Let's Make A Problem

by JVA

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about

AN EXPLANATION

See, I had this group of songs I wanted to take into Studio 515 and record.
Songs that were near and dear to me, but songs I'd been avoiding recording for awhile because…I just had a bad feeling.
I smelled trouble on the wind with this bunch.

Sometimes you have songs that are easy to record.
They don't make trouble, they don't throw tantrums, they clean their rooms, and eat their vegetables.

These were not those songs.
These suckers fought me every step of the way.

And I know why.
Now.
NOW I know why.
It was because I was trying to make them go against their very natures.
I was trying to get these songs to work together as a team, to be of the same mind, to get in line, put on a uniform, and do what I told them.
No dice.

It was fairly early on in the recording process I realized that this whole thing was going sideways.
These songs were just not going to get with the program.

Well, who could blame 'em? Who wants to wash behind their ears, brush their teeth, wipe their feet? Forget it.
And what were my options? Take the belt to them? Make ‘em sit in the corner? Hold a mouth full of black pepper for ten minutes? Wash their mouths out with soap?
Wouldn't have done any good anyway…not with this gang.
Something about their eyes.

So I said, screw it, here's a bucket of red paint, some goose feathers, maple syrup, crayons, mud, a bag of flour…go wreck everything...ruin my life, you f*cking demons.
And I let them run loose and wild. It was ugly. It was beautiful. It was.

When the smoke cleared, there they stood.
Each as different from each other as they could be.
Each came out unique in its own way, irrespective of what I wanted. And I just had to go with it.
What can you do with brats like that?
Alright then...go on, and be off with you. Call your mother once in awhile, maybe send a postcard…let us know if you need any money.

Thematically (if I may be allowed to use such a lofty term), there are a lot of troubled characters here. A lot of issues.
Schizophrenics, obsessives, paranoids, and hopeless romantics headed down the wrong road.
Tempted hearts, broken hearts, longing hearts, concrete hearts, a couple of ghosts, a murder, some bones, rotten old oranges, supermodels, for sale signs, lonely rooms, bad actors, surrender, denial, vanity, and finally the high pitch, whine, and pop of a flashbulb.
Photo shoot? Crime scene? Who knows?
Maybe both.

So yeah, this was a difficult one, no doubt. Hence the title. I was tripped up from the get-go.

Another thing you should know about this record if you don’t already;
it's a digital-only release.
No actual cds. It's all upload, download, rah rah rah.
I know some folks will kick a little at that. They like to have the physical cd to hold in their hands, to look at, and turn over. Somehow it proves things exist.
But I gotta tell you, I haven't bought a cd in a few years. Everything I listen to now is something I downloaded.
This is where we're heading.
Heading, hell, we're here, and have been for some time.
So, if you're resisting this digital world, please let me gently take your hand. It’s not that scary. Come with me, come with the rest of us. It's not the ruination of all you know. It's simple.

All of the information that would be on the liner notes of a physical cd is here on this website. You've got your lyrics, who played what, all the technical credits, thank yous, etc.
Plus a couple of surprises if you nose around a bit.

If you're reading this, or listening to the album (or maybe both), from my heart I thank you.
Be well, and I'll see you out there somewhere.


JW

credits

released April 28, 2011

Credits

ALL SONGS C & P 2011 THON MUSIC (ASCAP). ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Produced, engineered, and mixed by Jim Walker @ Studio 515. Portland, OR., between July 20th, 2010 and June 6th, 2011

Mastered by Ryan Foster at Ryan Foster Mastering on July 12th and 13th, 2011

Photos by Jim Walker

THANKS
To one of my dearest friends, and one of my favorite singers on the planet, Tiffany Carlson, for the background vocals.

For the help in the studio, Jordan Leno and Savannah Brusett!

My whole heart belongs to my beautiful wife, Kimberly Johnson.
Thanks, doll.

And if you’re listening to this record, and/or reading this - thank you.

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

jva Portland, Oregon

Hi. I’m Jim Walker
I make music.

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Track Name: Sin
SIN
We could live in sin just for one night.
We could live in sin just for one night.
We could live in sin just for one night.

Baby, would you do that?
Baby, would you do that?
Baby, would you do that?

