lyrics ..................................................................................................
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  TA/LD 1. I'll Get My Just Deserve
2. I'll Deserve Just That
3. How I Feel
4. Why It Scares Me

Searching for a Pulse/The Worth of the World
Side A - Touche Amore
01. I’ll Get My Just Deserve
02. I'll Deserve Just That

Side B - La Dispute
03. How I Feel
04. Why It Scares Me

3. How I Feel
I say a drink might help me sleep, I say
I don’t sleep much at all these days, I say it’s cold, 
Besides, I’m broken.
Hard as earth the love of the past,
The worth of the world has frozen
Still.
Like the sheet of ice collecting on the windshield of my car.
Where I caught my reflection frozen in the glass,
A perfect broken image of the future I’d envisioned in the past–
Corrupted by fate now, fractured, and fading away.
Replace all I felt promised to me.
To be the one who figured it out,
Who knew what to do,
Who knew how to feel and
Felt that
Love of the past,
The worth of the world,
Just set it ablaze and
Thaw me out.
Dim lit in a room dark red, where I said,
“Can’t seem to break off from the way I felt, but
I guess you understand, man. We had no chance.
I’m tired of fighting with the hand I’ve been dealt.
So, I take the cards they give me
And keep my protest on the inside of my mouth.
If the best I can do ain’t gonna stop what’s coming,
What’s the point in trying to change how the hand plays out?
Don’t we all just die?
When you looked at the light
Did it hurt your eyes?
When you looked at the light
Did it hurt you
Like it hurt me?

4. Why It Scares Me
At times I’ve shouted out unprovoked, at the world and you,
Just to see if the people around me react.
Sometimes I think they’re all acting,
At times I’m scared that I’m acting too. Like,
My movements or stage directions?
Was that a change in topic or a beat in a scene?
Have I been taking my emotional cues from a script I wrote at sixteen?
Maybe I just think about it all so much 
That that the fear stays close to all the ghosts I’ve touched.
Makes me question
Was it love or just lust?
Caked in blood or old rust?
I don’t know. 
Don’t we remember all the moments we remember the best
Framed in poems and in pictures, sang aloud in refrains?
Does this cycle of pain and disdain for the past
Not work exactly the same?
Maybe it’s just as much about what comes our way as it is about how we react.
Just as much about the things that we’ve still got as it is about the things we lack.
I know we won’t always keep around all we feel we need–
some are fading in frames, some were born to leave–
But if we’re still here, and we still breathe,
I guess we’ve still got time to figure it out,
To know what to do, 
To know how to feel,
Know the things that I’ve been making up inside my head, and
To know what’s real.
I want to believe that the way I am is just the way things go.
For the things that came, not the things I chose 
to come. 
I want to know if I had any control.
I want to know if it’d comfort me.
And if my heart just stops, pack my memories in it–
I want to know all the love I’ve got.
And if my heart just stops, keep me alive for a minute–
I want to know if a curtain drops.

Here, Hear. III
Notes:
All tracks (save for the sequenced “drum beat” in Vass’ song) recorded by Brad in the cold, unfinished, and rather noisy basement of his house, usually in spurts between the furnace turning on and off, and with recording equipment which was purchased approximately 3 weeks before we recorded, but which did not arrive until about a week prior to commencement. As a result, Brad had to learn the in’s and out’s of the programs rather rapidly. In order to compensate for that brief learning period, Brad relied heavily on his ears and the characteristics of the recording rooms to create a different tonal atmosphere for each track, which he felt was vitally important in capturing the personality differences present in each song.

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The various album covers were composed Monday December 21, 2009. The photographs were taken by David Summers at Rogers Lakewood Park in Valparaiso, Indiana. In each, Vass is seen holding a different item. The first cover (green), Vass held a painting from his 2006 High School Art Show. The second cover (red), he held a piece of cardboard used in the shipping of our Untitled 7". The third cover (blue), he held a 125 mesh count screen used to print a navy blue La Dispute hoodie (it had a whale on it) from the fall of 2007. Vass then digitally manipulated David's photos to exaggerate each of their color schemes and to add the necessary text.

Thanks, and be your best to everyone, no exceptions.
-La Dispute

1. nine
Notes:
All music written and performed by Vass on the following instruments: Kevin's electric guitar in standard tuning, an electric bass, a melodica, bells, 3 books, a pencil sharpener, and a Sharpie brand permanent marker against paper.
Bass was plugged directly into Brad's interface. Guitar was played through Kevin's Peavey amp and microphoned. The bells and melodica were each recorded with a different microphone in a different room. The 3 books (Flash Forward by Robert J. Sawyer, Y: The Last Man (trade paperback) Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn, and Vass’ 2006 Valparaiso High School yearbook) had their pages flipped, and their covers slammed and rubbed near the internal microphone on Vass' laptop computer, all at a separate location in Valparaiso, IN (along with the pencil sharpener and the Sharpie drawing). These sounds were then sequenced digitally into the "drum beat" of the song.
All lyrics written and read by Jordan and dedicated to AMV and all of his amazing friends (particularly those present on the 7th story all the way back then). As well as to anyone, anywhere reading this.

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Lyrics:
I recall once on the church steps,
When I moved to kiss your chest,
How we paid such close attention
To each sweet and stuttered breath,
I should’ve stopped to paint our picture,
Captured honest pure affection,
Just to document the difference between attraction and connection.

I can see all of my friends and
I break into empty buildings,
When the coast was clear,
With backpacks full of beer,
We’d throw our bottles from the rooftops
At this city—it looked endless.
Guess I still don’t see the difference between real purpose and that urgent adolescence.

And I remember in a basement sharing sweat
With all these stranger boys and girls,
“We’ll change the world!” We sang,
“We’ll change the world!” But,
Nothing seems to change and
They say none of them will listen,
But I still see much more power in that basement than in elected politicians.

And if we get beaten by this winter,
If we get strangled by regret, just
Let our love of life and tension
Gasp in sweet and stuttered breaths, and
Have them lay us in a basement,
Smash some bottles on the ground, and
Say we never knew the difference between the feeling and the sound.

Remember not our faulty pieces,
Remember not our rusted parts,
It’s not the petty imperfections that define us but
The way we hold our hearts,
And the way we hold our heads,
I hope they write your names beside mine on my gravestone when I’m dead.
And when we’re dead let our voices carry on
To find a better song.
To find a better song and sing along.

2. ten
Notes:
All music written and performed by Brad on the following instruments: a Gibson electric guitar, an acoustic guitar his father used to play, various keyboards, piano, claps (his hands), stomps (his feet), 2 pieces of Styrofoam hit and rubbed together, an old beat up floor tom, a Pearl 3" piccolo snare (snares off), finger snaps (his fingers), and an A custom 22" ride cymbal. Brad’s song is written primarily in 5, excepting the middle section, which is in free time. Inspiration taken from jazz greats of the past and present.
All lyrics written and read/yelled by Jordan and dedicated to her again, the city of Louisville, and to Colin—for a great conversation.

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Lyrics:
I promised Colin I’d keep writing, and
That’s the only promise I’ve kept, but
I have no regrets. Like,
Your empty mailbox?
It doesn’t bother me.
Not at all.

And I promised you I’d come visit soon.
Guess I should’ve made the trip, but
Money’s tight as rope and time too. And
You know how it goes better than anyone.
There isn’t ever much of anything we need or
Think we do.
So I don’t feel bad.
I don’t feel bad.

And somewhere you cut me out.
Fall in love to rinse your mouth,
But it doesn’t bother me at all.

I promised Colin I’d take off to you soon, on
An old deck in Louisville, KY.
Four stories up, Six AM and Ten deep
While they we’re sleeping, and I said,
“Keep me in check, friend.” And he tried.
But I couldn’t be.

