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The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You

by Neko Case

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1.
When you catch the light you look like your mother It crushes me some, just right from the side When you catch the light there's a flash of wild creatures, before the Stone Age of the preachers, and the husbands, and the wives When you catch the light the flood changes direction, and darkens the lenz that projects my disguise As you fight along-side, you'll discover my weakness I'm not fighting for your freedom, I am fighting to be wild. "Hey, little girl, would you like to be the king's pet or the king?" "I'd choose odorless and invisible, but otherwise I would choose the king. Even though it sounds the loneliest.. and my brother's hands would poison me." "Hey, little girl, would you like to be the king's pet or the king?" "I'd choose odorless and invisible, but otherwise I would choose the king, Even though it sounds melodious.. there's no mother's hands to quiet me."
2.
My brain makes drugs that keep me slow A hilarious joke for some dead pharaoh But now, not even the Masons know what drug will keep night from coming There are so many tools that are made for my hands But the tide smashes all my best-laid plans to sand And there's always someone to say its easy for me, but I revenged myself all over myself, There's nothing you can say to me You never held it at the right angle you never held it at the right angle catch a, catch a, catch a, catch.. a falling star, but wash your hands of it catch a, catch a, catch a, catch.. a falling star, because you can't hold it. Did it poison my food? Is it cause I'm a girl? If I puked up some sonnets, would you call me "a miracle"? I'm gonna go where my urge leads no more swallowed, waist-deep in the gore of the forest A boreal feast let it finish me, please.. Cause I revenged myself all over myself, There's nothing you can do to me You never held it at the right angle you never held it at the right angle catch a, catch a, catch a, catch.. a falling star, but wash your hands of it catch a, catch a, catch a, catch.. a falling star, because you can't own it.
3.
Man 03:31
I'm a man That's what you raised me to be I'm not an identity crisis, this was planned I'm a man As in a citizen of Mankind It's what kind of animal I am, it's that simple. I'm a man and not just casually I pull the barge full time Your treehouse will not support me I'm not the runt of the litter fat-fingered bullies were no match for me I still taste them in my teeth, I'm a man. I'm a man's man I've always been But make no mistake what I've invested in; A woman's heart is the watermark by which I measure everything I'm a man that's what you raised me to be I'm not your identity crisis, this was planned I'm a man You'll have to deal with me My proxy is mine, you'll deal with me directly And if I'm dipshit-drunk on pink perfume, then I am the Man in the fucking moon Cause you didn't know what a man was until I showed you.
4.
Goodnight, sunshine.. The ghetto-bird shines 4 am, welcome to the West A mosquito to kiss your hands and feet welcome to this dirty business I was surprised when you called me a lady Cause I'm still not so sure that that's what I want to be Cause I remember the 80's and I remember it's puffy sleeves You say I'm lucky to be here, then maybe you can take this over and I'll gladly wear the pants into the next century Past the scanners with ease Past armies of them, who once played in a band and wasted it complaining like a trust fund kid Paying you to play here while they hate you because of it. You say I'm "lucky to be here", but I've been driving for 21 days.. What's that nasty sound? The E-brake drags the ground.. God, if you only knew what my candied fist could do.. The curtain's closing in from all direction, just answer my question.. Perhaps it's best if I continue starring me as you, me as you. Starring me as you, me as you.. And there you are, at the edge of the world.. dangling with my heart a' pounding.. Above a gulf of hamstrung promises you sang like "Auld Lang Syne", you wanted it so badly that you believed them at the time With every fashion's flame, every jet plane-lie, every second helping of that off-ramp fame we die, a little.. You're right, I'm from Nowhere You're right, I'm from Nowhere You're right, I'm from Nowhere You're right.
5.
I dropped my gloves into the stove hymns echoed out the grate I fell in love with those electric lights that drug me into town so late To nimble, cunning, clever nights I railed behind them, deputized to scrape the lens of Christian eyes, I'm a Friday night girl bracing for Sunday to come I only ever held one love, her name was Mary Anne She died having a child by her brother He died because I murdered him. I shot him through his jelly eye and I won myself his wicked life, now I Thread-the-needle waltz through mine, I'm a Friday night girl bracing for Sunday to come. I emptied onto shifting sheets, staring rosary holes in my ceiling, waiting for my purpose to deliver, and reveal itself to me But all I hear are subway trains bang against their bedrock lanes so I bang a little too.. I'm a Friday night girl bracing for Sunday to come Bracing for Sunday to come.
6.