We could live in sin just for one night.
Track Name: Concrete Hearts
CONCRETE HEARTS
If I lean out of the window of my room,
I can just make out your street.
It gives me comfort when these walls are like a tomb
just to know you’re close to me.

Concrete hearts still break when they hit the ground.
But concrete hearts don’t make a sound.

This is where the woman lives who’s got my heart.
Here’s her front steps, 1-2-3.
But she has no idea that I’m out here.
And I could never tell her how I feel.

Concrete hearts still break when they hit the ground.
But concrete hearts don’t make a sound.

The days fall hard as rain and I can’t stand it.
No place to go. Nothing to do.
Each night’s an empty space, just how I planned it.
Just passing time here without you.

A wilted rose inside an old brown vase.
Reminding me too much of me.
I wrote your number on my mantelpiece.
If I concentrate then it might be.

Concrete hearts still break when they hit the ground.
But concrete hearts don’t make a sound.
Track Name: Kiss Of Glass
KISS OF GLASS
I hate to put the light out,
and have these good looks go to waste all night.
I walk down Lover’s Lane now.
Alone, I hold my hand so tight.
This is not vanity. My blood burns just for me.
I’ve got a kiss of glass.

There’s lots of ways to do things.
But I can’t live on the wire like I did.
Those were flesh and bone days.
And though it’s so hard to admit;
the only thing I see, as I look back at me...is a kiss of glass.

I can’t bring out the sickness.
I will keep my body to myself.
I can’t say goodbye to my eyes.
But I’ve got nobody else to touch the fire I hold.
And this reflection’s cold.
I’ve got a kiss of glass.
Track Name: Come And Gone
COME AND GONE
I keep appointments with myself. The time’s so hard to find.
It seems to help my mental health to break these habits.
I weigh my words before I speak. Don’t want to sound a fool.
Same bloody business every week. It goes on and on.

And it’s come and gone. Come and gone.
The moment showed, but not for long.

And in my corner coffee shop, I watch the waitresses.
Hours before I got the nerve...must break these habits.
The girl with glasses was the one. She seemed so shy and sweet.
But I just tripped over my tongue. The separation’s now complete.

I’ve come and gone. Come and gone.
I had the chance. The time was wrong.

Don’t tap the thin glass of my head.
Cause the black birds circle there again.
A sea of faces in my sleep. So crowded in my dreams.
I count a million fucking sheep.

I’m staring at my trembling hands. Don’t let them make fists now.
My legs so weak that I can’t stand. I hate these habits.

It’s come and gone. Come and gone. Come and gone.
The moment showed but not for long.
I had the chance. The time was wrong.
Track Name: Bones
BONES
Back in my past. That’s where I left my good sense.
I used to help. Now that’s me with my fingers outstretched.
I can’t believe the ashtray’s full. Am I that tense, or am I just getting dull?

Somehow I know...I can hear my feet walking.
Somehow I know...I can feel my chest pounding.

Dry bones can live. Her fingers slipped right through my hands.
She wants something new. Well, what about some other man?

Somehow I know...I can hear my feet walking.
Somehow I know...I can feel my chest pounding.
Everything that I hold dear is here in your eyes.

Dreams leave a hole where there should be fire that burns.
There’s nothing to say when no one’s invented the words.
I walk outside. Watch the moon, hear the wind in the trees.
There’s always a way I can pull myself through times like these.

Somehow I know...I can hear my feet walking.
Somehow I know...I can feel my chest pounding.
Everything that I hold dear is here in your eyes.

Back in my past.
Dry bones can live.
Dreams leave a hole.
I walk outside.
Track Name: Oranges
ORANGES
Oh Maria, dressed in black. All desert heat and vodka thin.
Empty seed pods scuttle on. Dead palms shake like insect wings.

The old days flash in me, all steel and blue.
And the same rage comes, and it jabs straight through.
I’ll be right back in a year or two.
How long have I been getting over you?

She’s a tall girl.
But you’d gladly make the climb from your mire.
It’s a mall world.
Full of every useless thing you require.

These trees will thrive in the cold.
The oranges drop. The fruit will mold.
My hands shake. Desperate to put miles between my memories.