And that small window closed, and I
Never really kept writing either, just
Stared downward at the page most times or
Thought about it real hard.
And there must be something missing in me
That she’s there and I’m still here because
That’s messed up.
But I don’t feel bad about it.

And somewhere you cut me out.
Fall in love to rinse your mouth,
But it doesn’t bother me at all.
 
I have tried hard to stay hopeful in the moments
They cut ropes to set you free.
I have always tried to point the finger elsewhere.
This time it points to me.

But it doesn’t bother me at all.

Each chance to lock arms, to lie long in locked eyes
And I failed to let go, to cut ties with my life.
But I’m torn, and reborn, see I died when you left.
But each word since that day was your name from my chest.

I am afraid.
But it doesn’t bother me at all.

3. eleven
Notes:
All music written and performed by Chad on the following instruments: an electric guitar strung with a used pack of strings, a bass guitar, a broken kick drum that was played with his fists, two boards with a tambourine taped to one side, and that same tambourine (with only one set of zils not broken off) played as it is intended to be, which is shaken with the hands.
Guitar and bass were both recorded through the same amplifier, a 10W solid state Peavey with a blown 8” speaker. The amp was recorded through a vintage spring reverb unit as well as an effects pedal Chad made that was used to push the 8” speaker into distortion. The guitar solo in the middle of the song was intended to be thoughtless and therefore only one take was attempted. Every instrument was recorded with the same microphone and no metronome was used to guide the tempo.
All lyrics written and performed by Jordan and dedicated to any current or former resident of the Great Lakes State, and to anyone throwing house shows or playing in a touring band.

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Lyrics:
It was out on the highway.
It was warmer than blood.
It was spaces and basements.
Faces brimming with love.
It was nightfall to daybreak.
Finding a new way
It was falling asleep at the wheel while awake.
It was wasting away; delay the promise of heartache,
It was tracing the chest to the arm to the hand
That’s been wielding a knife and trying
To cut our dreams in pieces but we’ll be fine.

I feel alright, tonight.
Yeah, I feel alright tonight.

I feel (I feel alright) 4X

It was fear of foreclosure, stock in General Motors,
It was boarding up buildings, burnt; the tortured and war-torn.
It was unpaid rent checks and
All the hope left,
The hearts that still beat through the bones in our chests.
 
I feel alright, tonight.
I guess I feel alright tonight.

I feel like letting go (I feel)
I feel like letting go (Alright)
I feel like letting go (Tonight)
I feel like letting go, yeah.

I feel like giving in (I feel)
I feel like giving in (Alright)
I feel like giving in (Tonight)
I feel like giving in, yeah.

There’s a chorus of voices below you,
There’s a prayer of hope composed in song,
In a basement with the lights turned low and
There’s room to sing along, so sing along.

And I feel alright, tonight.
Yeah, I feel alright tonight.

I feel (I feel alright) 4X

4. twelve
Notes:
All music written and performed by Kevin on the following instruments: his Gibson SG  Special plugged into a Peavey Amplifier which ran through a Marshall Cabinet into an SM57 microphone, a vintage Ludwig snare drum (played with a drum stick), a tambourine, and a cardboard box (played with his hand), all of which were recorded with an Audix I5 microphone.

All lyrics written and performed by Jordan and dedicated to Jesse, for his immensely broad shoulders.

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Lyrics:
Walked into find you sitting in your kitchen, softly singing,
“Someone carry me away.”

If there’s always someone leaving.
Will we ever stop believing that the winter fits us perfectly?
Isn’t someone always coming?
Once the summers up and running
Won’t you feel warm with me?

But we’re so tired of when we don’t make mistakes
But things get torn away.
And we’re so scared of losing faith
That we can’t put things back together when they break.

Walked into find you staring out the window at a city
Holding memories of older times and how’d she’d gone away.
And we sang through smoke and rum and coke and
Promised with our pity, man, one day, I swear we’ll be ok.

 Walked into find you sitting in your kitchen, softly singing,
“Someone carry me away.”

1. Such Small Hands
I think I saw you in my sleep, darling,
I think I saw you in my dreams you were
Stitching up the seams on every broken promise
That your body couldn’t keep.
I think I saw you in my sleep.

I thought I heard the door open, oh no,
I thought I heard the door open but
I only heard it close.

I thought I heard a plane crashing, but
Now I think it was your passion snapping.

I think you saw me confronting my fear, it
Went up with a bottle and went down with the beer and
I think you ought to stay away from here
There are ghosts in the walls and they
Crawl in your head through your ear.

I think I saw you in my sleep, lover,
I think I saw you in my dreams you were
Stitching up the seams on every mangled promise
That your body couldn’t keep.
I think I saw you in my sleep.

2. Said the King to the River
“Up, M’Lady--Pack your things, this place is not your home. Nor was it ever,
Sever every tie, tonight we ride. Tonight we ride.”

“And how we’ve trembled at the way that time’s assembled little fires of desire in the tundra of our skin.
So, do yourself a little favor, savor every time you waver for that shaking in my voice was only slyly feigned chagrin. Tonight we ride.”

“Oh, Lover, uncover. I know it’s warm beneath your sheets and there is ice along the streets but listen—Lover, we will recover. But we’ve no time to waste with meddling in affairs we’ve locked so tightly in our dreams. We are not clean, we are not pure, we can not rest until we’re sure. So, rob your pretty little eyes of sleep’s disguise. I’m at your bedside with a bucket full of lies. So, clear your ears and listen---

Up, M’Lady--Pack your things, this place is not your home.

But I know what is.”

And to the glorious past:

You’ve opened my window but broken the glass. And I beseech thee, ‘shed thy beauty.’
For as a child leaves the womb and learns the cold, you have taught us perils in the present, and you will bring us peril in our surely-soon-to-be. Unless…

The river’s not flooded this time.

Oh, Precious Distance,
Oh, Precious Pain,
You’ve given me a name. And
Etched it in the stones of the river bank.

Oh, Precious Distance,
Oh, Precious Pain,
You’ve given us a name. You’ve
Given us a name.

“Rise!” Said the King to the River, “Never let up! No, bring us a flood and bring it hard!”
“Freeze!” Said the Wind to the Water, “Never give in! No, build us a bridge! And build it strong and angry. Let it stills the King’s decree. Oh, you must contemplate the current, Boy, and command that coward cease. The boy breathes for his love says, ‘I wait.’
                                                                                                His love says, ‘I wait.’
            She’s shouting out, “I will come back. Yes, I will come back!
I will come—I have lived my life so uncomfortably. Darling, come for me.
                                                                                    Come for me.”

“Rise!” Said the Boy to his Lover, “Darling, get up. I’ve brought you my love, and brought it far!”
“Leave!” Said the Girl to her lover, “I’ve given in. If love is a bridge, we built it wrong!”

Curb your anger.
Still your fists.
She will never come back, she’ll never come back, she’ll never come—
She will never come back, she’ll never come back, she’ll never come—
 
3. New Storms for Older Lovers
“I’ve come here as a man in shambles—worn out from begging on my knees. Please, I’m just trying to keep my family together. Now, when you saw you’re lover wore a ring around her finger, why didn’t you stop?

I have half a mind to make you hurt, to make you bleed, to make you suffer. I swear, if you’ve touched her—oh, heaven, forgive what I would do to you, you monster. And think about your children? They’ll never believe what you’ve done.

Listen, I’m begging you, back off. Let me rebuild all the things that you shattered.

She meant it, I swear that she meant it, she whispered so often, ‘Husband, I’ll always be here with you.’

