6​+​5​+​2

by vonHummer

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about

Welcome to THE classic vonHummer album. If you're looking for seminal vonHummer, "6+5+2" is probably it.

As was typical during the era when "The vonHummer Hour" was in full bi-weekly production spring—we're talking late Winter of 2002—I was scrambling for recorded songs to use for the music video half of the show. I know I had 6 songs that I'd recorded from one recent session, 5 from another, and 2 leftover lying around. I couldn't tell you now which of the 13 that comprise "6+5+2" belonged to which session, though.

I doesn't really matter much, I guess. They're all fairly homogenous: the drum guitar for percussion, the Applause accoustic bass with an added drum string, and the Eko '67 high guitar, and all recorded on cassette 4-track.

Most of these songs I'd been carrying around for years in one arrangement or another, waiting for the right time to record them. Three of the songs—"It Don't Signify," "Shiftless and Ignorant" and "Jesus H. Christ" were brand new.

"Jesus H. Christ" was—to my astonishment—the runaway "hit" of the album, getting downloaded by far more than any other song I'd placed on the website. "Barking Eternally" and "Before the Traffic Backs Up" were also top 10 downloads, and "Bankshadow" and "Don't Step in the Revolution" were surely top 20.

I do recall being very proud of the "6+5+2" collection at the time, but it was such a busy time then trying to meet the series deadlines, and meet at least the minimum requirements of being a father to my young son (not so proud of my efforts there) and somehow pay bills and such, that the accomplishment of this particular album was fairly lost in the maelstrom.

The cover photo was taken by Ann Hammer in her living room. You might recognize it as the source pic for the cutouts of vonHummer (and a matiching one for Helvetica, too) from the final sketch in the TV show, where we escape from the meeting with the producers. No? It's on YouTube somewhere. Look it up. They're battered, but I've still got those cutouts in my attic, would you believe.

credits

released April 16, 2002

songs by vonHummer
Produced by Clark Kent for Therisno Records.
vonHummer: drum guitar and other percussion, bass drone, high guitar drone.
Cover photo: Ann Hammer

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vonHummer Portland, Oregon

vonHummer is a Portland music/cable access legend whose career spanned from Fall of 2001 to Fall of 2011, during which he recorded a hundred or so songs for use in his absurdist show (and feature film) and played only a handful of concerts. Currently retired, his work shines on for the ages. Or will he someday return...? ... more

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Track Name: O-Ho!
"Oh-Ho!"
[vonHummer]
Sometimes I see you by the printer tray waiting, and our eyes meet and you look away quick…Or I turn a corner, and you suddenly see me, but you take off like you’re gonna be sick…How come you treat me like a serial rapist in an alleyway at a quarter to three? Oh-ho, could you be in love with me…?

Oh-ho! You must be in love with me, Oh-ho! You gotta be in love with me! There’s just no other explanation, you see: You must be in love with me…

Whenever you see my smiling face, you yourself have to scowl…Is it to keep from gushing devotion when you speak to me, that you mumble and growl? You seem to show undue fascination with the elevator’s upholstery…Oh ho, could you be in love with me…?

Oh-ho! You must be in love with me, Oh-ho! You gotta be in love with me! There’s just no other explanation, you see: You must be in love with me…

I know your type, you act as cold as a kipper in a chrome steel tin to keep the fiery tigress of desire in your heart from constantly doing you in,
So I’ll be cool, two can play at that game, cool and aloof, until you can’t keep your hands to yourself anymore and you make your move…

But still I see you all alone in the lunchroom, when I sit down, you sneer and leave, and waiting our turn for the microwave, your eyes roll heavenward in disbelief, Maybe your asking god why he dropped my angel to torment the devil in thee? Oh-ho, you know you’re in love with me…

Oh-ho! You must be in love with me, Oh-ho! You gotta be in love with me! There’s just no other explanation, you see: You must be in love with me…
Track Name: It Don't Signify
"It Don't Signify"
[vonHummer]

Nine kinds of evidence, nowhere near why, but it don’t signify, no it don’t signify,

Freedom bolstered by upholstered cubicles and push pins, and incessant fluorescent lighting, drop ceilings, feel to me like blue sky
And I put myself here, that’s no lie, yes I put myself here that’s no lie

Nine kinds of evidence, pile up around me, ah, but it don’t signify…
Belly contents: intermittent meteor showers, thru my mind goes yesterday’s rose parade of failure, sad floats slowly creep by,
But I‘ll put myself clear, or I’ll try, yes I’ll put myself clear, or I’ll try

