JVA - JEROAN VAN AICHEN: Ancient Chinese Secret

by jva

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03:50
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02:43
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04:52
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03:33
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about

Produced and recorded by me, mixed by CB Rock.

Tim Ellis played on every song, and completely elevated it with his astounding creative mind.
Toki Wolf did the artwork and design.
My wife, Kim snapped the cover photo while on a job in Miami....

One memory sticks out making this record; playing a low tom-tom really fast on the song Blind Tiger, and because I’m not a drummer I had to do it over and over to get it right...I thought I was going to have a stroke.

credits

released March 19, 2000

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jva Portland, Oregon

Hi. I’m Jim Walker
I make music.

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Track Name: Glass Thimble (for Shelly Hack)
GLASS THIMBLE
(For Shelly Hack)

Everyone in here is very busy marking time.
Surface conversation down the line.
Waiting for the God of this Technicolor fraud.
We all came from somewhere in His mind.

There’s no message left to send.
In that red dress you can pretend
that it somehow really matters in the end.

Cold and blue - this room without a view.
Proof again that nothing’s what it seems.
Cold and blue - like a funeral tattoo.
Not even the dust left from these dreams.

She’s a peach, but don’t you think her drop dead days are gone?
The side effects are showing around her eyes.
She’s worn the carpet out on poses, preens, and pouts.
And underneath these bright lights nothing lies.

That girl left and stole your face.
But even she cannot erase that glass thimble full of truth in her disguise.

Cold and blue - this room without a view.
Proof again that nothing’s what it seems.
Cold and blue - like a funeral tattoo.
Not even the dust left from these dreams.

In this glass thimble.
In this glass thimble.
In this glass thimble.
Track Name: Invitation
INVITATION

Working on the green mine. Trying to make a buck.
I’m watching close to my wallet. Holding tight to my luck.
I used to pray for miracles. Now I pray for rain.
Don’t you know that the pleasure is worse than any of the pain?

Invitation. One long party. That’s what it’s been.
Invitation. You’re out of my heart. You’re under my skin.

Everything this morning was animal and raw.
You know the way she was moving. There ought to be a law.
She shattered my mind. Broke my common sense.
I ought to have my hands tied. They ought to lock me up behind a fence.

Invitation. One long party. That’s what it’s been.
Invitation. You’re out of my heart. You’re under my skin.

I won’t waste your time telling you I’m satisfied.
Because I see what goes on. We’re being taken for a ride.
The sky’s getting crowded with particular men.
They got the song and the dance. They collect the check.
Tomorrow they do it all again.

Invitation. One long party. That’s what it’s been.
Invitation. You’re out of my heart. You’re under my skin.

Out of my heart. You’re under my skin.
Track Name: Shadow I Walk In
SHADOW I WALK IN

Out of the corner of my eye I feel your stare.
Your horn-rimmed glasses following me everywhere.
Your gaze is on me when I kiss her lips.
She feels it too, but we don’t speak of it.

The doctor shook his head. Pronounced you dead last year.
You wouldn’t know it from the way things are ‘round here.
You live inside her deep. Your memory’s clear.
But your picture’s to the wall when she’s not here.

Now you’re the shadow that I walk in.
Now you’re the shadow that I always walk in.

I see you in the darkness like some camera flash.
I see your gray suit and I see your black moustache.
Intimidation pours down off the wall.
Like you’re alive and I’m not here at all.

Now you’re the shadow that I walk in.
Now you’re the shadow that I always walk in.

Sometimes when she’s asleep she cries and calls your name.
And sometimes when we’re making love she does the same.
I’m not trying to take your place. I don’t want to fill your shoes.
I just want you to know I love her too.

Now you’re the shadow that I walk in.
Now you’re the shadow that I always walk in.
Always walk in...
Track Name: Down Deep
DOWN DEEP

My earthly blood in a Texas sky...
It pumps and burns from red to white.
This ticklish thing has caught my eye.
And like the wind she blows on by.

I’m just another drop in the pail. One more face. One more sheep.
You won’t remember how you reached inside and grabbed my soul...
down deep.

You walk into my life like you own the place.
Throwing my voice. Hiding my face.
I’ve got a girl for you, one you’ll never keep.
Before you even say hello she’s got you...down deep.