But always is always and always is valueless. I wish I’d never heard her speak a word.

And I hope you see us—your wife and your children and I— buried in the wreckage of your crime, while you’re laying down your sins, softly leaning in to kiss your guilt goodnight.”

She is mine. You stole her, somehow tricked her but
We’ll survive. We will. She loves me dearly—you’ll see.
You are blind. She loves me dearly.

Breathe in.

He finally paused to take a breath then looked down—it felt like staring into hell.
The man was seated in a chair before him, silent, a statue framed in pain and flesh. He thought, “Oh, what more can I say to sway him? To make this statue speak? I swear he’s made of stone and I am barely stirring up a breeze.”

And after waiting in the silence, finally turned around to leave.
Broken and barely through the doorway, breathing slowly, beating hard, he heard him speak:

“I guess love’s a funny thing—the way it fades away without a warning. It doesn’t ask to be excused. And when it’s gone—oh, it’s gone—and it ain’t ever comin’ back.

There is nothing you can do to save it, to make it breathe the way it did when you were sliding on the ring. Trust me: It’s gone for good.

Now there is nothing you can do to stop me. She is happy when she is with me and I am finally alive. I’m sorry.” 

4. Damaged Goods
She forced a smile, said,
“Boy, come kiss my mouth—I’ll set you free.
You know that hope you’re holding to? It looks an awful lot like fear.
Now, you’re so quick to fall on failure, and so quick to raise your voice, like,
‘If I can’t find a mistake to blame, we didn’t have a choice.’

Oh, but you had option.
I was your chance to feel complete,
But when I leaned in close to you, you
Kissed your fear instead of me.

You had my hand in your hand,
You had my lip in your teeth,
You had my heart on your sleeve,
You had a chance to breathe.

But, boy, you wouldn’t let your fear recede so I moved on.

And it’s too late to change your mind now,
You got scared, boy, and I got gone.
Now you failed, and there’s no way to turn back time.
You had your chance, boy, I tried.”

“You tried?” I looked her in the eye and smiled,
“My girl, you must understand that fear is not some product that I made. 
It crept unwelcome in my head the day they had her torn away.
It changed me.

Now at the end of everyday I lie awake at night and wait
To feel the wires of my brain get cut and quietly rearranged, and
Hear my beaten heart exclaim, ‘Still, I refuse to let her go.’”

So we escape to our mistakes for they wait patiently for us.
Oh, how they always wait for me.

If my fear has kept me here only my fear can set me free.

And I’m sorry, dear, but don’t you dare say another word.
How could I risk holding your heart in me while still in love with her?

You were wrong.”

5. Fall Down, Never Get Back Up Again
Out where the stones lay like bones by the ocean,
Out where the waves crash contempt on the land.
Someone was trembling for fear of the tempest,
Somebody silently reached for their hand.
Said,
“Understand that if you’re cold, I’ll keep you warm.
And besides, there’s so much beauty in a storm.
So come down with me to the shore.
And what’s more? I adore you.

So tell me, what is there to fear?
You think some seraph up above is trying to rob us of our love
Because the skies not clear?
My dear, you know there’s not—now, listen to the rain upon the rooftop.”

But the wind picked up.

Out where the stones stand up like thrones beside the ocean,
Out where the waves make a grave of the sea,
The lovers struggled in the middle of the tempest,
And water angrily crawled up onto beach.
Said, “Hold my hand, and stay with me, we’ll be released.”
But the tide clung like an anchor to her feet. And
Though he tried to make the water line recede,
It pulled her out into the sea.

He could not break apart the waves
To bring her safely back in.
He watched her hand break through the surface, once,
Then disappear again, forever.

Wait inside the sea for me, my dear,
I hear you.
You speak in every curling wave,
And sing in every violent breeze.
Someday not far away from here, my dear,
I swear I’ll see you.
And we will hear the seraphs cry,
For they will still envy “You and I”.

How they envied “You and I.”

6. Bury Your Flames
We could blame it on our hands,
They lifted the drink to our mouths so we drank it. Or
We could blame it on our bodies,
They say, “We like the way we feel
When we get touched.”

You’ve got your fingers snared in my veins,
I think it’s time you pulled them out.
And I don’t care about the flesh it’ll tear,
It isn’t flesh that I’m worried about.

We held a match to keep our sight on the path but the flame gave up and we lost it.
And I’ve knelt for the last three years trying to find it back with the blackened matchstick.
Today I’m not afraid of failure.
“The past is a flower.
The future: the snow.”
I wasn’t ever close to perfect, but
I didn’t let you go.

You let your doubt like a river lead you
On and on and on and
You will never get back to save what you had, hear me promise, “I will
Bury your problems in me so sleep soundly.”
I held your heart in my fingers now it’s
Gone, it’s gone, it’s gone and
You will never admit that you bid the wind blow the flames out
And buried the coals in the sea.
You tricked me.

You came back and you brought floods
Wearing a necklace made of hearts that you’d dragged through the mud.
I guess I wasn’t quite sure what to do.
But then I saw mine, almost reached out to grab it. Said,
“Darling, you’re the only one on Earth I want to have it.”
But now I’m not so sure that that was true,
After the hell you put it through.
But there was no sharp pain this time,
Just the ghost of your presence compressing my chest like a vine.
An unshakeable absence,
Like most of my insides crawled out through my mouth and went west. But that’s fine.
We cast our hearts in plaster.
We imagined our bodies were fashioned from stone but
They chipped at the brick and the mortar,
We found out that we’re only layers of skin hiding bone.

And our bones are like chains, old and rusted in the rain—they’re going to snap when the weight shifts.

You moved like a fire through the forest.
You’re hands were as red as the skin on your lips.
You’d been flirting with distance, princess,
I tasted its spit in your kiss.
Oh, mistress, know:
Today I will bury the flames of your failure.
The past is a liar, the future: a whore.
I’ll lay your bones into the earth and you
Will haunt my head no more.

Oh, we could blame it on our hands, but,
It was our mouths that opened up to swallow and
Our heads that commanded us drink.

But as I buried your flames in the dirt,
I watched the smoke pull your ghost from the grave. And
I fear they’ll only lay in wait till we are face to face again.
Just when I said, “I’m moving—I’m moving on.”
I felt them come to life again.

There are fires that tear through valleys and make dust from grass.
There are wires—bound in blue light they pull us to the past.
We are tired. We should’ve known from the start that this thing wouldn’t last.

7. Last Blues for Bloody Knuckles
“My Precious Wife, I am in shambles. I am crumbling. I am—was it something I did bid the tide to climb so high that it ripped our shore up?

I can fix it, I swear, if you trust me, I am old and I am rusting but I care, I care.

My Precious Wife, we made a promise, pledged our flesh to be one. How can you doubt a love that stood so proud as we raised our children?

I believe in it still. It has faltered, and it is faded, but I know it’s there.

How’d it change? The way you thought of me? How strange to think we once were lovers.
Now we’ve wrapped the past up in broken glass and when you speak my name you shudder.

Oh, Precious Wife, believe I’ll save this, I’ll revive it, I will—we’ve built a family from this marriage, why would you tear it apart?”

“Oh, speak now, Precious, your silence screams you’re giving in to failure.
Hear me, the promise that you made was meant to live forever,
Until our deathbed, you’re not allowed to change your mind.

Was there nothing in that promise?
Are you listening to me?”

“Oh, Husband, I could not control it.
Husband, I could not abstain.
One cannot stop the wind from blowing—nor refuse the falling rain.
Love stirred up a storm inside; wrapped its arms around my waist.
I failed you, dear, I’m sorry—oh, I’m sorry.
There was nothing I could do.
No, there was nothing I could—
Sure as the rain will fall, some love just fails without a reason.

