Dust Jacket

by Joel P West

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released September 28, 2008

All songs written and arranged by Joel P West
Violin parts written by Joel P West and Kelly Bennett
3, 5, and 6 developed with Donovan Funkey, Kenny Laubbacher, and Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett played violin
Sam Shrader played violin on 2 & 10
Kelsey Smith played Drums
Tim Denny played Percussion
Mackenzie West sang
Karli Fairbanks sang
Dan Friesen played upright bass
Jon Congdon played cello
Jon Titterington played piano and trumpet
Rebecca Alburn played piano on 2
Carrie Sluiter played flute on 2
Eric Nordby played banjo on 8
Trevor Spangle ripped paper on 5

Recorded in July 2008 by Kelsey Smith at Downbeat Sounds / Vancouver, WA
Mixed by Tim Denny at Downbeat Sounds except 1 and 3 mixed by Kelsey Smith
Mastered by Troy Glessner at Spectre Studio / Seattle, WA



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Joel P West San Diego, California

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Track Name: 28th & NE Davis
I stood under a yellow stoplight
25th and C
On my right was a pink desert moonrise
On the other was a cold blue sea
Neither one could have made much change inside me
Either way my eyes looked tired and lonely

I waited on an empty doorstep
On the 21st at sunset
I felt around the dirty cement
For any pieces of any old sentiment
The city roar rambled on and on
And so I stood sadly sipping on a soft song

Open up cause my hands are freezing
And I’m not sure what I believe in
I stood here two years ago
It looked nothing like this before

I woke up in a lonely basement
28th and NE Davis
I woke up as a black silhouette
Just a shadow and I’m not proud of that
I have shelves of other people’s words
I left myself somewhere in between the bold ones
Track Name: Paper Boats
So I’m leaving here to be alone, to be unknown
Cause when the evening clouds are low the restless city makes the whole sky glow
I pull my curtains tight to block out the light
I can feel the night watching me write
Watching my wandering eyes fight sleep

I’ve tried to see my bones at home, but they won’t show
So I figured I could find myself with a thumb out to the cold ring road
With topographic maps with home on my back
Now I’m stuck in tourist traps, following tracks
In someone else’s past
I boast
And fold my hope
In paper boats

Then I float back to my doubts
My faults they follow me around the same a year ago as they are now

I’ve tired myself to find someplace to hide
But when I’m out of sight, I’m out of my mind

Finally alone and
Sinking slow
In paper boats
Track Name: Blue And Grey
Don't follow please
Cause I wander aimlessly toward the lights of the city
The heat of the buildings, the sound of the sea

And the seabirds see me
And they can see three hundred thousand surrounding me
Making an island of my tongue and my bare feet

The hummingbird hides in the orange tree
While the raven is shouting his plea
And we watch from our window for someone to lead
But they're never quite what we need

The night makes it clear
That I won't fool anyone here full of my foreign fear
In the dusk light hiding I wont disappear

Love drives out fear
But fear steals from love and my scared heart has taken so much
That my arms can't hold up the weight

So there are tired dark trees that surround me
And they’re growing the loneliest things
I lay in between them and try and find sleep
But the roots come up from underneath

I hide in the black earth
I hide in the seed
I hide in my sunburn
I hide incomplete

Our dreams dig deep in a rainbow
But we clothe ourselves in blue and gray
They say it's shame that is keeping us safe
But it's shame that keeps us locked away
Track Name: What's Supposed To Be
I missed the six o'clock
So I watched the city wake from the one hundred block
While a man preached to the pigeons about why the war is wrong

When the next train came I left
And then I found a seat that faced the great Los Angeles
The motion calms my eyes and draws my sight out toward the west

Where I see the tall palm trees
Planted there to make the coast what it’s supposed to be
But California hides her dry skin under covers of old magazines
Don’t believe her
She will bury you alive in shame if you let her
Underneath crowds

I see children in the waves
They run into them then they turn their backs and run away
They stretch their milky skin out in the ripened summer rays

But I sleep all afternoon
There are Greco-Roman statues in my living room
And I wash but there are spots left on the glasses we don’t use
Regret slips round my neck
Then it scratches and it pulls me into a circle
Drawn on top of us with a compass

Every time I sleep icons hang over my bed so
Every time I speak I expect a new paragraph
I see myself in these photographs
With soft washed light and I am always smiling
Track Name: Pinhole
I'll be damned if the fire can get me
I am hiding under a holy prophecy

I have a wet coat, I have a loose tooth
I have a white wall, I have a bright red roof
And a steeple pointing up to a higher truth

I drove west with a girl who's missing all the same things
Out in a cold sea breeze we flee