The old days flash in me - steel and blue.
And the same rage comes, and it jabs straight through.
I’ll be right back - in a year or two.
How long have I been getting over you?
Track Name: Into The Sea
INTO THE SEA
Well, the dice are loaded. And the game’s been rigged.
You just kill your children when they grow too big.
And it’s your thin dime. And your distant hope,
And it’s your slack body creaking on the rope.

Hey, off the cliff now, one by one.
Oh, can’t you see what we’ve become?
Follow me into the sea.

Fall down on the double. Shoot straight into the air.
You can’t win ‘em all, taps the skin on the snare.
Well, it’s the same old trouble. It’s just a brand new day.
We’re taking one last stab at the American way.

Hey, off the cliff now, one by one.
Oh, can’t you see what we’ve become?
Follow me into the sea.

Is it safe to come out? Are the graves packed tight?
You’ve been feverishly working through the dead of night.
But with a white straw hat, and a marching band.
With a perfect smile, with an outstretched hand.
With an “Onward ho!’, dripping cold red paint,
you can fry in Hell with your terminal saints.

Hey, off the cliff now, one by one.
Oh, can’t you see what we’ve become?
Follow me into the sea.
Track Name: Love Coming Through
LOVE COMING THROUGH
With a piece of fatwood broken across your back,
I believe that you will see the light.
Well, it’s us against you heathens, faith is on our side.
So it doesn’t matter wrong or right.

With just one finger. One flick of the wrist.
Soon your heart and mind will not resist.

Love, I bring to you.
Love, Coming through. No questions. No.

If I hold you under, no doubt you’ll see it clear.
You can be a martyr in your grave.
Settle this account right now with your wicked soul.
What we need are puppets, pawns, and slaves.

You better rise above the lot or you’ll be hung.
You better speak His name, or lose your fiendish tongue.

Love, I bring to you.
Love, Coming through. No questions. No.

Ooh, my friend you run like mischief.
Barking up your bongo tree.
You should try to be more grateful.
Don’t you want to be like me?

Take these words into your spirit, and say your prayers.
Your reward comes later though, of course.
You’re supposed to tolerate it, breathe through your nose.
And with your heart rejoice this show of force.

And I will live my life among the darkest spots.
And cram right down your throat the joy I’ve got.

Love, I bring to you.
Love, Coming through. No questions. No.
Track Name: Once
ONCE
Now it’s much too quiet here in my room.
Feels like someone’s trying to force their way in.
Gray’s the only color on the street, and in my head.
And the bells outside are ringing for no one again.

I know what I gave her. Don’t do me any favors.
Don’t sing me to sleep with my own song.
She always looks like they do in the books.
She’s just waiting for me to go wrong.

Threats are like a promise when you’re sitting on this bed.
They just might be the answer to your prayers.
There’s a fire beneath my feet, but I swear it’s was your kiss
that took me down hard into black and white nightmares.

Just as I imagined. It’s all coming back now.
I wanted to forget but I can’t remember how.
And now that it’s clear as this mirrored ceiling...do it once with feeling.

Can I hear that one more time on the relay?
I haven’t slept in so long. I haven’t dreampt in so long.
You’ve had all the fun. But I don’t where you’ve been.
And if you told the truth my dreams will all be gone.

I know what I gave her. Don’t do me any favors.
Don’t sing me to sleep with my own song.
She always looks like they do in the books.
Like she’s waiting for me to go wrong.
Track Name: Carry The Ghost
CARRY THE GHOST
I breathed my last under the cloak of night.
Gaunt as a grave, I laid there, so white.
Forever eyes rolled up in my head.
There’s no pain and there’s no red.

Can’t see my hands, I can’t feel the rain.
I walk through doors, and through moving trains.
My eyes are open. My heart is prepared.

I carry the ghost through this strange, strange land.
I carry the ghost through this strange, strange land.

Don’t make me walk this lonely, lonely earth.

Now I feel white silk on the breeze.
And something else floating throught the trees.

Ivory fingers move on skin.
The moon is ice and porcelain.
She’s soft and warm, and her prayers sneak up behind me.

I carry the ghost through this strange, strange land.
I carry the ghost through this strange, strange land.
I carry the ghost through this strange, strange land.
Track Name: Human Sea
HUMAN SEA
Moving through the busy square, I happened just to see him there.
A mild, little fish in suit and tie.
Wire rims and thinning hair. He didn’t seem to have a care,
Strolling with umbrella and a smile.