There is nothing you can do.

8. The Castle Builders
Now speak of anger,
Forget all the fears you’ve kept about love and sex and death and
Faith, erased, or swinging sweet from around her neck and
Between her breasts.
Let every lonely body finally break its fear of flesh and say,
“How strange it must’ve been back when we shook at the sight of sweat.”
Let our worries wander out of like water streaming from a spring.
And sing of all the things our heads have failed to ruin yet.
There’s so much they have failed to ruin yet.

Bright as lightning,
Loud as thunder,
We’ll move all the hurt aside to let love sustain our passions, and
Move up and onward.
We are not our losses,
We are only the extent to which we love.

So build a home for your family, and
Build a castle for your friends, now
Set their beds with sheets and blankets,
Keep them safe until the end.
I’ve felt the damage and burn from the fallout,
My love failed but theirs prevailed,
My friends, I’m only flesh and bone but
I won’t let you die alone.

So leave our hearts at the foot of the mountain.
Let our burdens be locked in the stone.
If you will help me roll it upward
I won’t let you die alone.

I see a beauty springing upward from the earth and from out our hearts.
For all the bad that seems to plague us, I swear to you there’s good.

I won’t let you die alone.
My love, I will not let you die alone.

They say that death is not a problem, it’s a promise,
I can only say for sure that when it makes your bed
I’ll kiss your head
“Goodnight.”

So speak of all the love we lost, and what it cost us,
Left us beg our breath to stop but we kept on and
We were strong, and
We stayed bright as lightning.
We sang loud as thunder.
We moved ever forward.
We are not our failures.
We are love.

9. Andria
You still cross my mind from time to time. And I mostly smile.
Still so set on finding out where we went wrong and why.
So I retrace our every step with an unsure pen,
Trying to figure out what my head thinks, but
My head just ain’t what it used to be.           
And then again,
What’s the point anyway?

I remember you ascending all the stairs up to the
Balcony to see if you could see me—
Hidden quietly away. And
I remember the skin of your fingers,
The spot three quarters up I’d always touch when
I was out of things to say.
You held my hand, but you were too afraid to speak
You were too afraid to speak and I could never understand.
I remember when you leaned in quick to kiss me, and I swear, that
Not a single force on earth could stop the trembling of my hand.

And I remember how you smiled through the smoke
In a crowded little coffeehouse and laughed at all my jokes.
And I remember the way that you dressed and,
How we wasted all the best of us in alcohol and sweat and
I remember when I knew that you’d be leaving,
How I barely kept up breathing and I bet,
If I had to do it all again, I’d feel the same pain.

And I remember panicked circles in the terminal in tears.
How I wept to god in fits.
I’ve hated airports ever since.

It must be true what people say, that only time can heal the pain.
And every single day I feel it fade away, but—

I still remember how the distance tricked us, and
Lead us helpless by the wrist into a pit to be devoured.
I still remember how we held so strong to this,
Though we had never really settled on a way out.
I still remember the silence.
And how we’d always find a way to turn and run to our mistakes.
I still remember how it all came back together
Just to fall apart again.

My dear, I hear your voice in mine.

I’ve been alone here,
I’ve been afraid, my dear.
I’ve been at home here,
You’ve been away for years.
I’ve been alone.

I breathed your name into the air; I etched your name into me.
I felt my anger swelling; I swam into its sea.
I held your name inside my heart, but it got buried in my fear.
It tore the wiring of my brain; I did my best to keep it clear.
So, dear, no matter how we part, I hold you sweetly in my head.
And if I do not miss a part of you, a part of me is dead.
If I can’t love you as a lover, I will love you as a friend.
And I will lay a bed before you; keep you safe until the end.

10. Then Again, Maybe You Were Right.
I spoke too soon, it seems,
For you made a home in my dreams.
While I slept you kept running yourself through my head,
Like, “I won’t be dead yet.”
I said, “You don’t understand. We had no control.
They stole it; love’s been so unfair to me.”
“But see, boy, that’s my point.
You must move on.”

Then felt her ghost move in me.
I heard her voice call out my name but
This time it faded out—away.
“I’ll bury it today.”
Today.

So I breathed her name out into a cold, cold room,
Watched her ghost ascend the walls and then dissolve,
“This time I choose to let it go.”

“This time I choose to let her go.
I will not let my fear become the only world I’ve ever known.
I know my heart, kiss my mouth, set me free—I’ve wounds to mend.
And we’ll be more than friends, my dear; I fear I’ve changed my mind again.”

“But, boy, you’re too late. Oh, God, it’s too late.”

11. Sad Prayers for Guilty Bodies
They stored their passion in the creases in the corners of their mouths,
Every angle of light from the open window washed their aged faces out.

“Should we feel guilty? They said,
Should we feel guilty for this sin?
Lord, did we kill a man and woman just to lie here skin to skin?”

“I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy where I was. Oh,
What is life without a purpose? What is purpose without love?
I pray my children will forgive me, though I bade the river flood.
I have washed my hands a thousand times but still can see the blood.”

“Oh, great mercy, I am here to beg forgiveness for this mess. I know I tore two worlds apart but I can’t change the way I felt. Love swept in like a storm and ripped the hinges from the doors. Love poured in like a flood, I couldn’t stop it anymore.

I will not be drowned.”

She said, “Lover, come and hold me, I am terribly afraid.
While you’re shouting at the stars, my scars are not fading away.”
He said, “Darling, I was begging heaven make them disappear, but,
See, I didn’t get an answer or at least one I could hear. Now,
I am thinking of the past and how we both said vows and lied and
I am wondering how we trust ourselves to say a second time:

‘To have and to hold,
From this day and onward,
For better and for worse,
For richer and for poorer,
In sickness or in health,
To love and to cherish
'Till death do us part?’"

12. The Last Lost Continent
I felt your sickness brush against my arm as I walked by you—
Heard your voice but couldn’t tell that it was you.
And, slowly, watched your sickness slip away into a place that I’d once feared but
I was not afraid this time.
So I gave chase and found it, finally, slowly feeding from your head,
And from my friends, and from my family, so
I grabbed it by the neck.
“For every lover you have ruined…”
I dug my nails into its flesh.
“…and every life that you have taken…”
Slammed its head against the brick.
Its blood poured out onto the pavement,
I stirred it in with dirt and spit,
“I will take a part of you.”
I made mortar from the mix.
Tore every organ from its body,
Broke its bone and fashioned bricks,
I laid the mortar in between,
I made a throne for hope to sit.
“Too long you’ve torn us into pieces,
Firmly held onto our wrists.
Today I bury you in me.”
I swallowed every inch of it.

I’ll hold you, as you have held me—you’ve held me in your heart,
We’ll be set free from fear.
We’ve felt our failures,
We’ve watched our passions leave, but
We’re still breathing.
But we’re still beating on.
I’ll hold you,
As you have held me,
You’ve held me in your heart.
(And I will hold you in my heart)

But I still see him dead in the parking lot at the gas station just down the street.
And I still hear my friend say,
“You know, you wouldn’t believe the things I saw when I was stationed overseas.”
But he somehow keeps smiling in spite all of that. While
I keep finding ways to push the good out for the bad.

Oh, how selfish of myself to always say that it was more than I could take,
Like it was pain I could not shake, like
It could break me with its fingers, throw my body in the lake, and
I would slowly sink away but
The truth is it was sorrow that I made and would not face.
See, I keep falling for the future after tripping on the past.
And I am always tearing sutures out to make the anguish last
Like it defines me.
Or reminds me I’ve found comfort in my suffering
And uncertainty in happiness and death, because
What’s next is such a mystery to me and
I am terrified of all the things I feel but cannot see.
Friends and family, put your hand into my hand and
Lay your head into my chest.
You are all that I have left here.
We are all that we have left.

