The Teenage Years Of The 21st Century

by Micah Schnabel

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Justin Carroll
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Justin Carroll Saw Micah support Frank Turner and loved his songs. This album is brilliant from beginning to end.
cbjones
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cbjones Relevant tunes for our modern times. I wish Micah got the attention he deserves. Favorite track: Filthy Cash.
Chris
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Chris Micah's the best songwriter and storyteller in the world. I've been fortunate enough to hear many of these via Concert Window and a couple of live shows and I'm so happy to be able to have recorded versions now. Favorite track: Gentle Always.
Jeremiah Olson
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Jeremiah Olson While difficult to admit, the lyrics in this song ring so true. Micah is magical in crafting words to speak truth in a song. Favorite track: How To Ride A Bike.
Craig Frizzell
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Craig Frizzell Micah continues to write the most urgent and necessary music of our generation. <3 Favorite track: Remain Silent.
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1.
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
2.
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
3.
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
4.
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
5.
Filthy Cash 02:53
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
6.
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
7.
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)
8.
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
9.
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.
10.
New Shoes 02:23
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)
11.
Nuclear War 02:20
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)
12.
Outro 01:11

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

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Micah Schnabel Columbus, Ohio

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

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