Carp 18

Carp 18

BandRockPop

3 chords and the truth, sometimes more chords and less truth.

Biography

Carp 18 was formed in 1991 as bombs fell in Baghdad and the nation was lead by a dude named George Bush. Here it is, 15 years later and Carp 18 is still together, there are still bombs going off in Baghdad and the nation is still lead by a dude named George Bush. Except, and this may be a bit confusing, this is a different George Bush. He looks a little like the original but he's a whole lot dumber and snorted a whole lot more coke. But ... back to Carp 18. The band was originally a Thursday Night Music Club thing, a chance for 3 suburban Husband/Dad-types to chug-a-lug a bit of MGD and rock out on tunes by their beloved musical heroes such as Neil Young, Dylan, the Stones, the Replacements and R.E.M. (to name a few). And did I mention they wrote songs too? Singer/guitarist Joe Fahey had been playing bass and guitar in various cellar-dweller, and, occasionally gigging bands since the late 70s; always careful to stay out of the way of the strobe light. Being a rock star was his backup career plan as he devoted most of his creative energy toward a more secure career as an abstract expressionist painter. Joe had written a few songs while in the Pungent Reflection, a band he formed with Randy Justesen in the mid 80s, they'd been in bands together off and on since about 1978 while living in north Minneapolis, both were troubled teens I believe. The Pungent Reflection later changed their name to the Tangents and began gigging at (gulp) Fernando's on Lake Street. Say ... if anyone's been missing a mic stand from about 1987 or so, you might want to leave a comment on Carp 18's MySpace page, and if you know the whereabouts of a purple, Knut-Koupee guitar cord, feel free to provide that information as well. The last year of the Tangents span was filled with a revolving cast of band members after longtime bassist Hugh Robinson split for North Carolina and drummer Chad Boughten escaped to form Vinegar Madonna. An ad was run in City Pages (the local music and Meth-supporting paper) for a drummer and bass player. Joe received many calls from drummers who talked about Neil Peart quite a bit, but one night, a guy named Paul Schmitt called and they gabbed on the phone for at least an hour like a couple teenage girls from geometry class who shared a crush for an actor name Corey, except in this case, the crush was for a band called the Replacements. Joe was convinced this guy was "The One" even if it were to turn out he couldn't play, but as luck would have it, he could play ... this guy, as Cartman might say, kicked ass. Plus he liked to drink beer and he had a strong work ethic for a little task known as rock & roll. Paul grew up in Stanley, Wisconsin, a small town near Eau Claire where he raced motocross bikes and jammed to Thin Lizzy. His first concert was Brownsville Station at a local county fair who just may have been the gateway drug to AC/DC and the like. He later moved to Brainerd, then landed in the Twin Cities where he joined a band called Rock Bottom. One night, in late August in the Year of Our Lord, 1990, The Tangents were preparing for their big shot at fame. They had signed up for the Minnesota State Fair Talent Show Contest where they actually got to play in "The Bandshell". Unfortunately, the newest Tangents bass player (I'll call him Number 6 to protect his identity) had not returned any calls and it was unknown if he was planning on showing up or if he was still a member. As he walked out the door from the previous week's practice, he said something like "Uhhh, yeah, I think I'll grab my bass amp and bring it home cos, ummm, like uhhhh, yeah, my roommate needs to ... like ... use it as part of a PA for this, ummmm, thing he's got going on." He then scanned the room for spare picks, filled his pockets with what was left of the little, broken pieces of Doritos, grabbed the last can of warm Buckhorn Beer and he was out the door with a little puff of cartoon smoke shooting off the sole of his shoe. Paranoid, yet perceptive, Joe was rumored to have thought to himself "Hmmm, I'll bet I'll never see that fucker again." The clock was ticking toward 5:00 on that fateful summer's eve, the audition time was for 7:34. Joe put a call into The Tangents soundman Dave Helgerson and told him of their dilemma. Joe had wanted Dave in the band for quite some time, but Dave had no experience playing bass and had never even been in a band before. Remember, this is the friggin' Tangents we're talking about here ... a band with a string of Fernandos showcases under their collective belts ... chops essential, no big hair and no egos allowed Man, maybe an occasional "id" but check your ego at the door. They shared a lot of musical interests and had been getting together for acoustic guitar "living room" sessions. It was very natural and it was a good chance to try out original songs that didn't quite fall into the Tangents pop-rock style. Dave was impressed with Joe's new song called "I Ain't Gonna Write a Song About Elvis Presle

