Machine Under Its Own Spell

by Corpus Callosum

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    CD in a jewel case, with fold-out artwork by Hannah Blair and photograph by Heather Hryciw.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Machine Under Its Own Spell via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    edition of 25 

      $10 USD or more 


  • 11x14 Poster
    Poster/Print + Digital Album

    For those who like to have something to hang on a wall we have made a run of posters of the incredible photograph by Heather Hryciw that was originally in the CD booklet. Staged at Sutro Baths in San Francisco, this photo was shot as a 4x5 positive using the very Deardorff camera you see in the frame. Corpus Callosum members pictured (front to back) are Stevie Hryciw, Zach Michels, Dax Tran-Caffee and Avery Burke.

    With the purchase of this 11x14 poster (which we will mail to you), you also receive a free digital download of "Machine Under Its Own Spell" in the file format of your choosing (we will email you a download code).

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released May 20, 2005


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Corpus Callosum San Francisco, California

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Track Name: Hymnal
to the rise of the day
when out I can climb
find the sun in her sky
puts her veil upon me
and the heat of the dirt
is the alms that I keep
while the coins they collect
in the depth of a bed
that's the breadth of a grave
where I'll be swallowed by sleep
till the rise of the day
Track Name: There's Nothing at 4th & King But a Train Station
you were born with you heart split in four
that's what you'll tell them
when they ask you why you frown
and you just like the view from the floor
that's what you'll tell them
when they ask you why you're down

and we've all gone insane 'cause we're all gonna die
we all know, but we don't know why

and there's nothing but tombstones
where the railroad tracks should be
it's such a tragedy
that good steel just rusts like that
and the mayor of our town's downtown
playing chess alone out in the rain
to the whistle of the train
and at night, he sleeps on the railroad track

and we've all gone insane 'cause we're all gonna die
we all know, but we don't know why

and through your makeup
your age begins to show
you're really much too young
for the things you do, you know
and the hummingbirds make their home in my eyes
and your teeth pepper the floor
and your heart makes food for the flies
and I nest in your chest of drawers

and we've all gone insane 'cause we're all gonna die
we all know, but we don't know why
Track Name: Oh, My Shadow
forgive me if I never call
would you hold it against me?
forgive me if I never call
would you hold it against me if I took you apart?
I am an X-ray beam of your heart
and what a glorious day when I die
I know they'll be waiting to see
angel wings sprout out of me

oh, my little cherub
you float so close to the ground
to shed your snowy snake skin down on me
oh, my little black shadow
is leaning awkwardly on the wall
oh, my little black shadow
you aren't so little after all

forgive me if I never call
would you hold it against me?

oh, my lilly white milky moon
has risen from its grave
oh, my little soft bed of coals
for you and me to come and lay

one, two, three
you and me
Track Name: Plastic Bead Rosaries
well you give me your cigarettes
and you tell me to drive
and then you hit me
until I give you one
and I know some people
they need their cigarettes
but you tell me to hit you back
and you smile when you're tasting blood

put a rosary around your neck
wash your hands clean

and we will skate to the house
where you were born
where your uncle, he was sick
where your mother said to you
that the disease, it was spread
that his disease, it was spread
to punish the ungodly
his disease it was spread
how can we deny it?
when all of his friends are dead
when all of his friends have died
how can we deny it?
so you push away and you say
well, I have slept with a girl, Dax
I know I have it
and you should run while you can
I know you're tired of my face
I think you should get me drunk
and drown me in your bathtub
and I wish you'd hit me harder

put a rosary around your neck
and try to go to school

put a rosary around your neck
fill up all your books
with pictures of your dream girl

and Becky says you've got to concentrate
Becky says that you're a star
Becky says that you don't need friends
and it's ok to be a lesbian

but at night you call your sister
she hasn't come home
and she is out with the boy
who chose your twin over you
but everyone wants to hold your hand
they are telling you to say
everything is gonna be...

and your stepmother's mother speaks
one sunny Easter morning
from behind her black cigarettes
from behind two hundred pounds
from between two electrical scars on her temples
that pills are what saved her
they are necessary for life
you need to keep taking your Luvox, honey
and that's the extent of her advice

put a rosary around your neck
and I wish I had you back
Track Name: Descartes' Daughter
Descarte's daughter is now resting at the bottom of the sea
just the soul that's in control of the gears of a machine

just the hand of man stepping in
where the hand of God should have been
so they threw Descartes' daughter down into the water

and now she lies below the waves
if logic is the difference between animals and man
as she was going overboard, she was heard to say
I think, therefore I am

Descartes' daugher was the apple of the mind of her father
and the product of the hands of a genius clockwork maker

well, she ain't no procreation
she's just automation
just the winding of a spring that brings forth life's imitation

one wonders, is there a heaven for machines?
one wonders, has she finally gone to pieces?
resting at the bottom with a rust that sleeps
and the ticking of a tock in a breast that never ceases
Track Name: One Short Length of Cord
swing, hangman, swing your rope
swing it for a while
think I see my mother coming
and she's rode for many a mile
have you come to see me hung?
have you come to pay my fee?
yes, I've come to see you hung
and swing from the gallows tree


such a piece of work is man
so easy to undo
what I wouldn't give right now
to trade places with you
and it took nails, one, two, three
to crucify the lord
all you're gonna need for me
is one short length of cord

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