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Way Upstate and the Crippled Summer, Pt. 1

by Frontier Ruckus

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One-story-carport-houses Shining in their thawing Shining in their dawning One-story-carport-houses Under water towers Glistening Sylvan Lake powers One-story-carport-houses Yards are overflowing Lilacs and the knowing That our bodies Made this season come Made the children succumb That our bodies Made the white-washed town And glacial lakes strewn all around There’s winter Left in the cold wind But the sky is warm and thin And our bodies made One-story-carport-houses
I once had me a good-looking, God-fearing Girl from the hills in the dusk But the sawdust and lake-rust from those days were nearing An end, so the locals don’t trust us But they are just locals, and locals are rude The drifter knows more though his expression is crude And I’m a little bit of both though, I’m not merely one And everyone’s a local Depending on where you’re from The girls from the town walked up to my house one night As the buried sun slowly went down Their clothes were the shouting of pathos in moonlight I felt shame and slowly looked down Pleasure has a pretty face Helplessness voices and salt-teary taste But true pleasure has no eyes And how could I see now? Where would I be now? Would I be free now without those eyes? Us children were raised in hills that are landlocked But we hear the sounds of out of view waves The logs that were stacked against the house clanked and they knocked But the wind is trying to behave Innocence was lost on the most And is now washed away like our burial coast But not all the sand can leave you too soon And what could I count on If I can’t trust our dune? They’re calling our lives from the North hidden waters They’re calling our lives from the South, East, and West They’re calling our lives out like half-broken daughters When terror arrives to their sharp-bitten chest This ain’t the only damned town I’ve been in This ain’t the only lifetime I’ve run thin The sky is a liar that I aim to steal ‘Cause I’m just a local Thirsting for something real
Ann Arbortown is railroad-warm With every Sopping Stirring glance And every staircase I could form Is being Run-through By a new prayer stance You thought he wanted you For your fawn-neck Freckled and child-heart No one protects No more
Standing 'neath the harbor house The stars are dripping down Your mind Oh, your blouse Are darkening Cannery Town I’m a psychedelic on the railroad-red Erie Canal The serrated town of Mohawk Those engines are my only pal They’re made of tin They fall right in But they do know And that is why I say "Darling, I had not even Seen your eyes but now I know They are charcoal They’re not brown The sounds are lustful I should know" Standing 'neath the harbor house Your mind is melting on me A doo-wop singing barbershop-fop Melting now is all you see They mean nothing, oh, they mean nothing at all
The churchyard is frozen The Salvation Army is closing Your child is dozing asleep In the backseat The radio purrs The heater is sweeter than when your heart was hers Going home I can’t get sleep Bethlehem is a flock of sheep With no shepherd to cling to An angel to sing to Magi to bring you myrrh The radio purrs A mansion of saviors I-75 is a dark roadway lined With the wild electricity of the Animal behaviors The bodies of young deer The fam’ly it leads to The sacrifice needs to not mar The bright beacon star No vacancy taken The landscape is bone-chalk yet wet with vibrations From the lamp-lit gas stations Our few constellations To course lapping anger onto A manger of patience I’ll see you at morning The sterile air coming From the yard will come white light The memory of last night The sickness and thickness of the Christmas glow swarming
Abigail 05:07
Abigail, the shore is frozen Our tar trails have been bulldozing down Your sharpened frown Once had me possessed Do you recall the crippled summer? Your family all was in deep slumber And oh how I loved their ways When Leland’s haze still lingered On my shadow Your brother he didn’t have to die Your mother she didn’t have to cry Your father didn’t have to ask why Summer was on your chest As your eyes glow All our drugstore lawns blew cool so fast The mill was never built to last The torturous thrill of sweating grass Is this town’s only sorrowed Trampled blanket And if I was branded to your foyer Through passing carpenters and lawyers Agrarians and God’s own soldiers I would never make it Do you still dream of dangerous hotels Wrapped in glares and daffodil smells With your bare feet buried in weeds? I still dream of snarled backyards And being chased through nighttime’s discards Where my fence reddens, rusts, and bleeds And the curbs are haunted by the killers Of memories of your back pillars Where nothing wakens as it seems All our rooms are hopeful mornings Left like tombs when nights are swarming And branching feathers fan our dreams And your star was the saddest symbol Flickered with your mother’s thimble Pitiful and sun-soaked soggy Beautiful inside the muggy Ashamed of our bodies in the stream Ah but spring’s dumbed voice is just like yours And if I had a choice I’d do my chores And my work would dumbfound The restlessness found in you And no one else could understand the truth Of the soil burning back to youth It’s just something that we found But now it all thaws damp around you And the streets are dry and bare, but they’re humming The rooftops where the air stops coming down To listen for the sound Of the tests that surround you Abigail I said, “Abigal the shore is frozen!” Our tar trails, they’re all bulldozen now Your bygone sounds are cicada-bound They’re so shrilling, and night-smoke tarry You should spill them into the starry They are children, and no one’s sorry


Our raw 2009 EP, previously available exclusively within The Orion Songbook double-vinyl package. Contains the early sprawling epic "Abigail" and other peripheral components of the nascent Orion Town mythology.

Available on The Orion Songbook 2xLP vinyl:


released June 20, 2009

All songs by Matthew Milia

Matthew Milia - lead vocals, guitar, pedal steel guitar
David Winston Jones - banjo, dobro, vocals
Ryan "Smalls" Etzcorn - drum kit, all percussion, background vocals
Zachary Nichols - trumpet, singing-saw, melodica, Hammond organ
Anna Burch - vocals

Guest Musicians:
Ryan Hay - piano on track 1, background vocals on track 1
John Krohn - bass guitar on track 1, background vocals on track 1
Angelica Tovar - background vocals on track 1

Produced by Frontier Ruckus
Engineered by John Krohn
Assistant engineer on track 1 was Ian Walker
Mastered by Glenn Brown
Artwork and Design by Matthew Milia

Recorded and Mixed at Deep Deep Pink in Lansing, Michigan during the summer of 2007 and winter of 2008-2009


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Frontier Ruckus Detroit, Michigan

Michigan band inviting you to enter a dense & dimming world.

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