How Does an Electrostatic Motor Work? Lyrics

How Does an Electrostatic Motor Work?

The album needed an introduction. I felt it would be important to the future of humanity to destroy a beer-drinking record.

Prosthetic Brain

I could be a politician
Roll my socks up and go fishin'
Put my money in a box and bury it forever
I could be a television
Turn me on while you are fishin'
Listen to the weatherman and learn about the weather

Prosthetic brain
Running backwards in the rain
Like a train
Going back to where it came from
Empty now and lighter than it once was

A fine analogy

I could be a mastodon
Run around with nothing on
Living like an icicle, a frozen stick of water
I could be a brontosaurus
Much too big to use the door-us
Making songs and chewing on a frozen stick of water


This is my synaptic artificiality, you see


(Locomotive, coal car, dining car, sleeping car)
(Empty now and lighter for the places it has been)

There are about nine vocal tracks on this song. It also marks the first time I've ever used a tuba for the bassline. One of my favorites.

Waffle of Death

We'll all have fun when the Waffle of Death comes down to the farm
We'll all go to our respective afterlives

I need a quarter
I got to make a telephone call (I can't believe it)
The deadly waffle knows exactly
Where I am (I just can't believe it)

Is it from Belgium?
No, no accent
It doesn't talk
No, it won't say a word
The sickening sound of syrup on bone
Is the last sound that I ever heard

We'll all have fun...

I need a quarter...

What's that noise?
What's that I hear?
I get a funny feeling when the waffle is near
I lie awake in fright
All hours of the night
I huddle close to my blue canary nightlight

We'll all have fun...

Ma I erehw. Yltcaxe swonk elffaw yldaed eht!

I am what you might call a refugee
From the Unintentional House of Pancakes
The Waffle of Death will get me, I'm sure
No matter how long it takes

We'll all have fun...

Ma I erehw!

This is now a jam song, but it used to be a weird, scratchy little song on a tiny keyboard. Now it's big and scary. Like King Kong.

Monkeys Are Bad People

Monkeys can't be trusted with your business
They're sneaky and dishonest through and through
Monkeys can't speak English, so they can't tell the truth
Monkeys are bad people, and so are you

Add a K to money, you get monKey
Monkey may see, but monkey don't pay his due
The love of evolution has its evil, evil roots
Monkeys are bad people, and so are you

King Kong was a monkey too big to be kept in a zoo
Which is not a bad thing, cause he liked to fling
Thousand-pound fistfuls of stinky old King-Kong poo

Think about the future/What if Charlton Heston is right
If the monkeys take over, we'll be their slaves
And, frankly, the thought keeps me wide awake at night

Monkeys make amore out in public
Providing little children with a view
They're lewd and they're indecent and there's nothing we can do
Monkeys are bad people
Monkeys are bad people
Monkeys are bad people and so are you

My roommate said --Monkeys are bad people-- when my sister asked him why he was shooting a huge monkey in a video game. It seemed to strike a chord, or series of chords, in my head. So I wrote this song. Don't worry, I like monkeys. I just don't want to get beaten up by one. The harmonica solo in the middle I found on an old tape of harmonica solos. It fit so amazingly well.

I Am So Important

I wrote a letter to the devil
And I sealed it in an envelope of fire
And when I got it back it burned up all my mail
Maybe next time I'll send him a wire

I am so important
That I'm talking to myself
And if I had a quarter
I might call someone who cares

So we know the moon revolves around the earth
And we know the earth is orbiting a star
We can tie a string to Saturn's ring and pull it from the sky
And collect the stars like fireflies and put them in a jar


Aah, it's not so hard to sing this song
Aah, tell your ears to sing along

And when my television fell into the sea
I sat down and I wrote a little play
About the time my television fell into the ocean
And how I had to dive into the waters of the San Francisco bay

I think this song came from a deep inner well of sorrow and pain where the gassy monster lives. He smells like eggs.

