And The Plot Dickens​.​.​.

by Brian Dickens

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released June 18, 2016

"And The Plot Dickens..."
by Brian Dickens and friends.

Brian Dickens wrote all the songs, played all the acoustic guitar and sang all the words. Brian is a singer-songwriter and the official (sort of) townie minstrel of Winchendon MA.

Ian Galipeau recorded the whole deal and played extra instruments on nearly every track. Ian plays bass and sings in Honest Thieves, a great band from Keene, NH.

Brian Welton played and recorded the drums on Juvenile Claims and Toxic Concept. He plays drums in a sweet band called Backseat Zero, from Gardner, MA.

The album art was created by Madison Pierce, a wonderful, multi-faceted artist out of Stow, OH. Check out the rest of their stuff at Wolf Teeth Originals on Etsy. Hats, paintings, patches, you name it. Even nifty soap.



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Brian Dickens Winchendon, Massachusetts

Brian Dickens, townie folk punk minstrel, b. 1991. Acoustic stuff all over the map. Unrelentingly autobiographical.

"A little much."

Dashboard Confessional meets Dave Dondero meets Phil Ochs. Yeah.

contact: dickens.brian
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Track Name: For A Change
Quality reasons are still something that I'm lacking in regards to this whole idea of getting my self packing, even though I've been getting sick of living out my parents fridges, I still can't help but think that there's something big I'm continually missing

I guess it's not so much about radical self sustaining as it is about liberating my parents from some bills they're sick of paying and it's not cause they hate me, it's cause they know we can do better, so I guess I could become an adult next week or whenever

This is my submission, I've finally started to listen to the voice behind my eyes that cries the unexamined life ain't worth living and that chorus carries on during these daily attempts to try and derive something from that ancient sentiment

My Mom just celebrated her second 25th birthday and my Dad's been sailing round the globe after finally shaking all that weight and what I'm trying to say is that things are kinda great, but now I'm half their age and could start acting like it for a change
Track Name: Parallel Paths
Parallel paths patched together in time for our hearts to join rhythm, and worship and whine, about all that has changed us and all that we still can’t change.

Dislocated shoulders from reaching too far, just for a brief brush with what might heal the scars that we earned as we turned through the bushes and the thorns in the rain.

Just for a taste of what’s on everyone else’s plate
where being alive is a pleasure, and even when it’s a pain.

Every time that my parents and cousins would swear how they loved me the most, I would butt in to question their reasons for saying it just twice a year.

Because it’s only been a couple times we’ve pooled the cash and swung the ride to see our new family, nestled up in between those old seven hills, and on the rides home I know that I have gears

that turn slower and truer and smoother each time you’re near.

((for jacob))
Track Name: Big Fish
spent a whole night driving drunk off life with open hearts and open minds
you gunned your engine till the morning light
until I crashed in the back of your beat up car
parked in the back of some lowly farm
and you and your girl of the week slept under the disappearing stars

until I awoke to the sound of a radio on the hip of a cop tapping on the window, who asked if we were homeless, we said we don't know

so they shooed us away saying "take care now" and we made our way back to my mothers house and I slept alone save for some nasty morning mouth- and I dreamt of a life I spent on the road with nothing but some shoes and clothes and a liquored up version of what we know

then I came to in the afternoon I scratched my head, sat still and knew to chase the life I dreamt I'd gotta be a fool

cause although it's easy to be a big fish in a puddle of town I'd like to think I've been learning how to swim, so if I leave here I don't drown- and all my friends have watched me flounder, splash off the face of the earth- but I know that they've all been there- and good thing they all learned how to surf

so I went back to my friends that night, shared my theories thrice revised, I caught a glimmer in their bloodshot eyes

and those two sure are hard nuts to crack but I think I hit them with the fact that life around here really ain't all bad- cause if you go looking for a bad time, that's probablby what you'll have- cause life around here really ain't all bad.

((for the Town of Winchendon))
Track Name: That's Cash
A lovely couple unpacks their car to make some room for me and my guitar. Usually play them ones that they know, but here's a new one, and here's how it goes- the cackling crow pecking at everything you know, that's cash.

Been to the underpass, I've walked the path of teenage litterbugs too busy getting trashed. This was their weekend, they left their remains, then they discover the very next day that the galloping horse, that walks on all they adore, that's cash.

My dinner last night, I got for free- from a pantry that's kind to me. Shared it amongst my family while Mom and Daddy they nodded and agreed that the suckling flea, that doesn't care if you’re hungry, that's cash.

