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Throw the Lions to the Christians

by Larry O. Dean

Dearly beloved your eyes are black with spite & I see your fingernails are chewed down to the whites I might have heard the story of your big divide another way on another day with you on the victor's side but then, dearly beloved with whom could you confide? Dearly beloved sleep now with the truth it follows at your heel like a dog running loose the friends who gave you shoulders don't answer their locked doors what they can't blindly justify is easier ignored what then, dearly beloved can you be hoping for? Dearly beloved the pieces of the past are broken at your feet & piling up fast I've given all of my advice now I'm peeled down to the nerves but somehow you think cruelty is all that you deserve but, dearly beloved you know that is absurd
I put myself together got my act in gear sometimes things look tough but I persevere it's the only way to get things done around here What a well-ordered day I have constructed nothing stands in my way I'm unobstructed what a wonderfully well-ordered day Made all the right decisions everything's going OK now I can sit back, relax & enjoy the day I haven't got a bad thing to say People say my head's in the clouds people say I'm dreaming but I say that's alright 'cause I'm not scheming look at me, my face is beaming
Trinkets 03:09
The things you hold a candle to all the items you value don't add up to a hill of beans that's me I'm here caught between You & your trinkets nickknacks & this & thats high school yearbooks & locks of hair just bits & pieces of past affairs trinkets Try to trade your useless nostalgia for all the items I gave ya as legal tender it's counterfeit you won't get past point "A" with it I'm not worth all the treasures you seek & I'm beginning to feel just like an antique old & worn & torn at the seams that's me I'm here caught between High school yearbooks & locks of hair bits & pieces of past affairs...
Nose Job 01:53
My best friend had a nose job, now he's not the same anymore they say that he's more handsome & he no longer snores well, I don't care if I'm ugly I'll make do with what I've been given but my best friend paid the doctor to change his way of living They call it a miracle of science to take a face apart & put it back together using a medical chart but I call it bloody murder to rearrange a look idealize & stylize it 'til it resembles something out of a book My best friend is a stranger that face I do not know he moves in different circles with a brand new nose my best friend had a nose job, now he's not the same anymore...
Hey, what's with you? You're face is so long it looks like a landing strip or a vessel whose captain & crew just abandoned ship now you're giving me that look that says "What am I gonna do?" Hey, what's with you? What's with you? Yesterday you said you felt like doing somersaults now you're whining about it's so & so's fault if he don't care then don't wind up playing the fool hey, what's with you? I've been down, I know what it's like when up seems so far away but here's a noun I'm offering you to dutifully say ... What's with you? After a good night's sleep you'll be feeling fine you'll wake up to birds singing on the telephone line as Mr. Sun comes out & starts to shine if you need a smile well then, here's mine I'd gladly paste it over your mouth with Krazy Glue hey, what's with you?
Don't count your chickens before they're hatched a stitch in time saves nine thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife this is my philosophy of life An ounce of prevention's worth a pound of cure nice guys finish last & every cloud has a silver lining this is my philosophy of life Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you give & you shall receive an apple a day keeps the doctor away this is my philosophy of life A penny saved is a penny earned an eye for an eye what doesn't destroy me makes me stronger this is my philosophy of life Peace through power only the strong survive & love is blind eat, drink & be merry shit happens this is my philosophy of life (cram it down your throat) I cut out the bad parts with a knife (hurry up, don't miss your boat) I accept everything implicitly (I am the angriest young man) I live my own life & let others be (I will survive doing the best I can) this is my philosophy of life
If I had a nickel for every problem a dime for every slight a quarter of my time would be spent fretting every little thing that hasn't gone right still I'm here, no, I'm not there in my sensory deprivation tank counting the profits I made off my worries just like money in the bank Days go by, I hardly notice the passage of my heart jumping through hoops of fiery disdain after being trained to do its part I've focused my energies on all the wrong problems shooting gets easier loaded with blanks & I'll stoop to count my smoking casings just like money in the bank In our youth, we smile & dance each day heralds something new the warmth of the sun or the taste of the wind makes us feel there's nothing we can't do then one day, you wake up older & think, "What a dirty prank led to believe we could add up experience just like money in the bank" I'd give anything to know what was right that feeling's an aphrodisiac but wrongness somehow always gets a hold & turns you into an amnesiac there's safety in forgetting & for that you know who you can thank that other self safely tucked away just like money in the bank
Think Fast 03:07
When you answered the door you were in somebody else's shirt I stood there, amazed bouquet in my fist can't say how much I hurt how afraid I was to squint my eyes did I want to see who it was behind you in the darkness did I want to recognize some familiar face from our mutual past? So I had to think fast. Remember how I handed the flowers over to you? Without a peep, like some shy little boy would do? Then as I turned to leave I felt your hand on my shoulder if I'd been a little bolder I would've slapped you on the wrist made my exit & never looked back but I wasn't any good at walking outside the shadow you cast I had to think fast. & you know how I hate to think alone I'd rather sit in resolute silence & chew through our dilemmas like two dogs fighting for the same bone. If you think changing your telephone number will change anything you're probably right I can't waste my time wondering anymore what you do at night today in the mail, the papers came there in boldface type was your name I tore the damn things up & flushed 'em down the toilet I'm so sick of arguing with myself I'm no good at self-flagellation let's be honest, it didn't last... I had to think fast to survive, I had to think fast.
Well I hate to disappoint you but black coffee won't do any good when I'm acting this way it's best to let me feel misunderstood you know it's only a front that goes up when it's convenient I've worked on this face for years anger that's expedient & even the occasional obligatory tears Don't try to make me feel guilty I'll only pout & shut up then you'll apologize for cutting me down as I cut up but look the other way sometimes out the window if you need when I start parading all my fears all the emotional swerves & curves you're keyed to & even the occasional obligatory tears especially the occasional obligatory tears
"Have a drink on me," she said "have a drink when I am dead remember all of the times we had mostly the good but also the bad" we tried to be fair we tried to be just we tried to depend on undependable trust but when tempers flared & our fists flew it was only anger crying out "I love you" So we wore our hats & we wore our shoes & we wore out our welcomes & our how-do-you-do's by locking ourselves into nasty habits that predicted the end as easily as lab rats "Have a look at me," she said fabricating a lie while making the bed self-destructing on an impossible mission throw the lions to the Christians We thought we knew what to expect young & impressionable yet full of regret running on batteries weak from the start that weakened with every wild beat of our hearts we ran in the snow, we ran in the rain we ran down hills & then up them again hands in our pockets & feet on the ground two mutts on the lam from the dog pound "Have pity on me," she pitifully cried with a horrible voice breaking from inside that didn't sound like her at all or the her I'd known talking late at night on the telephone her knees were bruised from crawling on all fours looking for something once lost & long since ignored while I looked for a cup to piss in throw the lions to the Christians A story isn't a story without a beginning & an end & this a story about old friends who gave up giving up too much of themselves & decided to give up something else "Have a dance with me" she smiled & asked as she removed her raccoon mask her face was beautiful in the dim light & the two of them danced all night In the morning things were different passion turned into politeness as the sun came up, flooding the room with whiteness they knew each other intimately they knew each other blind they knew each other was one of a kind but suspicion got the best of them & off they went adding up all of the time they spent worrying over spilt milk in the kitchen throw the lions to the Christians


