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about

The album includes both the entire Fool's Trilogy as a single overlapping track (the way it is played live), and as three singles.

credits

released November 11, 2011

Produced, engineered, mixed, & mastered by Dave Stagner at Extraterrestrial Highway Studios, Minneapolis MN
Songs by Beth Kinderman/Beloved Porcupine Music, 2011
Cover photo by Dave Stagner

Beth Kinderman & the Player Characters are:
Elizabeth Greenberg: vocals, violin
Justin Hartley: drums, vocals
Beth Kinderman: vocals, acoustic guitar
Dave Stagner: electric guitar, bass, mellotron, drums, vocals

Also featuring:
Sarah Ravely: vocals on "Across The Water"
Kelly Reich: vocals on "Catalyst" & "Across The Water"

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Beth Kinderman & the Player Characters Minneapolis, Minnesota

If you like epic song cycles based upon multi-thousand-page fantasy novels, thought-provoking lyrics, violin solos, complex vocal harmonies, huge drums, and weird guitar effects, but you also think that more musicians should write songs about surviving the zombie apocalypse and attempting to sleep with video game characters, Beth Kinderman & the Player Characters are the band for you. ... more

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Track Name: The Fool's Trilogy
Catalyst

six wisemen climbed a hill from which they never came back down
& you were born to follow, by the sword or by the crown
I will go along beside you when you stand before the stone
but the change is yours to make just as the choice is yours alone

five senses will deceive you, let your spirit be your guide
they’ll thwart you & besiege you, so beset from every side
I have felt the hopes that wither if you leave your task undone
where so many failed before you must become our only one

four seasons you can wait outside the wall inside your head
the oaths that you have sworn will still persist as you play dead
I can trace your fading footsteps, I can shield you from the snow
but I cannot do this for you nor reveal all that I know

three times you may fall down, sink lower than you’ve been before
fight incremental battles in your incidental war
I have seen you weigh your options, I have seen you choose the grave
& my heart breaks for the dying of the self you could not save

two children walked together through both joy & misery
when nobody was looking they grew into you & me
how I wish we could forswear this, had we world enough & time
though to keep you from your path is to no longer call you mine

one prophet for each era with one chance to set it right
I risk you & I use you for you’re precious in my sight
I’ll give more than I can offer, I will catch you when you fall
for to save this place & time is to be Changer of it all

no wise men climb a hill knowing they’ll never come back down
but you were born to do so, by the sword or by the crown
for to set us on a new course only you can be my tool
though the faith in you I cling to makes me evermore your Fool

six wisemen climbed a hill from which they never came back down
& you were born to follow, by the sword or by the crown
I will go along beside you when you stand before the stone
but the change is yours to make just as the choice is yours alone

six five four three two one

Amber

I am still your child
though born in between
hewn out of your hope
built from your dreams
how can I become
what you want of me
with my heart as a slave
to the rioting sea?

so I left my home
swore not to turn back
to plenty untold
first taste the lack
through tide after tide
the whitecaps, the gale
what was sunken, denied
raises up its own sail

but no one I’ve ever known had their own say
waiting on water to show them the way
& all that I feel is rage
grown too large for the cage
of the other side in-
side of me (x4)

now wrapped in the past
my end has begun
an insect in amber
struggling & stunned
but is this a shroud
or my chrysalis
force my way through the cracks
my metamorphosis

cause what did you really think this was about?
your blood’s in me & I can’t get it out
but I’m greater than this pain
so I’ll rise up again
as the waves break truth all
over me (x4)

I know I can’t change
what’s happened to me
it’s what I have been
not who I’ll be
so lay yourself bare
right here at the start
of a future that’s more
than the sum of its parts

come down to the crossroads & see it now clear
we can go anywhere starting from here
so take it in, rearrange
ready to be the change
now, so DROWN ME IN THE
MEMORY (x12)

The Stone Game

take the stone within your hand, consider your next move
your mind’s eye holds each possibility
placed where it can do the most--familiar, so it seems,
as the twist of fate that brought you here to me
together we have moved the world so far outside its groove
no one would dare deny we both have earned our rest
but I cannot pretend that in your plans or in my dreams
you’d make the choice of loving me the best

