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Into the Future Backwards

by Milk Carton Superstars

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Name Tag (free) 02:20
Let me be your civil servant, let me wear that shirt and tie, tax you with the best intentions, let me look you in the eye. I wanna lead you through the process, I wanna tell you what to bring, make sure you got the information, I wanna cover everything. May not see a raise for ages, but thank you for paying my wages. There will be red tape as we both know, but I'll try to tie it into a pretty bow. I'm not complaining, I'm not crying, it's my job to empathize, I know you really don't dislike me, you just hate what I symbolize.
Genius Redneck (free) 03:20
Get out your books, spit out that gum, we're gonna introduce the new curriculum, you won't learn it all but you might remember some. Philosophy, religion too, Greeks and Romans to name a few, Buddhists and Taoists and a carpenter Jew. Hey professor, where you goin'? We got some kids in here who think you're all-knowin'. After all this wind, the answer's still blowin'. Now we were taught to raise our hand, when we heard something we didn't understand, before ingesting someone's mental contraband. But now we live in a peculiar age, he who talks loudest is deemed a sage, high-caliber bullets points on a digital page. Hey professor, why you leavin'? We got some kids in here who are eager to be achievin'. After all these truths, we're still all make-believin'. Take out your pencil, put away your notes, I hope you memorized all of Bartlett's quotes, this ain't no time for any cozy anecdotes. Do what you will with all the lessons you'll forget, your sense of humor's your only safety net, time's up, but you're still not finished yet. Hey professor, what's your hurry? We got some kids in here and the future's looking blurry. After all this testimony we're not sure there is a jury.
Major Minor (free) 02:19
You know I'm right, most of the time. Well, not many times, but clearly sometimes. And I know about the common sense vaccine, they drop it in the water from here to Abilene. There's video of all you do. Not only that, but all that you think about too. Tiny bio-cameras record and save every bongo rhythm and Super-8 brainwave. This information is kept underground, beneath a vacated strip mall on the outskirts of some unknown town. The apocalypse is a regional event. Don't wait for the earthquake, look for the revival tent. The Washington Monument sinks one inch each day. They slip sugar packets under when the tourists look away. These are not raindrops. Those are not stars. Those aren't really cops driving 'round in those fast patrol cars. And I know about the frequency they use, they've got some secret network stretching from here to Syracuse. These facts will be categorically denied. Forget that you saw me. Anyway, my hands are tied.
I got a country in my eyes, made of gasoline and french fries, full of family we don't recognize. I got a country assembled downtown, the chairs are leather and the table is round, they're counting voters by the pound. Indivisible is invisible, indivisible is invisible. I got a country at my work, crazy-ass job gonna drive me berserk, complaining is my favorite perk. I got a country on TV, don't know what it is but it's season three, sell me something before I go pee. Indivisible is invisible, indivisible is invisible. I got a country catching on fire, highway to hell driving with a flat tire, airing out the laundry through an amplifier. I got a country, I got a country, I got a
Monkey Bars (free) 03:23
Way back in kindergarten, I used to stress out all the time. Deadlines on my finger paintings and all those monkey bars to climb. But then I graduated to a proper grade. I made some friends and those old fears began to fade. But then some new fears came and took their place. First grade was heavy, man, and you could see it on my face. Well then some years went by, but I really felt no different underneath. Every time a girl would smile I'd think that I had something in my teeth. But then this one girl came and colored in my book. I said something to make her laugh and that was all it took. But even now I worry, is it all for real? I wish my brain would shut up, but I can't help how I feel. Now the mirror tells me fables while the calendar just hangs there skeptically. Guess I'm comfortable within myself as much as anyone can be. But here's what I keep thinking as I'm kicking this bass drum: life is what you hang on to or what you're hanging from. But who am I to say for sure? I'm just a little kid. I don't know how I got here, it's just something that I did.
Socks in the Dryer (free) 02:32
Where were you the other night? Your brother got into that fight. Your sister stole a police car, while I was left holding the mason jar. People looking all around, I was the new fool all over town. People looking with a flashlight, where'd you go the other night? Where were you the other day? Your mother made a big buffet. Your father offered me a job, while I was eating corn on the cob. Aunts and uncles shuffling in, I was the new fool making them grin. Aunts and uncles shuffling out, where'd you go? I got my doubts. Where were you when I got home? That wasn't your hair stuck in the comb. Those weren't my socks left in the dryer, now I'm left singing in the choir. Preacher preaching all about, "Step into the light and out of doubt." Preacher preaching, "Turn the cheek." I hope he's right about the meek.
Button Knife (free) 05:01
You don't drive at night, you don't pray to stay, so take my heart before it starts, and nail it to the floor, life's a bore, an open sore. Just scratch it, 'till it's infected, and then inject it, so easily born again. At first it hurts, then comes dessert, another happy birth. But if I had a choice, a single voice, I think I'd never leave. Three days later the judge calls out, "You answer to the people, let there be no doubt!" Lucifer buys a car, it's a Volvo. Saint Anthony laughs, "Oh, hell no!" And a cold moon hangs in the middle of the night. I got my sleeping bag, tooth brush and button knife. At a bus stop, Jesus sings the blues, "How many more times will my name be used?" I have a plastic plan, drawn here for your pots and pans. My dishwasher has four on the floor, chrome Dixie Cups from heaven, raining out the back door. So take a seat and have something sweet. Turn off the TV, the real fun is out in the street. Here they come, completely done, all in your favorite colors, keep the box just for fun. I have a plastic plan drawn here for all you've lost. Your heart, your mind, your soul, and all at a reasonable cost.
Weigh Station (free) 02:58
All my sisters were truck drivers, CB handles and open roads. Mom was a stay-at-home dispatcher, her girls grown up and hauling loads. I kept the TV on all night, told my Dad we was doing alright, and out of mind meant out of sight. When I was old enough to listen, they played me records by Red Sovine. Sometimes I'd ride along cross-country, watching for Phantom 309. I heard them talking when things got tight, said it was time to put things right, but out of mind meant out of sight.
