Secret Punk

by Sister City

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1.
o.s. 01:14
Oh, Shenandoah I long to hear you Away, you rolling river Oh, Shenandoah I long to hear you Away, I'm bound away Across the wide Missouri Oh, Shenandoah I loved your daughter Away, you rolling river For her I'd cross your roaming waters Away, she’s bound away Across the wide Missouri Traditional, 1800s
2.
Sunup 03:06
Tim sold the house on Elm Made a mint and bailed Rotted to the studs, now leveled to the ground There's a frat there on the land Where the nightmare used to stand Meant nothing way back then, means less than nothing now Maybe that’s a lie Or maybe just a line From a song we used to sing about that time back in that time It never was the house It never was the city The shows, the bars, the band, or the silly makeshift movies It was the kisses on the lips The fighting over driving The laughing at the dumbest things and the sunup after parties Played Funeral in my room Walked the first time through Somehow that felt right, I could never explain why The Reminder scored the highs The sweaty, sleepless nights The power on and off again, the 7UP and gin I don't ever miss those days Because we were doing nothing anyway It felt good and we loved it but there wasn't any substance It never was the house It never was the city The shows, the bars, the band, or the silly makeshift movies It was the kisses on the lips The fighting over driving The laughing at the dumbest things, and the thrilled to be surviving Somehow we got decent Built up from the wreckage All doing something useful On the right side of neutral Everyone's gone but Jake and me Even after I tried to leave I feel closer now to everybody And it's nothing with proximity Everyone in Oregon Cool and wet and cool again My LA loves out in the sun Warm enough for all of us My favorite family in KC Bring those babies down to see me I want to see everyone all the time And I can't And it's fine But it’s not sometimes Five more years gone Alone again at thirty-three And it hurts some nights But it’s nobody’s problem but mine January 2020
3.
Parties 03:21
I’m mostly alone and it’s my fault Can’t pick up the phone and just call Too much of a risk, the rejection Easier for me to sit and watch tv Parties don’t look like they used to More babies, a little less booze Exhaustion hits at sundown Thank you all for coming out When I see you now, it means more Than it ever did when we were twenty-four I like my job most of the time It pays fine and I sleep alright in theory Still spend most nights staring at ceilings in reality Parties don’t look like they used to More babies, a little less booze Exhaustion hits at sundown Thank you all for coming out When I see you now, it means more Than it ever did when we were twenty-four It takes a flight or a two-days drive through the night Yeah, that’s the price Mother-in-law can watch the kids So you can come and shoot the shit What once was a daily thing has become a luxury Parties don’t look like they used to More babies, a little less booze Exhaustion hits at sundown Thank you all for coming out Parties don’t look like they used to More babies, a little less booze Exhaustion hits at sundown Thank you all for coming out October 11th, 2017
4.
Kara 04:33
Kara never believes me When I tell her why I don’t want to see her anymore And I mean it this time On bicycles we’d ride around In the middle of the night to the center of town We’d congregate Tangle our wasted fates We’d swig from bottles lifted from your father’s favorite hiding place And if we keep this up mom and dad are bound to find out So wake up Sunday morning, suddenly devout I used to say three years is enough I used to have a cutoff But you called my bluff The way you laughed At every joke I told And you taught me how to smoke And I acted as though I did not already know Kara never believes me When I tell her why I don’t want to meet her mom I want just to stay the night I’m not the comedown kind I’m rot and blight A mom would see what’s going on And not be wrong to want me gone for life And if we keep it up my friends are bound to find out I wanted it at first but I guess I just don’t want it now And if we keep it up my friends are bound to find out They’ll think I’m crazy, call me dumb, tell me it’s not allowed I used to say three years is enough I used to have a cutoff But you called my bluff The way you laughed At every joke I told And you taught me how to smoke And I acted as though I did not already know October 23rd, 2011
5.
I was drunk and you were stoned As we so often were Stumbled into a midnight show At the dollar theater Laughed at the screen and made our jokes Sitting in the front row seats alone You touched my hand and kissed my neck But you never really did much more than that Those memories of you of mine Have a certain neon shine Even though I always knew I was just a way to pass your time I let you soundtrack my summer But make no mistake I know and I knew that I didn’t mean a single thing to you And all that we said and did Would amount to nothing in the end but still I let you soundtrack my summer We used to climb up high and drink Atop the billboard above the quarry You’d ignore the limestone stink And laugh at all my rambled stories And I nodded as you told me How you miss the lakes and you need the cold How someday soon you’d have