Asphalt Asphyxiation

by The heartless Artichokes

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This is sort of a loose concept album about a man who comes to the realization that the world around him is going to shit and that people care so much about money, power and material things that they are willing to do anything to gain and keep these things, including destroying the beautiful natural world, therefor destroying the humans on it. He is worried about the future of the human species, and the generations ahead of him. Things are bad now and they're only getting worse. Eventually he becomes a mad man. This is where our story starts. He is not mad in the sense he is insane, but mad because everyone seems to to think he is, including his wife who has filed for divorce. All he wants to do is try to make the world a better place. He's been finding out the hard way that's easier said then done.


released May 30, 2014

Huge Thanks to Stephen from Ireland this would've never gotten done with out him. I'd also like to thank Mary Oliver for a writing a poem that expresses what I was going for with album in words more beautifully than I could ever write. Thanks to Ian and Vince who encouraged me to keep writing even though I thought everything I wrote sucked, I probably also would have never picked up a guitar if weren't for them so thanks for that too.



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The heartless Artichokes New York, New York

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Track Name: Punchline
A mad man and a sad man walk into a bar. The sad man says to the bartender, "I'll have a glass of loneliness." The mad man points to the sad man and says to the bartender, "I'll have what he's having." The sad man frowns. The mad man says to the sad man, "What? I thought misery loves company?" Then the mad man laughs a maniacal guffaw reserved for nightmares. The two men start talking and they hit it off. About an hour into their conversation the mad man asks the sad man if he knows any jokes. The sad man replies, "Yeah. My life." Then they both utter a small soft chuckle. A commotion could be heard from the other side of the bar. So the mad man turns his head behind him to get a better look at whats going on. When the mad man turns his head back around expecting to see his new friend, the sad man is gone. The sad man had disappeared. So the mad man asks the bartender, "Hey, what happened to the guy who was just sitting right next to me?" The bartender informs the mad man that he had in fact been alone the whole evening. The sad man never existed at all, except in the mad mans imagination. The mad man thought about this, and then he laughed!
Track Name: Paved With Lies
Life will be the death of me. Our futures are all laid out can't you see. First you're born, you live and then you die and all you can do in between in wonder why. You go to school to get your degree. You work and work to feed your family. Now it's lunchtime. McDonalds or Wendys? If thats the hardest choice you have to make in a day I got a question for you. Are you really free? When I was a kid I always found it kind of funny that people would want to trade their time for money. I want to spend my time on doing something that matters, not on watching the fat cats get fatter. Do you still want to live paycheck to paycheck when you're 65 years old? I have another question for you. Are you still dreaming of gold? Open your eyes. Do you see what I see? These streets they are paved with lies.
Track Name: Lost
All the days that lead up to today, have all felt exactly the same. What do I do? What did I do? And tomorrow? What will I do? It'll feel like I've done it before, deja vu. Where do i go from here? What do i do?
Track Name: Haiku Limerick and Sonnet
The leaves are falling
I'm falling apart again
Last fall you were here

And you helped put me back together
Now you're across the country in Seattle
And I'm alone to fight my own battle
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't rattled
What's gonna keep me warm in this cold weather

You left me a book of your poetry
It is the one thing that's keeping me sane
My vision is foggy, but one thing I see
Is you writing poems in the pouring rain

Water was always your favorite archetype
It Represents life death and so much more
Without you I'm rotten fruit no longer ripe
Withering away on my bedroom floor

Most days that's as far as I can make it
Most days that's as far as I can go
Most days I don't think that I can take it
Every day I miss you so

Leaves falling are a metaphor for change
I'm changing without you and it feels so strange
Track Name: Lucky Stars
On the lonely nights I look up at the sky. And on the lonely nights I count stars. While I'm looking out there I am hoping someones out there, wishing that they would contact me. If I am lucky, they will. If I am lucky the alien I meet would be real friendy. If I'm lucky she'd be pretty cool and if we're lucky she hails from a planet where she's fought against oppressive government rule, she can point us in the right steps to find our problem's solutions. I wish upon the star I count for a revolution.

