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The Cocker Spaniels Are Still Alive, and So Are You

by The Cocker Spaniels

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jenacodex
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jenacodex Sean has enhanced and improved my experience of being on the internet for holy shit 15 years now. Every song he makes, like every cookie he bakes, is a total banger. His lyrics are the sort you can live by. I'm extremely grateful to have his work in my life. Favorite track: Rice and Prepared Xylophone (feat. Ezra Padilla).
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Sean, you have a real gift for expressing complex issues/ideas in a way that is very accessible and relatable. Your pop sensibility reminds me a lot of Ben Folds in this regard. I feel like you would do well writing music for children's programming or synch licensing some of your music if you aren't already, because your gentle spirit still comes through your music even when you're talking your ish. Keep doing your good work brother - the world needs you. <3
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1.
(Do want xylophone) Is this fun? (Mic off!)
2.
I wish I had the time to think About the things I'm doing before I do them So many things to do at once That cannot wait, and only I can do them A full inbox, a messy house A hyper kid, a tired spouse A pushy boss, a worried friend I'm multitasking without end But what I wouldn't give to have a breather But no, I don't mean sleep But I don't get that either In a calm and quiet place Where I can try to write a song With a notebook and a guitar I really wouldn't need that long I wish I didn't feel like a Computer with too many programs running And a hard drive that's about to crash But instead of shutting down, I keep restarting So I punch the clock and cut the checks I answer emails and send my texts I change the diapers and do my chores I kiss my wife and I lust for more But what I wouldn't give to chill at home With a closed laptop and a completely shut-off phone With my feet up on the couch And my wife sitting on my lap And our kid within arm's reach Taking a long and peaceful nap
3.
Culture War 02:28
You're arguing with me and I don't know what for Why does everything have to be a culture war? You're typing in all caps and I don't know what for Why does everything have to be a culture war? Is it right versus wrong or right versus left? If you acted on your thoughts, would it lead to death? Is it right versus wrong or you versus me? Is it hate in disguise when we disagree? Do we have a common goal, or even the same facts? Do you wish to change my mind or just simply attack? If you try to tell me one plus one's no longer two I don't see the point in talking calculus with you You're screaming in my face; I think I know what for We're on opposite sides of the culture war You're storming City Hall; I think I know what for We're on opposite sides of the culture war Is it right versus wrong or blue versus red? If you got what you wanted, would I wind up dead? Is it right versus wrong or white versus black? Do you wanna move forward or time travel back? When you fly that rebel flag, do you think that you'll win? History has warned you that you'll just get crushed again I don't wanna be collateral damage for your cause Think I should log off and put this argument on pause You're arguing with me and I don't know what for Why does everything have to be a culture war? You're typing in all caps and I don't know what for Why does everything have to be a culture war?
4.
I know you're feeling brokenhearted You're gonna heal, but it'll take time You need to find some healthy ways to Get that woman off of your mind You wanna vent? I'm down to listen But I can't do it all of the time You need to find some other ways to Get that woman off of your mind 'Cause I see the rejection slowly get the best of you There's gotta be a hobby you've got more time to pursue You wouldn't know about her new man If you didn't stalk her online You need to find some healthy ways to Get that woman off of your mind I see you swiping right on Tinder Do you think that now's a good time To try to woo another woman With your last one still on your mind? Well, I see loneliness has stripped you of your dignity Put the smartphone down and redirect that energy One night, we hung out in my basement I offered you a Miller or two You drank them all and I was forced to Hide your own damn car keys from you You slept on my couch; I heard you Whimpering her name a few times You gotta find a better way to Get that woman off of your mind 'Cause I can see the ending of this sad and sordid tale There's gotta be a therapist who charges sliding scale Your broken heart could run our friendship right into the ground A man who can't move on's a threat to everyone around
5.
The unemployed drummer of the other local band Told the booker he works early in the morning He asked the touring band if they're down to share their kit They're pretending not to have a big issue with it I redeemed all my drink tickets just to pass the time Waiting for the show to start was getting boring A crowd is trickling in and the stage is full of gear But the other local band's singer still isn't here There's gotta be a better way Than playing way too fuckin' late on a Tuesday To the five friends I begged to go And the echo of all the people on the patio I wonder why I even try To fight for such little crumbs of a stale pie This situation feels so wrong I can't go along I need a new stage, a new song The touring band's okay, but there's rumors goin' 'round 'Bout the bassist and his sexual liaisons There's an underage girl that he snuck into the show But the grizzly old bouncer pretends not to know When I ask any staff if the bands are getting paid Their responses sound like algebra equations I work two jobs so I can pay my rent Even half a tank of gas would feel heaven sent
6.
Snuff Film 02:01
Do you really need a snuff film To believe that this could happen to me? Does it really take a snuff film For the world to show a little empathy? It's been happening every day for four centuries The only thing that seems to change is technology A cop kills me in a snuff film And says I resisted his authority A stranger kills me in a snuff film And says he saw a potential threat in me Who believes that I'm able to kill a heavily armed man With nothing more than the strength of my skinny piano hands? And are you gonna wait for Shaun King To tweet the snuff film before you march for me? My ghost will be too busy haunting The jury that let my killer walk scot-free I'll be the gust that blows the burning cross and lets the fire spread When every white hood is reduced to ash, and the whole Klan is dead Who's gonna film that instead?
7.
