Irresponsible Boy

by jva

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about

Produced, recorded and mixed by me. I was trying to come up with a direction for the next record. I’d noticed that I’d been writing a lot of songs about my childhood. Maybe it’s something all writers do as they get older. Anyway, these songs don’t neccessarily spell out any specifics about any particular events, but each one, for me has a mood that reminds me of growing up. One song reminds me of my godfather, Don. Another reminds me of what it felt like to be in elementary school, one reminds me of what it felt like lying in bed at night listening to the grownups in the next room, another reminds me what it felt like to get in trouble with my folks, my first girlfriend, my hometown, that sort of thing. I guess I was shooting for moods and scenarios rather than straight storytelling. And if those moods come through to me, hopefully they’ll come through to anyone listening. That’s the hope anyway. Tim played guitar on this, Tiffany Carlson and Melanie Rae sang on some tunes, Albert Reda and Jamin Swenson played some bass, and Aaron Meyer played some fiddle. This was also the first record I did at my new studio (Studio 515). Exciting!

credits

released May 15, 2009

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about

jva Portland, Oregon

Hi. I’m Jim Walker
I make music.

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Track Name: The One You Get
THE ONE YOU GET

Ace of spades in the pouring rain.
Fountain of youth going down the drain.
I missed this years’ December shows.
Behind a fence a city grows.

An old man in a broken room.
Whistling half-remembered tunes.
No children. No wife.
He didn’t want that kind of life.

Here’s the one you get.
Whatcha gonna do with it?
Oh, and when you’re through.
Oh, what will you do? What will you do?

A thousand miles away from there.
A man shakes memories from his hair.
Dreams the ghosts of winters’ past.
Hoping this one’s not his last.

Lights go on upon the tree.
And one goes out inside of me.
And there’s no rattling Marley here to scare me into Christmas cheer.

Everybody makes mistakes.
You have to pay for what you break.
With heavy heart and deep denial,
I take one more card from the pile.

Here’s the one you get.
Whatcha gonna do with it?
When it’s all through.
What will you do?
Track Name: Upside Down
UPSIDE DOWN

That bird is up in the tree.
That squirrel’s down on the ground.
It all looks the same to me.
But everything’s upside down.

My mirror sees the same tired face.
Same house, in the same old town.
All things in their proper place,
But everything’s upside down.

Come see for yourself.
Just what I have found.
When you look too closely.
It’s all upside down.

Same car that I always drive.
Same planet, so blue and round.
Same reasons to be alive.
But everything’s upside down.

He’s sitting up on that throne.
He’s wearing that idiot crown.
His sceptor’s a human bone.
Everything’s upside down.

It’s all upside down.

Come see for yourself.
Just what I have found.
When you look too closely.
It’s all upside down.

Some day I will leave from here.
I won’t even make a sound.
I’ll just quietly disappear.
Everything’s upside down.

It’s all upside down.
Track Name: Mr. Info
MR. INFO

He talks a clear, blue streak. He speaks so easily.
Words like a lover’s kiss. He goes on relentlessly.

Mr. Info explains the world to me.
Mr. Info says I have eyes to see.

He tells of fallen kings. He’s seen the warning signs.
He steps out of the way, and lets me be queen this time.
Right to the core of me. His voice is lonely wind.
I let him run my life. I give him everything.

Mr. Info explains the world to me.
Mr. Info says I have eyes to see.

I know exactly what this sounds like, Mom.
Don’t tell Dad. He’ll only want to know why.
Just close my bank account, and rent my room,
I’m never coming home again. Goodbye.

I praise his name at night. His face plays in my dreams.
I wake to the sounds of birds. I give this day to him.

Mr. Info explains the world to me.
Mr. Info says I have eyes to see.
Track Name: Understand Me?
UNDERSTAND ME?

Do the rumba. Baby, show me how.
I’ll kick a hole right through your torso now.
Tear my hair out. Ripping down the walls.
Let’s be outside when the building falls.

Understand me as I wave goodbye.

