when my grandmother died several years ago my dad came into my room in the morning and sat at my bedside. he woke me and told me he had to fly out to mexico for the funeral. he told me i had to take care of the dogs. when he left the room i started crying—not because my grandmother had passed away, but because i was overwhelmed, in that moment, by the prospect of taking care of the dogs. this was probably my first encounter with loss since my first dog, jazzy, died. after i cried i was frustrated because i knew i had cried for the wrong reasons. i didn't mourn right.
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jazzy was a morbidly obese beagle whose hind legs gave out one day. i was first to come home from school that day and found him struggling to drag his awful body over to me. my dad held him at the vet's office that night when he was put down.
to be put down is a euphemism particular to animals. it is the ostensibly merciful killing of an animal for whom remaining alive is deemed too complicated for us to deal with. it was our fault anyway. we fed jazzy too much.
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i still don't mourn right and when our friend passed away i didn't cry at all. i wandered around the rooms of my house when we all hung out there the day after the wake. everyone was crying and i didn't and i felt ashamed for not feeling the way i thought i was supposed to.
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i don't like cemeteries because i think it's f*cked that we would want to sequester the dead in a place that is so physically and symbolically devoid of who they were when alive. only people who hung out in cemeteries a lot should be buried in them.
actually the idea that the body after death has anything to do with the person is odd to me. not that i think a person's body is an arbitrary appendage of their personhood, but because i think a person is constituted by their relationship to time and place. to imagine that the memory of a person can be imprisoned in their body and in their grave does violence to the presence that persists in the places they shared with others.
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h*ckhound is a skeleton dog that appears in my room every night at the witching hour. it runs in circles on my bed, chasing its tail, and when i try to hold it in my arms it crumbles into dust.
released June 3, 2014
miguel gallego: guitars, keys, vox
brian thorn: guitars
alex "hex" drivanos: guitars
dan lay: bass, viola, violin
jeff horn: drums
recorded may-august 2013 in miguel's room and basement
mastered by dan thorn
all songs written, produced and mixed by dicktations.
cover art by vanessa martinez
liner note design by rachel lesser
released on tape by king pizza records
cassette design by alejandra oliva
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"H*CKHOUND plays like the anxious survivor of some tragedy, troubled but sincere, full of love to give and loss" — Wake The Deaf
"Verging on genius on a few of these pieces, their energy and chops are things to admire. Despite their attempts to hide underneath so much noise and distortion their pop sensibilities shine through the muck." — Beach Sloth
“H*CKHOUND” takes in themes of death, loss, and the body, along with morbidly obese beagles and skeletal dream-dogs. Odd, tragic, and infinitely catchy, “H*CKHOUND” is essential listening for rock fans and dog lovers alike." — Columbia Spectator
the carcass in the yard stinks up the whole damn block. the neighbors start to stare—they wonder what's going on in there. the sprinkler's spew up blood. the trees are throwing up. a house of unmade beds filled with eight fucking empty heads. he won't let us sleep til we mow the damn lawn. he won't let us sleep til we mow the damn lawn. i would love to break you.
Track Name: TERMINAL KNUCKLEHEADS
i could try and find the words but i am so tongue tied. i could take my time, rehearse but, baby, i'm so tired. i'm like a brand new cadillac, i can reverse but can't take it back. if i get it right. if i get it right. i could try and sleep tonite, but baby i'm so wired. i could finally feel alright, but maybe i'm inspired. so come right over, i'll be waiting here all nite. let's start it over and we'll get it right.
Track Name: ANA
ana. i'm giving up the ghost. i'm heading for the coast. i was hoping you could come with me, but then i could see why you won't. help me please. ana.
Track Name: THIS IS THE NEW HOME
after the wake we drove to the alter we had made. we left cigarettes and chips, sodas, candles and games. and at my house we drank until we could feel our own deaths. they weren't cold or still—they were hot and full of breath.
Track Name: STRANGE NOVEMBER
i buried you in my skin. i've been patient. but lighters won't stay lit for incantations. i don't know why. i don't know why. summertime's a drag. i'm always waiting. winter cold will lull our loss to sleep. strange november, all december ever did was bring you down. my mouth is full of words i don't need them. i'm following the birds and falling seasons. i don't know why. i don't know why. let's be insufferable. i'm still trying! everything slips away from me.
Track Name: STYLITES
you bust your hand punching your car. you get tattoos of your scars. you dream your teeth are falling out, and it shows yeah it shows. you're splitting time and splitting hairs. puking blood and getting stares. you spend your day trying to crush stone. and you know, yeah you know. what does it matter if you wreck your health. what does it matter if its someone else. what does it matter if you wreck your health this time. should i even mind?
Track Name: DIG MY BONES
hey—whatcha doing in my home? whatcha doing, baby? dig my bones. dig my bones. hey—you're not welcome here no more. you're not welcome, baby. dig my bones. dig my bones. i don't want to waste your time, so you better not waste mine.
Track Name: JOSHUA
joshua—you took a fall and you hit your head. joshua—spent seven days laying in your bed. and you told me in your sleep you had finally found your dreams. and they don't got shit to do with us. i'm not getting any younger. you're not fooling anyone. you've been talking bout that hunger but where will you go? where will you go?
Track Name: ZOO TYCOON
all the animals at the zoo are pretty mean. they wanna bite the hand, the hand that fucking feeds. all the people at the zoo are feeling blue. they watch the animals and thats all they fucking do. she will never know. she will never know all about the time i wasted.
Track Name: THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH
you left your smokes on the alter. you left your car keys on the hook. if you asked me would i ever give up, i'd say one, two, three we're fucking out of luck. please don't walk away from me. please don't let me fall asleep. how could you say that you know my name? how could you say that we are the same? down—it's bringing me down. it's bringing me down. how could you say that you are my friend? how could you open this up again? down—it's bringing me down. it's bringing me down.
Track Name: CATCH ME BABE
catch me babe i'm falling. catch me babe i'm falling, but i know you don't believe in yourself. you don't believe in anyone else. good—neither do i.
Track Name: DRIVING IN MY CAR
i love driving in my car. going nowhere, just driving round. and i love talking to my friends. going nowhere, just driving round. and i love driving in my car. going nowhere, just driving round. and i love driving in my car. and i love driving in my car. going nowhere, just driving round. and i love listening to songs. going nowhere, just driving round.