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Souls and Ghosts

by Jim Frankenstein

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Mr. Gray 05:14
Sarah had a 10 minute conversation with the universe. She ran into him at a Starbucks, waiting at the end of the line. He said his name's not God, it's Mr. Gray, and he's jonsing for a Macchiato. "Sorry about the death and stuff, I didn't you know you guys were down here. But damn, if you kids don't make a mess." Sarah stared incredulously at a trombone case and a goatee. Turns out that God's in a ska band, playing every weekend just to make this one land. And he ain't got time for church, and he ain't got time for you. You can tell by the awkward shuffle and the stifled sighs when you're asking for forgiveness and he's rolling his eyes. But she had just one question for the man, and so she asked it. Mr. Gray, he edged away. He didn't mean to give her any reason to pray. But she stepped up when he stepped back, and human eschatology collapsed when she laughed, "You've got a lot to answer for, sir. A lot of people been looking for you a long time. But I got just one question for the Most High - just who the hell do you think you are?"
Some say love hides sometimes, but never dies. I disagree, 'cuz my love is a robot, and robots don't hide they just process. Love is a game sometimes, well lai-de-lai, I will destroy my opponents with lasers and hydraulic clamps. I am an automaton from a race of mechanical monsters sent to destroy all the humans with Love. There is no escape from the Love.
I was praying to the moon one Friday night, wishing Jesus wouldn't be so quiet. I like to think myself a poignant man, that there is nothing here to understand. That we're a ripple in the tide, we're washing up on these black sands. She was wandering the beach on Friday night, eyes deep as the ocean, distant as the moon. I like to think my circumstances chaos, that it is not to understand what made us. But she's a ripple in the tide, she makes me want to believe.
Weird 04:33
She's not a circle, she is a rectangular peg and an obvious speck on the porcelain dishes she lays out for me. She's swinging her arms and she's shuffling her feet. The old man is sleeping and watching TV. She's talking about Bigfoot and steeping her tea. I'm fixed on her paintings of faeries and fire and she stares into space with a Cheshire smile. She's weird and she knows it, she's messed up and posing. She's half way to closing time, calling in sick. She's weird but she's happy, she's whacked out and laughing, she's all out of apricots, shaking her stick at the world. Her Siamese cat's on the counter again. It's broken the spice rack I made when I's ten and spilled all her voodoo and bottles of pills, and all of the things she takes when she gets ill. There's no adequate system of explaining the way I feel about this woman -- it's complicated. God only knows the time she has left, but I'm guessing that God is checking his watch. And he's tapping his foot to all of these rhythms she's hammering out with spoons in the kitchen. The words she's singing are unintelligible, but everyone's singing along. They're singing out... She's weird and she's lovely. She's getting sick of these old shackles that bind us and she's breaking free. She's strong and she's smiling through pain and through dying. She's everything I want to be.
I've got these seven lilies in my garden. I don't think I've got enough to buy your love with roses, pretty flowers, fruit, and lots of other stuff. I'll get seven lousy dollars for my garden and I think I oughta sell to the devil handing me a penny for my thoughts I might as well. And what would you think of me if I didn't have that squash inside my garden that you eat with lots of salt and butter cream? It's a mystery to me. But God's got seven gardens full of angels and they're watching over me. At least that's what I told myself. I'd be begging you, baby, not to leave me, but I don't have much to say. Seven whole times I told myself that I don't wanna be that way. I don't wanna be the guy who has to cater to your lust for better things like pomegranates filled with diamond seeds and lilies wrapped in golden rings. I don't wanna be the boy who has to buy what you are selling, but baby, I'm a man, so there's the door and I am telling you to leave. I'm telling myself I'll be okay, but I'm running out of lies. I'm stuck here writing music while you're cashing in yourself with other guys. And damn, man, what will they do when they find just what it is they're looking for? They'll rape that empty void that money left in you and leave you feeling poor. Cuz everybody's praying for themselves, and those who aren't are really hoping. And everybody else is hoping too, and wishing they were getting more. But there's no god and there's no Heaven, just an empty life where every hand is hiding behind a back and fingering a knife and everyone who isn't fucking her is checking out your wife and it's a cold, untended garden of a planet, where nothing ever grows. At least that's what I tell myself when I feel this cold wind blowing through the garden. And I can feel this cold wind blowing through the garden.
Europa 05:27
Four billion years have come and gone like a thunderstorm and it's not the world it was when the rains came. When the flood drained it washed away our names, it left us in stereo. And we took pleasure in the Siren's song. She was singing out, Boy, it's a cold world and it's gonna get colder before it gets gone. Justice Man's gonna come and gonna find ya -- gonna learn ya good. She said, society's broken, bleeding out, all of the humans are sick, their bones are out. Cleansing fire is from the heavens. She said, is this not just the way we go on our own to atone for independent thought? No, this is where we prove ourselves -- this is Europa. This is not just a one-way gravel road leading home, stuck-in-the-ditch. This world -- this is where we prove ourselves. Two thousand years of this apocalypse pasquinade made an impact; bruises on the neck of justice and broken bones of the barbarian. You really think that Mr. Gray should save us? And turn back the clock of social integrity? I don't know about you, but I think we're doing alright alone. Man, it's a cold wind, but it's only warming up, so shut up your damn mouth. Try living two hundred years ago and talk to me about progress. Nothing's broken that can't be fixed. Nothing's bleeding that can't be stitched up tight. Justice Man is gonna have to find a new world, cuz this one's ours. All these worlds are yours, except Europa. Attempt no landings here.
Transmogrify: modus operandi. The universe continues to expand and multiply. Human life is a just a brief stop on the line of where it’s all going and how it’s gonna get there. It seems obvious to me that life only happened so that Mother Earth could touch herself, and sex out a consciousness and murder it off until the last ape standing had a big sharp stick. Too long, the weak endured the strong. Hey, we could cure death if the rich made money on it. Crush the lingering Darwinian tradition with a transhuman evolution open to the wretched refuse. Put that there science in a ribcage, make our hearts drum until the Singularity. To the rhythm of the New World Order of the Sega Ectogenesis of Homo Superiorous. Top of the line, the Human Redesign, redefine what it means to be a mortal and to be divine. The future lies in a mechanized paradigm: The Biotechnic Frankenstein.
Azazel 01:58
Grasping the horn A swell of emotion Sacred fire Blood on the altar Storm's on the way War and inflation Try to atone for the sins of the nation Into the sands and the desert sun Leading Azazel until the hunger takes me away
My heart is a dead octopus popsicle, a cold and viscid hub of cumbersome tentacles and a whole lotta juice. Several vain pursuits, like stopgap braces, bolster the mess -- sagging, bored -- cut from the Branch, but not cut to the core, and I'm hanging out, cuz there's no hanging back. I need something to make this octopus boogie, some kinda salt to season these inanimate appendages and make them move. And even though I'd never eat one, I've admired how they dance, so dead and yet so full of such a spiritual romance, and I need to find a way to bring this zombie to life. That Ghost is alive, extra-dimensionally, and it's got a way to put the fear of God into your simian soul, and though I gave it control, I was still there, twitching, possessed in a box of cognitive dissonance. Pretentious, dogmatic, I wouldn't listen to anyone or anything that tried to open my eyes. But then I started thinking. I'm gonna find a way to make this octopus boogie. Drive out the Ghost that's haunting me -- these antiquated bandages that I have used to control a bleeding faith, be it human or divine, ika odori-don in the calamari sunshine. I'm gonna tear it down and bleed this mystery dry Look at me, I've been praying in the name of a tinted specter in a stained glass window pane. It separates your mind from the world, an ideology of bittersweet and lonely cephalopod psychology, a ten-fold apology of obsolete morality bones. I don't wanna be a godless bone breaker but I don't wanna be a mindless old shaker I don't wanna die, bones of gold, and beat down to the grave by my heart and soul cuz I know my heart isn't dead. But altso, I think my heart was a dead octopus delicacy in a bowl of rice: I've got a brain and a mouth and a bladder of ink. And when I stopped to drink up all this sodium, I came alive and started to breathe, started to smash all the things I believed. A kaiju time, unleashed inside of my head. I know how to make an octopus boogie, I figured out what seizes these inanimate appendages and makes them move. It is to battle every inhibition, challenge every god, discover your philosophy and question every mode of thought before it's too late to bring you to life again.
Here I go again, I’m falling down this rabbit hole. Disoriented and spinning round and round as I look back on this time I spent listening to a suit of man with money on his mind and a book in his hand. The fiction sold me the skeleton kingdom of a slick man among thieves telling me that everything will be okay if I believe that Jesus Christ is looking down on me. Now, I am a liar and I’m jaded, and I hate it. And I really, truly want to believe that there is a savior, but there’s probably not. Into the void with the ghouls and the dragons, absurdity certainly mellows. The deeper in the dark that I wandered the clearer the vision became to me — that evolution is blind and deaf. Our purpose isn’t something that’s revealed; it’s a ghost that haunts the cosmos, determined only by the will to seize the grandiose. And I will write my future for myself. Ghosts are what we call the things we leave behind, and I left everything. Now I am broken, but I’ll be okay as long as this world keeps spinning round and round. The Earth, the stars, and the hope in between are everything And I’m just human. “Soul” is an imaginary word. It’s just a condescending term for the billions of years of chaos where consciousness was forged. But time is just a trick of space, and you — you’re imaginary, too. So don’t waste a single second thinking that you’ll live forever. We don’t need a destiny, an afterlife, or eternity. Ashes to ashes, we will be until we will ourselves to life. And as the prophet said, "How strange it is to be anything at all!" We are nothing, but we’ll overcome Oblivion as long as this world’s spinning ‘round. The Earth, the stars, and the hope in between are everything, and we are human. Sure, we’re made of water and we’re made of dirt, but we came from the stars, and one day we’ll go back there. And we’ll make up songs that answer all of our questions and sing them in octaves no one’s ever dreamed of.


