Hi this is Greg Travis II,
I was in the band, The Missing Teens
for a couple of years. James Call
was the master-mind of the songs. I added some guitar to the mix. Darren on drums. Most of the songs we plyed live were from the album "Music For Young Adults
". James' lyrics are very awesome. many of the songs feel like he is yelling at you and if you are not a self confident person who is doing the right thing it might be kind of painful to hear. but they make you want to be a better person. at least for me they did.
But much of what james "sings" was and still is over my head. I am semi-literate. Even as a band member I was very often unsure as to what the songs were about. i recently asked him to explain briefly what some of the songs were about.Drive Uphill
Drive Uphill is basically about how mankind is (often) rushing towards a pending collapse, sort of blindly with and with optimism, but with plenty of fear and hatred along the way - misplaced fear and hatred. It's a drive uphill to get where we're going, but if we stick together, we can all make a killing. Of course, in the end, our killing doesn't matter, as our short sight fucks us all. Round of Applause
Round of Applause has a similar theme - how the quest for success can lead to our own abandonment and malignment by the people we love and care about. It's essentially a song for the small-time operator trying to "make it," but just making a fool out of his or herself. Although a few, a tiny elite, do make it by these terms - and they deserve a little recognition, a toast if you will, for their venality, cruelty, and craft.
Fernando and Louise
This song is essentially about a young couple in love, who marry, but their marriage is soon destroyed by financial pressures - especially with Louise's kid to bring up. Soon this pressure leads to infidelity, which in turn leads to disillusionment, which is turn leads to divorce, all because of the daily grind and inevitable quest for relief that leads to short-term decision making. You might say "short term decision making" is the central theme of the whole album.
Chinatown is about a girl who toys with people's hearts and abuses her friendships, who skips out of town, but can't really escape the guilt, no matter where she runs to. "Chinatown" is supposed to represent the "id" if you will, the primordial guilt this girl can't fully understand or escape. Any morally flawed but not totally amoral person feels this pressure at some point. Could be a guy but it's a girl in this song. Andy and Miranda
Andy and Miranda is about a boyfriend and girlfriend. Two people in love with very divergent life paths, different sets of long-term goals and motivations that causes them to drift apart, neither of them really coming to terms with the drift but instead rationalizing each of their own actions as they go. Unconscious to themselves, but obvious to the outside to world.
Rise to the Bait
Rise to the Bait is about doing what needs to be done in the moment and fully embracing it, even if you have to deal with some frightening external and internal factors on the way. It's not so much about having faith that everything "will be good" as it is acknowledging that there's a job to be done and doing it joyously, despite the destruction some of that job may entail.
Female Version of Myself
This song is for the greedy man, the jealous man on the hunt for security in the form a woman, yet constantly coming up short as he encounters women as greedy and hostile as himself, in different ways. Although it's written from the male point of view, I hope women can simply "flip the gender" in their minds and enjoy the song as well, as they look for male versions of themselves.
Waiting (on the internet)
This song is about waiting to carry on a tortuous affair, via AIM or gchat. As it plays out, the hours drift by, tediously, and with some anxiety. Booze is involved.
In keeping with our theme, another song about short-sighted human behavior, and the rather crushing force of fate that can sometimes sweep away our whole vista and render the behavior meaningless, leaving us a little washed up.
Did I mention this album has a theme? Failure and Success, or the attempt to attain success? Carpe Diem means Seize the Day, and that's what this song is all about. It's not necessarily a pleasant thing. And seizing the day means keeping too many chefs out of the kitchen, if you will. Success is best attained forcefully and quietly (in this view).
But say you DO attain success, at a potentially bloody cost, figuratively speaking at least? Well then you will have guilt to deal with. And what better way to deal with guilt than to try to obscure it, to wash it away - not to repent, but simply to deny and obscure the source of the guilt in the first place. Those of us who cannot own up to our immorality tend to go... to the laundromat. And wash away the stains of the previous evening, through heavy breathing.My Old Lifestyle
Finally, there may come a time in our lives when the pressure is too much, when the plan has gone astray, and when the comfort of the familiar because a necessary comfort. In this time, we turn away - we may need to turn full circle - back or our old lifestyles. Of course, this reversion is not easy. We may leave vital parts of ourselves behind when we revert too suddenly - but this is part of the aging process, after all. Even if the aging process seems to involve a reversion to childhood. Of course, what must be done must be done, if you want to keep up with the Joneses and play ball.
....and since you asked about Dream of the Vet:
Dream of the Vet
This is about wish fulfillment! Pure and simple. Unconscious wish fulfullment, which we turn to at the end of the pressures of the day, in dream, often.
The theme of Music for Young Adults
is definitely the drive for success and the futility thereof. The theme of Gentrifornication (the next album), if there is one, is most likely about the subconscious mind."