All You Pretty Vandals

by Casey Neill & The Norway Rats

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1.
03:55
2.
ALL YOU PRETTY VANDALS (Neill) You cut your teeth on breaking things Like any demon boy does Now its on to bigger and better things Like any true destroyer Nothing built in this world that can’t be torn down faster Laughing over spilt milk you’re a walking disaster A walking disaster All you pretty vandals, so happy with your destruction All you pretty vandals, so pleased so pleased You breakers of hearts with your riots and your scandals Have you come to wreck the place and leave? She commands the room when she walks in With a smile just north of deadly The eyes look up the heads all spin She’s got them where she wants them It’s all so simple the game is too easy to play She’s always on the lookout for more elusive prey More elusive prey All you pretty vandals… Wreck the place The chaos that you celebrate, it leaves you a shambles The temples that you desecrate, full of false and fallen idols Beauty is mundane but its the method of your plunder A path of ruin behind you and is it any wonder You feel yourself going under Wreck the place
3.
SHE CAME ALIVE (Neill) A shock of hair hanging in her face, The camera loves her shy beauty It sees what most people miss It captures her defiance, a feral look right back at you Her longing and her restlessness Holed up in a railroad apartment Bound together in a dance The needle lands on black vinyl Spinning spinning in a trance Spinning spinning in a trance She came alive in a shower of sparks, she came alive, illuminate the dark. She came alive she came alive She came alive she came alive Daytime found them bathed in light, Sun shafts through dirty windows Clothes flung in the corner, Pile of sheets on the unmade bed Every scrap has purpose, Some memory some meaning All stored up in her dreaming head He melts into the city Bound to her by impossible love Strays into the subways and alleys Night coming on like a flood Night coming on like a flood He came alive in a blinding flash, he came alive in a culture clash He came alive he came alive he came alive he came alive They would walk around this town for years and never tire Living life at crooked angles, reckoning with desire Crooked angles bodies tangled reaching ever higher Higher and higher Manahatta marches onward In a state of constant change His love lives on inside in her Ever splendid ever strange Ever splendid ever strange
4.
IN WITH A SHOUT (Lyrics: Neill, Music: Lyster /Emerson/ Moen/ Neill) I cut my teeth on breaking things Gravel spitting out behind my tires Tearing my clothes in the canebrake Setting the woods on fire Setting the woods on fire From the far flung open fields of home To the concrete, ash, and empire I crossed that bridge then struck a match Set the city on fire Set the city on fire In on a chance In with a shout In on a chance In with a shout Set loose into the open night From the cages of the day A fawn eyed girl took me in her arms And carried me away Carried me away On the killing fields of endeavor I stake my claim on solid ground A gang of immortals to walk beside Taking my guns to town Taking my guns to town In on a chance In with a shout
5.
04:40
VANISH AWAY (Neill, based on “Moon is Goin’ Down” by Rev. Gary Davis) Moon gone down vanish away, vanish away, vanish away Moon gone down vanish away, vanish away, vanish away Every star gonna disappear, disappear, disappear Every star gonna be disappeared, disappeared, disappeared Somebody stole away my love, prey tell me where she is She’s the only one can ease my mind prey tell me where she is That big bright sun he refuses to shine, Refuses to shine, refuses to shine That big bright sun he refuses to shine, Refuses to shine, refuses to shine Somebody stole away my love, prey tell me where she is She’s the only one can ease my mind prey tell me where she is Moon gone down vanish away, vanish away, vanish away Moon gone down vanish away, vanish away, vanish away
6.
DARK DIVIDE (Neill) Where i wander Under and over High mountain Canyon cover Cover me Cover you I lost myself to be found anew Out on the dark divide Out on the dark divide Out on the dark divide Where you stumble On rocky meadow Open ridge line Bloom and wither Wither me Wither you I lost myself to be found anew Out on the dark divide Out on the dark divide Out on the dark divide This madness breaks over me in waves Remember the days Remember the days Cover me Cover you I lost myself to be found anew Out on the dark divide Out on the dark divide Out on the dark divide
7.
04:21
SIGNAL REACH (Neill) so you say so you say what is this between us? does it have a name? does it have a name? does it follow reason? can it bridge? can it bridge the distance forever? what is this between us? what is this between us? so i ask so i ask what is this feeling about you? i feel it too know it's true but i don't know what it means it brings me calm, brings me peace your footsteps seem familiar what is this feeling about you? what is this feeling about you? so we go to the beach in half light half remembered up upon Signal Reach sunbathed in royal splendor i see you i see you leaning on the fender of your car just within reach, laughing, light as a feather in half light half remembered in half light half remembered lovers are thieves, thieves i will be one with honor a faithful heart, a faithful heart in a weary land so young and true, young and true sad and free forever i will be a thief with honor i will be a thief with honor the like in you to the like in me
