Sentinel of Disorder

by Stolen Sheep

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"Sentinel of Disorder" is a loosely threaded narrative of the discontent of youth and the regrets of age.

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released June 2, 2009

Written, performed, and recorded by George Middlebrooks from 2003-2009. Recorded at Depth of Field Studio #1 & #2 in Knoxville TN.



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Stolen Sheep Knoxville

Stolen Sheep is George Middlebrooks (vocals, guitar), Jesse Wagner (bass, vocals), John Baker (guitar, vocals) and Gray Comer (drums). Originating as Middlebrooks' home recording project, Baker, Comer and Wagner came on board in 2010 to bring old songs to life onstage, and to collaborate on the creation of new songs. ... more

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Track Name: Nod + Lean
The local scene’s lost all of its allure.
There is nothing here worth waiting for.
We nod and lean against the exit door–
The local scene left town a year ago.

All your favorite bands have broken up,
Run out of fans or just run out of luck.
There is no hope for a resurgence, see–
There is no general sense of urgency.

The local scene crawls with attention whores,
And cynicism’s just a cover for
A lack of anything worth fighting for.
The local scene’s lost all of its allure.

So we’re waiting for a plan to drop from the sky,
To show us all of our mistakes we’ve made in time.
We’ve been looking for a trade-in for a life.
We should be eating blocks of ice and spitting fire.
Track Name: Moving Slowly
Heard about what happened here last night.
That kind of news always seems to reach me too late.
(I try not to let it bother me)

Heard about your back, you got it knifed-
That kind of thing happens to the best of us losers.
You know that is how it’s always been.

Saw you wrote a letter from the south-
That kind of thing I don’t need to read- (embarrasses
me, even when I’m sitting by myself)

Looking at the stars up in the sky,
They all seem to sit and stare at me all night, mockingly
Moving slowly so I can’t see with my eyes.
Track Name: Explode
I can hardly see the world
Through this filthy camera lens.
I can’t afford not to take my leave.
I forgot to learn to live.

From one station to the next,
From our home onto the road-
Thinking quickly, passing tests,
We wait for something to explode.

And though I do not need the speed,
I will still be staying up until something breaks my pace.
Still unsure what carries me,
I feel only what I know is keeping me in place.

From one station to the next,
From familiar to unknown-
Somehow always we connect.
We wait for something to explode.
Track Name: Report From the Left End
In the skies of Los Angeles, I can't find the blue.
There are colors here I've never seen in nature.
I'll paint them for you.

On the streets of Los Angeles, even losers will shine.
Driving rockets round the freeways like Knievel,
Temporarily blind.

And not the sprawl is spreading out into the desert and onto the cliffs.
Flames feed themselves from St. Anne's breeze.
I'd like to live here but the fear of shaking under me eclipses desire,
And tomorrow I must leave.

Walking around in Los Angeles, I'm a ghost in the crowd.
Chronic conversations keeping them so busy,
Never keeping them down.

I know the atmosphere is clearer here than I remember it was at home.
And even though I smoke, I still can breathe.
The hat I bought today is offering me no reprieve from a sun
That shines this viciously.

In the sky of Los Angeles, I can't find the blue.
It's a study here in human misbehavior.
I'll write it for you.
Track Name: Idiot Winter
Time is slowing down.
The numbers on the wall are smaller.
And I've been sitting more.
My body needs to thaw before I can move.

The red is sinking low.
They're salting 40 (preparing for snow).
But I'm predicting none.
The air is dry and I saw some sky today.

(Just one time, I was fine)

Consumers get it done.
White bread and milk and beer are all but gone.
They fall so easily.
Nobody here will dare be caught outside.

And our spirits are thinner:
It's an Idiot Winter.
No one here is a winner
In an Idiot Winter.
Track Name: The Last Laugh
I thought of you yesterday-
I sat alone and watched the clock.
I called it a wasted day
For not the first time in my life.

I always get carried away,
Preoccupied with what I’ve lost.
Some way to waste away,
Missing all the time I’ve got.

I think of all the money I spent, for people to give a shit-
But who will have the last laugh?
I can’t tell right now.

I wrote to you yesterday-
I burned the letter in the pool.
I was teeming with things to say,
But thought it best to just play dumb.

I’m taking care of myself, except for my mental health.
Since when did you ever care enough to see me through?
I’m running on instinct now. How dare you to tell me how
Dying in the sun is not what’s best for me?

I thought of you yesterday-
The letter I never sent still burns.
I stand in the dirt and think,
Surmising how the system works.

I figured it all before you fled through the swinging door:
This is my one subversion of my shameful past.
And you’re still stuck between a life and a broken scene.
But who will have the last laugh?
I can’t say for sure.
Track Name: Beast
What is this beast that steals my sleep?
Why can't the rate of dreams be chosen?
I need a voice so I can speak here where every stirring is a commotion.

So now I spend my nights alone,
Skimming books and validating code.
I'm a friend of the coffee pot and cup, waiting here for the morning to show up.

And what I've found in these pages makes me true.
(A silent TV, miming in the room)
I've evolved to a seven-digit code, cryptic labels and passwords no one knows

Until I don't know if I'm still alive.
I don't know if the Beast is in my mind.

And when I finally sleep, I dream that I'm
Shaken up by the bumps on US 1.
Going south, but the ocean's on the right.
(Birds above flying backward in the sky)

And I've forgotten every feature of your face.
I've burned negatives, destroying every trace
But the one left that I could not access
(Never meant to be seen in consciousness).

And I don't know if I'm still alive.
I don't know if the Beast is in my mind.
Track Name: Cross That River
And we will ask the Sentinel of Disorder
Exactly what's the matter.

If I could only cross that wicked river,
Then maybe I'd be happier.
Track Name: Made of Plastic
I've found the correlation of fact and fiction.
The fiction's me; the fact whatever's left.
I'd speak to you but I can't find the diction.
To take your time, you make it feel like theft.

You attacked me like a Krsna at the airport.
I read your book – now, how much will it cost?
You hit me, left me reeling like a crack whore
Begging ten more dollars from my boss.

I made myself: I'll surround myself with no one.
(I have found that's who I like the most)
I'll stand up and let myself be counted,
But I am so afraid to raise my voice.

You act so tough, you must be made of plastic.
It's been so long; I'd hoped we hadn't changed.
I'm calming down; you seem to be so spastic.
The empty feeling, life's become so strange.