Lizard and Fish

Lizard and Fish/Oh, what a pair
One lived underwater and the other breathed air
On a shelf in a pet store/On aisle thirteen
Lizard and Fish would sit together and dream

And Lizard said --Fish, how's the water today?--
And Fish said --bubblebubble--
And Lizard said --Somehow, we'll both get away
And be a refugee lizard and fish.--

Lizard was bright/He was clever and sly
There wasn't an escape routine that he hadn't tried
And Fish was a master/Of keeping his cool
While dreaming about the day he'd go back to school

And Lizard jumped up on the wall of his tank
And Fish said --bubblebubble--

And Lizard said --Somehow, we'll get to the riverbank
And we can live like a lizard and fish.--

One day there was a fire in the back of the store
And all the animals were screaming and squawking
And otherwise talking
About the terrible stench and the roar
Of the flames. Then, suddenly, Lizard and Fish were
Grabbed from their homes by P-W H
Who was clearing out the burning store and putting all the animals

And Lizard said --Fish, we're finally free!--
And Fish said --bubblebubble--
And they built a rocket and flew to the moon
Where they spent their days eating flies a lot
And singing about the wonderful day
The store burned down and P-W saved them
And looking at the stars cause they were really really pretty
And living their lives like Lizard and Fish

The song music was fully realized before I knew what it was about. I just found myslef singing those words to the music, and I wrote it down. A great song to perform live.

(Life Is) Peaches and Cream

If I'm a bowl of cherries
Then you're a tangerine
So I sat right down and I wrote me a song
Called (Life Is) Peaches and Cream

I say strange things on the telephone
When I'm waking from a dream
I rectite the lines in the back of my mind
Going -life is peaches and cream.-

You can try to turn it upside down
Or turn it inside out
You put your best foot in and you shake it around
And that's what it's all about

When I flip around the channels
All I see upon the screen
Is a big blue sign with a single line
Saying -life is peaches and cream.-


And as I go to heaven
In the back of my love machine
I can hear them say as I fly away
Life is peaches and cream
I can hear them say as I fly away
Life is peaches and cream

I liked the chords, so I wrote a song around them. The fact that it turned out to be a swingy country song is due to how well those chords worked with the sounds of the slide guitar. The concertina, strangely enough was mostly able to blurt along for a solo.

Popular Popsicle

I saw you on t.v. (why don't you love me?)
I bought your cd (why don't you love me?)
I watched your movie (why don't you love me?)
I read your biography (why don't you love me?)

A little jingle about idolatry. It's weird how you can feel so close to people you've never met and who don't know you exist.

Mr. Pity

Mr. Pity/Mr. Pity
What a pitifully pitiful man
In the city/Mr. Pity
Makes a pitiful attempt to live as best as he can

He alienates his family
And trusts his fate to numerology
He nurses his ulcers day and night
Another cup of coffee might feel alright

An accountant/Counting money
And he tries to make his numbers the same
When he's got it/He isn't happy
Cause he gets to start it over and to do it again

A model drone/He marches home
And does his banking on the telephone
Press one for love/And two for hate
And three to get ready or you're gonna be late

What a lovely day/The wind is blowing (I hate the government)
The clouds are parting for you (I hate the government)
Mr. Pity, look up/It's not so bad (I hate the government)
The sun is shining through (Ahh)

Mr. Pity/Hates the city
But he tries to do the best that he can
What a pity/Mr. Pity
What a Mr. Pity pitifully pitiful man
What a Mr. Pity pitifully pitiful man

I hate the government

This song came to me at the coffee shop where I hang out. I rushed home and noodled with it until four in the morning. By far the best bridge I've ever written.

Atomic Stew

I grease the skillet all the day
I grease it all the night, all right
When I sleep I do dream Crisco dreams
And wake up Crisco Lite
The bacon fries, the baby cries
We're being watched by Nazi spies
And Chicken Little's passin' by
Knockin' me out with those American thighs
Dick Nixon livin' in Dixon
In Dixieland there's grits you're fixin'
Chowdered chitlins vexin' vixen
The ladle goes in, it's time for mixin'

Atomic Stew, woo hoo hoo
Wockachicka wockachicka wockachicka wockachicka
Wockachicka wockachicka choo
Atomic Stew, woo hoo hoo
Rufus is a Pisces and the spice is grabbin' you

There's lovin' in the oven
And there's pigeon in the fridge
Be brave in the cave of the microwave, Dave
Slave to the girl named Midge
Jello-jigglin' jo-jo dancer
Jack wants juicy jelly
Brown bread and boston-baked beans
Will blacken up your belly
Slim Jim Gin, walkin' on tin
Tellin' a dirty joke
The oven door slams and the temperature rises
And the party starts to smoke


(To add insult to injury, however, we must,
so to speak, nip this fish to fry and abjectly
continue with our proverbial nipping until we
have reached the bud, which represents, to the
analytical mind, a conundrum in its purest,
most unadulterated form. Put that gun down,
you ruffian! Oh bejeezus! Oh!)

