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Comedy Minus One

Unreliable Narrator

by the rutabega

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    Black vinyl edition of The Rutabega's "Unreliable Narrator." Album is housed in a tip-on Stoughton sleeve with gorgeous full-color Jay Ryan cover art. Limited to 500 copies.

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1.
i don't need no final motivation to make me feel weird to make me feel inferior i don't need no extra indication to make me feel sad to make me feel interior i don't need no grand declaration to make me feel near to make me feel ulterior and all I wanna do is sit down right beside of u stare into the sky pretend that we don't wanna die i don't need no shiny destination to make me feel safe to make me feel superior i don't need no baptist complication to make me feel queer to make me feel super queer and all I wanna do is sit down right beside of u stare into the sky pretend that we don't wanna die all I wanna see are eyes that might believe in me and stare into my soul maybe you don't wanna go away
2.
Settle Down 02:48
i'm shaking in my skin i feel it all begin i can't believe i get to be here with you i'm always half asleep and all my dreams are cheap i can't believe I get to be here with you now i wanna settle down with you i can't settle down we're in the seventies i feel it in my knees i can't believe i get to be here with you this is our last night everything black and white i can't believe i get to be here with you now i wanna settle down with you i can't settle down the roads don't end i'll wait for you again no matter what form you take i'll be yours the roads don't end i'll wait for you again no matter what form you take i'll be yours i'll be yours again
3.
solve my problems still i wonder how i will begin i will begin new school brought on new fears and i wonder how i will begin i will begin i know we don't ever get to jump on trampolines or skateboard or tinker w guitars anymore
4.
Lip 09:19
i'm not getting to it here right up to the lip i'm here and i'm scared it's an empty world without you here i'm not getting to it right up to the lip calm or hallow call your shadow in the empty world without you here i'm not getting to it right up to the lip so long sad guy
5.
trees fall when there's no one around their shadows pull away from the ground and the air like they were never there fields fall till they're under the earth you never were aware of your worth was it fair? were you even there? they want you little brittle breaking like bread did you hear what i said? seeds fall will they question it all? excessive to the point that you call it and hide plant a garden inside they want you little brittle breaking like bread did you hear what i said? they want you bending the neurons ending in your head till you're stuck in your bed
6.
clad in silver armour bending the sword is rending the sword is aloft sky blue wings weighed down with the guilt the saint is sinking the saint is serene sandaled foot on my back the stars are aligned and wilting fast terrible eyes staring flat the story is broken and it is almost time the saint is sleeping the saint is alive sandaled foot on my back the stars are aligned and wilting fast terrible eyes staring flat the story is broken and it is almost time it's almost time
7.
i thought perhaps that our farewell dance would include a flash of grace from the brief exposure to the peril of fake the wind blows and you know it's wrong they have created all the gleaming boys and girls the three of us laugh as we stare into past i tore you out from the page from the book from the tropics of doubt the wind blows and you know it's wrong they have created all the gleaming boys the wind blows and you know it's wrong they have created all the gleaming boys and girls i won't be silent this town can take us or we will leave the wind blows and you know it's wrong they have created all the gleaming boys the wind blows a willow strong they have created all the gleaming boys and girls
8.
when you settle on sorrow and sell it to your friends when you look for tomorrow through the wrong side of the lens i want to stay here so long i've been the armour now i'm guarding no one how we are hidden in the shadows and locked behind the fence when you settle on sorrow and sell it to your friends when you look for tomorrow through the wrong side of the lens so many things to be sorry for and i'm so sorry so many things to be sorry for all the organs i've donated and the keyboards that i've wasted my metronome is inflamed my metronome is inflamed

about

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all songs performed by Joshua Hensley and Garth Mason

Emily Trimboli-Hensley: vocals on 1, 3 & 6
John Hastie: vocals on 1
John Barlow: lap steel on 6
Billie Howard & Brendan Finucane: strings on 7, recorded by Farsheed Hamidi-Toosi
Jared Myers: additional lyrics on 8
mastered & lacquers cut by Carl Saff
cover by Jay Ryan
additional design and layout by Nathaniel F. Trimboli

for Emily & Nikki

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South Bend, Indiana‘s The Rutabega - singer-songwriter-guitarist Josh Hensley and drummer Garth Mason - make some of the fullest, brightest sounds ever generated by just two people, weaving punchy, short pop songs and sweeping, ten-minute epics together seamlessly. The first time I saw The Rutabega they were feeling every note of every song, and the crowd was right there with them — teary-eyed from the emotional weight of the material, yet smiling from the joy with which Hensley and Mason delivered it. This is music with serious healing qualities; fitting, then, that one of the highlights of that set — and the pair’s monumental 2013 full-band debut Brother the Lights Don’t Work — was a song called “The Shaman.”