them both The hours between The time the bars closed and the sun rose Those were ours We thought we were tearing that town apart We were wrong, of course, but it didn’t matter We were still the only ones awake But make no mistake I let you soundtrack my summer But make no mistake I know and I knew that I didn’t mean a single thing to you And all that we said and did Would amount to nothing in the end but still I let you soundtrack my summer Those memories of you of mine Have a certain neon shine Floorboard strewn with mix CDs The songs are all that’s left and that’s fine I let you soundtrack my summer But make no mistake I know and I knew that I didn’t mean a goddamn thing to you And all that we said and did Would amount to nothing in the end but still I let you soundtrack my summer But I let you, make no mistake, I let you Make sure you get the story straight May 5th, 2011
6.
Show Me 04:59
Getting off work late, I’m waiting outside the door If you don’t mind I’d like to walk you home or to your car It’s been awhile, it’s been awhile since we talked You always apologize you’ve been working so hard You don’t want to But you really have to And I believe you But I need to see you If I could I would, you know I’d pay all your debts down But I’ve got my own I owe Can’t pay them myself now Sleeping next to me is free Come over to my house Don’t you say you’re too busy Come over right now You gotta make some time Make some time Make some time for me We made plans to eat on your night off But you changed your mind when an old friend called Disappointed, I sat at home alone Instead of me you chose someone on the phone I drank the whole bottle of wine I bought for us to share You called me late that night to say sorry that you weren’t there You said you don’t have time for me right now and it isn’t fair I said, I know, I know, I know, and I don’t care If you feel it, come and show me Don’t make excuses It’s true, you might hurt me But I’m willing to risk it All I want’s to see you Whenever you’ll let me But you have to make an effort It has cost something You gotta make some time Make some time Make some time for me If you feel it, let it happen Don’t make excuses You’re so right, you might hurt me But the risk is worth it All I want’s to see you Whenever you’ll let me But you have to make an effort It has cost something You gotta make some time Babe, make some time Make some time for me Hurt me please I think it’s what I need August 2011
7.
Calaboose 03:30
Got off work and could not go home Sick at the thought of a Friday alone Bought a paperback that I already owned Wandered downtown with nowhere to go Sat and read at the brewery park Until I remembered you’d be there at dark To watch a movie outside on a sheet One I think you might have already seen Packed up for a bar on the square As it happened, Jake’s last night there He hugged me hard and poured me a shot Bought me a beer, too busy to talk As the warm glow came on Unfamiliar now that I’m older And as I found myself lost in thought I was surprised Should feel devastated but I'm just tired Should feel sad and anxious but I'm tapped out Don't know if I can do this again Barely have the energy to see my friends Take your time to decide, take me back or don’t Throw me in the water, see if I float You’d been sick, you’d had a cold I offered soup but you said no You were crying on your couch Shaking voice said what about You’d been overworked, for sure Teaching, reading, writing papers Had not set us back before But somehow something’s different now… When you reach your breaking point Fingers flat refuse to key When once we’d do things we enjoyed The last thing you want now is me I’d arrived feeling great Excited to tell you about my day I did not expect last night To be second-worst one of my life And now here I am Sitting outside Calaboose Museum Sobbing like boy straight into my phone Telling my mom I should have known Should feel devastated and I do, I was lying Livid, sad, exhausted, all conflated I would leave, I would move I would share a house with you Clear the clutter in your wake Lie next to you in the grave Don't know if I can do this again Don’t even have the fortitude to face my friends Take your time to decide, love me back or don’t Throw me in the water, see if I walk on top Throw me in the water, see if I walk on top Throw me in the water, see if I walk on top Or not October 1st, 2017
8.
GMT+2 03:56
Things start feeling strange As my waking hours wane And the sun is coming up for you by the Seine Made it through the day Pushed right on in vain Then decompose as the memories just replay Wondering what’s on your mind Wondering where I stand When you come home I demand to know if I’m your man GMT+2 Does your room have a view? And does the last time we spoke haunt you too? You just needed space I’d say you got it, babe Four thousand five hundred miles by plane Wondering what’s on your mind Wondering where I stand When you come home I demand to know if I’m your man You don’t need a provider You earned all that you have You don’t need a protector But I’ll be there if you ask And if you’d like some warmth in the night I can give you that Wondering what’s on your mind Wondering where I stand When you come home I’ll beg, I’ll plead to get to stay your man You were crushed by a liar A sinister soul in the past I cannot help you recover Believe in a love that will last But when you’d like more than warmth in the night Believe I can give you that October 15th, 2017
