Church of Self

by Charles Ray Hastings Jr.

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about

This is the first official album by musician and writer Charles Ray Hastings Jr. He has spent the past 8 years touring and writing records with Latin For Truth, the punk band he founded with drummer, Corey Killough. Charles wrote, recorded, mixed and mastered his first record alone at his home in Huntsville, Al in the month of January, 2014.

FFO: lofi folk punk bullshit singer songwriter stuff

credits

released March 4, 2014

Written, performed, engineered, mixed, and mastered By Charles Ray Hastings Jr.

Piano on Church of Self by Adenine Owl

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Track Name: Tell Junior I Stay High
she locked me up like an engine without oil
and there I sat till she came around again
she drug me along, like the Jersey asshole I was
that’s how I found myself working at the Wilson’s garag
Rose I’m slinging dope again,
to the horn players and jazz freaks on Warren avenue
it’s not really your fault or mine
I think we all slip back into the grooves of our lives
and I only hear the music when the needle falls in to mine
but when I hear it, oh I hear it
baby blue tunes rolling deep down inside

Rose, I apologize. tell Junior I said hi

See I was really in love at the time
but piss broke and living in economy studio apartment in Queens
there was barely enough for me to eat
you came back from the clinic and I was scared
out of my mind and into my shoes
I took a walk that lasted me 23 years
that walk lasted two marriages, three other kids
lord made me fertal as a curse
passing on these genetics is a sin

Rose, I apologize, tell Junior I said hi
don’t tell him I stay high
or who I was or what I did
make up something nice
like I’m a third base coach for a minor league team in Arizona
I wish I would have known him

Rose, I apologize, Tell Junior I stay high
if it makes you feel better
Track Name: Give a Little More
it’s not the whiskey that makes me sad
the sadness was there before
it’s not the gin that makes me hateful
I’ve been filled with hate most my life

cause it all trickles down cept money and love
those you have to hurt people for
so ball up your fist and accept a kiss
in the south we always give a little more

it’s not the beer that makes conversations
it’s the beer that keeps me too dull to cut
it’s not the green that makes me forgetful
it’s the green that helps me laugh

cause it all trickles down cept money and love
those you have to hurt people for
so ball up your fist and accept a kiss
in the south we always give a little more

Oh I was raised racist and violent
but I sweated it all out with whiskey and blankets.
It wasn’t the books I read that turned me left
it was the dysfunction and the discord behind the rebel cry

cause it all trickles down cept money and love
those you have to hurt people for
so ball up your fist and accept a kiss
in the south we always give a little more
give a little more
Track Name: Living vs. Surviving(Don't Believe Yourself)
I ain’t livin’, I’m just survivin’
waking up to work till I sleep again
repeat, repeat, like a cd skipping
skipping across a lake of mild delusion
like any of it matters, like I matter
like you matter, we’re all matter
eggs salted and scrambled by a mysterious hand
with an arm that eternally ascends

so at times, of course, I stare into the sky
flick ashes into the southbound wind
wonder where my waste is going
and wonder where it’s been
and this is the curse of neurosis’s shadow
tower leaning over a dog dying in the streets
cause the streets don’t care
and the shadow will soon be falling on you and me

I'm not living, I’m just surviving
that’s the way it’ll always be
I wonder if any of us are free

but in the chaos and doom is beauty
the beauty of joy and brief suspension of disbelief
those embers of joy pirouette up and beyond our umbrellas in the storm
if you can’t see it, is it gone?
it feels gone and sometimes feelings are real
as in politics and god and the love of a father
we need proof to support you’re still here
Track Name: West Texas Rose
I woke up at 4 am, rain pouring down
and I knew from which way it blew, west of my bed
west of me is her and she stirs endlessly in me
like the winds from the oil fields, she stirs the oldest dust in me
West Texas Rose I hope ya know
you’re bags beneath my eyes and the bags I pack for the road
West Texas Rose I hope ya know
you’re the saddest song I sing cause I never miss a thing
by 4:30 I had penned this song
with a simple melody that paints my early morning mood
but it still doesn't help when I know you’re facing those
dust storms all alone in abilene
Track Name: Another Shore in Another Land
another shore in another land, I’ve been living true and easy
drinking just enough to warm my fingertips
as I ease them onto my guitar
or maybe in this other land, I no longer have to sing
all the sad songs are sung and done
maybe I smile at strangers cause I’m happy
and maybe I’m happy cause I’m living true and free

no more filling my trash can with bottles half way through the week
and I’m gonna cut back to half a pack a day when I jet there
cause the slowest suicide known to man just ain’t gonna cut it for me
I’m heading to another shore in another land, away from me and away from here

