Jabberwock - Letterbomb
0000-00-00

Lyrics

ENJOY THE WAR Sit back Relax You Know What you're in for Sit back Relax And enjoy the, Enjoy the War I saw a man with the face of a dog Frothing at the mouth Chomping on the bit Wagging his tail like a hurricane He said, "I have come to bury your bones In the hole that I will dig And you have reached your final destination You have finally found your home." You have finally finally found your . . . Home in the ground One with the dirt Crawling like a worm Water, mud, and roots Home in the ground I saw a man with the face of a dog Dragging you down, pulling you under Onto the floor of the roller-dome And the crowd will roar like a lion As you come face to face Hope you enjoy the war You have finally finally found your . . . Home in the ground One with the dirt Crawling like a worm Water, mud, and roots Home in the ground c 1996 by Wishnefsky Wishnefsky - electric guitars, bass, vocals Dave - drums, percussion COMMENTS When we wrote and recorded the songs that ended being Letterbomb, we started experimenting with different styles and shooting for a more creative sound. I wrote a lot of songs that pushed the envelope. With Southland, we learned how to make a record and we developed a sound. The next step was to go further creatively. And we did. From the time we released Southland in 1994 to the time we broke up in 1997, we recorded a large number of songs. Lyrically, I wanted more edge. I was struggling with my life. I had had such high hopes for Southland and except for some moments of verification, my hopes had been dashed. I was unable to quit my day job as a lawyer and was forced to spend an incredible amount of mental energy before I could go to the studio. I wanted to make a record that reflected my anger at how fucked up Los Angeles had become and all the stupidity I saw around me. In that sense, Letterbomb needed to be the sequel to Southland, a natural progression. Letterbomb was to be our punk album, though with melody and musical power. At the same time, in the midst of my depression, a wonderful thing happened. In 1995, my wife and I had our first child, Sophie. Becoming a father stirred all sorts of new emotions and feelings. Some of the edge I had been feeling started to wear down from the combination of love and sleep deprivation that only first time parents know. I took two weeks off from work and during that period, I had an incredible burst of creativity. I wrote several new songs, a few of which ended up on Letterbomb. Some of the otther songs that I wrote sent me a new direction, based more on melody and harmony. While I was in Jabberwock, that direction culminated in songs like Our Blessed Isabella, Stitting on Top of the World, and Digging my Grave - which truly blossomed and found their place in Veneer, the band I started after Jabberwock. Enjoy the War came from a few grooves that Dave and I played around with. The lyrics were inspired by a sarcastic comment made by my close friend Todd Feinman that stuck in my mind and ended up in one of my notebooks. I always thought Enjoy the War was a little long, but we never figured out how to tighten it up. A lot of the song's energy and feel comes from the guitar parts and things that happened in the heat of the moment. This was before I started recording on computers and had the ability to cut and paste. We didn't play this song very much live. When we did, it didn't seem to strike me the way it did in the recorded version. I'm not sure why. Wishnefsky

