Paul Jacobsen And The Madison Arm

by Paul Jacobsen

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peaceofwildthings
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peaceofwildthings I lost/misplaced this CD (which I still prefer to use because I'm old), but today, as I drove into the canyon, I needed to hear the tragic, wrenching beauty of "Time" and its gorgeous harmonies and that banjo. Filled with refined songs that are exposed and vulnerable, it remains one of my favorite albums from the last decade. Favorite track: Time.
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about

".. a straight-ahead winner of an album, full of fine songs, including such highlights as the sad, majestic 'Time,' as well as 'The World Unkind' 'Stupid Little Things' and 'Anything Pecked to Death Will Die.' Drawing upon strong lyrics and gorgeous backup vocals...The Madison Arm has made an album deserving of a larger audience."
-Scott Murphy, Salt Lake Tribune

credits

released September 27, 2008

Engineered, produced, mixed by Scott Wiley @ June Audio in Provo, UT
Mastered by Gavin Lurssen @ Lurssen Mastering in Hollywood, CA
All songs written by Paul Jacobsen ©2008 Madison Arm Music except The World Unkind written by Paul Jacobsen/Ryan Tanner, Western Skies written by Paul Jacobsen/Dan Reneer, and Home written by Paul Jacobsen/Dustin Christensen.

Paul Jacobsen: songs, vocals, guitars, keyboards, harmonica, percussion
Scott Wiley: guitars, banjo, vocals, keyboards, bass, drum programming
Patrick Campbell: drums, percussion, broom
Ryan Tanner: pump organ, acoustic guitar, vocals, wurlitzer
Scott Johnson: piano, Hammond B3, wurlitzer, pump organ, battle cry on "Anything Pecked To Death Will Die"
Brian Hardy: piano, Hammond B3, vocals
Dustin Christensen: piano, keyboards, acoustic guitar, vocals
Marcus Bently: vocals
Dylan Schorer: bouzouki, pedal steel
George Brunt: bass, vocals
Dominic Moore: vocals, spoken word on "Like A Proper Noun"
Darin LeSueur: spoken word on "Like A Proper Noun"
Amy Gileadi: vocal on "You're The Song" and "You Were"
Aaron Anderson: drums on "Fearless"
Rory Carrera: drums on "The World Unkind"
Ryan Tilby: upright bass, vocal on "Time"
Fronck Mantegari: drums on "You Were", additional drums on "Western Skies"
John Hancock: horn arrangement on "Western Skies"
Reed LeCheminant: trumpets on "Western Skies"
Dan Reneer: keyboards, percussion on "You Were"
Sam Cardon: upright piano on "Anything Pecked To Death Will Die"
Becky Jean Williams: vocals on "Home"

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Paul Jacobsen Salt Lake City, Utah

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Track Name: Lung
The kidnappers said
Within a couple hours I'm dead
If nobody pays the ransom.
So of course I called you.
There's no one else I know who
would dare to slip in through the transom.

You say you love when your heart is missed
Melodramatically like this.
And the situation worsens,
But if you came here in person,
They say they'll let me go.

I lied.
It was worth a try.
Oh, I just called to feel your heart, that's all.
'Cause I miss you.
I always do.
Nearly to death, like a lung misses a breath.

My doctor said
I shouldn't even try to leave my bed.
I'm as grave as a cemetery.
He says my only hope
is for you to come home tonight;
He says I might

Survive,
Stay alive,
Not be so sick of watching watches tick.
'Cause I miss you.
I always do.
Nearly to death, like a lung misses a breath.
I miss you to death.
Like a lung misses a breath.
Track Name: Time
Well, I left a kind of innocence that couldn't tag along,
Left her like a burning cross on someone's mother's lawn.
Shifting up to second gear, I try hard not to look
At shadows in the rearview, burning like a pile of banned books

'Cause that smoke can blind you.
Trouble still finds you.
You just might curse your eyes,
But time will let you see all the misery that you start.

I was wishing I could bury every history book in flames,
Every almanac in the ocean, every whisper round my name.
I've been building a tall coffin, toppling redwoods for the frame,
Hinging it with fear and the rusty nails of blame

And when the night comes
With those city sirens
Howling at red light moons,
Time will let you see all the tragedies in your heart.
But time won't let you see your fine tapestry fall apart.

And every passing year is just a deeper shade of grey.
And the kid in all the polaroids slowly fades away.

I miss Ruth's Diner.
My Radio Flyer.
When eyes were brighter than now.
There's no skywriter here,
No story spider to spell it out for me.

And time will let you see all the treachery in its heart.
But time won't let you see all the dignity in your heart.
Track Name: Like A Proper Noun
Haven't you already stepped past
the lines you never drew?
Now all the limits you never set
are laughing back at you.
You're saying things that you'd never say
if you could stop your mouth
from running off and on all about
the shards you're spitting,
so unwittingly.
You're kidding, but even you don't get the joke.

