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Chameleon In A Kaleidoscope [25th Anniversary]

by Mailbox

In an economical pan-dimensional directive from the top on the San Antonio-West Virginia Energy Malaprop They said, "re-adjustable non-combustible equipments to be used and be mandatorilly inexcusably constructed with a muse!" With such non-essentially supercilious requirements being made such as geometrical hydroelectric conducive lemonade the existentially motivated interested will be served like asymmetrical architecture that gets on people's nerves. Well, this hypothetical imaginary system would go bust if the diabolical ignoramuses betrayed the public trust so in an anti-partisan editorial, scientists did suggest that the absolute-zero superconductors would actually be the best!! These are the situations when artists get elected. Some subtle fluctuations in just what gets protected. There'd be rivers on the sun and mountains on the cities. Nobody'd get anything done but it sure would be pretty. When the over-aesthetic perpetrators heard about the plan they made ritualistic genuflections and summoned the good god, Pan they deactivated appropriations to the scientific set, but Pan apathetically materialized scolding the marionettes He said, "Preposterously incorrigible mindsets such as yours are certifiably nonproductive contagious little sores for it takes dual-hemisphere interpolation to arrive on different planes or evolutionary homeostasis takes up half the brain!" These are the situations when logic gets confiscated. Some subtle fluctuations in what gets delegated. There'd be rivers on the sun and mountains on the cities. Nobody'd get anything done but it sure would be pretty. Well, their educational malnutrition was noticed then and there as psychosomatic efflouresence appeared out of thin air so, with diplomatic ingenuity a consortium met to pool their quantumphysical baroquedelic solutions to the rule! These are the situations when everyone works together. Some subtle fluctuations to make it all work better. All the rivers on the sun and mountains on the moon can be navigated and mapped by late this afternoon... ----- I tried to live on a clock it was too small and noisy so I got off it and just roamed It was nice not having a buzzing clicking thing under my ass all the time ALL THE TIME As soon as as soon as I thought that I was back on the clock and I hadn't left yet and you know how that is
On The Clock 00:44
The Employee: "Watching the tubes have got me down. Who is that on the bridge? I feel the moments inflate. But time is money. (No, time is space, didn't Einstein prove that?) As long as we're here let's get something done. Let's learn astrology, let's form a bond. It may not matter in a hundred years But just in case it does... -- The Bossman: "Pulling the serfs have held me up. Who is that on the tubes? I feel the moments escape. But time is space. (No, time is money, didn't Patek Philip prove that?) As long as we're here let's get something done. Let's learn nuclear physics, let's form a bond. It may not matter in a hundred years, but just in case it does... -- The Arbitrator: "I've heard both sides and their variations 'Nothing matters and so what if it did' and 'It's all so important, so who you tryin' to kid' They both stand in misrepresentation and they could use a little clarification. Everything's about as real as your very first intention. Maybe it's all just symbols from another dimension. Maybe it's all random natural evolution. Maybe it's all impersonal elaborate experimentation." -- The Arbitrator's final word: "As long as we're here, let's get something done. Let's learn symbiosis, let's form a bond. It just might matter in a hundred years so here's to when it does!"
Sometimes I need to imagine that the FBI is following me Guns and bugs and darkest shades and Pig Latin codes on Walkie Talkie sometimes... sometimes I... Sometimes I need to pretend that I'm a hero of war who just wouldn't die They'd gather around to hear my tale of when I stormed the hill where I lost my eye sometimes... sometimes eye... sometimes... I need to dream... everybody ... everybody OUT! (everybody out) Sometimes I wish it was me, the lead story on 60 minutes The boy with 3 arms or of the like, either way, a freak show exhibit sometimes... sometimes I... sometimes... I need to dream... everybody ... everybody OUT! (everybody out) Sometimes I wish I was you standing on the top of the world For that chance I would do anything if I could be a beautiful girl sometimes... sometimes I... sometimes... I need to dream... everybody ... everybody OUT! (everybody out)
Many's the time I wonder where my life is going to Many's the time like this I think I bit off more than I can chew just a little, just a little more, just a little more Many's the time I wonder if maybe I have seen it all But just when I've had enough there's always something else to haul just a little, just a little more, just a little more If you need me, you know where to find me I'll be hiding behind my desk trying to get some rest! Everyday I try and try and I just don't know what it's for Still everyday they say I need to try a little bit more just a little, just a little more, just a little more If you must know, just take a memo I swear, I swear I'll quit if I get anymore ... grief! Many's the time I'm thinking that there's nothing else that I can do Except to pray that I can take a little more before I'm through just a little, just a little more, just a little more...
Tracheas 05:11
