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The Good Nurse

by Five Eight

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what brings you to me are some memories in photographs. you're up on the table spending nothing but the borrowed past. breathe out the ballast come to the surface. when you're swimming and alone. drink from the chalice drown in the blood as it turns to stone. your heart's a magnet and in my dreams i'm dancing with you. and we kiss tonight it's a child's kiss. what you fell in love with. did you see my father's father's eyes. coming tearing out from all the other insides. how we believe in your lost seams. this family only meets in hospitals and funerals. some kids that only talk about themselves when they're told. they opened up your chest. and fingers slide within your warm dark flesh. for this you know that someone must confess. your doctor's young and he's wringing from you every last breath. his oath tonight it seems like hypocrisy coming from his lips. he is breathing while you're dreaming all alone. and on the phone there were sketches of a family tree that's gone. on a scrap of paper torn and not remembered. the texas sky's so wide i'm feeling nothing permanent or named. well i woke up a verse for your cold imagined stone. while you're dreaming on your own. when you're dreaming she is sleeping on her own
Rose's Dream 02:36
Off Season 04:49
chessboard maps aggressive snaps the sneaking feeling. a board game wanes army of cells genetic codes all hope. an angry son flails at no one and pain is all around. i'm not alone. i'm not alone. i'm not alone. let this fearless feeling carry. i'm not alone. i'm not alone. i'm not alone. let this fearless feeling carry. trip to the shore beach cabin calls. but it's off season soft breezes that barely lift the spirit. in a wheelchair brave and bare. in a green room the wall close in on our tears. the dreaming of healing. the fishing boat flips us out and she begins to shout. what kind of vacation is this with you so sick. in place of these well we've agreed to not be something. it's called a sulk try to bulk up and buck up son. a pat on the back a brand new cap to cover up your skull
soon all you think you know is uncertain and unfamiliar. but life won't lose its glow the sweetness and dull ache. though you're the one who does better. your miracle abides in the way you live. because it became the way you died. the good nurse knows the way. her tender little fingers made to shape the clay. i'm going to show you how this feels. the good nurse gives you blood. a bad one gives you mixture. she shuns away the weight it pushes you away. i think i will sit down. i think aloud. i'll cry soon. i'm not a bit okay. don't tell me i'm afraid. i want to take you down. i'll show you all around. what do you think makes the difference in this night. we run alone not fall behind the light. something inside has died. to some of us it's another throw away day. one that we curse and we steal from. as we cheat ourselves from moments left to heal. without knowing why. without a reason as it keeps on getting worse. your medicine's on the television. late night stare of indecision. will you go far when you wish upon a star. your wishes are such a cheaper vision. a slender piece of imagination that failed just for the thrill. hold on still. come on you're the star. you're the one who does better
Terminals 05:26
when you throw out all the mail. and i can't help but to end it all to be it all. i can't read my way around this. so throw out your big feelings. you're gonna get it in the end. i'm such a scared person not hardly really grown. in a world that's much too big. and people are too cold and they will hurt you. they'll bring you down with words. well i'm going down. will you follow me home. like never before. make it unfold. standing at the terminal the baggage check. and this has made me into some sort of a better man. as the plane begins to land. i was speaking in mid sentence with the best part. with the best part left unsaid. i wanna die with friends spend it in the end. when i call you all. please follow me home. cause i'm going down. like never before. well alarm hit the floo.r i wrote it on a note. i saw you with a swollen throat. it's hard to watch the best get beat. last night's remedies made it worse for me. it's hard to watch the best get beat. if i could be so bold to leave you with one thought. when you're thinking how the grace will let you hold. well i'm going down. will you follow me home. like never before. we'll make it unfurl
Requiem 04:25
a customer would like to sing a song. requiem for the sick one. would you like to sing along. i heard him once. a song out of my mind. remembering a time i get my way. and oh my god. how did i get here. where in the world did i used to be. something is scarred. i need defending. what did i do to bring it here. what will bring me round. how does it feel when you're in the dark. it comes as such a shock to find myself down and out. when i tried so hard. a man must feel compassion or compulsion. when he drops down his eyes to read between the lines. hold me now with a postcard to compose. dearest wife i'm never coming home. and oh my god. how did i get here. what in the world will see me through. guilty as charged. help rearrange me. how does it bring it all to you .what am i to do. how does it feel when you're in the dark. it comes as such a shock to find myself down and out. when i tried so hard. well i know. i'm down. and i believe i'll come around
only two can tell when you come over the hill. pulling into town it's been years since you've been around. had a lousy night of sleep. with your head stealing pieces of what was once said. and dreams that feel so dead. but don't let them make your bed. what is love and fear. like a dress you never wear. a place that can't be found. thoughts that still astound. from the corner of your eye. what makes apologies and turn the other cheek. ah just a fool like me. when you take what you want to. take what you want to. i'll give it to you. i'll give it to you. take what you want. the prodigal returns. father's pride burns. and brother turns his head looks down to spit on it. we never block things out. i remember every doubt. and what has shed the light. as this city comes into. take what you want to. get up we're leaving now. your father can walk home. his hand is on the phone. i feel it in my skin. the way you walk away. the movement of the day. the mystery and joy are clouded with your voice. so you take what you want to
