Never Wanted to Be Cool

by Thick Red Wine

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about

this is a folk-punk album that shares way too many intimate details about my life.

if you want to download it for free, there's a link above and all the tracks are also free to download on soundcloud. love you all!

xo mike wojciechowski

credits

released 26 February 2013

All songs written, performed, and arranged by Mike Wojciechowski
Produced by Darian Momanaee and Mike Wojciechowski
Recorded, mixed, engineered by James Webber in Austin, TX
Mastered by Erik Wofford at Cacophony Recorders

Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass: Mike Wojciechowski
Vocals: Courtney Howell, Shawnee Kilgore, Leah Nobel
Banjo, Mandolin, Bass: William Wallace
Trumpet, Snare: Darian Momanaee

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Track Name: Never Wanted to Be Cool
I hit my peak of popularity back when I was in grade school
Everyone wanted to be my friend; I thought that I was so cool
Some girls in my class were always trying to spell out my last name
W-o-j-c-i-e-c-h-o-w-s-k I would hear them say

Now I was just being myself, I had my jock jams on repeat
I loved Goosebumps, origami, basketball and R&B
But now pro-wrestling is what I loved most, so did my best friend
Cooler kids than us had yo-yos and they traded Pokémen

And back in kindergarten Bobby was just a kid who ate glue
But by the 5th grade well he was that kid who everybody knew
And during recess one day he came up to me and my best friend
He said why would someone like you hang out with losers just like him?

Well I bet Bobby never makes it out of jersey
If there's a god, let her show him some mercy
Because I had not known
People could be so cruel
But I knew I never wanted to be cool

So then bobby acted like me and him were made of the same stuff
Trying to be some macho 5th grade ass like he was tough and dangerous
When I told him to just go away, I had not realized
My best friend's face had turned a wounded red, tears dripping from his eyes

So I chased Bobby's skinny little sad and slow misshapen body
Around the recess yard like dogs chase prey; well that's how I chased Bobby
Tried to slither underneath a gap in our chain link fence
But I was fast enough to grab him by the ends of his pant legs

I pulled him back out to the playground where I lifted him right up
I power bombed him right down on the grass, his body made a thud
And so they sent me to the principal, office 223
I said I’m sorry Mr. Kelly, I don't know what came over me

He said you're lucky; I’m just givin' you a warning
Think on your wrongs kid, come and see me in the morning
And I will always recall
That afternoon at school
'Cos I learned I never wanted to be cool

And I know there will be Bobby’s in this world to make me mad
But you know I didn't really hurt him, in the end is it so bad
That for a moment I just wanted to be Stone Cold Steve Austin
Piledrive him down to the ground, then throw him in a coffin

Sometimes we change so damn fast, we forget moments that defined us
All the friends we can't remember, all our past selves hide behind us
Till one day you stop to think about your life and start to wonder
When this bitter world first stung you kind of like a Stone Cold Stunner

And now I have gotten older, it has been over ten years
I am not a violent person and I don't have too many fears
But there is still not one thing I would not do for my best friends
All the Bobby’s in this world will never sever me from them

'Cos I keep them close, like we're all a family
And this song might not win me any Grammys
But I still sing it proud
As an exception to the rule
I’m glad I never wanted
I never wanted
I never wanted to be cool
Track Name: Geneva's Song
North side of Chicago
There’s a house show for my birthday
I’m too drunk to fix the speakers
I just want to hear my friends' band play

When I finally get things working
The house was way too loud to hear them
I watched Geneva strum her mandolin
Like she did not care who the hell was listening

I was a plant pulled by its roots
To some semi-hidden higher truth
Inside her eyes

Nobody heard her then
But god damn you'll hear about her now
How she was wonderful
Though I hardly heard her make a sound

So now Ginuwine and Usher
They’ve been my heroes now for so long
If I could be their background singer
I’d stop writing lyrics, I’d stop writing songs

It would be fun, I would be happy
Never worry 'bout next month's rent
Gladly give up on the spotlight
To just supply those oohs and aahs and ooh yeahs

‘Cos they might not be the highest form of art
But they're my favorite parts
Ooh ooh

Nobody knows their names
But we all hear their voice
Risin’ over melodies
Cacophonous egoless joy

