A Brief Respite From Shooting Fish In A Barrel

by Khalid Hanifi

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credits

released 18 February 2013

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Khalid Hanifi Ann Arbor, Michigan

Over the course of three decades, Khalid Hanifi (Map of the World [Atlantic Records], Kiss Me Screaming, Maypops, and as a solo artist) has built a deeply compelling body of work that combines uniquely thoughtful, personally-charged lyrical content with impeccably crafted, irresistibly infectious melodies. ... more

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Track Name: Free The World To Death
He come a lopin’ up the dusty road with a six gun in his hand
And the certainty of the whitest night ever to cover the land
He says “I’ve searched the wide world, from Carson City to Kandahar
and I don’t know what you call yourselves and I don’t care who you are.
There’s gold in them thar hills!
Or at least some lithium
And you should know I’m serious when I say give me ‘em

I promise you you’re going to love what we’ve brought here for you
One long, slow, soul crushing screw
Democracy, democracy
One size fits all
First get on your belly and crawl

So when you’re ready you can take a vote of all the sheep in your great, big mighty herd
There is so much that you still have got to learn
Democracy, democracy
One size fits all
First get down on your belly and crawl”

He come a limpin’ up the dusty road with a bent ten gallon hat
In his wild eyed delerium he has run out of gas
“Now this Elphinstone... is that on PS3 or Wii?
Sounds like the kind of game that I’ve really got to see
But my joystick’s stuck, that’s just my luck
And I’m out of crystal meth
So why don’t you just run along while I free us all to death

From the Rockies to the Hindu Kush, from Saint Louis to Gandamak
This land is yours, but it’s more mine
And that is just a fact

From Kabul to Yazoo, from the Khyber Pass to Boston, Mass
This land is yours, but it’s more mine
That’s a big stick with my booty sack”
Track Name: The Splendor Of Empire
Extend the area of freedom
From sea to boiling sea to oblivion
Chicago Boys heaving The Brick through La Moneda
Jubilantly skipping down the New Silk Road

The splendor of empire
Fleeing ever forward
A grifter lodestar
Beaming down a resource curse

Every rate of interest is a doubling time
As fast as I might run those golden sacks will outshine
With immunity for distinguished corruption
Indemnified to purloin fortune

There’s class warfare alright
But it’s the rich that’s making war
And they’re winning

Endless war is just a game
Track Name: Black Sight
B52s circle high, but brown people will not comply
They hate us for our freedoms
Such as the freedom to destroy their civilization
They don’t appreciate our noblesse oblige

The logic it is tortuous, but destiny is manifest
Just define the wealth
And prosecute accordingly those who interrupt the speech
Of incorporeal capital

The logic it is torturous, the density is malignant
And powerfully so
What happens in Diego Garcia stays in Diego Garcia
When pigs are flying

Ladies and gentlemen
This has been an extrordinary rendition of empire
Track Name: Rock And Roll Frankenstein
Rock & roll Frankenstein
Shoo be dee do
I’d love to find a way for you to see me
You always seem so fine
I feel so good when I’m in line
Your face is appealing

You know I’ll take the lesser of a sixty/forty split
You go take that honey and wet your fingertips
I’ll lose another one

Rock & roll turpentine
Cleaning her up, just in time, but wait...
Somethings leaking
You always speak so high
I feel so good when I’m behind I race
To see you leaving

You know I’ll take the lesser of a sixty/forty split
You go take that honey and suck your fingertips
I’ll lose another one
Track Name: Whose Idea Was That?
Work and work for less and less
Buy a bit of happiness
Make your point and then digress
Whose idea was that?

Fill your mouth with careful words
Fill your sleep with tweety birds
Fill your soul with perfect turds
Whose idea was that?

Happy paper trails to you
Your boss he likes the things you do
You’ve earned his son a Subaru
Whose idea was that?

Hooray, hooray it’s payday
Once again you’ve earned your way
To work through another holiday
Whose idea was that?
Track Name: Talk To The Invisible Hand
If I might quibble
This invisible hand is vestigal
Though capable of gestures imperial
Dear me, Adam
What of the vile maxim?

Some whispers from a prayer cell seep underneath the headlines

So what’s a little distant infidel blood spilled?

Is that a camp? No!
It’s a city on a hill
Bracing for the disaster of uncertainty

He was just slumming
Jesus plus nothing
Track Name: The Way Business Gets Done
War is still the way that business gets done in the world
And business is very good, in fact it's never been better

When the aegis of the law
Reaches it’s long arm across the sea
To fluff the aegis of the market

Freebootin’ the days away, greeting the natives in my bush beret
Oh what a great, great game!
Track Name: My Latest Trainwreck
I told you there's no need to be alarmed
I've got some principles to keep you from harm
Though I may disregard
Hold tight, my darling, I am invincible
Somewhat invincible
We're yet embarking
Terminally derailed

Permanently, I have a vague fascination with what you say
My latest trainwreck is fanning out across the plain

So much for promises
Not yet begun to fight
Not yet and never might
So much for grievances
Murmured out of sight
Not yet and never might
Both of us charred, parted
Maybe she's texting
I interject

But there's the same hesitation I used to fear
My latest trainwreck is burning and perfectly clear

Cornflake apocalypse on this a brand new morning
Let's kiss instead of yawning
I told you there's no need
No need for principles
I'm a good criminal
We're yet embarking
Permanently derailed

Terminally, I have a vague fascination with what you say
My latest trainwreck is burning out, I walk away
It is the same hesitation
I used to pray
My latest trainwreck is burning out I walk away
Track Name: Hog Futures
This is not a whim I can alter
Campaigning with a chip
On my aching shoulder
No matter now
Because to win is to forfeit
Paying attention how
I got electrical profit

Was that who I think it was?
Holding up downtown from an ethanol bus

We interrupt this program for a word from our disappointed sponsors
Who’ve become unusually pale
With a fitful eye and a smokin' barrel
What’s to become of me now?
I’ve got my eyes on hog futures

Kickin’ back in the slop pen
They’re playing our tune
And bombing Afghanistan
Imagine all the people
Shootin’ up their mutual funds
You could say I’m a dreamer

Was that you? I think it was
Crackin’ up downtown and cuttin’ a rug

We interrupt this program for a word from our disappointed sponsors
Could you help them out somehow
And exercise your apportioned freedom
What’s to become of me now?
I’ve got my eyes on hog futures

Could beat the hell out of suffering
Track Name: Give Them What They Want
I need a long hard hook and I'm ready to fly, gonna stick a needle in my eye
Gonna give them what they want
I'm gonna get it get it ready or not gonna plug it in for a shock
Gonna give them what they want

I want to let you in on a secret or two
I've got a butler to whom I trust my feelings few
And a hundred fine friends I can lay in the mud and beat to death with a club

I took a long hard look and I started to cry then I put a hanky to my eye
Gonna give them what they want
Sell, sell, sell like ringing a bell, like buying tickets out of hell
Gonna give them what they want

I've considered being embarrassed at times,
but I'm so beautiful and I was only trying to help

Was going to tell you but I'm keeping it mum
I want a woman I can keep my feelings from
And a thousand sheep before I close my eyes
Like opening them up for the first time