On the lonely nights I look up at the sky. And on the lonely nights I count stars. It's a lot better than counting sheep at least sometimes I get some sleep. As I'm counting to infinity I close my eyes, alien anarchists are all I see. If I am lucky they will wake me from dreams in the middle of the night with a BIG LOUD BANG and a bright bright light. I will watch you walk right through my window against the backdrop of a dim glow and you will whisper in my ear, "Come home to my utopian planet, have no fear, you will be loved, respected and welcomed. You can be the person you want to be. You can be the person you were born to be."

Every single night, I look up at the sky, and every fucking night I count stars. I count them to remind me of who we really are. I count my lucky stars every night. They are all I have in this world, and I am thankful for them. I count my lucky stars every night. They're all I have in this world and I am thankful. Your government's policies, most of society fill me with rage. You call this Earth your home, I've always seen it as a cage. Is a person a slave if they don't know they are enslaved? I'm afraid the answers will be written on your graves. As long as there are governments around, gravity's not the only thing keeping us down. So maybe the stars aren't our only escape. If we're lucky we'll have more than stars one day.
Track Name: The Sun (a poem by Mary Oliver)
Have you ever seen
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone--
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance--
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love--
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,
or have you too
turned from this world--

or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?
Track Name: Song for the End of the World
I don't have a religion. I have faith in science. I don't believe in any gods. My hope went with the Mayans. We'd have been lucky if December was the end. We'd have been lucky to witness time and space bend. Isn't bliss just another word for ignorance? Imagine how blissful you would be if you ignored existence entirely. On December 22nd I wanted to be filled with bliss, but here I am still alive and ignorant.

Humans have been running this planet pretty poorly. If things don't change soon, human extinction will happen surely. There's a lot on the Earth's plate right now. We have to find a way to eat it all somehow. Things aren't always what they seem. Whose to say life's not one big dream? Why not stir the pot, cause a shake up.Maybe that's what it takes to wake up!
Track Name: Next
Listen, we got a problem. Listen to me now. Things need to change around here and they need to change fast. We need to figure out a way to make it work. And if you don't you gotta go. If you don't you go so we can bring in people who can. Listen we got a problem. Yeah we gotta problem. I'm gonna help of course because everyone, everyone here needs to what they can. What can you do? Don't tell me show me. Don't tell me show me. Let me see, so I can believe with my own eyes, with my own eyes, with mayonnaise.
Track Name: Homophone Song (Song from the shore)
Sitting on a rock watching waves hit the shore. Why am I here? Not really sure. No one else around, I'm all alone. Got no money in my pocket, won't get a loan. I've been staring endlessly looking out at the sea. And I've been searching desperately for something I just can't see. Out in the distance I see a ship that has no sails. Deep in my dreams exists a store that makes no sales. I was on on that rock pondering for hours,dreaming of the day when this world will be ours. And I started going crazy, I spoke my thoughts aloud, "In our world no cops bosses or politicians allowed."

What should be removed? And what should we add? In this new world tvs will never show an ad. Think about everything we can alter. Dump the gasoline on it and sacrifice the altar. This rock below me like a horse beneath a knight. I've been here all day, I've seen the day turn into night. Before I leave, I take one last look at the ocean blue. That's when I realize it's time for something new. If I had some money, I'd still go to a store to get myself a good buy. And if there were people here I would tell them good bye. I would say to them goodbye. I would say out loud good riddance.
Track Name: Vicenarian Highlights
I’m 21 and mad at the world
I’m 22 and glad that I met you
I’m 23 and holy shit we’re getting married
I’m 24 and like all my friends predicted, we’re getting divorced

And then I met you. :)

I’m 25 and I never felt more alive
Sitting behind you on the back of your bike
With the wind blowing through my hair
On a midnight ride going nowhere
Riding riding we are riding till we catch up to the light hey hey

I’m 26 and wow your pregnant
I’m 27 and I’m in heaven when I see my son for the time
A feeling of pure ecstasy, washes over me
When I realize the two most precious things in the whole world are all mine

I’m 28 and have been busy as of late
As you can imagine
I’m 29 and we’re all doing fine
Thanks for asking