Hod And the Helpers

by Hod And the Helpers

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    shipping out on or around July 31, 2017

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about

"Learn to Relax" (Official Video) www.youtube.com/embed/lbYAKIq8LqE

"...An intricate web from the threads of classic AM radio rock. There's a little psychedelia here, some country-rock there, and an unwavering dedication to melody.... floats by in a haze... things get dark and trippy from there."
-PunkNews

“Hod’s bizarre and hilarious take on things makes me LOL, no joke. A figurative descendant of Tiny Tim, who lays himself and his pride on the line so you can finally feel free. Let go, you dummy!”
-Kyle Field (Little Wings / Rodriguez)

"His songs aren’t so much quirky as they are complex. Hulphers wears an invisible costume, a character that is partially comedic, antagonistic and vulnerable, one that is always tough for audiences to gauge just where he’s coming from. 'I love riding that ambiguous razor’s edge line between sincerity and complete sarcasm.'” Hulphers says."
-Good Times Santa Cruz

credits

released April 20, 2017

All songs written by Hod Hulphers
Arrangements by Hod and The Helpers
Produced, engineered, and mixed by Jeff Stultz
Mastered by Noah Georgeson
Vinyl cut by Josh Bonati
Cover painting by Amy Moon
Layout by Jeff Stultz
Crepe Place photo by Jim Needham

Hod Hulphers: lead vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion, bg vocals
Jeff Stultz: elec guitar, percussion, omnichord, synth, bg vocals
AJ Marquez: piano, organ, keys, bg vocals
Dan Potthast: upright bass, lap steel, pedal steel, bg vocals
Greg Braithwaite: drum kit
Malena Zavala: bg vocals
Ariel Plotkin: bg vocals
Briana Bispo: bg vocals on “Don’t Sign Anything"

Recorded in Pescadero, CA at Jeff & Mia’s old place in April 2016. Additional recording at Hod’s, Dan & Shannon’s, Jeff & Mia’s new place.

Special thanks to: Carter Gunn, Adam Bergeron, Amy Moon, Andy Cabic, David Dondero, Kyle Field, James Rickman, for championing us, and allowing their good names to be associated with ours. And a very special thanks to Jeff Stultz for whom this album owes its existence, and I owe my relative sanity through the production process.

Thanks for your support, Hod.

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Hod And the Helpers Santa Cruz, California

Hod And the Helpers is the alt-folk outlet of singer/songwriter Hod Hulphers. Their lovely psych tinged 1970s-sounding songs ask the listener to pay attention to their simplest activities. There’s an empathetic pathos to their music, a self-conscious bitterness rare in modern songwriting. The band features the talents of AJ Marquez, Dan Potthast, Greg Braithwaite, and Jeff Stultz. ... more

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Track Name: Efforts Towards The War
we gave all our efforts to the war
from 1941 to ‘44
because our uncles told us to
and our mothers
said the snow was
much whiter then

well we learned much more
naive and naked
in a leftist snore organization
it troubled mom, my rainbow vibrations
and then came that ration of love
i guess brought on by the white-white snow
no man, no woman
would ever tell or ever know well

well we left them all behind
waving kindly and queenly
we left them all just fine
oh but lately...
i’ve been troubled by the bald man’s plight
of when to run and maybe when to fight
it’s all the mayo in my head
it’s all the sugar in my blood
it’s all the saccharin in my blood

we gave all our efforts to the war
from 1981 to ‘84
because the reagan's told us to
and our mothers
said the blow was
much whiter then
Track Name: Don't Sign Anything
don’t sign anything
keep that conscience clean
because your confidence is everything

and pride, well that ranks among it
us poor, we’re not in habit
of earthy prize or godly pose
they’re the easy battles
for our lazy armies
see we’ve won the war, but lost surprise

surprise surprise we’re on the prowl again
haunting the hapless the hopeless
some are our country men
we are blight, solution
the cut cut hand
we’re waking that urge between thighs
by dancing on tables with knives
so don’t sign anything

well the lake we called it an ocean
it seemed to cause undo commotion
well it’s big, yes, but is it salty?
like bob weir recalling his jerry
and the power of many was cultured by few
so we took back some power so we could be few too

the horned beast gives us the seasons
succeed, we must practice reason
well delight was not an option
cuz sight was revealed to the wicked
and the power of many was taken by few
so we took back some power so we could be few too

surprise surprise we’re on the prowl again
haunting the hapless the hopeless
some are our country men
we are blight, solution
the cut cut hand
we’re waking that urge between thighs
by dancing on tables with knives
so don’t sign anything!!!