SKIN

03:20
Jabberwock - Letterbomb
0000-00-00

Lyrics

SKIN Love isn't what it used to be I took a shower for five days To wash away my sins But all I sent was water down the drain I don't know how to begin I don't know how to begin I can't get out of my Out of my skin You just aren't what you used to be And so I change my point of view (I crashed the car again last night) We live too far apart to see (Couldn't stop to see the light) How close together we could be I don't know how to begin I don't know how to begin I can't get out of my Out of my skin So This is the turning point Time to look inside Oh The only thing I see is Your signature Written in my blood I don't know how to begin I don't know how to begin I can't get out of my Out of my skin c1996 by Wishnefsky Wishnefsky - electric guitars, snyths, bass, vocals Todd - lead vocals Dave - drums, percussion COMMENTS I wrote this song in the early 90s and it turns up in different places. Veneer did a version of it. which you can find in the Sandbag demos. This website has two different Jabberwock versions. The other Jabberwock version is in the unreleased songs section. I thought we had lost this version. I had a DAT of the mastered songs from this album. On the DAT, Skin had a serious drop out just before the second chorus. Depleted Plutonium Rod had a similar problem. Fortunately, Todd had a CD made by Bernie Grundman's with the mastered versions of all the songs. No drop outs. Everything sounds perfect. I didn't realize until recently that Todd had the CD because I had not spoken with him for close to eight years. I really can't give you a good explanation of why I stopped talking to a guy who had been a very close friend for many years. Part of it was I acted like an asshole to Todd in the final days of Jabberwock. I was very frustrated and, being a complete idiot with marginal social skills, I vented my frustration on those close to me. (Todd actually got off easy. I treated myself far worse than anyone else.) It was very nice to talk to Todd again and you'll be happy to know I apologized to him. I don't know if he has forgiven me for acting like a dickhead, but I wouldn't blame him if he didn't. Wishnefsky
Jabberwock - Letterbomb
0000-00-00

Lyrics

LIKE A HUMAN Excuse me for being blunt But this is the age of gloom I could have anything I want Deliver it to my room Freedom of choice has enslaved me Empowerment is making me weak No one in their right mind Doesn't need a tweak I don't feel I don't feel I don't feel Like a human I am physically ill It has come to this A million miles of mayhem And a billion doors to bliss The dead will rise from the grave To see what the fuss is about Shears in the garden of soul Trimming branches from the tree of doubt I don't feel I don't feel I don't feel Like a human Excuse me for being blunt But this is the age of gloom I could have anything I want Deliver it to my room Like a human Like a human Don't feel Like a human I don't feel Like a human I don't feel I don't feel I don't feel I don't feel Like a human c 1996 by Wishnefsky Wishnefsky - vocals, electric guitars, synths, bass Todd - snyths, lecture Dave - loop, cymbals, rattle COMMENTS Every Jabberwock song was recorded in our studio garage in Van Nuys owned by our friends Dev and Soraya Dosaj. Their patience and support is something I appreciated far more than they will ever know. During our peak times, we would be in there every night and most of the weekend. When the drums were banged at ungodly volumes or the amps driven at earsplitting levels, you could hear it in their house and quite loudly. They never complained once though and thankfully, their neighbors never complained much either. Dev and Soraya, and their two little boys, Tyler and Austin, became part of our extended family. We recorded everything on an analog Akai 12 track. It was a very good professional recording machine, though a bit lacking in the bottom end. With 12 tracks and the small number of effects sends, we had to be quite creative and innovative. Mixing was as much a performance as anything else. Producer/engineer Michael James was instrumental in getting our sound. Instead of complaining about not having this or that, Mike rose to the challenge. He did so much with so little. I can handle the fact that my music career never became what I dreamed and hoped it would be. But, it drives me stark raving mad when I see that the world doesn't know Mike's name or appreciate his genius. He is still going strong and working his ass off. I believe that one day, he will strike it big. He truly deserves it. He's a good guy. The world is such a fucked up place when so many dickheads get ahead and genuinely sweet and moral people like Mike get run over by the stampede of assholes. To tell you what a great guy Mike, we never paid him one cent for his countless hours of time and energy. The most we ever did was feed him. I'll tell you this though, if Mike ever needs anything, and he rarely asks for anything, I'm there. I am most indebted to him. In retrospect, recording on the 12 track was a blessing because it forced us to do more with less and try to write great songs, and not rely on gadgets and studio tricks. It was also a curse because I think a lot of our songs, especially as we started to experiment more, would have benefitted significantly from a less boxed in recording environment. The studio I have now, which is computer based, is a zillion times more powerful than what Jabberwock had. I can't imagine how much the songs would have improved if we could have recorded in the digital age of the 2000s. Somewhere in the mid 90s, I wrote a lyric that ended up in a song I wrote on acoustic guitar with an almost Paul Simon like feel to it. Dave and I recorded a demo and it sounded okay, but not up to the high standard we had set for ourselves. A year or two later, I was messing around with a riff on the electric guitar and came with the hook: " I don't feel" and so on. I needed a verse. After not getting anywhere trying to write something new, I thought about the Paul Simonesque song and pulled the verse lyrics out. Voila! It worked perfectly and Like a Human had its verses. Recording Like a Human was a challenge. We thought up far too many parts for 12 tracks. Mixing it was a crazy performance with Mike, Dave, and I riding knobs, effects, and faders. When we mastered this song, we did a shorter, more radio friendly version and it ended up on our cassette EP, Wishful Sinking. This song was quite difficult to pull off live, but I think we did a good job of it. We turned the end into an extended jam over the groove. It was a good counterpoint to the more melodic songs that we started putting in the set. Wishnefsky
Jabberwock - Letterbomb
0000-00-00