8.
MY LITTLE DARK ROSE (Neill) Steel bridge at sundown walking along over the poisoned water Skyline of the city covered in grey fog We’ve seen the seasons come and go The clouds roll in, storm by storm The people flood in on a great migration Give me destruction Sharpen the edge Let me walk on shattered glass Down Belmont and 10th Out to our western hills and east out to the mountain Blooming in the valley My little dark rose My little dark rose Be not sad for all that’s happened here The littered hearts and broken bodies The days roll into each other And the ghosts they grow in number These sodden boots are worn through This pea coat still smells like smoke The taste of brown liquor lingers on my tongue Give me destruction Sharpen the edge Let me walk on shattered glass Down Division and 10th Tell me of the sweetbriar and your red american beauty Far beyond compare is My little dark rose My little dark rose Shine darkness shine darkness Shine darkness shine Long the journey from yesterday until today We walk the streets together through the asphalt waste Sisters of the road, brothers on the corners Looking for the promised plenty, that seems so out of reach Standing on the steel bridge in the drizzle and the grey I hear music on each side of me and I sing its refrain It’s the sound of Greg Sage, turn up “The Chill Remains” Dead Moon lighting a fire in the western world No matter where I run to or how far I stray I will always return to you, nestled in your thorns And somewhere in the numbers in an old man bar Are the ones who won’t forsake you My little dark rose My little dark rose And somewhere in the numbers in an old man bar Are the ones who won’t forsake you My little dark rose My little dark rose
9.
NO EARTHLY PLEASURE (Neill) You don’t know me, you don’t see me I am distant, i am fleeting I move in the empty spaces where dreams go to die Forever moving in the remove, There is no bond that can soothe This burning burning but in vain I try Forever, forever one step behind Outside, looking in on the world passing by No earthly pleasure will satisfy I’ll eat ‘til im full but not be sated, my hunger will not be abated No drink can quench my thirst, my throat parched and dry I swam in the well of sadness, Locked myself in the halls of madness Travelled to the distant mountains and Crossed the bridge of sighs Woe, cannot touch me cannot make me cry So, another traveller on this dark ride And no earthly pleasure will satisfy Will satisfy, will satisfy And no earthly pleasure will satisfy I went to the house of learning But nothing could ever stop this yearning Took comfort in a lovers arms but my flesh was a lie I read the prophets tried to follow every word just rang hollow Hypocrisy and weakness that I cannot abide Love, a word thrown around as need’s disguise God, just people talking to the silent skies No earthly pleasure will satisfy
10.
SAINTED STREETS (Neill) for Brad Will & other ghosts Goodbye to the world that you once knew And all the girls on 1st Avenue Come Saturday they’d be down at the squat talking smack Saying “I was here for the riot man, I want my neighborhood back” Here comes Davey with his scarf wrapped round his throat Smoking and laughing in that famous black peacoat And little caruso walking like he’s onstage at the garden Making everybody smile Do they know do they care? Do they hear our prayers? For these names once written in the wet concrete On sainted streets Young man climbing the fire escape up in the old tenements Dives headfirst into the fray, and into the argument Time skips a beat and moves on he stays true to his will I can still hear marcie calling down from the windowsill Saying, “if you stick around you can sleep in my bed again. Don’t leave now if you do it’ll really be the end” Will they find us or forget us? Will they come and get us? Will these be stories lost in the endless shuffle of feet? On sainted streets Another endless summer, laying out on a beach tar roof Kids playing in the hydrants, old men sitting on the stoops Davey with a new lady, Little C with a stolen radio We’d be listening to Joe Singing about a burning town It was always Joe The ramshackle day parade Joe Making the music talk With the sound of the rebel waltz The sound of the sinners Heathen choir ringing in my head The sound of the sinners Heathen choir ringing in my head The sound of the sinners Now his face is painted on the wall by the park Looking out on these scenes as they unfold in the dark Do you see, can you hear, can you kiss away my tears? We’re still out here dancing to the crooked beat on sainted streets
11.
05:35
ARDEN EDEN (Neill) Her accent comes back when she drinks Sandpaper vowels she tries so hard to smooth over Smoke curls around her head She loses her carefully constructed cover No longer transparent in her role You see all that she’s concealing Gone the illusion of control Its all too revealing Arden eden, your history holds no shame Arden eden, they love you just the same They love you just the same She wears her tragedies like badges All gone to rack and ruin Caffeine highs and sugar crashes The boys line up to drink from her shoe They follow her down the neighborhood docks Follow her down blind alleys in the rain These regrets she holds sacred will one day be forgot And dissipate like half remembered pain Arden eden, paradise twice in your name Arden eden, they love you just the same They love you just the same

