JVA - JEROAN VAN AICHEN: Floorboards

by jva

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about

Produced and recorded by me, mixed by CB Rock.

Guests included: Craig Carothers, Tim Ellis, McKinley, Nancy Hess, Little Sue, Paul Brainard, Jeff Leonard, Aaron Meyer, and Gregg Williams. Toki Wolf did the artwork and design.

This was the project where I made the switch from analog tape to computer recording and I remember being stymied a lot. I had a basement studio and would spend long periods of time staring at the ceiling, in this case, the floorboards (hence the title), frustrated at my technological stupidity.

credits

released October 31, 1998

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about

jva Portland, Oregon

Hi. I’m Jim Walker
I make music.

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Track Name: Man Of The Hour
MAN OF THE HOUR

Now he’s really in the danger zone.
He’ll be hanging by the cord of his telephone.
Blood on my tongue, your lips beneath my feet.
My toes make tiny fists inside my crimson cleats.

Keep away from lights, away from windows too.
I can’t wait to slip you into heavy shoes.
I’ve crushed a thousand stoolies to get to the top.
Just a runner never knowing when the race will stop.

Oh...
So, bring me the head of the man of the hour.
Vengeance is sweet from an ivory tower.
Terminate the rat if there’s a trace of any doubt,
‘cause I’m not the man your mothers warned you about.

Rinsing out my weekly sins in Sunday’s bowl.
What do you desire, Father? Anything at all.
Hold on to that breath forever. Look deep in my eyes.
Begging’s just a thing that happens when somebody dies.

Say I’m a bad man. Say that I’m made of ice.
Say I’m a madman, but everyone is guilty once or twice.
I’ll keep it up till the jig is up, ‘cause it’s easy.

Now he’s really in the danger zone.
And I’m tearing up a life that’s not my own.
I’m going to stick it deeply. We’re going to make a deal.
The spiel is phony but the words are very real.

So, bring me the head of the man of the hour.
Vengeance is sweet from an ivory tower.
Terminate the rat if there’s a trace of any doubt,
‘cause I’m not the man your mothers warned you about.

I’m not the man...
Track Name: Quiet Child
QUIET CHILD

I walk this boontown road, earth as red as blisters.
And I watch her sob like I’ve had time to really miss her.
I didn’t want to break her heart. I didn’t mean to twist her.
No one hears the sound of the quiet child.

She’s the one who everybody said I would marry.
But all those dreams only existed to be buried.
A man can only live so long on chocolate and cherries.
No one hears the sound of the quiet child.

Silence, baby. Hush they say.
Keep that voice inside you locked away.
But speak up when you’re told.
Why are you growing up so cold?
You have become quite the quiet child.
You have become quite the quiet child.

Ooh, I thank my stumbling shoes for bumbling in your house.
Through steel walls were the eyes soft as a silk blouse.
And outside in the freezing wind there’s a peep just like a church mouse.
You just heard the sound of the quiet child.

Silence, baby. Hush they say.
Keep that voice inside you locked away.
But speak up when you’re told.
Why are you growing up so cold?
You have become quite the quiet child.
You have become quite the quiet child.

Silence, baby. You have become quite the quiet child.
Hush they say. You have become quite the quiet child.
Silence, baby. You have become quite the quiet child.
Hush they say. You have become quite the quiet child.
Track Name: Run Along
RUN ALONG

You never ring the bell.
Can’t you dial a phone?
You just barge right through the door.
You better run along now...Gallagher.

He’s not quite the wise old sage.
But who’s listening anyway to this nowhere amateur?
You better run along now...Gallagher.

You never learn. Oh, a house could fall upon you.
A ton of bricks...and nothing seems to get through.
You open wide. You’ve just got to get your digs in.
Thanks to you these clouds are disappearing.

The blood flows to my head.
My eyes fill up with red, and my ears begin to burn.
You better run along now...Gallagher.

You never learn. Oh, a house could fall upon you.
A ton of bricks...and nothing seems to get through.
You open wide. You’ve just got to get your digs in.
Thanks to you these clouds are disappearing.

You better run along now.
You better run along now.
Track Name: Prayers And Bones
PRAYERS AND BONES

Am I strong enough to hold the reins
when things buck out from underneath,
and the sky has opened up a vein on me?

I’m shaking like a whore in church.
None of your words make much sense.
It’s all just wind right through a fence to me.