Dare I Say (free) 02:06
Hippie and Punk took a road trip, a generational joy ride, tuning in the radio, listening to Charlie Pride. And all the Emo kids are lifting weights, trying to impress their skinny dates, Americana boys and girls are turning up their amps, just like The Cramps. Hippie and Punk hit some traffic outside of Funky Town, they were supposed to take a detour, but a raver kicked the street sign down. And all the Emo kids are picking fights, while their dates reread Wuthering Heights, Americana boys and girls are using smoke machines, playing "The Six Teens". Jim: Hey Guy, man, you hear about this? Some people talking 'bout four, five million years ago, some apes with bipedal rhythm got together and formed the Evolutionary Blues Band. And they first gigged around the the African circuit before going world-wide in the higher arenas of consciousness. Whatcha think about that, man? What? Guy: Groovy! Blew my mind, tell you what! Yeah!
Railroad Earth (free) 02:41
His eyes are glowing and his teeth are flashing, in the middle of a beard made for cookie crumb stashing, and he points to the speaker with a ball point pen and says, "Bob Dylan never had a good friend to say, put that harmonica down, you're a genius with words and phrases but you're ruining the sound." And it's quiet in the coffee house except for "Tangled Up in Blue", coming from the stereo and a conversation or two, so everyone's within earshot as he says it again, "Bob Dylan never had a good friend, Bob Dylan never had a good friend, Bob Dylan, oh, Bobby." Some prefer the Freewheelin' to anything else he's done, others would rather revisit Desire than Highway 61, but none of it matters to this guy, from folk to born again, cuz Bob Dylan never had a good friend, he said, "Bob Dylan never had a good friend, oh Mr. Zimmerman, put the harmonica down, brother!"
Butter and Bread (free) 05:08
The trees are picking up signals from pollinated satellites, the story of an eagle secretly afraid of heights. It don't mean nothing, it's just my butter and bread. I took apart an old camera, searching for Indian souls, tucked inside was a treaty burned with cigarette holes. It don't mean nothing, it's just my butter and bread. Hello, good morning, here's the plan, it makes no sense but you understand, handing a brick to a drowning man. I dreamed I went up to heaven, shag carpet covered the clouds, I asked around but they told me, God just doesn't like crowds. It don't mean nothing, it's just my butter and bread. Hello, good morning, here's the plan, it makes no sense but you understand, handing a brick to a drowning man.
Goodbye Cream Cheese (free) 03:28
Going to the laundry room, ran out of drawers a day too soon, my downstairs neighbor folding Ts, she asks if I heard the commotion when the motion lights exploded as the rabbi drove into the trees. Says it was random, he hit a phone poll, an open bottle. The next day the landlord leaves, tells his wife, "Goodbye cream cheese," aims his RV north on 75, he leaves behind a handy man with a broken back and a rubber band holding a sponge above his one good eye. She says he's random, just say the word cops, he's sweating raindrops. My neighbor is an ex-debutante, born above a restaurant in September 1973, her mother married a congressman who put her on a 12-year plan, and that 13th year was quite a doozy. Oh she was random, bourbon and lipstick, stiletto mind trick.
Please Keep Smiling (free) 02:11
You've got the stamina of aging gravy Mr. Bouncing Bookshelf Browser, got a pretty kitty waiting when her schedule allows her, stay awake by eating quotes, daily supplements of notes, spare time pencilled in the back pocket of your trousers. Ah ha ha ha. So won't you please keep smiling? Won't you please keep smiling? And the plans you ate for breakfast are not sitting well with your dinner, and your pretty kitty's dating Christ and now thinks you're a sinner, all your dreams are in decay and there's nothing left to say, but the letter in the mailbox says you may already be a winner! Wah ha ha ha. So won't you please keep smiling? Won't you please keep smiling? Ha ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha...
I want to tell you a story, but I don't know how it ends, perhaps you might like to listen, I guess it really depends. I give you a hero, with a confident smile, ready to stand trial. Of course there must be a woman, somewhere in the mix, and though he knows something's broken, he's not sure what to fix. And she stares at her cell phone, sitting in a window booth, having coffee with the truth. Wish I could tell you what happens, but you could probably guess, picture a certain arrangement, you'd be right more or less. If you hear what I tell you, in-between what I've said, listen to that instead.
I came upon a human cone yesterday, standing in the left lane, waving us away, merge right, merge right, well isn't that what they all say? Photographs are messages dipped in gloss, pay attention now so you can overcome the loss, right now, right now, oh can we have just one more day, boss? Everybody wants to play with matches, everybody wants to head downtown, everybody wants to keep a secret, and hear their voice make a sound.
Special Features (free) 02:34
I saw the future, came out the other day, straight to DVD. Had the usual special features, and a fortune teller's commentary. I want to write a song Leonard Cohen might cover, hold a seance to recover unsung lyrics of the other, I want to dust off some bones and reference The Bible, hold Abraham libel. Here are some loved ones I was never meant to know, branches broken long ago. Here are some voices I've been trying on for size, and some different color eyes, with all their visions crystallized, like clocks without hands, synchronized. I saw the future, and I don't know if it's true, but I think it saw me too. I was the one searching for meaning, I found myself leaning on anything halfway redeeming. Someone left me a letter, conspicuously old-fashioned, that's how they got the past in.
Let It Be Known (free) 02:23
Let our mothers and fathers rejoice, we have food and a roof and a beer, and we have an idea what's to follow, let them know peace when they think of us here. Let our old friends' burdens be lifted, let them know redemption and grace, we'll have room for them at our table, let them know know peace when they come to this place. Let our children our nieces our nephews know the world for its laughter and light, we're thinking of them as they make their choices, let them know peace if they don't get it right. Let our mothers and fathers rejoice, we have food and a roof and a beer, and we have an idea what's to follow, let them know peace when they think of us here.


