l o n g

by John Bellows

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1.
06:12
Trading war stories with the adversary That invites you in her home We both give thanks to the feast we're sharing And the life that it cost for us Wine stained lips slur a string of confessions Like beads of blood that refuse to clot Applying pressure till the point all of the feeling stops You sleep in the room with the apparition Eternally doomed to tentalize As she walks through walls so effortlessly You undress her with your eyes And lost in the clutter of guilty pleasures Your mind and body dissolve Into the tick tick boom of a time bombs sweeping clock Frozen in the glaze of eyes too many You seek your warmth and your sanctuary With the first one who would serve And then crept from your bed into the crack of morning No memory of no word of warning Just your footprints in the snow You stick to your guns through the dead of winter And despite how far you've come The seeds of contempt still rise above you On the wings of your bastard son Hordes of flies and hungry vermin Survive on the pulp that rots A million mouths to feed on the fruit that you once dropped Amongst the big round nubs of all the people that pissed you off Performing feats so death defying To overcompensate for their attention trying To politely step away Until one by one they all left you waving From the sandy dune beneath the seasons changing You were much too young to go
2.
Like a shot in the dark through the still of night Into the heart of a matter we just can't hide Whispering throught the hours of the country side That we're completely lost in The shape takes hold but can't conform To your feminine curves that bend towards My terrified body stiff as a board Like a dead man walking And I'll keep trying to fold my arms forever But then all I'll ever do is just sit and wait For a fool like you Too often lost in abandoned lots trying to find a love escaped But I'll just patronize the need So as not to fall too far towards grief Abuse these makeshift eyes to please A fool like you Crazy enough for me I stare from a chair at the bed you've made The walls lean close but can't engage With my thoughts scattered all across the human race Until I beg your pardon So bless this mess that I can't console Trying to lead it along with a ten foot pole A darling little anecdote pigeonhole That my big head's caught in And I'll keep trying to fold my arms forever But then all I'll ever do is just sit and wait For a fool like you Too often lost in abandoned lots trying to find a love escaped But I can't rightfully receive This holy moment I can't complete Lift it up to the faceless sky to free A fool like you Crazy enough for me
3.
My foot is in it's not the door it's piss and pouring Flight’s decent pressed to the floor its spinal cord tail Drags us down our lips are sealed our gauze is frayed Afraid to stake mistake in maze it's all made up and it's real but lost Nevermore times maybe more times maybe more it’s Meaningful just afterwards dead silence heard that this Driver’s wheel keeps spinning 'round until an equal and opposite reaction sounds through this Peaceful drawl collects in balls that grow in size make mountainsides and Everything is made up of change your mind I’ve changed my mind and Everyone is wearing the same disguise friend or foe the same big sky where Freedom flops with gasping breaths with punctured chest these Blessed dressings size the sore what’s wise is tame it’s treated for let’s Synchronize our battle cry as alibis this Tallied score reveals a man a single man superior whose reasons why worth fighting for but Everything comes back to refrain the same the same last time when Everyone’s renumbered and arranged in lines the straightest lines
4.
03:41
The burden you bear is the fruit you share with the broken-hearted soul That's strapped to your back you follow in the tracks that have led you there before And hell in a handbasket makes for quite a heavy load Desire's fire consumes you there down on the aimless road The righteous and the wicked will walk with you by your side All victims of circumstance when the moment passed them by And now their idle hands will finally reach with no one there to hold Stretched into the horizon down on the aimless road You've leaped every hurdle a thousand times inside your mind A thousand different ways a thousand reasons it was right But when your feet start really moving which way will they go Will they step up to destiny or down on the aimless road A stroke of luck will step right up and then pull you aside As a fool for love this blessed curse accept it or deny it And it'll twist your arm 'till it falls off but you just can't let it go You're totally set inside your ways down on the aimless road Your stubborness will argue tactfully that it was right As not a matter of courage but retreating from a fight And now there's nothing that can cut too deep 'cause you're made of solid stone No one can hurt you but yourself down on the aimless road All of these adventures are abandoned without a trace to place your trust 'Cause who'll wait for a coward forever just to eat his dust And I guess nothing is so cut and dry that a story can't be told But no one cares to lend their ears down on the aimless road If this world would just stop spinning long enough for me to try To redeem myself as a worthy man beneath your private eyes But instead I seek to hide my tears where the lonely lovers go Free to roam in solitude down on the aimless road But I'd trade all these wondering years just for another chance To extend my joy and gratitude when you offered me your hand Yeah we could've gone where the grass was greener and built ourselves a home And tried our lives to each other's eyes at the end of the aimless road
5.
04:01
Over stimulating Reaching out to just pull back in Arrest my words inside a smile that holds them still At least enough to completely kill Any sudden rash of inspiration That tries to lift me up where you left off Differentiating from what’s said is done Squinting at the hint of a white lie until it's gone A checkered floor an encroaching crack Bending over backwards just to brace yourself for it What’s in store is nothing more than all that you anticipated So go blow it off to incinerate it and when all of the smoke is cleared You can feast your eyes towards open skies and breathing in All of those tears have got you so bloodshot you just can’t pretend To glorify this plot willfully baited That’s relaxed inside of a rope so taut A peaceful sigh will always try and give me more When resistance is the only thing that I can’t ask for A checkered floor an encroaching crack Bending over backwards just to brace yourself for it What’s in store is nothing more than all that you anticipated
6.
08:47
Tick tock grandfather clock big hands on his face are winding And I’m hiding in a place where nobody can find me Oh my god Oh my god Sit still he’s here dad’s mad and mom is crying He’s a stubborn old man but she knows that he’s trying Oh my god Oh my god These scenes between four walls ever expanding out Your fingernails pinch at the needle in yr pocket Still ill conceived you scratch and bleed in your make believe As if the light of your life had come out of it’s closet It sounds it screams devours your dreams so violent And then planting it’s kiss onto the pillow you lie on Oh my god Oh my god Distilled in white a transparent garment’s binding you All of the celibate elders never cease to remind you Their beading eyes insatiated for a piece of mind And they’d whore their whole life away just to hound you Message loud and clear and floating around from ear to ear And as the sidewalk pulls away they pass you by and you’re screaming Oh my god Oh my god You bite your tongue for the sake of being reminded That they convinced us into thinking that the battle was lost That our best interest was to all play dumb and we did And I felt you fall when you were in such a state you couldn’t feel at all Held hostage by the silent majority around you We were left behind by the great big minds that think alike And now we count our blessings in the loneliest of numbers Retrieved revived then revealed in all its splendor And then shot down dead with both its arms held up in surrender Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god
7.
Pulled by the trance of the river’s deceit Your eyes are wide open when you crash on the rocks And in a glimpse of your reflection you wake from a dream To a place where time never stops To a place where time never stops The comedian has the power to laugh at himself To bust his own gut till all dignity is lost And the audience just fell silent as he crawled off the stage And he just died there while everyone watched He just died there while everyone watched Riding the contour of the meaning within But the story of your life is much bigger than yourself With each rude awakening it crawls through your skin And jumps off like a book on a shelf It jumps off like a book on a shelf These dominoes are stacked and set neat in a row Like the vanishing point to a cemetery street The name of this game is to be overthrown A direct route to your ultimate defeat A direct route to your ultimate defeat These generous portions have made me grow ill And I’ve worn out my welcome to a belligerent plea That hopes that you want to invite me to stay When there’s nothing left to do but to leave When there’s nothing left to do but to leave When there’s nothing left to do but to leave