(chorus)
but I have had my chance to dance you to this new age
be reminded how that binds me to your soul
the part of me that’s frozen still regrets I am not chosen
but I’ve seen her through your eyes, I know she makes you whole
so many things are changing & so many things have changed
& my everything for yours seems to me a fair exchange
to know & be known fully: the only way I know to care
so if you ask how I would love you, I don’t put a limit there

place your heart within the stone when you can’t bear the pain
just leave it there & calmly walk away
deep beneath the leaves & moss, just waiting for my kiss
to awaken, so it sleeps there since you strayed
but there is still a love that twines both in & out your days
it will return to you just when you think it lost
I give it to you freely knowing I will forfeit this
let no one say you only paid the cost

(chorus)

& you said
“if life is what we make it
if love is what we do
you wore the mask, you faked it
was it all a game to you?
if love is what we’re making
if life is all but through
I’ll find my chance & take it
if it’s all the same to you”
if life is what we make it
if love is what we do
then all that is at stake came from
the name I gave to you
if love is what we’re making
if life is all but through
I’ll go or be mistaken by
the change that came from you

with my hand upon your heart, consider your next move
I’m cradled in the warmth of where you lay
taking back the silver thread that once had tied us tight
for the first time, what comes next I couldn’t say
the course of what I feel for you will never run so smooth
as when you held me underneath a million stars
between the past and future, wholly present in that night
take comfort that these moments have been ours

(chorus)
Track Name: Across the Water
child, be you wolf or pup
this is the way that growing up is done
it isn't right, it isn't fair
to lose the ones who really care so young
bent over by your needlepoint
the future grips you by the joint
you never thought your strength could feel so small
your life will never be the same
so cut your hair & change your name
it's only a name, after all

(chorus)
so I'll see you across the water
still the one & still my daughter
still you grow
& your list is getting shorter
& it's you who gave the order for you know
all men must die

little boy or so they think
you brought yourself right to the brink & held
they thought they had you in their sway
but never understood the way you felt
so use your courage, use your mind
& every thing your wits can find
will serve you when your back's against the wall
what you have lost can't be replaced
so hide your story, hide your face
it's only a face, after all

(chorus)

little girl, don't lose your head
it's just the way that being dead should feel
the vengeance that you swear you're due
is not the only death that you will deal
the face of every boy & girl
is just a lie they tell the world
as false as all the names by which you're called
so let me reach you through the strife
& teach you to lay down your life
it's only a life, after all

(chorus 2x)

& when we meet the god of death
we'll say it til our final breath (not today)
(repeat)
Track Name: Naming
I am the flame that sparks the ember
I am the thunder in the deep
I am a broken tree upon a far hill
a song to make minstrels weep
I spoke to gods, I have loved blindly
I set the fire to set you free
I tread by moonlight where you won't pass by day
you may have heard of me

(chorus)
the truth unbound
I name what I've found
but you don't believe me
you don't believe me
all things are named
but all things may change
you don't believe me
you don't believe me

for I was born to tread the world's stage
where all you meet are merely players
I'll take each word apart til I understand
what lies beneath all the layers
for I was born out of an anger
more vast than speech, too dark to see
& I will find him out in this world or his
to bring it here to me

(chorus)

& so you've come to me to wonder
just what I've come to tell today
my sword is lost, my strength is fractured at best
at least that's what you might say
but I have come to know that power
becomes what you ask it to be
it's sleeping lightly in the name of the wind
& you will hear from me

(chorus)