in this other land, I’m gonna be born with a new name
in this other land, I’ll have two Cadillacs in my driveway
in this other land, I’ll learn to love like mom and pop never did
in this other land, there'll be no switchblades and stolen billfolds in your back pocket
in this other land, you only throw dice to commune with the dead
in this other land, you die once a year and pick a used halo from the pile
in this other land, god only drinks on his birthdays
in this other land, my baby won’t be so lonesome when I’m gone from here

no more filling my trash can with bottles half way through the week
and I’m gonna cut back to half a pack a day when I get there
cause the slowest suicide known to man just ain’t gonna cut it for me
I’m heading to another shore in another land, away from me and away from here
Track Name: Girls or Nonsexualized Other Gender Friends
he told Hannah intimacy is trivial
write about death or the racial divide
but like all readings, it was dryer than a mouth full of salt
it took a old lady singing, “creepers creep, talkers talk.”
before a syllable of truth came crashing down like
all the stars in the sky hitting our tin roof
the English cousin married a Scottish business man
the pretty one made out with a portly priest
Hannah fell asleep on the train till it hit the beach
girls, girls, girls, girls
Adam was right, you can’t undo that voodoo
where all the no’s and distant stares
become hours naked laying in the bed together
when the yes’s fall, they fall harder than the famous
the famous splits we hear tearing open the sunken moon over Brooklyn
the English cousin painted her way to divorce
the pretty one fucked her way to high art
Hannah threw the party where everyone left alone
girls, girls, girls, girls
Track Name: Tangled in Ink and Words and The Illusion of a Good Fight
tangled up in ink, ink from the greats, till then I’m dryer than my cider without the rum
keep on readin’, the louder they are louder they’ll be when the chorus comes
it’ll be cherubs, rockin’ and singing to the holy mire of the night
vast and appealing; safer than baby fat and lilac flavor’d tea

the oldest form of subversion and packed in the dull roar of world lit
inflections of the soul, lining millions of colors along the page
then gathered by my eyes and arranged for my mind’s stage

tangled up in words like they hang from the trees, just... I’m a fly in the ointment.
keep on readin’, the softer the prose the further it goes entrenching in all the loves of your life
it’ll be Ares laid across a bed of white flags, no longer the god of war
he'll be pining away for the love of Tolstoy famous thickened lore
Track Name: The Love We Seek And to Tell
Dekramo once told me suffering is not success.
You can’t measure yourself by hunger pains as an artist.
I met the man in New Orleans, we talked a lot on oak street.
He talked of old lovers and A.A. and I spoke of youth and all my mistakes

he thought I was selling my body
I was just trying to soak my mind
I played him a few tunes
and he simply said, You’re not honest enough.

Dekramo once told no artist does good work before 25
you’re too worried about the end and not living your life
you gotta break yourself, like an egg over a blade
stand back from the mess and let yourself be

he cried when talking about his first love.
he cried in anger when he spoke of his mother and I knew how I looked finally.
talking about my mom and my troubles

Dekramo once told me art isn’t jell.
It’s the love and affection we seek and to tell.
Track Name: Mayfly Love
you’ll love me soon enough
and I’ll play you like a baby grand
like I’ve got a bag of nails for fingertips
you’ll love me once again
you’ll love me like you did before
a crushing veneer to your empty hands
like veneer, they’ll warp and fade
you’ll still love me all the same
you’ll love me till you're sick
till crows are pecking at your crackin’ lips
pharaohs clawing through your spectral form
you’ll love me till you’re sleeping with worms
so love me, get on with it
die in compromise beneath the sway of the pine
love me, lie with me
lie to me if you’ve got a drop of it left

lie about your mayfly love
lie about your mayfly love
lie to keep us together forever
like nature won’t tear us apart anyway
Track Name: Adulthood is Here, Stop Trembling
tremble portly child, your trailer shakes when you walk// your father will never come home’’// the stereos in cars with busted windows and scams of men living between the brick and walls offer more// that trans am your mother bought with her taxes will never be yours// repo men are on their way to take your t.v., your mother, your stepfather, your brothers// the love in the cool spots of your pillow case

tremble young man, now too old to care
your father has murdered an innocent man
it’s good you share a name, you both cry when you’re drunk
maybe the crack of bone as you hit the bathroom stall over and over again will ring beyond the reputation in your veins

tremble confused teen with your bad haircut and godawful smell// your father will never come home// you see him more in the paper than on the couch, crushing pills and crying, bleeding on the new carpet with shards of the lamp in his hands// he will never give you the gun in his left boot// or the gun in his right boot but he will let you sit next to him as he burns tires in the backyard crying, drinking, wishing for another five year sentence

tremble young man, now too old to care
your father has murdered an innocent man
it’s good you share a name, you both cry when you’re drunk
maybe the crack of bone as you hit the bathroom stall over and over again will ring beyond the reputation in your veins

now adulthood is here
stop trembling
get to work