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Pop Psychology

by Dan Bryk

  • Digital Album
    Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Download includes an illustrated 18-page PDF lyrics and credits booklet exclusive to Bandcamp.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $5 USD  or more

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Metallic silver-on-black digipak edition designed, hand-stamped by Bryk himself. Includes an 8-page full colour lithographed booklet AND an instant download of 13 track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, Apple Lossless, and even tweakier formats. The download adds an 18-page PDF lyrics booklet featuring detail of incredible Jill Eberle canvas and drawing of artist by Terry Laban. Hammer not included.

    Discs are Taiyo Yuden premium silver CD-Rs burned at 4X on a new Pioneer burner purchased specifically for this pressing. Hand-stamped artwork on the disc.

    Happy to sign these with silver sharpie upon request. Just ask in the message.
    ships out within 3 days
    edition of 250 

      $10 USD or more 

    You own this  


you're holding up the bar with a guitar in your hand and a pretty little song about some ugly little man the kids are sitting down hanging off each tortured word the nuggets of gloom falling off your lips like polished turds and you're thinking the kids are alright as they turn up the house lights you've got nothing much to say but you say it pretty well with your sad tales of irony and love gone sour to sell now the spotlight falls slowly on the kid from soft rock town that's the last stop on the go train to becoming jackson browne now your 15 minutes are up so goodbye and good luck cause i heard that the word on the street is that you're the treat of the week they say you're the next one to beat if you want to be the treat of the week treat of the week i dreamt of jaymz bee in a rented mercedes driving down queen st. trying to bring back the eighties the failure industry is a growing concern it's not what you achieve in life it's what you learned and you're learning you're yesterday's bore as they electrify the floor cause i heard that the word on the street is that you're the treat of the week the tasty new christian to eat some young lions' treat of the week treat of the week
i’m going to the discount store yeah i’m going to the discount store can’t afford what i used to afford and i hardly even noticed i’m going to the discount store yeah i’m going to the discount store can’t afford what i used to afford and i hardly even noticed know this knowing that the world’s an awful great big place and i am awful small it really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to find i don’t really matter at all mom and dad don’t let me waste your time mom and dad don’t let me waste your time i know you’ve got to be at work by nine to keep food upon the platter mom and dad don’t let me waste your time mom and dad don’t let me waste your time i know you’ve got to be at work at nine as if it really mattered mattered mattered that the clock needs punching the man is watching and the union’s gone for good with all this freedom how come there’s no fun left in the neighborhood A&R woman has central air A&R woman has central air every day i walk up three flights of stairs and it’s getting hot this summer label president has got health care label president has got health care every day i walk up three flights of stairs and it’s really hot this summer bummer bummer that the world’s a great big awful place and frequently unfair it really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that there’s just not enough to share
tell us doctor what’s the boy’s prognosis advanced case of pop psychosis he thought the best songs came by osmosis not from running round the yard like your pet neurosis you’re second guessing has he gotten too chubby can we still sell it as cute and cuddly this messy business gets him all ornery and grumpy though we’ve cornered the market on girls so chunky (he’s) always looking for the next big thing when he could settle for the next best thing i bet you’re thinking that i’m too defensive overwrought and self-reflexive all you ever do is give and give and you can’t help wondering if i’m too expensive i know you’re wishing i would be more patient cute and quirky and bored complacent it’s not like anybody’s waiting for my gay shit so i’d better sit tight and wait for my paycheque (you’re) always looking for the next big thing when you could settle for the next best thing while they’re tying up the tiny talent they were busy burying miss balint their good intentions keeping my muse quiet cause i’ve still got the right to be silent when they wonder why i get so nervous airing my laundry to the weak and curious i know it’s really just a public service supplying the freakshow to the circus i’m always looking for the next big thing when they i could settle for the next best thing
Apologia 03:27
you’re sorry that it had to end there’s no more money left to spend you did your best now would i please go away i trusted that you were for real no matter how we cut the deal it felt wrong then so i guess that’s how it will always feel selling art check your head don’t trust your heart you promised me right from the start no promises, no billboard chart no swear words in the racks at the wall mart you couldn’t help but break the mall you’re a big boy now you’re playing ball you’re making all or nothing out of nothing much at all so play your part check your head don’t trust your heart i know that i’ve only got myself to blame i ruined my reputation and my family name you left me alone at the altar of my own desire and somehow i still believe that you once believed in me too much to be such a liar i heard your song in the movie show you were paid to play i paid to go you’re telling me but i already know i looked up to you and defended you to everyone i knew i said he’s doing everything he can but he really should have picked a safer bet he should have known from the start check your head don’t trust your heart
Horizons 04:05
