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about

2016 was hard, so we made this. We had only just begun playing together, and yet things fell into place pretty easily. Boosted folk-rock sounds strapped to a rocket and shot into the future. Lyrical subjects completely out of order.

credits

released May 4, 2017

IVCC is, most often:

Gren Coffee-Guitar, Vox, percussion, recorders
Vern McElroy-Guitar, Vox
Jacob Dineen-Bass
Kevin Brownell-Drums, Cymbals, Percussion

Ably assisted by:
Phil Lollar-Guitar (8)
Keith Yoder-Trumpet (7,8)
Andrew Snyder-Trumpet (7,8)
Greg Stevens-Trombone (7,8)
Harlow Carpenter-Trumpet (6)
Ingrid Ballman-Piano (5)
Dave Righton-Vocals (3)
Marlon Schmidt-Accordion (6)
Vern McElroy plays bass on all these recordings.

Grateful: 
Pelicanopolis (John,Stephen,Tresca, Paul), Bryan Hillebrant, Moe! Staiano and Dennis Aman for loan of instruments, Iron Henry, the Generous donors to the Brass Fund, Mike and Rebecca at Octopus Literary Salon, St Dorothy’s Artists and Writers Group, Jamie Lundt, Katherine Ahern for all the screaming, Oaktown Indie Mayhem, Andrea Saxophone, Phil Lollar, Aimee Butler and Bridget Boyle.


Recorded at Skyline Studios, Tiny Telephone Oakland,
Rm 260 Micro-Studios, and Ingrid’s House. Oakland/Alameda 2016
Engineered by Steve Vasiliou, Dan Stone, Jacob Winik and Vern McElroy
Mastered by James Riotto at Tiny Telephone Oakland
Cover Art by Stephen Seche and Gren Coffee
All songs written by Gren Coffee and IVCC
c & p IVCC/Pioneer Aviators Music
Night Kitchen Records
1345 Broadway
Alameda, CA 04501

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about

The Invincible Vacuum Cleaner Co. Alameda, California

IVCC is the project of compositional cabinet maker, amateur tailor and kale farmer Gren Coffee, formerly of the late, great Pelicanopolis. Previously Gren has been in several bands and sung in the SF Symphony Chorus, as well as composing and performing in the serious and slightly crazy world of contemporary music. ... more

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Track Name: Medical Choppers
It is my daily plan
To not degrade my mind with the cruelties of man
but then I can’t defend my brain from all the fear and pain
Madness that I can’t explain
And when I think that everything is really bad
I look up to the hospital helipad

Wrong is everywhere
I want to be someone who cares
and there are evil men who
badly need to know what I think of them
I roll up the windows and pretend
I’m giving speeches at the UN
When the thudding blades cut through my icy heart again

Medical Choppers are always something we can get behind…

Cutting throughout the smoggy skies with stem cells, anti-retrovirals
Can we find a thing amiss with this or is it too simplistic
To put our trust in that which comes with a kidney
When you really need one?

I hope we all agree
That down the tunnel of bitterness there is no cheese for you and me
If we become the things we see we need to look around
In this city, every day, red helicopters make their way
With Ice chests full of love and mercy

Medical Choppers are always something we can get behind…
Track Name: The Door
The door to your old house was open wide
I thought to tell someone
But instead I went inside
I’m not sure why

This house has always looked like it would slide
Right off the hillside
twisted, sagging lines to hurt a builders eyes
Where you and your sweet wife and kids
Did once reside

And how the empty rooms did groan when even lightly walked upon
Kitchen counters turning turtle, rolling down
But no one lives here now.

The walled-off place where the deckboards failed
Everything by damp and rot assailed
The guy who built this should be flailed!
These books, do you want them mailed?

I tiptoed out, two books against my chest
For which I thank you
And wish you all the best

I’ll read one day about a house that slid
into a gully
The house where you once lived
I closed the door behind me
At least
I think I did…
Track Name: Bay Tree
Bay tree, my betrothed
Right there where Ieft you
Give me a leaf to smell
Give me a nut to chew
I swear I’ll give each one back to you some day….


Bay tree, are you blue?
Sorrow, ‘cos I would not marry you
You put your white dress on
Waited all April long
But I was gone
And you’re the one who always has to stay

Bay tree, fastened down
dropping leaves all over the dusty ground
The road takes me far away
To talk and drive and play
This cannot be, I mean,
C’mon!
You’re a fucking tree!
Track Name: Water Sprites
Oh water
Please receive by shaved-off bristles, dirty dishes,
rushing through my tired kidneys

Oh water
We are fools if we think
We can capture you in toilet tanks and swimming pools

Oh water
You are wise beyond surmising
Look now on our thirsty throats and sweaty armpits
Dusty driveways, desiccated worms on concrete
Pity us our needs and wants and tell us where you
tell us where you hid the fucking rain!