In this town of prayers and bones my name is dying.
I’ve lost my place. I’ve lost my nerve. I’m cold as iron.

Things are getting smaller now.
You’ve spent your whole life passing through.
There’s three drops of the devil’s blood in you.

Sweet Miranda, blue goodbye.
I’m colder than a well rope.
And I can’t pin one thing to blame but me.

Now I drive without the headlights on
through the ink of midnight roads.
And somewhere she is drowning in the dawn.

In this town of prayers and bones my name is dying.
I’ve lost my place. I’ve lost my nerve. I’m cold as iron.
In this town of prayers and bones my name is dying.
I’ve lost my place. I’ve lost my nerve. I’m cold as iron.
Track Name: Very Good Man
VERY GOOD MAN
(For Jim “Mac” McDonnell 1928-1990)

Shoveling earth on another deep hole. See you soon.
Covering up any traces of you. Spoon by spoon.
This is the way you were spending your nights. No one knew.
Who was that happy and confident man? Not a clue.

Make it work. Watch it grow. Chop it down to the quick.
Let it breathe. Give it room. Walk away. Let it die.

What is the crime in these dangerous times? Secret love.
Plowing through ten different faces a month. They go nameless.
Keeping this out of the paper’s no trick. No one sees.
Innocents hang so the jury may dine. What’s that mean?

I don’t know. Never did. A lonely man needs to share.
Holding tight. No one thinks. Time is now. Open wide.

Very good man. Very bad blood. This is our future, now.
I wasn’t there. I heard through the phone.
He didn’t recall me or you.
What can you do? It’s part of it all.
You can remember ‘cause it’s in your head.
Sha la la la la la...

Make it work. Watch it grow. Chop it down to the quick.
Let it breathe. Give it room. Walk away. Let it die.

Very good man. Very bad blood. This is our future, now.
I wasn’t there. I heard through the phone.
He didn’t recall me or you.
What can you do? It’s part of it all.
You can remember ‘cause it’s in your head.
Sha la la la la la...
Sha la la la la la...
Track Name: Now She's...
NOW SHE’S...

She told her best friend she was coming to L.A.
She’d be there in a week or two. Could she stay a couple days?

Now she’s here, now she’s distant, now she fades away.
Slipping through the hands that reach out.
Disappears more every day.

Her friend said it was okay, but she’d have to use some sense.
No more sleeping all day. No more drinking up the rent.

Now she’s here, now she’s distant, now she fades away.
Slipping through the hands that reach out.
Disappears more every day.

Now she walks, and now she talks. Now she laughs, and now she smiles.
But now she wants to leave again, so now she won’t let anybody in.

She said never mind then. We’re doing different things again.
And the phone went dead and silent as she hung up on her friend.

Now she’s here, now she’s distant, now she fades away.
Slipping through the hands that reach out.
Disappears more every day.
Now she’s here, now she’s distant, now she fades away.
Slipping through the hands that reach out.
Disappears more every day.
Track Name: Glass Angels
GLASS ANGELS

Dried flowers hanging on the wall.
Loud voices coming down the hall.
Gold-plated photos of husbands and their wives.
Staring at memories from someone else’s life.

Glass angels. Glass angels. Glass angels in the house of the moon.

Plaster cherubs and a bust of Mary.
Looking at me sideways, looking very scary.
Now we have curtains drawn and the silence and bugs.
And over in the corner’s a wine stain on the rug.

Glass angels. Glass angels. Glass angels in the house of the moon.

She bows her head in reverent prayer.
My Madonna.
On her knees right over there.

No locks in this perfect world.
No sins of a boy and girl.
With every breath that you take I’m closer to Heaven.
My life’s exploding with my mind sixes and sevens.

Glass angels. Glass angels. Glass angels in the house of the moon.
Glass angels in the house of the moon.
Track Name: Day Passed Out
DAY PASSED OUT

She’s out again. She dance all night. She lose her baby.
Alone in her bed, bare as a branch. Just another close shave, maybe.
She raised her skirt, put out her thumb. She never thought she’d ever get back all her freedom.

Is this the way it should have been? Is this the grand design?
It’s plain as the nose upon my face.
But you raise your glass, and you bite your lip.
But when the day passed out is when your life got ripped up now, baby.

Perhaps someone else tore down your soul and stole your secrets.
Famous last words scrawled out in blood. And you know the tourniquet fits.
A red rag blows, falls off the shelf. You shot your foot to save the sad remains of yourself.

