All Our Heroes Live in Vans

by Todd Farrell Jr. & the Dirty Birds

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released October 31, 2013

Todd Farrell Jr. - vocals/guitar
Eli Rhodes - guitar
Matt "Goose" Rewinski - bass
Jack Whitis - drums/percussion

Piano on "Pawnshops" by Todd Farrell Jr.

Programming on "Liner Notes" by Jack Whitis

Steel Guitar on "If It's Alright By You" by Dan Fernandez

Harmonica on "My Currency is Doubt" by Eli Rhodes

All songs written by Farrell except “If It’s Alright By You” written by Farrell/Rhodes

Tracked at Bedbug Studios in Kingston Springs, TN

Produced, and engineered by Jack Whitis and Todd Farrell Jr.

Digital editing by Todd Farrell Jr.

Mixed by Jack Whitis at Planet Jack Studios, Nashville, TN

Tracks 1, 3, 6 and 8 mastered by Jack Whitis at Planet Jack Studios in Nashville, TN

Tracks 2, 4, 5, 7 and 9 mastered by Eli Rhodes at The Roost in Nashville, TN

Artwork and design by Stuart Whitis

Special thanks to our friends and families for their endless love and support, Jason Kyle Saetveit and Allan Hall for giving us access to their amazing recording studio, and their guidance throughout the years, Bryan Childs of Nine Bullets, Andrew Wilson of DixiePunk, Greg Van Dyke of Captain’s Dead, Couch By Couchwest, Sloane Spencer of Country Fried Rock, Eric Risch of Bucket Full of Nails, Southsounds Review, Corey Flegel, Charles Hale, Brandon Jazz at Mercy Lounge/High Watt, Adrienne Ervin, Roman Grimaldi at 13Design, Farce the Music, Chris Martin, Michelle Evans, Bobby Wilbert, our brothers Those Crosstown Rivals and Fistful of Beard, Wess Floyd, Great Peacock, Arliss Nancy, Austin Lucas, John Moreland, Matt Woods, Alone at 3am, Ned Van Go, Tim Lee 3, Andrew Leahey, Alaina Thetford, August Spies, Furious Primates, and any of the assorted Nashville country singers that paid us to be their band for a gig or two so we can afford to do things like this.


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Track Name: Year in Review
They say the man with the clearest conscience
Probably has the poorest memory
Well my conscience is fading
And I can’t remember which memories I see
There’s this burning sensation
Where my memory and conscience don’t agree
Well, that fire isn’t dying
And it’s slowly burning me

It’s been a long year
But we made it through
And with choking words and Christmas lights
We’ll sing these songs into the night
So here’s to the new
Cheers to the new

And I’m past the age
Of being disappointed she didn’t make it to the party
And it’s not the call that gets me
It’s just the rate at which I write these songs is alarming
I guess I’d just rather stay up drinking with my friends
Long after all the girls have gone home
And spend all my mornings
Trying to figure out where I left my coat

Track Name: Plastic Knives
For all the words I wrote down that no one ever heard
Out of some misguided sense that you might just leave me be
For all the nights that I tried, but never found the words
While the vampires just hung around, hiding their teeth

I’ve heard a hundred times you hate me
But ain’t never heard a reason
And they both keep multiplying
Every minute, every season
So, don’t make you no mistake
I hear every word you say
And it doesn’t matter
‘Cause you don’t exist to me anymore

For all the girls at the party without your approval
For all the boys at the bar just looking for a fight
For all the John 15:13 tattoos pending removal
Tell him, “don’t you worry, it’s just a little blood and ice”


And you must be so lonely
For you to keep on trying to tear me down
But I’m through with all you vampires
I’m sick of all these vampires

For all of my faults, and the ill thoughts you’ve wished me
Your condescending agenda always painting me black
For all those words you spit up just like last night’s whiskey
While I spend years pulling plastic knives out of my back


You don’t exist to me anymore
You don't exist to me anymore
I’m sorry, darling, you don’t know me anymore
You don’t exist to me anymore
Track Name: Bobby & Chipper
I moved to Atlanta back when I was 6 years old
I spent 10 more years in the cul-de-sac wishing I was Chipper Jones
I saw the lights in Fulton County, fireworks in '95
I've got a heart full of these memories that I'll love for my whole life

So I think God for Atlanta baseball and foam tomahawks
thank God for Chipper Jones and the way he wore his socks
I thank God for old Ted Turner and the way Skip Carey talked
thank God for Atlanta, Georgia, thank God for Bobby Cox

Well I'm older now, and I traded my old glove for a guitar
but I've still got all these memories, souvenirs and baseball cards
and every spring through late September, I put my heart into the dirt
but I could never explain to Bobby what those years were really worth


And I can still hear Skip on the radio
I can still hear Skip on the radio
Don't know how we're gonna get through this
Bobby said, "grown men shouldn't do this"
as he spoke with a tear in his eye

Track Name: Pawnshops
I think dreams are bought and sold in pawnshops
It’s where they start, and it’s where they stop
All my friends’ old dreams, they're are all for sale
Guess it’s a matter of time before mine get there

I've got a tendency to childish prayers
Of rock stars and ballplayers
Work all day to make it mine
Working for that Saturday night
Sometimes I think that Tennessee
Will someday be the death of me
Not the Western taste or Southern charm
I just still find relief in Mother’s arms

Those of us left are stuck somewhere between
The front of the stage and a failure’s dream
With our fingertips just like our hearts
Calloused, bruised and torn apart


So when it’s all said and done
Did we ride or did we run?
The hardest part when all your heroes play in bands
Is finding out that all your heroes live in vans