Seventh grade I joined the jazz band
Barely knew how to strum these chords
I’d sit by myself and practice
Never felt like I fit in with those kids who'd won awards

One time we played the national anthem
For forty thousand screamin' baseball fans
I was more nervous than excited
My band director never even plugged in my amp

But I still let that note ring
Like I was Hendrix in the heat at Woodstock
Ready to rock

Nobody heard me then
But goddamn you'll hear me now
Learned how to play this thing
Now I sing my songs nice and loud
Track Name: Middle School Dance
Take a shift for the safety patrol
Serve soft drinks awhile
Then hustle into the hallway
Find your girl, make her smile

Dance to songs that you never liked
Without stopping to care
Lights are dimmed for the slow jams
There’s young love in the air

But then the hormones of thirteen
You lose all hope for restraint
Feel that bulge in your blue jeans
Creeping in on her waist

Close but not too close
Hard but not too hard
Leave some space for Jesus
Leave some space for love

At least those days you were vulnerable
In ways that always made perfect sense
Oh the girls well they had to know
What made you awkward and distant then

But when you grow up your skeletons
They start to fester and multiply
Even if you can hide them well
You’ll still be living a quiet lie

Never quite who they think you are
Losing sight of the boundaries
Where your most intimate moments
Blur with personal tragedy

----

I hope one day you’ll dance with me
I promise I will control myself
There are words I could whisper you
They’d bring us closer than sex itself

This world is run by unspoken rules
I am a creature of silence
Finding comfort in all the space
That separates and confines us

So when my soul reaches puberty
And it can’t help from touching you
I hope you’ll coyly acknowledge it
And let its warmth grow inside of you

You’d be close but not too close
It would be hard but not too hard
Just leave some space between us
Leave some space for love
Track Name: Meeting Girls
I’d like to meet a skinny girl and fatten her right up
I’d show her what they mean when they say looks are not enough
And I’d bake her brownies every day
As my small, special way to say
I’d rather watch you smile than watch you watch your weight

I’d like to meet a hipster girl and shit on all her bands
I’d only play her love songs and she'd want to hold my hand
She'd worry less about Dubstep
Focus more on enjoying sex
And I’d keep her so damn warm but she'd still feel cool

Really I’d just like to find
A girl out there with a like mind
A girl to be my wonder drug
I’d give her what’s left of my love
Together we would fear no pain
I’d kiss her in the evening rain
And I’d rip my shirt right off to dry her face
Like we were movie stars

I’d like to meet an insecure girl and help her find her pride
In everything that she's become and what she's made of her life
She wouldn't even need me to see
She’s the bomb like a WMD
But I’d be there to tell her she's great when she forgets

I’d like to meet a quiet girl and let her talk for hours
She’d open herself up to me and we'd sip on Whiskey Sours
She wouldn't be scared that I’d use her
So we’d both be a little looser
She’d be happy to know that I’m just listening

Really I’d just like to meet
Anyone who would like to meet me
Maybe we would hate each other
But we’d go on and find another
Some people never try things on
They’re too afraid of what could go wrong
It seems strange to me to be scared of what could go right
Track Name: Franzia
Dear Teresa, I know you’re resting
I just wanted to say hi
Please know I’m thankful for all your blessings
I am glad you have lived a gracious life

But I’m still stuck here, I can’t stop drinking
I’ve never wanted that much more
Than love and wisdom, not wishful thinking
When love just seems too pricey to afford

That’s why I slap the bag on the subway
That’s why I always spill some on my shirt
It’s not cheap more than it is natural
Like the grapes grow off the vines of this damp earth

All the money I have wasted
On those liquors above my means
Like all the women I’m always chasing
In their cute goddamn skinny jeans

Now I’m a liar, I don’t do much chasing
In fact I let them come to me
Until I’m tired and sick of waiting
Nobody wants to be lonely

That’s why I slap the bag on the subway
That’s why I always spill some on my shirt
It’s not cheap more than it is natural
Like the grapes grow off the vines of this damp earth

Now call me crazy, we all have baggage
This is the lot that we are cast
Sometimes romance is poorly packaged
Fermented slow and boxed up in mass

Yet still I cling to what is solid
Hoping someone will patch me up
Until that moment so symbiotic
When I’m stuck staring at the wine that’s in my cup