about

l o n g is the first John Bellows collection since the high-flying long-player Fast Hits, and the release presents an about-face in tone, mood, and composition for the songwriter. Ditching the light-heartedness of previous efforts, the songs of l o n g are conversely solemn, careful, and methodic, while also displaying the sort of playfully haphazard style that makes Bellows such a charm and an uncommonly pleasant listen. The content here highlights the struggles of a certain generation - the 25-35'ers finding themselves within the turmoil of having no real clue what they're doing, who they're doing it with, or why, circling themes of love, relationships, dreams, desires, drives, all through measured metaphor. Some of the songs have an almost battle-march vibe to them, an anguish that is assured and confident, yet misguided, maybe even a little misdirected. Musically, Bellows is also at his most-daring in terms of composition -- the assertive lyrical challenges goading the songs into surprisingly complex developments with thoughtful arrangements of drums, cello, and guitar that emphasize his poetry's sweeping grandeur. More than an album or a collection of songs, l o n g is also a state of mind and a place to find yourself if you're feeling a little lost.

The guitar and vox of the first 5 songs were recorded via 8 track cassette in a random vacated Chicago apartment summer 2013. The drums, bass, and cello of the final 2 songs were recorded via computer with a band at a proper studio fall 2013. I then moved from Chicago to San Juan Island in the Pacific NW. The past year I've recorded the rest of the instruments using the 8 track (now 7 track) in all sorts of temporary living spaces.

credits

released January 15, 2016

Cassette released by Planted Tapes!
plantedtapes.blogspot.com

Music video for River's Deceit by Sara Condo
vimeo.com/153649242

Track 1 cello by Sasha Von Dassow
Track 6, 7 recorded by Brian Sulpizio/John Bellows
Track 6, 7 drums by Marc Riordan, bass by John Paul Glover, cello by Joseph Starita
Mastered by Nicholas Wilbur at The Anacortes Unknown

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John Bellows Washington

John Bellows is a singer songwriter and home recorder from small town Kentucky, schooled in Chicago, and now back to the land in rural Washington.

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