The Teenage Years Of The 21st Century

by Micah Schnabel

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about

I'm putting this record out by myself. I've made a lot of mistakes along the way but it's here.
If you're reading this, thank you for caring. It means more to me than I could ever express in words.

Your friend, Micah Schnabel

credits

released December 3, 2019

Engineered and mixed by Mark Miller unless otherwise noted

Mastered by Chris Frasco

Jay Gasper played all of the electric guitars, keys, pedal steel, auxiliary percussion, sequencing, and assisted the engineer

Ben Miller played drums on and co-engineered Gentle Always, Emergency Room, and Memory Currency

George Hondroulis played drums on How To Ride A Bike, A Celebration, Remain Silent, and Nuclear War

Jason Winner played drums on Filthy Cash

New Shoes was recorded at Universal Audio studios in Scotts Valley, CA with the band Thanks Buddy
Engineered by Olav Tabatabai of Noise Eater Recordings
Drums- Dustin Roth
Electric Guitar- Joe Gibeault
Bass- Micky Dunegan
Keys- Brian Gibeault
Electric Guitar and Background vocals- Chris Jonsson

Thanks to Maggie & Scarlett for asking what my point was on “Remain Silent”

Lace banner artwork and photos by Vanessa Jean Speckman

license

all rights reserved

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about

Micah Schnabel Columbus, Ohio

Micah Schnabel is a singer/songwriter and author from Columbus, Ohio.

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Track Name: An Introduction
Nuclear war
Knocking at the door
Synthetic heroin
killed most of our friends
And the dealers all had medical degrees
In the teenage years of the 21st century

A world we don’t understand
In the palms of our hands
Baby boomers made off with the cash
In their Ronald Reagan ski masks
Now the water is poison
And the air is too toxic to breathe
Close the caskets and the factories
Our neighbors are now our enemies
In the teenage years of the 21st century
Track Name: Gentle Always
The revolution is here
but it’s not violent like they wanted
Impotent ammunition
Still locked up in the closet
We are here and we are queer
Empathetic and sincere
This is a message of love
So hear me loud and clear

I talked to the boss
Jesus ain’t coming back
He’s pissed about the money thing
And it turns out they’re black
and tired of being shot
In the streets by the cops
and looking for some folx
To help pick up the slack

We’re in the mix
Of a generational shift
The baton is being passed
And the old folks are pissed
Watching their power
Being handed over to the kids
And the hand reaching out is a female fist

(chorus)
Oh, just please be gentle always

I’m not claiming to know
Where we go when we die
I know you’ve got your ideas and i’ve got mine
But what’s the harm in being decent
while we’re alive?
And if that bothers you
Maybe ask yourself why

Faith and spirituality are words humans use
to describe the loneliness that aches inside of all of us
We find things to fill that void in our guts
Like Music. Religion. And drugs.
Let’s not use that void to hurt other people
We could fill it with love

(Chorus)

These words are just like glitter
Once they leave our mouth
They get inside of everything
And all over the house
And that’s what our revolution is really all about
Track Name: How To Ride A Bike
I need to get out more
It’d be nice to make a friend
Someone to talk to
Who could at least pretend
To be interested
In the things I have to say

I wanna buy a bike
I haven’t ridden one in 22 years
i’ve never been good at switching gears

I’m gonna need a helmet
So I don’t die when I fall down
When I get hit by blue car running a red light
On my way downtown

(chorus)
Being alive is so expensive (x3)
Being dead is a such a lousy alternative

I’d like to buy a car
But my current financial situation
Can only handle public transportation

Maybe go back to school
Further my education
But the classes cost more than the car
Poverty is a final destination

(chorus)

Welcome to the future
We all need lawyers and investors
mixed use, high rise, luxury condos
Social media debt collectors
I’m asking if you’re ok
In this new anxiety age
Some simple observations
Begging for a conversation
With consideration to the deviation
Of your very own personal situation
Track Name: A Celebration
I’ll promise you financial freedom
Be your own boss
Work from home
Just follow these 12 easy steps
To your destiny
Meet me at the Hilton hotel out by the airport
And for only $300 dollars I can give you the answers
To unlock your wildest dreams
I know this sounds too good to be true,
an opportunity like this just for you?
I felt the same way too
and look at ME!

I’m always selling
In our capitalistic society
Buy me get one free
Please consult my emotional instability
About our return policy
It’s moment to moment around here
And our one and only current employee
Well, he tends to be a bit of a liability
We’ve been hyper-sexualized
Under socialized
Mis-prioritized our mental
and emotional well being
All for the sake of american money

Your honor, if it appeases the court
I’d like to address the jury directly
do away with the middleman
I’ll be the only one representing me
Please consider this my resignation
And an extended invitation
To pop open the champagne
We’ll call this a celebration

We’ll fill the room with black balloons
And every one says get well soon
Let’s dance in the face of impending doom
I’ll bake a chocolate cake that says...
the high pressure sales pitch is king
Self help books
get rich quick schemes
I am a clown at a used car dealership
On the 4th of July

Cutting my own hair in the bathroom mirror
Reflecting love and life and fear
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust
Life is a choice Death is a must
The only carnival game you can trust
You keep throwing darts the balloon’s gonna bust
Pop it! Pop it! Pop it!