9.
5:20 02:55
Marathon mind in the middle of the night Think I’ve tracked down every photo I can find Friends of friends and friends of their friends Any warm body in your presence I wanna know the color dress you were wearing I wanna see if it was blowing in the wind I wanna look at all the other men staring I wanna take my punishment I’ve long given up on falling back asleep Curled up shaking in blankets freezing Alone, alone, alone and waiting Willing 5:20 to bring sweet relief I wanna know the color dress you were wearing I wanna see if it was blowing in the wind I wanna look at all the other men staring I wanna take my punishment I would have been there if I could have been Who gets married abroad on a Tuesday? Maybe if I’d bought a ticket I’d have ahold of my life and be sleeping Still have a love in my life and be sleeping in With you at my side in a chateau Still framed all in my mind, I have no control It doesn’t make sense and I know it Can’t form a rational thought at the moment I wanna know the color dress you were wearing I wanna see if it was blowing in the wind I wanna look at all the other men staring I wanna take my punishment October 18th, 2017
10.
Swailing 03:41
I told my mom it wouldn’t be me to end it Back in the beginning, and she knew I meant it I saw it through, that’s what I do Wish I’d known then it’s not the same for you What changed? Was I a lark? You’re skipping through your days while I fumble in the dark I need to talk, I need to fight We need to have it out, come show me what’s inside I didn’t lose my way Didn’t train in vain I followed at your beck and call For eighteen hundred days I was your dog I was your pet I was nipping at your heels From the first day we met But then again, what’s the point of talking When you don’t listen, and your words mean nothing I’m sorry it’s so inconvenient To have wrung someone you once believed in And if you’re not sure about a man Maybe don’t say you want to marry him Maybe don’t make years of plans If you don’t have the will to work for them I didn’t lose my way Didn’t train in vain I followed at your beck and call For eighteen hundred days I was your dog I was your pet I was nipping at your heels From the first day we met Hurt me please That’s what I need Tell me every single thing You grew to hate about me Spare nothing I need to know Why I’m halfway to hell And I’m there on my own I need to talk, I need to fight We need to have it out, come show me what’s inside I didn’t lose my way Didn’t train in vain I followed at your beck and call For eighteen hundred days I was your dog I was your pet I was nipping at your heels From the first day we met Please hurt me It’s what I need Tell me every single thing That you despise about me Spare nothing I need to know Why I’m halfway through life Still completely alone I didn’t lose my way Didn’t train in vain I followed at your beck and call For eighteen hundred days I was your dog I was your pet I’ve been aching for you, babe Since the day that you left, you should know April 4th, 2020
11.
Tributary 03:13
Free-flowing water splits the land asunder Traveler unburden your load Break from your trekking and let yourself rest In the banks as attrition erodes Thought that you were mighty, now you don’t No keeping from trouble with a moat A baronman’s daughter, a mouth made of ardor I believed in a life she foretold By the estuary, reticence and eddies And I’d gotten nothing but old Thought that you were mighty, now I don’t No keeping from trouble with a moat The artery’s cities, gleaming and grinding With glass and a glimmer of gold Streets wet with bodies and new faces shining But I made a dry town my home Thought that I was mighty, now I don’t No keeping from trouble with a moat Crookedtooth baby, smiling up at me Limbs outstretched for me to hold I’m not his father, but it doesn’t matter I’m buying the love I was sold Thought that I was mighty, now I know April 8th, 2020
12.
Apple Boys 04:07
Young men of many mischiefs I will tell you secrets of your dad’s When he was your age He was an animal just like you That’s him you feel inside you And a little bit of me too At least I like to assume But I lay no claim to wisdom Just a few more years of living And one good ear to hear the words you’re speaking Yeah, no matter the conditions Whatever set you to spinning I’ll be here to nod along and listen I’ll be here to nod along and listen Just say when When you’re howling and you’re raging When you’re ripping out the pages of the books We used to read you I imagine an explosion Colored futures tessellated The world, a job, a love might try to tame you Or maybe you’ll be different Become a hellbent leader of men Or perhaps you’ll gladly grow to favor indolence But regardless all abstraction Way back here in the present We who love you most have you surrounded Even when you make it hard to show it I’ll be here to nod along and listen Just say when I’ll be here to nod along, you’re not alone I’ll always be here to listen Your family and your friend October 2nd, 2017

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released May 22, 2020

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Sister City Springfield, Missouri

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