Sand (and other mysteries)
OK Glass

[free download] [bandcamp] [cds & tapes]

OK Glass spent eight years as a guerilla sneaking into conservatories, churches, and studios to covertly record large and expensive instruments for SAND (AND OTHER MYSTERIES). Now it can be told: SAND comprises 16 byte-size symphonies for embittered punks.

There are no palliative lies on SAND to comfort us as we grow obsolete. Conversely, OK Glass is here to nurture our creative anxiety with wide-eyed cultural panopticon music. OK Glass is not quite a supervillain, but not yet an Ozymandias.

No one tells the truth anymore. It's all sand.

  • Joms Tooper - drum kit (2, 12, 14), tubular bells (5), vocal (5), xylophone (2, 3, 6)
  • Luke Slomba - trombone (2, 5, 8, 13, 16), vocal (8)
  • Lindsay Carrozza - baritone saxophone (10), soprano clarinet & tenor saxophone (6)
  • Marcy Nabors - bass clarinet (10), soprano clarinet (12)
  • Naeemah Maddox - viola (8, 16)
  • Finnegan Shanahan - viola & violin (5)
  • Kyle Carrozza - stylophone (12)
  • Cory Rabiea - vocal (7)
  • "Target" subsumes part of "Blink At Surprise" by Carol Cleveland Sings, used with their generous permission
  • and thank you to OK Fox for photography & digital cleanup, August Krater for design, Tom MacLean for Ripcord mix analysis, FELINIUM and Marty Allen for mixed media expertise, and of course Austin Aeschliman and the folks at Needlejuice for their constant support and enthusiasm.

The Ultimatum

I think when I was writing this song, I thought I was writing about something in particular, but looking back, I can discern no actual events that may have inspired it. It is very similar to "The Algorithm Intervenes" but that song did not have those lyrics at the time of writing.
On that fateful night
That's when you said to me
a thing that I now realize
you knew I would not believe
Now, I knew what you thought of me
but only now I see
how small a chance I stood against
your firm causality
Don't play the guitar
Auf wiedersehen
Don't play the guitar for me
I know that when you're alone again
the urge may consume your being
But don't play the guitar
Auf wiedersehen
This is where I draw the line
If you ever want to see me again
you'll leave the guitar behind
accordion, acoustic guitar, baritone ukulele, bass clarinet, bass drum, clarinet, congas, electric guitar, flute, glockenspiel, hammered dulcimer, Suzuki Andes, tambourine, toy piano, upright bass

Christmas Car Bomb

I have nothing against Staten Island, I have some very nice family there who I typically visit every Christmas. The chorus was based on the old classic Jermaine Stewart song "we don't have to build a / car bomb / to have a good time."
I know it sounds like it's a lie
Something too bold to even try
Despite the years of work put in
my knees still shake when I think about it
Build the Christmas car bomb
Take the Christmas Staten Island Ferry
Build the Christmas car bomb
and it's alright to write a Christmas song in
May this one set our past aside
May all our Christmases be white
Though I can see it in my brain
I still get chills when I try to start it
Build the Christmas car bomb
Take the Christmas Staten Island Ferry
Build the Christmas car bomb
and it's alright to write a Christmas song in May
And when you play the shaker
I want you to imagine
that you're filling up a tiny world
with a dose of artificial snow
Where the blizzards are relentless
always rising with the upbeat
and the little penguin trapped inside
watches life become a frozen hell
Take the Christmas Staten Island Ferry
When you build the Christmas car bomb
know it's alright to be the worst at something new
and it's alright to sing a Christmas song in June
JOMS TOOPER: live drums, tubular bells, xylophone · LUKE SLOMBA: trombone
& accordion, acoustic guitar, baritone ukulele, bass clarinet, bass guitar, electric guitar, hammered dulcimer, keyboard, organ, percussion, programming, toy piano, upright bass

