by The Hat and Cowboy

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This is the first batch of songs I've put together in about a decade. Some of these have been sitting around for a while (there's a couple about a bad relationship that are in obvious reference to a long-ago thing), but most are from within the last year or so. I wrote them to figure out how to record them.


released March 31, 2017



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The Hat and Cowboy Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Hat and Cowboy is the name of Robert Martin's non-instrumental solo material. You can find his instrumental solo material under the name LETTTERS, and his non-solo band material at Complexes.

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Track Name: Outside My Paygrade
Painted me a picture in the atrium. I chased you out because it was after hours. Running with a flashlight underneath the freeway. I caught you by surprise in a supermarket. Sold the painting last week. Got a hudnred and fifty from a bidding war. Skimped on the packaging and sent it off. Not suprised when it was damaged. I had to give all of the money back after I'd spent it on a back issue of my mother's favorite magazine. It had an article that mentioned my father's role in an artist colony. I probably could have gotten it for less, but I was flush and feeling sentimental. I remember your voice fromt he county jail. The phones there crackled and you sounded strung out and thin, a man made of tin. Just a reflection of a friend. They'd set the bail outside my pay grade, so that's where you are, I figure, today.
Track Name: We Called it a Giant
We called it a giant but it was more like a boulder wearing a black hole for a hat. I warned you not to touch it. It fused your fingers together. I'd already liquefied everything I could find. Three links of a chain. We stopped our bikes in the gutter. Rusted out by the rain. It was the most beautiful thing. And I don't know where you are. Standing stoned on the tracks. Double rainbows and lightning flashed. Metal fell from the wheels. And I don't know where you are.
Track Name: Two Notes
The way your hair reminds me of Ozone. Maybe its the candles they burned or the shampoo you own. I don't know what it is about you. Maybe it's the distance between our eyes. Those two notes and a bridge of skin. The color that affects them when they're looking into mine. I don't know what it is about you. We placed our bets. We made our beds. So let's lay around and feign interest in the rest of the days we have together. We made our vows. We went our separate ways and replaced ourselves and returned to a place we never expected to last forever. I don't know what it is about you.
Track Name: The Takeaway
Taking some time off from making the most out of my life. Can't figure it out so just walk away. Shut all the windows, lock all the doors and turn out the lights. Put the city behind me for a few days. Drive for an hour then another hour then another five. What gives? What's the takeaway? Calm down it's just life. There's ground below the sky. There's land and water and air and you're still here.
Track Name: Raising a Son
On the horizon marking water lines. Something surprising on the waxing tide. Yellow moon rising through a gray sky. Blaze obscuring the starlight. I'm not gonna find my way home. I don't want to find my way. Didn't anybody know? Wasn't anybody home? Didn't anybody show you how to write it down, how to look around, how to shut your mouth? Colorado cutting through layers and eons into something new. Polar island falling precipice floating homeward set adrift. I'm not gonna find my way home. I don't want to find my way. Didn't anybody know. Didn't anybody show? Wasn't anybody home? Didn't anybody show you how to look around and see what's going on? How to shut your mouth and sing along?
Track Name: Short Song b
A day out in the sun. You're talking on the telephone. I"m inside your house. The tones of your voice can be heard through the wall. The television is on. The day's been moving right along. And I'm doing nothing. Just sitting here writing a song about waiting and hoping that something will change, and in changing, everythign will go away. No I don't feel good.
Track Name: Straight Answer
I'm on the fence about it. Isn't my decision all the same. Weighing the pros and the cons and the evens and odds and they're all adding up to a fixed game. We should get out while the getting is still good enough to get on with our lives. You can shut out the daylight until we are ready to go. I'm ready to go as soon asn the sunshine has dropped down below the horizon and we can move without attracting attention. I admit I'm surprised just a bit by the turnout. I had no idea we felt so strongly. One way or another and we're all here to gether and waiting, and the attention is on me. Did I fail to mention that I'm on the fence? Dont' know which way is up and I'm losing my focus, grasping for truth in this mess. Can't trust the sources that flood all the papers and TVs and magazines and internets. Is it foolish to think that a straight answer even exists?
Track Name: The Melt-off
Started out singing somebody else's song and it all went wrong right away, well okay, I guess i made a mistake. What a huge mistake. I don't know what else I can say. I can get past everything I see even when it's where you used to be, I'm okay with everything. I wouldn't even mind if you died today because right now I'm feeling okay. I don't blame you and I try not to be bitter about the fact you couldn't wait for me and you f*cked my new replacement, and then f*cked some little asshole and then slept with Adam Vine, and when I drove three days to visit you you called me by his name in bed and all the while you cried and said that you loved me even then, and I believed you yet again. And then you f*cked somebody else, so when you cme out to visit and made out with my best friend, I said no. Now is just a time for feeling okay.
Track Name: Gray Cloud
I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Put on a brave face, walked with long strides, ignored every warning. I had to see you. I know you're thinking of me too. But I won't apologize. I don't want to be through. I know that I need you but never at the right times. I'm wasting the day now, follow this gray cloud, but I'm gonna be there rain or shine. I don't want to be through. I know that I need you. I don't want to set it down. I don't want a sentimental cloud following me around. I don't want to feel, I don't want to breathe, I don't want a plan to make it all feel real, I don't want to leave it all right here.