So Punk Rock.

by The Michael Character

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The Michael Character's debut album. Full band. Fully punk rock.


released June 4, 2011


Recorded at Bolsheviktory Studio in Princeton, NJ between the summer of 2010 and the summer of 2011.
Audio Engineer: Kevin Marcoux
Mixed/Mastered by: Kevin Marcoux
Album Art by: Joey Gambatese

All songs written by J. Ikeda except for "Fool Me Twice," which was co-written with Isaac Cheng.

J.Ikeda: Acoustic rhythm guitar, lead vocals

Waco: Bass guitar, backup vocals,
xylophone (on "The Burden of Existentialism")

John: Lead guitar, rhythm guitar, backup vocals (on "Capricorn")

Kevin: Drums, backup vocals (on "Sidewalkers")

Special thanks to Connor Healey, who sang backup vocals on "Capricorn," and also to Lauren Marsh & Chelsea Gohd who sang backup vocals on "Urban Tumbleweed."



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The Michael Character Boston, Massachusetts

Acoustic punk based in Boston, MA. Absolutely willing to drive very far to play for you and five of your vaguely alternative friends in your combination kitchen/laundry room. Hit me up.


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Track Name: Sidewalkers
We left the clocks a'tickin' on
A metronome for a slow song
We don't care how or when we get there
Car seat is steamin' in the sun
Forget it; walkin's way more fun
I've had it with technology
Let's break out bonds, for once be free
We won't be sold
Can't bottle up the light you know, and
We can't go home
Well the clock keeps spinnin', that's the way it goes
Slow down, distracted by the rain
We'll never make it back again
Been so damn long, I lost all direction
Keep at it, still can't hear a sound
But look at all these things we've found
Not clever, resolute. A tartan suit, just doin' our own thing
We won't be sold
Can't bottle up the light you know, and
We can't go home
Well the clock keeps spinnin', that's the way it goes
We won't stop being ourselves
'Till the day we dye the ground red, dye the ground red
And I'll keep humming to myself
The things you keep up on your shelf
Hidden from public eye
Fuck that, the sky is calling your name
Track Name: Offices!!!
All the humid air is trapped inside tonight
Like vintage kerosene it burns far too bright
This chair is too goddamn small and
I never thought I'd receive the call
The tore apart my living room and filled it up with you
Then lit it all aflame just a bit too soon

All the City Buses light the way tonight
Immortal guardians regulating life
There's not a word in that book that cannot be explained away
By the natural forces that spell out your name
Boldly hidden in the frozen sand
When you clasp that plastic stick in hand
It's destructive to the mindlessness
Through the flight path of balloons
Exploded by a plane just a bit too soon
Track Name: Dear America, (live from Jonaroo 2010)
Dear America, look around you
All the faces in this crowd are filled with doubt too
But what good is a protest if you don't know what you're fighting against?
The demagogues that you've gathered around
Who wanna burn the White House to the ground
Don't care if their positions will benefit you
And it doesn't matter anyway 'cause no one seems to have a clue
Please open your eyes and denounce the lies

We have the capacity to do good
Might sound subjective but I'd like to think it's just misunderstood
All thanks to the Glenn Becks of the world
Who shamelessly spread lies over the radio waves
and no one every asks them to substantiate their claims
But they don't need to 'cause the people listen anyway
No they don't need to 'cause you'll buy their lies just the same

It's so easy to see the world in black and white
If the Democrats are wrong than Republicans must be right
I beg to differ and I ask of all the people
Dispel this silly notion now, 'cause it is lethal
Instead of thinking things in terms of "us" and "them"
How 'bout you do a little research, contrast, compare and then
You'll find that having a well informed opinion
Gives you more power than screaming "NAZI!" while the fear runs high
Track Name: Fool Me Twice
"Have your cake and eat it too"
You said to me, so endearingly
With a slap to my face and the sound of your heel you were gone
Down the fair porcelain corridor
Cecilia, why treat me so?
Twas long ago, and yet it still burns me up
To think of how you left me
Flat on the ground with a knife in my chest, on a plane homeward bound

You speak to me like you're in a dream
Just a silhouette, at least so it seems
With the scent of your breath like gold cigarettes
You were gone, lost down decadent alleyways
Cecilia, why treat me so?
Eight years ago. And clearly I see it now
How lucky that you left me like a junkie strung out on political clout in an old opera house

So let him be or just let him dream
Like a doctor on methamphetamines
Let him skip through the sky
Like Lucy and I
He'll be gone, he'll be gone, he'll be gone
But Cecelia, why treat him so?
Those seeds you've sewn will spell his end, and he'll descend alone
With barely a blink and no time to think of those coriander nights he surrendered in spite of you
Track Name: Uptown Espresso
Three quarters fell out of my pocket yesterday
Upon the grid of terra cotta on the floor
$6.50 for a cup of coffee and a turkey sandwich
Sometimes waking up feels like a chore

Down the street I'll meet you by the bus stop
We can let the leaves reflect their tiresome colors on jaded faces
I can't breathe when you're near me
Why don't we go home?

Recording all my waking hours
just to find the violins are almost always out of tune
I always thought I was precocious
but I guess that I'm just socially inept up the wazoo
Track Name: The Burden of Existentialism
Not quite broke
But I don't have a job so
All my money will go much too soon into
Vinyl records and things that make my head hurt
And instruments I'll never learn how to play
Been a long time coming so I really shouldn't be surprised
Spending half a day alone in a room lit only by computer light
Maybe someday soon I'll learn how to be a person
Who's actually worth the friendship of another
But for now I'll sit quiet on a park bench
And write about how I can't stand myself
Track Name: Capricorn
Don’t forget me lips frozen outside your apartment, waiting for a night
Where we could see the endless stars and planets, like white marbles in the sky
Still air surrounds, lit from but one direction
Until the rain came down, and softened your inflection

And it went like…and it went a little something like-
Can’t think of many places I’d rather escape than
Behind vast black diesel fumes afraid to be awake because
Gasoline is a trend we would be
Better to forget the raid and hurry home to me because

Capricorn to Gemini it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be
It’s gonna be, surrender to me!

I’ve got a jet lag that I keep in a box
On a shelf in some closet unaffected by clocks
Still suspended in time it sits idly by
For a day one day soon when it once again flies away
Here them say
Through the blanket of shouts it cuts straight like a blade
“Close your eyes and disappear,
No good will come from staying here.”
Well perhaps that is true, but I’ll take my chances
And through the smoke I’ll keep on dancin’ this way