Break the bottles. Set the drapes on fire.
People scream, and sound just like a choir.
If I hurt you I would feel alive.
Nothing personal. I’m dead inside.

Understand me as I wave goodbye.

Put on my reckless face.
I lose my social grace.
I want to to trash this place, and vanish into space.
Understand me?

Please excuse me if I drift away.
I just haven’t been myself today.
Keep in mind I speak in broken voice.
I would raise it if I had a choice.

Understand me as I wave goodbye.

Put on my reckless face.
I lose my social grace.
I want to to trash this place, and vanish into space.
Understand me?
Track Name: This Is The Life
THIS IS THE LIFE

I’ve been here before.
A road of cobblestone. I’ve been left alone.
Trees are far too high.
The sun is blue tonite. Screaming in the sky.

The ground below has opened. I float into the air.

Boulders against the stars. Oh, this is the life I’m dreaming.
Sparks shooting through the dust. Dying in the air I’m breathing.

Turning in the wind.
Burning at my skin. Now the war begins.
Everything is red.
Faces of the dead. Rocks and lightning.

They’ve blown the green to Kansas. I want to wake up now.

Boulders against the stars. Oh, this is the life I’m dreaming.
Sparks shooting through the dust. Dying in the air I’m breathing.

Looking for the darkest spot in the whitest light.
Broken up and shorted out. Only smoke outside.
Though these evil threats are gone this pounding in my head goes on.

Wake up in the dark.
Footsteps in the street. Never sleep again.

Boulders against the stars. Oh, this is the life I’m dreaming.
Sparks shooting through the dust. Dying in the air I’m breathing.
Track Name: Life On Fire
LIFE ON FIRE

Had an easy chair. Had a nice smooth ride.
Now my poker face shows me dead inside.
And she’s all in black in my dresser drawer.
My life’s on fire. So I’ll burn some more.

She was beautiful when I stole her heart.
Now I’m in it deep. Like you read about.
So I’m slipping out through the sliding door.
My life’s on fire. So I’ll burn some more.

The room’s in flame with a bolted door.
My life’s on fire. So I’ll burn some more.
Melted down the man who I was before.
My life’s on fire. So I’ll burn some more.

Well, I keep it hid. I don’t breathe a word.
Nothing up my sleeve but this golden bird.
I just spilled my drink on the kitchen floor.
My life’s on fire. So I’ll burn some more.

Sometimes it’s slow, how it dawns on you.
But it kicked me hard. Out of the blue.
So I strike a match to the scent you wore.
My life’s on fire. So I’ll burn some more.

Only one more time. Though it’s not too wise.
I can’t look down at your sleeping eyes.
This one small step is an act of war.
My life’s on fire. So I’ll burn some more.

The room’s in flame with a bolted door.
My life’s on fire. So I’ll burn some more.
Melted down the man who I was before.
My life’s on fire. So I’ll burn some more.
Track Name: This Time
THIS TIME

The basket of roses hangs on the door where you left them.
The landing is covered with petals and stems, never touched by your hands.
It’s your dramatic flair.
This time I thought I could get through to you.

Such an ancient memory, what you left me.
You’ve got my secrets tucked away.
But I don’t know if I remember any of yours.
This time I thought I could get through to you.

Thought I could get through. Get through to you.
Thought I could get through. Get through to you this time.

This time all of my fears came true.
Goodnight. I’ve burned all my bridges for you.

It’s easier said when you pick up the pieces.
You have to go to the bottom again just to reach them.
It’s never been good between you and me.
This time I thought I could get through to you.

Thought I could get through. Get through to you.
Thought I could get through. Get through to you this time.

This time all of my fears came true.
Goodnight. I’ve burned all my bridges for you.
Track Name: Nothing's What It Seems
NOTHING’S WHAT IT SEEMS

He had her in his claws again. Though it’s just a golden band.
It’s the danger on his breath she was wearing on her hand.

Like the ruins made of Troy, he thinks that his life is through.
But it’s just the violent grip of a broken-hearted fool.

And the life he knew is gone ‘cause he feels it far too much.
So he stares at his thin skin, but there’s nothing left to cut.

