Major Arcana

by Speedy Ortiz

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Recorded and mixed by Justin Pizzoferrato at Sonelab, Easthampton, MA
Mastered by Carl Saff, Chicago, IL
Artwork by Sadie Dupuis
July Was Hot Music (c) 2013

Carpark Records CAK97
Get IRL 12", cassette or CD here:


released July 9, 2013

Mike Falcone: drums
Darl Ferm: bass
Sadie Dupuis: guitar, vocals
Matt Robidoux: guitar


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Speedy Ortiz Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


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Track Name: Pioneer Spine
Who’s out triggering the soft alarm? Barbed the entrance, now I wanna know: who’s there feeding? I want a name. Just mouth it, that's fine. The hollow throws its lousy drone and you don't wanna breathe, but you'll talk. Now absolute the zero count. Zero morphism, its arrowed frame. Whose count's empty? I want your name. Just write it, that's fine. The strength you've grown is monotone but now I've turned a key, and you can't call out again. Gather round so empty now. All you got is spineless sound. I want the truth, even if I gotta rip it from you. Who's out feeding? I fed the same, so they took my name, and I put up no fight. The void you throw is all you know. You watched me turn a key. How like you to shirk away a sonar's rounds. Me, I just cloister up against its shouts. But you still got your sound and I see you staring down. I want a name even though you spoiled the one I came with.
Track Name: Tiger Tank
Was it my teeth or my tongue that said, "Glue shut your lips, let us take a rest"? My mouth is a factory for every toxic part of speech I spew. Late, languorous and afraid to ask, caught my reflection in some sea-washed glass. My face is unable to convey how very awfully I'm doing. Laugh out of habit at the lump schematics. I smoked my senses. It made me so demented. I see me and you with the kennel cough, signaling the sleuths of the trail we trot. Expansion rattles out this old lump. Bats get bristled. The imps heat up. Spoon out the sweet stuff for streetwise smut. My gut absorbs the fiercest blows you never thought you'd have to throw. Laugh out of habit at the lump schematics. My psychic tenses make so defensive. I see me and you in the tiger tank, swimming as they yowl. Soon they're tearing us limb from every limb to the kennel cough. Don't even care if they take my legs. I've limped before, I could limp again, though my limp is not able to display how very awfully I'm doing.
Track Name: Hitch
Place every bet on a hard horse. He won't go down, though his knees spasm, though he wants to grey out. I heard them call me a hard horse. If you can stomach the top speed, let's take it on. Your fever's fewer than before and so it's hard to get hot. Is that a challenge or something? I’m never wrong about one thing. You're sick. Keep below, I don't wanna throw you. Now you know that I wanna know you. Don't endure a sickness you could let me cure, and I want to. I set my crucible fawning in a predatory way. You've got a habit with stains; I study etymology, but I never succumbed to that dirty word 'til I met you. Now I'm sick. Keep below, I don't wanna throw you. Now you know that I wanna know you. In this blood a sickness you could learn to love, and I learned, too. Sell every bet on your hard horse. I won't go down, though my knees spasm, though I wanna grey out. And you could call me a hard horse.
Track Name: Casper (1995)
Hunting a demon I seen fishing out hoof hair behind a screen. Hunted by a dusty cipher, magnetism my lone rifle. And the sicko police gave me perfect marks at the sycophantic academy. Pay to pray, I still got plasma coming through. Bang and bang and shoot's what they trained me to do. Windows sweating blood, choking in on cue. How I wanted you like a ghost wants revenge on the living. This is how the pros do it, right? Wedding chapel exorcism under a dim lamp light. Kids keep trading specter stories just to get each other horny. Inside their marrow, intense. Hiding from the witch I’m stalking through the dark forest.
Track Name: No Below