about

Casey Neill & The Norway Rats Announce New Album 'All You Pretty Vandals' (Incident Recordings / Redeye).

Here are 12 songs of anthemic, junkyard rock songs recorded with some of the most regarded musicians in Portland’s music collective; an album Neill says he’s “spent a decade trying to get to - both my own writing and the sound of the band.” The current lineup includes Jesse Emerson on bass, guitarist Chet Lyster of the Eels, keyboardist Jenny Conlee and drummer John Moen, both from the Decemberists and Black Prairie.

Produced by Chris Funk (The Decemberists, Black Prairie), Casey’s friend since they were both kids on the rock scene, All You Pretty Vandals is a series of character sketches of people, and two cities dear to him, Portland and New York. There are love songs to Patti Smith (“She Came Alive”) and the Lower East Side (“Sainted Streets”), hymns to the roadless Washington State wilderness (“The Dark Divide”, with vocals by Luzelena Mendoza (Y La Bamba) and Chris Funk on pedal steel), and “My Little Dark Rose”, featuring Langhorne Slim. The song is a snapshot of Portland in the 90s, when the city was “a much rougher place and the music was louder,” adds Neill. “Vanish Away” is an adaptation of the Reverend Gary Davis song, “Moon is Goin’ Down”. “I rearranged the lyrics and wrote new music,” says Casey. “Funk and Annalisa (Tornfelt, Black Prairie) arranged the string parts over multiple whiskey shots.”

“We've all been in the trenches of the Northwest music world together since the mid 90s,” says Casey, of his bandmates and album contributors. “Everyone in the Norway Rats is in other projects together. Jenny, Chris, and I are all called upon to play in Scott McCaughey's Minus Five often.  There is a musical language you start to share over that long a time.” On the strength of the Portland music scene, Neill adds, ”We are all people who made music our trade in all kinds of ways and have stuck with it. There’s a sense of community and ethos that we are in this together.”

Casey Neill & The Norway Rats will be on tour this fall.

About Casey Neill:
For over a decade Casey Neill has performed throughout the US, Europe, and Japan averaging over a hundred shows a year. He is a sought after side player who has worked as a lead guitarist in The Minus Five, and a guitarist for master traditional Celtic fiddlers such as Kevin Burke, Martin Hayes, and Johnny Cunningham. (Irish supergroup Solas recorded Casey's original song "Lowground" on their albums Waiting for an Echo and Reunion.) In 1997, he inked a three record deal with the folk label Appleseed and was featured on their tribute to Pete Seeger along with Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, and Bonnie Raitt. A compilation of his material entitled Memory Against Forgetting was released by Amy Ray's Daemon imprint in 2005. Following a few years of residence in New York City, Casey moved back to Portland and its thriving music community. The Norway Rats formed in 2007 to tour behind his album Brooklyn Bridge (In Music We Trust label), followed by the acclaimed Goodbye to the Rank and File.  In 2011, Casey was hired by New York's Mabou Mines Theater Company to perform and compose for their new work 'Landscapes' at PS122. 

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released November 12, 2013

Produced by Chris Funk

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Casey Neill & The Norway Rats Portland, Oregon

CASEY NEILL & THE NORWAY RATS are a crack gang of musicians from Portland Oregon. Their sound combines high energy diesel fueled rave-ups and haunting ballads. Neill's weather beaten narratives celebrate miscreants, and explore the hidden corners of the American landscape. ... more

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