I will take off all my clothes and sing for you
and I don’t care who videos it with their phone

Hail to thee, oh water sprites
You are laughing in the river light.
Track Name: Miso Tahini Spread
My lunch is cruel, my lunch is kind
I start to chew and let my mind go back
to another time….

This was us many years ago
And all the cruelty and war
We said we’d overthrow
We knew deep down the we were great
And these are the sandwiches we ate

Kind of bland, and sort of dry
Handful of beansprouts or some lettuce, maybe
might revive it
I’ve tried to get it back for so long
But the proportions are always wrong

You were selfish, vain and cruel
How did you live this long
When you’re such a fool?
Was it the vegan spread
Or was there someone looking out for me instead?

My lunch is just to get me through
It’s just a moment in the present
Not a day to rue
A simple recipe survives
The faded tumult of our lives
Track Name: To Be Sung While Picking Edible and Medicinal Plants in the Wild
In times gone by the people used to sing
The anthropologists have said
To plants and animals
That they had need to take

But here I am in modern times
And no amount of whole wheat bread can bridge the chasm
Between me and the twigs I break

So now that I’ve found you
I’ve gotta try to introduce myself to you…

I’m not very bright
But according to this book I read
You might contain some properties
To make me feel better
And, God knows, I’ve never felt right
Not quite

I’m trying to be polite
‘Cos I try to do the decent good
And Gary Snyder says I should
Give something of a nicety
That isn’t tossed off, or trite.
So here goes

I am an ordinary guy
with an awful lot of needs
both imagined and real
and when I saw you in a clump
Of what I used to think were weeds
I had to tell you just how I feel

I’m not the kind of guy
Who would rip a plant out of the ground
And sell it by the pound
No ma’am! I just need a sprig
It’s not very big
I’ll take it from the bottom
So you’re top’ll get bigger
I’m pleased to meet you
Helpful, medicinal plant.
Track Name: A Model of the Parthenon
I’m in a paper cup
A’drifting in a disconnected sea
And in my dreams I see you
Standing on a mountain
Smiling at me
If I could throw these shackles down
Then I would invite you ‘round
There’s a light in here
But I don’t know how to turn it on….

I’m cooking up a dinner
Of disappointment and confusion
Sitting across from me I can’t decide
If you’re an illusion
Do I want to get next to you
You bet your coffee cream I do
But I don’t know how to kick it along

Let’s build a model of the Parthenon
out of marshmallows

This is not a night of bliss
This is another train we’re gonna miss
I wish that you could come along

Let’s build a model of the Parthenon
I’ll tear it down when you are gone.
Track Name: Crying on the Pillows
Last night you drank your fill of beauty and transcendence
Today the well is dry
Your mind: the soft-toy-grabbing claw that falls and falls
And it's a good day to die
Followed by another night to cry

The subway trains of joy they come and go and never stay
It's always worth another try
And all the lovers you've consumed they're far away
You want to be that guy in the next room
Listen to him

Cry on the Pillows

Now the night is pressing all around
Bloodshot eyes are scrolling down
scrolling down
scrolling down
Looking for a plausibility
Before vengeance climbs out of the well
And comes for me
comes for me
comes for me

I wanted everything that you had
I was living my own lie
And I could never do what you did so well
Bang every door and ring every bell
'Till all you could hear was the bells
the bells, the bells

Crying on the pillows
Track Name: U.G. Krishnamurti on his Deathbed
Sitting up in a hospital bed
With two damp pillows lying under his head
He's got life support that goes beep beep beep,
Counting down his last few heartbeats
He says: “We are all each of us alone
Let me rot on the plain! Let the dogs chew my bones!
Just throw the whole damn thing away
It's all bullshit anyway!”

There was a man with the same last name
Who enlightened the people and gained lasting fame
As a noted teacher of Theosophy
Who famously fell out with Madame Blavatsky
So this verse is just to clarify that
Jiddu Krishnamurti is not the same guy as this guy
Who's life is hanging by a thread
In a hospital bed,
like I said...

He speaks to those assembled in the room
Through the beeps and the hiss of the oxygen tube
He says: “It's like I told you again and again
It's a staggering waste, it's a spiraling drain.
The Universe is inherently cruel
And if you want to transcend it you're deluded and foolish
There is no meaning, there is no soul
No God, no heaven
no no no no no no!”

He says: “We are each of us alone.
Let me rot like a slug! Let the dogs chew my bones
Just throw the whole damn thing away
It's all bullshit anyway!”

He's got a brain the size of Saturn's rings
Which he's used all his life to attack everything.
And when you really put your mind to it
It's not hard to determine that everything's stupid.
It was a job and he did it well
He discoursed through the night 'till his eyelids fell
And as the day began to dawn outside
He said “bullshit” 20 more times, and then he died.