Beverages + Ghosts

by The Monologue Bombs

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Debut album from 2007. Recorded direct with almost no overdubs.


released July 3, 2007

All songs written, arranged and performed by Scott Phillips. Recorded by Greg Elkins at Pershing Hill Sound. Copyright 2007 Job Or No Job Music.



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The Monologue Bombs Raleigh, North Carolina

(Mostly) solo musical wanderings of Scott Phillips (from Raleigh's Goner).

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Track Name: December '83
They buried you in rayon and Thriller stuck in my head. I held together for a couple hours, then broke down behind a plastic flower bed. This kid I hated was crying, too, an embarrassment of Oxford threads. I would’ve held him in my doughy arms, but I wasn’t so strong yet. No, I wasn’t so strong yet. Next morning on the paper route, forehead smeared with grey, left shoulder glowing pain. “The worth of a dollar,” you’d say. Ma took us out for a dozen and the snow started falling steady. It would take us years to know, but we were stronger already. We were stronger already.
Track Name: Chino's Song
That April night by the river out behind your mother’s house, we were dripping dry and the wind was full alive with coffee blossoms. We danced beneath the leaves, all alone with tired feet. Weary eyes, aching bones, but home. The memory of your skin, I block it out. It comes back in. Laughter sang. Luna shone. We were home. I shuffled up to you ‘cross cracked kitchen tiles. You sat on the counter, just transmitting smiles over to me. We walked to the front stoop, blushed and sublime. In the cinch of a whisper, I missed the speck of time where the kiss should be. I just couldn’t see. And I saw your gringo down, snapping his fingers ‘round, white as pictures of Jesus. And his charming New York stammers, and your smile an inch from his, and the thunderhead’s a song. Your fire escape’s empty. I look up from the stones. Your lights are on, shadows long.
Are you home? It’s a dirty little island. Liquor signs and neon drones find us here, Corazon, far from home. The sirens are wailing. The alley’s cut with light. There’s broken boys and switchblades giving up the fight. It’s a desolate night. Maria, they’ll find me wherever I hide. They’ll bruise me at the station, but I’ll just shut my eyes. We’re by the river. We’re dripping dry that April night. The most beautiful sound I ever heard: home.
Track Name: Jason's Song
My name is Jason Weaver. I’m 25. I deliver mostly to campus. Five nights a week I drive. I used to go to school here, but I lost it along the way. I dropped out in December and took this job in May. Well, I met me a little townie girl in a coffee bar on the strip. She was reading a book I could recognize, Camel Light dangling from her lips. I said, “Ma’am, I read that book once and Lord knows I should read it again.” She pointed at the chair beside her and that’s how it began. That night we danced at the Lazy Star, to some watered-down covers band. Her breath was sweet with sour mix as I held her calloused hand. I tried to stare straight back at her without shaking too bad. The first decent all-nighter I think I ever had. Well we moved in together in August, after her 18th birthday. I settled down to four nights of driving so I wouldn’t be so often away. Nights we were both off, we’d order Chinese and fall asleep in a tangle on the couch. There was time for kissing in the morning, but time was running out. Cause one day she got her an offer from a school down Texas way. It was a full ride and she was gonna take it, and she said, “Jason I think you should stay.” Now I’d never cried and made love at the same time and I guess I’ll never do it again. But that night, when I said I’d pull out I made myself stay in. We were dancing at the Lazy Star, to some watered-down covers band. That was the best all-nighter I think I ever had. Well tonight I’m not even working, but I’m driving around anyway. Past the dorms and sports bars and big box stores, there’s a silent bridge over the highway. I watch the cars pass and every bottle I kill, I let it fall to the ground. So many drivers, all with a reason for sticking around. Her breath, so sweet with sour mix as I held her calloused hand. That was the last all-nighter I think I’ll ever have.
Track Name: Mustn't Touch
Becky Red wears her buttons tight, cowgirl boots and the stockings white. She got misdemeanor legs and criminal hips, spreads the filthy glycerin smiling ‘cross her lips but I mustn’t. But I mustn’t touch. Café rat sad sipping on syrup. Good geezer, cheap cheer-up. Temples bleeding aspirin, a pint glass full of sweat. Becky Red’s neck tastes just like sandalwood I bet. In my dreams, we’re down at the well, holding hands and locking eyes. Shifting the shapes in the small of her back as she whispers my name to the sky. She’s made me less than human, but I’ve done the same to her. Let’s hitch up the stakes just a little bit more. All this demonizing, humidity’s rising, can almost suck the salt off her shore.
Track Name: The Night You Were Conceived
He got off work early, pit stopped for a rose. She was sweeping linoleum in
apartment clothes. She smiled at the pedals, wiped the sweat off her brow. “Let’s get the hell out of here now.” He faked a Chinese accent just to hear her muffle a laugh. The chopsticks fumbled, the sweet green tea. The Friday night cars rushing past, full of letter jacket kids late for the half time show. “That was us just a few years ago. Honey, that was us just a short while ago.” She lay beneath the covers like a late Christmas gift. “We should get a house on the west side. I should take an extra shift.” The moon a milky halo, how gentle it shone. She said, “I’m not sure, but I think we’re home. I’m not sure, but I think we’re home. I’m not sure.”
