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Little Sisyphus

Bon Voyage!

by Nora Nygard and The Juniper Drive

Portal exclusive
Meet 04:20
I'm falling in love with a girl eight seats in front of me in class. I'm trying to decrease the area of the surface. I know I can't sing, but in my mind I'm not some angel either. My black widow died before she revived, I couldn't free her. Remember that one thing you did that one time that was so amazing? Sunshine golden daises all covered up in kerosene. School is not a place to catch up, love, sing, dance or shine. I have a bicycle, she's a very good friend of mine. I love you with all my heart, but I don't want to hurt you, 'cause the people that I love never say, "Well yeah, me too." Green plastic army men - I smell them burning, and the rain. Explosions, door hinges, creaking open in my brain. Oranges on your breath, your heart is beating. When you’re close, the hardest part is is is is is breathing. I'd like to see your smile up close, strain to see you smile blurry. I'll save you a seat on the bus, but walk quick, you've got to hurry. Yeah, I know, I said I'm no angel so this is just repetition, but when I'm around you I'm guilty by association.
Surf Nazis 02:40
I never wanted it to be like this. I never even thought back then that it would turn out this way, that the good would never be found again. Now it's a broken glass bottle amongst the trash, stranded upon the beach by surf Nazis. Just like a wedded hand, the shards shine in sand. I walk and cut my feet on her Nazis. And where the bottle broke, we turned our backs and stepped away, red in each print. With distances growing, our blood covered the beach. She saw their fire there. She stepped near it. They held her tightly and broke her spirit. Dear, how I miss your name. I wish you'd hear when I say, I said stay away from Surf Nazis. My mind and skin are numb. Ways - I'm devising some - I want to save her from her Nazis. But everything shattered and I'm back where I started. Relations severed, data gathered and charted. I miss your laugh. I miss your eyes.I miss your gold. I miss your mind. I miss the smiles you bring. I wish I could've done something.
Gold Beach 03:47
Here, the skin will serve as an exit. Shoulders to palms, pores, out fingertips. Fade into nothing, leave an entrance motionless. No battery, yet clenching an atlas. There there's gold, black and green by way of sky, night and stream. A dream coming true. A paradise and you. I remember the first time. This first time and that first time. Though no more. Are we at the last as we say goodbye? Lay it in your first knuckle. All four fingers - that's your fulcrum. right right left left right right left left right right left left Mallet to rosewood, I felt everything. I wept to the end. I heard you sing: "That's it." You watched it set from your rear view mirror. I laid in my basement and missed it here. I'll ride my bike when it rises, through to night. You'll see me, I'll be there soon. If you're going, I'm coming too. Gold Beach. I'm going to Gold Beach. A coin - silver, separate from the hands that have held it. To mine you gave it, locked it. It turned black in my pocket.
Love & Death 04:24
I pronounce it wrong. I know that now. Dumb. Ah well. I hate you more than anyone I've ever known or met or heard or seen. I think that means that we're meant to be. I can't believe how angry you make me; It's not your fault, it's mine - frustration makes me want to die. So I started listening to punk rock again. It's the only thing that keeps me out of my head. I just cannot get by without the raw screams of Ian MacKaye. And oh, I know, that everything is absolutely fucked, but all these bullshit feelings... I won't let them obstruct the truth: that I'll stay, unless you say goodbye - 'cause I love you and I'll love you until the day I die. And if that day comes sooner than you think, have a party, take some drugs and take a drink; invite all my old friends and the ones I never knew, do all the things I never had a chance to do: have sex, smoke the sess, eat meat and smile; be happy, be happy, be happy for awhile. So if that day comes too soon, I kept my promise, please don't cry, I was honest. I said I'd love you, love you until the day I die.
Dover 04:43
Stay Gold 03:20
5 A.M. 05:04


Frankly, many of my lyrics here are embarrassing and I reject them both philosophically and aesthetically. But if you find something useful to you, I am happy that it might help you in whatever positive way possible.