He’s only trying to help pass the story down.
Not a move that he can make when nothing’s what it seems.

And his alibi’s airtight, but he needs to clear his head.
Every book of wrong and right’s always written with bloodshed.

There’s a demon in his thoughts, watching as the river roars.
Doesn’t need permission from anyone, and here comes his lord.

He’s only trying to help pass the story down.
Not a move that he can make when nothing’s what it seems.
Track Name: Steamline
STEAMLINE

Steamline. Eyes on the blue sparks.
Too late. It gets blacker with the gray clouds.

Wake up. Get down to the steel yard.
Meanwhile, I’m climbing into my uniform.
Don’t bother washing the clothes.
Every day we step in just a little deeper.

Don’t let him know that I’m moving forward.
He’s crazy, and we won’t be safe.
Tonight we’ll go and watch the lights as they shimmer down the river.
They can’t take that away.

Steamline. Eyes on the blue sparks.
Too late. It gets blacker with the gray clouds.

Red guards standing at attention.
I crawl from the tunnel on my hands and knees.
I guess there must be a devil round here.
Bare hands cool the rail with the water.

I come to pray my sins away.
To keep the family happy.
And look good to the neighbor.
I know I can’t tear the black from my soul.
It takes much more than faith on the steam line.

Steamline. Eyes on the blue sparks.
Too late. It gets blacker with the gray clouds.
Steamline.
Track Name: Strung Along
STRUNG ALONG

I thought for certain when we met,
I could finally mop my brow.
Well, I asked you (or did you forget),
Can I please stop running now?

Hard to believe what the years can do.
They’ll wreck your favorite song.
And the very same lips that whispered so sweet will string you along.

And if you should die,
I’ll bury you out where the green grass grows.
And as I cry tears will carry you.
But where to, Heaven knows.

You’ve dug in deeply, and left your mark.
Our souls were safe and strong.
Now I’m shaking in the dark.
You’ve strung me along.

Strung along like colored paper tacked up in the kitchen.
Played just like violin. Set up like a ten pin.

I thought this love was flesh and water.
Thought it was the perfect crime.
But I asked her, Do you still love me?
And her eyes would not meet mine.

We are nothing. I am less.
To go this far, this wrong.
The crosses, cares, and grief were never true.
You’ve strung me along.
Track Name: Block Out The Sun
BLOCK OUT THE SUN

Freeway’s wet with paint and blood.
We just keep on driving.
Tonight I’ll lie there next to you and wonder what you’re thinking.

Block out the sun with all your thoughts.
All your heart. All your heart.
I could help ‘cause I think too.
With all my heart. All my heart.

I know there’s something burning.
The bed’s on fire again.
My cigarette, no spark. No love, no hot love.

Block out the sun with all your thoughts.
All your heart. All your heart.
I could help ‘cause I think, too.
With all my heart. All my heart.

You’ve gone bad, and it’s all gone sour, and I don’t know what for.
But my body’s locked up again.

Give me all my bad nights back. When the planes fly in formation.
Over dark clouds, over bridges. And turn the channel to another station.
We spin into the silence. Turn around and spit three times.
All the words that we have spoken sound like nursery rhymes.

Block out the sun with all your thoughts.
All your heart. All your heart.
I could help ‘cause I think, too.
With all my heart. All my heart.

You’ve gone bad, and it’s all gone sour, and I don’t know what for.
But my body’s locked up again.

Block out the sun with all your thoughts.
All your heart. All your heart.
I could help ‘cause I think, too.
With all my heart. All my heart.
Track Name: Jade
JADE

Chalkmark arrow through a heart. Can’t pretend to play a part.
Blood and danger on my breath. Nothing else to do but Death.

Only murder without sin. The butler did it once again.
Roaring river in my head. An animal that no one fed.

I want Jade so fine.

I figured out what makes you tick.
Now you’re torn down brick by brick.
Reaching out with hands of clay in the terror of the day.

Isn’t this a big surprise? At the edge of paradise.
Watching as your face turns blue. With no words to comfort you.

