A Manual for Defeat

by No Show Ponies

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about

A Manual for Defeat is an album about hard times for people who have been through them. It is three-piece rock music recorded mostly live to tape. What you’ll hear on this album is the sound of a band in a room with minimum overdubs and minimum fussing about. That magic comes from the performances, musicianship, and poetry of the lyrics. It is literate and primitive. It sounds timeless, but could only have been made right now. Looking out at the senselessness of the modern world, coming back unbowed from the verge of defeat.

credits

released December 10, 2013

No Show Ponies is:

Benjamin Brown ~ voice, guitar
Jefferson Brown ~ voice, bass guitar
Alex Moralez ~ drums, percussion

Keith Langford ~ additional percussion on “I Love You All The Same”
and “I’m Not Listening to The Radio Tonight”

Recorded live to tape at SuperPop Records, Austin, TX
Additional recording at Casa de Midwood, Austin, TX

All songs written by J. Brown/B. Brown

Engineered, mixed & mastered by Seth Gibbs

Photos by Gabriella McSwain ~ Way of Light Photography
Art direction & design by Felicia Patxot & Jim Ranes

Produced by Ramsay Midwood & No Show Ponies
Executive produced by Tameem Shraibati (TTT)

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about

No Show Ponies Austin, Texas

No Show Ponies is a three-piece rock & roll band from Austin, Texas that combines elements of indie/alternative rock, classic rock and post-punk. Fronted by brother Ben (voice, guitar) and Jeff Brown (voice, bass) with Alex Moralez on drums. NSP has shared stage and studio with Shinyribs, The Gourds, Ray Wylie Hubbard, John Dee Graham, Marah and Chrysta Bell among others. ... more

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Track Name: The Rocks and the Cliff Above
Don't you know He's coming
The coming of the Lord
At least i saw that on the highway
On a freshly painted board
Babe I wouldn't be out here
If you'd have just liked to explore
Different gender roles
Behind closed bedroom doors

Oh love
Aren't you terrified by love
It's always cruel when it's real love
It's the rocks and the cliff above
Oh love

Babe I'm still out here
Just trying to pass the time
There's no difference between saints
And madmen in my mind
Both are consumed by terrible visions
That render themselves blind
Leave us sifting through the wreckage
Finding new meanings to mind

Oh love
Aren't you terrified by love
It's always cruel when it's real love
It's the rocks and the cliff above
Oh love
Track Name: Only the Losers Know My Name
Walking down suburban streets
I keep my dreams tucked underneath my feet
Is this the will of a desperate man
Or is this something new?

Only the losers know my name

Somedays I never leave my room
I'm just perfecting my vocabulary of doom
Someone chain me to a church pew
So I can say a prayer of the nadir of my youth

Only the losers know my name

Only the losers know my name
Only the losers know my pain
Track Name: People Are Lonely
I went to the innermost cave
Determined to return enlightened
I didn't learn much save
People are horribly frightened

Of being lonely
People are lonely

From the bottom of the well
To the top of the cathedral bell
People are erecting monuments
People are creating documents

Not to be lonely
People are Lonely

People are lonely
Hiding in their homes
Forgetting that the pyramids
Are nothing but tombs

If you wear a certain hat
You belong to a certain tribe
If you pray to a certain god
You've got an army on your side

People are lonely
These people are lonely

People are lonely
Hiding in their homes
Forgetting that the pyramids
Are nothing but tombs
Track Name: Someone to Watch Over You
A simple operation
This full-time occupation
When your confidence is tested
In need of consolation

I'll be someone to watch over you

We've traveled such a distance
Outlasted the resistance
Through daily devestations
I got strength from your persistence

I'll be someone to watch over you

I sing your songs every night
I'll sing them for the rest of my life

I'll be someone to watch over you
Track Name: Make Businessmen Cry
On the 7th day He rested
And on the 8th He left
Leaving the whole world in charge
With businessmen and bureaucrats
They made a mockery of Darwin
Said, "Let the bland survive
Let the natural order fall apart
As long as the trains run on time"

Make businessmen cry
Make businessmen cry
Some of us still have a dream
Make businessmen cry

Sometimes He gets restless
And He comes back to play
He tries to rid the world
Of its fleas with floods and plagues
But sometimes He gets restless
And then He leaves again
And it's back to selling heart attacks
To kids for 99 cents