Yesterday I thought I'd sell my guitars
So I can buy all my friends drinks at the bar
And say I’m sorry for what I’ve put you through
But they interrupt me before I do, and say

Sing us a song before you go
Something sad, sweet and slow
‘Cause we still believe that rock and roll
Can take us home and save our souls
And all that glitters is not gold
Don’t let this heart on fire grow cold
‘Cause we still believe that rock and roll
Can take us home and save our souls

Track Name: Liner Notes
Sometimes I wait for you in places
Where we might get to speak
So we can talk a while about the weather

And you probably don’t notice
How I hang on every breath
And a prayer that I just might say something clever

And there’s things I’d like to tell you
And there’s things I’d like to know
But tonight, I’ll have to settle for movies and records

‘Cause everything that I could say’s been said
By better men before
And I can’t bear the thought to give you lesser

But I don’t need to find my place
In those songs that they wrote
‘Cause I just want to find my way
My way into your liner notes

‘Cause in a few simple lines
A repetition and a rhyme
Alliteration and some subtle imagery

I see your face a thousand times
In every song that they could write
Configuration of my heart stitched on their sleeves


Some day I’ll bring poets and prophets
To their knees and to the ground
'Till then
I'll see you around

So if you think my feet are dragging
Or I fumble what to say
Or my balance seems less that sturdy

Please don’t let it be off-putting
I’m just running through my head
For a few good words for you that could be worthy

Track Name: Better Men
I know what I am
And I know what I ain’t
I try to be as good as I can be
But I know I ain’t no saint
So all these boys in pressed shirts and six-dollar haircuts
Might make you sure feel safe
But you know, that’s gonna get lame

I know there’s better men than me
That hang around this town
I see them every single day
And watch them follow you around
But if you give me this chance tonight, darling
I’ll show you, my will is true
There may be better men than me
But no one’s better for you

I know what I do
And I know what I don’t
I spend a lot of time in bars
Singing bad punk rock and roll
So all these phonies with their moves and their alto-tenors
Might sing some songs you know
But you know, they ain’t got no soul


I know what you are
And I know what you’re not
I know you like to dance around these dive bars
Like you don’t care if you get caught
So baby put on that dress and those high-top sneakers
And let’s burn out these 40 watts
Come on, come on just give me a shot

Track Name: If It's Alright By You
It was early January
I gave you something I cannot take back
If I was your George Bailey
Darling, would you be my Mary Hatch

And we spent the early morning hours
In some dirty Nashville dive
Dancing like this was the last time
We thought we’d ever be alive

And if it’s alright by you
I would like to see you again

I still see confetti
Falling from the sky just like rain
If I were a big blue high rise
Darling, you ‘d be a hurricane

And if I called you on a Tuesday
Would it be so out of line?
Or if I came down to Atlanta
Could you even find the time?


75’s not a long way
But when it hits up 24
It’s two hundred and fifty miles
Between mine and your front door
And I don’t mind the distance
And I sure don’t mind the drive
I just can’t always run your pace
While keeping two steps behind

We ain’t George and Mary
We can’t even be Diane and Jack
Cause when you hit that highway
I know, you’re never coming back

But if I showed up uninvited
That just wouldn’t be enough
Because when you went back to Georgia
I went back to fucking up

Track Name: Take it Slow
Saturday night's alright for fighting
but Sunday's such a drag
Just reminding and rewriting
so it doesn't sound so bad
This whole town is getting smaller
one less love and one less dollar
it's like every night's another
chance to get it wrong
Another chance to let my friends
let me down again

Sometimes I think I'm like a child
who never really learns
Every time I get close to her
I always just get burned
But tonight, tonight is mine
as they're singing Auld Lang Syne
there's a girl in the bar line
and she's standing all alone
Darling tell me, what's your name?
It might never be the same

Pour another drink
raise a glass to the night
It's all over me
everything will be just fine
I'm too sober to sleep
but I'm too drunk to drive
Girl, take it slow with me
and dance with me a while

Take it slow, take it slow
we ain't got nowhere to go
Take it slow, take it slow
we ain't got nowhere to go

Everyday I'm getting older
forgetting everything I told her
'cause your head's still on my shoulder
and arms around my neck
I think I'll be alright
if you'll just be mine tonight


Take it slow, take it slow
we ain't got nowhere to go
Track Name: My Currency is Doubt
My currency is doubt
And my pockets are deep
It funds my heartache
Bankrupts my sleep

My currency is doubt
And I spend all the time
I spend it on her intentions
I spend it on mine

My currency is doubt
And I’m well on my way
To King of the Lonely
Dallier of the Day

My currency is doubt
But it’s all I’ve got
To compliment the memory
Of a time I lost

Well she took my breath
And she took away my pride
If only I could take her
On one last ride

I’d decorate her finger
With diamonds and gold
And she’d never be lonely
When the wind gets cold

But I predicted the weather
So I’ve got no excuse
While my heart burns for her heart
Mine’s just being used

‘Cause she loves another
It’s black and white
That my heart was wrong
And my doubt was right

There’s an ancient river
That bares her name
That promised freedom
On its muddy banks

But her river’s dying
It's fell into drought
From my weary heart
And my surplus of doubt

Well it’s ashes to ashes
And dust to dust
I’ll give up the dream
Of what’s left of us

My currency is doubt
But I’m cashing in
Let some other river
Wash away my sins

Lord, I surrender
I can’t keep up this game
Take away my sorrow
Take away my pain

But if only one burden
I pray to live without
I can live with what’s certain
Just take away my doubt

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