The first proper album by The Orcas [download].
- Survivor Guilt (1:45)
- Historian (4:39)
- Undeveloped (4:23)
- Shell Beach (3:46)
- Carpe Something (3:02)
- Godliness (4:26)
- Birthday (4:04)
- I Must Away (2:35)
- An Irish Blessing (3:09)
- Thundercats End Theme (0:49)
»» See liner notes for details.
Well I didn’t know how to feel tonight, I hadn’t been expecting it to go right I’d lost each time before and didn’t know exactly how to play my role And should I feel triumphant now and lift my cup in victory and enjoy the crown Or should I feel guilt because I know the feeling of my vanquished foe? I don’t know.
I woke up alone and sideways Sheet twisted around my ankles The lights and my hooded sweatshirt still on I groaned and I felt my throat hurt My lenses had made my eyes burn I lay there and slowly felt my dreams return I’d dreamt I was still in your bed And I left the gas on again Us sleeping together never to wake up They’d find us three days later Curled up looking peaceful, naked, A scandal in this town but a nice dream now. What does it mean that I dream such things — That I’d rather die happy than have to live through this? Or maybe my dreams don’t mean anything It’s just my mind got used to you all the time If I don’t think about you at all through the day It’s too big a change for my neurons ever to grasp, Like my dreams haven’t quite given up on you, They’re frozen in time a month or two in the past. I stood up and slid my jeans off Staggered to the bathroom, took out my contacts, Stared into the mirror at my red eyes I wondered if you were sleeping, What you were wearing and what you were dreaming I hit the lights too hard and went back to bed. What does it mean if I think about things That only mattered once to you and me? Maybe you remember and maybe you forget And I’m a historian never letting it end If I don’t think about you at all through the day Then before too long my synapses will relax And I can just dream of ordinary things And your memories can slip on into the past
A strange invention, point and click technology, cuz now I have at home, inside a drawer, pushed way in the back, these small canisters. Rattling inside of them are a bunch of memories, awaiting me, invading my mind, undeveloped. Like failed opportunities, like never-finished melodies, like feelings that cut off too soon, like resources I never use, like consciousness that doesn’t think, like understanding anything, like all my plans that fade away, like all these things I never say, like all the books I never wrote, like all the friendships I forsook, potential never realized, hopes I had that slowly died, relationships left incomplete, like understanding anything. Now I keep waiting and this film is growing old because I can’t decide if I want to see a time in my life unremembered, all these shots of you and me, a life that never quite developed right, haunting me still, undeveloped.
Saw the picture on a postcard once White white sand and blue blue waves Didn’t know exactly where it was Couldn't read the postmark date Something strange about the memory Cuz I can’t find it on this map And I can’t get out of this city And my whole world is just a trap Can’t anybody tell me where to go or how to find my way alone If I keep going down this road who’s gonna stop me Am I just paranoid or stoned or sick or something I don’t know I barely recognize my home. Saw the same picture on a calendar Looked so inviting, so serene Shell Beach, it must be somewhere out there Someplace out there that I can’t reach Can’t anybody tell me where to go or how to find my way alone If I keep going down this road who’s gonna stop me Am I just paranoid or stoned or sick or something I don’t know And I don’t think this is my home. I swear I woke up this morning somewhere different than I went to sleep last night. I wonder if it makes a difference how the world keeps on shifting; I can’t recall sunlight. Maybe the picture is reality And this dark city is the dream If I keep going one direction I’ll hit the coast eventually Can’t anybody tell me where to go or how to find my way alone If I keep going down this road who’s gonna stop me Am I just paranoid or stoned or sick or something I don’t know I thought I was there years ago. Oh can’t you tell me where to go or how to find my way alone If I keep going down this road are you gonna stop me Am I just paranoid or stoned or sick or something I don’t know But I just know I have to go.
Sometimes I take a ride and on the bus I feel nervous, staring out at the night passing by, wondering about my life, racing by so fast I barely grasp it then it’s gone; the past so vast it looms above us all. I wonder if I’ll ever find a way to suck the life from every single day. Sometimes I feel like everytime I walk outside I should try to feel each breath and use my eyes to see the truth and feel alive, but i hide and smoke and drink and watch too much TV, play Tetris, lie around and fall asleep and wait until the feeling goes away, so wasting all my time becomes okay.