Lyrics

DEPLETED PLUTONIUM ROD First it starts with a greenish glow A mushroom cloud begins to grow A hurricane of poison gas Will devastate all in its path You're gonna get closer to God Depleted Plutonium Rod Six feet under the sod Depleted Plutonium Rod Emitted from a power line Unseen death rays shower by The microwave will heat your peas And mutate cells inside your knees You're gonna get closer to God Depleted Plutonium Rod Six feet under the sod Depleted Plutonium Rod We tried to build a world with style Convenience on stores on every mile We put our faith in modern science The easy life with each appliance But chemicals are everywhere We eat our food from plastic ware The things that put men on the moon Will lead us down the road to ruin You're gonna get closer to God Depleted Plutonium Rod Six feet under the sod Depleted Plutonium Rod Depleted Plutonium Rod Rod c 1996 by Wishnefsky Wishnefsky - vocals, electric guitars, synths, bass Todd - snyths, vocals Dave - drums COMMENTS One of my old bosses was a pretty bizarre guy. He constantly remarked how much he hated the name of our band. One day I asked him, "Well, if you're so smart, what would you name our band?" "Depleted Plutonium Rod," he replied. "That's a shitty name for a band," I said. "But a brilliant name for a song." I went home that night and wrote this song in all of about 10 minutes. Wishnefsky
Jabberwock - Letterbomb
0000-00-00

Lyrics

BLACK Flying faster in the face of fear Haven't yet found my way out of here The days are wicked and the nights are black Can't show my face, I can't turn my back It won't be long, I won't belong here It won't be long, I won't belong here It won't be long, I won't belong here Some day You will forgive me Some day We will be laughing at this now I tried to love you when your love was free Until you said I'm not your cup of tea You said my love was just a waste of time And you had to find another place to draw the line It won't be long, I won't belong here It won't be long, I won't belong here It won't be long, I won't belong here Some day You will forgive me Some day We will be laughing at this now It won't be long, I won't belong here It won't be long, I won't belong here Some day You will forgive me Some day We will be laughing at this now Some day Some day Some day You will forgive me c 1996 by Wishnefsky Wishnefsky - vocals, acoustic guitars, synths, stand up bass Janeen Rae Heller - vocals, saw COMMENTS The darkest hour is just before the dawn. Or, at least it is according to David Crosby. Wishnefsky
Jabberwock - Letterbomb
0000-00-00

