Regas-McDonald - Hall of Fame Cities


Recorded July 2020-August 2021: Bloomington, IN (Pierogi Palace, The Blondes Basement); Canton, OH (Casa de Familia); Dayton, OH (The Ritarall Rooster); Frazeysburg, OH (De Hörse Hytt)

Produced by Sam Regas and Matthew McDonald
Primary Engineering and Mixing: Sam Regas
Mastering and production consulting: Wes McCraw

All songs written and arranged by Sam Regas and Matthew McDonald

Performances by instrument:
Sam Regas: lead vocals, piano, pump organ, mellotron, other digital keyboards, acoustic and electric guitars, zither, melodica, xylophone, drums, guiro, cuica, tambourine, shakers, other percussion, programming and looping

Matthew McDonald: backing vocals, piano, mellotron, other digital keyboards, bass guitar, bowed double bass, violin, banjo, mandolin, lapsteel, additional percussion, programming and looping

Caroline Brooks: euphonium, trombone (on Tracks 1, 4, 5)
Abby Fledderman: trumpet (on Tracks 1, 4)
Tom McCluskey and Jess Townsend: violin, viola, cello (on Track 1)
Juli Regas: violin (Track 2)
Haley Shaw: french horn (on Tracks 3, 5)
Filippo Tramo: french horn (Track 5)

Album cover photographed by Juli Regas

Album Cover ©Regas-McDonald 2021
Album Design ©Regas-McDonald 2021
©Voltage Control Records 2021



He spent his leanest years in front the mirror
And sat on from the outside, playing whitecoat
Oh, they’re ringing the bell, and he’s ripping out his hair ‘til balding
Feeling for time, it’s sand at high noon and scalding
It’s always burning up his hands

Pity be his dance who must explain itself to strangers at parties
Oh, he should’ve read that room

It’s always burning his hands, hands, hands
Pity be that dance
Oh, he should’ve tied that shoe

You never wait You don’t your time
You’d like to dream in Moorish patterns, see clear with Western eyes
A fine idea, and yet you can’t even give good directions

Oh no, you don’t take your time
Don’t ever wait
You’d like to bomb a town to bits and then be thought of like a saint
But you don’t know how to love or how to kill with your hands
Ah, with your hands


She was a mother and a lively hunger
Had ten sons and daughters on the teet of a litter
At night, she’d paint ‘em white: her own private theater
Like porcelain dolls doing Shakespeare
Tell me--do people still cry holy tears?
Ah, we’re all ghettoized lizards with a taste for bacchanalia.

To be young and the world at your meat hooks Splaying your juices, ye Ab-Ex fertilizer you
(All men are grass)
And I bet the mother’s love splits ‘em up like a pickaxe
Tell me--do people still cry (holy)?
Ah, we’re all ghettoized lizards with a taste for bacchanalia.


The past, a plain you soiled for me The past, a plain you soiled for me
A past in stained glass, two for tea
A past melt black in motel screams
But in its light, could we be who we wanted to be?
Could we unsee the things we came to see?
In this light, has there been known a love so secret and sweet?
Not by me

Our love they wrote long times ago
Mouths and memories and your cigarette smoke
It clung to me after

Now our love she lay with steam power and trains
Buried with corpses and their drinking games
Like bridge and canasta


To be terribly American
Always groping to the teeth
Like a pervert for cheerleaders
A Sunday glutton, his hot wings
To live stakes of weight and bet, betting heavy
In victory, celebrate
A jungle gun on Bangkok shoreleave

The eight year-old in your wrists
Shaking up a Parkinson’s disease
Ripping at your Christmas Day paper
A live wolf on the killing

To be terribly American
When you’re trotting out your dreams
Last year, you’d done a real Henry Miller
Bar-hunting and slumming
But this summer you’ve been proper & medicated
But the heat’s unending
‘Til that mortal chill hits your nape
And football’s coming

Terribly American
When you’re grovelling at the knee
Gasping in high altitude
Heaving and pleading
To your lady, your father, to strangers—it’s all the same, really:

Here, here, your cancer of theater
Out for last drops, always suckling
In your sick, drained swamp of avarice
You’re bled white and dying

There, there, roaring brooder
Gloried butcher
In all your exorcised and your conquered
Your mosquito suckles and wolf punctures
This land’s a shill—and you heed her, you answer
Steer the tide
Virile captain
Cervantes lancer
Ah, the tide’s rising, hell

To be terribly American
Full of questions buoying
All of your cockroach visions
That make you so dizzy
And they’ll never die, never die
I can hear them sounding:
Will this greatness make me good?


All the things she sees
Her mornings flickered winter, and ended red-wine potpourri
All the love she breathes
In her throat, her cooing bagpipes, swelled to wild electrical fields
All her wailing dreams
In bedrooms she called wardance and her spilling out in sirening pink
All the things she feels (would like to feel)
For sinners, common houseplants; to have Christ in foot n’ hat and the in-between
But all her dead-God style
The child of bleeding empire, she knows the night and drinks herself dry
So be it fire or ice, for the girl who tried to find her northern lights
(Oh can she find, she find, she find)
(Could hall of fame cities shine on you tonight?)

But lights they were never-never
And all too well she knows
So keep your things close and friends you half-know

Ah lights!
They were never-never
And all too well she found
So keep your head down and a few old friends around

She could never sleep under desert stars
Or counting old sheep and so bored of the dark
Will she know her animal heart?

Could hall of fame cities shine on you tonight?

She could never sleep under desert stars
Or counting old sheep and so bored of the dark
Will she know her animal heart?
So keep your things close and friends you half-know

My girl with golden hair
She looks into my eyes
My girl with golden hair
She’s telling me lies


I’ve been having a time
On these windcandy nights
Sipping floats on the Davenport-Rock Isle line

There’s flesh in these shoes
Could I fill them with earth?
And we’ll dance to old miracles
Blood of lamb in my suit
It’s seen funeral homes and golden-hour festivals
And I’ve been having me a time
With you on the mind

Flesh in these shoes
And no skin left to lose this time
Could it be you, my windcandy muse
This time?

With you on the mind

©℗Regas-McDonald 2021