some starry disposition. sun lamp focus on the mission. marks made with crayon wipe right off your cheek. the purple energy beam keeps the bloodstream clean. well now you recognize the triumph of tv. yeah your malignancy now. i know how wrong i could be. about your scientific triumph. watson watson come in here please. you know i'm down on my knees. mr. performer alexander heal the blind man. stave off the anger. mix the color purple for the healthy body sight. in the coffee cup rooms. where we all talk of doom. well now i recognize the triumph that is tv. your malignancy. now i know how long it could be. about your scientific triumph. watson watson come in here please. you know i'm down on my knees
Oh Surgery 07:30
i have a hole where my sternum should have been. and i tug and i pull upon my smoother skin. things happen inside us. a surgeon's hand can heal. you have found me out. but i'm to your liking. perfect imperfect with fingers tentative. i have no need to reject cause now i need to mend. oh surgery what's wrong and with you i can go on. it's right between my legs. i need you to say go. once upon a time i took my first trip. you stand over me injecting the seeds of sleep. a pain between my legs. this fleeting nameless ache. counting backwards down from ten. you know i never had a chance. to ever fall in love. i've never held a girl. i've never been above these childish foggy thoughts. oh surgery i'm yours to make with me a man. oh surgery what's wrong. i hope you understand. all manner of evil. all men are of evil. completely knock me out. and take these demons out. and cut from within my soul. this angry little hole. oh surgery i'm yours to make with me a man. oh surgery what cost. i hope you'll lend a hand
come into the office is the sun too much. let's draw the shades and hold all your calls. what do we have here all told it looks severe. but procedures are quite clear and recognized. allow me to be frank it suits our purposes to see your honesty. in the scientific world of medicine these minds agree in a theory. do you trust me. do you love me. all my patients really love these. your my patient do you love me. i want you to. i need you too. this is not a pep talk or strained forgery of faith and dignity. i'll be plain and not too cold. it's like a gift of quicksand not a death sentence on command. i hope you still can hear what's underneath. i'm grasping now for words. your lashes glance their damp tears no i'm not relaxed here. excuse my analogy to forgery but surgery is a theory. you come into a room. expecting doom and gloom. but families here have come together. made stronger while you're getting. the best minds of our generations. do you trust me. do you love me. all my patients really love these
Orlando 04:16
what makes orlando move. move me to be near. such a sterile kind of town so easy to put down. i drive to the beach maybe back next week. to american theme parks a new car in the dark. mercifully way up here heart in your arms. and there is a place for us to see through. why do we raise the dead. with every argument. i'm not that brave today. what's true i thought i knew. i saw you cut your hair. makes you soft and kind of scared. you're red and setting like the sun. it moves you further from the world. like i knew you on tv or some old movie. but you're just visiting like a star. i've seen once upon a time or two a long while ago. when there was a place for us orlando. why do we raise the dead. with every argument. i'm not that brave today. what's true i thought i knew. always the sights. why do we raise the dead. with every argument. i'm not that brave today. what's true i thought i knew. what's true i thought i knew
Florence 17:15
dress up old florence in an open backed gown. last night was for dancing today is for rest. her house on ocean shore parkway is warm. but strangely quiet after the songs. and the dancing and card games and one of her friends. made a pass like a lover she sweetly declined. cause he's gone. i'm sorry i'll only have one. and i know that you know how to be alone cause yours. is gone too. dress up old florence she's falling away. put on her flowered housecoat and arrange. her silver hair flowing with a comb and a brush. and powder her pale check with rosy blush. and though her daughter talked to her every day of her life. and tended to her while she was losing her life. there were moments of anger and terrible mean. things were said loudly and tears had to stream from her face. left with a sweeping disgrace of a broken glass argument's haste. ah what a waste to erase your grace. dress up old florence she's leaving today. and mother and daughter are losing their way. and florence is frightened but she'll understand. it's better than blood thinners and oxygen masks. now you send for a priest for a blessing a prayer. she's against them all cause they don't give a damn. as he's leaving the sacristy he said with a wink. and dropping his robes he grabs a drink. then he's gone into the arms of a nun. who has skin and a pulse and a son. and needs someone too like you. dress up old florence she's looking so good. and now all her brave friends are coming with food. this should have been hard but by mid afternoon. you can hear the note as it moves through the room. remember that time eric was falling down drunk. in a woman's dress and he called when he lost. yeah they made a good team and when they played cards. christ himself stacked all the odds. though she's gone into the arms of our god. i'm so glad to have known someone so strong but not hard


