Now in Plastic

by Francis Brennan

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Though you likely know me as the Contrapparatus Onemanband, this album was made by multitrack recording as opposed to playing all the instruments at once. It's mostly me, Greg Goad plays tabla and bansoori and Jesse Partridge plays fiddle, but other than that it's me.


released October 7, 2013



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Francis Brennan Seattle, Washington

I play banjo, guitar, sitar, pennywhistle, Contrapparatus, etc. I live in Seattle and perform as the Contrapparatus Onemanband or as 1/2 of the banjo/accordion duo Tsunami Piñata. I also write and record original songs which you will find here.

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Track Name: The Whistles Have Spoken
I sleep on the world's slowest spaceship
my pickup's a five star hotel
though daylight has mostly erased it
I dreamed that a ghost with a salty smell
let me ramble around your unlikely town
requesting incentive to stay
and when I return I'll be back again someday

I feared not the world's largest ocean
as it rumbled a few yards away
I fought not to let my eyes open
but daylight got into them anyway
the water was cold and it overflowed
and swallowed this town up someday
I'm safe in the meantime just livin' life away

I'm taking a spaceship, I'm flying away
I'm leaving tomorrow, hell I'm leaving today
the windows are open, the wind's whistling in
the whistles have spoken, it's time now again

the sunrise means sleep in the city
but I'm on a mission today
I cannot accept any pity
just buy me your time and I'll go away
there's surely a mighty fine doughnut line
assembled before me today
but the powers that be say it ain't my lucky day
so....(see above)
Track Name: The Ballad of the Eire Canal
From Buffalo to Derry, three thousand miles or more
it was the first canal, me boys, that dared to stretch offshore
they said that we were crazy, they said it was in vain
for just as soon as we'd dug the trench it filled right up again
some say you still can hear them walking o'er the waves
ten thousand mules, as many men
each one was strong and brave
and sometimes when I'm good and drunk I seem to hear my pals
calling me to a hard day's work on the good old eire canal

the mulewalk made of oak and steel, the channel lined with stone
well the winter storms on the mid atlant' you'd feel right to your bones
fourteen good men died there, just building Iceland lock
and they buried them at sea each one was far from land or dock

the barges lined up on each side to cross that first spring day
the hundred fifty waypoints were all stocked with ale and hay
and when in summer's heat they met, the westbound and the east
the celebrations went right on for seven days at least

eight years was all she lasted boys, eight years, two months, five days
I still recall the day they let her slip beneath the waves
the seas were racked by wailing, the mulewalk shook with sobs
when the transatlantic railroad, it cost us all our jobs
Track Name: Tornado Girando
dia y la noche, simultaneamente
conduccion de un camion en el camino no se ve
vio en el pasado y en el futoro quando
estoy durmiendo y tambien despertando
lo que antes solo pertencia el sol
irradia no se ve de la tierra a hora
tiernado girando

la bulsa de papel un gato contiene
gruniendo y ronroneando simultaneamente
el quadro del cloro contiene otro gato
creo que esta vivo y muerto al mismo tiempo
tiernado girando
Track Name: Pennsyltucky Boy # 149
Pennsyltucky Boy #149 I met him standing in a cornbreadline
he said there ain't no use in tryin' to find a reason or a rhyme
you can try but you're just wasting your time
you can fool some of the people all the time
gonna die for my freedom and I don't mind
if it's lies I believe in let 'em shine

Calitucky mines once way up on a time
caverns echoed with the siren's whine
and every heckle, every jekyll, every me, myself, and hyde
caught a ride without wasting any time
and we ate up all the bait upon the line
and we bribed good king midas with a dime
if it's lies he believes in, let 'em shine

pepperoni soy product grown on the vine
take care not to take the poisonous kind
every cake it's too late not to bake is playing fate
to the mate but we don't know what kind
and I tried but I can't eat no pride
and I died cause I can't change my mind
if it's lies we believe in, let 'em shine
Track Name: An Escher Elevator
I'm divin' in the water.

If I'd have died of chicken pox the day before the music stopped
I'd tell you about the aftershocks
the day the sox one day the sox won
merrily down the stream we row for history's a tv show
and o'er the falls we all must flow so
put your socks on put your socks on

I'm divin' in the water I'm swimmin' like an anchor
I'm sleepin' on the bottom I guess I'll see you later
I'm lookin' for my brother he's on the other end of an
escher elevator I'm divin' in the water
I'm divin' in the water I'm standin' at the counter
I'm on the other end of a bigger blunder buster
I'm sittin' by the harbor I'm sleepin' in the future
I'm speculatin' fire I'm divin' in the water.

