Sweet Payne is the ninth and penultimate track from Almost Killed Me. It is 4:33.


payne avenue lives up to its name some nights it's painful and strange. the whole city seemed sane in the day. but some nights it seems distressed and deranged. the east side is where we met with those guys that said they'd get us high but that changed. now they're down in the basement. they're bashing out his brains. kids are getting cut up with the motorcycle chains.

st. paul had it all when we called. they were maxing out on medicine. a shaved head. the blood on the bed. those guys you'd recognize. they had the same tattoos as gideon. strong stuff and she had more than enough. she was slumping over smiling and sailing off with cherubim. the cityscape skins are kinda kicking it again. they're gonna show these kids some discipline.

gideon's been living up in bay city, michigan. he's been working at the michelin. he got messed up with some messed up magicians. we got so high some nights michigan looked just like a mitten some nights we got fried. strung out on residuals and visuals and laser shows. reach into the speaker and try to hold on to the quarter notes.

i always dream about a unified scene. there's james king and king james and james dean. at a table in the corner of my unified scene. they want a double order of love and respect. they said they just got back from up in hostile, massachussetts. girl i've seen your friend. she looks nothing like jada pinkett. i think you got something in those cigarettes.

gideon was living up in south minneapolis. he was the cowboy on the crosstown bus. all the little phillies at the yukon club are gunning for the goldrush. we got tangled in electrical fences. we got wrapped up in the indian fringes. all the little phillies at the yukon club are gunning for the goldrush. they just can't get enough.


"Payne Ave. is in the East Side of St. Paul. My thought is that it always looks like a nice family area during the day, but it tends to seem a little sinister at night. While I was growing up, it was reportedly a hotbed of activity for racist skinheads. The Payne Reliever was a bar on Payne Ave. that had live metal bands on one side and strippers on the other. I actually have never been there, but a friend told me about it. I don't know if it's still around.... This song has my favorite line on the record: "When Gideon was living in South Minneapolis, he was the Cowboy on the crosstown bus." There are these weird cowboy dudes on Lake St. and Franklin Ave. in Minneapolis. They are like drifters. Maybe homeless or maybe not. Definitely drinkers though. I don't see them that often, but I usually do if I ride the Lake St. bus. Ironically, some of the bars on Lake St. have a Western motif: the Round Up Saloon, the Yukon club, etc. One dude got on the bus and lifted up his hat and nodded to my wife, "Hello there, little philly." I always marvel. People who live in the Twin Cities tend to apoligize and think it's boring but I think it's the most inspiring place I have ever been."[1]
-Craig Finn, The Hold Steady

Other InfoEdit

The term "unified scene" has been adopted by the fans to refer to the band's ever-enthusiastic fanbase.

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