Sins and Triumphs

by David Clemmer

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'Sins & Triumphs' was recorded (and rerecorded and rerecorded and deleted and rerecorded and reformatted and rearranged) between 2007 and 2014.

It's about one's own apocalypse, one's own personal end of the world.


released August 12, 2014

Written, recorded, mixed, and performed by DC at Rock Fortress Alpha (except, on the limited digital version, 'Stand By Me,' written by King/Lieber/Stoller)

Select arrangements influenced by playing the songs with:
The Dirty Words: Mike Chastain, Scott Page, Aaron Poplin
The Stoics: Prairie Emrich, Kaleb Kelleher, Benjamin Larson, Aaron Miller

Mastered by Martin Mushrush

Prairie Emrich: vocals on '2012'
Leo J & the Mêlée: vocals on '2012,' guitar solo on 'Oh Carmine'
The 'Exit' Choir: Shannon Cramer, Leo J & the Mêlée, Jacob Pfaff, Tom Chelsea, Ivan Plueard, Craig Clemmer, Kurt Wagner, Cedric Clitheroe, Dan Pantenberg, Ryan Newton, Jackie Motzer, Devon Malone, Mike Chastain, Laura Meier, Prairie Emrich, Briana Hinchliffe

Sound FX used from
In 'Marriage': 'Bees' by benboncan, 'Bats' by maxthrower
In 'Building': 'City Noise' by jmbphilmes

Martin Mushrush, Mike Chastain, Ryan Newton, Stephen Weber, John Jenne, Gavin Douglas, Jarryd Hanson, Bryan Calidonna, Brian Peront, Joel Shupack, Mike May, Anthony Tripp, Nate Wheaton, Jeff Carson, Aaron Poplin, Scott Page, Kathy Kerner,Cedric Clitheroe, my family, Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's 'Signal to Noise,' Townshend’s Tea (for fuel, and a place to mix), everyone in the choir...and my Eee (won’t you stand, stand by me)



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David Clemmer Portland, Oregon

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Track Name: The Building
Saw a building pushed down.
That, as they say, was the end of that.
Bricks were lungs and memories were air.
Dust rose and was fanned away.
Ghosts hung in the would-be rooms
like old sheets off the line.
Track Name: Oh Carmine
Oh Carmine, won't you stop your crowin'?
You're keepin' up the baby boys.
They need their sleep for the big tomorrowin'.
Won't you stop for the baby boys?

Oh Levi, won't you stop your listenin'?
Baby girls got secrets to keep.
Not a soul can know that you are listenin'.
So, Levi, pretend you've gone to sleep.

Oh Wendy, won't you stop your whinin'?
Baby will be on your doorstep soon.
Just keep that porch light shinin'.
Baby will be a'knockin' soon.
Track Name: The Marriage of Shadow and Sun
'I am not about to make a pact,'
said one to the other, then attacked.
'I saw you at the old brown house this morn,
came out to water dogs and raze the corn.'

'I tell you that I did you no such ill,'
said the other to the one, then slid downhill.
'The babes were cryin out beyond the reeds.
The quake did shake the earth of all her seeds.'

'Come now, you delicate old leaf,'
said one to the other, then cried, 'Thief!
I did watch your fingers wander hence!
I warn you, br'er, depart this rusted fence!'

'Rest you, now, before you wet the ground,'
said a third to them both, then stumbled down.
'You quarrel at the cross of these four roads.
You know not how this dusty decade bodes.'

By the moon,
the straights of June,
they would soon
grow apart.
'Ingrate!' 'Termagant!'
'Bastard!' 'Tart!'

By the sun,
priest and nun,
load the gun,
save the heart,
geriatric nubile
horse behind the cart.

Here they lie in common ground.

The marriage of the shadow and the sun
was dead before the vows were even done.
And I could not believe what happened next:
the flies bowed low, said, 'You passed the test.'
Track Name: I Took Away a Piece
The wall was disheveled,
a mound to be leveled,
so I took away a piece,
I took away a piece.
The forklift was broken,
berated, mispoken,
so I took away a piece,
I took away a piece.

No glass could be found
in the heart of downtown
cuz I took away a piece,
I took away a piece.
The lists were incomplete,
the music lost the beat,
the butchers had no meat
cuz I took away a piece.

What could be done with me
in a world of tools and employees?
Don't give me what's precious,
don't give me what's real,
just give me aversion to the things I can steal.

The coffins were dusty,
the bulldozers rusty,
so I took away a piece,
I took away a piece.
The pens were all inkless,
the gasses were stinkless,
the kitchens were sinkless,
the steaks were all pinkless
but not one eye went blinkless,
so I took a piece.
Track Name: Refugee
The end is coming fast.
See you the glowing fires?
Starlight infernos trapped by spiders.