Lyrics

MONKEY BITE Your monkey bit me in a screaming rage Who let that monster out of his cage That primate hit me with his concrete eyes You know the passing of time can really pulverize Monkey see Monkey sue Monkey bleed Monkey turning blue I'm the best at none of your business Put God on the stand if God is your witness Monkey see Monkey sue Monkey bleed Monkey turning blue Pain is everywhere Jesus save the sinners in this sorry world Pain is everywhere Pain is everywhere I was never young I was born an old man With binoculars for eyes And telescopes for hands Wishful sinking Mother of pearl drops Let your monkey go Until your monkey never stops Monkey see Monkey sue Everybody out of this Miserable Zoo Pain is everywhere A spoonful of sugar makes the shit go down Pain is everywhere Pain is everywhere c 1996 by Wishnefsky Wishnefsky - vocals, electric guitars, bass Todd - vocals Dave - drums COMMENTS The lyrics to this song spawned the title of our cassette EP: Wishful Sinking. I wrote the lyrics sitting in the parking lot of LA Fitness in Pasadena. Thankfully, I had my trusty notebook when lightning struck. I sang the verse vocals through the same toy that we used for the vocals on This Ain't No Weapon, It's a Golf Club from Southland. We used that toy for a long time. Finally, the guilt became too much to bear and we gave it back to the family who lived across the street from Dev - the original owners of the toy. By then, their kids had grown older and forgotten about the toy. They looked at us like, what the hell were we doing returning this toy. Guess we should have just kept it. No good deed goes unpunished. This song represented the zenith of my angry writing. But, you know, we weren't a punk band. We were really an alternative art rock band. Plus, we're nice guys. So Monkey Bite seemed a little strange live. There's no acoustic guitar on the recording. But when I started playing more and more acoustic live, we tried it a few times with me playing the rhythm guitar part on acoustic and it actually sounded pretty damn good. Wishnefsky
Jabberwock - Letterbomb
0000-00-00

Lyrics

THEME FROM LETTERBOMB / LIFE EXPECTANCY It's hard to care when I'm so bored Nothing touches me anymore Half the world doesn't even think Frozen solid as a skating rink Business lunch on a bullet train Hive of bees buzzing in my brain I'm so nervous that I start to shake I've got people to see and bones to break I'm expecting a life I'm expecting a life I'm expected a life But, what do I get? Fat pig on a stationary bike Sweating bullets from a leaky pipe Macaroni and bovine eyes Thunder cracking in between her thighs She's expecting a life She's expecting a life She's expecting a life But, what does she get? She gets a one way ticket on a bullet train She gets a hive of bees buzzing in her brain It's hard to laugh when I'm so sick Pulled by a purple pied-piper dick The compass needle is pointing south Pointing at the apple in porky's mouth We're expecting a life We're expecting a life We're expecting a life But, what do we get? c 1996 by Wishnefsky Wishnefsky - vocals, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, bass Todd - synth, vocals Dave - drums, vocals COMMENTS This is one of my favorite Letterbomb songs. It has the right mixture of edge, power, personality, and melody. I recall coming up with the electric guitar parts on an evening when I was alone at the studio and it was a magical feeling to hear the song come alive. I was very excited to play the parts for Dave and Todd. When they really liked what I had done, I knew this song was a winner. Life Expectancy sounded great life. For the Letterbomb shows, we stopped rehearsing at Dev's and went to a professional rehearsal studio in Glendale. The owner of the studio, Brad Last Name Unknown, loved this song and told me he thought it was a hit. Unfortunately, the song didn't become a hit and Brad went out of business. Too bad. Wishnefsky
Jabberwock - Letterbomb
0000-00-00

Lyrics

ST. JOHN The kiss of death is burning blue Are there any signs of life in you? c 1996 by Wishnefsky Wishnefsky - electric guitar, synths, vocals Todd - vocals Dave - percussion, Snapple bottle COMMENTS This song came at the peak of our experimental stage. Yes, that is Dave whacking a Snapple Bottle. Yes, that is Todd singing through my vox guitar amp and a fuzz pedal. Yes, this is the shortest song on Letterbomb. We never even thought about playing St. John live. I think I may have quoted the guitar part once or twice during the extended jam at the end of Like a Human. I think this song fulfilled the same role that This Ain't No Weapon, It's a Golf Club did on Southland. A short exercise in boundary stretching and a brief respite from the meat and bones. Then again, I'm a vegetarian. So go figure. Wishnefsky
Jabberwock - Letterbomb
0000-00-00