Chemtrail Mist

I remember writing and recording this during a FAWM at the student radio station I ran, I used a filing cabinet as a kick drum and a garbage can as a snare on the demo. For the instrumental (which was originally glockenspiel & Casio) I was trying to invoke early Lemon Demon (i.e. Atomic Copper Claw.)
I heard you had a problem with me
and it's a problem I can't work through unilaterally
Yes, I heard you had a problem with me
I saw it written in the chemtrail mist
And I heard all about the goat
Even the hairs that grace his chin
wouldn't have deigned to let you in
if it'd kept his sorry carcass afloat
Because he heard you had a problem with me
and it's a problem I can't work through with the usual means
Yes, I heard you had a problem with me
I saw it written in the chemtrail mist
Take a look at the Weekly World News
Alien sightings all over the world
What could this mean for humankind?
I guess somebody ought to let the president know
And you can tell it to the judge
Maybe they'll sympathize with you
as the sky fades to black from blue
and the court succumbs to biblical floods
I heard you had a problem with me
and it's a problem I can't work through in the usual way
Yes, I heard you had a problem with me
I saw it written in the chemtrail mist
I saw it written in the chemtrail mist
JOMS TOOPER: xylophone
& accordion, acoustic guitar, banjo, bass guitar, clarinet, drums, electric upright bass, percussion, piano, toy piano


The marimba in this song was first recorded on a real weird "bass marimba" that was just a slightly extended bottom half of a 5-octave marimba some professor at my school decided to order for some reason; it didn't record great and I ultimately had to talk my way back into the conservatory through a percussion student stranger. They were like "bass marimba?? Why would you ever play that? Just play the 5 octave one" and I said "ok, thank you."
What is a Calico?
Can I be a Calico?
How can I be a Calico?
Would it change the way I feel each day?
When I turn the lights on
and it sucks the darkness out of the room,
will it find something to do with it
besides leave it in my shoes?
When I pour my coffee
and I spoon the sugar into the mug,
will a little LED come on
to indicate that I've put enough?
Have you heard of this before?
Is this heartburn or an ulcer?
What do you make of this scar?
Do you think it looks bad?
When I think of getting up
and I jettison the dreams from my head,
will a concrete wall erect itself
to keep them from returning again?
Is there a product I can buy?
Is there a knife I can go under?
Are my parts serviceable by user?
Is there a chip I can pry off with a screwdriver?
What is a Calico?
Could I be a Calico?
Is there some way I would know?
Would it change the way I feel each day?
When I'm walking down a street,
should I be accosted by memories,
will a piston lock my knees
to keep me from collapsing into a heap?
Do you think I'll be alright?
Is this an ulcer or just heartache?
Is there a pill that I can take
and will it kick in right away?
I think I feel it!
Is this... calico onset?
Is this what it's like to be one?
Would I know another when I see one?
Is it wrong of me to want it?
Would it be if I were to flaunt it?
Does this change the way you think of me?
Don't you wish that you could be me?
alto saxophone, bass guitar, drums, keyboard, marimba, organ, piano


In 2015 I saw two bagworms in the same week after a lifetime of seeing none of them. I haven't seen any since.
Safe in your self-contained trash purse
Spirit of mistletoe hangman
Parasite clinging to vital flaw
Whirl in your world on high
Shoulder the weeks washing by
Permanent bagworm
Stave it off
Mall cop
Spinning your wheels in a small job
King of the beasts in the pet shop
Jingling keys as you waddle by
Switching a flashlight on
Imagining it's a gun
Coconut chai cop
All that I want in my life
And if the cricket should announce
in the smallest little voice
that the winter won't come this year
If the rabbit claps her hands
and you die before you wake
would it really make a difference in the life that you perceive?
You're squeezing the life out of you
I wouldn't doubt that it's a long, slow burn
Ouroboros bites off more than it can chew
Trapped in eternity
Challenging entropy
Proverbial bagworm
Underdog bagworm
Intrepid bagworm
Stuck in permanent stage two
I can't wait to be you
A bagworm too
& accordion, alto clarinet, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, classical guitar, drums, flute, piano, soprano clarinet, upright bass