You didn't know me when you were a kid in trouble at school, alone at lunch again. I didn't know you when I broke my knee. Spent the summer on crutches and everybody teased, except for this one friend I almost forgot. You didn't know me, but he knew me best: the weight of my brain and my fear of my cold head. You never saw me interred in the ice. My friend tried to melt, but he couldn't thaw me out right. So I got ditched freezing alone with my thoughts. And though I once said I was better off just being dead without my old friend, I didn't know you yet. You didn't know me, but you got cold too, and your mind was heavy and you thought you might lose it. Well, everything fucked up we both felt before, I'm glad for it all if it got us where we are. With you in the boat there, I almost forgot how I once said I was better off just being dead. I didn't know you yet. And you might've said you were better off just being dead but I'm looking out for you, my friend. I didn't know you when you were a kid, but swimming with you it sure feels like I did.
Track Name: Gary
I have seen the art of my stupid counterpart. The proportion's wrong. Every line unsure, the erased marks like a sore thumb swelling and cumbersome. Still, the prints get made. Though I really wanna say that I've got her beat, I never speak. When a playdate ends, do you call your other friends or do you go home? Do you lock your door? Do you lay down on your carpet counting threads 'til you get to one? Once you've sat with kids, it's so hard to leave their table for the kids full grown. And my, I’ve grown some very big teeth.
Track Name: Fun
Criminally twisted puny little villain. Exercised yr claws and sprang from the aquarium. No I can't see good all the colors on this turf. Call it in the air. You act like you don't care about it. Still I don't understand what makes you wanna shoot around it, because it's just made of clay. Go on and puncture the clouds instead with a limb or a hand, pulling up as you can. Guess you’re getting it up now on the regular. Military systems. The first one to dismiss 'em shot over the sea. You act just like you hardly know me. And I don't understand what makes you wanna shoot around me, because I’m just made of clay. I go and puncture the clouds instead with a limb or a hand. First you paved, so I can. And I'm getting my dick sucked on the regular.
Track Name: Cash Cab
As up above then so below. Who pays? Rat king of the ward fell slack on the course then silvered away. What does he retain? He can't remember a thing, fleeing the chalk of his mess. All of the smart ones repress. They get amnesia, and now I wanna forget I loved someone who left me for dead. What a night to forget. Only an empty head says, "I wanna be with somebody." It went below and as I foretold, you'll pay. How wisely he roars, the chariot lord. Dragged every which way, tell me, what do you retain? You can't remember a thing, torn between too many heads. All of the bad ones repress. They get amnesia, and now I wanna forget I loved someone who left me for dead. I want amnesia just to please you again. Here goes another empty threat: I wanna be with somebody just like me, someone who laughs at a crashed car rental. Someone who hurts in an accident. Someone as scared of abandonment. And all I’ll ever do is untie all yr knots, dissolve all yr thoughts. I wanna be with somebody just like me. I'll do all this if you pay me.
Track Name: Plough
Don't let your lids black. Oil down that attractant. That's what you said once outside your cell. We used to go out, chant the names of power. Let's hit the plough now you’re back around. YHVH now you broke out. No it isn't the first time you showed up on the first of the month asking me for your cut, and some virgin parchment you brought me to read. Why'd you pick a virgin over me? That's an adult situation you threw at your childhood contemporary. I was never the witch that you made me to be. Still, you picked a virgin over me. The plough emptied out and that was enough. I slid towards the door but you started freaking the fuck out. Stop shaking. Why you freaking the fuck out? You better stop 'cuz it's freaking me out. He wants to burn all my candles. No, that isn't love. He wants a burn on his fingers. He thinks I'm the one to give it. He wants sulphur and salt and so he's holding me down. He wants a burn and it's freaking me out.
Track Name: MKVI
Drop donations in the box. Coats for curs and toys for tots. Give hearts for ex-hearts time forgot. Vaccinate the ones you love. Anesthesia so they can't feel you when it's time to give 'em up. Medicate me now I’m slumping 'cuz I’ve got nothing. Why you take and take me my friend? I've got nothing. Moral is you're moral-less but you left something on my lips: a mark so sick. Viking tower by the brook. I climbed up and took a look. I dangled down from meaty hooks just to peak inside an ancient place with your response scrawled across its cracked stone walls. If I'm despondent, who's at fault?

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