The Worker Bee

by I Am Not The Universe

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released February 3, 2017

Songs By Billy K. Vian, except Tracks 2, 3 and 6 by Billy K. Vian and Sean White.
Billy K. Vian: Guitar, Vocals.
Sean White: Bass Guitar. Backing Vocals on Track 7. Buzzing on Track 3.
Todd Selby: Drums on Tracks 1, 3, 6, 7. Backing Vocals on Tracks 3, 7. Buzzing on Track 3.
Jonas Oesterle: Drums on Tracks 2, 4, 5.
Sonja Sofya: Synth on Track 2

Tracks 1, 3, 6, 7 recorded by Jake Detwiler at Fresh Produce Studio (412 W. Girard Ave. Philadelphia Pa.).
Tracks 2, 4, 5 recorded by Jake Detwiler and Matt Weber at Gradwell House Studio, (511 Station Ave., Haddon Heights, N.J.).

Mixed by Jake Detwiler.
Mastered by Dave Downham at Gradwell House Studio.

Cover illustration from "Bee-Man" by Steven Arnold, Michael Kamison and Heel on the Press Comics. Philadelphia, PA.
Cover design by Billy K. Vian.



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I Am Not The Universe Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A Politically-charged folk-punk/power-pop collective, I Am Not The Universe sings truth to power and afflicts the comfortable, even outside the prearranged free-speech zone.

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Track Name: Round The Squares
Well, they've been scratching at their heads trying to reckon what's been going wrong
with all these disrespectful kids and exactly where it is they get their ideas from.

But I'm done trying to bring 'round the squares.
They don't wanna be round.
They'd rather drown in their fears.
So, that's just what we'll let them do.
They can blame it all on the Internet and say the
things they never had growing up is how we went bad.
And no one any wiser
Just consumed by moral panic
Sartre's in the attic,
yellowed and torn.

They're searching for an angle everywhere they look,
they think we all got them.
So they barb their words to arm themselves and they close the book
on any nuances.

So, I'm done trying to bring 'round the squares.
They don't wanna be round.
They'd rather sever their own goddamn ears
than listen to the history of seeds they sow.
Same as their parents blaming deviance on rock and roll
And the weight they were told they never bore,
they're gonna bear now passing down that folklore.
And the whole damn scene could have been prevented
If someone taught them how to see through static.
Dylan's Times They Are A-Changin's in the attic
scratched and forgotten.
Track Name: You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Conspiracy Theory
It's a tent revival of the improbable survival of the trickle-down economy.
Here comes the preacher, knows which lines to feed you and how to keep you still hungry.

You make svengalis gurus.
They use you to build YouTube celebrity.

And we've been standing on our heads to see from your perspective, but amazingly, it's left us sparing with the dead:
Brutal and futile.
It's a setup to make us look like the villains of your story.

Now your ruminations on false flag operations make you an exhausting chore.
But you fantasize you're of great interest to spies when you're actually a fucking bore.

Your cloak and dagger distractions
keep your feet from the fire when you're weak. (ain't you always weak?)

And we've been giving you the chance to see
it's a pyramid structure philosophy
it's a slant drilling ideology that drinks all your milkshake
Even Lydon LaRouche knows
how to bring all the boys out to his yard.

You're no hero
You're just a target demo
of that pony and dog show.

But we've been giving you the class to see
what you call freedom is conformity
to a tinfoil haberdashery for solipsistic myopics
who get on the offense
at just the mere mention
of community.
Track Name: The Worker Bee
The tyranny of the industry
rewards your cliched terminology
and punishes originality

It's dangerous when we try to discuss
Our times and our society
For fear we'd offend somebody

It's bullshit, money-making, lowest-common booty-shaking car commercial soundtrack machines.
You can't fool yourself: Buzz Buzz Buzz Buzz Buzz Buzz.

It's an opaque beast with an unhinged jaw
and it swallows all it's never seen before
and excretes neatly right onto the floor.

Bullshit, money-making, lowest-common booty-shaking car commercial soundtrack machines.
You're a minstrel, you're jester, you're a stooge, you're a shill
You ain't no artist, no, you're just a worker bee.

