Pinches Topes

by Walter Ehresman

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about

This is the 16th solo album from eccentric songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Walter Ehresman, late of Austin, Texas but residing permanently in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico since February of 2015. As always, the lyrics are lovingly crafted to strike deep on political and interpersonal matters, but with moments of tongue-in-cheek levity that will make you shoot milk out of your nose.

The music ranges from anti-Trump reggae to surf-ska to electro-pop to a Tom Waits-like blues stomp to idyllic acoustic guitar/sitar interlude to romantic Argentinian downtempo to post-rock piano ballads to spoken word electro-mariachi to ambient remix to a classical cantata en español.

All the album's songs were written and recorded in Mexico, which is a first for Ehresman. It's clear that the place, its people and his experiences there have left an indelible mark on his songwriting (there are even some lyrics sung in Spanish). But the opening track harkens back to his earlier, scorching dissections of American right wing political depredations. According to Ehresman, "I had intended to ignore US politics when I moved down to Mexico, and did pretty good for a while until two diametrically-opposed events took place......the hope of Bernie Sanders, and the joke and then horror of Donald Trump.....I found that I could not remain disengaged from either as an American or a songwriter."

What of the title, "Pinches Topes"? Ehresman laughs, "Topes are these awful, ubiquitous speed bumps that are all over Mexico (even on the highways), and I though that cursing them as the title of my album would give something that everyone here--Mexican and ex-pat--could relate to.......Not to mention that topes make a pretty good metaphor," he says, smiling.

Like all of Ehresman's solo albums, "Pinches Topes" unfolds with a novel's feel of pacing and development. If you like your albums to contain just one genre of music, then this likely isn't the stuff for you. But if you're musically open-minded, and ready to take a journey, then sit down and listen to the album from start to finish and be transported south of the border and down beneath the surface of the human heart, mind and soul.

Discography

--solo albums: "Honor in the Swine?" ('89); "In the Path of the Cat Chasers" ('90); "Split Brain Theory" ('91); "The Blue Shoat Special" ('96); the spoken-word "The Rants" ('97); "Handwedge from the Trap" ('99); “Le Cafard“ (’01); "The Feral Rugby Team Must GO!" ('03); "No Unifying Theme" ('04); "March, Scream or Cry" ('07); "The ADG Project" ('07); "Monkey Paw Situation" ('09); “Well…..Let‘s Look at Your Track Record, Shall We?” (’10); “Life Outside the Tent“ (’12); "Blue-Eyed Devils" ('14); and "Pinches Topes" ('16).

--with Snipe Hunt: "We'll Be Right Back!" ('99); "Dirty Ditties and Cover Tunes" ('00); and "I Saw the Future (But the Damn Train Hit Me Just the Same)" ('02).

--with Los Platos: “Oh, No” EP (’08).

--with Delphi Rising: “For Granted” (‘10)

--compilations (various artists):
(with Swine Patrol) “The Austin Cassette Compendium” (‘86)
(solo) "Monkey Boy Sampler" ('01, '05); and "Several Famous Orchestras" ('03).


www.cdbaby.com/all/snipe waltsnipe@yahoo.com
www.reverbnation.com/walterehresman
www.youtube.com/user/WaltSnipe
soundcloud.com/wehresman
twitter.com/austinwalt
www.cdbaby.com/Artist/WalterEhresman

credits

released December 16, 2016

Produced, engineered, written and performed by Walter Ehresman at Snipe Bog Studios, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Special guests: Alma Ruth Miranda--background vocals on Track #1; The Endorfina Choir (Alma B. Valenzuela; Alma Ruth Miranda, Claudia Vilichis)--background vocals on Track #2.

Mastered by Bruce Brown of BCBrown Music.