Bind my desire with reins and with spurs.
Knowing completely that every move is hers.
How do you plead? The space is so wide.
Five feet from me on this airplane ride.

I’m just another drop in the pail. One more face. One more sheep.
You won’t remember how you reached inside and grabbed my soul...
I’m just another drop in the pail. One more face. One more sheep.
You won’t remember how you reached inside and grabbed my soul...
down deep.
Track Name: Bad Luck
BAD LUCK

Well I was driving to your house. My tire went flat.
When I got out to fix it the wind blew off my hat.
It rolled down the street and onto a truck.
And I chased it for miles shouting, “Darn the luck.”
Finally it flew into a rabid dog’s mouth.
He tore me all to pieces and I said “Ouch.”
I would’ve called to tell you, but my bandage is too tight.
That’s why I didn’t come over last night.

Well I know you think I’m lying, but I swear that it’s true.
Now come on...really, Honey, would I do that to you?
You probably think that I was out drinking downtown.
Or with some old flame burning something down.
But I was minding my business. I promise you that.
I already told you about my tire that went flat.
Now do you have no sympathy for all my fright?
That’s why I didn’t come over last night.

I had some bad luck.
Now do you have no sympathy for all my fright?
That’s why I didn’t come over last night.

Thought it was over, but it had just begun.
I was in my bed sleeping. Wasn’t hurting no one.
The door burst open and there to my surprise,
with graveyard dirt on his green Levis,
was Death on the doorstep and he said to me,
(something unintelligible)
I would’ve said something but my mouth was shut up tight.
That’s why I didn’t come over last night.

I had some bad luck.
Now do you have no sympathy for all my fright?
That’s why I didn’t come over last night.
Track Name: All Too Soon
ALL TOO SOON

Well I’m waiting here again for my life to begin.
Though I can’t buy or beg another breath.
And she can’t understand that holding fire in my hand
comes as easily as life and death.

All too soon. It’s all too soon.
Can’t see tomorrow. Can’t change the moon.
All too soon. It’s all too soon.
Parting teardrops fall into the wound.

Well the world outside roared. It was man overboard.
I was saved before my feet got wet.
I was warmed by your heat, but beat a hasty retreat.
I don’t know why. It’s like I always forget.

All too soon. It’s all too soon.
Can’t see tomorrow. Can’t change the moon.
All too soon. It’s all too soon.
Parting teardrops fall into the wound.

What the soul holds dear is everything that I fear.
I can’t promise it to you just yet.
Would you settle for this? I know it’s only a kiss.
But it’s just as close as I can get.

All too soon. It’s all too soon.
Can’t see tomorrow, can’t change the moon.
All too soon. It’s all too soon.
Parting teardrops fall into the wound.
Track Name: Spanish Fire
SPANISH FIRE

Now I know what it takes to be near you.
But I can’t seem to give you the slip.
And how I feel like a drowning man swimming for the sinking ship.

So I’ll come clean.
I think it’s time. You ought to know.

Spanish fire can burn you down.
Spanish fire can burn you right down.

I’ve always hoped for a love like this.
But now it feels like cold hands around my neck.
Everybody loves a happy ending.
Just like everybody loves a good car wreck.

You can’t knock down a heart of stone with wishing well dimes, but...

Spanish fire can burn you down.
Spanish fire...

It only gets harder the older I get.
I never really forgive, I never really forget.
I just keep chalking it up and putting it down to experience.
But the one thing I’ve found is...

Spanish fire can burn you down.
Spanish fire can burn you right down.
Spanish fire...
Spanish fire...
Track Name: Corner Store
CORNER STORE

Well, Simon’s rocker’s painted white. The world is slowing down outside.
And when the sun’s hot upon his hair, he gets up and he moves his chair.

Anyway, I was...down at the corner store.
Anyway, I was...

I’m on a two week holiday. I ended out up north this way.
I’m trying to soothe my shredded nerves. Relaxing like a man deserves.
I’m watching Simon in the sun. His ‘Howdy do’ to everyone.
I said, “My God, it’s such a crime how this man wastes his precious time.”
Yes he does...

Anyway, I was...down at the corner store.
Anyway, I was...

