Embarrassment of Riches

by Malcontent

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about

Malcontent (1994-1995) was a short-lived indie pop quartet from San Francisco. The band formed after leader, Larry O. Dean's previous band, The Fussbudgets splintered with the departure of co-songwriter, Chris Lehmann. Drummer James Coil had played with The Fussbudgets in their last phase (live and on the sad fearful playful excited EP), as had bassist, Ned Doherty; Doherty was a constant presence in all of Dean's SF recordings, including those found on his solo debut, Throw the Lions to the Christians. Guitarist Tony Maxwell was a friend of Larry's from high school in Flint, Michigan, who had relocated to the Bay Area to attend graduate school at UC Berkeley. Maxwell brought a tighter pop feel to his guitar parts (in opposition to The Fussbudgets' more shambolic work ethic), as well as a tendency toward bluesiness in his leads, most noticeably on “Perversity.”

The band gigged infrequently in the Bay Area, recording a four-song EP dubbed Embarrassment of Riches with producer and all-around nice guy Greg Freeman at his illustrious (and well named) Lowdown Studios. (Freeman had also worked on some Fussbudgets tracks.) The four principals were augmented by Christine Wall (Chris Isaak, The Movie Stars, El Sob) on vocals, and Sheila Schat (Dandeline, Tiny, Liar) on violin and viola. Embarrassment of Riches was briefly released on cassette in 1995, but its four tracks were later appended on Dean's solo debut, delayed but ultimately released in 1997, after he had moved to Chicago and started the band, Post Office.

Recorded 1995 with Greg Freeman at Lowdown, San Francisco, CA. Remastered July 2011 with Wally Sound, Oakland, CA.

credits

released March 20, 2012

James Coil: drums
Larry O. Dean: guitar, piano, vocals
Ned Doherty: bass, vocals
Tony Maxwell: 'lead' guitar, vocals
Sheila Schat: cello, violin, viola
Christine Wall: backing vocals

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Malcontent San Francisco, California

Malcontent (1994-1995) was a short-lived indie pop quartet from San Francisco. The band formed after leader, Larry O. Dean's previous band, The Fussbudgets splintered. The band gigged infrequently in the Bay Area, recording a four-song EP, Embarrassment of Riches with producer Greg Freeman at Lowdown Studios. It was briefly released on cassette in 1995. ... more

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Track Name: Ten Best
Ten best kisses
nine good ones to go
eight is delicious
seven nice & slow

Six with the top down
on a rainy eve
"If you like that one," she says
"Wait 'til you see what's up my sleeve"

Five makes me dizzy
my head swims
I'm a fish out of water
flapping my fins

A fourth & a third
in quick succession
leave me with
a good impression

Number two is so long
I must come up for air
but it tastes so good
I don't care

One last kiss
from out of ten
we look at each other
& start all over again
Track Name: In Deeper Debt
"Nobody owns me"
that's the best that she could do
for a philosophy
& umpteen years of private school

I loved her anyway
& built a roof to save her head
from every little phrase
that disagreed with what she said

& with that on our backs
how were we to react?

I reached into my pocket
for coins that were not there
knowing she'd be upset
where once she didn't care

Outside the hotel
she took her final leave
with a dry-eyed farewell
& not a tug on my sleeve

She keeps a piece of me
to this day, I'm unwhole
& she may not agree
yet I loved her then
with all my soul

In deeper debt
what we owe isn't worth
one red cent
of happiness for hurt
Track Name: Perversity
I looked at the sun today
couldn't tear my eyes away

Remembered what my father said
it'll burn a hole clean through your head

Why is it that we fear
what it is that brings us near?

Perversity, perversity
gets the best (rest) of me

Took the hand of my true love
told them their love wasn't enough

Fell down & cried on the floor
now I can't cry anymore

Burned every bridge I've crossed
now it's just too easy to get lost

It's good to have something you can find
but I found out too late to mind
Track Name: Least I Could Do
It's the least I could do
admitting to you
the decks were all stacked
we hadn't a snowball's chance in hell
the ice wouldn't crack

Doomed to defeat
we shuffled our feet
banging our heads against the wall
you said that fate
was like something bad you ate
& puked up like a furball

Talking with you
was the least I could do
to get these things off of my chest
taking your hand
instead of making demands
like a bird makes its nest

Braving a smile
you took a file
& baked it into a cake
saying to me
"This is not to eat
but to save for your escape"

The most I'd ever done
this side of turning to run
was turning to look you in the eye
planting both my feet
I kissed you on the cheek
& swore we'd never say goodbye

When you left, you walked
& it wasn't anybody's fault
though blame I'm addicted to
like a junkie craves a fix
I crave blame for unhappiness
it's the least I could do
Track Name: Ten Best [mix 2]
Ten best kisses
nine good ones to go
eight is delicious
seven nice & slow

Six with the top down
on a rainy eve
"If you like that one," she says
"Wait 'til you see what's up my sleeve"

Five makes me dizzy
my head swims
I'm a fish out of water
flapping my fins

A fourth & a third
in quick succession
leave me with
a good impression

Number two is so long
I must come up for air
but it tastes so good
I don't care

One last kiss
from out of ten
we look at each other
& start all over again