That’s why I slap the bag on the subway
That’s why I always spill some on my shirt
It’s not cheap more than it is natural
Like the grapes grow off the vines of this damp earth

I’ve found more answers in broken hearts
Than I have ever cared to know
Years of mistakes and our lives get harder
But from the failures of the past well we must grow

So go head taunt me with all your riches
That glass of Riesling too good to be true
You’ll meet your maker under those bridges
That you have burned and continue to burn through

That’s why I slap the bag on the subway
That’s why I always spill some on my shirt
It’s not cheap more than it is natural
Like the grapes grow off the vines of this damp earth

Dear Teresa, I know you’re resting
Please don’t pay them any mind
Their cries of mercy won’t be forgiven
They will pay the price of their wealthy lives

I’ll still be stuck here, I won’t stop drinking
At least that much will never change
Maybe someday I’ll meet my true love
And we will celebrate and drink up in your name

That’s why I slap the bag on the subway
That’s why I always spill some on my shirt
It’s not cheap more than it is natural
Like the grapes grow off the vines of this damp earth
Track Name: If I Had a Shotgun
If I had a shotgun I bet I’d barely ever shoot it
Cause I wouldn’t know how to use it
But I’d still like to feel it in my hands
Pretend that I could ever really give a damn
About what people think makes a man

And if this world is broken I don’t know who’s gonna fix it
I can’t even drive a stick shift
Most months I am barely making rent
Wondering if college was money well spent
I don’t know what I’d do without my friends

All my ifs and whens
Wrong turns, detours and dead ends
One long and winding road
Not sure where to call my home
But I’m surviving

And if my best friend josh was here I’d kiss him on the lips
It’d be like in a script
From a film that would have got shelved in the fifties
We’d both be swigging beer, maybe plastic bottled whiskey
Josh is far from here but when I sing this song he’s with me

And if I found a girlfriend, I don’t think that it would last
My life moves much too fast
And I have trouble putting all that faith
In the type of love that lasts too long anyway
Mostly I just stay away from pain

All my ifs and whens
Wrong turns, detours and dead ends
One long and winding road
Not sure where to call my home
But I’m surviving

If I write a book, well you will know too much about me
There are some things I share proudly
But they pale next to the things that make me scared
The things that keep me up at night alone in disrepair
Broke and battered but I do not care

And if this song is over, this world will not be much different
I still sure as hell won’t fit in
My songs are just a way to pass the time
Shedding skins of past selves I’d rather leave behind
These words don’t count for much but they’re still mine
Track Name: Never Find the Time
I’ve been lost in the clouds
Grounded in my fucked up private shroud
Scurry through the gaps in broken years
I am disappeared

Don’t care about much
And I’d rather walk alone than walk with a crutch
Mostly I fall right before my feet
Not quite discreet

But I always have a lighter
And a pick in my back pocket
And I always have an excuse to get drunk
So if these days all blur together
Know that I’ll love you forever
Even if I never find the time to tell you

A man of many words
Sometimes I still don’t want to be heard
This world is filled with vacuous white noise
Yet I’m still employed

I got friends in the east
In a land of quaint suburban bullshit peace
I miss and love them every goddamn day
But I can’t complain

Cause I can always find a message
On the mirror in the men’s room
That makes me question life’s unspoken truths
So if these days all blur together
Know that I’ll love you forever
Even if I never find the time to tell you

I don’t know what brings me down
I don’t know what keeps me up

And when we were in Spain
So many frat guys, I smoked too much, life was insane
Always had you as my slab of solid earth
You showed me what I’m worth

And I’ve seen the sun rise
In dreams about the Midwest, I wonder why
Home is just a concept I can’t grasp
Lost in the past

And I always have a reason
For something to believe in
Yet I never have the heart
To follow through
So if these days all blur together
Know that I’ll love you forever
Even if I never find the time to tell you

And I always have a lighter
And a pick in my back pocket
And I always have an excuse to get drunk
So if these days all blur together
Know that I’ll love you forever
Even if I never find the time to tell you
Track Name: Hold You
All your asshole friends
They flock to fake breasts
Leeches sinkin' into skin
I hear your heart dance circles
'round the thought
That you should just be fittin' in

One furtive glance
Tells me I
Should just bring you home
Don’t feel alone

I just want to hold you
I just want to hold you

Streaks of starlight flow like rivers
Through the auburn tresses of your hair
Climbing up this cobblestone
Take your heels off, baby I don't care