Much of what I wrote here, between the ages of 16 and 18, is a symbol of my struggles with self-loathing, loneliness, and self-centeredness.

"Love & Death" was primarily about myself, looking into a mirror at myself, and telling myself that however much I hate myself, I'm stuck with myself. I think that sucks now. I also think the obvious double entendre about this being about hating a romance, or being stuck in an abusive or otherwise painful relationship, kinda sucks. Nevertheless, if my teenage pessimism does something positive for you, I am happy about that. Just don't be like me.

"Love & Death" was not named after the Woody Allen movie. I learned about that movie a couple years after I wrote the song, and was a Woody Allen fan for a couple years until I figured out that he sucks and that his movies are creepy. Why is everyone and everything bad? Why did it take me so long to figure it out?

"Surf Nazis" is a reference to Fast Times at Ridgemont High, directed by Amy Heckerling. The phrase is seen as graffiti in cutaway shots during a sex scene where Stacy Hamilton is having penetrative sex for the first time ('losing her virginity'). If I recall correctly, I'm pretty sure it's statutory rape. Honestly, the last time I watched Fast Times, I remember it standing up fairly well and being relatively nuanced, especially for a teen drama from 1982. I always related to Stacy, and wished I was as pretty as her friend, played by Phoebe Cates (who is, coincidentally, Frankie Cosmos' mom, and I also look up to Frankie and wish I was as amazing as her too). One of the aspects of Fast Times is the close and sort of strange bond between the girl friends, and it was nice to be able to feel like I was a part of that world briefly. That's also why I read Yuri manga, but that's an entirely different story.

Anyway, my point is that I now reject the usage of the word "Nazi" in any type of jokey way whatsoever. Stacy was learning to be strong in a world that is totally willing to shit on you at any moment. She was learning to accept kindness and help when it's offered to her; she was learning to be vulnerable, daring, and open, but also strong and independent when she needs to be. I looked up to that. I still do. That's part of what I was trying to express with this song. I'm not sure I succeeded. Nazis were real in 2010, and they're real now. I should have known better, and someone — maybe one of the several adults who I showed this to, or the high school literary class where I workshopped this — should have helped me, a teenage child, have a more informed view and aesthetic. I don't know. I just don't think it's clever or funny. Antisemitism is on the rise, the world seems on the verge of slipping deeply back into fascism, and the history of the human species has been a history of genocide and torment, from the Nazis to the Atlantic slave trade to the Rohingya people.

Why did I make these types of offensive aesthetic choices? I think I appreciated 'shock value,' and there's a lot of media, especially punk bands, that influenced me in that direction. I was also a bit of an edgelord, and I think I was using art to externally manifest my internal pain in order to process it. I think that's healthy, but I think it's unfortunate that I did a poor job of editing the final product. There's a lot that should have been left on the cutting room floor, and the cutting room floor probably should have been a therapist's office.

I regret all of this and I'm sorry.

Of course, all of these songs are also expressions of my grief. My brother died when I was 15. I'll never stop missing him.



released June 16, 2010

This split album was originally recorded as demos for the bands' summer 2010 tour, when we went under different names.

Side A: Blake Burbach (bass), Robert Kramer (guitar), Taylor Stockert (drums), Nora Nygard (keyboard, guitar, voice). Backup vocals on "Surf Nazis" by Kat Kirschmann. Words and music by Nora Nygard and the band.

Side B: Robert Kramer (guitar, voice), Evan Morgenson (bass, voice), Nora Nygard (drums). Words and music by Robert Kramer and Slave to the Mushroom Cloud except "Sun Falls Heavy" - lyrics by Evan Morgenson and Nora Nygard.

Additional percussion and vocals by the bands.

Cover drawing by Larry Nygaard.

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Charlie Newcomb between February and June 2010.




Nora Nygard North Dakota

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