Hunting Season

by Tom Jessen

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released July 27, 2015

TJ - Vocals, guitar, various keyboards, some percussion
Randall Davis - guitars
John Svec - bass
Jim Viner - drums, percussion
Brook Hoover - lead guitar on "Bootstraps"
Brian Cooper - drums on "Pump Pump" and "Look At Me"
Eric Griffin - drums on "USA" and percussion throughout
Eric Straumanis - guitar and bass on "USA"
David Zollo - organ on "Just Can't See It"



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Tom Jessen Temple, Maine

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Track Name: Pepper Spray
I saw the crowds, I saw them shouting them down.
Chanting "shame on you, shame on you!"
Cops had hands on night sticks with nervous looks behind plastic
facing an army of cell phone camera crews

It makes you want to curse, setting off vibrations in the universe
with a shock wave slapping the stupid senseless
But I've got a paralysis of heart, hesitating to jump start
under the weight of it all seeming useless

Pepper Spray from a top down "OK"
Just give the word and this embarrassment will go away
It's a goddamn election year,
the media will jump on this like a horsefly on a steer
and I need it gone!

The cops traded in their blues and their citation pads
for training in military tactics, swat teams and battering rams
tell them their fighting a war, fit them with military drag
and they'll raid your house, shoot your dog, and bust you for a dime bag

Now it's force first, 'cause there's no consequences for using it
they'll taser you to comply and arrest you for dissent
when the public gets violent everybody says they were out of their minds
when the state gets violent we accept it as justified

Pepper Spray from a top down "OK"
just give the word and this embarrassment will go away
If you build it they will come
gives our constituents jobs and it gives cops M16 guns

Will you comply? Will you comply?
You have the freedom to do as we tell you
Track Name: Pump Pump
Well I know it's late and you might be tired
But you gotta come over and watch us light the water on fire
Damnedest thing, it does it every time
the water burns better than gasoline

We all watched we they drilled a big hole in the ground
they took the water up top and shot a shitload of it on down
and just for that they gave us a huge pile of cash
but we've gone through all of it
on veterinarian and medical bills

Don't know what we're gonna do now
can't sell this land, can't sell this house
yeah the suits sing,
pump pump, quake quake
Just think of all the money that we're going to make
Pump Pump, quake quake
Just think of all the money that we're going to make

It's going to create jobs that's their usually answer
they give you the job and the water gives you cancer
and a study paid for by the industry claims everything is safe
as safe as far as they can see

You got no money you got no voice
while black briefcases grease those DC boys

Pump Pump, quake quake
just think of all the money that we're going to make
Drill baby drill, drill baby drill
there's gold just sitting there in the shale
Track Name: Just Can't See It
They just can't see it approaching the precipice
burying the needle like they know the address
top down with a megaphone
they're so sure this road is leading us toward the horizon
They're waving the flag and laying on the horn
dodging potholes throughout this consumer wasteland

Keep burying those spent rods in the ground
until the plate shifts and causes the effects we see now
engorged smokestacks seeding the sky
while evacuating waste in a river going by

From the sky the cities look like growing malignancies
It's coming around what goes around
it's going to take us all out at the knees

Can't sustain much longer, the gilded and the squalor
like rolling bubbles of mercury
consolidating into a ruling entity
now the money's got the wheel
and we're all looking at each other not believing that this is real
the parts are snapping off under the speed
what was once crucial pieces are now just debris

How'd you expect anything more
thinking freedom was at the store
packaged under the guise of need
at what cultural cost do we put our faith
in exponentially growing technology

Yeah they just can't see it approaching the precipice
burying the needle like they know the address

Yeah they just can't see it
Track Name: Dignity
You got my prayers and my blessings too
that is until you're born
after that, it's sayonara
adios kid, you're on your own

Well were very concerned in the first, second and third
like the church tells us we should be
you got the right to life, just not the right to live
with some pride and dignity

You can pursue happiness all you want
but nobody owes you a dime
well I know you were dealt with a shitty hand
but please tell me how that problem is mine

Well we love to talk just don't make us walk the walk
I'd really hate to give up all my stuff
we import all our views and neglect beatitudes
but isn't going to church on Sunday enough?

Where's your protection now
as our kids step out on foreign ground
getting blown away for corporate gain?
They got ripped from their homes while young and barely formed
now the dignity of human life in a body bag
Track Name: The Last Page
The spill killed everything in the ocean
people don't go on vacation there no more
all the locals lost their jobs
but picked up work cleaning up their own shores
cut to a suit occupied on a cell phone
he presents a finger to someone who wants a word
he saying something about damage control
and how to spin it to come out clean afterward

Why are we still waiting to see how this ends
demoralizing how it happens again and again
be prepared when you flip to the last page
that narrates bound to fill you with rage

They buried PCBs right over there in that field
and then dropped it in the water and poisoned the creek
they paid off the victims to make them go away
when it's a fraction of the profits they'll make in a week
you get dizzy if you stare at that revolving door
they come out get a job and are sent right back in
favors and cash for the government whores
people lose, Monsanto wins

They take your pension and your 401k
tell you you can make money from money an easy way
they just shrug after gambling it all away
while getting millions in bonuses on top of a raise
authority does nothing but placate
we get a dose of strong rhetoric and compromised spines
keep waiting for the masses to find their legs
and wield pitchforks and torches and take out this frankenstein
Track Name: Every Day Here
Some dude shot a kid on a skating rink
as he was gliding across the ice
Left a big pool of red on the white
now they think the kid's going to be paralyzed
Nowhere left it can't happen
Nowhere now they won't go
Nobody knows why but they're saying it was over a coat
This kind of thing happens every day here

late one night a 19 year old black girl had a car accident
in an all white neighborhood
She got out of the car disoriented
her forehead sprung little rivers of blood
Cell phone was dead, she wandered up to a house,
knocked on the door
white man inside shot her in the face
because he thought she was a burglar
This kind of thing happens every day here

