King Merriweather

by The Definite Articles

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Orchestral rock band The Definite Articles has completed work on their first full-length album, King Merriweather.

The seeds for the album were planted by a single song that bandleader Shawn Alpay wrote in 2007. The set of lyrics contained there seemed to describe a much different place than those constructed for his other songs, and it inspired Shawn to compose more in that vein; within a few months, the bulk of the album had been penned. Over the next two years, song arrangements took shape as a full collaboration with the other members of the band. Recording at John Vanderslice's Tiny Telephone commenced this past June; instrumentation recorded during the session ultimately comprised 30 musicians, including woodwinds, horns, harp, choir, and a dozen strings.

On King Merriweather, the group constructs a swirling, bittersweet tale of love, choice, and regret. Some songs swell to an epic size, others remain small and restrained; all reinforce a set of underlying themes that take multiple listens to fully uncover.


released November 19, 2010

Recorded June 2010, mixed July 2010 at Tiny Telephone, San Francisco, CA
Tracked and mixed by Ian Pellicci
Mastered by Bernie Grundman at BG Mastering, Hollywood, CA

All songs written and arranged by The Definite Articles

(c) 2010 The Definite Articles. All rights reserved


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The Definite Articles San Francisco, California

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Track Name: Awaken

King Merriweather
Where are you now?
I’ve been hailing your reign every day, and storming your clouds.
We’re airing your grievance, and praising your son.
And I think you’ll be challenged to cry, when we are done.

But I know you’re struggling towards winter.
That your grief is a form of belief, at home in the snow.
With a half-sigh, and a shake of your jewelry,
Will your clap be a formal collapse of masking your mirth?
It quakes up the earth.

Time and your smile are two things we don’t have,
So chin up, my dear, and hold the wheel.
The chatty technocrat, he’s idling in the dark.
He's kindling up a spark.
Track Name: Parallels

After the motorcrash,
When your head was south of sleeping,
And there were parallels.
When you rise, it won’t be long;
There will be wine, there will be song;
And there were parallels.

When I woke inside your den,
There was nothing there, nothing there.
Just some old maps of where you’d been;
There were parallels, parallels
All folding down and off the page,
In a tangled web of me.
The summer night you disappeared
Brought me levity.

So you can figure half a travesty;
And you can figure half of it is me;
But if you ramparts let his presence wane,
Well then the sunlight and the daylight will never spin your weathervane.

I am a man about town;
I’m esprit de corps;
And though we’re freshly shored from days of war,
I will see more.
We are men about town
Wearing kaleidoscope eyes;
Now what’s this I size?
Come to me, my prize.

(Fie, sea swell!)
Come, be my belle.
Ring my map.
(The earth to my parallels.)
When asea
(Fie, to draw my sight!)
You’re the moon.
The earth to my satellites.

So you can bundle strong, your majesty.
And you can martyr all that you can see.
But if you’re letting these caprices wane,
Well then the sunlight and the daylight will never spin your weathervane.

Pair perils.
Track Name: Gestalt

The levies turned away;
All of the ready family's summary
Caught in the undertow.
Cause the money's overdue;
The banks are flooding in;
Investors all agrin;
Rending limb from limb.

And I extended latitudes
Of my father's sort,
Meant to move the body on
Through darkness and dawn.
But it remained the same world,
Coming out overdrawn.
Where has it gone?

Sung from shadowed hours.
Is it what we had through the lookin' glass?
Come, these ghosts of ours.
Is it something more than esprit de corps
That we're lookin' for?

So I approached the platitudes
Of my uncle's sort,
In the case that he would know
What a family can sow
In leagues of fallow gardens
With no one taught how to grow.

He stroked his beard and he looked afear'd.
He said, "It's too important, and I know what to do,
Though I'll need some help from you."
I said, "There's little that I wouldn't do."
And he smiled and gestured me on.
We'll carry on!

In the hours at hand?
In a darkness I can't understand
All the words we array
With a language claim this faulty war to be ours?
Or to vault and cast away the darker days to return to gestalt?

Is it what we had through the lookin' glass?
Is it something more than esprit de corps?
Or in when we vault?
Track Name: Joanna

The high apparitions
They're errantly due
The beauty in their ghastly view.
But we will broadcast the better
With hopes numbered few
And ebbing from the midst of you.

In the midnight of your soul
Bursting with vim
And vigorously dim
You petition the moon to shine on.

But you’re wrapped up in books
(Did you notice? Did you want to?)
You’re tied up into knots
(Did you notice? Did you want to?)
Oh, Joanna!

So if you shrug off these fetters,
If pulses have hung,
Cast away beliefs that spectres won.
For I will do them one better
Where spectres have gone.
So watch for my approach and case the dawn.

In the sunset’s flare I will find you.
If the dashers dares to claim you there
Well, I will fashion a map up to find you.

In the sunset's glare, I'll define you.
And if the devil dares to take you there
I will fashion a map up to find you.
I will follow it to the letter.