Hiveminded and all excited. The smell of rotting dream
reels 'em in like a penny on a string.
Watch 'em sing.
Watch 'em sing, they go buzzzzzzzz

Formulaic commodity
moves with predictability.
Art's a useless luxury,

Unless it's bullshit, money-making, lowest-common booty-shaking car commercial soundtrack machines.
You can't fool yourself, even if you somehow manage to pull the wool right over me.
You're a minstrel, you're a jester, you're a stooge, you're a shill, you ain't no artist, no, you're just a worker bee.

You can't fool yourself, come on and buzz along with me.
Track Name: The Great Wall of Philadelphia
It's time we built a wall around the country
to keep out all the rubes we stole it from.
But now we need a wall around New Jersey
Because the city's been my home
since 1982
and now there's Mexicans in my Italian Market
they're taking over all my parking
and now how am I to breathe?
Or raise my family
with cilantro and Spanish permeating everything?

So I took to build a wall around Spruce Street
to keep those he/she perverts in one place.
But when I'm home and flipping through my TV
Guess who's on the screen
and in all the news I read?!
We used to call them queens
Now they act just like they're royalty!
Now even bathrooms at the Eagles game
will never be the same
I'll have to question everybody's bodies constantly.

So I resolve to build a wall all around me
and live inside a five by seven tomb.
Just watch the future row ahead without me
'Cause back when I was young
we had restraints on everyone
but more and more as they shake free,
I feel them lock those old chains around me.
And though I wail at City Hall,
it's like I'm talking to a wall

Of course, it could be the wall I built around my eyes and ears and mouth
leaving me feeling shut out.
Track Name: The Wolf
The sparkling song and dance man
hustles and shuffles and shimmies his sham.
His wingtips are plated in gold.
His cupboards are bare and his assets all sold.
So he's putting out a call for the lamb.

Boorish and brash, but he'll make you an offer
he holds out his paw and says "First, you fill up my coffer."
Then he gives you all the answers you want,
and you don't give a damn about the dog that won't hunt.
You let him lead you right to the slaughter.

You think he's strong, just like dad was
when he was mad as hell at you.
You think he's tough just like teacher
who used to beat you after school.

Lives in the corner penthouse of his own tower
Howls from the ledge just to see all you little sheep cower.
He's so used to looking down,
he's forgotten how he's even affixed to the ground.
Thinks the roots were made by the flowers.

And you think he's smart, but not, you know, like, book-smart.
He's more like "street-smart" just like you!
You could be right about that part,
cause he sure made a fool of you.
Track Name: Yes, Only Yes Means Yes
She’s pretty as a picture.
Don’t you just want to frame her?
Put her under glass and on display for you Sad Puppies, you Gamergaters.

Little everyday turns of phrase
demonstrate your need to dominate.
Incidentally, that’s how we see,
it’s a fragile masculinity.

Are you afraid it’ll change what it means to be a man just to tell your sons about consent and that yes, only yes means yes?

When you insist there’s no connection
between your privilege and oppression
you wield denial like a weapon
and you cut off all discussion.

When you metaphorize the score,
you make the rapist feel the victor,
like adorned conquistadors
take by force and say it’s their reward.

Are you afraid it’ll change what it means to be a man just to tell your sons about consent and that yes, only yes means yes?

Yesterday’s mores, clichéd,
can’t repay the lives you’ve destroyed,
but you still say the world’s your oyster, boy,
and boys,
they will be boys.

Are you afraid it’ll change what it means to be a man just to tell your sons about consent and that yes, only yes means yes?
Track Name: Bloviettes
The moon goes out on you all in time, but it moves slow.
Your scars, like stars in the twilight sky, have begun to show.
Your claptrap, bushwhacked skullcap still remains closed
While your talk-fast, yip-yap gums flap all over the radio.

And if it feels right,
you think it must be right.
But it's the end of time for you, bloviettes.

Your poor-aim, short-game, express-train innuendo
glues to your two vocal chords and it forms your concrete tuxedo.
Your past spat falls flat, Rush, Pat, in the new scene.
In abandoned land's lone and level sands, you can reign supreme.

And if it feels right, you think they'll all think you're right.

But ain't you never learnt no chess?
Don't you know where things you say could move them next.
We're not the reactionary set
to whom you're used to being marketed.
It's no wonder you talk so apocalyptic.
It's the end of time for all you bloviettes.