build walls, these are some answers
the fall is not that painful
we’ll all just go down burning
us poor we’re not in habit
of earthly prize or godly pose
Track Name: Learn to Relax
if i learn to relax
i’ll hand in all the bad things
for a life full of good things
with chairs and with hats
is that all there is that there is to know

with a wink and a mai tai
oh boy he was my kind of guy

he’s counting dreams he’s only 24
gee there should have been more
and what is water under bridges for
to forget the past it’s such a bore
and no i never learned to keep good score
but why i never knew and how i didn’t know

and how i never learned to relax
and hand in my grand schemes
and forfeit my cool dreams
for chairs and for hats
is that all there is that there is to know

so with a wink and a mai tai
he explained to everyone we knew why
he was my kind of guy

he’s counting dreams he’s only 24
gee there should have been more
and what is water under bridges for
to forget the past it’s such a bore
and no i never learned to keep good score
but why i never knew and how i didn’t know

and why i never learned to relax
and hand in my grand schemes
and forfeit my cool dreams
for chairs and for hats
is that all there was that there was to know
Track Name: He Was Right
when i found out he was right
that the whole world’s got the devil inside

oh the devil inside the devil inside
every single one of us the devil inside

when i found out late last night
the new sensation took over all life
all the snakes it the trees, the songs that we sing
the things that help us forget the way it really is

everybody knows about it
but what you gonna do about it, right
the devil inside

when i found out he was right
i was an unjaded child in search of the wild
tender and mild aware that the wild things
they came with a price

and that price was
just the welfare before
before the payday
well he was right
he never told us why
and then he up and died
when michael sang
Track Name: The Stranger / Resign
how come i must cooperate with him
me and me and my left hand
we share something special
we call her the stranger
and strange ways we work

me and me and my best friends
we write down the unclear
into the favored vine
still i’m good in light of all the bad that i’ve done
and i took my show to the afterglow man behind the bar

now that light has been defined
i’ll crawl back into my glory

so i resigned mine my old fashioned mean times
for the be kind times, those byzantine wine rhymes
and i asked friends if i could be cool
and they said, that sounds too easy

but i tried and it was too hard
yeah i tried and it was too hard
to be good in light of all that bad that i’ve done
so i took my place in the after glow of your ebb and flow
and one must respect that a man well kept he should never know
that he tried too hard to be cool

so i set pace my to furious i bet the race to be won
and though i was not curious you showed me life could be fun
so i resigned mine my digital fun times
to the be kind mines
look, we’re boxing ourselves in
and i asked myself if i could be fun
and i said that sounds too easy

but i tried and it was to hard
yeah i tried and it was too hard
to be good in light of all that bad that i’ve done
so i took my place in the after glow of your ebb and flow
and one must respect that a man well kept he should never know
that he tried too hard
so don’t try too hard
to be fun or cool
Track Name: Vinegarized Eagle
a sizzler buffet, sacramento calay
it was my birthday, at a sizzler buffet
and crawfish hey, it’s not like a needed a reason to stay
but crawfish hey, at a sizzler buffet

it’s alright it’s alright

then i see a sad american bird
the four eyes i think she was the nerd bird
this is not a sad place i said to her
so why are you sad the food’s not bad
the ambiance glad, the prices they’re rad
and the salad bar, hey, well well well
and then the bird said...