Into the Future Backwards was recorded between February and November 2010 at Village Antique Mall in Mt Dora, FL. Guy - guitars, bass, keyboards, mandolin, banjo, lap steel, sitar, vibra-slap, wooden frog, tambourine, shaker, commentary. Jim - vocals, drums, harmonica, bongos, glockenspiel, tambourine, shaker, mouth percussion. Recorded, mixed and co-produced (along with MCS) by Ken "Teeter" White. Ken joined Guy and Jim during the ruckus on Dare I Say and the chorus on Please Keep Smiling. The chorus and handclaps on Let It Be Known were provided by The Haze and The Claptones. All songs written by Milk Carton Superstars.


released March 26, 2011


See the video for Name Tag here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z-RIWPbxVM

See the video for Major Minor here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0oIPM-3Nk8

See the video for Please Keep Smiling here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMf-js6MbNI

Marc With a C listed Into the Future Backwards among his 25 favorite records of 2011 on this episode of his show, The Real Congregation: nerdyshow.com/2012/01/shows/the-real-congregation/the-real-congregation-our-favorite-records-of-2011-part-one-011012/

MCS visited Front Porch Radio at WPRK a couple days before the Into the Future Backwards CD release show. Julie Norris and Leah Fairchild talked to the guys and spun two songs in between a couple in-studio performances, including the unveiling of The Last Pigeon in America. Listen here: frontporchradio.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/peace-love-and-rock-nroll/

Ranelle Golden had some nice things to say about Into the Future Backwards on OrlandoBands.com: orlandobands.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/milk-carton-superstars/



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Milk Carton Superstars Orlando, Florida

Milk Carton Superstars are the songwriting team of Guy Larmay (guitar, bass) and Jim Myers (vocals, drums) doing a fair approximation of a rock & roll band. People generally like them. They’ve written, recorded and released 93 songs since 2009. Most are made of guitars, drums and some reasonable words. MCS are often joined on stage by bassist Jeff Boyce and violinist Jennie Landau. ... more

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