We are the lovers,
We are the last of our kind.
Link your arms and keep your chin up, and
I swear that we’ll be fine.
We are the lovers,
We are the last of our kind.

Though we’re not sure who we are, we keep our heads up.
Though we’re not sure where we’re from, we keep our hearts up.
Though we’re not sure when we’ll leave, we keep our heads up.
Though we’re not sure where we’ll go, we keep our hopes up.

Keep your head up. We’re fine. Just
Keep your head up. I swear we’ll be alright.
Keep your head up. Oh, my friends, my friends.
Keep your head up. And
I swear we’ll never die.
I swear we’ll get home safe and sound
I swear we’ll never die.
I swear we’ll live on underground.

I will give your heart a place to rest when everything you had has turned and left.

I’ll weave your names into my ribcage; lock your hearts inside my chest.
Regain the passion I once carried; do away with all the rest.
I tore the sickness from your bodies; smashed its head against the bricks.
I made a castle from its bones that you may always dwell in it.

So sing for every buried moment that you’d thought would never end.
And sing your fears about the future; and a dirge for faded friends.
For all the love that you had held to, why it somehow failed to keep.
And sing each minute you’ve been frightened; every hour that you’ve lost sleep.
And sing for all your friends and family; sing for those who didn’t survive.
But sing not for their final outcome; sing a song of how they tried.
We live amidst a violent storm; leaves us unsatisfied at best,
So fill your heart with what’s important, and be done with all the rest.
We are what’s left of what we once were
We are falling far behind.
There’s so much stacking up against us
And we’re running out of time.
We are but hopeful children,
And we’re the last of our kind.
But if we let our hearts move outward,
I know we will never—
We are but friends and family,
We are the last of our kind,
So hold my hand, I’ll lift your head up, and
I promise we’ll be fine.
We are but hopeful lovers,
And we are running out of time.
There’s so much stacking up against us,
And we’re falling far behind.
We are but hopeful lovers,
We are the last of our kind,
But if we let our hearts move outward,
I know we will never—
We are but lovers.
We are the last of our kind.
And if we let our hearts move outward,
I know we will never—
We are but lovers,
We are the last of our kind.
And if we let our hearts move outward,
We will never die.

13. Nobody, Not Even the Rain
I know that someday you’ll be sleeping,
Darling, likely dreaming off the pain.
I hope you’ll hear me in the streetlight’s humming,
Softly breathing out your name.
I know that even with the seams stitched tightly, darling
Scars will remain.

I say we scrape them from each other, darling, and
Let them wash off in the rain.
And when they run into the river, oh no,
Let the water not complain.
I swear that even with the distance,
Slowly wearing at your name,
Your hands still catch the light the right way and
Our hearts still beat the same.
And our hearts still beat the same.

Here, Hear II
Liner notes:
All lyrics were borrowed from people far more equipped to speak them ourselves. Some of them have been cut, arranged, and manipulated (only slightly, sometimes unintentionally) to cooperate with time of each song and to fit as well as possible with the movement of the music they accompany. It is our sincere hope that, in doing so, the author’s intended end product has not in any way been compromised.

All instruments were recorded at various locations around Chad’s parents’ house on Hanna Lake in Caledonia, MI between the 24th and 28th of August, 2008. Vocals were recorded at the warehouse a little over a week later.

      This is No Sleep Records 013.
      Brad recorded everything.
      Troy mastered everything.
      You (still) mean everything.
      Thank you.

happy
“One must imagine Sisyphus happy”

1. five
Liner notes:
All music written and performed by Chad on the following instruments: an electric guitar (in drop C tuning), a shaker, a tambourine, two pieces of bamboo flooring, his hands (used together), a piano, and his trumpet (from high school).

Guitar was recorded on an aluminum dock approximately 20’ off shore of Hanna Lake just before sunset. The rest was recorded in his parent’s driveway and garage.

Lyrics taken from 3 separate poems – me and Faulkner, alone with everybody, and the crunch – each written by Charles Bukowski. Sections of each were borrowed and ordered as one fluent piece by Jordan in an attempt to convey a specific overall meaning.

trumpet

Lyrics:
sure, I know that you are tired of hearing about it, but
most repeat the same theme over and over again, it's
as if they were trying to refine what seems so strange
and off and important to them, it's done by everybody
because each must work out what is before them
over and over again because
that is their personal tiny miracle

like now as like before and before I have been listening to symphony after
symphony from this radio

makes me realize that certain people now long dead were able to
transgress graveyards

and traps and cages and bones and limbs

in tiny rented rooms I was struck by miracles

the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men (they) drink too
much
and nobody finds the
one
but keep
looking
crawling in and out
of beds.
flesh covers
the bone and the
flesh searches
for more than
flesh.

there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of
the hands of a clock

people so tired
mutilated
either by love or no love.

people just are not good to each other

we are afraid.

our educational system tells us
that we can all be
big winners

it hasn't told us
about the gutters
or the suicides.

or the terror of one person
aching in one place
alone

untouched
unspoken to

people are not good to each other.
people are not good to each other.

I suppose they never will be.
I don't ask them to be.

but sometimes I think about
it.

there must be a way.

surely there must be a way that we have not yet
thought of.

there's no chance
at all:
we are all trapped
by a singular
fate.

nobody ever finds
the one.

who put this brain inside of me?

it cries
it demands
it says that there is a chance.

it has kept the rope from my throat

maybe it will loosen
yours

the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill

nothing else
fills.

2. six
Liner notes:
All music written and performed by Vass on the following instruments: two electric guitars, one bass guitar (all in drop C tuning), a full drum kit, and sleigh bells.

At the last minute, plans to replace the metronome with Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” were dashed by a tag in the song that throws off the consistency of the tempo.

Recorded in the garage @ Chad’s parents’ on a Wednesday Night.

Lyrics taken from the Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus. Read by Jordan.

drums


The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.
Nothing is told us about Sisyphus in the underworld. Myths are made for the imagination. As for this myth, one sees merely the whole effort of a body straining to raise the huge stone, to roll it, and push it up a slope a hundred times over; one sees the face screwed up, the cheek tight against the stone, the wholly human security of two earth-clotted hands. At the very end of his long effort, the purpose is achieved. Then Sisyphus watches the stone rush down in a few moments toward the lower world whence he will have to push it up again toward the summit. He goes back down to the plain.
It is during that return, that pause, that Sisyphus interests me. A face that toils so close to stones is already stone itself! I see that man going back down with a heavy yet measured step toward the torment of which he will never know the end. That hour like a breathing-space which returns as surely as his suffering, that is the hour of consciousness. At each of those moments when he leaves the heights and gradually sinks toward the lairs of the gods, he is superior to his fate. He is stronger than his rock.
The workman of today works everyday in his life at the same tasks, and his fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious. Sisyphus knows the whole extent of his wretched condition: it is what he thinks of during his descent. There is no fate that can not be surmounted by scorn.
If the descent is thus sometimes performed in sorrow, it can also take place in joy. When the images of earth cling too tightly to memory, it happens that melancholy arises in man's heart: this is the rock's victory. But crushing truths perish from being acknowledged. Thus, Edipus at the outset obeys fate without knowing it. But from the moment he knows, his tragedy begins. Yet at the same moment, he realizes that the only bond linking him to the world is the cool hand of a girl. Then a tremendous remark rings out: "Despite so many ordeals, my advanced age and the nobility of my soul make me conclude that all is well.”
"I conclude that all is well," says Edipus, and that remark is sacred. It echoes in the wild and limited universe of man. It teaches that all is not, has not been, exhausted.
All Sisyphus' silent joy is contained therein. His fate belongs to him.
The rock is still rolling.