Have yourself a taste, don't let it go to waste
C'mon eat it while it's hot now
Gimme a shimmy, gimme a shimmy
Show me what you got now
The jambalaya jumpin' and the mumbo-jumbo thumpin'
Livin' up in the bottom of a pickle jar
The vinegar is salty, I just killed Roger Daltry
Six feet under par
We've got all the latest techno-methods
To remove your old tattoo
But hey, I say, why throw it away
Let's dip it in Atomic Stew



Tal brought it over almost finished, and I helped him write the rest. We busted out the white-boy jives and funked everything up.

Killed By Telephones

My telephone is ringing like a hammer in my head
I wonder --Now, who could that be?-- as I crawl out of bed
My life is on the line, and I have to pay the toll
He called collect to say he's gonna come collect my soul
Killed by telephones

I've been killed by telephones
I've been killed by telephones
All the lines are dead
All the lines are dead

(We are being specially stupid because stupid is the name of the game
of the lame of the name of the)

My telephone is ringing, yes it's ringing off the hook
My twenty-four hour hotline is startin' in to cook
I think my ears are melting, my lips are gonna fry
If things get any hotter, man, I think I'm gonna die

(yeah, we know how to take the Jack down the throat all day long)

Communication satellites are falling from their orbits-it's-
It's time to run for cover cause we're gonna go to war-it's-
Only hours 'til showers of power's gonna knock down our cellular towers
Put away your portable, stop-drop-and-roll, the dirty cowards
Have taken over everything/They're sitting in their shelters
Where it swelters with the heat of theri computers which are melting
While they're telling us that we will all be turned to blackened bones
When the lines have all gone dead and we've been killed by telephones

We've been killed by telephones

(And we're gonna go bowling! Woo! Super bowl! Yeah, yeah, woo!)

I like weird noises. Phones make weird noises. I like phones. Phones are deadly. I am scared of them.


I like doing comedy bits. This is my chance to do a couple of silly voices.

Marie (You're Taller Than Me)

M is for Marie
A is for the rest of Marie
And I don't care what people say to me about Marie
I already know Marie is much, much taller than me

I want to be the guy on t.v.
Who walks right up and says to Marie
That I don't care what people say to me about Marie
I know that Marie is so much taller, taller than me

Marie/You're taller than me
And I can see you're taller than me
And there are things above my head
And you can see them

Window--an open and shut casement
Turn off the light/I am trying to save face and
I don't care what people say to me about Marie
Although I can't stand with my arms like this forever


And when we are alone I'll turn to her and say --Marie
I know it may seem rather silly but you know what does it matter
Anyway that you're so much taller than me?
You're much, much taller than me.--

You're much, much taller than I am.

I think I was trying to emulate my bandmates and write a love/frustration song. It worked out well and I didn't have to do it again. Though the vocals could have used an overhaul, the accordion and concertina didn't have strep throat so I kept the song.

Big Ed's Body

When they find Big Ed's body at the bottom of the creek
I don't want to be in town
When they come to question all the people on my street
I don't want to be around
They will search for me
They will want to see if I knew Big Ed

When they find Big Ed's body at the bottom of the creek
My fingers will turn to stone
My eyes will perspire and my telephone will ring
And spiders will crawl down my bones
They will come for me
They will find me with my hands on my head

When they find Big Ed's body at the bottom of the creek
They'll follow him down the road
His teeth will be perfect as a porcelain display
And no one but I will know
I will go to sleep
And if I am lucky they'll find me too

There's a shop up the road from my house called Big Ed's Auto Body. I see it almost every day. I made some weird song in my head for it, but I don't think they'll use it in any of their ads.

Down to the Sea in Ships

Oh my Lordy
Oh my Lordy
Oh my Lordy
Goin' down to the sea in ships (2x)

When I come home just t'other day (Oh my Lordy)
My woman up an' run away (Oh my Lordy)
Because of all the games I play (Oh my Lordy
Oh, what a ho'ble price to pay (Goin' down to the sea in ships)
Oh baby


I left my home in Tennessee (Oh my Lordy)
There were nothin' left for me (Oh my Lordy)
I left my life of misery (Oh my Lordy)
And ended up down by the sea (Goin' down to the sea in ships)

Oh baby


Oh South side North side East side West (Oh my Lordy)
She's the girl that I love best (Oh my Lordy)
Love her more than all the rest (Oh my Lordy)
Just had to get that off my chest (Goin' down to the sea in ships)
Oh baby


Now that Georgia moon above (Oh my Lordy)
She's the one I'm thinkin' of (Oh my Lordy)
But she doesn't want my love (Oh my Lordy)
So won't you give my boat a shove? (Goin' down to the sea in ships)
Oh baby

CHORUS (until it gets too high and my voice cracks)

Probably my most realistic song, if only because it could have been a gospel standard if I hadn't thought of it first. The song is based on a failed band name.