& all will know me

the truth unbound
I name what I've found
you will believe me
you will believe me
my voice be raised
& his name be razed
you will believe me
you will believe me

you may have heard of me...
Track Name: Catalyst
six wisemen climbed a hill from which they never came back down
& you were born to follow, by the sword or by the crown
I will go along beside you when you stand before the stone
but the change is yours to make just as the choice is yours alone

five senses will deceive you, let your spirit be your guide
they’ll thwart you & besiege you, so beset from every side
I have felt the hopes that wither if you leave your task undone
where so many failed before you must become our only one

four seasons you can wait outside the wall inside your head
the oaths that you have sworn will still persist as you play dead
I can trace your fading footsteps, I can shield you from the snow
but I cannot do this for you nor reveal all that I know

three times you may fall down, sink lower than you’ve been before
fight incremental battles in your incidental war
I have seen you weigh your options, I have seen you choose the grave
& my heart breaks for the dying of the self you could not save

two children walked together through both joy & misery
when nobody was looking they grew into you & me
how I wish we could forswear this, had we world enough & time
though to keep you from your path is to no longer call you mine

one prophet for each era with one chance to set it right
I risk you & I use you for you’re precious in my sight
I’ll give more than I can offer, I will catch you when you fall
for to save this place & time is to be Changer of it all

no wise men climb a hill knowing they’ll never come back down
but you were born to do so, by the sword or by the crown
for to set us on a new course only you can be my tool
though the faith in you I cling to makes me evermore your Fool

six wisemen climbed a hill from which they never came back down
& you were born to follow, by the sword or by the crown
I will go along beside you when you stand before the stone
but the change is yours to make just as the choice is yours alone

six five four three two one
Track Name: Amber
I am still your child
though born in between
hewn out of your hope
built from your dreams
how can I become
what you want of me
with my heart as a slave
to the rioting sea?

so I left my home
swore not to turn back
to plenty untold
first taste the lack
through tide after tide
the whitecaps, the gale
what was sunken, denied
raises up its own sail

but no one I’ve ever known had their own say
waiting on water to show them the way
& all that I feel is rage
grown too large for the cage
of the other side in-
side of me (x4)

now wrapped in the past
my end has begun
an insect in amber
struggling & stunned
but is this a shroud
or my chrysalis
force my way through the cracks
my metamorphosis

cause what did you really think this was about?
your blood’s in me & I can’t get it out
but I’m greater than this pain
so I’ll rise up again
as the waves break truth all
over me (x4)

I know I can’t change
what’s happened to me
it’s what I have been
not who I’ll be
so lay yourself bare
right here at the start
of a future that’s more
than the sum of its parts

come down to the crossroads & see it now clear
we can go anywhere starting from here
so take it in, rearrange
ready to be the change
now, so DROWN ME IN THE
MEMORY (x12)
Track Name: The Stone Game
take the stone within your hand, consider your next move
your mind’s eye holds each possibility
placed where it can do the most--familiar, so it seems,
as the twist of fate that brought you here to me
together we have moved the world so far outside its groove
no one would dare deny we both have earned our rest
but I cannot pretend that in your plans or in my dreams
you’d make the choice of loving me the best

(chorus)
but I have had my chance to dance you to this new age
be reminded how that binds me to your soul
the part of me that’s frozen still regrets I am not chosen
but I’ve seen her through your eyes, I know she makes you whole
so many things are changing & so many things have changed
& my everything for yours seems to me a fair exchange
to know & be known fully: the only way I know to care
so if you ask how I would love you, I don’t put a limit there

place your heart within the stone when you can’t bear the pain
just leave it there & calmly walk away
deep beneath the leaves & moss, just waiting for my kiss
to awaken, so it sleeps there since you strayed
but there is still a love that twines both in & out your days
it will return to you just when you think it lost
I give it to you freely knowing I will forfeit this
let no one say you only paid the cost

(chorus)

& you said
“if life is what we make it
if love is what we do
you wore the mask, you faked it
was it all a game to you?
if love is what we’re making
if life is all but through
I’ll find my chance & take it
if it’s all the same to you”
if life is what we make it
if love is what we do
then all that is at stake came from
the name I gave to you
if love is what we’re making
if life is all but through
I’ll go or be mistaken by
the change that came from you

with my hand upon your heart, consider your next move
I’m cradled in the warmth of where you lay
taking back the silver thread that once had tied us tight
for the first time, what comes next I couldn’t say
the course of what I feel for you will never run so smooth
as when you held me underneath a million stars
between the past and future, wholly present in that night
take comfort that these moments have been ours

(chorus)