Hensley started the Rutabega as a solo project almost 15 years ago, learning his way around a four-track while listening to a lot of Neutral Milk Hotel, Guided by Voices and Jeremy Enigk from Sunny Day Real Estate’s Return of the Frog Queen. He gained exposure from a split 12” EP with Owen, Mike Kinsella from American Football’s singer-songwriter project, on venerable Midwest emo clearinghouse Polyvinyl Records. But it wasn’t until Hensley hooked up with Mason in 2011 - a jack-of-all-trades who besides playing drums, plays auxiliary keys, records all the songs at home and runs live sound at the shows - that the Rutabega as we now know it came to be.

An eight-song cycle written for a wayward friend, Brother garnered comparisons to Built to Spill for its guitar heroics, Elliott Smith for its unfiltered emotion and Big Star for its pop sensibility. They have since sold out of three pressings of the self-released LP and toured to both the East and West Coasts, sharing bills with a range of household names from Low to Kurt Vile and Ben Folds.

The Rutabega’s Comedy Minus One debut Unreliable Narrator reprises the track-sequencing strategy that worked so well on Brother — short songs leading off both sides, longer ones ending them — and there are callbacks, lyrically and sonically. The ultra-catchy “Problem Solving Skills” finds Hensley continuing to ponder the changing nature of friendships over time; album centerpiece “Lip” showcases Mason’s thoughtful heavy hitting, a soaring major-key triumph in the vein of fan favorite “Turn on the Summer”; the string-laden “A Willow Strong,” on the album’s back end, has a similarly mournful feel as the last record’s “Through the Holes in the Floor.”

Yet one can hear the Rutabega’s increased confidence from having found its voice and audience with Brother in Unreliable Narrator’s more live-sounding execution, the natural by-product of having played countless shows in the years between the two records. From “Shiny Destination” (also the A-side of a seven-inch released in the spring of 2015) and “Settle Down,” the double-shot of power-pop perfection that opens the record, to “I’ve Been the Armour,” the sparse, melancholic slow burn that closes it — which, in its final minutes, turns on a dime to screaming catharsis, an unhinged side of Hensley we’d never heard before now — this is the sound of an already-great band, in their prime, turning yet another corner. - CZ

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Album is housed in a tip-on Stoughton sleeve with gorgeous full-color Jay Ryan cover art.

The first 250 copies of “Unreliable Narrator" are pressed on clear vinyl with streaks of black “smoke.”

For TV / Film licensing, please contact Lyle Hysen at Bank Robber Music - info@bankrobbermusic.com

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"It is downright witchery that a two-piece band can create music with such epic grandeur.” - Clicky Clicky Music Blog

"I like the excitement and energy of “Shiny Destination,” but the reflective tone on “Ladder” gets me every time. Both are winners for entirely different reasons, but it’s a great example of the diversity of The Rutabega’s sound. Whatever way this Indiana duo goes in the future, I can’t wait to hear it." - Kurt Morris, Razorcake

"[The Rutabega]...feels timeless and fresh at the same time." - Independent Clauses

“Singlehandedly states the case for sincerity in such a clear way the only reaction is to softly smile, bob your head a little bit and give in to the tidal wave of sad, simple, beauty that issues forth.” - Conan Neutron, Collapse Board

"The songs are heavy, not instrumentally, but with the weight of the experiences and raw feelings of their writer. The arrangements seem pretty sparse, yet I’m hearing an orchestra. Joshua Wayne Hensley’s voice backed by an emotion and sincerity so poignant, it translates louder and clearer than a marching band ever could crammed into my tiny bathroom." - Mila Matveeva, UNRECORDED

"Hensley’s singing sounds favorably like Elliott Smith from the grave, and he doesn’t play trad folk, either; strumming an acoustic under his darkly angelic voice, he sometimes inserts distorted six-string squalls, fogging the background like black clouds and lightning lurk in the distance." - Jack Rabid, Big Takeover

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released June 24, 2016

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the rutabega South Bend, Indiana

The Rutabega is a Carp Rock duo from South Bend, Indiana.

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