The Winking Badge

by Midwestern Medicine

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released December 13, 2018

Brock Ginther - words, guitar
McCrae Hathaway - bass
Brian Saxton - drums
Bradford Krieger - engineering / mixing / mastering
Brian Smith - drawings

Brad plays piano on "Idiot Allies" and the Rhodes on "Tomorrow's Eyes"

Recorded at Big Nice


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Midwestern Medicine Portland, Maine

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Track Name: Urgent Opening (Western Medicine)
Oh, western medicine relies on the fact
that I do my dancing private, Jerry
Once, in the bathroom, I was attacked
by the insect-urge to by higher than the
Slime in chatroom's hand-held nets
Yours for the barter like the transformed eddy
No rush coming from a barroom bet
No use running from a constant, scanning headlight

Oh, I've been buttoned up a bit too tight
Haven't seen these clothes on a tiger, Jerry
Try this: glorify a household pet
Take a sheet out, do a little diagramming
Me on the left side -- list it out
Venn-type circles, with the overlapping
What's that middle? Can you find it out?
No use looking, cuz you missed entire points, man

Oh, I've been questioning the midnight scout
That I sent to do my alternating
There is a timeline, I never doubt,
That a nearby choice is illuminating
One where the smiles are sustained still yet
One my actions are less nauseating
No rush coming from a barroom bet
No use running from a constant, scanning headlight
Track Name: Puppy Dreams
Once again, I'm disappointed
Once again, I've hardly moved
In my annual assessment
I reflect on attitudes of rascal youth
And Anna, too

First to speak that special language
Hieroglyphics dressed as bands
Love that album, name that bassist
Here's a book that understands

We let those Azerrad and Reynolds accounts
be bibles of sorts
Colorful portraits of those beings so big,
so mythical,
But goddamn liveable

Never felt like "Oops! I lost it"
Not some friendship down the drain
Plus, our hair would probably clog it
Just one reach, one call away

Why not today?
Track Name: The Winking Badge
Brand new face on the force
Tattooed man told to laugh more

Now, outside of the bricks,
I’m hauling in a special guy
Red flags in the wind
a crooked audience conspires
I'm taking it in,
connecting faces to the files
I'm starting the car

“The scanner in your shop room’s saying something
hostile ‘bout your home
Better let the boss know someone’s getting
shot now, where’s the phone?”

Shot down.
Just following threads
that were deliberately unspooled
And taped to my desk,
they guessed too right that I'm a fool
Spent time in a trunk,
now I’m the audience for
Monologues in a warehouse

And that familiar, evil face says:
“Your predecessor’s threat-assessment found the
fault line in your folds
He sniffed too hard on clues and found himself
a blue man, stiff and cold”

With the gun now raised to punctuate, he finds a
line he thinks is cool
He says, “I hafta tell ya, jealous elders do not
like that brand of bold”

Catapulted into color-blasted, cartoon kinda world
Watching hovered hand start landing on the Don’t-Push-That Control
But he doesn’t know what the button is for
His fingers have circled it since he was born

"I’m the shine of the winking badge."

Pushed down! Dropped in from above,
except I’m in a different time
I’m holding the cuffs,
about to book a special guy
And now a buzz in the ear
Is saying something ‘bout a bribe
Well, I guess I’ll comply.
Track Name: Tomorrow's Eyes
Let's see Tara do that
Let's see Tara with the right words
Let's see her album laid out
All vaguely nautical

If she could play 'em like that
Someone feeding her the right words
The world would swallow so fast

I know Tomorrow's eyes
Too well, so I will publicize
Just borrow us a couple stares
And kickflip while the camera's there
I've got my puppeteering degree
That I could find some use for

Let's see Tara do that
Let's see Tara win the big ones
Why so scared of her, Brett?

I know Tomorrow's song
Too well, so I will put her on
It's hard enough to fight her off
She's learning how to play guitar
I've got myself a nice hotel to call
Maybe save some room for

I know Tomorrow's Eyes
Too well, so I will publicize
It's hard enough to fight her off
She's learning how to play guitar
I've got my puppeteering degree
That I could find some use for

Why can't Tara do that?
Track Name: Locker Combinations
I can't quite make sense
These things on my lap
These billions of fragments
So perfectly stacked
And it's hard
But that's not my job

Now we resort
To outdated forms
The smoking is turning
His rational brain into slop
Write it down
It doesn't work that way

And if I had the cartoon know-how
And if I had the plaid-clad dad
Then I would stand straight on the carpet
In the shade of American Flags

And go beat up those kids
Those neighborhood punks
Those caricatures
Of the things that I wanted to be
So bad
But I threw my skateboard away

Stay home
Sleep in
Learning your own skin
Learn how to shed it
And save it
And throw it away
Track Name: Everything I Have to Offer
See nobody told me
All the hours that I waste
Could be spend differently
Yeah nobody bothered

I want you to hold me
Like a big tube of toothpaste
And squeeze out everything I have to offer

And nobody told me
All the places that I dream
Could be found in real life
And they can be conquered

