Chances Are

by Fire Chief Charlie

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Shaunessy Quinn
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Shaunessy Quinn My favorite album from this great band. I listen to it all the time, constantly on loop! Favorite track: We On The Radio.
  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    This full-length compact disc of Fire Chief Charlie's Chances Are comes in a beautiful 4-panel cardboard wallet featuring original art by Jonah Malarsky.

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released March 25, 2017

produced by Adam Merrin

Jonah Malarsky: lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Jamie Malarsky: vocals, percussion, harmonica, xylophone, shruti, bass (tr. 5)
Lucas Dunning: drums, cowbell (tr. 7)
Eric Radoux: bass, lead guitar, trumpet, vocals
Darren Schroader: dancing, vocals
Adam Merrin: keys, piano, percussion
Ellie Wyatt: strings
Katia Malarsky: vocals (tr. 7, 12)
Josh Hambrock: synthesizer (tr. 2)
Ryan Alvarez: vocals (tr. 6, 12)
Patrick Kelly: guest vocals (tr. 1, 6)
Kacy Treadway: guest vocals (tr. 7)

Recorded at The Lab in Van Nuys, CA, and the Husbands That Cook House in Eagle Rock, CA, June through September 2016.

Engineered by Frankie Siragusa and Adam Merrin
Mixed by Jim Watts
Additional mixing by Adam Merrin
Mastered by Mark Galup and Erik Thompson at Reel Recording in Nashville, TN

Arrangements by Fire Chief Charlie
All music and lyrics by Jonah Malarsky (BMI)
except "LaGuardia" music and lyrics by Josh Hambrock and Jonah Malarsky
String arrangements on "Let's Be Happy" and "Redford" by Ellie Wyatt

Photography by Brooke Hostetter
Artwork by Jonah Malarsky
Cover layout by Fire Chief Charlie

THANK YOU to our families, friends, and to Tobi Lynn and Stand Up 8 Productions


all rights reserved



Fire Chief Charlie Los Angeles, California

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Track Name: Celery Green
Celery has got an eye,
and another eye,
And where Celery goes
Celery will decide.

Celery has got a smile
That's occasionally wild.
Anything Celery sees
Celery can become
With the unseeable things
Under Celery’s thumb

May as well be raining
May be sunny in-between
But most of all it's Celery green

Celery has got a mind
For the feathers that she finds
Wherever feathers are falling
She follows behind
Wearing a string on her finger
Celery designed

May as well be raining
May be sunny in-between
There are things unsingable, ordinarily
But she's a dream in celery green

Celery's inside a square
Celery is everywhere
There's Celery in the tree
Celery stands beside
Celery says good morning
To Celery at night
Hey Celery! And another
Celery might
Just be the Celery seen
Wearing celery green
Track Name: LaGuardia
People, sleepy to work
Window baker in the window alone.

They eat with open mouths —

I had to go to school.
They teach in daylight
While you find a new crush.
The substitute came in our home room
Said, "Go ahead you'll figure out fast
How late a working man works."

Sleepy people today
Strangers sitting on their luggage alone.
Track Name: Boris
Honey’s eyes are gold
Honey’s eyes are double-fold and twisted through my head
Again, go again they wrap around the dead
Like honey purring

There’s fire from the air
There’s embers barely settled and they’re dancing everywhere
We dare, how we dare to call the whole thing terrible

There’s a conversation that we had
There’s a lump of pillows in my bed

Baby’s lips are done
The finger on the trigger now that’s how you get it done
Bend, go and bend that’s how you win someone

Darling dance around the stone
All these birds are pigeon-toed and dancing through my head
Again and again, shake those hips my blue jean baby

There’s a conversation that we had
There’s a lump of pillows in my bed
I will play the nurse if you play dead
We will drop pianos, ammo, yes sirs, on your heads
Track Name: Bull-Hammer
Sing us a song about Bull-Hammer
It’s a good one, make it up son
He took all the teeth from the cadavers
Of bad men who broke the law

Below his shadow grown folks would cower
Their hearts beating like cowards’
In fifteen minutes he’d swim two channels
With his hands tied to his gun

Don’t you know the model is run?
Summer day ladies won’t have such stuff
Don’t you know the people want love?
Love? Love?

Could he be gentle, that Bull-Hammer?
We ask with optimism
He chased off the blues with great fields of lavender flowers and his vision

Don’t you know the formula’s done?
All the old tappers have heard enough
Don’t you know the people want more?
More? More?

Now I say:
Go and leave your wagons at home
There’s no fire
Go and leave you ladders at home
There’s no desire for hire

Soon the distraction of his bloody action
Forced a mean streak through the media
Who needs protection from dentured criminals?
And who’s sleeping with the dentist?

Don’t you know the song’s gotten cold?
Plastic cab fellows don’t want that fluff
When everybody’s falling in love
Love, Love

Go and leave your heartache at home
You’re full of desire to go higher
Go and leave that bad day alone
You’re full of desire

We all along have loved Bull-Hammer
The tough lug giving bear hugs
To all the people who scamp and scatter
Like ants under the rug
Track Name: Let's Be Happy
Let's be happy or beheaded
I don't, I won't not get it
Let's be happy

And if I say hello again let it be for the last time
And if I break my bones again let it be for the last time

Let's be lonely
'Cause I only shrink and think unholy
Let's be lonely

And if I say hello again let it be for the last time
And if I break my bones again let it be for the last time

Let's be happy or dead-ended
I don't, no I won't pretend it's —
Let's be happy

And if I say hello again let it be for the last time
And if I break my bones again let it be for the last time
Man, when I find my skin again will it be for the last time?
And if I fall in love again let it be for the last time

Let it be for the last time
Track Name: Animals
Take off your wool-mouth and sharpen your gums
Throw back the sawhorse with newspaper paws
And keep on singing like animals

The weather in autumn is moving toward frost
We fumble with nets for the things that we’ve lost
And keep on singing like animals

If someone could watch us and translate our laws
Governor Will-Nill, elected because
Georgie the lion’s asleep on his arms
Call in the doctor and don’t do no harm
And keep on singing like animals

We hide on hillsides and eat things for fun
We float like horseflies on ribbons of love
Bullets of honey to sweeten the bluff

Keep on singing like animals
Track Name: Chip Chirp
Neighbor Helen: Good morning son, I knew you hadn’t gone away
What with the bolted door and breakfast dishes in the sink to stay
Sunken with the suds and grey
Hey, hey!