no rain or sleet or dark were braved
no lines were drawn no souls were saved
the day the sox sprang from the grave
and stamped their mark upon the cave
merrily further down the stream
for life is but a lucid dream
and though I know not where you hide
just put your sox on come inside
Track Name: Mosquito Choir
with singing wings mosquitos lull you off to sleep
the choir's preaching secrets I can't help but keep
there's holy ghosts and talk show hosts in either ear
it's dangerous to listen, so damn good to here

the only point of goin's that you know you're gonna
the only point of stayin's that you know you wanna

when the sunrise broke and woke you up outside
you went to find some shade your shame in which to hide
and when that big ol' pizza pie blocks out the sun
in watermelon sugar dirt cheap deeds get done
Track Name: animalmineralvegetable
things are not ok I suppose they're s'posed to be that way
inevitable animal mineral vegetable
baseball ceratops knows a lot about an awful lot
baseball takes iraqs, baseball breaks the rocks he makes more rocks
baseball prays a lot but allah don't wanna give it up
baseball hates the thought baseball might be all that baseball got

all the senators all the minstrels and the minotaurs
all the dinosaurs with one foot in the cellar door
in a scramble for the moment we've all been waiting for
all the upper crust was aswirl in sandstorms rapturous
and from dust to dust was a miracle disastrous
hell i'm pretty sure this is what you'd get a planet for
inevitable animal mineral vegetable

things are not ok but they're gonna happen anyway
inevitable animal mineral vegetable
Track Name: Star of the Puget Sound
In a brand new town by the Puget Sound one afternoon in July
On a front lawn green with a rat between her and I did I kiss the sky
She looked so sweet from her two white feet
to the sheen of her nut brown hair
such a coaxing elf thought to pinch myself to be sure I was really there
from Senegal out to Donegal
from Tacoma to Boston town
there's no woman I've seen like the brown colleen
that I met by the Puget Sound

As she onward sped well I shook my head
and I gazed with a feeling queer
and I said says I to a passerby
who's the woman with the nut brown hair?
he smiled at me, with pride said he
she's the gem in Seattle's crown
young Rosie McAnn from a faraway land she's the star of the Puget Sound
from Tuscany out to Kilkenny from Tacoma to Boston town
there's no woman I've seen like the brown colleen
that I met by the Puget Sound

By the crossroads fair I'll be surely there and I'll dress in my Sunday clothes
and I'll try sheep's eyes and deludering lies on the heart of the nut brown rose
no pipe I'll smoke no horse I'll yoke though my plow with rust turns brown
till a smiling bride by my own fireside sits the star of the puget sound
from Kazakhstan to the banks of Bann
from Tacoma to Boston town
there's no woman I've seen like the brown colleen who I met by the Puget Sound
Track Name: Trash Night
drove around town for the hell of it
got lost and then got found for the hell of it
and then I turned around for the hell of it
the whole thing it was pretty much irrelevant
I couldn't make no sense of it

yanked on the 'mergency brake and went to walk around
and oh my god I don't think that I said a word to anyone
got back in the car and then I noticed it was trash night
and holy shit I found a filing cabinet
and it's still in the trunk because I haven't got a use for it
it wasn't what I wanted but I wanted it
wasn't what I wanted but I sure as hell wanted it

bought a cup of tea and paid too much for it
it made me have to pee I had to stop and find a place for it
eventually I couldn't take it anymore and so I swore
I'd never drive around all night just for the hell of it anymore

parked the car and locked the door and walked around
and what the fuck I don't know how I got to this town
stared up at the orange and the purple sky
and thought bout jesus christ who was only born to die
cause there's no such a place as hell but there's such a place as
trash night
Track Name: Thriftstore Courtsuit
I'm a milkcrate scofflaw
with a thriftstore courtsuit
on a train to L.A.

cause a famous sidewalk
made a no-name bad cop
put some shit in my way

with a written warning
threatening fines and jail time
if you steal it away

is how I left my guitar
sitting in an alley
out behind the safeway

There's no words meaning what I mean to say
so I'll sing now maybe speak another day
no promise shall your ears take away
sit back and enjoy the ricochet
there's no telling the sounds you need to hear
so I'll speak but I won't sound very clear
old gold that I don't hold very dear
foretold that which failed then to appear

cartoon your third ear
it's the only thing that comes in clear
omniscience opines
you know it's true because it fucking rhymes
it's in your ear it comes in clear it's in your mind it rhymes so fine

You're all words and you don't have any song
so I'll listen and not heed very long
I'll sing but I wont sing very strong
I'll walk but I"ll mostly string along
my footsteps now echoed by a train
through mud turned to stone for lack of rain
with feathers and warm blood in your veins
your stone bones have outshone your tiny brains

cartoon your third ear
the only thing you wanna fucking hear
omniscience opines
you know it's real because it rhymes

I'm a milkcrate scofflaw
with a thriftstore courtsuit
on a train to L.A.

cause a famous sidewalk
made a no-name bad cop
put some shit in my way

with a written warning
threatening fines and jail time
if you steal it away

is how I left my guitar
sitting in an alley
out behind the safeway
Track Name: Appletree
olly olly appletree
stand you to the front of me
land you in the big parade
sing songs that the robots made

low G resounds the truss rod squeals
my hovercraft is full of eels
and armtwist couldn't fit my octopus with pants today

hey Baba Allaudin Khan, when you gonna mow the lawn?
marwa kept you up 'till dawn and desh ate up your day

when inBoil cut his parts all off
well iDeath'd finally had enough
the deeds were done and done and done and done and done again

olly olly appletree
stand you to the front of me
land you in the big parade
sing songs that the robots made
don't slip on the ice capades if you should run away