She has some black dogs, she has a red car
We saw some green light between the northern stars
And we paused unconscious of who we are

Inside our minds there is light from all sides

We will wait for a place to discover our thoughts
Until our hearts become overdue

I have a stiff chair, I have a clean spoon
I have a wood floor inside a borrowed room
And across the sea there is nothing new

Don't tell me that a building is capable
Of holding all of the time that forms our bones

Home is an old song, home is a palm stroke
I am a pinhole, I let the light in slow
We glow with whatever we’ve ever known

Inside our minds there is light from all sides
Track Name: The Hard Truth
I write these words but you, you’ll never read them
I sing these songs but you, you’ll never hear them
Sometimes I lie, but you, you don’t believe me
I know that you know that I, I speak way too easy

When the wind was where we were we turned

In my own home I hide embarrassing pictures
I keep my lights so low I don’t see the textures

When the when was where we were we turned

We know that time don’t make us men
We wish we knew where to begin
All the light competes to catch our eyes

When the wind was where we were we turned

I watched a man lie to both of his children
We pay a price to find our satisfaction
Track Name: Pine Marten
Lovely flakes are floating in the cold between the homes of people I don’t know
I pull up my coat
And head inside alone

From my window I can see the geese; they’re pulling weeds between the wet reeds
The river fills
Their beaks with what they need

My hands are stained with blood and when I try to scrub them my dry skin breaks open
And bleeds
All over me and my trembling body

Oh my God they’re sleeping in the street because I wont give up my luxuries
Who could say no
To opportunity
Track Name: Bark And Feathers
The sun is drawing lines in the morning
All through the dust that floats in between
The rooms of every house I have lived in
The gold light lets me see
There are no leaves left up in the aspens
And every sail is tied to a mast
The winter wind has nothing to boast with
The lakeshore laps so silent
That we hear our breath when we’re walking
We can feel our noses turn red
In shallow water we see reflections
The January sunset turns
The ripples pink on their faces
But on their backs they’re painted in black
I see both sides from here I can taste them
Rich and full with what I have and what I lack

The sun comes carefully with the morning
The forest floor waits patient for light
It will expose the bones without warning
They were covered up all night with snow
That’s melting down from the long boughs
The fingers of the pines are relieved
The branches bend back where they belong now
They have stretched but they’re not worried
Every tree has wounds from the winter
We shed old needles under our feet
Nobody ever judges a victim
So our warm breath scribbles
Secrets in the frosty air that surrounds us
They whisper white and then disappear
Against the lights of luxury houses
Honest words throw sparks at fear but blows it out as soon as fire shows so

Don’t you blush, manzanita
The cold exposure will free us
Let’s peel our bark off together
And dress our wounds with the feathers
That fall from each other
Track Name: We Sleep On The Porch
Fences claim they can separate the ownership of landscape
The street lights shine and the sprinklers run all night
Behind suburban walls and tall gates

But a breeze decides if seeds will bloom or die, or scatter out and multiply
When rain comes through to tap dance on my roof
I’m stuck but I am satisfied to stay in

Oh river we are grieving
We’ve lost surprise here
Our fruits are out of season
We sell them all year
We flee from fear

The days grow long and sunshine is our song, the hot light makes our skin tight
The house stays warm so we sleep on the porch
And hope the stars will stay in our eyes through winter

Oh river come and take me
And make my eyes new
I’m tired of resisting
I’ve tried to bend you
We’re afraid to see the blue lines
Lead to the blue sea
Cause we spend all of our time
Trying to be something more than something

There were fireflies in Brooke’s backyard that night
We fought the hot July in Brooklyn with white wine
And to think that I’ve been spending all my time
Believing I decide what falls before my eyes
All we’re after anymore is safe control
But we have to trade our wonder for it we grow cold
Oh river wash me deep down to the sea and let it wash me over
Track Name: Hymn For A Missing Forest
The desert is lush
It’s raining here
In California

The earth’s brittle crust
Is dressed in green
Southwestern flora

I suppose that what grows
Has always been there
Underneath us

I’m bound up inside
The skylight taps
A dripping heartbeat

And up to my right
There’s a light
And it reminds me

We have to adjust
The earth is moving
All around us

Our flesh is made up
Of cell and atom
That came before us

Don’t hold me to damage I have done here
Or words I’ve said this past year; I have changed, dear.

The cascades call me
I smell the green
I hear the whisper

Of Douglas fir trees
His ash is scattered
In between them

Anymore all I know
To refer to
Are the forests

Now even those
They are clearcuts
They are meadows

I just now saw the wildflowers