Hey little kid, that I saw at the bus stop one day It was nearly midnight in Honolulu We were waiting for the shuttle to take us to the airplane, but you mother said, yes, your mother said, like I couldn't hear her she said, "Get the fuck away from me! Why don't you ever shut up?! Get the fuck away from me!" Oh.. Well, I just want to say that it happened cause one day when you ask yourself, "Did it really happen?" You won't believe it, but yes, it did and I'm sorry and I'm sorry Cause it happens every day They won't believe you when you tell them They won't believe you when you say, "My mother, she did not love me." "My mother, she did not love me." No, No, No.. Some days you'll feel like a cartoon and people will rush to make excuses for you You'll hear yourself complain, but don't you ever shut up Please, kid, have your say Cause I'll still love you even if I don't see you again.
7.
I used a calling card from a pay phone on the other coast Just to tell you how good it was to hear you in those songs you wrote They made me think there was something coming really something worth waiting for Blah, blah, blah.. they talk about, oh.. Every dial tone, every truck stop, every heartbreak, I love you more Looking like you just woke up from making songs, shooting satellites that blew up the pay phones.. Singing we'll all be together, even when we're not together with our arms around each other, with our faith still in each other I've got calling cards from 20 years ago.
8.
City Swans 04:08
Baby, come out I'll meet you in the street At the place by the old fire station we'll get something to eat, like we talked about. Baby, come down it's been a while now I've got so many things I could tell you, if my stubborn mouth doesn't let me down.. And I can't look at you straight-on You're made of something different than I know I try to slip the marching clock but centipedes invade my thoughts Without free will I heel and I go I step onto that metal plate, where it meets the dazzling sound of trains, and I beg those trains to run.. Cause I can't look at you straight-on you're made from something different than I know My eyes are on the sidewalk, it's gum holding your feet I swear under my breath because I'm starving in your gravity You're made from something different than I know You linger just a little long, I see your gun is drawn with the safety on You can walk me back to my hotel like it was home And I smell those fools you made cordwood of in petty dreams that leave me sleeping here, in your arms.. City swans, our crook'd necks long city swans And I can't look at you straight-on you're made from something different than I know And it breaks my heart just like the day, that I looked down and I realized I'd been sailing so long I'd become the shore City swans, our crook'd necks long city swans
9.
Afraid 02:20
10.
Local Girl 02:36
I pass the light that the young people make how joyfully it's wasted I feel the weight of the needles repeat and sigh.. I sang my weight in metric trash, tripped the light in Saturn's embrace and you'll give up with some local girl while our lights, OUR lights blot out her face All of you lie about someday like you're on a first name basis All of you lie about someday like you're on a first name basis Goddamn the time goddamn the miles, that take me away from you, and change your face And change the way I love you And change the way I love you
11.
A chill ran through me and I grabbed on tight That's when I left my body for good, and shook off all the strength I'd earned I wanted so badly not to be me I wanted so badly not to be me I saw my shadow looking lost, checking it's pockets for some lost receipt Where did I leave that fire? Where did I leave that fire? Will a stranger find it on a curb, idling? A cold call from a time zone just short of outer space? From six o'clock tomorrow a strange voice says to me, "I do believe we have your fire, lady. You can pick it up if you come down with ID." You can pick it up if you come down with ID
12.
Ragtime 05:14
Last night, late, I was watching it snow, it always goes sideways in the city It comes right out of the streetlights, you know.. Pumped out by an engine deep inside the earth's core It goes sideways in the city Cover the shapes and erase the date This could be any evening in any place The blizzard blows from left to right, which is funny cause the piano's playing "Summertime", from 1935 So sounds the alarm of Ragtime It's Ragtime keeping time Brave to the waves of it's residue, it's laughter from another room The white-crowned sounds of possible, the sound that lures me It says, "Don't you hurry. Don't you worry, kid, we'll be seeing you. We'll see you when you are ready." Ragtime turning out the sun and moon, it's gravity is soothing It winds me in a sleek cocoon I'll reveal myself when I'm ready, I'll reveal myself invincible soon.

credits

released September 3, 2013

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER = ME!

WE ARE ALL THE PRODUCER. EVERYONE INVOLVED.

Expertly recorded By Chris Schultz, Craig Schumacher at Wavelab, AZ, Tucker Martine, assisted by Michael Finn at Flora, Phil Palazzolo at The Seaside Lounge

Additional Recording by John Askew at Scenic Burrows and Kenny Siegal at Old Soul Studios, and Chris Testa at Boulevard Recording

Above and Beyond Mixing by Tucker Martine, Neko Case and Darryl Neudorf

Mastered by Peter Moore at The E Room

ART DECIDER: Neko Case
MAKERS OF ART: NE-CORP & JUDGECO (aka Neko Case and Kathleen Judge)

PHOTOS: Neko Case
ASSISTED BY: Austin Vesely, Kerri Borsuk, Amy Lombardi and Donny Phillips
MAKEUP/STYING: Erin Collins
HAIR/STYLING: Kerri Borsuk

Additional photos and drawing by: Neko Case ***except LP labels

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