Lyrics

BURBANK PILGRIM It's a running day It's a running day Got to run before they blow my brains away Now it's moving time Said it's moving time Got to move me from the scene of the crime Half-baked and senseless I devised a plan to take me Far away from Everything I fear Therein my home lies Palm trees and suburbs Shimmering in the sunshine Like a mirage of Everything I love Therein my home lies I made a pilgrimage To save my soul in the place Where my favorite Dream brokers reside Therein my home lies It's a running day It's a running day Got to run before they blow my brains away Now it's moving time Said it's moving time Got to move me from the scene of the crime I found my Buddha In the shade of a sound stage For a star Of television land c 1996 by Wishnefsky Wishnefsky - vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass Todd - vocals, synth Dave - drums COMMENTS I think this is one of the best songs I have ever written. It was magic when I wrote it, magic when we recorded it, and magic when we played it live. The song doesn't quite fit the traditional pop song structure, so I never expected Burbank Pilgrim to be a hit. But so what. Burbank Pilgrim was a counterpoint to the raw punkish energy on most of the other songs on Letterbomb. It signified the more melodic direction that I wanted to go in, having shot my angry young man wad. If Jabberwock were ever to reform and do a reunion tour type of thing, I would insist that we do Burbank Pilgrim. So, if you like this song and want to hear it live, start a Jabberwock reunion movement. Wishnefsky
Jabberwock - Letterbomb
0000-00-00

Lyrics

COUNCILMAN ON A BARGE / ADRIFT Somewhere off the coast of California Floats the home of a lonely legislator They were going to kill him, but that was too kind Now he lives with the whitecaps and the seagulls Some are not as fortunate as others Some are forced to kneel down in disgrace He proposed an answer to the problem Which disqualified him from the human race Over the water Sons and daughters Over the water Rodent diving down Over the water Sons and daughters Over the water Councilman on a barge When the moon is full upon the water I can almost see the silhouette Waiting for a burial at sea The man that Will Rogers never met Over the water Sons and daughters Over the water Rodent diving down Over the water Sons and daughters Over the water Councilman on a barge Some are not as fortunate as others Some are forced to kneel down in disgrace He proposed an answer to the problem Which disqualified him from the human race When the moon is full upon the water I can almost see the silhouette Waiting for a burial at sea The man that Will Rogers never met Over the water Sons and daughters Over the water Rodent diving down Over the water Sons and daughters Over the water Councilman on a barge Love isn't what it used to be c 1996 by Wishnefsky Wishnefsky - vocals, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, bass, synth Todd - vocals, synth Dave - drums Dev Dosaj - violin COMMENTS I wrote this song long before we did it in Jabberwock. The original version was an electronic Depeche Mode kind of thingy. It did feature the electric guitar riff that became one of the song's hooks. The lyrics were inspired by the story of an LA City Councilman, whose name I can't recall, who advanced the brilliantly sick idea of sticking the homeless on a barge and sending them out to sea. My knee jerk reaction was that he was the idiot who should be stuck on a barge and a song was born. I enjoyed recording Councilman. In my mind, it was kind of like a Midnight Oil tune: simple, strong, political, and rocking. Come to think of it, I ought to send it to Peter Garrett. I met him once after an Oils' show. I told him I was a lawyer and musician like him. His response, in a strong aussie accent: "Well then, we must be brothers, mate." The end of Councilman segues into an interlude that quotes the song Skin: "love isn't what it used to be." Dev, our graciouos host and extremely talented musician and classical music composer played the violin part. The version you hear is like his second or third pass through. He hated it. "It's got some bum notes in there," he complained. "So the fuck what," I replied. "This isn't classical music. What you did feels right. We're keeping it." Dev just shrugged and walked out. I enjoyed Councilman live because of the segue. I would sneak over to Todd's keyboard and he would go to center stage. He always put so much heart and soul into that line. I always felt like that section of Letterbomb was something that set us apart. Wishnefsky
Jabberwock - Letterbomb
0000-00-00

