Oft Interred With Their Bones

by The Good

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about

Elvis Costello didn't reinvent the guitar, but he did put a new spin on the songwriting wheel. Costello-ish songs that feature lyrics worth straining to hear are both a lost art and a dying breed, and there's at least one Chicago band that seems to agree with me. The Good, a local five-piece with a jones for wit, angst, and quality lyrics, display considerable songwriting talent on their first CD. —Gwen Ihnat, Illinois Entertainer, 1995

Oft Interred With Their Bones might be the best self-produced record I've ever heard. Classic rocking guitars underneath a fresh blend of styles and vocals... all wrapped around songs that recall wordsmiths like Paul Simon, Lou Reed, Ray Davies. Ask me what real 'alternative' music is and I'll tell you it's The Good." —Jen Self, WRBU, Indianapolis, 1995

They are good! —Jackie Bange, WGN-TV News, Chicago, 1995

Vocals first, with guitars a close second. Like lyrical rockers Queen and Blur before them, The Good has distilled a number of wide-ranging influences into one hell of an original sound. These guys don't bother to walk the thin line between pop and rock. They trample it. —Mike Anzaldi, WIDB, Carbondale, IL 1995

There are some very, very fine moments on this new compact disc from The Good. —Richard Milne, WXRT, Chicago, 1995

While the music's worth the price of admission, the lyrics are what elevate the disc to must-have status. —Denis Boyles, Men's Health Magazine, 1995

credits

released January 1, 1994

All songs written by Tony Rogers or Devin Arkin, except "Interruption," written by John Scholvin. Performed by Tony Rogers (vocals, guitar, trumpet), Devin Arkin (vocals, harmonica), John Scholvin (guitar, piano), Scott Hedrick (bass), and Greg Newman (drums). With Scott Ramsayer (keyboards), Mark Corey (trombone), Ken Gleason (saxophone), Linwood Ma (trumpet), Tuey Connell (banjo), and Carlos Cornier (congas). Recorded by Scott Ramsayer, mastered by Jason Rau.

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The Good Chicago, Illinois

The Good is the creation of singer / songwriters Tony Rogers (tonyrogers.bandcamp.com) and Devin Arkin (who died from brain cancer in late 2016), joined by John Scholvin (guitar), Dave Rothkopf (bass), and John Goodman (drums). The band began making waves on the Chicago music scene in the early 90's; they've released 4 critically acclaimed full length studio albums, and more. ... more

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Track Name: There Oughta Be a Law
There Oughta Be A Law
(Rogers)

I feel so sorry for Jane
It must have been the biggest breakup in herstory
And I can see she's really in pain
And that she's only trying to think up a remedy

But when Jane says there oughta be a law
I oughta tell her that I'd rather get a saw
To cut off both her legs and put her in a bog
Where she can legislate the mosquitos and the frogs
When Jane says...

Jane didn't think it was fair
To break the fragile heart of a shy professor
But if she's so shy, why is she there
On CBS This Morning and the Wall Street Journal?

And when Jane says there oughta be a law
I oughta send her up in Apollo 18
To Jupiter with all her legal jerks
So they can give it a shot there and come back if it works
When Jane says...

Well, Eden may be where it started
But Jane is surely where it ends
She'll leave a gender broken-hearted
Or at least with nothing left to spend

Jane doesn't see why a girl
Should have to live and learn even if she's stupid
She can already imagine a world
Where you'd rather be a eunuch than to mess with cupid

So when Jane says there oughta be a law
I oughta take her to a great big waterfall
And put her in a boat and push her to the edge
And maybe love can still save her, even when she's dead
When Jane says...
Track Name: What Daddy Did
What Daddy Did
(Arkin)

4th of July and a girl wraps her legs
Around his sweaty neck as he races
Other pops with kids.
As he crosses the line, the crowd laughs
A man gives them a ribbon and she says
Look what Daddy did.