It's a mistake, well I hope it's a mistake, I got a room full of tracheas. They came in a box in the mail today If I find out you did it, you'll pay Windpipes blowing a summer song It's the same old song and it's a little too long Windpipes shaping the way I live It's the same old life and it's a little too long How did they get here? What's their destiny? The dog just fetched one far away from me Maybe they'll make the grass look greener. Maybe they'll make the past a little clearer. Windpipes blowing a summer tune It's the same old tune that fits in a spoon Windpipes dancing an Irish jig It's the same old jig but they're a little too big For this kind of silliness that I cannot foresee Honest to God, Tracheas, piled next to me! What will I do now? Just what can I do? Maybe I'll mail them all back to you? I take in air, but I no longer breathe If the end was closed off I could use one for a sheathe Windpipes mumble a winter prayer It's the same old prayer but there's nobody there Windpipes paint my greenhouse roof Supposed to be a see through roof but they made a goof!
My Head 01:33
My head caved in and my heart got scared My heart got scared, "What will make me beat?" My head caved in and my mouth got scared My mouth got scared, "What else can I say?" My head caved in and my ears got scared My ears got scared, "Hello? Hello? Hello?" My head caved in and my appendix got scared My appendix got scared, "What am I doing here anyway?" I puffed my head full again And my body parts chilled My body parts chilled and everyone got cocky again!
The yellow bus, the yellow bus rolls down the street Runs over the children's feet and they cry to their moms. The bus stop turns into a hopping mass of screaming kids Like a hundred squeaky pogo sticks and they cry to their moms. The hopping mass: "Waaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Angry moms in unison: "What did I tell you? Don't play in the road. Just sit and wait for the bus, it will be here soon. Mixie the Pixie: "Right now, you are just a kid. One day you'll grow up really big." Angry moms (still angry): "What did I tell you? NO! You don't listen to me. One day you won't be so lucky, One day you'll see." Joe, the bus driver: "Look, I got a job to do. I take pride in my bus. So, when I come around, best not to make a fuss. I said just wait on the curb. Was that so tough to comprehend? Now, we'll be late for school. You're dead if I get a reprimand." Ms. Feldman (Teacher of the Year, 2 years running) "And after all of this mess, the kids, they send them down to me. What am I supposed to do to keep them occupied until 3:00? Is there a word that can teach these kids about happiness. I search my whole mind and all I find is 'recess'." Joe (2:58pm): "I'm sick of driving this here bus. I've just about had enough. It took no big vision to realize my mission. Like a pilot from Japan, I will help to save the land. As long as I'm behind the wheel my plan will come to see the real yes, it will." The yellow bus, the yellow bus is now possessed and puts the spoiled brats to rest at the bottom of a hill.
part 1-The Piano That Jack Filled Jack was an ordinary man with an ordinary life Ordinary kids and an ordinary wife Then, one fine day just for kicks He shoved them into a piano that he made from popsicle sticks Jack could play Beethoven, Jack could play Bach Oh, how Jack could boogie, My, how Jack could rock But Jack's same old song and dance had sent him amiss So he wrote a new one and it goes a bit like this... Part 2-The Beat That Bob Walked Bob was an ordinary cop on an ordinary beat in an ordinary town on his ordinary feet Then, one fine day near quitting time He got the call about a gruesome crime Bob had seen a lot, Bob was a pro But, now Bob would face what Bob couldn't possibly know Bob arrived at the scene, the case was all his But, there was only one clue and it went a bit like this... Part 3-The Show That Alan Shot Alan was an ordinary cameraguy giving ordinary cues Shooting ordinary footage for the ordinary news Then, one fine day while connecting some feeds He got the big story "If it bleeds, it leads" Alan could shoot hand held, Alan could shoot steady Alan was a good P.A., Alan was always ready He set his critical focus and taped with minimal hiss The piano that Jack filled and the tune that went like this... Part 4-The Job That Jane Worked Jane was an ordinary girl with an ordinary face And an ordinary job at an ordinary place Each and every night she worked over there Taking it off until she was bare Jane danced for pleasure, Jane danced for bucks Jane danced for sickos, Jane danced for drunks Jane danced to Ozzy, Jane danced to Kiss Then she danced to a song that went a little bit like this... Part 5-The Bar Where Bob Unwound Bob was walking home to his ordinary pad Thinking ordinary thoughts about the mission he had On stressful nights like this Bob needed to unwind So, he stopped into a bar - The first one he could find Bob soaked up his beer and the girls up on the stage Bob just sighed and wished that he again could be that age But the key to that murder was in his head and ringing strong and as Bob whistled out the tune a girl danced to this song Part 6-The Lam That Jack Was On Jack was an ordinary fugitive on the ordinary run From the ordinary law for the wrongs he had done Jack hid across the street behind a bush on his neighbor's lawn He watched and he waited until everyone was gone When the last cop car left Jack snuck back into his home and picked up the tickets that he had left by the phone But before Jack took off to meet up with his partner in crime He sat down at his dear piano one