Nine kinds of evidence, nowhere near why, ah but it don’t signify, no it don’t signify,

I pride myself in a limited way at thinking ‘outside the box’ just like Count Dracula could do so well, (and poor Pandora could not), can’t teach an old dog that won’t hunt to be crazy like a fox, I’m alive and I wanna die, ah, but it don’t signify…

Nine kinds of evidence, nowhere near why, but it don’t signify, no it don’t signify...
Track Name: Don't Step in the Revolution
"Don't Step in the Revolution"
[vonHummer]

Welcome back to the only show you and i will ever know, may we never pass where the buck stops here, security's a roach motel i will never choose to dwell as a resident manager, my dear,

I wish you good luck: in your free pursuit of powerlessness, i wish you good luck as you test every scientific wild ass guess, i wish you good luck with your homespun solo spanish inquisition: self torture until you confess,

Look out now, don't step in the revolution, look out, don't, look out, don't step in the revolution, look out, now don't go step in the revolution, but if we simply die, you and i can pry make a contribution

Well they start with analysis (as opposed to synthesis) tear you down to build you up i suppose, soon you will serve and protect empty heads with no neck on the line but your own (you're disposable)

I wish you good luck as you deeply peep your very own keyhole, i wish you good luck as you quest your best for total control, i wish you good luck with securing down payment from whichever highest bidder you can talk into leasing your soul,

Look out now, don't step in the revolution, look out, don't, look out, don't step in the revolution, look out, now don't go step in the revolution, but if we semper fi, you and i can pry make a contribution

Think a minute, think a minute now: whatever kind of good will it do ya, lining the usual suspects blindfolded execution style up against the back wall of the local Hooters, when not one among you is a straight shooter?

Welcome back to the only show you and i will ever know, may we never pass where the buck stops here, security's a roach motel i will never choose to dwell as a resident manager, my dear,

I wish you good luck: in your free pursuit of powerlessness, i wish you good luck as you test every scientific wild ass guess, i wish you good luck with your homespun solo spanish inquisition: self torture until you confess,

Look out now, don't step in the revolution, look out, don't, look out, don't step in the revolution, look out, now don't go step in the revolution, but if we simplify, you and i can pry make a contribution...
Track Name: Embarrassing Tonight
It’s after a party, and once again, it’s déjà vu: she’s hissing thru clenched teeth, “You…you…you…”

Only she can help me straighten up with her and fly right, which starts with “Ucch! You were embarrassing tonight!”

“You shot your mouth off,” she says, or “You ignored everyone,” She cites the many infractions of mine which “spoiled hers and everyone’s fun,”

She loves me for who I am, and her bark foreshadows her bite as she says, “Ucch! You were embarrassing tonight,”

When I protest no one else seemed taken aback, distraught or dismayed by whichever faux pas’s of mine caused her mortal mortification, “You idiot,” she shrieks in reply, “They faked amusement ‘cos they were afraid to show their sorrow for me, their disgust with you, and their indignation at the whole situation…”

It’s been a long car ride, and too bad we didn’t fatally wreck, to end her endless headaches, and cease my ceaseless pain in the neck,

One more curse up at the bedroom, as I turn off the sofabed light, shoot me at sunrise: I was embarrassing tonight...
Track Name: Before the Traffic Backs Up
"Before the Traffic Backs Up"
[vonHummer]

Honeychild, let’s run wild, let’s go out and drive our cars before the traffic backs up, Honeychild, let’s run wild, let’s go out and drive our cars before the traffic backs up,

We gotta leave this world behind, We gotta leave this world behind, We gotta leave this world behind before the traffic backs up…

Honeychild, flash that smile, we’ll pass each other on the right before the traffic backs up, Honeychild, flash that smile, we’ll pass each other on the right before the traffic backs up,

We gotta leave this world behind, We gotta leave this world behind, We gotta leave this world behind before the traffic backs up…

There’s something bittersweet warm in the belly of my spill-proof travel cup…Oh say can you see in the rearview mirror, it’s the Joneses, they can’t keep up…

Honeychild, we’ve got style and gas and cash and time to burn before the traffic backs up, Honeychild, we’ve got style and gas and cash and time to burn before the traffic backs up,

We gotta leave this world behind, We gotta leave this world behind, We gotta leave this world behind before the traffic backs up…

Honeychild, I’m filled with disgust: everybody had the same idea as us! And now the traffic’s backed up...
Track Name: Bankshadow
"Bankshadow"
[vonHummer]