Lyrics

Are You Here to Dance?

Written By: Joe Fahey

We used to live up in the Hudson Valley by the Catskills & the Poconos
back then life was so simple, it usually is when youÕre 4 years old
we were peppermint twisters
my brother and my sisters, by that Heathkit stereo
Even chicken pox didnÕt stop us from dancing in that amber glow

On Sunday nights we had those spinning plates, and little Topo Gigio
My cousins were up from Long Island
we watched the biggest of the really big shows
MaxÕs Dad said the goddamn Beatles ruined this country
we can pin that one on France
Just one question ... are you here to dance?

the VanderbiltÕs claw-foot tub looked out of place
on that beautiful green hillside
and that silver river looked as wide as the ocean
you could barely see the other side

there was peace in that peaceful valley and IÕm never gonna let that go
now things have gotten complicated but I love you and I want you to know
as the world gets united, it never felt so divided
leaving very little to chance
just one question, are you here to dance?

Doesn't It Break Your Heart?

Written By: Joe Fahey

we both go into robot mode as we run into each other
exchanging formal pleasantries like some british androidÕs mother
so I straight up ask you if you had any regrets
you just shrug your shoulders and you light your cigarette

doesnÕt it break your heart cuz it sure is breaking mine
doesnÕt it tear you apart IÕm tearing all of the time
all of the time . . . all of the time time . . . all of the time

it was no surprise to see you here, to see you here tonight
so I practiced a little dialogue by the warm, aquarium light
but as those words escaped from the prison in my mind
your searchlight captures every one, through your blue, bionic eyes

doesnÕt it break your heart cuz it sure is breaking mine
doesnÕt it tear you apart IÕm tearing all of the time
all of the time . . . all of the time time . . . all of the time

the lights come on with a crash of glass and I see you in that corner
if yer just playinÕ chicken then our hearts will be the mourners
as you turn your back to face me, I check it for a wind-up key
and you keep walking forward and you donÕt look back to see

doesnÕt it break your heart cuz it sure is breaking mine
doesnÕt it tear you apart IÕm tearing all of the time
doesnÕt it break your heart cuz it sure is breaking mine
doesnÕt it tear you apart IÕm tearing all of the time
all of the time . . . all of the time time . . . all of the time

Early Bird

Written By: Joe Fahey

you came in from the sky with those peripheral eyes
and a conversation or two
orange & pink are the colors that you see when you fly
while the rest of settle for blue

early bird don't you fly away
there's so many people who want you to stay
early bird don't you fly so soon
you got so much to do here and there's plenty of room
don't you fly so soon

near the field where you nest there's a spot you like best
and I'll try to carry it on
as long as there's air, I'll always be there
that's where you and I will get along

early bird don't you fly away
there's so many people who want you to stay
early bird don't you fly so soon
you got so much to do here and there's plenty of room
don't you fly so soon

and when you think you've had enough to see
make another round
'cos you know you're not coming back to me
coming back to me