'Soul' is an imaginary word. 'Ghosts' are what we call the things we leave behind.

Losing love, losing faith, losing youth. Gaining will, resolve, and freedom. This album is the culmination of ten years of my life. These are the songs that were with me through deaths and comforted me through divorce. This is the album that, unwritten and unfinished, led me through cognitive dissonance and out the heavy doors of a church hall. It's the violent, messy, and fantastic genesis of existential autonomy and the revelation of our enigmatic, self-determined potential. It is a Ginsu-automaton, powered by anxiety and raucous lullabies, designed to soothe your dread, scare your cats, and to fight God with rocks.

This is me, or at least what I've been so far.


released October 31, 2016

Souls and Ghosts
Written and recorded by Brian Reed in Minneapolis
Mixed and Mastered by Ryan Main

Special thanks unto:
Ryan Main for the sleepless nights of editing
Dan Goodroad & Emily Caruso for endless support
My family for all the weird.

© ℗ 2016 Brian Reed
All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

“Aeroplane Over the Sea” © 1998 Neutral Milk Hotel/Merge records.


all rights reserved



Jim Frankenstein Minneapolis, Minnesota

"Irreverent yet poignant, the experimental indie Ghostbustery of Jim Frankenstein evokes a malty, existential angst with the bourbon oak undertones of a bassy pasquinade. Jim is truly the soul of an old man who died asking 'why?'" -Stone McSullen

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