3. seven
Liner notes:
All music written and performed by Brad on the following instruments: a Casio keyboard, a tambourine, some wood blocks, a cowbell, a full drumkit, his feet (used with the floor) and his hands (used together).

The entire song was structured around the drum part, which was improvised and recorded one night approximately three weeks ago. A dog can be heard howling at the beginning.

Lyrics taken from the first chapter of Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, in which mole decides to abandon his spring cleaning in favor of exploring the outdoors. Read by Jordan.

garage

Lyrics:
The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home. First with brooms, then with dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of whitewash; till he had dust in his throats and eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur. Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his small dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing. It was small wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor, and said, ‘Bother!’ Something up above was calling him.
So he scraped and scratched and scrabbled and scrooged and then scrooged again and scrabbled and scratched and scraped, working busily with his little paws and muttering to himself, ‘Up we go! Up we go!’ till at last, pop! His snout came out into the sunlight, and he found himself rolling in the warm grass of a great meadow.
‘This is fine!’ he said to himself. The sunshine struck hot on his fur, and, jumping off all his four legs at once, in the joy of living and the delight of spring, he pursued his way across the meadow till he reached the hedge on the further side.
Hither and thither through the meadows he rambled busily, along the hedgerows, across the copses, finding everywhere birds building, flowers budding, leaves thrusting—everything happy, and progressive, and occupied. And instead of having an uneasy conscience pricking him, he somehow could only feel how jolly it was to be the only idle dog among all these busy citizens.
He thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river. Never in his life had he seen a river before—this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping this with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again. All was a-shake and a-shiver—glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble. The mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated. By the side of the river he trotted as on trots, when very small, by the side of a man who holds one spell-bound by exciting stories; and when tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.
The mole waggled his toes from sheer happiness, spread his chest with a sigh of full contentment, and leaned back blissfully. ‘WHAT a day I’m having!’ he said.

4. eight
Liner notes:
All music written and performed by Kevin on the following instruments: electric guitar (in standard tuning), bass drum (with one Deschler 116 mallet), snare drum (with stick), rim of snare drum (with stick), crash cymbal (with two Deschler 116 mallets), a tambourine, and a shaker.

Rhythm guitar track was documented via microphone twice – the first capturing the sound from the amp, the second capturing the sound of Kevin strumming. The lead was recorded directly into the mixing board. The bulk of the percussion was written on the spot after guitar had been recorded, and were performed shortly thereafter. Most of the song is in 6/8 timing excepting a section in the middle in 7/8.

Lyrics taken from the afterward to J. Michael Straczynski’s graphic novel, Midnight Nation, published in 2000 by Top Cow Productions, written by J. Michael Straczynski. Read by Jordan.

drummer boy

Lyrics:
1978. San Diego. I’d just come out the other side of a relationship that blew up…I was angry, and disillusioned, and ultimately self-destructive. I’d lost everything I believed in …I was as utterly, completely alone as I’ve ever been.

So I began going on walks.

I started taking late-night walks around the San Diego suburb I was living in at the time. I’d start walking early evening, and come back close to midnight, sometimes later. Walking and thinking and chewing over what had gone wrong with my life.
One night, at Fourth and E Streets, I got mugged and beaten by a street gang—sent me to the hospital with serious intimations of mortality. When the ER techs asked what my religion was, I refused to answer. I made my private peace with the universe, content with whatever was going to happen, live or die.

Then something happened. I got angry. I got angry because I still had stories to tell. So I fought back.

It took two months to fully recover. But two things came out of that incident. First, I have no fear of death. None whatsoever.

Second…as soon as I was well enough, I started walking again.

sometimes until 3 or 4 in the morning, through parts of town that made even street people nervous.

When people asked what I was doing out there that late at night, the only answer I could give was, “I’m looking for something.”
So I kept walking through some of the most dangerous parts of San Diego, before it got cleaned up, when it was still home to hookers and drunks and gangs and addicts and random violence.

Finally, one afternoon, I came to the same areas I walked through at night and I was struck by the dichotomy between that corner at night, and the very same corner during the day.

In the daylight, there were businessmen and kids and clerks, eager to get home to dinner and TV and family.

Then, later, came the night shift, the lost people, emerging from shadows and beds of pain to walk the same streets in search of fixes, money, and bars, gradually fading away with the dawn.

Two totally different worlds, sharing nothing but longitude and latitude. There was the nation in the day, and the nation at night, existing side by side but each fleeing the other.
A daylight nation.

And a midnight nation.

I saw a country bifurcated by more than just the presence and absence of light, but by lives cast aside and lost and uncared for; the walked away and the thrown-away on one side, and on the other, those who pretended not to see them, because not seeing is easier.
And I saw someone forced to walk both sides of the metaphor, to learn that the greatest cruelty is our casual blindness to the despair of others, that there but for the grace of whatever god you subscribe to goes any of us.

And finally, I realized that I had found what I was looking for, without ever being quite sure what it was.

I found a story that would make my own life make sense again.

This story.

I still take long walks, and I still stop and talk to the people who stand at the corner and wait for something to happen to them, who wait for money to fall into a hat or a cup, who wait for someone to recognize their pain.

Because the line between the midnight nation and the place where I sit right now, writing these words, is thin and ephemeral and can be crossed in an instant.
And because the road to the midnight nation can be erased only through compassion.

I found my story, this story, on a hazy afternoon in 1978.
Now it’s yours. The keys to the midnight nation are in your hands.
What you do with them is up to you.

J. Michael Straczynski.
Sherman Oaks, CA
July 21st 2002.

thank you

□. only everything below
both butterflies and dragonflies have wings like when you sing i swear you hit two different notes but they don’t harmonize as clean as when you speak there is a rhythm in the scraping of your tongue along your teeth that comes across as well as hell inside of heaven in a feast of flies and anything with wings that tries to sing but where you ripped two different holes, see, they won’t cauterize as cleanly as you think and if you listen to the rhythm in your sleep you can hear me speaking, "you are a wolf to me."

don’t believe your ears nor trust your mouth i think that
every single feeble doubt-soaked promise of trust
had a mind to leave you
out in the rain with your hands to the train tracks,
pulling the ropes with your teeth,
but you’re too weak and
you’re too tired, child,
lay down--i will tear every ghost from your dream.

(oh, king, you’ve stepped on the wrong crack)

rejoice!
it is beating still.
still strong.
still thundering onward.
it turns it’s palm up,
lifts it’s voice up.
it speaks, says,
"i don’t know."

he speaks with the speed in the clench of a bear-trap,
softly rebuilding the castles he’d kept,
says, "there is grace in a steeple collapsing."
straightens the sheets on the beds where they’d slept.
thinking his love was as passive as flowers,
planted a garden of lies in her chest,
says, "there is grace in a steeple collapsing."
pointing the calm in his eyes to the west
to valinor,
where love was sent on airplane wings to shake and be shaken.

still, the flowers open as she passes, and the birds they sing to greet her,
though she heaves blood.
there is grace in a steeple collapsing.
there is grace in a steeple collapsed.

and he said, "boy, get your things together, make them wood and make them stone and we’ll build you a house. there isn’t ever any shelter anymore."