Is this the way it should have been? Is this the grand design?
It’s plain as the nose upon my face.
But you raise your glass, and you bite your lip.
But when the day passed out is when your life got ripped up now, baby.

Oh, the round peg drops into place - No, don’t force it.
Oh, the steel still cuts to the heart - No, don’t force it.
There’s a bolt of bone on death’s door - No, don’t force it, unless of course it’s...

Really the way it should have been. And it’s the grand design.
It’s plain as the nose upon my face.
But you raise your glass, and you bite your lip.
But when the day passed out is when your life got ripped up now, baby.
Track Name: How Could You?
HOW COULD YOU?

I’m wondering where I fit in. It’s more of the same again.
White lightning inside my chest. Sometimes it feels like it’s my dying breath.
It’s more than a thrill, but your voice sounds like a funeral bell.
It’s just not my day. Your brain’s been baking in the sun this way.

Baby-I just don’t see the reason. It must be vanity.
Baby-I’m guilty just like you, but I plead insanity.
Baby-My heart’s beneath the wheel and I don’t know how to feel.
How could you?

Souvenirs from a mean train wreck. One more severed head for my guitar neck.
The black smoke comes pouring through. I thought I had problems till I met you.
Sparks in my head. Something’s dying, and something’s dead.
Put out the lights. Nothing good dies without a fight.

Baby-Just do what they say. Jump right off the cliff.
Baby-That’s such a good disguise. Three-piece working stiff.
Baby-These stakes are much too high. You shot blanks into the sky.
How could you?

Baby-You can’t reach me now. No, I’ve done my time.
Baby-I’ve climbed straight to the top on a ladder made of wine.
Baby-You had your second chance. You fucked up this romance.
How could you?
Track Name: We Know Who You Are
WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE

Just sit tight. Don’t you laugh, think, or clap.
Don’t even breathe. Fold your hands in your lap.

Don’t call for help. Don’t write anything down.
Don’t raise your voice. No, don’t make a sound.

We can plague you with flies. Tear your world apart.
Peel the skin off your bones. Drive a stake through your heart.

We’re behind the walls. Sliding under the door.
We’ve slipped through the cracks. We know who you are.

Stay in your homes. We know who you are.
Away from the windows. We know who you are.
Always remember... We’re never that far.
We know who you are.

Take a look outside. In the dark of the day.
Aren’t you glad we’re here? Didn’t you want it that way?

Send your prayers on up. They won’t get too far.
Fall onto your knees now. We know who you are.

Stay in your homes. We know who you are.
Away from the windows. We know who you are.
Always remember... We’re never that far.
We know who you are.
Always remember...We’re never that far.
We know who you are.
Track Name: Unsung
UNSUNG

I reach out into black for fingers...and this song is unsung.

I want my life back.
So sorry.
I want my name back.
Please don’t speak.
No words right now.

I love you. Something’s wrong. The angel dies...and this song is unsung.

Talk to me all night.
So sorry.
Lay down your burden.
Give to me your sadness now.

I reach out...and this song is unsung.
Track Name: Poor Boy Be
POOR BOY BE

Going on a journey. Going by foot.
Looking at the rye grass and small pieces of wood.
Bugs blend together like a fingerprint smudge.
Kicking at an oak stump. Damn thing won’t budge.

Hey, hey. Look what I’ve found. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen.
I’m feeling sharp as the little edge of nothing.
How are you going to let this poor boy be?

I step off the dirt road, right back onto the street.
A big, black Cadillac car nearly ran over my feet.
Driver says, “Terribly sorry.”
And I say, “Everything’s fine.”
But I say, “Hey, where’s the fire anyway?”
He says, “It’s here in my mind.”

Hey, hey. Look what I’ve found. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen.
I’m feeling sharp as the little edge of nothing.
How are you going to let this poor boy be?

He says, “I’ve worked like the devil
for my whole life through and through, and still I’m unhappy.”
I said, “Hey, I’m like that too.”
He says, “Which way you going?”
I said, “I’ll follow this road.”
He said, “Goodbye then.” In a cloud of blue smoke.

Metal on metal. Puncturing tires.
The guardrail exploded. He was laughing through fire.

Hey, hey. Look what I’ve found. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen.
I’m feeling sharp as the little edge of nothing.
How are you going to let this poor boy be?

This poor boy be...