Effete Coquette

by the Nabokov Project

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Recorded on a 4-track on Hudson Street in Eau Claire, WI in the spring of 2000 and in a studio apartment in Pittsburgh, PA in spring of 2001.


released April 15, 2001


all rights reserved



the Nabokov Project Appleton, Wisconsin

Formed in the shadows of a Midwestern University in the mid nineties, the Nabokov Project is the ongoing work of singer- songwriter MW Gargo. Previous incarnations have included the membership of Dave Pollock (spoken-word vocals), Ted Leslie (percussion), Thea Morton (cello, guitar, and keys), and MW Gargo (vocals, guitar, bass, violin, computer, and keys). ... more

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Track Name: at the punk rock show
the walls are empty tonight
wading through cigarette smoke
drowning in faces
dressed up and watching

try to suck it down
a match to warm a tomb
'cause laughter is cancer
'cause cancer is laughter

lean against a stair
speak another line
then seal it with a smile
sulking in lipstick

take a trip from you
until the shapes dissolve
dropping and forget
‘til time is the aimless

cry into the headlight
lost in the back seat
ambition crawls backwards
on vinyl and sober

generations driving drunk for generations...
Track Name: White Pill Taken
bolt the front door
latch the windows
to the bedroom
where the dead go

lay down; inhale
eyes closed; set sail
i sleep; feet curled
soul slips; unfurled

white pills; sin grows
bottle hollows
trapped in skin and
leaving pretend

i dream of black skies
when the day dies
in wisps of gray
god slept today

i have a secret
of lies they told you
peered through a black hole
found heaven is a fable
Track Name: Sea Song
Venus deaf and dumb
Born a shell to sea
Nothing bothers me

Empty surf and sand
Skating on the land

Accredit the sun
The blaming has begun
We’ve paid it to the mall
We’ve built the bricks to fall

Try to understand
We’ve failed on the land
It’s time to leave this place
Our home is in the sea

A wave upon the sand
Feet walking from the land

you. you. you
Track Name: the Gift
She hides in a closet
on shoebox lids
through musty suits

uncle works on a bottle
cigarettes, TV set

mom and dad scrape their plates
by the Christmas tree
they don’t see him
the bedroom door, closes in

and there’s a shotgun underneath his couch
"but he finds me...and he loves me to keep..."

"I’m feeling sick. Can we go back
to grandma’s yet?"

out on the porch
the house was loud; she told him so
walked into the yard
to get some air, against a tree

"little bitch," he called.
"too conceited to stand by me
I’ll do you a favor put you in your place."
grounded, hands around her face

"I’m feeling sick. Can we leave
the party yet?"

Empty grows a hungry smile
staring down trapped by the gaze
a body; the object; body; libido
Track Name: Josh Land's Last Dream
"Adding the slaves to the calculation of wealth distribution would not bring early America up to the level of European inequality, nor would it change the fact that inequality rose sharply as the 19th century progressed. But, that point aside, no account of life in the U.S. could overlook either the slaves or their descendants."

"The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his "natural superiors", and has left no other nexus between people than naked self-interest, than callous "cash payment". It has drowned out the most heavenly ecstacies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom -- Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation."

"Americans of African descent have profoundly influenced the political economy, culture, and physical landscape of this country in every imaginable way. To take an example relevant to this context, as David Roediger shows in his admirable book, The Wages of Whiteness, slavery greatly inhibited the development of class consciousness of white workers, who were all too easily persuaded that wage labor represented a kind of freedom in contrast with slavery. This delusion of independence and superiority persists today, over 130 years after the end of slavery, in highly racialized notions of welfare dependency and the "underclass," disparaging caricatures that help sustain white workers' identification with their bosses' politics and perpetuate countless abuses of black Americans. We have so racialized class that class is often barely visible - which is not, by any means, an attempt to subordinate race to class, since you can hardly talk about one without talking about the other."

"In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i.e., capital, is developed, in the same proportion is the proletariat, the modern working class, developed -- a class of laborers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labor increases capital. These laborers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market. The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers. The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation into a mere money relation."

"When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organized power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organize itself as a class; if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class."

"In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all."
Track Name: Ted's Song
Monday morning
in September
got a phone call
from far away
you had died
in your sleep

You couldn’t talk
or see the faces
and voices around you.

The year we spent
in your room
we pushed you around
the hospital grounds.

This was your song then
and its your song now.
Track Name: Lost & Found
I own the lost & found
He owns the airport
I own the airwaves
and all the spaces
Inside my cardboard box,
there are pieces that don’t belong

I own the lost & found.
She owns the sellers of the parts
I have a cardboard box
She has the pieces

Between the buildings
You call those spaces
Dig up the concrete
Put in a building again
But if we don’t want it
They’ll build it up faster for sure
Because you call them spaces
And they call them places you don’t belong

I own the lost & found
He owns the sellers of the parts
I have a cardboard box
He has the pieces

I saw a girl today
her pretty face was real low
Behind her silence,
there was violence for sure
She’s got a space
some broken parts
She told me to go away
and put her hand against my sweater

I own the lost & found
He owns the sellers of the parts
I have a cardboard box
He has the pieces

I know a neighborhood
A man there was shot up good
Blood in their sidewalk
Blood on their windowpanes
He had a child
A blue-eyed boy
But someone was angry
Someone was sad enough to kill

I own the lost & found
She owns the sellers of the parts
I have a cardboard box
She has the pieces

Driving a dirt road
You see a haystack in the bend
Get out of the car seat
Run in the hay field
But you see their lover
And they think you love her to death
Get back in the car
And drive until you forget that face

I own the lost & found
She owns the airport
He owns the milkweed
She owns the monarch butterfly
But I own the whole damn field

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