Another week and it will all be gone
then another thing demands your fleeting attention
Another week and it will all be gone
Then it's another headline, another gun

12 year old found a 9mm above the fridge
and brought it to school
an hour and a half later a teacher who made it trough Afghanistan
lay in a bloody pool
in another story i saw a 14 year old shot his 17 year old sister
later came out he did because when she was doing the laundry
she bleached his shirt
This kind of thing happens every day here

Couple out for a rare date night in a movie theater
they rearranged their schedule
and got the 2 year old a baby sitter
retired police chief sat behind them annoyed
eventually got enraged
texting during the previews now
apparently gets you blown away
this kind of thing happens every day here
Track Name: Look At Me
Look at me, Look at me
please comment on what you see
what you see, what you see
but only say the good things please

snap a photo, post it up
look past the way that it all corrupts

would you do that if I was standing there?
what would you read from my face?
would you say those things if you saw them hit my ears?
or would you hide behind the wall of cyberspace?

Everybody's voice like white noise
it made everybody a star
it made you think you're important
but even big brother doesn't care who are

Privacy lost it's luxury
thrown away on some sad latent need
Track Name: Bootstraps
White folks slinging slurs from their lips
they can't figure out what the hell these peoples problem is
they say they're just lazy, violent and they're all on crack
why can't they pull themselves up by the bootstraps
hard when your second hand shoes are blown out
start in a hole with no way to get out

Ain't got no daddy to give them a job
ain't got no connections from a country club
school's are all closing in the neighborhood
got passed over on a raffle to attend the ones that are good
watching from the outside everybody living their life
start in the dark with no lantern to light

They keep driving this belief that cannot yield
while tearing up the grass on their equal playing field
the game is rigged and the players have been picked
to the point where effort is benched and seems almost pointless

Maybe there's a reason, maybe there's a cause
at least a quiet understanding that might give you pause
you can bounce around your house, affirm your beliefs
when there's wide open spaces seen from the streets
put on your shoes and catch a different kind of scene
you might just appreciate something that you see

They keep driving this belief that cannot yield
while tearing up the grass on their equal playing field
the game is rigged and the players have been picked
to the point where effort is spent and seems almost pointless

White folks slinging slurs from their lips
they can't figure out what the hell these peoples problem is
They live on food stamps I pay for from my federal tax
why can't they pull themselves up by the bootstraps
I've earned everything that's come to me
give 'em an inch and we'll end up the minority
Track Name: I'll Now Take a Few Questions
Thank you all for coming
I'll now take few questions

Well I think it's important to say
it's imperative some rules be put into place
if not we're going to quickly see this whole thing
plunge into chaos and mayhem
well the killing should be done in a manner that's fair
I think everyone here will agree
We'd rather not think of it as violence
but more along the lines of a duty
as they say, "killing them softly"

Well I suppose you are taking away
everything they are and will be
but let's be clear this should be done humanely
we can't have inappropriate means
introduced in this killing spree
we're not monsters we're Christians defending democracy

It's unfair to wear an enemy's uniform
it's confusing knowing who to take out
biological warfare is strictly forbidding
but feel free to use nukes throughout
Well we ask you to adhere to the various rules
because failure to comply
may lead to harsh penalization
and a possible fair trial
of course, we'll excuse ourselves
Track Name: Eye Opener
Time will pepper you with punches
and knock the lies right out of you
leaving the canvas riddled with the myths of the green
they'll have to carry you from the ring
with your feet dragging
knowing you can't speak of what you've seen
They have an instinct of what you'll say
so they turn and look away
like something else caught their attention
with a desperate faith they try and prop it up in its place
these Rube Goldberg conventions

Why would you question the route
stuffed between walls of shoots
like bovine shuffling in line
you might take the time to consider
even though the pills bitter
the spot on your vision that's blind
I got no solution
but to know it's a delusion
hope being just the great wishful lie
it's some scary dark shit
confronting only the present
with dead batteries in your flashlight

And I don't know what to feel
after the last myth falls
when there's fuck-all behind it to fall back on
now I'm out on the skirts
wondering what's worse

you can starve on the food of solitude
dismantle the bad as well as the good
try balance on thin air or what's really there
then wave and kiss yourself goodbye
Track Name: Blowback
we want you to have the freedom to choose your own way
as long as it looks exactly like the American way
we'll prop up a puppet we'll make sure we choose the best man
For support he'll gladly welcome us
to take the natural resources from your hand

today our ally tomorrow we'll see
just depends on how the Dow Jones runs
we'll help you shock and awe your economy
and assist in crushing dissent when it comes

it's our mission to spread democracy
but it helps if you have something we need
if you don't you're shit out of luck
we can't get wrapped up in your atrocities

Be prepared for attack
Track Name: Made in the USA
It's putting food on someone's table
proudly made in the USA
put to use in other countries
producing our enemies straightaway
not much in the way of detective work
stenciled right there on the casing
when you don't know who dropped it in your dirt
you're gonna blame the guy who made it

Mental concussive blast
dirty bombs from the chest
looking to take out their rage
made in the USA

Their labor takes out someone's daughter
it pays for theirs to go to school
they don't think about what it's for
throwing away their money on the football pool
assembly lines produce resentment
factories sowing revenge and rage
as long as they keep making them
it secures the reason for why their made

silent drones float in other countries
behind clouds in the sky
some pilot in California on the handles
dismembers kids and widows the wives

they want to call it incidental
it's just a shrug from the brass
then they look on dumbfounded
when they see them burning effigies and American flags
they want to escalate the effort
wipe 'em out to the core
for every one combatant killed
it creates four more