Unlock your door
Let your lab
Lick the freckles on your face
And ask me to stay

I just want to hold you
I just want to hold you

Posters on your bedroom walls
Hiding spots where you'd let the paint run
Bubble gum and cigarettes
Whiskey on your breath and on my tongue

Breakfast in bed
Make up lies
For us both to phone in sick
Days we won't miss

I just want to hold you
I just want to hold you
I just want to hold you
I just want to hold you
Track Name: Burning Up
Stare at the pack
Of menthol cigarettes
It’s empty
But so am I

Too tired to call
Someone far from here
Open one more beer
It tastes good

Turn my speakers up
Hear my friends' songs
Hear my friend’s voice
Once again

And I will drift through my twenties
Covered in confetti
Pogo for bands
That still make me happy

I don’t mean to sound bitter
But sometimes it still is
Just like when we were kids

Bottle full of whiskey, bag half full of powder
Southbound Route 42 in the midnight hours
Blowing past the tolls on the Ben Franklin Bridge
Feeling small and swallowed in a world that's way too big
We’re scraping up the spirit of the roads that bring us home
Thinking of the ways that we have learned to live alone
The price that’s paid for distance, see it in our eyes
Useless tired slits—suburban youth belied

I dream of parking lots with faces I know well
I dream convenience stores where I know the cashier's name
I dream of sweeter days and cheap champagne
Drunken friends, commuter trains
I dream of burning up that last piece of wood

We're all burning up slowly
We're all burning up slowly
Track Name: Letters to Freud, DeSade, Everyone
New Jersey suburbs, I turn three or four years old
Playing in the backyard by the kiddie pool with my cousin Nick
I walk through that screen door; my whole family is gathered round the table
They try to figure out what fills my tiny hands but they’re not able
So my mother says “Oh look what did little Michael bring?”
And my father says “Oh look you brought us a rock?”
But when they realized what it really was, there were screams and fits
They had discovered I’d presented them with my own shit

Now Sigmund Freud said this behavior really is quite common
Children idolize their waste as gift—tiny, sacred, solemn
Then infantile love for feces, it grows into love for wealth
As if Freud could trace how we grow up, well he can go to hell
I know New Jersey ain’t no place for making grandiose claims
No damn psychologist can tell me what’s gone wrong inside my brain

So I say fuck you Freud
You don’t know a thing about me
Fuck you Freud
You don’t know a thing at all

My best friend Claire, well she’s finished up a few years of nursing school
Before she did, they had her working part time at a prison
She read heartbeats of broken men who’d long ago lost hope
Trapped by four walls and their own frail condition truly exposed
She said there was one man who’d begged her just to please set him free
She told him “I just do my job that kind of shit’s not up to me”
When she came back hours later, there he was—swallowing his own shit
As if to say “look at this cursed place, it’s turned me into this!”

Now some say Marquis DeSade was as brilliant as he was mad
Imprisoned half his life, yet his ideas weren’t half bad
He wrote that eating one’s own excrement was the truest liberation
Surreal empowerment through embracing the most extreme depravation
Sure it seems crazy and disgusting but thoughtless it is not
Though I bet that man in prison never read that much DeSade

He’d say fuck you French guy
You don’t know a thing about me
He’d say fuck you French guy
You don’t know a thing at all

I guess the moral to this story is you can’t hope to explain
Just what it means to be human or grow up or be sane
I don’t know much, I just scratch out all my hopeless bitter tunes
My sense of humor is my last defense before I lick my wounds
Communication is a bitch, I have my problems making peace
When all the messages we send are completely misconceived
Like there’s a guy who tries to tell me I write the funniest of songs
Far from me to be the one to explain why that just seems wrong

But at the core of all my stories, there is always something dark
Smoke and mirrors for the murky corners of my swollen heart
So I steal pennies from the dirty fountains of my checkered youth
Hoping someday all these words I write will mean something to you
No matter what I do people will still liken me to comics
But what is funny and absurd to you is just me being honest

So I say fuck you everyone
You don’t know a thing about me
I say fuck you everyone
You don’t know a thing at all

And I don’t need no pyrotechnics
Or no three part harmonies
To tell you how I wasted younger days
Overthinking loneliness
And trying to get laid