∆. shall never lose its power
the lion isn’t sacred when not sleeping near the lamb,
it is evil when it eats unless it’s feeding from the damned,
all the children painted diagrams of god upon their hands,
hoping somewhere on this shaking earth they could find a place to stand.

it’s a tyrant to the foreigners who’ve never seen the land,
they feel safer than a statue when they’ve got a spear in hand,
it is pregnant with the fury that the pain in life demands.
yes, it’s fear--but it’s a fear that understands.

and what’s left is a heartbeat, speaking,
"hands off your fate, child, you’ll bury yourself in mistakes."
like a dream that i had of lost faith it fades away but still thunders onward.
every pulse was a hand with its palm up,
fed with bodies and bread soaked in blood.
somewhere, someday, it’ll leave but tell me, someone,
where does it go?

what tied our hands tight to the train tracks, then backed off slowly?

what does the heart say? "see the reverse. there’s an answer there."

i am the moth-drenched love of dead mules,
as stable as sand in a windstorm. and i shake like a spider in the rain
when you say,
"my, my, the ways i’ve changed since then--the ways i’ve changed."
and all i ever say is,
"i’m..."

and it hits like a brick to the back of your head. like, goodbye, five times.
one for each finger.
and you say,
"my, my, the ways i’ve changed since then--the ways i’ve changed."
and all i ever say is,
"i’m tired."

we turned our water into whining, shouting, "let us be like christ."
but then the whining turned to wonder, and the wonder turned to ice.
once, we were graceful steeples, hands held upward and eyes wide in suspense. now, we are tangled like intruders in the wires of the fence.

for a fence is built to protect what lies inside of it. do you still feel sick? because i do.

Here, Hear
Liner notes:
All instruments recorded in the warehouse of Modern Hardware, Sunday the 6th of April, with the overhead door open, excepting Track 3, which Brad recorded in his bedroom sometime later. All vocals recorded in the ladies bathroom at Modern Hardware, during non-business hours, Thursday of last week.

Brad recorded everything.
We printed/packaged everything.
You mean everything
Thank you.

1. one
Liner notes:
All music written and performed by Vass on the following instruments/devices: bass guitar, electric guitar, melodica, drums, computer programming, and a soda bottle disguised as glitch electronics.

Lyrics excerpted from the novel Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins, with which certain liberties were taken in order to cooperate with song time, while hopefully preserving the authors intended end product. Read by Jordan

vass

Lyrics:
In the last quarter of the twentieth century much of the world sat on the edge of an increasingly expensive theater seat waiting for something momentous to occur.
Christian aficionados of the Second Coming scenario were convinced that, after two thousand years, the other shoe was about to drop. And five of the era's best-known psychics predicted that Atlantis would soon reemerge from the depths.

To this last, Princess Leigh-Cheri responded, "There are three lost continents…we are one: the lovers."

In whatever esteem on might hold Princess Leigh-Cheri's thoughts, one must agree that the last quarter of the twentieth century was a severe period for lovers. It was a time when romantic relationships took on the character of ice in spring, stranding many little children on jagged and inhospitable floes.

Nobody quite knew what to make of the moon anymore.

Consider a certain night in August. The moon was so bloated it was about to tip over. For more than an hour, Leigh-Cheri stared into the sky. "Does the moon have a purpose?" She inquired. The same query put to the Remington SL3 elicited this response:

Albert Camus wrote that the only serious question is whether to kill yourself or not. Tom Robbins wrote that the only serious question is whether time has a beginning and an end. Camus clearly got up on the wrong side of bed, and Robbins must have forgotten to set the alarm.

There is only one serious question. And that is: Who knows how to make love stay? Answer me that and I will tell you whether or not to kill yourself. Answer me that and I will ease your mind about the beginning and end of time, Answer me that and I will reveal to you the purpose of the moon.

2. two
Liner notes:
All music written by Chad and recorded in three tracks. The first of which consisted of Chad tapping his fingers and thumb on the body of a classical guitar, the second of which involved Chad playing that same classical guitar while using a pocket knife as a slide, the third of which was Chad playing the bells with a 3/8’ by 4” bolt.

Lyrics recited verbatim from the poem “somewhere I have never traveled” by ee cummings. Read by Jordan

open door

Lyrics:
somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

3. three
Liner notes:
All music written and performed by Brad between the hours of 11 PM and 2 AM during two consecutive nights using the following instruments: a Casio keyboard, his drum from 5th grade (with brushes), a self-modified cymbal (made to sizzle), a tambourine, and two stainless steel eating utensils (one fork, one knife) clanked against three glass cups (one big, one medium, one small).

Lyrics based on the poem “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allen Poe. Arranged, with song time and desired theme/effect in mind, and read by Jordan.

recordio

Lyrics:
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In that princedom by the sea.
But we loved with a love that was
more than just love,
With a love even the seraphs up in heaven covet.

And that was the reason that long ago,
In that princedom asleep by the sea,
That a wind shut her body in a sepulcher,
Buried in the sea,
That bore my sweet darling away from me.

Oh, the angels they envied us—envied our love.
Yes, that was the reason the wind came out,
Stirred the air and made the waves shake madly,
Killing my Annabel Lee. Oh my Annabel Lee.

Our love it was strong. So strong
That neither the angels up in heaven
Nor the demons in the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the
Soul of my Annabel Lee.

4. four
Liner notes:
All music written and performed by Kevin on the following instruments: acoustic guitar (two tracks), electric guitar, and a shaker, with the electric part (a  lead) written approximately 5 minutes prior to recording, and partially improvised as the track rolled.

Lyrics are an amalgamation of several similar retellings of the same Asian myth. Arranged and read by Jordan.

play

Lyrics:
There was once a great kingdom, and its great king had a beautiful daughter who passed her days in solitude, weaving garments for the pleasure of her father. One day, while she was sitting beside the great river, peering across, she saw a handsome young shepherd boy leading his flock through the pasture. Immediately, she fell in love.
Thereafter, she became terribly disheartened, knowing that, due to her duties at the loom, she would be unable to pursue that love. The king, aware that by his bidding such despair had befallen her, felt great remorse, and arranged for her to marry the shepherd. There marriage was one of happiness from the start, and everyday thereafter they grew happier and happier. However, in immersing herself in her marriage, the princess had neglected her weaving and the great king became angry.  Unable to reconcile with that anger, the great king banished each of the lovers to opposite sides of the great river, allowing them only to meet once each year: on the seventh day of the seventh month. On that day, a ferryman would carry the shepherd boy across the river to the princess, and return him home at day's end. However, if the princess has not fulfilled her obligations at the loom the king floods the river, and the two can not meet.

1. Future Wars
(Crows, wipe the blood from the end of your claws. said the vulture, Lets gather like storms for the war.
Crows, as the night turns its skin into coal, Dark as corpses but cluttered with gold. They will label you thieves, wolves, and whores but you are nothing less than angels, cast down and covered in black.)

Ain’t this the bloodiest mess in the world? said the virgin, a torn little girl.
Boy, you went and made a sweet wreck of my soul, and I’ve already forgiven you.

And blood was running down
Her dress in streams into her hands where she
Was stitching on the flesh had left
In sections on the carpet near a bed that
Never slept while she was sleeping
In her clothes that he had laid with on
The floor with all his fingers crossed
In hoping that that distance
Wouldn’t grow.
But how it grew,
And how it hurt,
And how it hallowed every memory had
Never felt was threatened by a thing the world
Could conjure up to kill them, but he let it kill them
What a bunch of fools we lovers are.
And now she’s smiling, with her self put back together, just a shadow of the past before the war.
All sewn together, like a city sick from storms and sick of waiting for a god to call the floods out of her home.
what a bunch of fools we lovers are
when tempted by the taste of flesh.

"my boy, you are nothing more than a thief and a whore in a suit of the finest of armor." laughed the vulture.
"pathetic little child, I am embarrassed for you."

