thedonproject
music / exempli gratia

This was probably the best chance at doing something pretty good musically. I sang with Ian, Morgan and Mark. It was about politics, mostly. Also, it was about making interesting music more than about making nice music. Sometimes I miss it. We had some potential. But we were lazy. Or maybe I was lazy.

Releases:
5-song demo (CDR)
Catapult the Propaganda (EP CDR)
Self-titled mini-album (CDR)

Videos:
Exempli Gratia YouTube

Shows:
2/7/07, The Nectar, Seattle, WA with Cougar and Fires to the East
10/27/06, The Blue Moon, Seattle, WA with Juhu Beach, H is for Hellgate.
10/14/06, Jules Maes Saloon, Seattle, WA with The 39 Steps and Moc Moc.
9/10/06, Lower Naches Grange, Gleed, WA with CAB, Sideline Heroes, and With a Bullet.
9/9/06, The Halcyon, Edmonds, WA with Megasapien, The Last Slice of Butter, Wave Motion Gun.
8/18/06, Sip Underground, Salem, OR with The Black Black Black, The Last Slice of Butter, and Lifeboat.
8/12/06, Marsh Madness, Elkton, OR with brindle, ghost motor, wax edison, roaring lions, pure country gold, quarry to the war, farmers almanac, madraso, slowhawk, merrick foundation and more.
8/14/06, Empyrean Coffee, Spokane, WA with If David Were a Thug and Kid Theodore.
8/10/06, El Corazon, Seattle, WA with Kane Hodder, Fall From Grace, Stalin's War.
7/29/06, On The House, Seattle, WA with The Blank Tapes, The Maldives and Sean McGrath's Band.
3/10/06, The Blue Moon, Seattle, WA with Lake of Falcons and Gazebo of Destruction.
2/11/06, El Corazon, Seattle, WA with The Listening, The Audiobiography, The Four Colour Process, and Edisyn.
1/29/2006, The Central, Seattle, WA with The Draft and Axis & Allies.
12/16/2005, The Armory, Olympia, WA with many bands. (Forgotten Children's Fund Benefit)
12/10/2005, The LAB, Seattle, WA with Woke Up Falling, The Four Colour Process, You May Die in the Desert.
11/18/2005, Ground Zero, Bellevue, WA with Joules, You May Die in the Desert, and Bird Show of North America.
11/8/2005, The High Dive, Seattle, WA with The Senate Arcade.
11/9/2005, The Funhouse, Seattle, WA with Motorama, Paris Green and The Urgency.
10/12/2005, KTUB, Kirkland, WA with Jade Ran Away and Menehune.
10/8/2005, Bartertown, Seattle, WA with Division of Planes, runswith2horses.
8/6/2005, The Paradox, Seattle, WA with Boss Tweeter, Hollis Brown, and November Trials.
8/2/2005, Bartertown, Seattle, WA with Ambitious Career Woman, End of a Year, and Three Fifteen.
7/2/2005, The Back Porch, Bothell, WA with Ellen Says No, Red from Ryewire, Camille Bloom and Kristin Egel. (American Breast Cancer Society Benefit)
6/17/2005, Blue Moon, Seattle, WA with Xander and Four Hour Skies.
6/25/2005, Kickstand Cafe, Tacoma, WA with Masks Phantoms and Juhu Beach.
4/12/2005, Living Room, Seattle, WA with Eyes Like Knives and Blue Light Curtain.
4/2/2005, House Part-ay!, Seattle, WA with Juhu Beach and Joules.
3/26/2005, Bartertown, Seattle, WA with Woke Up Falling.
12/22/2004, The Rendezvous, Seattle, WA with Juhu Beach.
12/18/2004, The Blue Moon Tavern, Seattle, WA with Juhu Beach and Sockeye.
10/6/2004, The Punkin House, Seattle, WA with Organic, Little Hand of the City, and Dignan.
10/2/2004, Sunset Tavern, Seattle, WA with The Maldives, Coconut Cool Outs, Klassy Knights and Dark Sargeant.
9/30/2004, Studio Seven, Seattle, WA with The Fall of Troy, Blueprint Car Crash, Bird Shaped Holes in the Sky, and Mon Frere.
9/22/2004, The Crocodile Cafe, Seattle, WA with [Haoke] and Patrol.
11/21/2003, 2nd Ave. Pizza, Seattle, WA with Fall of Troy, Life in Braille, Five Good Reasons.
6/15/2003, Orpheum Records, Seattle, WA (store closing wake)
6/01/2003, The Central, Seattle, WA with Edisyn.
4/07/2003, 2nd Ave. Pizza, Seattle, WA with Never Again, Fall of Troy.
1/04/2003, Ground Zero, Bellevue, WA with Suffering & the Hideous Thieves, Gatsby's American Dream, Supine to Sit.