I watched the way he caught her eye. Asked politely for the time.
Took her hand and thanked her, so sincere.
She was swallowed by the throng. He watched her until she was gone.
If only he’d glanced up to see me here.

I have the same eyes. Just like his. So dead and black.
The same demon red that runs through me.
And those fingers, craving endlessly.
Reaching out for the human sea.

He stayed behind so carefully. Far enough so she didn’t see.
And I stayed several paces down from him.
I knew what he was waiting for; that electric moment where he’d catch her for an instant in the dim.

Finally she turned a corner. Instantly, he was upon her.
Covering her mouth before she screamed.
I put my blade up to his throat. Pulled back hard and watched it flow.
Tipped my hat to her and made my way back to human sea.

I have the same eyes. Just like his. So dead and black.
The same demon red that runs through me.
And those fingers, craving endlessly.
And those fingers, craving endlessly.
Reaching out for the human sea.
Track Name: Perfect Idiot
PERFECT IDIOT
I wanted to depend on her. But she let me down. Now I’m a fool.
She’s like that all the time. Laughing at this love of mine.
All my friends say she’ll destroy me in the end, I’ll see.

But I know she’s the only one, the only for me...

She won’t tell me where she goes.
She won’t tell me who she’s with.
We’ve never had a conversation.
There’s never been a goodnight kiss.
My mind used to be so healthy, now I’m on one knee

Still I know she’s the only one, the only for me...

I’ve made myself the perfect life. The perfect lie.
The perfect mess.
And it’s perfectly clear that I’m a perfect idiot, and I don’t care.
I’ll just keep on telling her, and someday she might see.

Cause I know she’s the only one, the only for me...

I know this probably won’t ever come to be.
That there’ll be the tiniest place in her life for me.

I remember way back when. Old history. Worlds apart
I left behind the green, green grass
for this ghost town in my heart.
Voices from that past say just run from all this misery...

But I know she’s the only one, the only for me...

I’ve made myself the perfect life. The perfect lie.
The perfect mess.
And it’s perfectly clear that I’m a perfect idiot, and I don’t care.
I’ll just keep on telling her, and someday she might see.

Cause I know she’s the only one, the only for me...
Cause I know she’s the only one, the only for me...
Track Name: Z
Z
I keep tapping at the keys though the screen is black.
My life, hanging by a thread with my time at hand.
I’ve destroyed her beauty. I just got what I need.
I was falling in love. I was out of control.
I knew she wouldn’t stay with me.
I didn’t go looking for trouble. I just sat back and it found me.
And I meant every word that came from my mouth
while she could only laugh at me.
And there’s no Command Z.

I could beg your forgiveness. Maybe get out of this thing alive.
Or just fall in fright at your feet. I’ll never give that much of me.

I’ve been a naughty, naughty boy. Guess I played too rough.
I’ve been lonely in my room. How I wanted love.
They came to see me this morning. I put ice in their hearts.
I am the prey now. I am the eaten.
I laughed into the camera’s eye.
Nothing to say about it. You know I couldn’t hurt a fly.
No words of wisdom, just mumbo jumbo,
the devil’s made a son of me.
And there’s no Command Z.

Oh, this life puts on the pressure. Now I feel the shape of things
Oh, I feel it through my body. How I wish that I had wings.

I keep tapping at the keys though the screen is black.
My life, hanging by a thread with my time at hand.
And there’s no Command.
Track Name: Luxury
LUXURY
Her room is warm. The world laps at her feet.
Except for the heels, she’s bare as she can be.
Skin like the moon. She protects memories.

In luxury.
In luxury.
In perfect light she’s found her place.

Excuse me, please. Another penthouse day.
Pardon, moi. On the Champs-Elysee.
Scusi, per favore. A Milano runway.

In Luxury.
In luxury.
In perfect light she’s found her place.

And the flashbulbs pop like the scene of a crime.
Individually wrapped for a limited time.

In black and white. Smiling into the lens.
Rings down to the desk. Evian and cigarettes.
Time marches on. And the page turns again.

In Luxury.
In luxury.
In perfect light she’s found her place.
In perfect light she’s found her place.

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