The Delano Lies In Wait

Speculative fiction - as far as I know, this song is entirely historically accurate (except that vice presidential candidates didn't get to debate in the 1920s). Apart from the sentiments expressed by the titular Delano, which I made up based on a joke my friend Chris wrote on a paper plate.
Mr. Coolidge
I'll pretend to be your friend
I will smile from at my podium
when the moderator says your name
to alleviate the tedium
of the intro to the first debate
Though they don't know
what my actuary's preminitions show
I'll let it go
You can have this one today
Mr. Coolidge
I'll pretend to be your friend
I'll politely send condolences
when I hear what Harding's left to you
and attest to your courageousness
as the obligation crushes you
"Four more years!"
Look who got himself his own term
"Keep it cool!"
One you sort of had to earn
Run away
Aren't you glad that Hoover's got you?
Easy prey
Nothing left for me to do or say
Mr. Coolidge
I'm afraid your time has come
After everything we put you through
Do you think you'll leave a legacy?
Will the things that you had tried to do
measure to what Hoover's left to me?
Still, I'm glad you were alive to hear I won
LINDSAY SMITH: tenor saxophone, clarinet · FINNEGAN SHANAHAN: violin, viola · JOMS TOOPER: xylophone · LUKE SLOMBA: trombone
& acoustic guitar, autoharp, bass drum, bass guitar, celeste, drums, piano, sleigh bell, timpani, tin whistle, tubular bells, upright bass


I recorded Cory's vocals on the same day (and in the same project file) as I recorded him narrating a old piece of fanfiction I used to perform. It took a lot of restraint to not leave his Sonic voice at the end of the track.
In the belly of the beast
I can see myself clinging to the life raft
Gastric acids threating
Capsizing, and the feeling breaks a consciousness lapse
They drained the liquid from my knee
and told me to move it
They let the other atrophy
They called it a side effect
Well, I grip the sides of my bed
Open my mouth and try not to forget
And as I'm falling forth
I am still thinking of you
Up until I pull the ripcord
And the thought sinks faster
Earthbound matter
Glass bubble is gonna shatter
& banjo, bass guitar, drums, keyboard, recorder, synthesizer

The Cola Queen Song (Hansom Cab)

I had never been to Atlanta when I wrote this song, I wanted to believe it was a magical city with a beverage factory and a massive air hub and historic streets. I'm sure it's lovely, but the one night I have spent there was not one I hasten to remember.
Hansom cab
I'll drive the hansom cab
and there won't be a thing in the world
to keep me from there
Hansom cab
Boarding the hansom cab
and we move down the old boulevards
we pause to stare
I was an amateur
I was an ambitious chauffeur
I was enamored with the taste
The Cola Queen
Hansom cab
Riding the hansom cab
And as we move towards the factory
Bravely, I speak
The lights from all the passing planes
resemble impulses in our brains
I feel them arc from yours to mine
as our neuroses combine
One million bottles shake
One hundred faces fall and break
One horse has trampled through the gate
It's a bad scene
Their lights vociferate
There lies your handbag in your wake
Their secret's out and yours to take
True Cola Queen
LUKE SLOMBA: vocals, trombone · NAEEMAH MADDOX: viola
& accordion, alto clarinet, alto recorder, alto saxophone, banjo, baritone ukulele, bass guitar, drums, flute, glockenspiel, piano, sleigh bell, soprano ukulele, timpani, toy piano, tubular bells, upright bass

(three word phrase)

I rewrote and re-recorded the third line of this song easily ten times over approximately as many years. The original filler lyric was "I had a dream that my friend had a Strong Bad pop-up book, it was the book of my dreams."
At the beginning of the track, take a few steps back
and tell yourself you're not afraid
It's just a little bit of thinking and a little isolation
Washes all your sense away
I had a dream that the world was a bitter, fallow place
and it turned out to be true
And at the shooting of the gun, tell your legs to run
until they run right off of you
This must be the way that it all falls out of place
This must be the one that we frankly can't outrun
This must be the way
that it all falls down and there's no one around
to help you dig its grave
(three word phrase)
What the dudes all shout when they're out and about
in the concert place
(three word phrase)
You ought to find a quiet spot and let your body rot
as the deformaties accrue
If you can play the ukulele, you can play the ukulele
till your friends start leaving you
I saw an ad for a firm that will take you into space
Romantic, if cavalier
It's gonna cost a couple dollars, but it's worth a couple dollars
if it gets you out of here
Got to pull yourself together
Eats away at your stomach lining
Burrows into your chest
Lack of atmospheric pressure
All alone with my thoughts inside
I scared myself half to death
What the dudes all shout when they're out and about
in the concert place
(three word phrase)
When it all falls down and there's no one around
to help you dig its grave
(three word phrase)
When there's nothing there and you're becoming aware
you gotta fill the space
(three word phrase!)
When it all falls down and there's no one around
at the concert place
alto saxophone, banjo, bass guitar, drums, piano

