Kiss The Brain

by jva

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about

My thirteenth cd. Released in 2006. Produced and recorded by me, and mixed by CB Rock. My intention on this record was to do a project that was just Tim Ellis and I, two guitars, two voices. When I told him the idea he was excited. But if you’ve ever met Tim you know he’s a man on the go. Trying to pin him down to record on the best day is hard, and when he gets here his time is limited. I’d already recorded my guitar and a scratch vocal for him to play to, but then it got difficult to get Tim in the studio. So I found things to do in the meantime. I found myself starting to add to the tracks, just trying stuff; a piano thing on this one, a shaker part, oh that one needs bass, the bridge here could really use a clarinet...you get the idea. I started dicking around with the tracks and before I knew it the record was nearly done. When Tim did finally find time to come over and record (about a year and a half after I’d started it - no joke) it was a completely different beast, and a much larger production than originally planned. I was very happy with the end result though. And while waiting for Ellis I had a great bunch of folks play on this; Albert Reda, Tiffany Carlson, Lara Michell, Stephanie Schneiderman, and the great Tom Miller (RIP).

credits

released December 14, 2006

Jim Walker - Guitars, Keyboards, Percussion, Programming, Lead Vocals, BG Vocals.
Tim Ellis - Lead Guitar
Albert Reda - Bass
Tom Miller - Acoustic Bass
Tiffany Carlson - BG Vocals
Lara Michell - BG Vocals
Stephanie Schneiderman - BG Vocals

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about

jva Portland, Oregon

Hi. I’m Jim Walker
I make music.

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Track Name: Empty Emily
EMPTY EMILY

When your tears came out, they used to cut right through.
But I don’t feel them now. There’s nothing you can do.
When we started off, I thought for sure we’d last.
But now my head just spins like I stood up too fast.

I’m empty, Emily.

Your arms go limp. I peeled you to the bone.
I’m the devil’s own son. Here sinking like a stone.
It’s a long incline that I been tumbling down.
Don’t want to see your face when I hit the ground.

I’m lying to myself to keep my joy at bay.
I don’t deserve your love. I kick my heart away.

I made a bad, bad choice. I know you still love me.
I can’t do this anymore. I got to follow my feet.
My soul is dead for you. It hurts to say it out loud.
But everyone’s a rat. You ought to know that by now.
Track Name: Now You Don't
NOW YOU DON’T...

Hand prints on the wings of planes.
Deep lines cut in sugar cane.
Circles leave a code.
Sun boils on a black top road.

Lucky number once again.
Left out lying in the rain.
His hanger on a rack.
Sometimes people don’t come back.

Down you go. On your way.
Voices speak in all direction at you.
Don’t you know?
Now you see him. Now you don’t.

Figurines made out of clay.
In a dim cove, tucked away.
Out of things to try.
No more ways to say goodbye.
Track Name: Alibis
ALIBIS

If this is only just a dream I’m having, do you think that you could step aside?
You really think the world spins around you.
I don’t follow what you’re trying to hide.

It’s just alibis.

Be careful now, your claws are showing. We’re not connecting like we once did.
I guess I’ll see you in the funny papers.
Who exactly are you trying to kid?

I can’t help it. Want to cut out your tongue.
Never thought I’d sing what I’ve just sung.
Thought this was real but it’s lies, lies, lies.
It’s just a-l-i-b-i-s. Alibis.

I thought I had you in my trouser pocket. I didn’t know that the devil’d been paid.
Nobody told me I was just the past tense.
Somebody’s sure full of herself today.

It’s just love, and that’s the way it goes now. A reckless heathen clinging on to you.
Did you really think you pulled a fast one?
Come on, baby, who’s fooling who?
Let’s talk about the times I held your body. Romanticize it. Leave out all the facts.
I know I’m talking to the back of your head.
Waiting here for you to drop the axe.
Track Name: Matter Of Life And Death
MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH

You know better than to swim alone. But something leads you out.
The water out here feels just like breath. So cool upon your skin.
It’s a matter of life and death.

You shouldn’t have been out there so late at night. But Rudy likes to see the boats.
Turned your head for one second’s time. Now the tears roll down your throat.

There’s no punishment. There’s no hate. Just the wind upon the seas.
A hunger burns in everything. All wounds heal by degrees.

Moving quiet through a moonless night. Slipping through the dark.
I know you’re up ahead. Zero in upon your scent.
Track Name: Find Your Own Heaven
FIND YOUR OWN HEAVEN

Stared at by a red TV. Rusted bowls contain my dreams.
Couple snoring in the room next to me.

You had all that I could take. So I lie in this strange bed awake.
Running it all over in my mind again.

I watch the ceiling shadows. I raid the honor bar.
But I’m safer in this closet then where you are.

You were trying to be a feather in my life.
But I got in the way.
Broke it apart with your heart.
Now there’s not much to say...
You’re going to find your own Heaven.
You’re going to find your own Heaven someday.

Rain drips on a cinder block.
Torn down buildings. Brick and rock.
Boards on all the windows in my pale head.

It didn’t just come out of the blue.
I didn’t think you’d follow through.
That’s one more thing I didn’t know about you.

And all the clocks are broken. Hands glitter under glass.
The wood’s between my fingers. Memories come back.
Track Name: Exist
EXIST

This isn’t real. This isn’t me.
This isn’t how I thought it would be.
It’s not coming true, but who do I tell?
It’s not like they showed me on tv.

Impressions wrong. I just keep on going.
Without a point it’s dragging on.
But I exist now.