Maybe I don’t want to get rich or die trying
I think I’m ok with simply surviving
Tomorrow morning I’m gonna wake up early
And watch the sunrise
Track Name: Filthy Cash
Sitting in line at the Border patrol
In between west texas and new mexico
The lights and cameras made me feel like a criminal
Even though I had done nothing wrong

The agent’s talking to me with his hand on his gun
telling me how this job would be a lot more fun
If every once in awhile they’d just let him shoot someone
He threw his head back in a gold toothed laugh

Then they waved us straight through because our skin was white
And we drove off into the new mexican night
80 miles an hour with no hope in sight
only static on the radio

Then into Mari-k-k-kopa county
And their tent cities
Where sheriff Joe arrested all of the minorities
Letting them bake in the sun at 120 degrees
Someone should leave his cracker ass out in that desert heat

When we finally hit the border of Californ-i-a
We were dodging wildfires out on the highway
Destiny had manifested itself into flames
The globe is getting hot
No one wants the blame

Pulled into San Francisco
parked in chinatown
Well dressed folx of every color
just out walking around
I bought myself a t-shirt
Went to have a look around
Heard a trumpet in the air
and i followed that sound

Stepped into a coffee shop and got in line
Sitting on the counter was a help wanted sign
I thought to myself, this must be divine
Intervention
at its atheistic best


I ordered my drink
pulled out my wallet to pay
The guy behind the counter
didn’t know what to say
The lady behind me whispered
“we just don’t do it that way”
All of a sudden everyone in the place
started to sing


If you ain’t got the do re mi, boy
If you ain’t got the do re mi
You better go back to where you came from
If you can’t afford our luxury
We don’t care if you’re white, brown, or black
We’re no longer accepting your filthy cash
Digital currency talks,
poverty
walks It’s broke ass home
Track Name: Death Defying Feats
I don’t want to work in your fast food restaurant
I don’t wanna drive your used and broken cars
They say that life’s a stage
But it only pays minimum wage
And I’m still memorizing my speaking parts
And my landlord she’s always calling me
Saying that she has to raise the rent
So most days i’m already
working for money
I’ve already spent


Now jump to a scene of a little girl
Swinging at a pinata in a tree
She’s swinging for the gates
The best she can on her roller skates
With bruises on her knees
She was blowing out the candles on her birthday cake
We sang the song and she started to cry
We all grow up so fast
So no one had to ask
No, everyone knew why

(chorus)
It’s ok to be anxious
It’s ok to be scared
This is our first, last
And only time on earth
And we’re all incredibly unprepared


This one time
a friend of mine
Put a gun to my head
He laughed and pulled the trigger
It was more than
But somehow i’m not dead



(chorus)

innocence It will leave you
When you least expect it to
These death defying feats
Require incredible emotional fortitude
Track Name: Emergency Room
The emergency room at 2am is no place for the soft hearted.
The addicts are addicted the gunshot wounds have been inflicted
A little girl with her right arm in a sling is cursing and kicking the vending machine.
The patron saint of talking too loud is in the corner doing his thing
And there’s a Mexican lady calming a crying baby in her arms
And I leaned over and whispered that I love you
I know that doesn’t change anything

There’s a guy outside smoking a cigarette with an IV in his arm
You squeezed my hand
As they cut up the insurance card
The sirens were sounding and my heart was pounding
I stood there and thought about you dying
I tried to think of some smart things to say
Something like everything’s gonna be ok
But i really hate lying

(chorus)
I fucking hate hospitals
And the way that they smell
like everyone and everything
has been freshly dipped in chlorine
Why does death smell so extremely clean
When life is so filthy

I cross my legs and sit quietly
and stare blankly at the news on the tv
hanging from the ceiling
You don’t say anything


I feel so helpless and guilty
Like maybe I could save you
If we only had the money


The security guard
guards the metal detector by the double doors
Drop your wallets, phones, and keys,
And rosary beads into the the plastic bowl
This is the society we have made
We’re all sick and afraid
And can’t afford to be saved

(Give them a fake name. I’m not sure if that really works)

If we got jobs that paid Maybe they would let you stay
They could give you the best drugs And we’d be able to pay
And I feel like an asshole when the nurse, he calls your name
And you’re crying from the pain
And I wish that I was smarter To make all of this go away
There’s no money in survival Just hoping to wake up the next day
Why did the Methodists go and hang a crucifix
I pointed at it and said
I can’t believe I used to date that guy
We both laughed and wiped the tears from our eyes
It’s just life after all

