The Suburbs Have Ruined My Life

by Proper

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1.
What the hell was I thinking? This is too much too soon All these people crowded in this tiny room Does it help that I don’t know any of you? Cuz I’ve gotta get over this stage fright some how If I can do this in front of my mirror Why can’t I just get this over with right now? I’m just so scared that no one will care what I have to say To you I’m just the opening act for the main stage The pressure’s on to perform I just want someone in this room to relate to this song And feel a little less alone So wish me luck Curtains up Let’s hope that I don’t choke on this one It just occurred to me That no one else is worrying About the entire lack of community And there aren’t too many people assuring me That it’ll be alright I guess no one wants to lie Or maybe they really don’t have a thing to say about why our scene is this way Every band just looks out for themselves I see the same 3 on each bill So I’ll just isolate myself from everyone Because you don’t want to listen You just want to have fun The pressure’s on to perform I just want someone in this room to relate to this song And feel a little less alone So wish me luck Curtains up Let’s hope that I don’t choke on this one I hope you come up to me after our set and say You are not alone You never were You never will be Because you’ll always have me You were never alone Because I loved you all so much And when times got rough You were there for me And I can’t thank you enough You are not alone You never were You never will be Because you’ll always have me You were never alone Because I loved you all so much And when times got rough You were there for me And I can’t thank you enough At the very least If it brings your mind some peace I think it would be better If we just sit back and hate the world together At the very least If your anger doesn’t cease I think it would be better If we just sit back and hate the world together
2.
Start from the beginning 'Cause even though I'd like you to believe I came out swinging It was more like a stumble, a trip, a fall Through the floor and straight into a brick wall And in this metaphor, my bones Well, they never properly finished healing But I'm not trying to say My entire childhood was completely twisted and frayed Just that it's hard to feel complete when you know you can't stay The military decides in 2 years time That you'll pack up and move a couple thousand miles away To another commissary, another BX Another 10 o'clock curfew “You're all set!” Another crush you'll watch from afar for another 2 years but never bed 'Nother batch of asshole airmen Who think they're the reason we're still here, no Just because you decided to enlist doesn't make you any kind of fucking hero And all I wanted was a chance to care to memorize names and shake hands Build this Family Bed for every friend I never really met The kind of bond you find early on that doesn't have any boundaries or quotas Something like Walter and Jesse Or-wait! no no no! Probably more like Logan and Dakota (What the fuck is wrong with me?) (What the fuck is wrong with me?) (What the fuck is wrong with me?) I'm surrounded by familiar faces and I still feel lonely (What the fuck is wrong with me?) I got my roots planted firmly Got the support I said I would need And I should be happy with what I got But I'm not
3.
Will someone give me the details About when men decided that they could control The reproductive rights of a female Spewing hatred towards the ladies When none of them could ever have babies Boasting shady so called facts Claiming they’re doing god’s work But taking away more than they’ll ever give back So condemn your friends for daring to step in And defend and embrace their sexuality But your bros can fuck as many women as they please While failing to see the dichotomy Between what they’re doing and these women they’re slut shaming Whose fault is it really? Will someone speak up so I know who I should be blaming Because they said I could hear freedom ring And I could be anything But they forgot to say unless you’re a woman, black, or gay Because, hey hey, that’s the American way And will someone tell me why it’s assumed that because I’m black I must smoke weed, do a little crack Each so much fried chicken that I’m destined for a heart attack Cuz I wear old man glasses And my pants high watered but these southern gentlemen still believe I want to rob their houses and fuck their daughters Or that I look like a mix of Urkel and Carlton But they’ll still label me a crook So if it’s like that then for the record Real thugs read books And if they could only see That my own people give me the same dirty looks For not being black enough or my parents moving up From the opportunities they took I guess I’ll never be off the hook Because they said I could hear