i’m stepping off the bus the next stop that we make i’ve had just about about all the fun i can take for one fare there’s nothing left for us there’s no more lucky breaks maybe a god who’s on the take if she’s even there who said life was fair? i’ll change the scenery if you’ll just change the lock put all the pop machinery in hock i’m tired of playing there’s nothing left to say that’s hasn’t yet been said most of the best words were in bed that were worth saying someday we’ll both look back and laugh at our naiveté till then we’d best be on our way you’d better believe me i’m tired of illusions horizons in my way jumping to conclusions horizons in my way so scared of tomorrow horizons in my way always beg steal and borrow horizons in my way i’m tired of surprises horizons in my way masters of disguises horizons in my way so blind to the caper horizons in my way my life lived on paper horizons in my way running with the devil horizons in my way fakin’ it to the next level horizons in my way
(Aircheck) 00:26
from an AM radio valdy's playing a rock and roll song over on the FM dial they're singing up where we belong and on the CBC one of us cannot be wrong
City of... 03:18
somewhere down on peter street the boys in suits want more of the whore of babylon than the hooters girl next door dj spinning algorythms cut into vinyl ring ing ings meanwhile in someone's basement the constantines are playing while the kids sip their diet cokes and the journalists are greying i'd have to lean in close to hear the words he's singing city that works city that sleeps in till the crack of noon on a saturday (city of ecstasy) city of blurbs city where what they write is what you do is what they say in the back of the legion hall the goofs are playing faster turning up after every song until their heads are iced with plaster the soundtrack of subjugation to our friendly foreign masters downstairs in the vampire bar the laptop kids are mashing some ungodly medley of morbidox and eria fachin if i didn't think they'd love it i'd give them twenty lashings city that purrs city that prowls the streets all night then sleeps the days away (city of apathy) party at kurt's everyone who's anyone will be there to drink the night away or they won't be anyone city of jerks city that eats its young with impunity (city of sympathy) city that doesn't give a fuck city that lurks city that waits for someone somewhere else to do it first to prove it'll make a buck downwind on cherry beach ron sexsmith sits and mopes mining for platinum amongst a million romantic tropes the tough kid asks are you buying? and jocelyn says "nope" city of words city of numbers filling empty pages like poetry (city of gravity) city that hurts just say you love me and i'll head home like all the never-weres city of atrophy i miss you next to me yeah city of empathy i miss you next to me
Street Team 03:13
the modern rock street team is parked outside the double bill concert of sublime and live they're offering the keener kids a ride and some MP3's for their new hard drives who am i to think i can resist when they're better than i am at shaking my own fist they're out shaking hands with the kids at the mall each smile a sales pitch for a content utopia the indie rock street team will help us rebel they took away the bass but left us all the treble they're outside the club in gap and dockers reminding us that lou barlow wore khakis who am i to think that this is wrong i did a bad job of selling my own song i tried to be cool but i took too long now the other boot has dropped so i'd better sing along the interscope street team is taking names teaching the children to play new games the bertelsmann street team is covering the bases with signs and paint in old familiar places who am i to think that this is bad when there's millions of kids who need to feel sad and i let them down when instead they chose to turn to third rate bland or counting crows or even axl rose or maybe even ben folds the indie rock street team is bound to win when my own kid sister turns me in she's off to the playdium again
i’m my own worst enemy that’s what you said to me and if i ever wanted to succeed i’d have to cut down on my need for someone else i make my own life hell and if my melodramatic parasitic streak became much more pathetic i should seek much more professional counselling i’m my own worst enemy that’s what you said to me and if i’m witness to my own decline i’ll be drinking blood like holy wine from a Dixie cup fucking the simplest things up and if my navel stopped being so fascinating i could contemplate how many times that i’ve run away from the ones that loved me best and you say “why can’t you finally give this role a rest?” i’m my own worst enemy that’s what you said to me well i know at least that you’re not bored you’re the best advice i can afford instead of feeling like you’ve learned a thing about my life i see the feigned concern written on your face thanks for nodding yes in all the right places like the outline of an object is nearly traces i’m my own worst enemy
my alleged career don’t waste a tear on me now all the damage was done cause i dreamt of being a star drinking light beer by the pool while the action went on in the hotel bar my alleged career my alleged career watching the treat of the week get to sleep with the girl that i just wanted to kiss a peck on the cheek would have done now i’m waiting alone with this dumb bouquet my alleged career who in hell do you think you’re impressing by dressing like you’re 23 years old my alleged career maybe i’m doing this wrong but this leather thong’s hurting my ass trying to pass for some kind of cool modern rock masochist 
when i’m really a slave to the song called my alleged career my alleged career please go away please go away please go away
(Whatever) 05:13
genius is a fucking curse i’d much prefer property blind ambition’s hardly worse than you here on top of me it all comes down to how hard you try whatever doesn’t kill you can still make you cry once my dream of rock was great of come and prosperity now i punch the clock and wait for some asshole’s charity what good is living if you’re living a lie whatever doesn’t kill you can still make you cry how unimaginative can i get? writing myself in the margins i’ve got excuses to last my whole life with you failure’s just part of the bargain i could sum us up with one simple sigh whatever doesn’t kill you can still make you cry baby would you kill me now? i know it’s not fair of me everybody’s learning how to make despair sound lovely you could pull the plug or just say goodbye whatever doesn’t kill you can still make you cry let me give you some advice while you’re sighing next to me the music business isn’t nice it’s not based on dignity it all comes down to how much they buy whatever doesn’t kill you can still make you cry whatever


