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Laugh Like a Bandit​/​Love Like a Thief

by Dialectic

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1.
04:22
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03:14
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05:15
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05:09
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04:33
10.
04:40

credits

released April 14, 2009

Dialectic is:
Ying-sun Ho — vocals, guitars, programming
Mario Trigueros — vocals, guitars
Ian Kim — piano, keyboard, vocals

Featuring:
Jason Yan — bass guitar, vocals
Justin Silva — drums, percussion
Lea Endres — vocals

Produced and recorded by Ying-sun Ho and Jason Yan
Executive producer: Sam Ho
Additional vocal production by Richard Belton
Mixed by Matt Boudreau at Broken Radio
Mastered by Michael Romanowski
Design by Ying-sun Ho

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Dialectic San Francisco, California

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Track Name: Homecoming
i've been away in the land that my parents were born in
where gunshots and rooster calls announce the arrival of morning
i'm looking over the wing
which is over the clouds
which are over the sky
which is over the ground where you're waiting
are you still waiting for me?

i'm coming home (he's coming home)
i'm coming home (he's coming home)
i've been away and i've been alone
but i'm coming home (he's coming home)

i went away and i never answered your question
coy and mysterious, i danced at the edge of suggestion
i know i've pushed and i've pulled
till you were ready to break
but i'm tired of games
i'm ready to take a chance
do you still want to take a chance on me?

i'm coming home (he's coming home)
i'm coming home (he's coming home)
i've been away and i've been alone
but i'm coming home (he's coming home)

tell me it's not too late

i'm coming home (he's coming home)
i'm coming home (he's coming home)
i've been away and i've been alone
but i'm coming home (he's coming home)
Track Name: Blame
you spend your life begging for pity
then complain when you don't get love
you stab your friends, you stab yourself
then you cry about the blood
you wear your skin like a chain
you're always looking for someone to blame

but it's you (it's you, it's you)
it's always you (it's you, it's you)
by now you should know that's true (it's true, it's true)
it's you and only you

you're quick to sin
you're quick to cast stones
you're the prodigal son
but you never come home
everybody leaves
it's always the same
you point your finger at them
but they're not to blame

no, it's you (it's you, it's you)
it's always you (it's you, it's you)
by now you should know that's true (it's true, it's true)
it's you and only you

we've seen you at your worst
we've seen you at your best
we know you could be the one that you want
but you won't because you'll never accept

that it's you (it's you, it's you)
it's always you (it's you, it's you)
by now you should know that's true (it's true, it's true)
it's you and only you
Track Name: Shadow of Manhattan
the place was empty
she knew my name
i kissed her shoulder
she smiled like rain
i wrapped her in flannel
and opened the sky
i became her secret
the reason that she cries

the first frost of the season is a whisper on the wind
like the rumor of her breath on my skin

i'm in the shadow of manhattan

her words, an orchard
an offer, a caress
her touch like almonds
like silence, like breath
we swam in the bay where she was born
caught in the current, i nearly drowned
she pulled me out and kissed my shoulder
i could only watch as she faded into sound

now the first frost of the season is a whisper on the wind
like the rumor of her breath on my skin

i'm in the shadow of manhattan

don't tell her that you saw me
don't mention me at all
winter's on the air now
there's no use thiking about the fall

i'm in the distant
in silent promise not to call
she has already washed
my mark from her wall
Track Name: The Hunger
he was a child
she was alone
he was on fire
she was a stone
he stood in the street
she walked in the night
she tasted him
he tasted her
and it felt alright
except for the hunger

they were afraid
he was alone
they stayed indoors
he had no home
he walked in the night
she laughed in the street
he meant her no harm
he just wanted some
short-lived relief from the hunger

the years had passed
like drops of rain
his life was long gone
but the hunger remained
it wouldn't relent
he couldn't resist
aching for calm
he stepped into the dawn
to feel the sun's kiss
and escape from the hunger
Track Name: Wouldn't Change a Thing
the night sky hangs heavy
i can feel it on my back
chinatown smells sour
crazy maria's going on about the zodiac

chester's hitting on sailors
who can't even remember their own names
me, i'm kneeling in the alley
laughing at my own shame

but i wouldn't change a thing
i wouldn't change a thing
i wouldn't change a thing
except that you would be here too

jessy's dad is a fascist
she says it's because he used to surf
her mom put me in the hospital
now she keeps trying to kill my nurse

the kids in the waiting room are fighting
their dad is drunk on tanqueray and doubt
i'm strapped to my bed
thinking of what i'll do if i get out

but i wouldn't change a thing
i wouldn't change a thing
i wouldn't change a thing
except that you would be here too

i wish i could have said goodbye
i wish i had known what to say
but i was too busy holding you tight
to notice when you slipped away

my picture is in the paper
the crowd is throwing stones
my sister sent a letter
she says i've been disowned

my kitchen has been raided
all they left was rotten plums
i'm at my wits' end
and the day has only just begun

but i wouldn't change a thing
i wouldn't change a thing
i wouldn't change a thing
except that you would be here too
Track Name: The Map
i was trapped in a land where the meek and the wealthy
set fire to courage in the streets every night
i felt their eyes on my back so i packed my things quickly
and was three hours gone by the time of first light

the moon was a pendant round the neck of the heavens
the river was empty, caked with the drought
my mind danced through past, future and present
my thoughts were of her the night i set out

riding on roads wide as the prairie
with a match in my pocket, and a pipe, and a pearl
living on bread, apples, and whiskey
and the dream of the day i could come back to the world

i stopped to rest in a fishing port town
where underneath battlements the elders sang songs
from twilight they sang till the torches burned down
then one of them approached me and looked at me long

he said, "i see that you're lost. let me lend you a hand.
"i can't give you the map, but i can show you the center.
"the center is here, in the place where you stand.
"you'll find the rest on your travels, if you only remember."

