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Rage (Remastered 2022)

by John Ludi

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Everything 03:30
Everything I'm not a demagog, a power freak, but controlling everything is what I seek. Ultimate power deserves no better hands, why not omnipotence for such a brilliant man? Everything, all or nothing tighten my reigns upon the world. Make me president and sign my praise. Vow all your loyalties, no doubts I'll raise. Lay all your problems in a basket at my feet. My trivialities will make your life complete. Everything, all or nothing draining the juices from the world. Just crown me god, just for one day all the world's flaws I'll wipe away. Give me power over life and death itself and surround me with donations and wealth. Call me a genius and devote your souls to me. Sign all your names in blood, I'll laugh with a tyrant's glee. Everything, all or nothing choking the life out of the world. Everything, all or nothing eternal night for all the world.
Shanty 04:31
Shanty I have got nothing and you want to take it away you'll feed off my labor til I meet an early grave I'll work forever so all of you wealthy can play you'll find what I've hidden and tax away all that I've saved. I'm down here and you're up there and I can see your mansion from here...it's pretty clear. I'm in debt and underpaid with nothing for the effort I've made...and I live in fear. You educate me with just enough to work your machines you entertain me with the stunted, profane and obscene you've taken my mind and my will and still you want more in the system you've designed I'm little more than a whore. Born to be nothin, born to be a slave dirt under your boot heel from cradle to the grave. I labor along with millions so you can up the ante I'm invisible to you and I live in a shanty. I'm down here and you're up there and I can see your neck from here...it's pretty clear. I've been your tool and I've been played but I've got a rope and a torch I've made...and you should live in fear. When this whole thing falls apart I'll be come lookin' for you without your billions they'll be nothing that you can do but for now you can sleep and contentedly dream but rest assured someday you'll be waking up with a scream.
Puppet 03:36
It's puppet's day with the press corps, they've written a speech for the people. They cover him with cosmetics to make him look less evil. They fill his eyes with cue cards and pray he won't ignore them. Advisers he can't fathom surround and try to coach him. He's been acting strangely there has been some concern there's talk he might be reworked before he ends his term. The teleprompter's humming as puppet, he sits staring. The faces of his cabinet observe with vices glaring. As anchormen announce him the sleazy sitcom ceases. He'll tell us pleasant untruths and anything that pleases. Alive he does his act now pretending that he leads us the strings that keep him moving held by corporations that bleed us. All is going well now his speech is very clever yet somewhere in his framework a single nerve has severed. In the corner of a dead eye a drop of oil is dripping and suddenly he's twitching, he's contorted and he's slipping. Then out of his mouth-hole (full of rust and errant springs) in a cracked and unused true voice he speaks revealing things. The plainclothes cops around him hear the words and block the way. They bind puppet and gag him and drag puppet away.
Beggar's Cup 04:50
There's angels dancing on the heads of pins while the reaper cleans off his blade and the tired silhouettes of stale cliches slip past our lips in peasant's praise. Don't break down and don't give up as long as breathing fills your beggars cup. All black stains of gods flushed from the skies sunken shadows with dead newsprint eyes greet the advent of dawn with despair... every bridge closed for repairs. There's a game being bet upon and we're too busy playing it. There a lie we're not hearing as we're all busy saying it. There are graves being dug to be filled with the ashes of our failed wills. And the endless dance of futility cycles on and on through eternity.
Generous God 05:02
Generous God Be fruitful and multiply, in fact...breed like rats. You know your god's a generous god, he is that. 10 billion-plus mouths to feed, with wants and needs, so satisfy your gene pool's greed and spread that seed! Populate every square foot of land for god is merciful and god is grand he never gives out more than you can stand (well...maybe once in a while, but he hopes you'll understand...understand?) Spread poison randomly around, air and ground. For the bible says we're salvation-bound, it's all comin' down. So pump and dump and then say “amen”, why make amends? Who cares what is left when we ascend, 'cause god's our friend. Toxify every single drop of water... the sacred draught of simple lambs marching to slaughter. Taint everything you touch in the name of the prince of peace thumping on your bibles, growing wretched with disease. What a generous god he is. Your generous god don't exist. When the air becomes toxic and thin, will god descend? With nothing left to breathe in but your sins, can life begin? Will your empty stomachs all ten be filled with divine will? Will god come down and replace all you've killed? (Silent and still...forever still...)
Earth 05:23
Earth Fast asleep we lay dreaming underground far from the gleaming of the sun, seemingly stronger... I hear its call to rest no longer My breathing quickens, the air has thickened, I'm slightly sickened Open my eyes inside my chamber, somethings awry...a sense of danger. I read the screens then wake the others, all my kin, sisters and brothers. Embraces, greetings, a wordless meeting, all too fleeting. Consensus reached in milliseconds, the fault was ours was what we reckoned. Our sense of time clearly in error, and while we slept there grew a terror. Beyond their station without cessation, our fell creation... multiplied far and wide and climbed too high with witless pride, devoured the land, forests to sand, with greed so grand, a plague called Man. We rise above the miles that hid us, the Earth itself, her sufferings bid us. In shock we see her torn and soiled... our verdant Earth toxic and spoiled. We watch them break her, watch them unmake her... and they could take her all the way to her grave, all her fields paved and nothing saved. The air has turned and she could burn. There's no return once life is spurned. Hovering above all cloaked and silent, we can't adjust a beast so violent. A vote is held...not one dissension, to cleanse the world of our invention: “Man the builder”...the poison-spiller, the planet-killer. We will break them, we will unmake them... we will take them...all away.