William Stuart Adamson
James Walter Ellison
Gabor Hegedus
Frederick Mark Linkous
William MacArthur Mackenzie
Philip David Ochs
William Reese Owsley III
Robert Wolfe Quine
Steven Paul Smith
Charles Weedon Westover

To wit: "This album represents a desperate attempt to make some sense of Rock and Roll. Deep in our hearts, we knew it was doomed to failure. The question remains: Why did we try?"


released June 9, 2009

Urban Myth Recording Collective UM-116

Sorta kinda produced by Dan Bryk

Cover painting ‘untitled’ (detail) by Jill E. Eberle
Portrait by Terry Laban

Many of the songs on this recording were written with the assistance of a popular music songwriting grant from the Ontario Arts Council. We are very very grateful for their generosity.


Critical Mass:

"[Best of 2009: #1] "The most perceptive release of the year -– and perhaps the most brutal yet certainly witty music ever written about the music industry itself. The tunes are good, real good." -Duly Consider

"Bryk is a Clipse for Burt Bacharach fans, peddling witty cynicism like crack. Pop Psychology adds up to an acerbic but ultimately forgiving snapshot of the mercurial musical world Bryk inhabits. [7.4/10]" -Pitchfork

"Each clever turn of phrase, jangly guitar, layer of odd instrumentation, and overdubbed vocal is a revelation." -Songs:Illinois

"At its defining moments, this album has the makings of a melodic miracle -- something which is evident as early on as the first track. A long, long, long overdue opus from this frightfully talented slave to the (perfect pop) song." -Indieville

[Musikal Awards Top 30] "Un album pop ispirato, fresco e leggero. Piccoli inni tascabili, melodie a presa rapida e ballate sghembe. Il paffuto canadese che ora vive a New York ha l'ironia di Randy Newman, la classe di Costello, l'immediatezza di Daniel Johnston e l'istinto lo-fi dei Pavement." -Kalporz.com

[Best Albums of 2009] "A strong candidate for best album of the year... a triumph of intelligence and wit, an oasis in a world full of idiots." -Lucid Culture

"[Best of 2009] A treasure that few will unearth, but one that will be held tight by all that take the time to listen." -Hero Hill


Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.



Dan Bryk Durham, North Carolina

That guy who wrote “Chunky Girl” and “Discount Store.”

Finally dropping new songs almost as good as those

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