An intimate glimpse into the complex mind of Five Eight frontman Mike Mantione, The Good Nurse is a masterful chronicle of one man's obsession with mental health and physical illness. Narrated with songs that harbor themes of sickness, struggle and survival, this incredible concept record deals with those moments of dramatic change in our lives - many of which take place in a hospital. Filled with innovative arrangements, gut-wrenching ballads and poetic lyrics delivered through delicate whispers and impassioned roars - and all evidenced with Five Eight's glorious pop sensibility. As Mantione sings "this family only meets in hospitals and funerals" in the opening track, your heart will swell and ebb in empathy. A brilliant and original listening experience. (DER-384)

"The next time you go to the record store I suggest you pick up Five Eight's new disc. It's loaded with emotion and musical muscles to boast. Very much full of the hospital, my life in shambles, I'm in pain theme. Just imagine Jawbreaker's 'Accident Prone' turned into a full length. Now that's a ballsy analogy but I mean it. Mike Mantione expresses much of his inside, takes on some role writing and reaches success with this. This album is one of my favorites right now." - Semantics

"Methods and madness dominate The Good Nurse, Five Eight's painfully impassioned concept dirge. While music and medicine have been known to share a few beds in the rock world, it's never seemed quite this critical or bedridden. Intended as a sort of sickness study borne of a fixation by frontman Mike Mantione, The Good Nurse throbs with a Southern sideshow intensity previously absent in the Athens band's sweet jangle-pop, pumping up into soaring anthems and burning down into the midnight gibberish word association of creeping death and sleeping pills. Think Neil Young, feel Prozac. Littered with the no-one-smiling photos typically reserved for the space above your dead grandmother's bed, the liner notes only serve to further the elixir and death mysticism of Mantione's rural mantra. 'Something is scarred, I need defending. What did I do to bring it here?' he begs on Requiem, sincerity ringing like a sickness. Breathtaking, really. And deadly." - Magnet

"Mike Mantione and Five Eight have been playing woe-is-me rock a long time; they started back when most of today's emo-boys were still in grade school. Ever since the opening strains of 'Looking Up' on their official debut album 'I Learned Shut Up' in 1992, Five Eight has been all about putting psychological distress to music. With 'The Good Nurse', Mantione and Five Eight have eschewed larger-than-life rock for a more subtle, tension-filled sound. It's a disturbing, frustrated feeling that ties this album together. There is a stark absence of hooks and riffs, and standard pop structures are thrown out the window. The result is a stream-of-consciousness concept album that puts us in the hospital ward with Mr. Mantione and his character's manic, unbalanced mind. A friend of mine once remarked that in order to fully appreciate Five Eight, you must see them live; the studio somehow could not capture their magic. That could still ring true today, but I think that for the first time in their long career, the band has found their muse in the confines of the four walls of a recording studio. The genius is shining through." - MishMash



released May 9, 2000


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