(Chorus)
Track Name: Remain Silent
My uncle, he hates immigrants
He talks about it on the internet
He lives in a town that’s 96 percent white
How do I talk to him?
How do I fight
A white, cis, rural male stereotype
Who’s retreated into anger
And blames his personal failures
On people who happen to have different color skin
The world around him is changing
And instead of evolving he’s raging
What’s the point of engaging if it’s just about him
Throws a grown up sized tantrum
If he’s asked to share
With someone who has less than him
He asks “why should I care”
When did being a decent human being become political
How have we become mean hearted and cynical
Now being pro-library is a divisive stance
They want to privatize reading
Poor people don’t stand a chance
The little boy king sits alone on his throne
Threatening nuclear war
from a free app on his phone
Humility, civility, stability,
You’re killing me
We left those all for dead a long time ago
I’m glad I don’t have children
To try and explain
That being murdered at school
Is just part of the game
stack the desks against the doors
Try and ignore
That you’re surrounded by chaos and pain

So Micah, what’s your point?
Well, before I go
I’ve gotta try and say
something about hope




About not letting anger tear us apart
Not carrying the weight of hate in our hearts
How there can be brilliance in failure
Finding growth in pain
Recognize that all humans are basically the same
We’re all 60 percent water but we hide from the the rain
We remember the faces but forget the names
We’re all wearing different uniforms
but we’re all playing the same game
And if it all falls apart
We only have ourselves to blame
The golden rule is bleeding and covered in blood
And I know in these wounded times
Words are never enough
But these words are all that I have

That and the right
to remain silent
But that feels too close to compliance

I know I have the right to remain silent
I just couldn’t today
Track Name: Memory Currency
Yeah, I’ve been to Ireland.
I slept underneath a snooker table.
They drove me to the airport
on the wrong side of the road.
And yeah, I’ve been to Belgrade
where they took me to a firing range.
We drank something that tasted like fire
and we talked about war.
I drank red wine and cola
on the steps of the art museum
in Croatia until the security guard told us to leave.
And then I walked back to the hotel in the rain.

And this is where the drums come in.

I rode in a convertible for the first time in Texas.
I threw up at a predetermined location.
And yeah, I’ve been to Maine,
but I spent the night before in the hospital.
Shane was getting stitches in his face
and I was trying to be funny in the x-ray machine.
And the nurse was not impressed.
But it was my 22nd birthday.

I met Mike D in Chicago.
I have his name tattooed on my arm.
Rhonda and Sondra are doing Abby’s work in Kansas City.
I met Vanessa in San Francisco,
we walked to a cement ship that crumbled into the ocean.

These memories
they are my only currency.
I’m not disappointed but I’m certainly not proud.
I am alive and I will never again
be as young as I am right now.
Track Name: New Shoes
I’m in the kitchen
Doing the dishes
Screaming at the news
I’ve got a bad case of innocent people being murdered
By angry white men blues

A little white guy
Riding a child’s bike
Smashed the window of our car
I watched his little legs pedal away so fast
But he never gets very far

His “only god can judge me” tattoo
Isn’t aging very well
He knows that Isolation and Desperation.
Can be their own form of hell

I always strive for empathy
But this toxic masculinity
Is bumming our entire human scene

Me, I’ve been dealing
By eating my feelings
And buying myself new shoes
I tend to be vain and self destructive
When I feel i’ve got nothing to lose

Why do we refuse
to teach little boys
That It’s ok to say ”I love you”
Or you can say something is beautiful
And not be referring to someone you’re attracted to


Or that it’s ok to cry
And you don’t need a reason why
That you can be sad, angry,
And vulnerable without something having to die
(chorus)
Track Name: Nuclear War
I don’t wanna die in your nuclear war


Jimmy’s in the garage painting his masterpiece
as the news of the daily school shooting plays from the radio.
He paints himself as a little kid standing in green grass with his first dog, Mr. Saxophone.
Back when Jimmy wanted to be a baseball player
before Mr. Saxophone got hit by a Buick
That’s when Jimmy learned to keep his dreams quiet and safe.
People can’t kill the things they can’t see.

Tonya’s in her room writing poems about the beauty of Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
all while being held financially captive by the pope.
When they’re done she tapes them up to the walls of her room
She likes to surround herself with beautiful things
in a world that can be so cruel


In the ever growing chance of a nuclear event take four deep breaths and relax
sit back and watch the devastation
As the threats and accusations
Rip through the minds and hearts for generations
We’re all starving for salvation
In our desperate situations
Trying to find some kind of meaning in our devalued lives



(chorus half/ repeat last 3 lines)
(chorus out)