2. A Word of Welcome and of Warning
Pick up the phone.
(blessed be the thief, disguised in skin, and blessed are the fingers that gesture him in.)
paint the receiver
to the side of the fake, lying at the bottom of the staircase. broken elbows, and your coming through the window.
and whoever called night a blanket,
had never the felt the cold.
and whoever called the night a blanket--
so use your fingers, darling. and
tear away at the restraints they call the body.
it's the temporary things that rip us apart.
for the body is but a piece of art for you to tear to pieces.

this is history to thievery.
these are only games we play.
hang up the phone.

3. See You in Vancouver
I'm reading over your shoulders,
it says it in every line, in ever curve and crack.
it says it in every detail of your face,
unmistakably apparent in this dull light.
tracing a separate letter, forming a separate word.
twisting together to build the same beautiful message,
the same painful realization.
the cracks in your lips
open with the books. and
the smile shows the lines in your face.
perfectly crooked, and
perfectly familiar.

and for the moment, uncovered like a statue--
lay perfectly still. to show the cracks in your lips.
give purpose to this pattern, and start to smile.
burst into flames, disappear
before your best intentions can no longer hide her ears from that which will make them bleed. before your own two hands become too weak to hold the blood inside her wounds. before reality explodes before you in a brilliant flash of spectral fires, into a thousand fragments of a past, long dead and gone.

(this is remembering the last time we touched,
the last time we spoke,
words ricocheting off of empty tables.
vandalizing the pictures on these smoke-stained walls
and i can hear your mouth as it opens from across the room. your tongue and lips forming the shape of your laughter, its the curve of your stomach, its the bend in your legs. its the remnants of the pages framed in the cracks of your bleeding lips, its the curve of your stomach, its the bend in your legs.
your crooked teeth.)

I’m reading over your shoulder, it says it in every line, in every curve and crack--
the same stupid message in every stupid bend and in every stupid stitch, in every inch of our peeling skin.
its tracing letters in the same sentence, (its screaming the same stupid thing, like the howling of a plane playing over and over and over and over and over...)

4. To Withstand the Force of Storms
Oh, you've a pretty mouth,
leave your lips to linger on my skin and
kiss me one last time
I will roll off your tongue like a whisper in the winter
sleeping in the sutures of the city's skin
make yourself remember me in cold and concrete.

when will you realize this city/your demons make(s) you real

oh, you've a pretty mouth,
leave your lips to linger on my skin and
kiss me one last time
i will roll off your tongue like a whisper in the winter
sleeping in the sutures of the city's skin
make yourself remember me in cold and concrete.
it's the way my hands felt lying still beneath your dress

(I am transparent,
I am a greenhouse filled with ghosts.)

oh god, oh dear god

whisper secrets, speak in a hushed voice
the first thing that you learn is that you never let them hear you
in a soundproof room, in a windowless world
keep your voice down or dull your words.
then,
put on your bedroom face for him,
all pursed lips and half-closed eyes with pink-stained skin
screaming for sleeping hands on downed dresses,
screaming
for dead legs come alive, for dead legs come alive.

oh dear god, there is no excuse for me

5. He is Here, He is Not Afraid
We move by instinct, darling
let our hands be hatchets, let us
wander blindly, swinging madly
in a forest made of flesh.
we move by instinct, darling
let our eyes like lepers drive
the doubters from our homes and
into the bottom of the sea.
and we speak in signals, darling
let our smoke stitch pictures, let us
twist in patterns, dull the horror
of a city still on fire. for
we are like medics handling
suicide by cyanide with bleeding
fingers. let us suffer
completely inadequate.
and we move like lovers, lover
let me run my fingers down your side
and kiss you right below the eye.
we sleep with shadows but
we never give them bread.
horror, dress yourself in shame
or i will tear a hole in you, you harlot.
burn your eyes, (i will hold your
white-washed bones unto the sky and
scream "oh god, if you are there,
i hold this body to your judgment--
give it your wrath or your mercy.
but please pick wrath.")

6. The Surgeon and the Scientist
Don't call this an art project.
this is science, this is progress.
and don't pretend these are heartfelt words, we are
children dressed as surgeons but disturbed by the sight of our scars. and now we carry scalpels to trace the scarring resting somewhere on the line between my house,
your heart and into your home.
where you lay sleeping like a ceiling fan in winter, gently turning as the wind reaches its fingers through the window
just to hold you, like i held you. pressed like a rose between my fingers or like stones i keep in pockets meant to weigh me underwater.

these scars will fade away but never disappear, my dear.
we'll raise our fists like lightning to rods to god and
if he strikes us down,
then he strikes us down.
but first, let him hear us speak:
we are like the legacy of thunderstorms we watched and swore in doorways, "we will never be the same again."

i can feel you healing and i hate it,
(like a harpist without hands you only bang the strings
you used to love to touch so much)
to hear the dissonance drain violently and then dissolve
like all the songs i sang but never once could make you smile.
my god, i would kill to make you smile.
and reach out to my hands, soft and frail, to make good on the love that you swear still exists, and still thrives
though we've buried our bodies in blood (and old lies,
like, "i'm fine" and "you look so much better than him"
but don't trust the surgeon with your heart,
she's drunk and sips from poison cups, and
don't you trust the scientist,
he says "life-is-like-a-wineglass" as he spills his drink
like secrets
all across your dress and says:

"my dear, i must confess, i never thought you ever knew what love was like for real.

i never thought you needed me.")

7. Fairmount
(oh crashing airplane, where were you the day she left?)

underneath the laughs there lies a need
that nobody is getting.
and an honesty that doesn't stretch far enough
to show us all how much this will mean to us, my dear.
and when we're old we'll tell ourselves that we did
everything that we could to save this.
but now--we do nothing.

i've slept for twenty years, but i've acted strong at least
if you're leaving again, then you're leaving again
and you're gone.
and i feel nothing anymore, so just keep walking away
thirty-thousand steps,
i'll watch you for every second and never feel alone.

i've been sleeping
for at least the last two years
my dear, my princess, my sister, my lover, my friend.
i made you a bed of thorns for every rose you ever left outside my door,
that's all you ever left me.

lay your scars out in rows,
lay your scars out in rows,
lay your scars out in rows
to show me what i've done to you.

lay your scars out in rows,
lay your scars out in rows,
it was my weakness that couldn't save us.

so lay your scars out in rows,
so lay your scars out in rows,
so lay your scars out in rows for me.

we were one, and what are we now?

(act strong, at least
and don't turn around.
if i'm leaving, then i'm leaving, and i'm leaving, and i'm
gone.)

we move as one.

8. Untitled
Its perfectly ok,
Im afraid, too

Here, Hear III 1. nine
2. ten
3. eleven
4. twelve
album mini 1. Such Small Hands
2. Said the King to the River
3. New Storms for Older Lovers
4. Damaged Goods
5. Fall Down, Never Get Back Up Again
6. Bury Your Flame
7. Last Blues for Bloody Knuckles
8. The Castle Builders
9. Andria
10. Then Again, Maybe You Were Right
11. Sad Prayers for Guilty Bodies
12. The Last Lost Continent
13. Nobody, Not Even the Rain

album mini 1. five
2. six
3. seven
4. eight
album mini □. Only Everything Below
∆. Shall Never Lose Its Power
album mini 1. one
2. two
3. three
4. four
album mini 1. Future Wars
2. A Word of Welcome and of Warning
3. See You In Vancouver
4. To Withstand the Force of Storms
5. He Is Here, He Is Not Afraid
6. The Surgeon and the Scientist
7. Fairmount
8. Untitled

More information on each of these releases can be found at ladisputemusic.com