, A burning hatred of the home team and everything that it means Will you go with the mongrels? The deciders? The jelly legs and anxious elbows of the awkward lovers? The unsightly? The sickly? The migraines? Let's puke up the foam from this bottle of champagne Let's ruin this fucking wedding! All these nights are only worth forgetting This conversation; we're so above it. Let's bury it Let's dead that shit!
Doggie 06:57
All summer long Through dazed phases and cold coffee songs All of the time was spent Two glued friends slept on the floor in a strange arrangement All summer long Stumbling numbly around at the mall All of the days, they went No reflections and no requests Just the din of a distant celebration heard through basement walls In a house with all the windows closed Light kept out by black towels And the cold coming down in a soundless noise "Doggie, I love you. I love you." When the sun was gone They ventured out on the lawn and by the post office that was always closed A moonlit and wordless walk towards love at the edge of dissociation Where nothing was wrong And everything could be held In a cloud where you can't touch your friends Just reach out in a voice that says, "New days, please be good to us." Doggie, I love you. I love you.


Even though a small audience of ravenous music fans could cite Fred Thomas as the brains behind Michigan's Saturday Looks Good To Me, even most of those obscurists might have blinked for long enough to miss portions of Thomas' 15 year stretch of constant output with projects as diverse as his aforementioned pop band, experimental noise acts or his own softspoken solo material.

Never settling down for a second, he's spent the last decade-and-a-half flying just beneath the radar of most listeners, but amassing a dedicated grassroots collection of fans, friends, collaborators, and admirers.

Those well acquainted with his anomalous approach to music and anti-networking are never surprised when Fred rolls through town unannounced playing drums in some random touring band or they get an email that says he's just released three new solo records in infinitesimally limited numbers.

So all of this brings us to All Are Saved, technically the eighth Fred Thomas solo album, but the first one many people will get a chance to hear.

The result of over a year of recording, refinement and long-labored sonic sculpting, these eleven tracks are the culmination of everything he's done before, while being a decidedly bold move into brand new territory.

Heavy, poetic lyrics are more spoken than sung, recalling the urgency and straightforwardness of cult bands like The Van Pelt or Life Without Buildings, while each song builds on a patchwork of grainy samples, dreamlike guitar figures and deftly produced clashes of organic instrumentation and vintage synth textures.

Fred's dabblings in melancholic chamber pop (SLGTM), ambient electronics (City Center), jangly but angular guitar playing (Failed Flowers), experimental production and jaw-droppingly confessional lyricism are all distilled into one unflinching statement.

These are the raw nerves of the friendliest guy at the party, spilling out shamelessly naked feelings. It's there in full force on the stream of consciousness protest song from a dream "Cops Don't Care Pt. II," in the venomous bile of "Bad Blood" and in the heartbreaking grief that triggers a continuum of memories on "Every Song Sung To A Dog."

No prior knowledge of Fred's vast resume is necessary, and that's kind of the point; All Are Saved is a singular document that requires no explanation and will immerse you in its strange, heavy beauty.

Painstakingly assembled between Detroit, Michigan and Athens, Georgia, the album features mixing assistance from Drew Vandenburg (of Montreal, Deerhunter) and guest spots from friends in bands like People Get Ready, Radiator Hospital, Known Moons and even a guest backing vocal cameo from Andrew W.K.


released April 7, 2015


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