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Existential Dread Machine

by Micah Schnabel



This song started with the opening line "someone please play a saxaphone!" and the idea that my friend Bob would play the saxophone. I still hope to make that version happen someday with bass, drums, and my friend Bob but due to our current pandemic circumstances I adjusted accordingly. The song felt too urgent to wait 6, 12, 18 months to record and put out into the world. So, Vanessa picked up the Piano Horn we bought on an impulse and figured it out the best we could.

So here's how the song lives for now.

Thank you, friends.


Another day on the existential dread machine
I can’t look away from this obscene little screen
life and death and infinite jest direct to my cerebral cortex and refreshed every 30 seconds

crowdfunding cancer drugs and digital bake sales to help bury our friends
Is this your rugged individualism, America?
bootstrap fairy tales and no-bake conspiracy theories?
Get out of here
Tell me about your mothers and grandmothers and the strength it took them
to raise you to where you are today

My mom worked at a Subway. The fast food restaurant not the public transportation system

This is my first fascist, societal collapse
sending kids off to class with gas masks and bulletproof backpacks
March on little soldiers
I know you’ll want to kill us for this when you get a bit older (thumbs up for good luck)

As I write this the bubble wrap pop pop of gunshots go off outside
Vanessa and I drop to our knees and crawl on the floor to meet each other in the hallway
which we’ve agreed is the safest place

This is or is not a love song
depending on your perspective

undereducated / over informed
Desperate for connection while forced to perform
meaningless tasks for small amounts of currency
With one hand behind our back and say thank you for the opportunity

But wait a second, wait a second/ this feels like a shakedown
A Ponzi scheme, A fucking kamikaze mission
Is existence really just some back alley deal where we get killed if we scream?
If that’s the deal, excuse me, I’m gonna make a scene

I believe each and every single one of us are living/ breathing museums
Life is not one long twisted road to perdition
Suffering is not the price of Admission
And you don’t need anyone's permission
To find the beauty in your own existence

Smash the glass and sound the alarm
If someone falls behind take them by the arm
Lace your fingers together and lift, lift, lift
We’re all running for our lives from these mobsters grift

Allah, mickey mouse, dollar bill, jehovah, and christ,
I think we’ve seen and heard enough of all their advice
I sacrificed the first 25 years of my life
Talking to myself and preparing to die

Now I genuflect to the people
not some shrine to the swine
I’m with the kids in the streets
reclaiming their time


released October 15, 2020
Recorded at Secret Studio in Columbus, Ohio
Engineered, mixed, and mastered by Keith Hanlon

Vanessa Jean Speckman played the Piano Horn and added the vocal responses

Photo styled and shot by Vanessa Jean Speckman in our small apartment using every lighting fixture available.


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Micah Schnabel Columbus, Ohio

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

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