riding on roads wide as the prairie
with a match in my pocket, and a pipe, and a pearl
living on bread, apples, and whiskey
and the dream of the day i could come back to the world

i lit out in search of the map he described
each place i stopped had a piece to be found
with guile and charm, blackmail and bribes
i collected the pieces as i went town to town

the seasons, they cycled as i searched all the land
and on a warm august night i found the last piece i needed
the map was shaped just like the palm of my hand
but the marks were in code, and i could not read it

riding on roads wide as the prairie
with a match in my pocket, and a pipe, and a pearl
living on bread, apples, and whiskey
and the dream of the day i could come back to the world

homeless and hopeless, listless and lost
i met a ten-year-old girl in a blue and white dress.
i showed her the map. i asked for her thoughts.
she said, "i can't forgive sins that you haven't confessed."

i looked in her eyes; i saw what she meant
and thought back to the man from the fishing port town
the words he had chosen were no accident
and i laughed like the stars when the sun's going down

i turned to the girl and said, "thanks for your help."
the rain came like war being waged from above
i had to get lost just to find myself
now i'm headed home and won't stop till i've found my love

riding on roads wide as the prairie
with a match in my pocket, and a pipe, and a pearl
i've been living on bread, apples, and whiskey
but today is the day i come back to the world
today is the day i come back to the world
today is the day i come back to the world
Track Name: You Should Know
with lips like cocaine
and music in her teeth
she laughs like a bandit
she loves like a thief
they caught her red-handed
knife up her sleeve
she's nothing but trouble
boy, she's just what you need

you should know, you should know
the things she's scared to confess
the knot you put in her chest
you should know, you should know

she's a carolina river
you're california's son
she thinks that you're dangerous
you think she could be fun
her man doesn't know you
she hides your name 'neath her tongue
his metalwork hands
can't hold her when she starts to run

you should know, you should know
the things she's scared to confess
the knot you put in her chest
you should know, you should know

she's got a jar a bootleg whisky
and mischief in her eyes
you have no defense, boy
i don't know why you try

you should know, you should know
the things she's scared to confess
the knot you put in her chest
you should know, you should know
Track Name: Can't Put You Down
i've been hiding behind my eyes
i've been living inside my lies
tight around me like a second skin
oh, my brittle armor

i've been searching crowds for your smile
i've been a child
i've been a fool
i've been running from you
and you're not even there
you were never really there

i can't put you down
i can't wash the taste of your name from my mouth
i can barely remember myself
but you remain
you always remain

i was sure that you had disappeared
never to be seen again
but yesterday i heard your voice in my ear
it all came back to me then

the feel of your fingers wrapped around mine
the way you held my head when i'd had too much wine
our crazy new year's eve adventures
it all came back to me then

i can't put you down
i can't wash the taste of your name from my mouth
i can barely remember myself
but you remain
you always remain

when the desert air has dulled all of your senses
when the sun burns out and you're left to wander blindly
when you're bored with your suitors and all their good intentions
i'll be right here, love, you know how to find me

i can't put you down
i can't wash the taste of your name from my mouth
i can barely remember myself
but you remain
you always remain
Track Name: Turn Away
the hawk is circling the city
there's fever and there's famine in the streets
bravery's been outlawed, candor made a sin
and these days every morning tastes a bit more like defeat

just close your eyes and make a wish
everything will be alright
close your eyes, give me a kiss
everything will be alright
close your eyes and turn away, what you can't see can't hurt you baby
turn away, everything will be alright

the sky is bruised and swollen
the land belongs to gangsters and the like
the mayor is a scoundrel, the cleanest cops are thieves
and even when the sun comes out it feels like the dead of night

just close your eyes and make a wish
everything will be alright
close your eyes, give me a kiss
everything will be alright
close your eyes and turn away, what you can't see can't hurt you baby
turn away, everything will be alright

everyday
they say turn away
everything will be ok
if you just turn away

i wish that i could stay
that it didn't have to be this way
but i can't be with you, if you believe it's true
that the best that we can do is close our eyes and turn away

just close your eyes and make a wish
everything will be alright
close your eyes, give me a kiss
everything will be alright
close your eyes and turn away, what you can't see can't hurt you baby
turn away, everything will be alright

don't turn away
Track Name: Lost to You
you stole my name
on the streets where i was raised
now every day is the same
my tongue is black and my eyes are grey

you gave me my new name
then took it back the very next day
i lost my stake and i lost my claim
and soon i lost my way

i'm lost in you
no lights, no borders, no way out
i'm lost to you
you loved me at first, but you're alright now

you couldn't believe how easy it came
you said you would never forget
i thought it was life but it was just a game
now you act like we've never met

the doctor gave me pills for the pain
but i can still feel the blood on my neck
my friends, they swear that it won't leave a stain
but the stain has already set

i'm lost in you
no lights, no borders, no way out
i'm lost to you
you loved me at first, but you're alright now

you can't feel me anymore
i'm thinner than the twilight shadows
you can't hear me anymore
my whisper breath is far too shallow
i can't reach you anymore
my chest is heavy, my feet are hollow
i never dream anymore
today is today is tomorrow

you couldn't believe how easy it came
you promised you wouldn't forget
my friends say the blood won't leave a stain
but the stain is long since set

i'm lost in you
no lights, no borders, no way out
i'm lost to you
you loved me at first, but you're alright now