What's In The Box? (2000)

by Mailbox

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Sven B. Schreiber
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Sven B. Schreiber I've been asking myself for some time what some of the songs remind me of... and yeah, it's Madness! Not the clinical mental health condition, but the funny band around Mike Barson, whose "nutty sound" made me smile quite a bit for some years since 1979. I'm smiling again right now! Favorite track: Maybe, Just Maybe.
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1.
My sister asked me to watch her baby for a couple of hours while she went to the store I held Little Toddikins in my arms, snuggled his face and put him on the floor I Found a helium balloon in the closet and a length of string, I tied it to his heel He lifted off the floor and up to the ceiling, I poked at his head, "Hey does THAT feel?" Painted his scalp with a magic marker, made aztec design intricate and beautiful I waxed his armpits and drove him crazy. I thought to myself, "This is wonderful" But, no, I'd never think of hurting my sister's baby but I love to irritate the cute little bug He lifted off the floor and up to the ceiling, I poked at his head, "Hey does THAT feel?" Little Toddikins, little baby he's so cute, watch him crawl There he goes across the floor Oh, watch him crawl across the broken glass Little Toddikins, little baby your mommy's not at home We're gonna do some musical experiments with tissue paper and a comb My sister came home to find her baby asleep in his crib all safe and snug. My sister came home to find her baby asleep in his crib all safe and snug.
2.
She my lil' coco bean an' she got a big machine when she brew her special roast I love her the very most cos' she my lil' coco bean She my lil' coco bean She make my heart just race and pound and when I get a hug I crumble to the rug Like espresso finely ground She my lil' coco bean An' she don't need sugar or cream cos' since our lips they first did meet she has always tasted sweet an' never failed at raising steam She's just a lil' coco bean But she big pick me up I like my cafe mocha pot like I like my women: hot and in a big cup She my lil' coco bean And I love every single drop I rise higher with each sip and go deeper on our trip Til I think our heads will pop! She my lil' coco bean Now you see just what I mean When she brew her special roast I love her the very most cos' she my lil' coco bean.
3.
My uncle was a strange man, he never went to sleep 'Cos he didn't buy a bed 'cos he was cheap He died of deja vu or so it would seem Everyday he'd write about his reoccuring dream He said that everyday around 3 when he finished off his pie His two fat sister twins would sit upon each eye The stories he would tell, to us, seemed rather wild The doc said it was normal since he was an only child This is the box where we keep my uncle's head It usually sits at the foot of my bed I take it out each night When I turn out the light It keeps away the goons or so I have read Truly he was quite a help around our home Built an extra flight of stairs with a homemade mix of loam All the pots and plates and pans were stacked right evenly They were catalogued by size and shape on our Packard Bell PC This is the box where we keep my uncle's head It usually sits at the foot of my bed I take it out each night When I turn out the light It keeps away the goons or so I have read This is the room where it rains when it don't snow No real hurry, we just build it as we go Working on the walls 'Til they're all about 8 feet tall Only then will we make a roof and nail it on like so My uncle had an urge not long before he died To build on to our house 'til it reached up to sky He started right away but gave up rather soon He couldn't get it zoned by the 3-eyed lumpy goons He knew the goons would shave him if they found out what he'd done So he left me his De-Lux hammer and his trusty staple gun He was gonna drink more coffee but he went to hide instead Piece by piece he hid himself until he packed away his head This is the box where we keep my uncle's head It usually sits at the foot of my bed I take it out each night When I turn out the light It keeps away the goons or so I have read.
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My monsters and I are going out We have some things to talk about like why they tinker with my life and scare my would-be wife And leave me with this constant fear and doubt I suppose we could find a nice cafe But, then we'd argue who should pay But I always get the tab And I spring for the cab Heck, who am I kidding anyway? One monster plays with my heart One plays with another part The third one's in my mind Whom the others hide behind One minute they save the day The next they're in the way The more I put them in place The more they're in my face My monsters and I just need to talk I brought a blackboard and some chalk But I keep drawing out the graphs With their snickers and their laughs Screw the cab, I think I'll make them walk. My monsters and I must face the facts It's time we got down to brass tacks It's time we settled this like men and never spoke of this again But I feel like I'm just talking to their backs My monsters and I did not get very far I dropped them off and headed for a bar For after all is said and done and the monster's had their fun I've seen that they're just being what they are.
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Cathousefish 03:04
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Cream Puff 03:36
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Pilgrimage 04:04
16.
The way to a man's heart is through his stomach But, you can't tell a man by his clothes The way to his soul ain't through his eyes No, the only way there is through his nose The space between your toes is a place where nobody goes The tube between your legs leads to the basket for your eggs The air between your ears is where they see your fears The blood insides your heart is the flood you had to start OK, maybe not, but I sure had fun and that can not be denied. OK, maybe so, but I would not know. But at least I can say I tried.
17.
Discobean 01:54

about

I'm always going back and forth about "What's In The Box?" I don't think I'll ever know how I actually feel about it because the two years I spent working on this were absolutely crazy for me. I moved from Florida to Massachusetts and then to Vermont. My studio was plagued by radio interference from a country music station being picked up in my microphones. I was seriously addicted to coffee and could never think straight or make up my mind on anything. I spent a month in Colorado. I bought my first ukulele. But still, not an easy set of circumstance in which to work.

One thing I am sure of about this album is that it was ambitious. Big orchestrated arrangements, shifting styles from moment to moment, longer tracks. I was swinging for the fences which scored a mix of home runs and strike outs. I recorded a ton of material in 1999 & 2000 and some of it I'm actually pleased with. For this release of "What's In The Box?" I have remixed and remastered all the material recorded and released around this time and picked the best of them to form a single solid album. Dig in.

Review:
... Though essentially a solo project, the songs are not stripped down bedroom pop. Adam has a penchant for both ear-grabbing hooks and intricate instrumentation that makes his songs sonically and lyrically impressive.

... Much like stoner jokesters Ween, Adam writes tunes that jump genres with alarming ease while retaining surreal lyrics and biting wit.

... think Styx composing an opera with the Addams family.

Ethan Covey
Seven Days

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released June 20, 2000

All artwork by Kyle A Carrozza

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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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