Make businessmen cry
Make businessmen cry
Some of us still have a dream
Make businessmen cry

Make businessmen cry
I could wish more, but I'm not that type of guy
Make businessmen cry
KEEP HOPE ALIVE!
Track Name: The Great Divide
I woke up in a banana republic
When last I slept it was an empire
Next thing I know I'll look up
And the moon will be on fire

Clouds are shifting
Camera lens is wide
It appears we are drifting
Across the great divide

Is it just my imagination
Running away with me?
I hear an opera in the jungle
Thunder road is winding through the trees

Clouds are shifting
Camera lens is wide
It appears we are drifting
Across the great divide

Love redeem us
From our darkest night
We had all the money
And we could not get it right

Clouds are shifting
Camera lens is wide
it appears we are drifting
Across the great divide
Track Name: If We Never See Tomorrow
What will we do if we never see tomorrow?
What will we do if we never realize our dream?
You keep me hanging on
Lord, what have we done wrong
If they won't let us in we'll just have to find our own way

Something's gonna happen
Something's gonna happen
Something's gonna happen
But will we still be sane?

I know we'll find a way
But I just want to hear you say
It'll be OK if we never see tomorrow
Track Name: I Love You All the Same
Sometimes I dream of other women
And the end of the world
Sometimes I wanna crash your father's car
And steal your mother's pearls
I can be greedy
Selfish and vain
But oh my love
I love you all the same

I don't trust any man
Without conflict in his eyes
I don't trust any woman
Who's never been a pawn to desire
Someone had to bite the apple
I don't care who's to blame
Oh my love
I love you all the same

That old river is flowing
It flows to the sea
It won't wait for you
It won't wait for me

Lying in your bed
I dreamt of the fall of Rome
I did unspeakable things
It felt like home
Am I the candle
Or am I the flame?
Oh my love
I love you all the same
Track Name: Bronson (Who's Mad Now?)
You can keep
Your peasant wages
Your false idols
Your dogs on the bridges

I've already been to jail
And I'm not afraid of hell
Money don't mean nothing to me
I'll sleep without it quite well

Who's mad now?

I don't need your morals
I don't need your laws now
They're just another way
To keep the poor down

I've already been to jail
And I'm not afraid of hell
Money don't mean nothing to me
I'll sleep without it quite well

Who's mad now?

Gonna carve myself in marble
Describe myself in verse
I'll be here long after
You have done your worst

I've already been to jail
And I'm not afraid of hell
Money Don't mean nothing to me
I'll sleep without it quite well

Who's mad now?
Track Name: I'm Not Listening to the Radio Tonight
You talk just like we do
But only part of the time
You're only this famous
For towing that company line

It's overrated
What you over play

And now my love is over
I'm not listening tonight

I used to hang onto
Your every word
But now you change so slowly
I've outgrown you for sure

It's overrated
What you over play

And now my love is over
I'm not listening tonight

I can't blame you
You just want to be liked
Grew up idealistic
Cashed in to survive
But you used to be mine
You used to be mine

And now my love is over
I'm not listening tonight
Track Name: You're Never As Good As You Think You Are
One day the light will shine upon the truth
In front of the mirror in your birthday suit
Dear God, I'm no longer in my youth!

You're never as good as you think you are

You can dress up and you can drop names
You can work hard at playing the game
But you're gonna die anyway

You're never as good as you think you are

You were born at the right time and place
You didn't earn it, you don't deserve it
You were born with the right mind or face
You didn't earn it, you don't deserve it

You're never as good as you think you are
Track Name: San Lorenzo
Riding down through painted vistas
Against the rising of the sun
Either the dove shall be released
Or it's the cold steel of the gun
Your beauty it haunts me
Makes me wanna do something bold
Last I saw your naked shoulders
Get covered up in San Lorenzo

The kids are burning insects
With lenses in the street
And I begin to feel the presence
Of some divine comedy
Your beauty it eludes me
I've never felt so alone
I'd give anything to go back
And pass the time in San Lorenzo

Walking past mass graves
Endless skulls and endless bones
Merchants and slaves
All sharing the same tombs
Your beauty it comforts me
Makes me forget all I know
I'm hoping for a chance encounter
On the way to San Lorenzo