He sips his lemonade and rocks and starts on gin at 4:00.
He snapped a picture when she died and crawled inside this glass to hide.
I thought I’d head back early down home
when Simon shuddered, shook, and groaned.
And when he clutched his shrunken chest,
I thought, “It’s probably for the best.”

Anyway, I was...down at the corner store.
Anyway, I was...
Anyway, I was...down at the corner store.
Anyway, I was...
Track Name: I'll Be Your Eyes
I’LL BE YOUR EYES

We shoot our sins into the sky.
Send our pain and trouble up above.
Filling up the holes inside the light.
Tap the holy water of its love.

Take it off my hands. Spirit move me.
Steady me, cleanse my soul. I’m out of control.

I’ll be your eyes when you can’t bear to see.
I’ll be your words when you can hardly speak.
I’ll be your ears when you block out the sound.
Trust in me.

You’ve been there when I’ve needed you.
When I felt as cold as coins in ice.
When I wondered how low I could go.
When the well ran dust and dirty bone.

Take it off my hands. Spirit move me.
Steady me, cleanse my soul. I’m out of control.

You grit your teeth, you lie in wait.
Believe your life’s one long mistake.
You can be your own best friend or trust in me.
I want to hold you up when you fall.

I’ll be your eyes when you can’t bear to see.
I’ll be your words when you can hardly speak.
I’ll be your ears when you block out the sound.
Trust in me.
Track Name: Place Of Shame
PLACE OF SHAME

Rain clouds. Hotter than the sun.
Charge this steel uprising.
You break one thousand burning legs. She is hypnotizing.
I’m watching this electric world.
With the heat no man could ever tame.
I pick you up from frightened knees.
And I lay you down in this place of shame.

These are words of a dying man.
If you’re close enough to feel his breath,
he’ll try to steal your living soul, knowing just one moment’s left.
It’s fading signals after all.
It’s just spells behind a smoked glass frame.
With tender kisses, idle threats,
they will lay you down in this place of shame.

The truth comes out...all in vain.
It comes buzzing black into my ears.
With eyes that beckon boats to shore, and prayers that no one ever hears.
All your powerful friends have come.
They wait like needles in the vein.
The hand of hate has cradled me.
And it laid me down in this place of shame.

In this place of shame.
Track Name: Blind Tiger
BLIND TIGER

Now me and you have been friends for years.
Maybe we should say our goodbyes.
They’ll send us up the river if we don’t split up now.
We’ve been seen together. Someone’s getting wise.

Point the way to the blind tiger. Tonight I want to sleep in her arms.
Point the way to the blind tiger. Cry like a baby when the thrill is gone.

It’s the same old wine in brand new bottles. We’re drinking it anyway.
We’ll walk the chalk to this whiskey bar.
Between cup and lip I almost thought I heard them say...

Point the way to the blind tiger. Tonight I want to sleep in her arms.
Point the way to the blind tiger. Cry like a baby when the thrill is gone.

A Philadelphia lawyer couldn’t get us out of this one.
Lord knows we were dying of thirst.
I said, “I’ll take you to the edge and back.”
When we got there you said, “Who goes first?”

Point the way to the blind tiger. Tonight I want to sleep in her arms.
Point the way to the blind tiger. Cry like a baby when the thrill is gone.
Track Name: Useless Things
USELESS THINGS

Dog tired and bone dry. I feel dead tonight.
Eyes in the back of my head.
The wine case is locked up, but I’ve got a filled cup.
Hellos and goodbyes again.

On a cocktail napkin with ink dripping down.
Like the ruby red lips of her pancake frown.
Is a telephone number or some old request.
But I can’t read the scrawl, and the light’s not the best.
So I crumple it up and drop it in the pile
with the rest of these useless things.

Yes ma’am, you threw me. Put one over on me.
I didn’t see you standing there.
You buy the drinks to have someone to talk to.
While everyone goes out for air.

With a hole in your sweater and a rip in your jeans.
You’re a thrift shop that just sprung a leak.
Do you mind if I just do the one thing that I do?
Could you cover your mouth when you speak?

On a cocktail napkin with ink dripping down.
Like the black and white lips of a pancake clown.
Is a telephone number with some strange request.
But I can’t read the scrawl, and I don’t want to guess.
So I crumple it up and toss it in the file
with the rest of these useless things.

These useless things.