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Sign Language

A Brooklyn band gets some very writerly lyrics.

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The arty Brooklyn band One Ring Zero, whose instruments include a power drill, had been playing events for McSweeney’s, the lit journal–cum–empire, for two years when member Michael Hearst had an idea. “I thought, Why not cash in on this connection to the literary world?” he says. Then the literary world agreed to write lyrics for the band’s CD, As Smart As We Are. Here’s a sampling.

“If I were a volcano I would want you to jump, jump into my yellow, jump into my hot yellow.”—Dave Eggers

“Kiss me, you brat / Don’t make me ask / Stars in the night sky don’t ask to shine, do they?”—Rick Moody

“I’ve got to get out of Cincinnati or else I’ll go plum, dumb, and batty.”—Paul Auster

“You find us in the bathroom / You find us in the sink / You find us in the toilet, having ourselves a drink.”—Jonathan Lethem

“When I was a little boy, I was very troubled / I had a bad back and an elevated testicle.”—Jonathan Ames

“I’m nine feet tall and my skin is gray / All the girls scream when I come out to play.”—Margaret Atwood


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