Frozen in Amber Upon a beach stands a lonely figure wore threadbare cloths adorn his weary frame. Watching the waves break upon the shoreline, pacing aimlessly and wincing from the pain of his aching hands from scrounging in the sand to what extent he can The shore is shorn of fish or bird or seaweed just things that look like some mix of them all. The man he sings a song from years forgotten and shivers slightly as the rain begins to fall upon the spoiled ground no man or beast around his is the only sound He longs for touch, he longs for comfort a friendly face...but he knows that no ones coming. The man he takes a stone out of his pocket and ruminates upon a world gone quickly wrong. He stares upon the tiny things embedded inside the amber he's carried for so long The wrinkles on his skin the pestilential wind biological sin. He holds the stone to hazy sunlight and sings his song... the last living standard human. He skips the stone upon the water watches it sink... frozen in amber, insects.
Everything is relative they say and nothing here was really mean to stay. Is that the ground shifting under your feet, distorting all your flimsy conceits? Solidity grows scarcer every day ambiguity has swept it all away. It's hard for you to know just what to feel: someone forgot to tell you what is real. It's not that everyone's lying to you it's just that everyone's lying to themselves and you just happen to get in the way. World of denial. Every day the messages shift 'til you're left philosophically adrift by media's relentless happy whores whose viewpoints change too fast to be absorbed. Proprieties fading veneer leaves you with little more than fear and bodies piling up outside your door. This is the future, couldn't ask for more.
Sheep 03:45
Sheep Sheep, sheep, go to sleep, watch TV, there's fast food to eat. A case of beer makes the day complete... or maybe a football game. I'm amazed you can even spell your own name. Sheep, sheep, suspicions creep Ugly words, something quiet and deep that says that what's been sown will soon be reaped Barbarians behind the gates I regret to inform you that it's too late did you think that your mindless ease could keep you from slavery and disease? © You never thought about tomorrow now it's far too late to feel sorrow as the world it crumbles around you and your vanishing freedom astounds you Sheep, sheep, I hear you bleat I hear you cry and entreat as you're lined up and shot against the concrete walls of a fascist state with no one left to commiserate the death of a common fool a happy consumer so happily ruled. © While you were neglecting tomorrow some monsters led, the rest followed and created a world quite like hell with no space left for much else. You're medicated and tamed and you'll fall into place when they call your name. And there's no one else you can blame it's what happens when everyone thinks the same. © So cling to the thoughts that they feed you and repeat the cliches as you need to and march down the road that they've paved with the ground up bones of your fellow slaves.
I woke up this morning to the sound of my heart beating out irregular time. I woke to the laugh of mortality whose pale whispered words did remind. I though about all the time that I've lost ignoring those sage words inside of intuition and the sound of my heart on the one way train I ride. One way train take me far away from here. I thought about all the people I've known and just how many are real and how many are ghosts in search of a host not knowing how to think or to feel. When we act like we believe in all the lies that we spout while all but our shells is gone those lies last a short while 'til we lose our forced smiles on the one way train we're all on. Everyone has a flag to wave and some neat package to sell denying that what disgusts us in others lives deep in ourselves. The dull sheep will bleed and the wolves they will feed heeding the ritual's call. The best game to play's not to play one at all on our one way train's mortal crawl. Pretend to be honest pretend to be good pretend to treat others the way you know you should while sheltering your own fragile ego behind a wall never knowing when your own end will come and call.
Trust 04:19
Trust Plaster's falling from the seams of cities cold and mean, death rattles of a terminal American dream. Our money's painted green and so are we it seems. Without a future...without ways or means. Ghettos extend their chains and swell like wounds inflamed millions of lives slip unnoticed down the drain. Never trust people who live better than yourselves who dazzle with delusions of fame, freedom, and wealth. "Trust in us" they said, "we'll plant our dreams in your head". "Trust in us" they hissed...beautiful lies you can't resist. They try to tell us there's a reason for the wait why we all languish at the starting gate while pointless expenditures bear bitter fruit and dark enmities lay deeper roots. Our wheels keep spinning as we get nowhere some hearts get harder, some just despair. "Lies are just the truth in a different light... and truth's as elusive as a thief in the night".
Crucified 03:28
There is a scent the vermin sense a subtle word, a difference. No hue and cry when vultures fly to mark the deed, foul creatures feed... on the bones of those who care the most more than the host of nameless hopeless ghosts. Beyond the ken of common men, in the pursuit of hidden truths those souls progressed above the rest will fall to sand as foul creatures stand... Pacify the crowd with the deaths of those endowed with the gift of sight (it's the common man's delight). Burning at the stake once more to calm the angry hoard. Rabble satisfied: another sage was crucified. On deaf ears all learned words will fall. Nothing will change: a future out of range of minute minds, the common kind. Content with lies, foul creatures die...


