King of Olympia (Live)

by Maxwell MR Williams

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about

This album was recorded live at Obsidian in Olympia, WA on 2/16/17.

The title "King of Olympia" needs some unpacking. When I moved to Oly, it was to follow the footsteps of my childhood heroes. Nirvana, Modest Mouse, Calvin Johnson, Bikini Kill, Kimya Dawson; all had some tie to that town, whether through Evergreen State College or the post-hippie/punk community that had found itself in that town.

But I was an angry(er) young(er) man at the time, with no context for how full of myself I was by trying to be so self-depreciating and sullenly idealistic. If my head had been any further up my own ass, it would have looked like it wasn't lodged up my colon at all. So, go figure, I only had a few close friends while I was there. The thing about projection is all the problems you see in other people seem like such fatal flaws because some part of you knows that you're just seeing your own issues but can't admit to them.

So a running joke became that I acted like the 'King' of Olympia, in a town where it was fashionable to "know no masters." "Maxwell 5000, King of Olympia" got stenciled in random places as a recurring bit by a good friend in particular. I'd like to think it wasn't dramatic irony when I burned all my bridges I could with everyone I knew at the time.

It's been a number of years now. The bitterness has worn off. I love Olympia again. There's a local folk tale that if you drink the water in that town, you'll return there to die, and I don't know if that's such a curse for me as a self-fulfilling prophecy. We'll see. It hasn't been that many years.

So the title is an inside joke. These songs are all about reconciliation; accidentally recording these 7 tracks (I had no set list and forgot the performance was going to tape when I played), some of which written right after leaving that town, some right before I returned, I felt like the title fit perfectly; pretentious and portentous on the surface, honest in the content.

There, now you're in on the joke.

It is what it is. Cheers.

credits

released March 1, 2017

Music and lyrics written and performed by Maxwell MR Williams

Engineered, mixed and mastered by pual krogh at HomeThrone Studios and Obsidian Olympia, WA

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Track Name: America in 7/8
Here come the infected,
The ones who refused the cure
That you force injected
When you still thought the poison was worse

And here come the dejected
The ones you thought had gone like the dinosaur
And yeah, there's been an eruption
Under everything that you thought was pure

And it's time like these you'll learn
Who opens and closes their door

So let's play tug of war with the nooses around our necks
Hang ourselves with party lines
As long as there are kids like us
That rope maker will be fine

But when you fall in the mud and you start to sink
You'll see that everybodys one when we're all neck deep

Cause we all know some beautiful souls
That we let pay our tolls
In this vast expanse we call coincidence
But still refuse to address

So let's play tug of war with the nooses around our necks
Hang ourselves with party lines
As long as there are kids like us
That rope maker will be fine

But when you fall in the mud and you start to sink
You'll see that everybodys one when we're all neck deep
Track Name: John the Baptist
Compulsive lier, impulsive buyer
Sell me your story, set your ego ignitor
I'm not chasing your canned applause
You're indier-than-thou glory
Can circle jerk
Itself off

I used to know a little bit about everything
Now I know everything about nothing
I don't know which one I like better
But I know which one will kill me

I used to be John the Baptist
Burnout Jesus
Broken double helix
Now I fill my nights with prayers
That who I was still exists

Writers writhing in writer's righteous writings
Was it a stroke of genius or just a stroke?
If I ask you to overthink everything
Would you see it's not a joke?
Track Name: Great Branding
It's worse to think you're everyone's equal
Than their better
Thought I'd found my love but found
I was their debtor
How I owe them something I can never pay off

As I vacillate 'tween believing in love
Being life
and Great Branding

[Cause I am not the only one
Who won't admit the to things that they've done]

Come and see me play guitar
In the loneliness that is my car
And you will see that I would much rather be
A walking joke than a tragedy

You were right, well I can't let anything go
Even as I say it, I hear the words thrown
That I'm not quite sure where I got off
But I'm pretty sure this is our last stop

[Cause I am not the only one
Who won't admit the things that I've done
Cause I am not the only one
Who won't admit to the things that they've done
Cause I am not the only one
Who can't admit to the things that they've done]
Track Name: Back Against the Wall
It's good to hear you've done alright
The bitterness has lost it's bite
The attitude and the cheap white wine
Always haunted you after closing time

A cold car with that heater broke
You iconified I breathed, I smoked
Can't say it ever crystalized
More than enough to apologize

For all the weight I tried to bare in mind
You didn't want to have recognize

Now that I'm as old as you when you said
"Nothings knocking me down yet"
A bleeding heart never runs dry
But it can be stopped with a scathing line

The wizened break down a trebuchet
While the young practice flinging shit
Some things were just made to fly
But the best were made to let lie

And it's for those like us to wonder why
But I think that you'll have a better chance to find

Cause I feel most at home
With my back against a wall
Maybe there my screams
Will serve a purpose after all
Track Name: How Do You Know
How do you know, do you know, do you know...

Have you ever seen the stars rain down through the clouds
On spectators on hallowed ground
On graveyards filled with grievances and spectres of unrest
If you do run away or you'll never leave again

When your body thinks it will excrete itself
Into some sunken face and nothing else
Where all you'll see is the black tar that used to be your heart
Know that's not what you were at the start

But how do you know...
We'll all be okay

I know it's really empty out here
Would it help if I made a few things clear
I'm sorry I lied and I'm sorry I cheated
I'm sorry I ignored you and took what I needed
And I'm sorry it took so long to get it out

But sweetie, it's easy to say that I'm sorry
Sweetie, it's easy to say that I'm sad
Sweetie, I'm sorry our trust went up in smoke
Sweetie, I'm sorry I smoked what was left

But we can't take much more of this
Track Name: "Tragic"
Well, God doesn't wake up and think he's you
But I'm sure when he's drunk he wishes you existed too
Asking, "Where are you...?"

Because it's easier to believe you're a walking tragedy
With some tragic origin story in a tragic man vs. the world
Disfunctionality

When the truth is that I'm just another sad dude
Who's existence at worst was a bad mistake with a
Bad attitude
In a universe that doesn't give two shits either way
So I'm not proving anything by
Fading away
Fast or slowly

You know I aim to please, so I know you'll be relieved
When I, finally do leave
Asking, "Where are you?
Oh, good! I'm glad you're gone too!"

Because I love you but I don't believe I trust you...