Or see all the damage you've done,
wielding your mouth like a gun.
With an overlubed id and a tongue that needs brakes,
I bet it really aches in the morning, in the morning.

Spitting out your lowdown
Like a proper noun.
On your misery-go-round,
dizzy people drown.

What a little indie rock miss,
slip-on checkered vans,
dropping such a nonchalant list
of your favorite bands–
Sleater-Kinney, David Bowie,
Some band from Sweden
and The Cars.

You donate your guts to the bath.
You never were too hot at math.
You fall asleep in your fabulous dress
and your makeup makes the pillows a mess
in the morning.

Spitting out your lowdown
Like a proper noun.
On your misery-go-round,
dizzy people drown.

If you wanna go now, I can show you how.
On your misery-go-round, dizzy people drown like a proper noun.
Track Name: Stupid Little Things
I heard the greatest joke,
laughed so hard I nearly choked.
Just thinking about the punchline,
Man, it gets me every time.

I heard this great new band
from Chicago or from Switzerland.
They've got melody and soul
and they're gonna save rock 'n roll.

All these stupid things
Seem to lose their wings
When there's no one to talk to
Like you.

I wrote this brand new song.
Someday maybe you'll sing along.
The bridge? Well, it ain't quite done.
But I feel it riding shotgun.

All these stupid things
Seem to lose their wings
When there's no one to talk to

Like when I'm covered in ice
Reasons, excuses, useless pride.
You play salt and sun,
melt every last one
'til I'm standing
in puddles of stupid little things.

They're just stupid little things
when there's someone.

All these stupid things
Seem to lose their wings
when there's no one to talk to
like you.
Track Name: You're The Song
Please
Forgive my shaky knees,
Warm my cold, cold feet
Or just ignore them

Please
Chase me when I run
Towards the broken sun.
And when I jump the gun,
don't shrink.
Wait.
Don't blink.

Every day rewinds.
Everything reminds me
You're the song I can't keep out of my mind.

Notes
Creeping from my throat.
Not sure I ever wrote
A song as sad or sweet as you,
Fine and true.

Every day rewinds.
Everything reminds me
You're the song I can't keep out of my mind.

And I belt you like a carol, loud,
The kind you sing the whole year round,
A tune I've known forever now
And never wanna live without.

Every day rewinds.
Everything reminds me
You're the song I can't keep out of my mind.
Can't keep out of my mind.
Track Name: Fearless Johnny Tapias
I don’t wanna go out there tonight
I don’t even know why
Never been one to duck from a fight
Fists are nothing when you’ve already died, a few times,
The threat of death can lose its bite

With every punch I kill the pain
Of when life ripped my mom away.
And every punch I pull
Is for her, she was beautiful
And every round’s a piece of that day

CHORUS
Hook and a jab, bruise and scab
Crimson and anger flow fierce through my veins
You know I can Drop any man
It’s just the demons that keep me awake
I thought I was fearless
But I’m not

Don’t got nothing to prove here tonight
There ain’t no belt on the line
I’m just swinging to stave off the night
Maybe win or maybe just buy some time to try to live
Before they kill the lights

Tape my hands and take a breath (falling, scarring red)
Kneel at the hands and feet of death (voices in my head)
Shake off the needle chill
Wash it down with a pill
Sink to the tile, soaked in guilt and sweat

CHORUS

I don’t know the last time I felt peace in my weary heart
Mama, you left holes so big I’ve felt like an empty shopping cart
Lost and waiting and wanting so badly to be found
Track Name: The World Unkind
Oh, my laws.
Life is such a wretched, reckless albatross
Round your neck,
swinging like an anvil chandelier

And you’re spinning straw
from mines and mines of gold
Who knew you could make
poverty out of that prosperity?

Wait until your heart is broken,
Wait until your baby’s choking
Then you’ll know you know the world unkind.

Black on black,
funeral procession down the block and back
To mourn the loss
of every shooting star you never saw.

Maybe one day you will lay them in their plot,
But the procession never stops.

Wait until your heart is broken,
Wait until your baby’s choking
Then you’ll know you know the world unkind.

So cuff that wrist to St. Sebastian
[and shudder just a little bit]
To watch the sun eclipsed by arrows falling.
The Saint is calling,
But you won’t step away

Wait until your heart is broken,
Wait until your baby’s choking
Then you’ll know you know the world unkind.

Wait until your heartbeat breaks,
Wait until your whole soul aches,
‘Til you suffer and nobody minds
Then you’ll know you know the world unkind.
Track Name: Western Skies
In the sun,
Everybody feels alright,
Everybody sees the light.
My skin melts to bones.

By the stars,
Everybody knows the night,
Everybody sleeps so tight,
Sandman’s throwing stones.