Songs:
A Legacy of Trash

About my dad and how he collects garbage and how I like that and hate that at the same time. (2003)
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Piles of pink insulation bury mismatched, rusty wheels and bald, cracking tires on top of unusable American pistons or whole automobile engines or whole automobiles.

Elk antlers in boxes of various electrical parts soaked with used motor oil dripping slowly onto a soil covered floor.

A stack of two-by-fours in front of the shelves set up for organization and filled with CB radios and random chemical compositions.

Tools everywhere but just try to find the one you need under hardwood flooring or recycling or leftover carpeting or plumbing supplies or my old drum set or my destiny.

I'm sure that this will come in handy some day. Let's hold on to it forever.

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Baja Canada

Probably my favorite exempli song. Why the coasts promote social awareness and why coastal states should secede from the union. (2006)
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There's hope out by the oceans, and little in between.

Not carried by containers unloaded by large orange cranes.

Trucks and their trailers can't bring us peace.

There's nothing in the water, nothing in the air. We bring it together with meetings by the piers.

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Epic Battle Scenes

The break up song to end all break up songs. Supposedly. (2003)
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Fourteen thousand miles wasn't far enough for answers to questions I'd still ask.

Late at night in the alley on Blanchard. Under streetlights, we touch one last time. My car is filled with the last of my things. I don't want to leave everything.

I'm sure that the chemicals on this photo are terrible for my lips but some things I just don't care about anymore and photos and memories are all I have left.

My hopes were dashed on rocky cliffs in Santa Cruz where you carved "pals 3/96" when that part fell into the ocean one tumultuous winter.

So I prepare anesthesia. Scalpel. Four inch vertical incision. Thrust in my fist. Stitch up emptiness.

Because second chances may come never.

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Even Bikers Need Espresso

A love song for Seattle and all our quirks. (2004)
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This is the biggest small town I've been to. That skyscraper may as well be a general store. Instead of many post offices we might as well send our mail from just one.

Thirty miles to the eighties in any direction. Past wants in the north and east or needs in the south.

If this bus would ever get here, I might sneak on and sit next to the crazy guy.

He'd ramble on about the untouchables drinking coffee behind glass as the world passes by.

And I'd tend to agree.

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Freeze, You Rebel Scum

Get up and do something, this song says. (2003)
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Traveling with eyes closed doesn't keep you from harm. Ignoring the sights is the same as blindness.

Change doesn't start spontaneously it begins with one voice speaking out.

Our beliefs and knowledge mandate action since these problems should be solved by those that see them.

Start a band or a venue or a zine or a label. Start solving problems.

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Half Of Us Are Below Average

Questioning the corporate definition of acceptable looks and fashion. (2006)
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There's nothing to wear. The hand on the corner of the closet looks so weary

through pre-sunrise light. Perhaps if this body were less average

our externally imposed self-loathing wouldn't drive us to drastic measures like surgical retail therapy.

That image almost obtainable mostly impossible is everywhere.

Just wear makeup. Just start a diet. Just wear the right clothes. Just start working out. Just stop being yourself.

What if the image was erased? Could we move past categories to individual definitions of attractiveness despite the opinions of others? That might be beautiful.

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I Guess I'll Go On

Early in the band, we were planning on writing nice songs about little moments. like stepping off your porch into a cold morning and feeling awesome about it. (2003)
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Close the door behind me. Off the porch step, morning cold shocks me into involuntary smiling.

I love the way the sky looks right now. It's still so cold and I'm an hour late for work but I don't mind. My breath condenses in cold air as I just stop.

Partly cloudy skies on fall mornings. Lows in the forties. No one notices but me.

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If You Don't Help Me, I'll Be Dead By Tonight

A quote from "The Professional." Also, a song about unity. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. (2004)
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Are these grey spots blank spots between poles of white and black or are they the logical point of consensus?

When I stand up to speak out I know someone has my back. There's really no us or them, just us working to figure all this out.

Continued questions tear down misconceptions as we travel toward common goals down roads not always straight.

When I stand up to speak out I know someone has my back. There's really no us or them, just us working to figure all this out.

No matter what, I am not alone. No matter what, I am not alone. No matter what, we are not alone. No matter what, we are not alone.

When we stand up and speak out we know someone has our back. There's really no us or them. There's really no them at all.

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John 11:35
[No recording available]
We never recorded this one. It was our attempt at a anti-religion song. Well, not anti, but questioning, at least. John 11:35 reads "Jesus wept." Our idea was to make christians feel guilty about blatantly disregarding their own holy book. Like those westboro baptist idiots. (2006)
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I guess the sixth commandment is "thou shalt not kill unless justified by the logic of faith."

Please save us from "Please save me." Please save us.

Work with us to make things better for those who don't need to be saved.

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Kill The Whale

The toughest exempli song. so much yelling. A metaphor about how capitalism is Moby Dick. (2002)
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We pull the oars that drive the ship to sights in the distance we don't need.