Daddy, read me a story, she says through a yawn.
Her eyes. Flick, flick, flicker through
I think I can or the giant peach.
She's not really listening she just wants him there.
Daddy's head starts to bob
And she wakes right up 'cause he looks so silly
Nodding off like that.
Mom comes looking for her man
Daughter giggles,
Hey, Mommy, look what my Daddy did.

Before they leave she makes him check the closet
And under the bed
'Cause in that movie that's where monsters hid.
All clear and he kisses his girl on her smile.
As her eyes close she thinks about what Daddy...

Thanksgiving she's home from school.
Thin. Mean hair.
Daddy winces at the gleam of the ring in her nose
And she knows.
Who owes? Who cares about the white man's history?
It doesn't include me.
She won't eat the turkey.
All that's wrong with the world and her place
And her body and face is something that her Daddy did.

So says her Group and the woman
With all the diplomas on her wall
And the shelves full of books she's read.
It's not your fault, she said.
Your job is to give back to yourself
Not to forgive what your Daddy did.

The number you have reached has been disconnected.
No further information... Click.
What the--where's that girl?
And where's her mother?
There's a note--How could you?
Our little girl.
Is that what your Daddy?
You call yourself a Daddy?
You're not my baby's Daddy.
You'll never be a Daddy after what you did.

It hits him like a truck in his gut
But he closes his eyes and sees his
Little girl laughing in bed.
My God, this isn't me.
It's bad TV about what some psycho sicko dirty Daddy did.

Believe the children.
Believe the children.
Believe the children.
Believe--no matter what they say.
Believe the doctor.
Believe the little pill.
Bulimia.
Believe what Daddy did made you this way.

If I could see her face
I still wouldn't believe her
But there's not a trace of doubt in her mind.
Track Name: Oh Stephanie
Oh Stephanie
(Rogers)

Your sister and I
We think about you every time we walk past the skate shop
On Halsted Street and Altgeld Avenue

And we yin and yang
About you every time we see a fat plastic buddha
In a junk store window calling out your name...out your name

And "Oh Stephanie," she laughs,
"I'll never have your perfect skin."
And "Oh Stephanie," she cries,
"I never seem to have enough time with you."

The girl without hair
She stares at us in record stores all over the city
And makes me and your sister talk about you... about you

And the Century Mall
With all its beads and earrings and its activist T-shirts
It asks us when you're coming back to town... into town

And "Oh Stephanie," she laughs,
"I'll never have your pretty hair."
And "Oh Stephanie," she cries,
"I never seem to have enough time with you."

Everybody's room looks a little black In the dead of the night
But open up your door a crack
And we'll do our best to cast you a little more light

"Oh Stephanie," she laughs, "I'll never have your skinny legs"
And "Oh Stephanie," she laughs, "I'll never have you perfect skin"
And "Oh Stephanie," she laughs, "I'll never have your pretty hair"
And "Oh Stephanie," she cries,
"I never seem to have enough time with you."

Your sister and I
We think about you every time we walk past the skate shop
Track Name: Skokie Swift
Skokie Swift
(Arkin)

Day breaks with the Skokie Swift.
(Men and women dressed for success.)
She rumbles to a halt to give me a lift.
(Bosses who don't care but don't want less.)
Students who think art is anything
And pierce their noses with a ring.
Girls wearing walkmen and magazines.

And then there's I.
Can't help but wonder why
They won't look into my eyes.
I shake my head and sigh...
But I take another look.

A girl reads a book by Kerouac.
I look at her but she doesn't look back.
I think that when I read cool books on trains I wish someone would say,
"Hey, I read that," and maybe we'd be friends...

Probably not.
She'll think that you're a nut.
Just stay inside your rut
It's safe and easy but...

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
No more cliches in this refrain.
I want to get off of this train.
It's just connection that I crave.
The Skokie Swift could be my saviour
If I'd just decide to lay it on the line.

Kick my way between elevator doors.
Angry faces just can't bear one more.
Waiting for their numbers to come up
They pray that no one will disrupt
Their trip from down to up and then

Work, eat, work again 'til six.
The more you live the more you learn the tricks.
If I leave at just the perfect time
I get to see the girl with good hair
And this time she could see me...