freedom ring And I could be anything But they forgot to say unless you’re a woman, black, or gay Because, hey hey, that’s the American way So who has the right to say That someone can’t get married because they’re gay How do you expect respect if you handle things that way You can’t just punish others for not abiding by your beliefs I know you want a christian nation But look at what this country wants versus what it really needs You spend so much timing teaching that being gay is wrong But these kids can barely read, do simple math, or pay attention for too long So I want apologize because if I said it then I fucking meant it And if you’ve got a problem with that We’ll take it out back And get you acquainted with the cement, kid Because they said I could hear freedom ring And I could be anything But they forgot to say unless you’re a woman, black, or gay Because, hey hey, that’s the American way Yeah, hey hey, it’s the American way
4.
Hey man, we need to talk And this time I’ll try not yelling I just don’t appreciate remarks About how ‘real black people’ are jive talking fatherless felons Who the fuck are you to tell me I’m not black enough? Cuz if I lost my cool in the eyes of the law I’d be 2 shades too dark to trust Being black isn’t getting to use the N word Honestly I’d prefer if no one said it all No, being black isn’t wearing a ‘Free Chief Keef’ tall t-shirt Waiting for your father or parole officer to call No, that’s not it Hey man, you’re kind of an asshole For thinking it’s cool to say that shit I never fucking asked you Your opinions on Tyler Perry or interracial relationships Or how bad you want to fuck a black girl Because objectification’s some accomplishment Or how easy I must have it Because what’s in my pants must be really big But being black isn’t having a 12 inch dick Although I’ve let the assumption get me laid more times than I care to admit No, being black isn’t being a mad woman Having to trick or gold dig to support hood rat kids No, that’s not it So hey man, don’t you dare tell me what I am I’m not your oreo or a coconut Or whatever clever euphemisms you make up I know it’s hard to believe But we’re not all the same I don’t need your insight on my people’s pop culture Let that sink in I’m black And most days I’m proud to be Proud of our culture, proud of or history But that doesn’t solely define me I refuse to let my skin color become my identity Or whatever else you want to try to use to confine me So who are you to tell me I’m not black enough?
5.
Dear 03:31
You finally realize what I’m capable of It only took the slice from my knife and your blood to hit the rug It’s funny, a second ago you were asking me to leave Now you’re begging me to stay to help you breathe Are you finally ready to talk? Before you didn’t have much to say You took my kindness for weakness so I’ll take this the long way You were someone’s little precious girl Their gleaming, darling pearl Not ready to leave this world You say you wish you told your family you love them And that you never should’ve put work above them You’re making excuses and swearing that you’ll solve them But, like you told me, “Kid, that’s just not my problem” Round the stairs up to your apartment With something I should have left in the glove compartment Room 212, that’s you on the top floor A condescending look greets me as you open the door You don’t want to but you invite me to your kitchen I say, “We need to talk and I’d really like you to listen” You find some rude remark you think is funny to snap back You always cut me off You know I fucking hate that And now the blood in my face is swelling My fight or flight is sure as hell telling You’re laughing in my face, this is accomplishing nothing Before I know it I just start cutting And it feels so good to make you cry, to make you bleed The look in your eyes as you grow weak Pull up and put the car in park Take a second alone to think in the dark There are only 2 ways that this can go Yeah, I’ll bring it this time but it’s just for show I’d like to have a real conversation instead I swear this time I won’t lose my head Because if I do with you You’re better off dead
6.
I want to know what makes you tick I want to know what would make your sister sick If she knew all the things that you’re into I want to know what you fantasize So dirty you think you have to lie I want to be your white rabbit Uncover every filthy habit That’s only meant for your eyes I want to know who you met last week The one you tied down and wouldn’t let speak You say you got real mean but you wrapped up clean Some excuse for these bad, bad things So bad that Sean Bonette wouldn’t dare sing Or write about because it’d make his stomach turn His eyes burn His ring His nose bleed I want to know what makes your breathing loud What makes your back sweat and your fingers wet I want to know the things that won’t make your parents proud I want to know what makes you cum I want to know what make your legs go numb And if you’re ashamed Are you ashamed? There’s always something to blame There’s always something to blame There’s always someone to blame I only ask cuz I got nothing to blame I got no one to blame And I’m so ashamed