I want Jade so fine.
Track Name: The Bigger Thrills
THE BIGGER THRILLS

I laid it all out on the line. I gave you love. I gave you my dark side.
But I only paled in the shadow of bored people with distracted minds about...

The bigger thrills. The bigger thrills.
‘Cause I will beat my brain until my body is sore.
Draining that last drop, and now you still want more.
They’re slapping money down on the table for the bigger thrills.

It’s hot as two Hells in a jug. I’m going to bust just like a water pipe.
I hope it doesn’t take too long to wear down all this hype about...

The bigger thrills. The bigger thrills.
‘Cause I will beat my brain until my body is sore.
Draining that last drop, and now you still want more.
They’re slapping money down on the table for the bigger thrills.
The bigger thrills.

Don’t ever let your lips get loose with words that hang just like a noose.
They dangle heavy on your breath, and smash the gaps wide open.

So cut the scalp right off my head. I’ll take a bow and spill in your direction.
You won’t get much. I’ll keep my heart. No, you won’t get the satisfaction of...

The bigger thrills. The bigger thrills.
‘Cause I will beat my brain until my body is sore.
Draining that last drop, and now you still want more.
They’re slapping money down on the table for the bigger thrills.
The bigger thrills.
Track Name: Never A Dull Moment
NEVER A DULL MOMENT

Well look who’s here. I can taste the grief.
The sad stupid eyes that can’t get no relief.

And it’s very likely now you’ll be bending my ear.
And we’ll tally the bold and the saucy wrongs of the last few years.

Never a dull moment. Each second’s a thrill.
Next day’s a new adventure. Every night a kill.
Never a dull moment. Never a dull moment.
Never a dull moment with you. Not with you.

Here and there. Now and again.
You move port to port. You got lots of new friends.
A slow rolling ball. A circle on the earth.
Going round and around again from death to birth.

Never a dull moment. Each second’s a thrill.
Next day’s a new adventure. Every night a kill.
Never a dull moment. Never a dull moment.
Never a dull, dull moment with you. Not with you.

Never a dull moment. Each second’s a thrill.
Next day’s a new adventure...
Next day’s a new adventure. Every night a kill.
Never a dull moment. Never a dull moment.
Never a dull moment with you. Not with you...
Track Name: Falling Star
FALLING STAR

Tear up the world. Rip it straight down.
Try to get reaction.
Talk about things you’ve never seen.
You’re the main attraction.

I’m counting to ten. Back to zero again.

Trouble arrives. You let down your guard.
It leads you out to the graveyard.
The hours in a day just let down your heart.
You’re burning out like a falling star.

I’m sure I’ll tune your voice out soon.
I don’t want to hear you.
You’re sitting tight at the end of a kite.
We pretend to listen.

I’m counting to ten. Back to zero again.

Trouble arrives. You let down your guard.
It leads you out to the graveyard.
The hours in a day just let down your heart.
You’re burning out like a falling star.

It’s always been the same with you around.
You’re taken limb from limb, and who’s to blame?

Trouble arrives. You let down your guard.
It leads you out to the graveyard.
The hours in a day just let down your heart.
You’re burning out like a falling...
You’re burning out like a falling star.
Track Name: Irresponsible Boy
IRRESPONSIBLE BOY

I was working in a restaurant called Matsuya-Jade.
Chopping onions, steaming rice, and cleaning up the plates.
She came in late one Monday night, sat at the sushi bar.
Drank green tea and sake, and shot straight through my heart.

I went to take the trash out to a dumpster in the back.
She was out there idling in a cocoa Cadillac.
I looked into her almond eyes, she opened up the door.
I took off my hair net, and slid in next to her.

Ooh...

We drove on through the dark night to a house up on the lane.
She kissed me for the first time. We drank her chilled champagne.
I woke up in the morning light, alone there in the bed.
I found her in the swimming pool with a note around her neck.

At home there was a message on the phone machine.
It was Ed Matsuya-Jade, he sounded mad and mean.
He spoke in broken English, his blood was all a-boil.
He told me I was fire.
I very irresponsible boy.

Ooh...