Which one of you went and told my mom That I've started getting high and stopped going to church? She called me crying, asking what went wrong Now I'm combing through my friends list, ready to go scorched-earth Did you forget I'm an adult And I don't live in Mama's house? And if I wanted her to know I would've told her with my own mouth Not with a tweet, and not with a post Family narcs are doing the most Don't ever think the blood that we share Gives you the right to broadcast my affairs Runteldat again, and I'll do more than just unfriend Which one of you went and told my dad That I'm having trouble paying off all of my student loans? He called me to interrogate my budget Now my ears feel like they've been Velcroed to my phone Did you forget I'm an adult And I don't live in Daddy's house? And if I wanted him to know I would've told him with my own mouth Maybe at the next family reunion I'll catch you up on everything I want you to know I put up with all your misspelled Jesus memes But snitching left me with no choice but to let you go 'Cause Mom doesn't tweet and Dad doesn't post I don't know why you're doing the most Keep snitching on the fam, and you might have to catch these hands ("H")
8.
I was once the child who had to feel out Mommy's new boo And she'd have dumped me if I left a bad impression on you But from the very first Lego set we built together I knew that we'd be in each other's lives forever And now you've made a father out of me No steps or halves in our new family When I met your mom, the tummy flutters they felt so damn real And the way she loves you just intensified the appeal What life was like before we met, I no longer know I missed your birth, but I still get to watch you grow Because you made a father out of me No steps or halves in our new family It doesn't matter that we don't share blood We're bonded by the law and by our love I put a ring on it, and we had two more kids of our own Your little brothers smile when the school bus brings you back home You're growing up, but I still love you just as much As I did when our family was just the three of us I have no use for technicalities You even look and act like mini-me
9.
Hey kitty, whatcha doin' in my food bowl? You got your paws where you don't belong I see you munchin' on my Kit and Kaboodle You hear me hissin', and you know it's on Now I've got an eternal grudge You stare at me with a regretful, wary pause But it's too late: I've already unsheathed my claws And once I'm done with you, you'll know I'm not the one Eternal grudge has just begun! Hey kitty, now you've got me on a mission This house is mine, and there's nowhere to hide In the bedroom, in the hallway, in the kitchen I'm pouncin' on you from every side 'Cause I've got an eternal grudge I'm gonna piss on every single toy you own And ambush you whenever you think you're alone I'm gonna make you wish the humans had rehomed you Eternal grudge: I fuckin' own you! Hey kitty, have you finally learned your lesson? Our turf war has been three long years I've mellowed out, but I love to keep you guessing I want my hiss to be your deepest fear The sound of my eternal grudge You better keep your eyes fixed on your own bowl Or else I'll travel back in time and lose control 'Cause I'm a tabby but I've got a lion's soul Eternal grudge: don't ever forget your role!
10.
I see a baby on the ultrasound relaxing in its sac The last time we were this far along, all we could see was black But when the doctor walked in with a smile and not a pensive stare I knew I could exhale Baby, you're actually there I saw a baby; I ain't scared to tell my family and friends I didn't wanna get their hopes up to bear bad news once again But now the diapers, clothes, and toys that piled up in this empty room Can all be dusted off Baby, you're comin' so soon The sight of kids playing at parks would make me cry I used to kneel and clasp my hands and ask God why My wife and I would rack our brains: should we still try? But once I heard your heartbeat, I felt like I could fly I see a baby; I don't think that I'll have nightmares anymore Of gently cradling my crying wife on a bloody bathroom floor When I touch her belly now, I know you're there and you'll be fine It soothes us both to sleep Baby's gonna make it this time Yes, you're gonna make it this time Please let him make it this time
11.
Cops don't care about the drip They'll pull their guns out just as quick Your skin will still be black, your blood will still be red You'll die watching the goalposts shift Racism ain't logical, you can't rationalize With folk who'll always look at you with hatred in their eyes I know that we're programmed to think that clothing makes a man But ain't none of these crooked cops Mark Twain They just don't give a damn Medgar got killed in a suit Malcolm got killed in a suit Martin got killed in a suit Your swag won't make you bulletproof Your Tom Ford fit won't help you dodge the same ignoble end That crooked cops deliver to your saggy-panted friends You can't change a narrative that you did not create You might as well wear what you want But keep storming the gates A dead Black man is just as cute Breonna did not wear a dress Aiyana did not wear a dress Sandra did not wear a dress How fancy are the women at the protests?
12.
I sleep well at night My honey wraps her arms around me oh so tight Secure in knowing that I'll always treat her right No convo ever escalates into a fight And I don't scare my sons When I come home, they never have to hide or run They don't get hit for what they have or haven't done I grab a toy and we spend all night having fun And I don't take advice from men Who care more about being powerful than being loved I've seen it time and time again They've stained the fabric of my youth with tears and blood But home is where the family curses end My home is where the family curses end And I don't raise my voice I may get mad, but even then I have a choice I don't let my anger turn my signal into noise I take a few deep breaths, then I maintain my poise I do things my way Who cares if it makes me look feminine or gay? Who said that I'd mind being either anyway? They're not the people I come home to every day And I don't take advice from men Who care more about being masculine than being good I've seen it time and time again They impose such silly rules, and never question why they should
13.
Biker Shorts 03:35
I could sing a song about how you'll forever be The love of my life About how I couldn't have asked for a better woman To be my wife About how you're a perfect mother to our kids And it would all be true, of course But right now, all that's on my mind is looking at you In nothing but a shirt and biker shorts I love to watch you walk away I trace the switch of your hips with my eyes I want to sit you on my lap And wrap myself in the warmth of your thighs I love to be your big, big spoon And feel your ass rub against me each night I know that you don't own a bike But I wish you could take me for a ride I could sing a song about how you'll forever be My very best friend About how you're the only person on whom I feel I truly depend About how you make me feel star-struck like a celeb And it would all be true, of course But right now, I'm too busy watching you bending down To pick up something in those biker shorts I wish the kids would go to sleep So you could take off those shorts for a while And we could finally switch gears And after that, I'll sing about your smile