Photography by Sean Reagan. Graphic design by Mittie Babette Roger.

p. 2016 Walter Ehresman

Snipe Bog Records

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about

Walter Ehresman San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

Called "the quintessential Austin DIY artist" by famed local disc jockey Charlie Martin , Walter Ehresman was an eccentric presence in the Austin music scene from the '80s until his 2015 move to Mexico. A prolific songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and recording artist...and a restless musical spirit, always looking for something new, expressed with fearlessly honest lyric-writing. ... more

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Track Name: Too Rude to Rule
Too Rude To Rule
(© 2016 Walter Ehresman)

I see you spewin’ on the TV—
a full borosie with a harbour shark style;
Throwin’ gas onto the fire;
Spread your hate beneath a big smile;
Too rude to rule; too rude to rule.

You diggin’ poison from a deep well--
you celebrate it like it doesn’t have smell;
You put a lie into the mirror;
You make a little man swell, aye?
Too rude to rule; too rude to rule.
Too rude to rule, now; too rude to rule.

[break—dancehall toasting]
With your white hood meetings, you’re a real upsetter, man;
The baldheads getting’ giddy with your Brownshirt rhetoric;
The shockwaves you creatin’ never move that weave, man,
and everything you say is just a whim and not a plan;
And you tap into that river of American intolerance
(and everyone of color surely seen that Southern dance);
And you look into the mirror, say “who is that cool dude?”;
You think you’re too bad but you’re just too rude.

You actin’ fassy with a big mob;
You light the torches as they march to my town.
You got them huntin’ for the dark kids;
Machine guns at the feet of a clown.

But I’ve been hearin’ something risin’—
a better sound from the positive souls;
A hurricane is a’brewin’—
a pressure drop for your bankroll.
Too rude to rule; too rude to rule.
Too rude to rule, now; too rude too rude.



*Jamaican slang: “borosie”=a jerk; “harbour shark”=someone who is greedy; “fassy”=like an asshole; “rude”=criminal. This song is my response to the Trump campaign.
Track Name: Muchas Endorfinas!
Muchas Endorfinas!
(© 2016 Walter Ehresman)


Muchas endorfinas!
Track Name: I Must Post!
I Must Post!
(© 2015 Walter Ehresman)

It does not happen, if I don’t see it through my lens;
It never happened, if I can’t Share it with my Friends.

[short chorus]
I must post!
I must post!

There are no boundaries; There are no rules;
I’ll snap my pictures, and post them anywhere I choose.

[chorus]
I must post!
I must post!
Post!
I must post!

Is it compulsion? Well, it has that kinda smell;
It is pervasive? Well, I’m kinda shocked that you can’t tell.

[chorus]
Track Name: I Saw Death at the ATM
I Saw Death at the ATM
(© 2016 Walter Ehresman)

I saw Death at the ATM,
starin’ up at me with that rictus grin;
I swear it made my blood run thin,
‘cause when you’re gone ain’t comin’ back again.


I saw Death at the ice cream store—
he wasn’t near as happy as he was before;
Every drippin’ spoonful ended up on the floor—
and Death was howlin.


I saw Death in a police car;
I kinda got the notion that I wouldn’t get far;
He pulled out his pistol and he lit a big cigar,
and Death was howlin’.
Track Name: One Morning in SMA
One Morning in SMA
(© 2015 Walter Ehresman)
Track Name: Eres Mi Alma (You Are My Soul)
Eres Mi Alma (You Are My Soul)
(© 2015 Walter Ehresman)

If you climb high enough, the air is crystal in the sun;
--The lower haze is stripped away.
If you stare long enough, out where the ocean disappears;
--Your better self will find a way.

These things are simple truths, so natural—
we wonder—why did it take so long
to find ourselves arriving into that easy moment
as I watched you sing your song?

[chorus]
And now I’ve climbed that mountain;
Stared long into that sea;
Drank deeply from your clear eyes;
Found where I’m meant to be.

Eres mi alma; co’mo me gustaria ser;
--Nos reunimos tan naturalmente;
Una luz para todo lo que es posible;
--El futuro es un regalo para mi.

You are my soul; how I wish to be;
--We came together so naturally.
A light for all that’s possible;
--The future is a gift to me.

[break]
But when I sit alone—I wonder: do you still think of me?
The endless forces of this world make time a scarcity.
But I know you try (and you know I try), and we’ll work our way on through;
The thing that does not change is the love I feel for you.