I split the infinite cosmos in two thinking that it might impress you I poured the waters round the earth and put the planets in their course I cut my stomach open to release a golden litter of gods and beasts I hoped you’d notice the way that they all screamed your name All of my secret desires took on shape on the earth and the people were terrified All my sense of proportion is gone and my dreams looked much nicer before they were human I swept across the world with fire and rage My tears created oceans, my footprints, lakes I named the stars after you And I let them shine through All of my secret desires took on shape on the earth and yet still you’re not satisfied Anything I can think of comes true but I still can’t imagine a world without you What have we wrought?
I’d do anything for you but you don’t need me for anything things can change so fast a week becomes the distant past and talking to you now is agony I’ve grown accustomed to your face but its effect on me now is something crazy it says, I’m sorry Jeff, I only wish for you the best, the sentiment serrating through my eyes Day one, day two, Then I talk to you You call like you used to Asking what’s up, what’s new You see the news about those guys Ex-boyfriends turning into crazy murder-suicides I kinda sympathize, it isn’t that I want to die, just turn the world’s attention to my cause Cuz otherwise it’s so mundane like no one else is ever in pain I want to revel in my misery and waste away like somehow you might be at all impressed Day three, day four, I see you once more, I’m still addicted to you, Too weak to cut you off [I want you baby and it’s my birthday I once was your gift and you returned it ] I’d do anything for you but you don’t need me for anything Day nine, day ten My phone rings again You’re trying to be friends But I’m still addicted to you
An Irish Blessing
Never thought that I’d leave this place And I didn’t know what to say There’s no right way to say goodbye All I offer is these old lines: May the road rise to meet you May the wind be at your back, my darling Never thought that I’d pray for you After all that we both went through Knew these words for all of my life Never felt them like tonight: May the sunshine warm your face And the rain fall soft for you, my darling All the things I wish for you, To my surprise I realize If I can’t give you everything Then all that I can do is pray I’m not really the praying type Something just got in me today Took a stab to see what it’s like Something you might appreciate And until we meet again May God hold you close in hand, my darling
Pretend These Are Records #04
Kraj is really the first proper album by The Orcas. Unfortunately, it was recorded under less-than-ideal conditions and the sound quality is particulary abysmal. These songs were my first attempts to do recording on computer and it took me some time to understand how to get it to sound okay — and I didn’t figure it out in time to save this album.
Also, all the songs sound kinda the same: they are me singing with an acoustic guitar. Most of these songs were written all at once, within four to six weeks around May of 2003. In order to record at all, I had to buy a microphone, cut the cord off, and solder it to an adapter. Such were the conditions I was working under during my first year in Poland.
Recorded in Łomża, Poland, spring 2003, on a cheap laptop with a soldered-and-taped microphone and a freeware recording program called Audacity. All songs by The Orcas except for the Thundercats End Theme (composer unknown) and An Irish Blessing (lyrics partially traditional).
Here are my notes on each song:
- Survivor Guilt was my reaction to a night at a bar with a guy and a girl where I won the battle but kinda knew all along I was losing a war. This is sort of a new age remix, with synth!
- Historian is an effort to add to the world’s too-small supply of break-up songs. I’d like to try this one electrified and noisy.
- I wrote the music to Undeveloped early on and knew what to write the lyrics about but I couldn’t get them right ’til much later, by which time they became a bit darker. I always wanted to try this double-vocal thing.
- One day I suddenly thought of the movie Dark City and wanted to write a song called Shell Beach about one of the angsty themes of the film. This one is actually kind of a rock song.
- Carpe Something was the first song I wrote in Poland, fall 2002. I wanted everything.
- Godliness came while I was reading up on ancient religions. Also, I always wanted to try writing some Lungfish lyrics.
- Birthday is a little too honest about how I was feeling when I turned 26. Sounds a bit like Ida, or Versus, or Smart Went Crazy, or all three put together.
- I Must Away was my response to being completely devastated, barely able to breathe for a couple days. Oy. Thankfully, no lyrics to this one. I hadn’t written any songs like this in a while. 2 guitars but I had trouble aligning the tracks in Audacity.
- An Irish Blessing was my goodbye to Poland and to one particular Pole, at least for a while. Back to the States I go.
- Yeah this is a real cover of the Thundercats End Theme. You can compare it to the original, found at http://thundercats.vpga.com. My version, alas, has less shredding.