But I could use some western skies tonight
To help me feel alright
Not so alone.

In New York,
Everyone’s a burning sun,
The only one who gets things done.
I’m stuck underground.

But I could use some western skies tonight
To help me feel alright
Not so alone.
'Cause I know all about the western skies
And how they’ll burn your eyes
Just with the dawn.

If it’s a case of grass is greener,
Pennies drowned by fountain dreamers,
Or just some wasted discontent
Someday you’re gonna wake up,
wonder where your good times went.

I could use some western skies tonight
To help me feel alright
Not so alone.
'Cause I know all about the western skies
And how they’ll burn your eyes
Just with the dawn.

Someday you're gonna wake up.
Track Name: You Were
Dressed up like the King,
New York Halloween.
I could barely see your face,
hardly even note a trace.

A couple months would pass,
snowfall melt to grass.
Finally I’d see you again,
wrapped around your new boyfriend

Baby, if you wanna then I think you oughta
Just let him float on down that stream.
I don’t know how to put picture to sound,
But I know you’ve got all that I need.

How I wish that you were my baby.

The yellow line uptown
used to bring me down.
Mighty how some things just change.
Blue sky wipes your mind of rain.

I’ve got this heart that has spent a good part
of its life in motels all alone,
Crashing on couches and cashing in vouchers,
just dying for a place to call home.

How I wish that you were my baby.

If you left today
Don’t know what I’d say
I would probably light my heart on fire cause
My world spun so scattered, still,
I know nothing mattered until
you were my baby.

And I could not let go
'Cause you might never know.
Track Name: Anything Pecked To Death Will Die
Frank faked his wings, passed the bar and bad checks-
A genius thief with a Peter Hood complex.
He deadheaded across the country, round the world, round the law.
He hung paper like pictures, sucked the world like a straw.

With faith in the misquotes of W.C. Fields.
Life fast and large like an aeroplane wheel.
But I guess you run out of suckers when you’re reaching for the sky.

And anything pecked to death will die.

Bucky Dent, Bill Buckner, Boone, and The Babe-
The “b” in Beantown might as well mean bridesmaid.
A curse is a curse is a curse is a curse.
But those pinstripe parades dig the scar that much worse.

“No, No, Nanette” to a 0-3 wreck.
Cue “Enter Sandman,” Big Papi’s on deck
And as Babe Ruth rolled in his grave even he realized

Anything pecked to death will die.

My love for you is strong. It is live. It is stout.
And it’s got enough fire to put the great ocean out.
It ain’t simple, ain’t perfect, but it’s true and it’s right.
Your love’s a flashlight, a flash flood, a floodlight.

Some people feel conned and some people feel cursed
I feel like I got a river in a world of thirst
I don’t understand it and I’m not so naïve to try.
No, I’ll never understand love and I’m not about to try

Anything pecked to death will die.
Track Name: Home
At first it’s like a fairy tale–
Confetti, stars, and wishing wells.
Pretty soon it’s like a firesale and everything burns.
And everytime it sucks me in,
Convinces me that I can win.
Pretty soon I’m begging back again for another turn.

And I could believe it’s wasted time,
Cashing in all my dollars, dimes.

Calm, sweet.
You warm my heart and my cold feet.
I may never have to roam.
Now I’m home.

I get nervous, detonate, scalpel out to separate,
Sever everything I hate about myself.
I reap the whirlwind, sow a breeze,
Fill my head with eulogies,
I’m throwing back a world of remedies
and none of ‘em help

And I could believe in symbols, signs
Or I could just leave those things behind

Calm, sweet.
You warm my heart and my cold feet.
I may never have to roam.

When I was younger,
even last year,
I never once thought
that I’d ever find somebody so...

Calm, sweet,
you warm my heart and my cold feet.
I may never have to roam.
Now I’m
home.
Track Name: At That Day
At that day
When buildings bend,
Heave like a chest,
And people get dressed
And everything ends

And colored stripes
Paint tv sets
On every street,
And slowly we’ll see
This time it’s no test.

But until that day how the devils play,
How they think they run the place
In their cardboard crowns, raining acid down,
wearing holes into the souls of all below.

Overnight,
When all are healed–
The eyes the weep,
The broken down feet,
The hands that must steal.

And they’re singing upstairs.
And it’s a perfect sound.
The only thing close
Is "God Only Knows"
When they sing in a round.

But until that day how the devils play,
How they think they run the place,
Shove us into thoughts maybe we are not
Something bigger than the sum of all our sins

The circus tents,
flat, billowed down.
Feet and trunks beat
Down 34th Street
To the trains homeward bound.

Oh, until that day how the devils play,
How they think they run the place.
But the bells will ring, ring out everything,
and we’ll never think to feel alone again.

Under tables, under doorframes
We’ll find what we’re looking for
At that day.