Singer-songwriter Larry O. Dean's fifth solo release, Throw the Lions to the Christians, was his first twenty-four track studio recording, following a quartet of cassette-only releases from the early '90s (Cruel & Unusual Punishment; Prince Charming; The Age of Anxiety; and Centrifugal Farce) created at home on his trusty Fostex four-track recorder, as well as releases by his band at the time, The Fussbudgets, and four collections of poems (Rate of Exchange and Other Poems; Barking up the Wrong Tree; QWERTYUIOP; and Eyes, Ears, Nose & Throat).

TTLTTC was recorded in the mid-90s in San Francisco at Olde West, where The Fussbudgets had recorded their work to date. It features Larry, backed up by such Bay Area luminaries as Lee Bloom (keyboards), Don Cunningham (clarinet), Ned Doherty (bass), Christine (Wall) Freeman (vocals), Kash Killion (cello), Chris Lehmann (vocals), Tony Maxwell (guitar), Ken Richards (vocals), Gabriel Sandino (guitar & vocals), James Schaefer (drums & vocals), and Mark Thomas (vocals). However, its release was delayed due to various circumstances, including the breakup of The Fussbudgets, and Larry's subsequent work with the band that followed in their wake, Malcontent.

In 1995, Larry relocated to Chicago and founded power-pop band, Post Office, whose debut, Public Displays of Affection came out in 1996. Finally released in 1997, TTLTTC was re-sequenced and appended with selected Fussbudgets cuts and Malcontent's sole EP, since that extra material had itself never received a proper release. It received terrific reviews and radio airplay, after which Larry focused attention back on Post Office.

In honor of its fifteenth anniversary, TTLTTC has been restored to its previous sequence, including two never-before-heard tracks, and remastered (by original mastering engineer, Mike Hagler at Kingsize Soundlabs). It kicks off a full-scale remastering/re-issuing campaign by Zenith Beast Records!


released March 6, 2012

Recorded at Olde West, San Francisco, CA 1993. Engineered by James Schaefer. Remastered at Kingsize Sound Labs, Chicago, IL October 2011 with Mike Hagler.


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Larry O. Dean Chicago, Illinois

Larry O. Dean was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. His numerous chapbooks include I Am Spam (2004), a series of poems “inspired” by junk email, abbrev (2011), and About the Author (2011). A full-length collection, Brief Nudity is forthcoming in 2013. He is also an acclaimed songwriter whose most recent CD release is Fun with a Purpose (2009) with The Injured Parties. ... more

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