Karma Camel

I was listening to a lot of free-association hip hop at the time I wrote this record, back during the month or so they called it "hyperlink rap." The lyrics to Karma Camel just sort of fell out in one piece, after the music was written, which is rare for me.
and so I firmly grab the handlebar and pull myself in
As I'm accelerating towards the apex of my ascent
In an attempt to thwart the tyrrany of present pretense
would it be possible to make transpire prior events?
The Karma Camel thinks that you can
The Marlboro Michelin man
Addendum to the rest of the verse
The best and the worst have both recessed to the hearse
and I'm dead in the middle of the little bus to downtown
and so I try to make my way through to the front of the crowd
As I'm defiling society, I wonder aloud
If you can take a piece of history and change it around
would it be evident that something else had ever gone down?
The Karma Camel thinks that it might
The backdrop of the star-studded night
enveloping the carpet of red
Continue ahead to reach my trough of a bed
I'm alive in the middle of the little bus to downtown
I'm alive on the surface till I return by drill
The silent sound
Plays over and over
Right round
Like a record of the past imprinted into a stone
Perdurable but for the fact that it will shatter when thrown
from off the highest of the hills and into somebody's home
until they rearrange the pieces, making it read as though
I'm alone in the middle of the little bus to downtown
I'm alone on the surface till I return by drill underground
MARCY NABORS: bass clarinet · LINDSAY SMITH: baritone saxophone
& accordion, acoustic guitar, alto saxophone, cowbells, drums, electric autoharp, electric piano, keyboard, melodica, shaker, soprano clarinet


In 2011 or so I revisited a composition I made in the early 00s or late 90s on Windows 95 scorewriter program Musictime Deluxe. I took out the harmonic elements that sounded too childish/dissonant, and gave it lyrics and an instrumental break. It is otherwise pretty much unchanged. The dummy lyrics were taken whole-cloth from "Monster's Wedding" by the Aquabats and "Don't Bring Me Down" by ELO and there are still some signs of those songs present.
I stumbled into the Christmas tree
I guess I lost track of the date
but someone must be stopping by and leaving questions for me
because I'd never leave the furniture in my own way
I thought you oughta know
that when I opened the door
it wasn't fun anymore
It spiraled into my brain
and brought me down to the floor
But in the wake of the pain
there's solace in the mundane
Don't bring me down
I can't tell if my eyes are closed
or if the light is off or if my sight is gone
I can't see my hand feeling around for the switch
I can't feel my eyes on my face or my hand on my wrist
I thought you oughta know
that when you're searching for proof
you'll meet an amateur sleuth
with an inquisitive grin
You have to tell me the truth
Despite my admonition
the answers locate therein
Don't bring me down
You oughta know
that when you open the door
it won't be fun anymore
It spirals into your brain
and makes the synapses short
but in the midst of the pain
there's pleasure in the insane
Don't bring me down
No one has to know
acoustic guitar, alto saxophone, bass guitar, clarinet, drums, shaker

Compound Eye

I wrote this while taking a class on media theory and appropriately stole a lot of the ideas and images from a lot of the stuff I was reading. The music has always been the same but the arrangement changed so, so many times, and it is a massive relief to have the song published.
Working out my tendrils so they'll grab onto the things I wanna keep
They control the pictures through the screen but I set the opacity
A virus carried by the common household spy
Compound eye
Compound eye
I'm so tired that I could just die
Found a little something on the back page of a year old magazine
They wouldn't let me sell it on a t-shirt so I gave them out for free
A Times Square tourist with a camera to the sky
Compound eye
Compound eye
I'm so tired that I could just die
They left the lights on
so that I might think they're home
Just like the last time
when they left the dog alone
Well, I digress
It's for the best anyway
Remix culture standards of respect for other peoples' property
TKTKTKTKTKTKTKTK need to have the lyrics on the screen
The rule of WYSIWYG always depends on WYS
A line of work to drain the liquid from your life
Compound eye
Compound eye
JOMS TOOPER: drums · MARCY NABORS: clarinet · KYLE CARROZZA: stylophone
& bass guitar, claps, electric guitar, electric mandolin, extra drums, hammered dulcimer, keyboard, piano, synthesizer