14.
You're a little kid with a big brain And it's fun to watch you figure out How to organize all the thoughts inside Of your brain, then spit them out Stacking letters to build houses Spelling words with building blocks Making music out of babble And it makes sense, because it rocks You're a little kid with a big brain And it hurts my heart to hear you cry 'Cause you just can't say what you want some days No matter how hard you may try You turn into a wailing dervish I breathlessly chase you around And then I wrap my arms around you And stroke your hair 'til you calm down I try to crack the codes that help unlock your brain for you But sometimes I get scared and wonder what else I can do I watch you play with doctors, and I heed all their advice But I believe some answer lie in wait behind your eyes You're a little kid with a big brain And every day brings something new A sentence, a lyric, a question: I hear it Come loud and clear out of you Your eyes light up as you blurt out Everything that's on your mind I know I'll want some peace and quiet But not right now, not this time
15.
A New Hello 02:39
I came to visit you and say a new hello I know you're wondering, "Where did my kitty go?" I felt a bit too weak to play The grownups knew I couldn't stay Your father carried me away I crossed that rainbow bridge that very day And now I'm here with almost all my favorite things So many scratching posts and tasty chicken wings It's endless fun in this new place So many lasers I can chase The pain is gone without a trace But I still want to nuzzle your sweet face Even though I really miss you I can meet you in your dreams And maybe then you'll know what happened Ain't as bad as it may seem And when your parents hear you meowing In your sleep, maybe they'll know That I'm feeling so much better And they were right to let me go Even though you're still a baby And you may not know what it means We can still get into mischief Even when it's in our dreams And when your parents see you smiling In your sleep, maybe they'll know That I'm feeling so much better And they were right to let me go I'm in a better place, but I still miss your face
16.
I'm not a racism priest I can't absolve you of your sin Confessing to me won't wash your soul as white as your skin I'm glad that you know you were wrong But I can do nothing with your guilt So I'm gonna give it back to you to do what thou wilt I don't wanna know every stereotype that your parents taught you about me I don't wanna know every terrible slur that you used when you weren't around me I don't wanna know every person that you didn't date because they looked like me I don't wanna know every moment of silence when your friends conspired to spite me I know that you want to change Now that the world has forced you to But don't make the change contingent on me forgiving you I hope to see you at a protest I hope you come with some receipts I hope that you make Christmas awkward By calling out your mom's beliefs 'Cause with forgiveness comes repentance You know that it's a package deal You're gonna have to question your whole life For me to know that you're for real Until then, I'm not the racism priest
17.
Our cousin just got killed in broad daylight Shot by one of his own so-called friends And we just lost Grandma six months ago It seems like the grieving never ends It sucks that we all live so far apart And I miss hanging out with you so much But I thank God for the technology That makes it easier to stay in touch Because the cousin chat is open Invite all the cousins now But nobody over 40 The elders ain't allowed The memories and inside jokes The funny memes and playful roasts Better to laugh together than cry alone I'll see you there after I charge my phone Every funeral feels so fraught With all of our parents' petty beefs Whispered arguments in every pew None of us can truly mourn in peace Promise me we'll be better than that We'll still fight from time to time, I'm sure But can we talk things out and let them go? Show our elders how to be mature? Right now, it isn't safe to go outside A family reunion would be hard We can't chill on Grandma's old porch Or have a barbecue in her backyard An airborne virus took my aunt away And every unmasked stranger makes me mad We can't even have a funeral now So the cousin chat room's all we have
18.
D.F.T.G.F.R. 00:56
DONALD FUCKING TRUMP GET FUCKING REKT YOUR RACIST REIGN IS ENDING, AND WE'RE RUBBING IT IN YOUR FACE THERE'S DANCING IN THE STREETS, BECAUSE YOU'RE GONNA BE REPLACED HISTORY WILL WRITE YOU OFF AS NOTHING BUT A COMPLETE DISGRACE DONALD FUCKING TRUMP GET FUCKING REKT
19.
I just put on a record By a band that only played one chord A limited edition At a price that I could barely afford Because I know that it's the kind of music you loved And when it's good, sometimes a single chord is enough I started reminiscing About the bands we were lucky to see About your bone-dry humor And your selfless generosity I know you gave all you had to the people you loved I wish you'd know that your presence was more than enough I knew that you'd been struggling But I never realized just how much But I refuse to judge you For deciding that you've had enough I hope the noise inside your mind has turned to melody I'll miss you, friend I'll think of you as I flip to side B
20.
All of our heroes are dying But I'm still alive, and so are you And there isn't much that our heroes Have done with their lives that we can't do So when the Grim Reaper calls each troubadour home Let us mourn and play their songs Then make some of our own A song doesn't die when a singer does As long as the rest of us keep singing It may be the only real afterlife A bell that eternally keeps ringing All of our loved ones are dying But I'm still alive, and so are you And there isn't much that our loved ones Have done with their lives that we can't do So when the Grim Reaper calls our family home Let us share their memories Then make some of our own Because love doesn't die when our loved ones do Our hearts won't allow us to forget them It may be the only real afterlife Their spirits advise us if we let them All of our soldiers are dying But I'm still alive, and so are you And there isn't much that our soldiers Have done with their lives that we can't do So when the Grim Reaper calls each activist home Let us mourn and count their battles Then win some of our own Our children are looking for heroes now So now is the time for us to be them It may be the only real afterlife What we put in their hearts will never leave them