[chorus]




--dedicated to Alma Miranda Valenzuela
Track Name: Constellations
Constellations
(© 2015 Walter Ehresman)

Charting the stars swarming ‘cross the Southern sky
to navigate these seas I do not know.
With a song, the anchor line was severed and I’m spinning
to the shoals where your indifference let me go.


She spreads the cards; leaves before the reading’s done—
that future never had a chance to grow.
She forgets the page the moment that the next one starts the turning—
her whims look for tomorrow’s heart to show.


[chorus]
There’s more to the code than the language and there’s more to the puzzle than the guide book said;
Or maybe we were just two people instead—
semaphores and signals; both trying to read the waves;
Some to safe harbor, and some wash away;
Some to safe harbor, some just wash away.


She paints in blood—the canvas tries to overcome
the medium that drains out from my soul;
Contradictions underline the sickness that I’m feeling,
but to walk away is all that I control.


Constellations—they swarm;
Constellations—re-form.

[chorus]
Track Name: Native
Native
(© 2016 Walter Ehresman)

Poison flows, with signs held high;
Say “Go Home!” (just guessing where you came from);
You cry “why won’t you talk to me?”
Can’t abide the differences they see.

Won’t recall the family tree—
one and all took chance upon the waters;
Now free to kill all those they find;
Destiny won’t allow a guilty mind.

[chorus #1]
Do you love the land—the place your feet have come to?
Do you treat it as your sacred ground, and rally ‘round it?
Circling past a finite star—
we’re all natives of the Final Blue.

Name the ones who never invade;
Name the ones whose people were all born here
and they stayed, and never conquered anyone;
No slaves; not some god’s chosen ones.

Forces try to stoke our fears;
Rich men buy endless campaigns grinding you
to tears, rotting out your better side;
So sincere—behind the flag and cross they hide.

People move from place to place,
then we choose how to treat our newest neighbor—
lock our space, or open up our hearts?
A birthplace is just part of who we are.

[chorus #2]
Do you love the land—the place your feet have come to?
Will you treat it as your sacred ground, and rally ‘round it?
Circling past a finite star—
we’re all natives of the Final Blue.
Track Name: I Have No Blood
I Have No Blood (English version)
(© 2015 Walter Ehresman)


[verse #1]
I’ve moved to your country, where blood is the mortar,
the weave in the fabric of social cohesion,
the glue that replaces what government never
was good at providing for people in need.

[verse #2]
I stand on the outside of centuries’ system—
a man with no family (though some still draw breath);
A story that’s too long for telling to strangers…..
much easier to say that my blood is all dead.

[chorus #1]
For I have no blood, but I walk the earth still;
To you, I’m a ghost who is haunting your town;
An alien notion, a troubling conception;
A fate that you’d rather not think of at all.

[verse #3]
Lineage is something I never selected;
A thing that I won’t let define who I am.
The family I love is the one I’ve selected;
The blood that we share is the blood we would spill
for each other—so know that I’m swimming in blood.

[chorus #2]
For I have no blood, but I walk the earth still;
To you, I’m a ghost who is haunting your town;
An alien notion, a troubling conception;
A fate that you’d rather not think of at all. But
the blood that we share is the blood we would spill
for each other—so know that I’m swimming in blood.
The blood that we share is the blood we would spill
for each other—so know that I’m swimming in blood.
Track Name: BONUS TRACK: No Tengo Sangre (una cantata en español)
No Tengo Sangre (versión español)
(© 2015 Walter Ehresman)
--translation donated by Aaron Romo/Anne Nicolai)


[verso #1]
Me he trasladado a su país, donde la sangre es el mortero,
La onda en la tela de la cohesión social,
el pegamento que sustituye lo que el gobierno no
era buena en proveer a las personas en necesidad.

[verso #2]
Yo me paro fuera del sistema de los siglos—
un hombre sin familia (aunque algunos todavía respiran);
Una historia tan larga para contar a los extraños ...
Es mucho más fácil decir que mi sangre está toda muerta.