Lyrics

SOUTHLAND (PART THREE) I came home and my home was gone Must have opened my letterbomb Nothing left after the second riot Nothing left but peace and quiet Oh Are you dead yet? Oh Is there any life left in you Suffocating on the fumes of justice Sliding down the continuum corruptus Carry your identification To assist the coroner’s investigation Oh Are you dead yet? Oh Kiss of death Oh Are you dead yet? Oh Is there any life left? I want to touch your body To see if it still moves I want to kiss your mouth To see if you still breathe I want to hear your heartbeat To see if blood still flows I want to taste your breath To know I’m not alone Oh Oh Are you dead yet? Oh Are you dead yet? Oh Are you dead yet? Oh Is there any life left in you? I came home and my home was gone c 1996 by Wishnefsky Wishnefsky - vocals, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, bass Todd - vocals Dave - drums COMMENTS I wish I could change some of the lyrics of this song. "Are you dead yet?" is just a little gruesome for me now. At the time, it felt right and it was certainly consistent with other things I was writing. I called the song Southland (part three) because lyrically, it's an extension of Southland and Fire has Sparks (Southland, Part Two). The bridge and guitar solo are my favorite parts of the song. The solo section is two different solos. I'm not the greatest guitar player. When it comes to solos, I have to rely on atmosphere and emotion instead of raw chops. (I have some serious velocity when I want on the keyboards as many of you know, but not on the guitar.) Usually, with the guitar solos, I would play one after another on any open tracks until it felt right. When I did this song, the first one felt okay. I liked a couple of things about it and kept it because I thought I would want a reference to recall the good parts. We turned that solo down so I couldn't hear it and I went for another pass on another track. I played a similar solo. Somehow, by pure accident, when we played back the song, we put both solos up in the mix. It sounded incredible - pure magic. And that's what you hear on the finished version. I don't think we played this song live. I think we rehearsed it a bit. We felt we had plenty of songs that worked live, so we never felt the urge to throw this one on the set list. Wishnefsky
Jabberwock - Letterbomb
0000-00-00

Lyrics

CHANGE YOUR WORLD (bonus track) I know a guy His name is Scott He used to be married Now he’s not He’s got a kid It’s such a shame Growing up Stuck inside the separation game Something’s gonna change your world Something’s gonna change Something’s gonna change your world today I know a guy His name is Dave When people see him They stop and wave Sometimes in pairs Sometimes in threes Now they’ve got the dreaded ”Have a Happy Dave” disease Something’s gonna change your world Something’s gonna change Something’s gonna change your world today There’s something flying over your head The lovebird you will never be So snap some branches Off the family tree I know a guy His name is Todd He loves a girl with a gorgeous body Marry her Is what he’d like to do But his father won’t let them Because she’s not a jew Something’s gonna change your world Something’s gonna change Something’s gonna change your world today c 1996 by Wishnefsky Wishnefsky - vocals, electric guitars, bass Todd - vocals Dave - drums COMMENTS This is one of the songs I wrote right after my first daughter Sophie was born in 1995. I was extremely happy at that time and it shows in this song. It's a happy go lucky goofy affair with some nice hooks. We included it as a bonus song because it obviously didn't fit the dreary mood of the rest of the Letterbomb. Yes, those are real people I'm talking about. Some of them even know who they are I think. The person in the first verse who was married and then wasn't - well, he has been married twice since I wrote the song. The person in the second verse is a very close friend and a great guy. That verse is just a joke. The person in the third verse finally married the girl with a gorgeous body. They have two gorgeous children now. This is another close friend and great guy. I'm sure he knows it's all tongue in cheek (as opposed to tongue between cheek). We played this song live because it broke up the serious, moody energy. It has a nice beat. My little girls like this song, but they haven't quite figured out who all the persons are. They're related to one of them. Wishnefsky

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