Wordsmith Wednesday: Ugly Casanova’s “Barnacles”


This week’s Wordsmith Wednesday is from the song “Barnacles” off of Ugly Casanova’s 2002 album Sharpen Your Teeth.

It goes:

“I don’t need to see
I don’t see how you see out of your windows
I don’t need to see, I’ll paint mine black.

I don’t know me and you don’t know you
So we fit good together cause I knew you like I knew myself
We clung on like barnacles on a boat

Even though the ship sinks you know you can’t let go
I was talking like two hands knocking
Yelling, “Let me in, let me in, please come out.”

More Isaac Brock. I’m sorry everyone.

Beyond just this string of words and the lack of knowing that seeps into every syllable, there’s also this sense of hesitancy and uncertainty in Brock’s voice. It’s soft and deflated. As much as the words create a sense of denial, apprehension, and unwillingness to face aspects of a relationship, there is a subconscious awareness of something hidden, something wrong. This feeling is immediately suffocated and obscured with, as stated in later lyrics, “black glass, dirt-based soap.”

Sometimes you just want a relationship to work so badly, you put all your time/strength/energy/life into it, but it still isn’t enough. It isn’t being reciprocated. Instead, they hide parts of themselves, parts of their life or what they’ve done. You blind yourself to the other person’s problems, infidelities, or the fact that your both struggling, but as much as you push it down, as much as you hide it in the deepest parts of your stomach, you know it’s still there.

– KK

ugly casanova


Wordsmith Wednesday: Modest Mouse’s “Teeth Like God’s Shoeshine”


From Modest Mouse‘s “The Lonesome Crowded West,” a record that consistently spins at both Sobotka headquarters, comes these lines from the song “Teeth Like God’s Shoeshine,”

“The malls are the soon to be ghost towns/
so long, farewell, good-bye”

These lyrics have always resonated deeply with me considering (as anyone who has lived in a city can attest to) I have seen so many malls, businesses, and even residential areas go from fully occupied, busy, credit-card swiping mini-towns to complete deserts, tumbleweeds and all. The feeling of absence that follows a surge and then downfall of an economy can be discouraging, but we must try to not let it get to us. Realize that there are millions of other humans out there also attempting to move with the ebb and flow of the world. Keep floating.

– KK

Modest Mouse