You never know.
Tonight I'll give it a go.
The worst she'll say is no.
But what if she's got a Joe?. . .

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
No more cliches in this refrain.
I want to get off on this train.
It's just connection that I crave.
The Skokie Swift could be my saviour
If I'd just decide to lay it on the line.
Track Name: Day at the Beach
A Day at the Beach
(Arkin)

A crowded restaurant at the beach
And the family laughs when Mom reads the part
About Natasha's uncle, who always says
That's the mark
But little Isaac doesn't catch it 'cause he's

Too busy for Tolstoy with Tolkien
But he hears 'em laugh and he wants to know the jokin'
So he puts The Hobbit aside as she reads the part again
And this time Isaac laughs with the family.

The tide is low and a Mom and Dad
Walk along the sand at the edge of the surf
With their new young son in between saying
Swing me, swing me, so they each grab a hand and they say

One two three upsy-daisy
And he laughs so hard that Dad thinks of other ways he
Can entertain his boy and make him happy
To be in a new family

Then a car that says "To protect and serve"
Comes from behind but they don't see.
Of all the nerve, thinks the cop
So he screams through his speaker so loud
That they drop the boy on the shells and he cries.

The sun is high and a family chews the fat and the taffy
As they walk down the boardwalk.
And Stacey thinks to herself that it sure looks
Different by day, especially when you're on it and not

Under it with your back to the sand
With Rusty holding a bottle of Jack in his hand.
And must he always go all the way?
And she prays that she can get the money
So she won't start a family.
Track Name: Comfortable
Comfortable
(Rogers)

They promised me they'd give me piles of the stuff
That I would never have to fish to eat
So with those kinds of positives and no kinds of negatives
I looked at the feet they offered me
Two kissing birds were watching the exchange from a busker's case
Before they laughed and lit away from the scene
But by then I'd forgotten what they asked me to remember
Because didn't it seem like I found what I'd been looking for

A hole...
A hole that I can crawl into

You mentioned that you feel so comfortable with me
It's the cruelist thing you've said all week
I'm just trying to imagine where the conversation goes from here
If I were to speak of busting through
The stratosphere is holding the air we breathe into place
So we can know it's safe to be outside
But while you dig a little deeper all your hopes are getting higher
Take a look at yourself, you're already sizing up

A hole...
A hole...
A hole that I can crawl into

I'm looking for a hole, still looking for a hole
That I can crawl into
Track Name: Throw Away
Throw Away
(Rogers)

Cody had a business suit he could not throw away
Seems that it's the only one could get him through his working day
Because in the pocket he could still detect the smell
Of the sweet perfume on the girl from painting school
And it was the one he loved
(he loved that business suit)
It was the one he loved...

Laney had a pickup truck they could not tow away
'Cause even though it did not run, she dreamed that it would start someday
To high-drive her across America to meet the agent who told her
She should be in Hollywood
And it was the one she loved
(she loved that pickup truck)
It was the one she loved...

Nora had a baseball bat she would not stow away
She'd brokena pinata with it with some hombre down by Mexico way
And she might need it when she made it back to
Write her masterpiece and live so happily
With the one she loved
(she loved that baseball bat)
With the one she loved...

And I have got an old guitar I will not throw away
It never wants to stay in tune, but might be worth a lot someday
Because wouldn't anybody want the first guitar
Of a boy who finally threw it all away
In the name of the one he loves
(I love that old guitar)
Of the one I love...
Track Name: Pygmalion
Pygmalion
(Arkin)

If I knew what I know today
I'd have done it all the very same way.
But what you do won't be what I say. What a shame.
You knew but pretended, or so it seems
That I'm not the one who haunts your dreams
If you versus me is unfair teams, who's to blame?

You ask me now to wait here alone
Your intimate friend but just on the phone.
You can throw me out, but don't throw me a bone
It's too slow.
I can't compromise my desire.
In you there's a spark but in me there's a fire.
If I don't provide the fuel you require, let it go.