Hello, Fred the Beard

What's your name? I'm Fred the Beard.
What's your name? I'm Fred the Beard.
What's your name? I'm Fred the Beard.
Well I ain't never seen a beard with a name like Fred
I'm Fred the Beard

Hello, Fred the Beard
Hello, Fred the Beard
Hello, Fred the Beard
Hello, Fred the Beard

Where do you grow? I grow on your face.
Where do you grow? I grow on your face.
Where do you grow? I grow on your face.
Well I ain't never grown a beard on my face named Fred
I'm Fred the Beard--yeah


What if I shaved? Then I would die.
What if I shaved? Then--I would die!
What if I shaved? Then I would die...?
Well I gotta shave now, Fred the Beard
Well, goodbye


I'm Fred the Beard
I'm Fred the Beard
I'm Fred the Beard

It's difficult to play drums by hand on a keyboard. I know this. I'm okay with this. Guitar solo by Gumby. Let's give it up for Gumby, ladies and gentlemen.

Happy Noodle vs. Sad Noodle

Happy Noodle led the sort of life the working
stiff dreams about; driving a Studebaker,
making pies with his wife, taking a dip in
the old swimmin' hole. Yessir, Happy Noodle
had it good and he wasn't complaining. He
always waved and smiled and tipped his hat
and said Nice weather we're having (regard-
less of the weather). Now, as most protag-
onists do, he had an antagonist, a polar
opposite, bent on nullifying his happy ex-
istence. His name was Sad Noodle; a pathetic
excuse for an egg-and-flour mixture (with a
little extra water, just for tears). He
worked in a successful firm and was under a
lot of stress, and this is the story of their
ultimate battle.

Happy Noodle versus Sad Noodle
Happy Noodle versus Sad, Sad Noodle
Happy Noodle versus Sad Noodle
Happy Noodle versus Sad, Sad Noodle

One day, as Happy Noodle was out mowing
the lawn, an Edsel pulled up in front of the
house. It was Sad Noodle. He leaned his
ropy head out the window and said --Look,
Happy Noodle: I'm sick of being your polar
opposite. You know, sad all the time and
what-not. It makes it hard to get along.
I've come to challenge you to a duel to the
death.-- So Happy Noodle put down his mower
and obliged, saying --If it'll make you
happy!-- and Sad Noodle cringed. He hopped
into the back seat and they were off to the
gravel pit, Happy Noodle singing all the way
and Sad Noodle driving like a madman.
--This'll end it all!-- thought Sad Noodle,
and they prepared for the fight. Strange
sight: two noodles standing face to face,
one smiling and one frowning.

Happy Noodle versus Sad Noodle...

Thinking on his feet, Sad Noodle used his head
As a whip and tried to trip Happy Noodle but he slipped
And he flipped face-first on the ground with a sound
Like a wet noodle slapping the ground kind of sound
Then Happy Noodle wrapped Sad Noodle up around a tree, said See
Sad Noodle, dont'cha mess with me 'cause I be the baddest Noodle
There will ever be! Because I'm--

Happy Noodle versus Sad Noodle...

So after Happy Noodle untied Sad Noodle, they
got back in the car. Sad Noodle, defeated,
dejected, depressed, dropped Happy Noodle off
at his door and said --You know what? I
don't think that helped me very much.-- And
Happy Noodle said --Sad Noodle, why don't you
come in for some pie?-- And Sad Noodle said
--No, I'm sorry. I don't like pie all that
much, but thanks all the same.--

Happy Noodle versus Sad Noodle...

Vanessa Penn told me to write a song called Happy Noodle vs. Sad Noodle. I said I would. I did.

I Like Pez

I like Pez
I like Pez
I like Pez
I like Pez
I bought a t-shirt and the t-shirt says:
I Like Pez

This song was recorded live in my bedroom with nine people crammed around one microphone and me on another. The entire band of Luckie Strike (Mel, Liz, Bubba, Dre), most of the band Tsunami Bomb (Emily, Courtney, Dominic), and a couple of friends (Kevin and cousin Aron) helped out. Dedicated to the Pez-man himself, Britt Holland. I wish only to endorse and support this fine confection.

End Credits

The Geek Rock All-Stars (Bubba from Luckie Strike, myself from Little Tin Frog, Dominic from Tsunami Bomb, and numerous other self-proclaimed Geek-Rockers) were to be as superheroes, each battling crime and apathy through music. This was the theme music for their triumphant return at the beginning of the radio-drama.