(UPDATE-2/18/2022: I decided to remaster this album as the previous mastering was almost at the "brickwall" point and I found it a bit hard to listen to, as I do with a lot of music mastered that way. I liked the forcefulness of it, but the songs needed a bit more room to breathe. So these updates make them a bit quieter, but you can hear nuances better and that ducking sound is greatly reduced.)

Protest songs...people don't really write them anymore, it would seem (I still do, but I'm a cross between an anachronism and a relic). We have become a very acquiescent culture that seemingly accepts the mounting levels of outrage as long as we have our bread & circuses...and meds.

Perhaps this album is the last watery scream of a drowning man, culturally speaking...a man drowning far far away from anywhere he will be heard. It certainly is not "fashionable"...but then nothing I do ever is.

A fair amount of these songs are older...a couple I've had kicking around since the 80's. It is a sad statement that lyrically they are even MORE relevant today than they were back then.

This album was recorded at the same time as Obsolescence, but the songs on this album were so different in their focus and intent that I had to make two entirely different albums. They are sort of like freakishly mismatched bookends.

This is not an album that will make you comfortable...and it's not full of two-dimensional empty slogans...but it may make you think about things...at the very least, it may make you think "so I guess I'm not the only person who sees things this way...I guess I'm not alone"...and there may be a comfort in THAT, I suppose.


released June 4, 2015

John Ludi wrote, performed, engineered, produced all of these songs, with the exception that the sweetly evocative lead line on Frozen in Amber was written by Greg Kutcher when we played it in our old band Soft War...back when we were young and life was full of promise and all that. AND Greg came up with the chords for the chorus of Earth.


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John Ludi Madison, Wisconsin

John Ludi is a musician/singer-songwriter with a wide array of influences and lyrical interests who was "Indie" before the term even existed. Working outside of the music industry by choice has given Ludi the ability to release songs of a level of lyrical depth that are anathema to the minds of the "suits". Ludi lives off-grid in a yurt in the woods of WI and will "fight the power" til he dies. ... more

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