You'd mold me, you were my Pygmalion.
You told me I was yours to keep.
I'd hold you when your mind was ailin'.
But I knew you best when I'd watch you in your sleep.

Well it makes such sense to you, so strong.
If everything isn't right, it's wrong.
We'll be friends first and lovers before long--that's the plan?
So I stand back here and watch you now
Begin the voyage for your sacred cow.
I'd rather drink from the bottle than christen your bow. Understand?

You'd mold me, you were my Pygmalion.
You told me I was yours to keep.
I'd hold you when your mind was ailin'.
But I knew you best when I'd watch you in your sleep.

After all the love I haven't had
It's good to feel even if it feels bad.
I know I'm alive and I know I'm mad, and that's cool.
Some day you'll open your critical eyes
And look at yourself to see me in disguise
By then I'll be older and far too wise for you.

So don't mold me, you're not Pygmalion.
Don't scold me, all our secrets I've kept.
You don't know me, and it's not my failin'.
But you would have if you'd watched me when I slept.
You'd have known me if you'd watched me when I slept.
You'd have loved me if you'd watched me when I slept.
Track Name: Middle Ages
Middle Ages
(Rogers)

Now that I've breached middle age, said Pierre
I find myself falling to fear and to hate
But this wouldn't be happening, I wouldn't even care
If I hadn't been born 700 years too late

Please let us live in the past
Where we won't have to pay the electric or gas
Please let us live in the woods
Where knights in black armor hold up the good

Oh Pierre, it's so clear that we're made for each other
Said his good wife Helene as she sat on her throne
I'd give them the Dodge, you know I'd give them the Duster
If they could just promise to leave us all alone

Please let us live in the past
Where we won't have to pay the electric or gas
Please let us live in the woods
Where knights in black armor hold up the good

Pierre brandished his sword and he dreamed of the year
When he'd singlehandedly vanquish the techs and the feds
But he'd taken out his Beltone so he didn't even hear
His Pacemaker battery go dead...

Please let us live in the past
Where we won't have to pay the electric or gas
Please let us live in the woods
Where knights in black armor hold up the good
Track Name: Interruption / Georgia Avenue
Georgia Avenue
(Arkin)

They got a cemetery and Marion Barry,
Cocaine, booze and shops for porn.
People black and white smokin' crack all night.
Silos 'n' rows of whores and corn.

Kids just don't know what they want to be.
Parents miss the days when they were free.
Worried about all the things they have to do.
Getting by on Georgia Avenue.

They got a tractor race and a trip to space
Swimming meets and pick-up games of rock.
They got Kennedy High and a night drive-by
Nike Air and a fair for prize livestock.

Moon shines on the beds of sleeping fools.
They dream of life as a game, and there's no rules.
Wake up and feel 'round for your shoes.
Waking up on Georgia Avenue.

[Pleasant Valley Sunday]
See Mrs. Gray, she's proud today
Because her roses are in bloom.
And Mr. Green, he' so serene.
He's got a TV in every room.

[The Message]
Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge.
I'm tryin' not to lose my head.
Huh huh huh huh.
It's like a jungle sometime,
It makes me wonder how I keep from going under.

[Maggie's Farm]
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.

Now I work and play in the U.S.A.
Roaming around from town to town.
I see a lot of folk, both rich and broke
Missing something lost and sometimes found.

Yesterday I finally found my home
The mountains, prairies, oceans white with foam.
Every time I wander someplace new
The roadsign still reads Georgia Avenue.
Track Name: Reality & Other Nightmares
Reality and Other Nightmares
(Arkin)

I'd love to be a star
All the world's a stage of my life so far
The screen is silver but the holes are small
I'd love to pass the bar
Inside the judges puff and spar
For prizes I don't get, and I don't think I want 'em.

Reality, reality, reality
And other nightmares.

Every litter has its runt
But Daddy says no, that dog won't hunt
If I knew what to do, I know I could do it.
I've got real talent, you know
That and two dollars'll make me a Starbuck's joe.
Do I have to be a broad to make it on Broadway?