Bankshadow trailing behind me, gonna flay and flambé when they find me, jump me, hump me, weigh, sell and dump me when they find me find me find me find me, bankshadow…

Well well well if they repo my wheels, I won’t remember how a traffic jam feels, and then I guess if they repo my clothes, I’ll get the bus seat to myself I suppose, well well well if they repo my cup of coffee, I’ll sleep at my job til noon standing up,

Bankshadow trailing behind me, gonna flay and flambé when they find me, jump me, hump me, weigh, sell and dump me when they find me find me find me find me, bankshadow…

Well well well if they repo my laugh, I can cut my conversations in half, and then I guess if they repo my smile, I won’t be making any friends for a while, well well well if they repo my sense of humor, they might just receive their full recompense,

Bankshadow trailing behind me, gonna flay and flambé when they find me, jump me, hump me, weigh, sell and dump me when they find me find me find me find me, bankshadow…

How many months delinquency? Is that the reason why you call with such frequency? You wanna separate me from my credit? Well it's my Frankenstein’s Monster, come on and get it!

Bankshadow trailing behind me, gonna flay and flambé when they find me, jump me, hump me, weigh, sell and dump me when they find me find me find me find me, bankshadow…

Well well well if they repo my joys, my creativity, all my sweet noise, and then I guess if they repo my love, theer won’t be much left they can tower above, well well well if they repo my time, they won’t be guilty of any unusual crime,

Bankshadow trailing behind me, gonna flay and flambé when they find me, jump me, hump me, weigh, sell and dump me when they find me find me find me find me, bankshadow…
Track Name: Barking Eternally
"Barking Eternally"
[vonHummer]

Join the swelling chorus of the jealous dogs, barking eternally up the wrong tree…

Not me, I’ve never been East of the Chesapeake Bay,
Not me, I’ve never been West of L.A.,

I’ve never been anywhere unexpectedly, Stuck on free will, like a porcupine stuck on his quill,

Join the swelling chorus of the jealous dogs, barking eternally up the wrong tree…

I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a book of universal laws, a book about effect and cause, ‘cos it’s mutable,

I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a march about the March of Bone, and call it “She’s a Grand Old Clone,” After all, anyone can be inscrutable…

And me, I’ve always been hammer unto the nail,
And me, I leave myself just enough time to fail,

I’ve never been anyone who’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, I leave it to euphonies,*

Join the swelling chorus of the jealous dogs, barking eternally up the wrong tree…Not me.
Track Name: Insane by 3
"Insane by 3"
[vonHummer]

You know the game: cover your ass with one hand while the other points the finger of blame, you know the game…

You know the rules: keep a monkey wrench for slowing progress and enough rope to hang themselves for fools in your working tools…

Is there a reason for staying, a reason for playing along with these games of power? Well let me see: you’ll be fully vested in four short years, but you’ll be fully insane by three…Fully insane by three…Fully insane by three…Insane by three…

You know the bullshit rolls downhill and back fills the empty cubicles, you know the bull…

You know the talk: sounds like self-help poetry, but it’s “My Way or Highway” talk, stamped with Cain’s mark…

Is there a reason to hold on? A place to unload on? Somewhere Happy Hour? Some way to blow off steam? You’ll have time to unwind come Eight PM, but you’ll be fully insane by three...
Track Name: Trick or Mistreatment
"Trick or Mistreatment"
[vonHummer]

Hear me knocking on your door demanding trick or mistreatment…

See my mask, see my costume, pillowcase full of candy…trick or mistreatment…

Oh-ho, trick or mistreatment…Oh-ho, trick or mistreatment…

Witching hours past my bedtime, ah, but you look understanding…trick or mistreatment…

Some clown just left with snickers, but it’s a bit-o-honey you want to hand me? Trick or mistreatment…

Oh-ho, trick or mistreatment…Oh-ho, trick or mistreatment…

I’m gonna eat my maryjane, treat the smarties and the sweet tarts with disdain, tonight I’ll be your superman, next year I’ll be the boogieman, whether you’re a witch or a wonderwoman, it’s Halloween and I want what’s comin’ to me, lady…What’s it gonna be, lady: trick or mistreatment?