last time... Part 7-The Room Where Jane Got Dressed After Jane was through showing off her pair She went back to the dressing room and Bob was waiting there Bob pulled out his notepad, Jane put on some clothes Bob pulled out a cop badge and Jane turned up her nose He asked about the song she danced to at the show She played it off legit and said she didn't know Two dancers came backstage, Bob turned to see the four Jane was singing to herself as she snuck out the back door Part 8-The News That Everyone Watched The opening theme was playing, Alan counted down from 5 Then he pointed to the anchor and it was time to go live: "Last night around 8 a wife and her kids were killed in a story we like to call, 'The Piano That Jack Filled'" Everyone watched in fear as the tape played over the air Except for the executives, "Look at our ratings share!" "We Don't know why he did it and we don't know where he is We only have the transcript of a song that goes like this..." Part 9-The Trip That Pam Took Pam was ordinary psychic and an ordinary stoner An ordinary flake and an ordinary loner She smoked her last bowl, the worst of her traumas So she pawned off her stereo for a trip to the Bahamas Pam read palms, Pam smoked hash But, Pam had connections to replenish her stash Pam was still stoned when she boarded the plane And some mystical music was channeled through her brain Part 10-The Trip That Jack And Jane Took Jane met Jack on time at the airport for the flight They checked in all their luggage and took off like a kite To leave their lives behind so they could be together Jack and Jane in love, Jack and Jane forever They landed hand in hand the height of all their dramas Alone and free at last down in the Bahamas Jane knew how to cha-cha, Jack knew how to rhumba Jane knew how to tango, Jack knew how to samba Part 11-The Footage That Alan Reviewed Alan reviewed his footage for a follow-up story Alan had to shudder, it was graphic, it was gory No new clues had surfaced, just something about a dancer The police were getting nervous, the public wanted answers Alan rewound the tape and played it back once more When he saw a pair of tickets sitting on the floor A perfect piece of evidence was present all along But there was still the matter of that damned little song... Part 12-The Smile That Jerry Wore Jerry was an ordinary bellhop with an ordinary smile At an ordinary resort on the Bahama isle When Jack and Jane checked in exhausted from the trip Jerry took their luggage and Jack gave him a tip Jerry sees it all, Jerry works everyday Jerry runs the joint in his own special way Later on that night while Jerry made the rounds He stopped at Jack and Jane's door and heard these lovely sounds... Part 13-The Tape That Alan Played Alan took the video and went down to the station He had to show Officer Bob about the murderer's vacation Alan showed the video to Bob and to the Captain Who went through the roof, "How could this have happened?!" There was no time for blame now, They had the time, they had the place And the Captain was just happy to get Bob out of his face Alan and Bob got on a plane like the others had done before With nothing to do until they land, they reviewed the tune once more Part 14-The Deal That Jerry And Pam Had Pam was jonesing big time, her skin began to crawl She stepped out of her hotel room and walked on down the hall At last, Pam found her man with his ear against a door Pam made her connection, Pam was set to score Jerry and Pam went to the basement where Jerry kept his stash Pam's mouth began to water as she handed over the cash The stars were totally groovy, her telepathic powers kicked in Again it echoed through her head and Pam began to sing... Part 15-The Questions Ben Was Asked Alan and Bob arrived at last on the trail of a wanted man They spoke to the hotel manager to find out all they can Bob pulled out his notepad and licked the tip of his pen And started asking questions to the hotel manager, Ben Alan shot away, Alan didn't miss a frame This was big time news, this was not a game Ben was glad to help, proud to right the wrong Bob said, "Oh, one more thing. Do you recognize this song?" Part 16-The Scam That Jerry Pulled Jerry was spying in as the song burned in his ears Something big was going down, their fate was drawing near Thinking on his feet, a clever sort of fella Jerry told Pam, Jack, and Jane to hide out in the cellar In fear of some connection to the deal he made with Pam Jerry told Bob that Jack checked out and flew to Vietnam Jerry realized the song that Pam was always cooing was the same one Jack and Jane sang in their room when they were screwing Part 17-The Trail That Bob And Alan Sniffed Bob, Alan, and Ben marched up to Jack's suite Sniffing out for clues, putting on the heat The room was totally empty, Jack was surely gone "Jerry must've been right. We must move on." Alan and Bob took Jerry's lead and caught a flight to Danang But terrorists shot the pilot and the plane crashed with a bang As Bob's blood dripped over Alan who met his death Bob whimpered out the song with his very last breath... Part 18-Epilogue With all the evidence destroyed they dropped the investigation And without a follow-up story, people changed the station Pam sat with Jack and the girl who would be his wife Pam had a vision that Jack and herself were twins in a previous life This, perhaps, explained why Pam was hearing the tune As Jerry, Pam, Jack, and Jane sat beneath the island moon So, with a ton of tropical hash to burn up in their bong They spent the rest of their days giggling that little song.