Track Name: Floaters + Empties
Crooked smile and tasted teeth, and you’re singed eyes, singing Slanted & Enchanted to each other in the dark. And streetlamp light was all we were drinking. So as the tendons flex behind the brooms of every town’s restaurant floors, your shirt barely fits. And your ghost says forget me but I keep on remembering more. The mud on my jeans still won’t come clean and the sink is full of floaters and empties. A couch-length away and closing in, sometimes I wish you’d never even met me. Up against the cushions and breathing every pore, I’m such a goner sometimes. Ice on the tarpaulin and you took half my coat, our finest hour up before we knew it was fine. I can’t heal blisters, so don’t even ask. Don’t take me to task with a mile marker passed and a burgundy bottle. You say, “Let’s give it a rest.” So now I’m moving backward, using half my breath. Well the mud on my jeans will never come clean and the house is filled with floaters and empties. An armrest away and closing in, sometime I wish you’d never even met me. We’re so done for, darling Nikki.
Track Name: Corner Lights
Jessica stands in barely a shirt and sugar jeans, flirting with Billy the clerk. “What’s you name?” “Oh, no, I asked you first.” It’s a humid June and tonight it almost hurts. Somewhere between work and work’s recovery, sometime between the sweating and the sleep, sundown makes a promise that midnight might not keep. Jessica’s done Story Road before, the drama, the double shots. Billy’s known some dirty rendezvous in amber parking lots. The neon’s kicking in. The jasmine’s in the air. Some knuckles brush a knee and linger there. Burning muscles, deeper breaths, blurring vision, ignored regrets, eyebrows ascending. Is anybody tired yet? From the corner lights, little stars that never fall. Shining down on the town that’s got us all drinking rivers, kissing shadows, raging ‘til the break of day. Young and warm and reeling out and fading straight away. Jessica reaches down and grabs a balled-up shirt. Would Billy like to grab a shower first? She gets sucked in by the rushing blue motorway. He goes to the mirror and picks out his strands of grey. Two matchbooks in front of four red eyes. 14 digits, two nice tries. Is it back to all the old reliable lies, updated and revised? For the corner lights, little stars that never fall. And we’re fading still today. Jessica ashes alone and shakily exhales. It’s fear of success, and it never fails. She gives up. She gets up. She heads for the door as Billy walks in. They look at each other a moment and laugh, and then…
Track Name: Shadow Tagger
You should’ve seen us that Monday, closing up the store, when we first found out you were gone. Well, we couldn’t do nothing except huddle on the porch and drink ourselves into the dawn. You should’ve seen us that summer as we all, one by one, went to pieces over stupid love songs. And the candles grew dimmer and the gin lost its taste, so we took a deep breath and held on. I remember smelling your hairline and you smiling into my cheek in the last booth at the Lazy Star. Last night I walked past there on my way home from work. It’s just plywood now. It’s the ghost of a bar. You should see me these days, girl. I’m in bed by twelve and praying at the break of the day. I’m still shouting down the patrons. I’m still cutting through the wires. It’s really not as bad as they say, as long as you keep cooling my shoulders. Keep pushing me on. Keep tagging my shadow. Sweetheart, so long. Thanks for sweating beside me and for that Christmas kiss. Thanks for laughing my ass off on a couch. And when I wake up in the morning and stare down the alarm, thanks for shocking me up and shoving me out. Please keep cooling my shoulders.
Track Name: Todd + The Halloween Girl
For the first time in forever, Todd’s feeling lucky. He’s winking at the stars, scraping sugar off the streets. The branches above his headphones conspire to sing. Every so often, Autumn’s forever and sweet. They’ll tell you those days are long gone, but their bitter hearts are wrong. The air is full of necking songs. Sing along. She’ll be licking her liar’s lips under a streetlight. She’ll be mixing Purple Rain and Maker’s Mark. Smoothing her blue plaid cotton, the worse for what she wears. Where’s my partner? Where’s my tango in the dark? Bass drums up, red lights down, fake blood dripping from the side of her mouth. She was a demon schoolgirl, fresh from KC. He kept mugging and grinning and trying to play it crazy, when skinny Billy walked in and dropped a couple references. And the Halloween Girl was batting all eyelashes. Billy had her in the roses, had her in the tiki flames. Todd walked to the keg line, hung his head in shame. And he cursed his town so cruel, and himself for playing a fool. And he swore he’d never kid himself again. Never again. About a week later, Todd’s drinking coffee down at the Cobalt. Someone puts Sinatra on the stereo. For the first time in about a week, Todd feels lucky, cause the counter girl smiles right at him slow.
Track Name: Oh Holy Night
The night after Christmas, the space heater toasting your flannels and fingerless gloves. With Brooklyn impending, we talked until four. Proximity sobered us up. You said he’s not good at planning your weekends together. He sputters. He sours. He flakes.
Between that and rubbing our elbows together, we hazarded countless mistakes. Cancel the snow. Drop out the strings. You and I don’t owe each other a thing. Clinging like children, warm, close and trembling. Our breathing kept time as we swayed. The floorboards an ocean, thick, black and threatening to swallow us under the waves. A moment can chase you down your whole life.