There was a time, like sun in my eyes.
I wrapped myself up into your vines.
I couldn’t get off. Dissatisfied.
Guess I’ll get at the back of the line.

I pound away. I’m trying harder.
To find new ways to live without her.

It’s all I have. It’s all I know.
Not much to go with. Still I go.
Don’t even know what I’m trying to do.
I can’t please them all. I can’t please you.

This image of you I’ve built inside my head.
I’m a stranger to you. A stranger till I’m dead.
Track Name: M'Hart
M’HART

Singing in the wind and land is the lost Christian.
I hear his disappearing memories in the darkness.
Dreams -- the only rules that matter.
The lies that drag his days to glory.

He run crazy. No time to walk away.
Oh, M’hart on a dirt road.
He run crazy. No time to walk away.
Oh, M’hart on a dirt road.

The weeds like a finger at the mirror.
Lifetimes pass away here for wanderer.
In the everlasting fall of one wrong move.
He reaches out for crying angels in vain.
Track Name: I Can't Look
I CAN’T LOOK

Rain drips down from the hole in the ceiling.
Mother stands staring with a sinking feeling.
You pay for that Thursday, you pay for that Friday.
You just keep paying till they carry you away.

No spark. No connection. Point me at the fire. Give me some direction.
No spark. No connection. I can’t look at my own reflection.

Look back in anger. Watch out for danger.
Put me in the Checker Cab. Lay me in the manger.
My body says move, but my mind says no.
I’ve got two hundred dollars...I’m going to throw it out the window.

No spark.

Telephone. Gallstones. Headstones. Babble-gabber.
Leave it to the spastic. Reel in the bitter-jabber.
Ten hail Marys. Penance for your sins.
Empty chalkboard, now you can start again.
Track Name: Explosions
EXPLOSIONS

I’ve waited here for a long time.
To get this feeling back again.
Innocence. Clarity.
Words we never mention.

But with you in the dark, all my bitter weeds die.
And it all rushes back like a fire in the sky...
Explosions again.

A few bad breaks. Along the way.
You’d think I would be smarter.
Instead I’m cold and sad and old.
Meaner and much harder.

The weak you make strong. Pure is my blood.
Sulfur and ash -- away in this flood.
Track Name: Haunting The House
HAUNTING THE HOUSE

A rose and a veil. Up there on a windowsill.
Gone a long time ago. That movie’s playing in my head.
She’s water to drink. Hanging from the mantelpiece.
Far away memories beneath a dying lemon moon.

She wrote recipes down on a card.
I ate the food when she was dead.
I sigh out the same air that she breathed.
Small talk like the slippery words of grace.
I fell in love before with every pretty face.
I set the enemy up to fall.

She’s haunting the house. She waits in the shadows.
Up in the curtains. Moving very slow.
She’s haunting the house. A scream in the attic.
Is that a gentle touch or cruel fingers that I feel?

She’s walking around. Sat there in the easy chair.
Stopped a girl innocent. Stilled a heart so beautiful.
I don’t understand Heaven and its cold reward.
Never time for sacraments. We took our hats off in the rain.

And when the blush was gone and just another night.
Old scars exposed in ugly light.
Caught the pale blue flesh with veins alive.
Now I look into the glass and I try to see.
A tiny wave of calm inside of me.
And then I hear the knocking from the walls.

I’m haunting the house. I wait in the shadows.
Behind the curtains. Moving very slow.
I’m haunting the house. I scream in the attic.
Is that a gentle touch or cruel fingers that I feel?
Is that her gentle touch or cruel fingers that I feel?
Is that my gentle touch or cruel fingers that I feel?
Track Name: Out Of My Head
OUT OF MY HEAD

Out of my head.
Every distant moment. Every day.
You possess me now in every way.

Until now these things were kept at bay.
Haunted.

All my nights are cold and captured.
In your arms of gasoline.
Opened from the ghost of grey days.
Dripping out of broken scenes.

You don’t even know that I’m alive.
So I stumble through this time and wine.
Hunted by my own damn arrow.

Knowing we’re both existing so far apart.
Knowing that the soul of this life devastates my heart.

Out of my head.
There’s no sign of life. The dream’s been bled.
And I know it’s over.
So instead I’ll put you...out of my head.
Track Name: Running Into Time
RUNNING INTO TIME

Somewhere there’s a part of me in this dark machinery.
I’m floating through the wind’s eye. Starched white shirt and black tie.

Through the weeds and mud I go. Moving with the ebb and flow.
Now I know I’m...

Running into time -- Endless days aren’t mine.
Running into time -- Steel and iron chime.
Running into time -- Disassembly line.
I’m running into time.

Outside is an empty hall. Stare out at the brick wall.
In the flint of every day, God protects us they say.

She sings up to me from the steam. Like an angel in a dream.
Now it seems I’m...

In the dust, without a name. Her love is coming through the flame.
Without shame, I’m...
Track Name: If You Were Me
IF YOU WERE ME

Try to put yourself in my place.
That’s right...this is what I feel like now.
We’re living with the same lies.
Twenty-four hours...if you were me.

Let’s walk around the block.
It feels like a needle.
This won’t happen again.

Kiss me quick. You’ve got my history.
Heartbreak, Lipstick. Now I’m not a mystery.
Romance, Slow dance. You can see my whole life.
This close you don’t have to look into my eyes.

See the devil in my head.
He says things I should have never said.
The past was never mine.
That’s what you’d know...if you were me.

Let’s start from the top.
Maybe it’s a blessing.
This won’t happen again.