‘i wish i was the vinegarized eagle
well as it is i’m just the common seagull’

the chainsaw bear
he’s right over there (where?)
he’s growling, growling
the chainsaw... the chainsaw wears...
the chainsaw wears down the chainsaw bears
Track Name: Franklin Street
there’s this house down on franklin street
with friends next door and the bums were pretty neat
town was near and the dogs were sweet
at that house down on franklin street

well i gave a nickel to a homeless boy
asked, ‘where’s your parents boy and where’s your joy?’
he replied with a lucid nod, he tipped his hat
and disappeared into the fog

down on franklin street, down on franklin

there’s a donut shop, a levy to walk them off
a river were all the skunks and coons talk
what are they talking about? are they talking about me?
i bet they are man, cuz i’m paranoid down on franklin street

down on franklin street, down on franklin

well i could spend all day on that street
because sooner or later you know i‘d meet
greg n’ dan n’ vicki n’ shannon
well i wasn’t plan’n to party so hard

down on franklin street down on franklin
the party’s complete
Track Name: So Many Questions
she asked so many questions
the only one that i couldn’t answer
was how old was i when i first knew
that i was a baby, a man-child
that i was the angel that mom couldn’t kill, adopt, or sell
well, i took it hard, i took wrong
but she was right so i moved on
we were young then, how old? i don’t know

we talked on weekends during summers
of weak friends and babe past lovers
we were akin then we were blood now
we’re at the hip friends where baby food mends

and i don’t hold any answers you don’t already know
Track Name: Warm Place
i touched the warm space that you left behind
it’s a nice place to fall sleep
and with your fallen grace i thee wed
with insight of our shared, well our shared bed

well on a good stretch i’d curl up and cry
and on our bed i’ll lie i’ll lie i’ll lie

i retrieve my body from the dimpled reprieve
i assured the beast that, well, i can still breathe
and with my fallen grace i thee wed again
with the insight of our shared dread

well on a good stretch i’d curl up and die
and on our bed i’ll lie i’ll lie i’ll lie

i touched the warm space that you left behind
Track Name: Spite
don’t need a marksman don’t need a gun
don’t need don’t need anyone
don’t need a pen don’t need a tongue
i’ll shoot you all i’ll write everyone
don’t need no poison don’t need no wine
don’t need a victim you’ve done just fine
i’m a one way street no illusion of empathy
a talk show host on daytime tv

reality, it never caught up with me
humanity, was never my aim to please

cuz i’m a western wizard dream catcher philosophy
i cast mighty spells with no authenticity

frugality, wine and dine me
or forcibly ill take what’s owed me

cuz im a beach house stairway i’m the rising tide
i’m a deep space skylight devoid of sky
i’m the trickle-down theory with the marxist eye
i stole your girl, but I’m real nice guy

oh the humanity it never caught up with me
oh and vanity, was much too hard to please

i need some poison or just some wine
i need a victim you’ll do just fine
i need the left hand to tell the right
applause for the victims and boo for the spite that i’ve caused
for the spite that i’ve caused
Track Name: Call Mommy
with hard bunions on her feet
scarcely anything to eat
these are the women that we meet in the show
they’re spinning round and feeling grand
and hoping that the dancing fans might meet their eye

the feeling’s really hard to beat
but success it’s not complete
until there’s something good to eat in spite of fame
they’re still spinning round and feeling grand
and hoping that the common man might meet their eye

like a fireman or a cowboy is not a far cry for a little boy
or a sports star, or a doctor, nay, more likely a crook, or a street whore
these are some realities
so call mommy, call daddy and show ‘em what you’ve won
and tell ‘em how you’ve done, it’s your life

and with arthritis in both feet
and her dress the bedroom sheet
like a ghost she roams the streets with passing care
still spinning round and feeling grand
and hoping that the common man might meet her eye
please don’t tempt the hand of fate
with expectations you can’t meet,
lest you find this subject state fraught with error
then spinning round and feeling grand
is really your most well played hand extend it forth

to a fireman, or a cowboy, that's not a far cry for a little boy
or a sports star, or the doctor, nay, more likely a crook, or a street whore
these are some realities
so call mommy, call daddy, and show ‘em what you’ve won
and tell ’em how you’ve done, it’s your life
Track Name: White Cluttered Crossings
well i love her

her list was so steep
it begged of a falling
so she falls, and i fall with her

cuz i love her... so what
i still love her... so what

the hole was so deep
the sides marked with fodder
how did we sleep?

on slack bellowed visions
the trade-list lost fine
cursed by the knowing
the knowing that time was lost

but i love her... so what
i love her... so what

white cluttered crossings
the trade list lost fine
i gave her the million
and she spent every dime on lust

well it’s like she could change if she wanted to
no she’s cursed by the plan to change man’s worth

but i love her... so what
i still love her... so what

well it’s like i could change if i wanted to