I think that I'll go there

Take a float down a side-stream

And see if I wash up
Somewhere clean and proper
Track Name: Ecstatic Question
Some kind of questionnaire
Effort to find the preference share
I'll find you when I'm done
Act like the light's the same as sun

He isn't dead 'til he gets underlined
But we don't talk about that anymore

It's not a souvenir
Just what you left when you were here
It's not some raised up thing
Just what has stacked up endlessly

He isn't dead 'til he gets underlined
But we don't talk about that anymore
He wakes from bed and he gets on the line
It's not enough to know that time is wasted
Track Name: Insults
Open your eyes to the insults
That you can feel today
They're on display
Like a look on a face
When misplacing a pronoun

Color the odd end of August
And then exaggerate
The subtle ways
That an idiot act
Can erase all order

Come up with clouds
Lace the past with malaise
Stuff up the cracks
in between each good day
Rescue a want from its active evading

We could at least
Be deceased, now couldn't we?
We could move on
We're the ones now boarding
We could ignore every call or recording

Open your eyes to the anger
And then incorporate
A little hate
When you're called on to rate
What a peer is performing

Pass the baton
Well, someday
First, we'll defecate
And urinate
And give it a swish
In the still-warm mixture

I belong
so far from home
where I'm exposed
to words that can cut,
rebirth, and reshape you
Track Name: Mantra
Wonder why I'm always getting stuck defending Clayton?
Pull him out of corners he backed into on his own
Help me out when hot-potato honesty destroys me
All the pain as I explain my hands so badly burned

Close your tab up
Halfway home
Brand new mantra:
I'm alright to know

So you find his songs contrived and hastily assembled
Scrambled eggs that never leave the incubation stage
Wonder if you ever googled "confirmation bias"
And applied it to that list of albums that you made?

Have some heart now
Have some heart!
Or fake it kindly:
You're all alright to know

Did you want to lose?
Were you wanting foes?
Every time you limped into a show?

Did you want the crew?
Is this what you chose?
Is this what you desperately invoked?
Track Name: We Like to Rock
"We like to rock,
We like the stage,
And we like the women in the back!"

Hey basement dweller
Yeah, I'm talking to you
Get onstage and perform
So we can get transformed
Come dazzle with your guitar
Your best friend gave us a tape
And we think it's really great
That you made it on your own

Fast asleep
You gotta sort 'em out
Y'got selfish dreams
To sell those things
You scribbled on a fucking train
With your head against the glass
It's always that
Now you're listening to the new track
You gotta send it to the boys
Get this thing out on a label
Who can put it on a website
Put it on a T-shirt
Put it out on vinyl
And sell it to your friends
For $15 at a record store
Or $26 for a little bit more
Just for a fucking CD-R.

"Don't you know who we are?"
Track Name: Sassahoma
I got stuck in Sassahoma
With a tricket fulla piss
And I'm bell-bologna offering a smile
To the cautious burra blanca
That's handing us the tacos this time

If you're hopping and you're holy
There's a Robotussin bisque
That I bought to pull the Betties from the vine
Well, I just keep a-tugging
But I don't think they're budging this time

Officers get ready in the ballroom that I designed
But I don't think I'm ready for the me-sized sack
So silently I'm walking

Officers get ready in the ballroom that I designed
Pulling the confetti from a fall guy's hat
So silently I'm walking
Track Name: Idiot Allies
Well, the bad guys came and took away your Nintendo
I'm sorry 'bout it, buddy, but you gotta keep the windows shut
And I've been marchin' 'round here callin' my pretty self "Champion"
Ignoring all my brothers in the Slop with their similar struts

Daddy did the dish-work, cooking up a pretty cool martyr
Mirror on the bottom of the soup bowl, slurp yourself up
Checkin' out the Autograph Art School -- baby, why bother?
Mirror on the bottom of the sidewalk, slurp yourselves up

Walking into showrooms
Dustin' off your costume
Channeling your Grandpa, grinnin' with a well-placed wink
Walking into showrooms
Just to use the bathroom
Channeling your Grandpa, grinnin' with a well-placed wink

Well, you made yourself a mess with the VHS's
scattered all around the carpet and the Lego chests
toppled over where a Bad Foot tramples and a Bad Butt falls
When you're scratching up a pad for the police 'port
you can take 'em in and show 'em all your brand new short
Cuz a clever little camera on a tripod ran and caught it all

Walking into showrooms
Showin' off your costume
Channelin' your Grandpa, grinnin' with a well-placed wink
Walking into showrooms
Just to use the bathroom
Channeling your Grandpa, grinnin' with a well-placed wink

Rest so well at night in your modified armchair
Say goodnight to Mike, he needs it most
I saw you in a different light when you twirled around there
Saw you raise your arms in flight when you shed your coat
Well, the bad guys came and took away your Nintendo
But didn't you learn in movies ways to fight?
So trap 'em in a toybox, turn 'em into Idiot Allies
And let 'em stumble dumbly through the night
Let 'em stumble dumbly through the night

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