We follow orders barked by the captain. We follow, we follow blindly.

(At the expense of everything, produce, consume, destroy)

Want it, need it, buy it, own it. (Kill the whale.) We will not want it, we will not need it, we will not buy it, we will not kill it, we will not kill it, kill the whale. (We can turn aside.)

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Minus The Clown Shoes

One way to live your life: an effort to attract as much attention as possible. There is no bad publicity. (2005)
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The mids are in the middle. The microphones are already exactly right. Try that note in tune next time.

That tattoo may not be the best idea. Not everyone has to notice. Not everyone needs to be impressed.

You jump in with both feet and an admirable lack of fear or consequences.

But ultimately the path we take is determined by conditions we choose to ignore or accept, not by the footsteps of others before us. Not by the footsteps of others before us.

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My Secret Power Is Invisibility

I’m really good at not being seen in large social gatherings. I’m working on being not really good. (2006)
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The cool thing about being invisible is that you never have to remember anyone's name.

If they can't see you, then just maybe you can't see them

and you'll be safe from projectile weapons. And everything else.

You can go anywhere and no one will notice. No one. No one at all.

The problem with being invisible is that no one knows you and you start to fade away.

Trying not to fear is like trying not to feel and that's just not possible for anyone so take small steps and learn to find safe places in visible life.

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Not So Much

When she started saying "Not so much," I knew that there’d one day be a day when I never saw her again. (2002)
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Late in the morning, we're driving through fires in Montana. I fell asleep at the wheel, you steered us into crashing with the throttle wide open. You weren't badly hurt but I am almost dying.

You heal quickly it seems. I need a better surgeon or need to be a better patient. Be more patient.

A few hours lead to new days. A few hours lead only forward.

Late in the morning. I will never understand. Late in the morning. I will never understand.

Late in the morning, we're driving through fires in Montana. I fell asleep at the wheel, you steered us into crashing with the throttle wide open. You weren't badly hurt but I am almost dying.

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Our Heroes Are Scruffy Hooligans

A reminder that we should be playing music to get a message across, to improve our lives, and to create meaning. (2005)
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Don't we want this message heard? The chance of action from the widest possible audience. Is it possible to remain honest?

Don't we want to improve our lives? Quit our dead ends, get insurance and warmth and credit. Do we need to always just make do? Can't we afford the finer things once in a while?

Don't we want this to mean something? To the kids who close their eyes singing along so loud.

Shouldn't we aim to inspire? Should we inspire ourselves? Do the "minor" sacrifices of major league exposure warrant the costs of the change?

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Settling For Groceries

An old saying at Bartertown, when it came time to decide what was for dinner. That was a fun place to live. (2003)
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This is far too much food at far too late at night.

We spend the most time between rooms or throwing things.

We'll clean up the game room someday. The neighbors have not complained.

The gash on your head from the drain pipe will heal eventually.

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That's It, I'm Moving North

One of the o.g. political songs. Written at the beginning of the Iraq war. Which continues today, of course. (2003)
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Everywhere three colors. Forced American pride breeds feelings of fear led by men in suits.

Right now anywhere, anywhere looks better.

Problems stem from home. Scapegoats are mirrors. Though blame is easy, responsible is hard.

(Spoken part about 9/11 and Palestinian liberation or something.)

In years to come, faded flag stickers will remind us we could change this by not being afraid to talk to strangers.

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The White House Lawn Is Impeccably Groomed

Another political song, this time about encouraging dissenting voices. Back in the Bush era, it seemed like no one was ever protesting anything. It seems like that now, too, I suppose. (2003)
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It appears that solid theories form fertile soil to plant this seed for all.

Pull out the weeds that choke back the growth of our beautiful idea.

Nothing else we know of will fit here.

What is this disease that hollows out our creation? All strangling weeds torn out at the roots should ensure its survival. Yet it withers, it withers without them.

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Treatise On Formally Undecideable Propositions (The Math Song)

Kurt Goedel used math to prove that math can’t solve everything. There always exists one proposition that requires something else. (2003)
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There exists a rigid system of axiomatic thinking. In this framework, truth is just logical deduction.

However such a creation is necessarily incomplete, for certain statements are unprovable within the system.

When one comes across such situations where logic fails and no postponement will lead to conclusion,

Chances are the answer is already known.

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Unrestricted Mobile Food Vehicle

Regarding wage slavery and how it’s not the slaves’ fault. (2005)
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Isn't the point to look forward to Mondays not 65 and a cheap watch and cheap goodbyes over cake and pats on the bent and crooked back?

Vending machine breakfasts, mobile lunches and Top Ramen for days prolong the endless waiting for something better like weekends, retirement, or worse.

Perhaps the problem is not the job but the systemic degradation of the work of the lower classes for the betterment of those already better off. Because it turns out only sewage trickles down.

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