In the midnight of your soul,
Bursting with vim, and vigorously dim
You petition the moon to shine on.
"But you're wrapped up in books.
Did you notice, or want to?"
And I will manage to make you whole.
Track Name: Cartography

What do I dream about?
Everybody asks that question now
Now that my dream is gone.
Consume me
Wonder whips escape their sorry lips
With permutations on
This accurate vision
So assumingly given
Now that my dream is gone.

And now this sight has sprung up in her place.
A most ironic grace.
But do decide;
Wonder whips escape their sorry lips
Now that my dream is gone.

Mapping out the angles
And to cadence up the ranks
With aptitudes for all that's true
Is a charming acumen.
But if all that's left is duty,
I'm siphoning my pen;
Now the time's for all good men
To sparkle and fade for their country.
Track Name: Lullaby

Good night, child
Rest your weary head
Release your mire
and set whimsy to bed.

Lord, may I not be cursed
For the evil I have done
To rob a young child
Of the chance to be a son.

So I can make do
Without a blushing wife
But Lord, protect him
From this awful wedded strife.
Track Name: Haley's Comets
Haley’s Comets

Let your whimsy float about
A bout of reverie.
As you finally figure out
How to fall up to me.

But priorities
Are all I can see
In your eyes, your comets high.
They are spears of you
Running ramshod true
To the irons in my fire.

So let your rations fall askew
And I'll go heavenly.
As you finally figure out
How to fall up to me.

But your bright regret
Hangs up in my net
Like a monarch captures kin;
Which I treasure so
But I’ll let it go
For we cannot live these lives again.

I remember
When you fully tendered all my trials
And what they meant to you.
Track Name: The Calm
The Calm

Mirrored your trials
In the dark
In the rank and reconciled.
And tempered, these hands;
See the pose?
See the calm, yes?

But under the guise
The simmer of days
That fold into years
To a quake that faults the heart.
It's a line, but it's a start
Lend your ears, yes

On and on we call for the remnants of grace
Can you hear me?
Can you hear me now?
Sing your siren song
And to call it a gain?
Can you hear me?
Can you tell me how?

Come, gather the costs, put them in place
Hedging the creeping of trials that come when you face the borders of grace.
I can see the gate..!
Combing the strands, I shall not wait,
Take up these hands,
And fling them to their fate!

The ebb leads to the glow
In the embers of grace
Can you hear me?
Can you tell me how?
Sing your siren song
If the embers allow.
Can you hear me?
Can you tell me how?
Track Name: Symmetry

Shadows arcing down
Held me anchored and abound;
And lanterns laid the culprit's way
Like jewels without a crown,
But I know now the spectres around me
are bound to fade.
I will let it go and tell you that
The angles are different.

When yours suffers a round,
Science of the fool?
But I know now of the efforts to shade your hate.
I will never shore or stand for that;
He told me you did it.

I know now the time for symmetry.

I know now
That the tinsel you've wound
Are bound to fade.
I know now
Though the aims are the same,
The angles are different.

Anchors hang in you
How they bend and crest me too.
But you cannot put to sea
Wearing caromed clarity.
And whether you agree,
You wear yours around.
You wear down.
I know now
To hold the hate away;
I knew how, and though the aims are the same,
He told me you did it.

I know now the time for symmetry.
Track Name: Bumbershoot

Bumbershoot eyes
Learning to fly, ever dancing.
Yet I'm peeling at the top of my lungs!
Learning to fly, the figure to try, in this mind.
So enter now this slough
This phosphorescent stew
You're never coming to,
So burn into these eyes.

(As to save.) The efforts of a hallowed line.
(Stick around.) The gallows of a winsome time.
(Hang around.) Til X's core about my eyes.
So get out, get out, get out --
The whole place is rigged to blow!

When the clouds
Lift our bodies away
And the deeds among us
Gather in the call
Of choirs floating around,
If the doors beyond stand tall,
Oh God,
What befalls?

It's in my bones;
Can you hear me now?
Espered in my arms.
Half the dreams
Stood addled on the shore;
History recycled in my heart.
To belong,
to behave,
Or to rend from what we save.
Can you hear me now?
The embers of my art
Will allay the tangles on my part
To end this cycle now.

If X's, they core about my eyes.
(In thirty seconds, it'll all be over.)
The efforts of a winnowed life.
(In thirty seconds, it'll all be over.)
Here we are;
Let it go;
Have it out.
In thirty seconds, it'll all be over.
Track Name: Tariff

Wherefore the calling of the choir?
To be awake for the embers of this hour?
They glow in the close of a costly art.

There's a tariff on your heart; tear it off.
But there's attacks upon mine too; what do we do?

But then the strains come through gilded avenues.
To mark refrains from what embers misconstrue:
They spark; they moan; and they rake at you.

There's a devil on your heart; tear it off!
But there's a devil on mine too; what do I do?

So no more,
You can dial out this dreadful drought in a moment or two
When I'm gone,
To be drawn to beyond;
Watch the dawn.

Here now we celebrate the day!
(Have I now one way to go?)
What grand and gallant on display!
(From the caroms, to and fro?)
And how they'll sanctify his name!
(In your arms, I'll never know.)

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