7.
Nights like this are what I miss The most about this place Isn’t that a shame? Everything I need is right here Between the trees You’re all already with me My car, my guitar, and some friends God knows I don’t have many of them But we swore that we’d change the world with peace Bit by bit But we quickly learned that only the young and sheltered Believe that shit All the time I feel so overwhelmed I want to make a difference in this world But my face, it tells Another story This isn’t for me I should give up I’ll never live up To those long dead heroes we looked up to And if it’s just between me and you There’s nothing I can do You put your faith in me but it’s a waste you see I’m stuck at the bottom of the hill I don’t want make you mad or let you down But I know I will
8.
What do you get when you spend your entire life over a safety net With the same few people under the same church steeple every Sunday evening And what do you get when acquire debt because you’re told to To go to school because you’re told to Become like like a fucking accountant or something, I guess And what do you get when you mix boredom and ignorance With white kids who get it in there heads That they can say certain words because there’s no one there to check them on their shit Suburbia, I gave you nothing And now I’m all I want to be Hold on to that depression and monotony because… I’m sick of these traditions that don’t mean anything Weekend warriors with their boring routines Like only going out to the same 3 bars Because the struggle is real because you drank too much to fill your car When I’d suggest that you just take the bus You’d scoff because, “The city is already dangerous enough!” How do you think that you’re so cultured when you’ve never left the midwest Oh, and since your parents are here you don’t want us to cuss at all during our set Fuck I’ve got this friend who doesn’t have much in common with people he’s known for years on end But he’s comfortable and trying to improve his situation sounds like too much hard work anyway Someones ‘we rode the bus together!’ doesn’t translate to best friends forever Believe it or not, there’s more than the town you grew up in waiting for you with your funeral plot Fuck loitering outside McDonalds and strip malls And settling down with the first person bored enough to give you a call There’s more to see and do that’s iconic There’s more than listening to shitty pop music because you think it’s ironic There’s more than this All this basicness surrounding me And I don’t care that Avatar is your fucking favorite movie Are you kidding me?! Oh my god There was something in the way you said “I love my wife and kids I just can’t keep the thought from my head Thoughts of doing things differently Doing what I wanted, not what’s expected of me I could’ve traveled abroad when I was younger man Now I have to pay off this house, a car, and a cable plan The bills stack up for shit I don’t really need But at least I paid off that plot in my cemetery”
9.
Everyone’s too sad or too sick Or they just don’t give a shit about whose playing tonight in Kansas City Unless it’s on 103, The Buzz, or some DIY basement sludge And that, well that’s when it hit me I don’t have any real friends All I’ve got are these acquaintances And none of them could care less And somehow I’ve been okay with it Until now I went to the Tiny Moving Parts show last night And I swear that it changed my life And the entire concept of friendship to me Like how we should hang out outside of work to do more than get fucked up and party Because when I left a small town for the city I thought something big would change within And I’d be the everyman of this town But what I was thinking Going from a branch on a well rooted tree To a grain of sand on the biggest beach Where no one’s sure if they’re leaving or sticking around Will you stick around? And everyone I know is listening to Skrillex and Waka Flocka Flame In fact the only records they actually own are Mumford & Sons, Odd Future, and Lil Wayne They’re rather blow their money in Westport on molly and weed Than go see a movie or go to the aquarium with me And I just- Well wait a second What if I’ve been blowing people off like that too? What if someone’s really needed my support or just wanted to spend time with me? You know, it’s funny. I write so many songs about all these assholes I know But I never stop to think about why I know so many Maybe I should spend more time trying to meet other artists Instead of trying to get the wrong people to like me I went to the