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Comedy Minus One

Billie

by OUT

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about

There's something about a Midwestern summertime thunderstorm. Actually, with climate change in the mix, there's a LOT of somethings about severe weather in the midst of the Great Lakes. In the last few years, the weather around here's just gotten a little more Extra – just in the past six months we went from wind chills of 50 below to a 100+ heat index, with little to take the edge off other than a good ol' violent cloudburst. The scent of electricity heralding a welcome break in the oppressive summer heat, backed with violent winds and lightning that could send a tree into your house. It's deadly and refreshing all at once. Depending on your personality, you may just as likely run out into the maelstrom spinning like a top, or dive for cover into the basement with the dog. Tornadoes, after all.

Billie (cmo044), the second full length from Kalamazoo, Michigan's OUT, is named after one of those dearly departed family pets, and damned if it isn't a Michigan thunderstorm compressed onto thirty minutes of wax. Ike Turner's and Chafe Hensley's guitars crackle, zap, and cut right through the humidity, layering storm clouds while TJ Larmee's bass rumbles and Mark Larmee's drums crack and boom. Engineer Mike Roche turned the band's vocals into rain, washing over the proceedings with heavenly cleansing power. Just listen to Hensley hang onto the notes during “Still Talking Wrong” and see if you're not suddenly reaching upward like Andy Dufresne just crawled out of prison.

Billie covers a lot of thematic, stormy territory, violent, heavy, and exhilarating at once – health scares; departed friends; the trials of living with a (loving) partner for the last 16 years; relatives who still say awful garbage at holiday dinners; a brave friend who put it all on the line one fateful night out on the plains; gettin’ wild when kids are out of the house. All manner of pox and canker. But for all the gloom and doom and drama, there's just as much sunlight cutting through the clouds and the thunder and lightning. Heck, lightning can kill, but it's also awesome, right? The crazy thing is, when you see OUT live, you might find yourself shouting along with a refrain like “who's feeling like dirt?” but you'll also find yourself grinning like a fool while you're doing it. It's how they roll—as Brian Schill wrote about OUT's debut, Swim Buddies, in Agricouture, “each of the eleven tracks is simultaneously fist-pumping and bleak - just right for the America to come - [to] engage in what Judith Butler once called the ‘politics of despair.’”

Yes indeed, there's levity and joy in these songs, and it's not just a “haha we're doomed” nihilistic glee, either – by drenching themselves in the torrential downpour of life's madness, be it cancer or climate change, OUT remind us all just how awesomely wonderful life can be. Sure, album closer “You Sure Are Strong” may exclaim “we'll all drown,” but that just drives home how precious that time out in the rain can be before it washes us away. Between the basement and the storm, I think I'd rather spin like a top outside and get wet.

Speaking of getting out of the basement, OUT will be doing their thing this year, playing shows to support the 500 copies of this slab that Comedy Minus One is unleashing on the world. These Kalamazoo cloudbursters will hopefully be cascading into your town soon, ready to spread some bleak-ass Midwestern rave-up love.

Kalama-boom.

To order an LP - shop.comedyminusone.com/products/out-billie-lp

credits

released September 6, 2019

Dedicated to those keeping the creeps at bay.

Members of OUT would like to thank our families, friends and community for supporting our work. Special shout-outs go to our life-bro Ryan Nelson for his excellent creative work in sequencing Billie; Ruby Hensley and Jalil Johnson for the photographic adventure.

All songs written by OUT.

Recorded and mixed by Mike Roche at Broadside Productions in Kalamazoo, MI.

Mastered by Matthew Barnhart at Chicago Mastering Service in Chicago, IL.

Manufactured at Smashed Plastic in Chicago, IL.

Presented by Comedy Minus One in Princeton, NJ.
comedyminusone.com

©2019 OutKzoo.
℗2019 Comedy Minus One.

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OUT Kalamazoo, Michigan

OUT.

Chafe Hensley, guitar/voice.

ML Larmee,
drums, keys.

TJ Larmee, bass/voice.