about

This is my first full-length album in a decade; a tribute to my spouse, our children, and our cats; a meditation on grief, loss, birth, and life; a reflection of my growth as a person and a musician over the last decade; a souvenir of how I stayed sane through a pandemic and the upheaval it caused; an album that sounds like folk-rock, power-pop, funk, grunge, dub, goth, punk, shoegaze, R&B or black metal depending on the song. I'm very proud of it, and I hope that you enjoy it!

credits

released August 13, 2021

This album was recorded on two digital 24-tracks and a cassette 8-track in the music room of my family’s house from the summer of 2019 to the spring of 2021.

All songs were produced, arranged, composed, and performed by me, with help from Nathaniel Arcadipane ("H"), Layne Padilla (tambourine on “Family Narc”), Ezra Padilla (“Rice and Prepared Xylophone”), and Micah Padilla (surprise).

My friends Stephen Pierce and Alan Lauer, who play bass and drums in my live band, will be on the next album...I promise.

This album was executive produced by Layne Padilla and Lenée Voss. Layne also oversaw the art direction. It was mastered by Jason NeSmith at Chase Park Transduction.

This album is dedicated primarily to my spouse, Layne, and to our three children Nate, Ezra, and Micah. I love you all so much.

This album is also dedicated to the memories of our cats Cedric and Sirius; our friends Danna, Kevin, and Nari; my grandmother Gwendolyn; my cousins Yasin and Jackie; and my aunt Wanda.

Thanks most of all to you, Layne. Without you this album would not exist: you were my target audience as I was making it. Thank you, David Smit, for loaning me your 24-track when mine suffered a power failure; thank you, Ben Bourne, for loaning me your acoustic guitar.

Thank you, dear listener, for giving this album your time. If you like it, please tell other people about it. If you don’t like it, that’s OK; I still appreciate you for giving it a chance!

Caring about one another is the only way that we can save this fallen world.

❤️
Sean Padilla
patreon.com/cspaniels
seanpadilla@gmail.com

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The Cocker Spaniels Charlotte, North Carolina

I'm a 41-year-old Black dad who likes Prince and Guided by Voices a lot, so I try to make music that splits the difference. I play and sing everything most of the time, but my friends Alan and Stephen help me out sometimes. Please check my stuff out and say hello! ... more

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