Tiny Moving Parts show last week And I guess that I didn’t learn a god damn thing I spent the last 12 years just taking whoever came to me But now I see that it’s a 2 way street Last month I left the Tiny Moving Parts show without a doubt That I had everything all figured out It turns out that we accept the love we think we deserve But we deserve so much more I just want to make friends And build some lasting relationships Because a military life fucked that up for me And it turns out there aren’t many perks of being a wallflower Or letting other people and liquor take the lead We’ve gotta speak for ourselves Because we get too comfortable Doing these things we’ve always done with people that we don’t actually know And I want to make friends And build some lasting relationships Being a wallflower isn’t working out for me And I accept that I’m that grain of sand along the beach And there’s no reason to be so terrified of the sea I will let it take me And whatever will be, will be Yeah, whatever will be, will be We will be
10.
I think that I got too good at writing ‘Fuck You’s’ I think I need a bigger challenge now And honestly, it’s a little past due Getting to the root of the problem to finally work this out I decided to make a list of the things that make me angry Like the looks I get when people find out that I’m an atheist I thought that’d change when I moved from Mississippi And I hate that there are only 2 people here that really get me I mean one I’m dating so it’s kind of a job requirement But Jon lives too far away to see Well not really, it’s just that the state took my license away from me So fuck the police … Even though I was completely in the wrong So I wake up and ask myself is this where I want to be Even though I’ve got a steady job, a couple friends, and family That doesn’t change that I don’t belong Me and these right wing politics don’t get along If I’m not happy here I should do what’s best for me And leave And I hate that I walk a block and end up in fucking Kansas Home to a church that makes me more than just uncomfortable Or the blatant hate from their so called representatives Everything is exactly what it looks like And everyone is exactly who they seem to be Call me a quitter but it’s just not working I need some true blue scenery So I wake up and ask myself is this where I want to be Even though I’ve got a steady job, a couple friends, and family That doesn’t change that I don’t belong Me and these right wing politics don’t get along If I’m not happy here I should do what’s best for me And leave If you want to go then go if you think that’s right for you If you want to go then go, just know where you’ll end up and what you’ll do If you want to go then go if you think that’s right for you Well I want to go so I’ll go But where to?
11.
It’s gotta be on the ocean One I don’t have to sneak in With a neighborhood I’d be proud to call my home Clashing cultures, real diversity A place where white people won’t ask to touch my hair when it gets long While I’m hearing dreaming too big Less dad jeans, more drag queens And 24/7 take out’s a requirement While I’m here dreaming too big More adventure, less pretenders Whose idea of fun is going to the mall And there have to be trees Wilderness around the city I love the night life But sometimes you gotta get away to rivers and mountain expanses And it’s gotta be miles away from any midwest suburb or southern bay Where I’ll never again have to step food in Mississippi or Kansas And while I’m here dreaming too big I’d love to live on the east coast Living cheap though I know those 2 birds are hard to kill Am I really dreaming too big? There’s nothing holding me back but myself If I don’t do this now, I never will If you want to go then go if you think that’s right for you If you want to go then go, just know where you’ll end up and what you’ll do If you want to go then go if you think that’s right for you Well I want to go so I’ll go So I’m heading out and I’m a bit nervous Everything that I know is here But deep down I know it’s worth it What’s a little adventure without some fear?
12.
The Come Up 03:14
Looking back a few years ago When I first moved to KCMO I thought I’d never be happy again And now I see what I needed I went from being homeless on Jeff’s couch To getting my own loft downtown 3rd floor with a view Of a skyline I’ll soon be leaving I hope I never have to write these songs again I want to give people a chance and not be so full of hate I want to leave the bible belt and rub it in their face I want to have some hope in the human race again

credits

released January 31, 2018

Erik Garlington - Vocals, rhythm guitar, bass, piano
Eli Watson - Drums
Dalton Gomez - lead guitar

Additional vocals by Nikki Austin, Brian Speaker, Vishnu Anantha, Dalton Gomez, and Jackson Seidenberg

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