Tortoise

by Dog Is Blue

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about

Tortoise is the sophomore album of Toronto-based garage-folk duo Dog Is Blue. A reaction to their well-received 2009 debut, …Makes Ghost Noises—a home-recorded effort, assembled piece by piece—Tortoise was recorded almost entirely live off the floor by Andy Magoffin at London, Ontario’s famous House of Miracles studio. Captured largely in “human time,” the result is a raw, honest and undeniably infectious collection of original songs that owes as much to the folk tradition as it does the tempest of rock ‘n’ roll.


Embellished by everything from the soothing viola of Toronto musician Anna Atkinson to homemade guitar pedals and old Casios, Tortoise is a rich and textured achievement that sees the band defy all classification. Sure, they’re capable of penning some subtle and charming folk tunes, but rest assured, these two are unafraid to make a lot of noise. It’s that duality that lies at the heart of Dog Is Blue as a band and of Tortoise as their defining album.


The duo is made up of Paul Watson, principal songwriter and cookie-tin pedal enthusiast, and Laura Heaney, purveyor of ghost-noises and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire; together they bramble around proudly with all the jangly toys of a tickle-trunk and the surefooted bravado of travelling snake-oil salesmen. Lighthearted in their dedication to the ephemeral, these two get their ya-yas out peddling a unique brand of self-described ghost-folk.


Heaney splits her time between the band and a burgeoning career as a contemporary portrait artist, while Watson builds amps/pedals and does the day to day for beloved independent Canadian digital music store, Zunior.com. They’ve shared the stage with the likes of The Burning Hell, Wax Mannequin, Shotgun Jimmie, Andrew Vincent and more.

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released May 17, 2011

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Dog Is Blue Toronto, Ontario

Toronto’s Dog Is Blue is a garage-folk duo made up of Paul Watson, principal songwriter and cookie-tin pedal enthusiast, and Laura Heaney, purveyor of ghost-noises and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire. Together they bramble around proudly with all the jangly toys of a tickle-trunk and the surefooted bravado of travelling snake-oil salesmen. ... more

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Track Name: Dusty Bones
I'm no child.
I've been on my own.
I was taught to fish by my daddy and
To always bring the catch home.

I've been around this fine world,
But I've got a long way to go.
Far away I was told I've got to stand up
If I want to drive the point home.

Ooh, you've got to know where you're going to.
Aah, a body's got nothing to do but move.

Got myself a set of goals and aspirations
And I'm on a path that I chose.
Though I stray more often than not,
I still know where it goes.

Ooh, you've got to know where you're going to.
Aah, take a little piece of home with you.

Ooh, you've got to know where you're going to.
Aah, these dusty bones have got some youth.

Watch out Monkey! Be Careful Toxic Snake!
I'm climbing your mountain and I'm swimming in your lake.

Ooh, you've got to know where you're going to.
Track Name: Slow Boat To China
I'm on a slow boat to China.
I'll send for my valuables when I arrive.
This vessel grants me safe passage
And the current below is my guide.

It'll take a while, but we'll get there.
Going to be a long time from shore to shore.
That's the speed of the slow boat to China.
What do you need to go any faster for?
What do you need to go any faster for?
Track Name: Southern Ontario
I love you darlin' but you're bleeding me dry;
Treat me well for a day then spit in my eye.

I'll never truly leave but I'm going for a while
To remember why we're so good together and learn to afford your style.

Maybe when I'm older, if my wallet ever gets full,
I'll come back to my lady in southern Ontario.

In the east coast they're so humble and pretty, tempting me to leave,
To a place where I'll be treated well and live happily.

If absence makes the heart grow fonder you'll always be on my mind
And if it fills my pockets with gold I'll come back to you in time.

Maybe when I'm older, if my wallet ever gets full,
I'll come back to my lady in southern Ontario.

You know...
I don't want to leave,
But you know...
I've got to go.

Maybe when I'm older, if my wallet ever gets full,
I'll come back to my lady in southern Ontario.

Yes, I'll come back to my lady in southern Ontario
Track Name: Tortoise
I'm spinning like a fan,
Melting like the ice,
Running like water with no river damn in sight.

I'm chirping like a bird,
Heavy like a leaving trunk,
Half-empty like the moon, but I'll be full by the time I'm done.

Who are you to tell me that's not right?

I'm rollin' like the ocean,
Rockin' like a chair,
I'm the slowest little tortoise, but I'm going to beat that hare.

Who are you to tell me that's not right?

Some people float and sting,
Others they bob and weave.
It may seem a simple thing,
But like a man I live and breathe.

Who are you to tell me that's not right?
Track Name: The Way It Goes
You're a body on the table in front of me.
What's gone I can't breathe back in to you.

You grew old so playfully,
But we all knew what was coming for you.

That's the way it goes.
That's always the way it goes.
And every family knows
That's always the way it's going to go.

Your heart stopped beating seconds ago.
Their hands are still running through your hair.

I'm stuck staring in disbelief
At the body--fur, flesh and bone--left lying there.

That's the way it goes.
That's always the way it goes.
And every family knows
That's always the way it's going to go.

You'll feel her head get heavy, he said.
And then it did...and I felt it.

That's the way it goes.
That's always the way it goes.
And every idiot family knows
That's always the way it's going to go.
Track Name: People
I...I like doing nothin'.
Yeah, nothin', that's all I really like to do.

But people, they're always doing stuff.
Yeah, people always got something for me and you.

They say you've got to do this thing then that one too,
But I assure you, baby, all we've really got to do is move.

Because I...I like doing nothin'.
Yeah, nothing', it treats me just fine.

But people are always doing things.
Yeah, people, always got ways to use my time.

I'm going to move to Sackville and start a band.
We'll tour Toronto maybe, if we can...

(Laura) People!
(Paul) Oh, I know people. Let me tell you about people. They're reeaaalll people.

Fuck 'em.
Track Name: Stan & Georgie
When I told him his wife had died you could see a distant sadness in his eyes.
There's had been a whirlwind elderly romance, a half-hearted second kick at the can, a replacement, a last chance.

She was a sassy socialite, life of the party.
He was kind, good to her grandkids and wealthy.

Their sons and daughters smiled, but didn't approve.
We can't replace the ones we lose.

She wore her insecurities on the hems of thousand dollar dresses.
His fulfillment was at the end of cigarettes and the bottom of whiskey glasses.

Their arrangement became stale as it grew.
We can't replace the ones we lose.

No one was singing: "Stan & Georgie were sweethearts, lordy how they could love."
When we need a fill a hole we take what we can and we run.

She died of complications during a different kind of replacement.
But, by then, when I told him there was no love left.

In the end it became clear and I knew:
We can't replace the ones we lose.
Track Name: She Said
"You look at me like you'll never see me again," she said.
To which I wish I had replied "Tomorrow is such a very long time coming."

"Are you happy?" she'd ask.
To which I knew anything I replied would be wrong.

I saw a tear when I kissed her then.
Still I kissed her goodbye without a tear in my eye.

"You've got passion, but no emotion," she said.
To which I knew my only reply was to shrink inside, because she was right.
Track Name: Laura's Song
I like to read.
I like to bake.
I like to run.
I like the lake.

I like to la, la, la, la la la la.
I like to la, la, la, la la la la.

I like to dance.
I like to drive.
I like to move.
I like to dive.

I like to la, la, la, la la la la.
I like to la, la, la, la la la la.

I like to paint.
I like to draw.
I like to love and I liked what I saw.

I like to la, la, la, la la la la.
I like to la, la, la, la la la la.

I like to la, la, la, la la la la.
I like to la, la, la, la la la la.