Grandpa died before the spring hit, drove my Nana right into a rift. Funeral parlor hit her with this: 300 big ones to write up the obit. That’s why the punkass kid that always gets away with it, that's cash

Lived here my whole life, think I could say you make your own fun here most every day. Almost too many ways in which to play regardless of our bank accounts states, so a crippling charade we've gotta bend and break, that's cash
Track Name: Love I Love
It’s been well over ten times we’ve made ten people feel just like one hundred, or at least we tried to have a go at making good fun of it.

Feeling like royalty when we make gas money, or like a jester when we get home with our pockets empty.

But no, it ain't the cash that gets me off my ass,
it’s the opportunity to relate so passionately
about the things I love, at these shows I love,
filled with friends I love, and all that love that I love.

Went out to my mailbox yesterday at sunrise- thirty three degrees- I caught this letter from my Northampton buddies,
“sorry you missed the show cause your car’s engine blows,
we know it was out of your control.”

And these are the sort of things that make my mug to grin- some warm and fuzzy feelings- from the friends that I love,
who sing the songs I love, in living rooms I love, filled with love I love.

Please know that it hasn’t always been so easy for me to be brave,
to tie my shoes, to get up on the stage.
Still trying to get it straight, hit all the notes okay,
waiting to rest my head on a pillow by the end of the day.

So some vision of political punks might dance around in my head, and every song is love, every word is love, every syllable is love, written in love that I love.

((for the Starship kids))
Track Name: Juvenile Claims
This morning I had a child, beautiful baby boy with the biggest smile that I've ever seen. Cherry red cheeks aglow, and I awoke under my window

This morning I felt a shift, silent revolution under my ribs, but I don't know what changed, don't know what was there before. Only juvenile claims that any way you cut it, life's just a losing game.

Cause I kinda forgot what it’s like to need somebody, and I know even less what it's like for someone to need me.
Track Name: The Cane
Never felt more capable of taking my own life
than when I lived for 30 days and 30 sleepless nights
under a painting of my late grandfather still wet
and a shelf packed with trophies that my uncle left

to gather dust and remind all of us

*that if you give yourself the cane, you'll still remain
in the guts of everyone you love
breakin em to pieces swimming in the blood
chilling every spine at the foot of their shrine
make em cry, gotta make the most of my time.

now my buddys ringing me again
and he's not making words, only waterlogged
monologues and I'm picking out the curses
from oft repeated promises he'll prune himself
right from this earth but man I know
that he'll do nothing like it

cause I'm always there to help him fight it,
to be the little birdy reminding him

now I'm just a sitting here watching the weeks roll by
still my telephone and doorbell have been ringing
but I haven't a clue why
because the only thing I'm good at
is messing up all the ways
that I come to love the ones that make me wanna stay
Track Name: Good Head Space
I deny myself nothing, because it makes me feel free-
like my old ripped up jacket missing a button or three.
it'll wear out either way, tomorrow or today.

Can't seem to get the hang of that good head space.
Not a thing that they say proves my paranoia fake.
But diggings still worth the time, even when I don't know why.

Somedays being okay don't mean being alright-
it means knowing you still try.
and half the fight is wanting to fight,
in the dark, and in the light.

But walk at your own pace.
Put some wrinkles in your face.
Learn to ride your waves, tomorrow or today.
Track Name: Toxic Concept
the balance beam of mercy and biting condemnation
is one i've wobbled across on more than one occasion
wishing I was never born, constantly selling myself short
thinking I might stumble on a cure

for being sickened, bedridden, by my own toxic concept
that I was surely the worst person that I'd ever met
but there's a truth I don't tell, through that entire spell
no one hurt me more than myself

so I went facing down my demons, all their red chins dripping
with a list in my fist of all the habits I'd be kicking
I spent a month up in the hills, perfectly happy up until
I caught a glance of what my pen had spilled

a man in stitches who bitches of sorrows out of sight
lamenting his own existence nearly every night
so I packed my car up and I left, to go rub elbows
with the best damn kids that I'd ever met

so now the authors of all our tomorrows
they live down the street
they deliver you your dinner, they ring up your groceries
a reason to try, a cause to care, that's what they give to me
dancing singing proof of what happens to your dreams
when you don't set em free
Track Name: It's Been Real
It's been real every time you've gone home
and left me here to go it alone
on these streets that barely know my feet.

It's been real, the pain in my brain
every time I remember how I severed myself from this place, and every last mouth that spoke my name.

I'd say I listened close, and yeah I did,
but I only ever heard my memories
and what's heard above the roar
is always just my enemies.

It's been real, every thought that we gave
to selling all our things, to start hopping freights
to spit in the pacific and count the miles from home.

It's been real, every night that we spent
deliberating what it really meant
to become nothing forever.

We've been searching for that kind of hope,
but I guess we never really let it in,
because we thought it was the poison,
found it was the medicine

((for Cleetus))