Houses on Stilts

by Mapmaker

  • Streaming + Download

    MAPMAKER's second LP! Enjoy!

    Learn more about Mapmaker at

    You can download 'Houses on Stilts' for whatever price you feel it deserves. The majority of your money will go to the very measly 'Mapmaker Band Fund' which helps Mapmaker with equipment upkeep, travel expenses, promotions, and the occasional Mapmaker root beer binge.

    NOTE: The album is meant to be listened to with NO gaps between songs. We recommend you download it rather than just stream it to get the full effect. Also, if you intend on burning it to a disc, make sure to select the appropriate burn settings. On iTunes the drop down box says 'gaps between songs'. Select "NONE" in order to hear it how we intended it to be heard. Thank You and happy listening! -Mapmaker

      name your price




released March 22, 2011

Mapmaker is:
Nick Bush - Alto Saxophone, Egg Shaker
Nick Cardelli - Guitar
Aled Fain - Bass
Evan Fazio - Guitar, Clarinet
Max Martini - Drums, Vocals, Percussion
Maxx McGathey - Keyboards, Vocals

Special thanks to Kathleen Lewis who appears as a guest vocalist on tracks 1, 7 and 8.

All songs performed and arranged by Mapmaker.
1-8 written by Maxx McGathey except for 5 written by Nick Bush and Maxx McGathey. 9 written by Max Martini

Album produced by Neil Strauch at Engine Studios.
Mastered by Collin Jordan at Boiler Room.
Cover art by Chelsea Friel
Below are just a few of the many who contributed to the making of this album. Thank you very much for your support!:

Edward Bush
Glenn and Kathy Cardelli
Melinda Green
Christine Holmes
Randy McGathey
Ron & Brenda McGathey
Virginia McGathey
Jeanne Pearson
Corey Portell
Martha Schneider
Lynn Seales
Robert Stilson
Kati Terry
Sarah Jane Witsberger

Thanks to everyone else who supported us in our fund raising for this album. We could not have done it without you!



all rights reserved


MAPMAKER Chicago, Illinois

contact / help


Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Chicago Girl
candycorn cupcakes
milkshakes chocolate chips
recipe for the
second sweetest trip
you are first place
you’ve got dibs

you’re gonna do it
you’ll find a way how
to live on a cloud

chicago girl
there’s a lily in your hair
your creed’s a smile
and your trade is giving hugs
you’re a poster child
for love
Track Name: Old Limousine
I’ve got a new place down on Deerborn and Lake street
man it feels good to move down to the loop
I’m leaving behind all the hard times
it’s not gonna stop me from seeing Siddhārtha

the pennies they changed into dollars they grew up
just like an American dreamer should do
I waited in line success was my pride I moved to the sky
but there’s no people here
‘cause they’re all machines profit machines
and all of the souls are still down on the asphalt

my buddy JJ came to see me last evening
I gave him a tour showed him ‘round the new hood
he didn’t talk much just looked at the sky
rejected nostalgia said man I don’t know you
man I don’t know you

all of the sudden my life is a question
a whole nother race and I’m back at the start
now JJ is gone he’s mowing some lawn im in my garage
but there’s no people here
so much for the job so much for the dream
its driving away in my old limousine
Track Name: Victory
ten places to eat
others starve in streets
I have no disease
should I apologize?

classic malaprop
cashiers raise their brows
I can’t go back now
should I apologize?

I’ll be alone (you’ll be alone)
I’ll be alone for what I’ve done

I’m so embarrassed I can’t move
at least I won’t mess up again
it’s dangerous out in the cold
I’ll keep warm here inside my head

I follow the rules
they just cut in line
I want them to die
should I apologize?

another suitor gets the girl
another girl rocks out on stage
another surgeon saves a life
another life wasted
Track Name: Ancient Empires
we had intentions to sink our feet
down by the lakefront the sand’s real deep
the newly dead seaweed made you alone
‘cause even the Great Lakes are Autumn prone

long before we knew
long before we cared
long before we can’t
we can

you saw ancient empires met queens and serfs
you noticed the grown ups were happier
and then our big cousin ran to the pier
pulled by the collar back to our year
Track Name: The Cusp
The funk dont need no lyrics
Track Name: Son of a Grandfather Clock
the twenty-third hour I’m still in this state
this country can’t hold me this world just can’t wait
i can’t wait
give my money to a charity, friend
in Australia I’ll make my amends

a century’s quarter has made this dull face
with hands pointed outward to person and place
what a waste
living in years that have long been submerged
just an hour left until the future
when tomorrow is here I will be there
just an hour left to dream

I’m taking a freighter across the Pacific
I’ll keep no time
it’s hard to imagine a life without craving
I’ll keep no time
and finally there will be no dreams to remember
I’ll keep no time
I’ll keep no time
Track Name: Kite
enemies he used to make
calling out the big kids for their
disappreciation for the

time spent interpreting clouds
but staving off adulthood didn’t
go the way he planned.

I can’t spare the time
I’ve got too much work to do
It’s a pointless enterprise
Here kid please just take the string back

Self-addressed letters he wrote
reminding future selves of what he feels
and did not want to loose like

Most of the so called successful people

Now he’s one of them himself
Forgotten hypothetical adventures
Written in the thrown out letters
To make room for special papers
For the job to which he’s walking
Down the sidewalk where a little
Smiling kid gives him a string
Connected to a colorful kite

(I mean the kite)

Floating colors in the air
Beauty fun forever there
hold on tight

Floating colors
Track Name: Turbulence
rinse and repeat keep up the
everyday old routine
one day more says Jaime
‘til his dirt floors are clean
he sees a face black and red
painted upon a wall
picks his pale back up says
nothing has changed at all

turbulence put your
oxygen masks on
fill your blood with the
hope of another day

James sees his face reflecting
off the clouds through the glass
high above the slums
his plane starts a quick descent
watch holders make a fist
he hugs his two laptop stands
seeing never looking
into the ignored land

drugs to tuck you in
keep you in your bed
you’ll sleep forever
no one will knock on
your door
Track Name: Choices
In the valley of my youth
I hiked a crooked mile
It led me to a strange old bluff
Where some sad soul had filed

You might live
You must die
But don't poison what you see
With your Midas eye

So I turned around to see
The falling water dance with me
It's whispering into my ear
All the things that I should be

Drop your leash
See your cage
But don't hide the madness of
Your bloody age

Nothing ventured they say
Nothing gained I say
It's all this choosing that is killing me

Like neon lights my duty calls
From spaces I can fill
It's always screaming in my ear
over God and Will

you heal my wounds
Or hide from my needs
Never never dare to run
From what you need to see