Ike Turner, guitar/voice.
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Track Name: MRI
Taking steps, taking names
Surrounded by submission
Unbearable condition
Magnets are moving fast
The static fills the cracks
Forcing our confidence
Forcing our beliefs
Enforcing our religions
Forcing our relief

Taking steps, taking names
Surrounded by submission
Unbearable condition
Magnets are moving fast
The static fills the cracks
Serene scenes I stare
My eyes are black in there

Who's feeling like dirt?
Track Name: Unreal Cities
He likes the boys in the band
He says that I’m his man
But I’ve got no time for that now
So get in the van

This is an unreal town
Still we drift around
Wandering through each chartered street
With the violent sound

And what I wouldn’t’ do
For $50 and some soup
Would make my mother reconsider
Graduate school

Well we got Bismarcked
Outside Elkhart
Had to call my friend Garth
To float us a car

It’s still an unreal town
We still drift around
Walking through Alabama streets
With the Dumbening sound

Bozeman in June
Sleeping under the moon
You blew the pool game
And tried to blow me, too.

I’m 42 years old
With 41 records sold
In the last ten years or so
I am told

It’s still and unreal town
We still drift around
Blazing through these glorious streets
To the Hungry Man (Body Futures) sound

I called my friend Jon
Told him the gatefold’s wrong
And that the registration’s fucked up
And to play our newest song.
Track Name: Porch Cake
Absolute grief
Consumes me
For awhile
Everyone stares
Everyone shares the floor
Sadness swallows you
Like water in space

Please slow down
I need to catch up
Stop this work
Attention around
I can't stand it
I hate all of it
Sure wound up
Time to be over it?

No.
Track Name: Still Talking Wrong
Hey, you person there?
Is that would you really said?
Sounded like it's what you meant
Is that what they really said?
We continue this
Ad nauseam eternity
Complete with redundancy
A whole lot of vacancy

STILL TALKING WRONG!

Smack that convenient mind
Slap-shot of tension times
Abrupt, is sometimes kind
Patterns lost on borrowed times
Hey, you person there?
Is that would you really said?
Sounded like it's what you meant
Is that what they really said?

STILL TALKING WRONG!
Track Name: Rashomon
Zipping through the days at not-quite-light speed
Communicate by only semaphore
Remembering a time when you still liked me
Meet me by the oldest’s bedroom door
Cue the waterworks to start at dinner
Caliphates will form and then elide
Sleeper cells begin and then they splinter
Why’d we sign up for this fucked up ride?
Oh I don’t know why you stick around
My dear Mel, meet me downtown
Zipping through the days at twice light speed
Still communicate by semaphore
Pretty sure you’ll never learn to like me
Meet me by the youngest’s bedroom door
Let’s take LSD and watch Casino
Turn up Devo loud as it can go
When the kids leave we’ll hit the vino
Find out what we stuck around here for.
Track Name: Step-Dads
10,000 comedians out of work,
Yet you insist on being one.
20,000 counselors out of work,
Yet you insist on being one.
Sneaking in activities
Like a step-dad on his weekend
You don’t get to be sentimental
When you never once passed Bechtel
I look for a brick wall behind you
When you’re talking at me like you do
Track Name: Wrestle
Will you wrestle with me?
You're a dancer, yer a fine, fine dancer
Track Name: Dead Eagle
The plans we make
The escapes we create
Dead eagle drags on
That anger lives long
Sometimes we crack
Mostly we crawl

A fool's run, now it's done
Sinister, you're a minister
Minister, done being sinister
Track Name: Reach
Please, excuse my reach

Hypocrite I am
Contradict, some
I might bleed

We've been coded; manufactured
Scolding, within privilege
Scowling and ungrateful
Hypocrite I am, some

Please, excuse my reach
Track Name: You Sure Are Strong
Drones like terns out of season on these plains
The red fist on your neck—the vigil remains
On Cannonball and Standing Rock
With the bulging in your veins

Maybe Hutterites will take you in
In compounds and communes free from sin
On the banks of the vast Missouri
We will char and burn again
And deep, deep down
We will all drown
In dark matter and a violent sound

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