Reality, reality, reality
And other nightmares.

I'm so weird. (With every dream...)
I'm so scared. (...Comes a new nightmare...)
I'm so lost. (...Somewhere in-between...)
I'm so alone (...You find reality.)

If I knew this was what it took
I wouldn't have tried to write the book
It's already written and everyone's read it but me.
But this is who I am.
I was what I was and I wasn't a sham
And now I'm just getting better
Come closer and see for yourself because this is the real me, the

Reality, reality, reality
And other nightmares.
Track Name: Found Out
Found Out
(Rogers)

This morning on my way to work
I saw tractors tearing up tennis courts for parking lots
My girlfriend said, "Why do you care? You don't play tennis."
I said, "Yeah. But I don't drive either."

This morning on my way into the office
I saw a woman step right out of her shoe
I laughed aloud at her bare until it struck me
That it was the best sex I'd had all week

And then all day long
I sat leafing through the pages of a Time-Life book
Holding my head in my hands and shaking it

I don't wanna be found out
I don't wanna be found out

This morning on my way to bed
A voice said financial independence was mine
I called the toll-free number she read
But the woman who answered only could tell me that I couldn't afford it

This morning on my way into the station
I saw the same old man who's there every day
He came up and asked me "Where do you live?"
I said, "Insanity," and he said, "Cool. Can you lend me a quarter?"

And then all day long
With the possible exception of my two hour lunch
Holding my head in my hands and shaking it

I don't wanna be found out
I don't wanna be found out
Track Name: Goodbye If You Die
Goodbye If You Die
(Arkin)

Hello, Mom, this is your son.
Just wanted to call in case you pass on.
I know you think you're happy and still having fun.
But you're old, and you could slip in the shower.

Hello, Dad, it's really quite sad.
You seem so very healthy, but soon you could be dead.
Run over by a golf cart.
Or a hemorrhage in your head.
Or maybe you'll eat a poisonous fish.

Goodbye Mom and Dad if you die.
I promise if you buy the farm I'm gonna cry.
You never know who when where how or why.
So goodbye Mom and Dad.
Goodbye if you die.

Hello, honey. It's really not funny.
But I'm not your first, and I bet there were many.
You were just too cute to not be getting any.
And you've always said how much you hated condoms.

Hello, son. You're so very young.
But you're allergic to bees, and you could get stung.
Or stolen by a crazy person
In his closet you'll be hung
As a sportcoat that he's fashioned from your skin.

Goodbye, my loves, if you die.
I promise if you bite the big one I'm gonna cry.
You never know who when where how or why.
So goodbye my loves.
Goodbye if you die.

Hello, friend. This could be the end.
You've always been strong--
A man among men.
But you could be mauled by a grizzly
So for the last time take my hand.
Or I could even die first, but I doubt it.

Goodbye, my friend, if you die.
I promise if you kick the bucket I'm gonna cry.
You never know who when where how or why.
So goodbye my friend.
Goodbye if you die.

Goodbye, everyone, if you die.
We promise if you all croak we're gonna cry.
You never know who when where how or why.
So goodbye, everyone.
Goodbye if you die.
Goodbye, everyone.
Goodbye if you die.
Track Name: Cradle to Fall
Cradle To Fall
(Rogers)

Dream a little piece of your dream
Let it bring a little peace to you... in your dream
You could be the next Marlena
Or Marlena might be the first you...in your dream
In your dream

Take a little trip to your head
Give reality a holiday... in your head
You can just spend a wink there
But then maybe you'll decide to stay... in your bed
In your head

I'm afraid to go to sleep
'Cause what if I dream and wake to find my life is still the same
I don't think I can stay awake
The disappointment's shutting down my brain

Pull down the shades, push up the heat
Turn the TV to snow... and close your eyes
Crawl into sheets, bury yourself, nobody needs to know...
'Cause funny how hope dies
With the sunrise

I'm afraid to go to sleep
'Cause what if I dream and wake to find my life is still the same
I don't think I can stay awake
The disappointment's shutting down my brain