I can already feel the effect on the wheel
I can sense that you're gone
as long as there's air, you'll always be there
that's where you and I will get along

early bird don't you fly away
there's so many people who want you to stay
early bird don't you fly so soon
you got so much to do here and there's plenty of room
don't you fly so soon

don't you fly so soon
don't you fly so soon
don't you fly so soon

Find Me a River

Written By: Joe Fahey

if I could just get out of this debtor's prison
and clear off what I owe
I'd take it to the land of plenty
and build myself a home

won't you find me a river?
with alabaster shores
escape route to the ocean
to the place I was before

the ghosts that haunt this worn out town
they seem all right sometimes
they're only here for comfort
they paid for all their crimes

won't you find me a river?
with alabaster shores
escape route to the ocean
to the place I was before

so what's up there, past those breakers?
the ones I built myself
I think I could get by there
but I know I'll need your help

won't you find me a river?
with alabaster shores
escape route to the ocean
to the place I was before
won't you find me a river?
with alabaster shores
escape route to the ocean
to the place I was before

Blue Highway

Written By: Joe Fahey

if I drink too much donÕt you show me no concern
you can try and teach me proper ways but I just donÕt care to learn
you can hide my truck and say Ògood luckÓ and I wonÕt give a damn
Ôcos my soul has been exhausted and my heartÕs a broken cam

blue highway gonna take me home tonight
gonna bring me to my doorstep gonna find my way alright
blue highway give me less and never more
but thatÕs alright cos IÕve seen this road before

If I smoke too much donÕt you worry another day
I got my favorite doctor and says thatÕs itÕs ok
he might be wrong I might have long but least I get to drive
on the blue lines of the road map thatÕs where I feel alive

blue highway gonna take me home tonight
gonna bring me to my doorstep gonna find my way alright
blue highway give me less and never more
but thatÕs alright cos IÕve seen this road before

I got my favorite nightspot itÕs in the middle of nowhere
all the girls are friendly and they donÕt know what to wear
the old jukebox is all that talks when thatÕs all I wanna hear
and the blenderÕs always dusty Ôcos all they serve is beer

blue highway gonna take me home tonight
gonna bring me to my doorstep gonna find my way alright
blue highway give me less and never more
but thatÕs alright cos IÕve seen this road before
blue highway gonna take me home tonight
gonna bring me to my doorstep gonna find my way alright
blue highway give me less and never more
but thatÕs alright cos IÕve seen this road before

Muscle Car Blues (Tell Me Another)

Written By: Joe Fahey

it was the motor trend mag car of the year in 1965
now it's up on concrete blocks, in the backyard of your mind
i got 15 minutes of freedom left on this time clock break
my television's broke, and man, i need the escape

oooh, tell me another
oooh, tell me another
tale from your fictional past
when the girls were easy and the cars were fast
and 25 cents bought you a gallon of gas

it had 375 detroit horses, 400 pounds of torque
396 cubic inches to prove you weren't a dork
did zero to 60 in 6.7, 12.2-quarter mile
and when you passed by those blurry girls you could see their blurry smiles

oooh, tell me another
oooh, tell me another
tale from your fictional past
when the girls were easy and the cars were fast
and 25 cents bought you a gallon of gas

fix it again tony, found on road dead
these acronyms for mechanical failure seem to echo through your head
gonna flood that engine, gonna make her drown
this must be your 19th viscosity breakdown

had impact extruded pistons, molybdenum coated rings
posi traction and 4-bolt mains and some other technical things
had a high-lift, long-duration cam that could keep it up all night
and when you squawked 'em in second gear, everything just worked out right

oooh, tell me another
oooh, tell me another
tale from your fictional past
when the girls were easy and the cars were fast
and 25 cents bought you a gallon of gas