The end is coming now.
See you the ebon pools?
Glass plates in the dark and the cool

My boot heels thud in the puddle
as I secede from the raining world.
Hide your fuel for the refugee.
There's nothing here for me.

The world is turning.
I must sojourn and travel
before this web of beings unravels.

This world is burning.
There's blood in my eyes.
There must be somewhere with unspoiled skies.

The road moans in the nighttime
as I drag my bags away.
What a dryness that I feel in me,
as you are veiled in revelry.

Saving every way I go.
Then wash it over gravel.
I see no reason to be.
March over the sunset.
Wish all your flags away.
Here I am climbing what I say.
Track Name: Riot
And the fellas all walk through the mud,
and the women are covered in blood.
Ripped down from the chimneys and nipped in the bud,
ripped down from the chimneys and nipped in the bud.

And they tremble where they make their stand,
and the day turns to milk in their hands,
and the stores in the city are closed by demand,
and the stores in the city are closed.

And they shout, 'We're American, baby, we work for no man!'

And the men who sit down are in bed.
And the men who stand up are all dead.
And the candles are lit now and laid by their heads.
The candles are lit now and laid by their heads.

And the youth without hunger are forcefully fed.
'We're American, baby, we're already dead.'
Track Name: With White Chalk
In a day, I will knock and I'll find you
in your faith and your blood that has signed you
to a noose near a tree
and I'll take you with me
as the dawn gives birth all around you.

Spend an hour every day at a mile clock.
Keep a rent for its fortune with white chalk.
Don't play games, there's no time,
unless you have a dime
to spend away from your unending sidewalk.

To come to with you
is to mark it through
gray seas matching skies
that can't escape your cries.

This old war is a game played by children
who are buried and small in the dog's den.
Hold a pen in your palm,
and make a note clean and calm.
Watch an hour slim the waist of the sullen.
Track Name: Play In the Stream
Red light runners say
time doesn't pay.
Cold steel from the inside
rashly raises the tide.

Cannonballs uproot our toes
from the turf of immortality.
Pack up your valuables,
knowing where we're headed.

Dead leaves skip the pavement
only with the wind.
Subterranean wires
permeate my being.

I can't feel anything,
vicariously dying.
Play in the stream.
Track Name: Abolisher Merciful
Bedizened with your children.
Light the way with your bell.
The grass won't grow when you won't listen.
Kiss to the fontanel.
Before the dark comes.
Before the dark comes.

Daffodils in five windowsills.
A rope in either hand.
The old, the empty rotten pills.
Doctor's sleeping sand.
Before the dark comes.
Before the dark comes.

If you let go, then I let go.
It's as simple as that.
And the water burns while the sleepers yearn
for the chance you're looking at.
Such a mother god.
Such a mother god.
Track Name: Sins and Triumphs
I'm terrified.
The bridge drizzles with headlights.
My steps do not echo.
I can't hear you try.

God shakes at me.
I hang on the chain link.
The train yard stains the riverbanks
light cold, parted lips.

I was wrong.
There's a trigger in my finger every minute.
My chalk makes no mark.
Terrific regrets.

There's a mask of a man.
It's a bird-faced god.
He dances in the starlight
like trees in a thunderstorm.
There's the thunder.

I'm suddenly courageous.

And if I'm away,
I'll be in green mountains.
And if I'm away,
I'll be between stations.

And if I'm away,
I'll still be alive.
And if I'm away,
that's my suicide.
Track Name: 2012
Well I hope that I live past 2012
so I can shelve all my blunders
and maybe shake off hell.
Then I'll delve into a home
abandoned and ruined.
I'll fix it myself,
then I'll move you in.

Well I hope that I live past armageddon
to watch the sun sink in the sea
(quite literally)
and I can keep a better secret in the dark.
I got my coat to beat the storms.
And I got you to keep me warm.

Well I hope that I live past the apocalypse
to watch you breathe in the cold
and touch your frozen fingertips.
Keep heat to keep warm
in this brave new woild.
Make love and make no children
so our private world won't spoil.

We'll be the Adam and Eve that failed.
We'll be the Noah that never sailed.
Track Name: Exit
You see it in the air.
All is cold, delicate.
You see it all the time.
Burdensome, stay inside.

My eyes will never close.
Still and dry, mortified.
My lungs will never stop.
Gray and gone, this beside.

And I walk in line,
my hands in pockets,
never warming,
never warning,
soon is nothing.
And I stand for you,
your scarf is blowing,
moon is waning,
moon is sinking,
keep forgetting.

Where do we go from here?
Sing in snow, all alone.
Where is the midnight held?
Crying out, crying,
time keeps going,
time keeps going.

Come out of the prisons and the hospitals.
Come stand with me, come stand with me.
And we'll sing and dance in the snow at
the stutter of time, the stutter of time.
Everywhere someone's world is ending.
There comes a time for an exit
for all of our entrances are infinite—