Operator! Operator! Tell the preacher there’s more for later!
Tell the mailman and the writers! Tell the business and the buyers!

Jason, your toes are singing songs about your thumbs and oranges
What’s in the woods? “It’s good!” I’ve heard the people say
But what of bears? Who cares! You’re living day to day
Hey, hey!

Operator! Operator! Tell the preacher there’s more for later!
Tell the husband and his mistress! Tell the courts and every witness!

Punches and hits that make a pleasant parlor game —
This time next year our evenings will have rearranged and changed
Ducks in the vents they quack in merry melody —
Helen, the din’s removed me from my gallantry and turned me on my head

Grandpa washed the windows at the factory,
I clean the glass at the corner grocery

I live next to some modern men – they’re going places
But I’m just working on who I am by making faces at them
Don’t bury the car and I won’t bury your name
Track Name: Dictionary Red
I think a thought
You are a color
And then you are not.
Would it be odd?
If you told me
I’d be yours because
Lovely you are
I’m blue and sure that you’re dictionary red

Tell me the truth
Please don't play games
I want no one to lose
I would have proof if you’d hold me
Chances are you’ve already been told
How lovely you are
And I couldn't meddle with
What had been settled before me
I'm blue and sure that you're
Dictionary red.

At once — or before
To you I offer,

Chances are you’ve already been told
How lovely you are
And I couldn't meddle with
What had been settled before me
I’ll be the blue to your
Dictionary red
Track Name: We On The Radio
I don’t need no situation, I don’t need no god or nation please
I know not even why

The fortune came from West Virginia, said for sure there’s some good in ya, see?
I know not even why

Sire, we inquire, what’s the matter? Why so cold?

A whistle-blower and a sinner, cleans his hands before his dinner, see?
I know not even why
No I know not even why

Hey brother Paul, I heard that you saw me
Up against a wall, singing we’re on the radio

Hey son-in-law, I’ve something to show you
Guns and arrows drawn, such a sight to see on the radio

Broadcast to all ages, take it through the stages
Away we go

Fires gives me tires, makes me tired, makes me old

Hey city judge, how do you find me?
Am I just in love or is that behind me? Does this shit blind me?

Choirs give out fliers, watch the wires, seeing songs

Tell us when you’re hard of hearing, tell us that the mic’s endearing, please
I know not even why
I know not even why
No I know not even why I try
Track Name: Elephant Box
Mama, don’t you cry for what they told you
For what they told you
You sit and wonder why the summer’s colder
You’re one day older

Don’t you tear the brain from the peel
You sent your farewell
What’s believing? She’s leaving me under the swell
Whispers in the rain
Mama, cover me
Love me, don’t scare me again

Walk with purpose, child
Walk with grace
Just like she told you, like she told you
Kisses wash your face
Turn your heart
Only so far, don’t go too far

Yeah, you saw my hand in the drawer
Who’s behind the door?
What’s the mess and the dress and those clothes on the floor?
Grew up in the dark
Now I’m playing in places too far from the yard

Don’t you play with the way that I feel
I’m sitting on the fence
With the sun on my neck and my head in my hands
Nothing goes as planned
Nor that thing in the dark in the dust where it stands
Nor do I in the dark in the dust where I stand

Please, sing me a love song
Track Name: Redford
There’s a well-dressed man in the records shop
Spitting out words, “Not good enough!”
He keeps it low so don’t bother the cops

The envelopes contain albums of sound
Kids of the block come and gather around
It plays in codes but we can figure it out

Speak to us, you’re so well-to-do
“Think me a mirror that’s looking at you”
He paid his rent then he went from the room

Tell me how far you’re willing to fall — on the double!
Fear not to look too hard
Tell me where and who you are, and how your soul will keep out of trouble
Learning comes hard
Like taking shots in the dark
Do not go
I told me so
Don’t be something you’re not
That’s what you are

There’s a man dressed in awesome robes in the visitor’s shop
He sees your mistakes and he’s calling them out
In low magenta, orange that’s red
Kinder blues than the blues that water your head

Is it you? Or is it me? Don’t you see we’ve always been speaking in doubles?
Tell me how far you’re willing to fall if you’re troubled?
There’s cannonballs in your little paws
Answers come, honest, all
Only after a fall
Track Name: Fast Track 500
There's a feeling that beats living alone
And feeling lonesome
Trade it in for something wholesome,
Share yourself instead!

And take the Fast Track 500

Up on a mountain
Where the trees stand tall I ask for nothing
But under it all I feel the rumbling
That gets me home again

I take the Fast Track 500!

I'm onto being
Until the day I become
And each day after
I'm looking ahead and getting faster
Rinse, repeat, don't end!

To the wishers and those who wonder why
We talk of freedom
And look to the sky
It's if we see some
It'll come around again

We’ll take the fast track 500!