Apple-coated razor blades notwithstanding, trick or mistreatment…

Popcorn balls laced with LSD make a monster mash of glad-handing…Trick or mistreatment…

Oh-ho, trick or mistreatment…Oh-ho, trick or mistreatment…

And tonight I’m all thanks and please, tomorrow you’ll see toilet paper in your trees, you’ll scrub the makeup off your face, pack the plastic pumpkins back in place, get the Christmas crap out of storage, but when the season goes back to black and orange think of me, lady…Mischief may be, lady, trick or mistreatment…

Oh-ho, trick or mistreatment…Oh-ho, trick or mistreatment…
Track Name: Shiftless and Ignorant
"Shiftless and Ignorant"
[vonHummer]

Out of work, out of luck and down to my very last dollar or two,
Frozen solid, I’m all college, and no knowledge, and so no clue now whatsoever to do, I’ve fooled myself into thinking I was merely restless and innocent,

A good guy given to some self indulgence and one too many bad breaks, as real as real can be with some fakery on hold,

But the truth be told, I’m…shiftless and ignorant…
shiftless and ignorant...
shiftless and ignorant…
shiftless and ignorant…

Can’t pretend anymore everything will just work itself out for the best, nothing’s up for discussion, nothing’s been offered, so I can’t settle for less, I’ve fooled myself into thinking I was compelling and not belligerent,

A penchant for pushing hot buttons, slamming emotional brakes, hiding a hungry heart of electroplated gold,

But the truth be told, I’m…shiftless and ignorant…
shiftless and ignorant...
shiftless and ignorant…
shiftless and ignorant…

I want to thank you, stranger, for telling me it isn’t true that I’m shiftless and ignorant,

But let’s close our eyes and be vigilant, just me and you,

And make merry while we may, seize what’s left of this dying day, giving the devilish details disproportionate due, If, like myself, you are shiftless and ignorant, too...

shiftless and ignorant...
shiftless and ignorant…
shiftless and ignorant…
Track Name: Reality Aint What It Used to Be
"Reality Aint What it Used to Be"
[vonHummer]

My room is a mess, clothes everywhere, some dirty some clean, no place to stand or to sit, you know what I mean,

furthermore I confess: my bed is not made, my bills are not paid, I couldn’t care less, I couldn’t care less

Reality aint, reality aint, reality aint what it used to be, Reality aint, reality aint, reality aint what it used to be, Reality aint, reality aint, reality aint what it used to be,
I guess...I guess...

My job is a joke, hard to conceal, I act like it’s not, but let’s face it, my attitude’s shot and my spirit is broke: I’m a creature of habit in a world of jackrabbits, I’m some savage slowpoke, some savage slowpoke,

Reality aint, reality aint, reality aint what it used to be, Reality aint, reality aint, reality aint what it used to be, Reality aint, reality aint, reality aint what it used to be,
To me, folks,…To me, folks...

And all those things that used to scare me to death like death and pain and shame seem small and cute like a leisure suit on a midget with a royal name…

It’s all gone to hell, my car keys don’t fit, I don’t give a damn, family and friends I should call they don’t know where I am,

it’s too late I can tell: I don’t follow sports or "Special Reports," but somehow I feel swell, somehow I feel swell,

Reality aint, reality aint, reality aint what it used to be, Reality aint, reality aint, reality aint what it used to be, Reality aint, reality aint, reality aint what it used to be,
Oh well...
Track Name: Now However
"Now However"
[vonHummer]

Once, there was a time when everything was just dandy, excuses were cheap and handy, we could pass every buck and stop on a dime…

Now, however, however much we may try to live like we’ll never die, we are thwarted…we are thwarted

By things we never were afraid of in The Good Old Days, we’d rob the poor of the rags they wore, then sell ‘em as the latest fashion craze,

Now, however…Now, however… Now, however, it’s time to admit we may have made a mistake…

Once, there was a time, when legends worked like disguises to cover our enterprises, “cunning” it was, not “white collar crime…”

Now, however, however much we may squirm at the softness run wild in our firm, we are thwarted…We are thwarted

By things we never did consider in The Good Old Days, we’d feed our cats on the smartest rats once we taught ‘em how they hadda run the maze,

Now, however…Now, however… Now, however, it’s time to admit we may have made a mistake…
Track Name: Jesus H. Christ
"Jesus H. Christ"
(vonHummer)

Jesus H. Christ, may we all get a bit more sleep tonight, keep the world turning and let it all turn out all right, sail the cement-hearted high as a kite, ground the sky-sick satellites, I wish you may I wish you might…

Jesus H. Christ, let each lonely child find a friend, keep the sun rising and let this bitter darkness end, row the boat hearted safely round the bend, make the mangled mend, I pray you’re not just pretend…

Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ, it’s just about time, for you to come back and paint some new signs, I mean directional signs, but so much graffiti, so distant and faded, those old ones, it’s getting hard to pay them any mind...