I wrote this song during a Summer FAWM and my collaborator Joms put an extremely dynamic, propulsive, and OK Glass-sounding drum beat on it, and I had to be like "this is great but I actually thought this could be the first chill song I have ever written." I interpolated some of that into the final product when I recorded live drums years later.
Half awake on the floor
Lost a war
Mitigate the affront
more than once
Relish the rewrite
and hold on tight
In the air; in the sea
Inside of me
I declare I don't know
It's just for show
Affirm that you're alive
by taking a dive
Mathematic proof
I can see it all
The rising and the fall
But I am not convinced
just because it's true
In my lungs they abound
They're all around
Everyone gets a chance
to take a glance
Pretend that you're prepared
to run out of air
LUKE SLOMBA: trombone
& accordion, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, electric autoharp, electric guitar, glockenspiel, hammered dulcimer, shaker, synthesizer, upright bass, toy piano


I don't think I could even hum any of the Arctic Monkeys' song "I Bet You'd Look Good On The Dance Floor" but that era of 00s dancepunk has so many long song titles that stick in my brain.
I bet you'd look better on target
Everything looks better on target
A million clay pigeons would defend it
if they weren't the ones on target
I don't know what to do
I'm having second thoughts
I can't make mine go off
I tried pulling on the trigger but it won't shoot
I tried cleaning out the barrel but it won't shoot
And now I'm trying to remember if it was true
that when I'm pulling on the trigger it's supposed to
Clean all of the spots
off of your yacht
and later on we'll all take shots
I bet you'd look better on target
Everything looks better on target
A million clay pigeons would defend it
if they weren't the ones on target
& alto saxophone, bass guitar, electric guitar, electric bass clarinet, synthesizer

The Algorithm Intervenes

Based on what I believe to be a true experience that I had but have been entirely unable to confirm - during a time when social media was wrecking my psyche, I swear that either The Algorithm unfollowed some folks for me as either a gesture of kindness or one of drawing a line in the sand on the folks' behalf - or, more likely, that I just kinda did it myself in a fit of dissociation and don't remember.
Thought I could walk away
without another word
But all I didn't say
negated what you heard
I don't know what to tell you, man
I don't know what to tell you
Zoomed in on the throne
Suitors come in droves
to supplant some incumbent
But through those greedy eyes
they can't recognize
the court was never open
After the musical
(a couple sour notes)
I wouldn't even try
to read the book you wrote
I don't know what to tell you, man
I don't know what to tell you
The statues that have turned to sand
They must have spoken volumes
How bad could it be
to spend eternity
thinking about nothing?
But during all those years
the truth had been concealed
buried underwater
I must tell you
I can't have your
crimes on my behalf
I have told you
myriad times now
Don't make me again
Can't you just leave it alone?
(Can't you just drop it?)
Can't we just move on from this?
(Can you be cool for five minutes?)
alto saxophone, bass guitar, bongos, congas, cowbell, drums, electric guitar, keyboard, mandolin, synthesizer, tambourine, toy organ, piano

Noise Machine

This song sounds self-effacing, and indeed, most of my songs feature internal feelings that I assign to musical strawmen, but I promise I was ragging on a dorky top 40 artist.
Garbage Robot walks into the garage
from its day job transporting broken glass
Gets its voice box's motor spinning up
and begins squeaking out a tiny jam
It gets hot in the summertime
When it's hot, all the windows open up
Letting in the sound of the night
that the tenants intended to keep out
And to think, if they only heard
what the robot had going down beneath
If the landlord were so perturbed
they'd be switching its program to "delete"
Don't worry should noises come from below
The pipes in this building are decades old
And the whine of the vacuum tube TV
counterpoints a domestic symphony
It lulls me to sleep
Are there traces of magic that remain
in the deepest December evening air?
Could the glow of the moonlight mean the same
when it has to compete for marketshare?
Did it think, when it switched the organ on
of the ramifications wrought worldwide?
Was it gifted a prescient vision of
distribution by Sony/EMI?
Garbage Robot serves up potent solute
All the kitsch in the world with half the truth
Something trivial zooms out to be profound
right about at the time I shut it down
accordion, alto saxophone, bass guitar, congas, drums, glockenspiel, keyboard, recorder, Suzuki Andes, synthesizer, upright bass, piano