Any Given Tuesday

Written By: Joe Fahey

the coliseum's empty, the lions beat the christians 8 to 3
and I'm out on my 3-season porch staring face to wicked face with season 3
my confidence is shattered yeah, my nerves are shot, got titanium for knees
like some testironic miss havisham, I'm forced to live my life vicariously

well, people think that I'm aimless
that I should be doing something better with my time
well they just don't understand the rush
on any given tuesday
any given tuesday

the water tower stands just a beacon against that blue, suburban sky
and those soccer moms look so reubenesque
with their cell phones and their folding chairs and thighs
well we got a game plan yeah, yeah and we're gonna, gonna squeak by
and those terrorists will never understand how that kentucky bluegrass can make you feel so ... high

well some people say that I'm just over the hill
that I should organize my tools or just take a chill pill
they just don't understand the simple thrill
on any given tuesday
any given tuesday

as I watch those xerox copies out on the big green making all our dreams come true
I think about america, and how I love her too
'cos we got a plan yeah, well yeah and we're gonna come through
and victory is in our blood and we'll spill it all for freedom, luxury and truth

well people say that I'm over the hill
that I should take up rock tumbling or just take that chill pill
but they just don't understand the simple thrill
on any given tuesday
any given tuesday
any given tuesday
any given tuesday

The Best of Nothing

Written By: Joe Fahey

sittinÕ Ôround on friday night
never thought itÕd happen but the weekÕs just got to me lately
the things in life that were important to me
canÕt be exchanged Ôcos theyÕre absolutely free and theyÕre waiting

you take the best of nothing
and you turn it around
you bring it around to see
you say itÕs nothing
but it looks like gold to me

everytime the day is done
I wanna run away to london or roam down the highway
but I gotta stay to get up the next day
I know it sounds depressing but sometimes itÕs just that way

you take the best of nothing
and you turn it around
you bring it around to see
you say itÕs nothing
but it looks like gold to me
youÕre always saying itÕs nothing
that the best things in life should be free
you say itÕs nothing but it looks like gold to me

about the time you lose your last friend
youÕre a billable commodity, a strong individual with a label
take me inside where cubism rules
poetry is read instead of nightly news, I must be dreaming

you take the best of nothing
and you turn it around
you bring it around to see
youÕre like a wizard of emotional alchemy
youÕre always saying itÕs nothing
that the best things in life should be free
you say itÕs nothing
but it looks like gold to me

Electric Coffee

Written By: Joe Fahey

they say there's an eye in this hurricane
but it don't look calm to me
someone's put a reflecting pool
in place of a raging sea
those waves are gone
they're not coming back
they're nowhere to be seen
but I can hear them in the distance
or somewhere in between

electric coffee in the morning
well helen where are you now?
seems you left without a warning
well helen where are you now?

before you left you gave it up
you revealed yourself to see
you finally left your game down
and you let yourself run free
now you're gone
you're not coming back
you're nowhere to be seen
but I can hear you in the distance
or somewhere in between

electric coffee in the morning
well helen where are you now?
seems you left without a warning
well helen where are you now?

electric coffee in the morning
well helen where are you now?
seems you left without a warning
well helen where are you now?

Her Own Weather

Written By: Joe Fahey

even the dog's beginning to catch on about you
the damage is left in the places you leave behind
how could this happen in every life that you run to?
you can't blame the world, it must be something inside you

she makes her own weather
you can't put her down for trying to make her life a little better

even the light refuses to illuminate you
the crowd stands around but that's just in their nature
some days you hurt, some days you feel the warm breeze
sometimes you wonder if the stars are as light as a feather

she makes her own weather
you can't put her down for trying to make her life a little better
she makes her own weather
if you're gonna go down, you might was well go together

pour me a tall one and show me to the nearest shelter
plaster the cracks in my heart and we'll stake out a corner
crank the victrola, look for songs with duplicate titles
lend me a rhyme and I'll owe you for the rest of the weekend

there's a dark cloud moving down
the crooked hallway
you can't get around
only end up doing things your way

she makes her own weather
you can't put her down for trying to make her life a little better
she makes her own weather
if you're gonna go down, you might was well go together

Discography

Russian Racehorse (1997)
bug rump (2006)
Tote Bag (2006)

Set List

We usually play 10-12 songs in a 45 minute set. We can play for 3-6 hours if required. Covers include songs by Neil Young, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, etc.