Originally recorded in 1995, it was time to revisit and painstakingly remix the debut album. The result doesn't just sound a lot better but it has more energy and life and I was able to present an additional albums-worth of bonus material.

This was the first "real" Mailbox album. There were demo tapes (actual cassette tapes) before this, of course. But this was the first time I used real studio equipment to record a full-length project.

As with most first albums, I had tons of material but I wasn't really sure what I wanted my debut to be. I didn't know how I wanted this hobby of mine to be received by the public. So I tried a little bit of everything. There some geek rock, acoustic pop, prog and even a spoken-word epic.

Uniqueness invades every pore of Mailbox's Chameleon In A Kaleidoscope ... generating oodles of great grooves ... On MAILBOX's debut album, innovative songwriter-producer-performer Adam Rabin courageously fuses his bizarre musical stew with witty stories of identity, escape, and confusion. The Mailbox sound is complemented by writer Greg Skillman's surreal lyrics. They are also joined by David Delaney, Rachel Beck, Andy Rabin, Rian Gittman, and others who bring their distinctive voices and styles to the project. For those with the ability to smirk at life's everyday struggles, MAILBOX's debut album offers a collection of personal anthems.
- FAU Free Press


released January 1, 1996

written and performed by Adam Rabin with Greg Skillman, Rachel Beck, David Delaney, Andy Rabin, Sparx T. Urquhart, Dave Moadel, Rian Gittman, Kathy Hof, Melissa Weinstock
Cover painting by Cheryl Nathan

Analog tape transfer by John Whyte
2020 remix & remaster produced by Adam Rabin & Chris Combs


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Adam Rabin Burlington

Where Prog Rock meets Geek Rock. Adam Rabin is a Vermont songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who has also played with Elephants of Scotland, Mailbox, and musical improv troupe She Thicc. You can also hear Adam’s music on the podcasts: Improvised Weapons, Improv Overdrive, What The Hell Are You Watching, and Vermont Favorites. ... more

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