[coro #1]
Porque no tengo sangre, pero aún camino en la tierra;
Para ti, soy un fantasma que acecha tu ciudad;
Una idea extraña, una concepción preocupante;
Un destino del que preferirías no pensar nunca.

[verso #3]
Linaje es algo que nunca he seleccionado;
Una cosa que no voy a dejar que defina quién soy.
La familia que amo es la que yo he escogido;
La sangre que compartimos es la sangre que derramaremos
uno para el otro—así que sabe que estoy nadando en sangre.

[coro #2]
Porque no tengo sangre, pero aún camino en la tierra;
Para ti, soy un fantasma que acecha tu ciudad;
Una idea extraña, una concepción preocupante;
Un destino del que preferirías no pensar nunca. Pero
la sangre que compartimos es la sangre que derramaremos
uno para el otro, así que sabe que estoy nadando en sangre.
La sangre que compartimos es la sangre nos derramaremos
uno para el otro, así que sabe que estoy nadando en sangre.
Track Name: BONUS TRACK: No Tengo Sangre--instrumental version
No Tengo Sangre--instrumental version
(© 2015 Walter Ehresman)
Track Name: BONUS TRACK: I Have No Blood--Ghost Mix
I Have No Blood--Ghost Mix
(© 2015 Walter Ehresman)

[verse #1]
I’ve moved to your country, where blood is the mortar,
the weave in the fabric of social cohesion,
the glue that replaces what government never
was good at providing for people in need.

[verse #2]
I stand on the outside of centuries’ system—
a man with no family (though some still draw breath);
A story that’s too long for telling to strangers…..
much easier to say that my blood is all dead.

[chorus #1]
For I have no blood, but I walk the earth still;
To you, I’m a ghost who is haunting your town;
An alien notion, a troubling conception;
A fate that you’d rather not think of at all.

[verse #3]
Lineage is something I never selected;
A thing that I won’t let define who I am.
The family I love is the one I’ve selected;
The blood that we share is the blood we would spill
for each other—so know that I’m swimming in blood.

[chorus #2]
For I have no blood, but I walk the earth still;
To you, I’m a ghost who is haunting your town;
An alien notion, a troubling conception;
A fate that you’d rather not think of at all. But
the blood that we share is the blood we would spill
for each other—so know that I’m swimming in blood.
The blood that we share is the blood we would spill
for each other—so know that I’m swimming in blood.
Track Name: BONUS TRACK: Too Rude to Rule--Bass-In-Yer-Face extended version
Too Rude To Rule
(© 2016 Walter Ehresman)

I see you spewin’ on the TV—
a full borosie with a harbour shark style;
Throwin’ gas onto the fire;
Spread your hate beneath a big smile;
Too rude to rule; too rude to rule.

You diggin’ poison from a deep well--
you celebrate it like it doesn’t have smell;
You put a lie into the mirror;
You make a little man swell, aye?
Too rude to rule; too rude to rule.
Too rude to rule, now; too rude to rule.

[break—dancehall toasting]
With your white hood meetings, you’re a real upsetter, man;
The baldheads getting’ giddy with your Brownshirt rhetoric;
The shockwaves you creatin’ never move that weave, man,
and everything you say is just a whim and not a plan;
And you tap into that river of American intolerance
(and everyone of color surely seen that Southern dance);
And you look into the mirror, say “who is that cool dude?”;
You think you’re too bad but you’re just too rude.

[solos over two verses]

You actin’ fassy with a big mob;
You light the torches as they march to my town.
You got them huntin’ for the dark kids;
Machine guns at the feet of a clown.
But I’ve been hearin’ something risin’—
a better sound from the positive souls;
A hurricane is a’brewin’—
a pressure drop for your bankroll.
Too rude to rule; too rude to rule.
Too rude to rule, now; too rude too rude.



*Jamaican slang: “borosie”=a jerk; “harbour shark”=someone who is greedy; “fassy”=like an asshole; “rude”=criminal. This song is my response to the Trump campaign.