Press info: Disappearing Ink, “There is No Time and Nothing’s Been”

Cover art (hi-res version):

hirescover

Cover art (lo-res version):

DisappearingInkCover

 

Band photo (click to download hi-res version):

disinkbandphotohires

 

 

 

 

Disappearing InkThere Is No Time and Nothing’s Been

Release Date: 12/8/2014
Release Show: 12/11/2014, Windup Space, Baltimore, with Mink Hollow, Chris Pumphrey Sextet
Contact: Lawrence Lanahan, 410-375-6350, lawrencelanahan@gmail.com
Advance press copy: https://soundcloud.com/disappearingink/sets/disappearing-ink-album-preview/s-sZE7B
One-sheetDisappearingInkPressRelease
More: Twitter @disink, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Disappearing-Ink/165753710142129

There Is No Time and Nothing’s Been is an album of characters who can’t find their place and sometimes engage in magical thinking trying to find it, including 12th century lovers Abelard and Heloise (“Pere Lachaise”), 19th century Peruvian military hero Pedro Ruiz Gallo (“Watchmaker”), and a Wall Street high roller just before the 2008 crash (“Lindbergh Blues”).

It’s the second album from songwriter Lawrence Lanahan, and his first in ten years. Critics singled out his self-titled 2004 EP of folky first-person ballads for “lyrical invention,” “Buckley-esque vocals,” and “intricate finger-picked melodies of a country-blues flavor.” There Is No Time and Nothing’s Been sounds nothing like it. The lyrics are more opaque, the vocals are more restrained, and the music mixes jazz harmony with feedback-laden guitar and 80s/90s college-rock rhythms.

All of the musicians on the album are from Baltimore. Disappearing Ink’s drummer is Bob Wagner, an experimental improvisation veteran and frequent collaborator with Jason Willett (Megaphone Record, Half Japanese). Bassist Joe Tropea, who co-directed the documentary Hit and Stay with Skizz Cyzyk, played with guitar-pop masters The Jennifers. Violinist Blair Skinner, cellist Peter Kibbe, and jazz saxophonists John Dierker and Chris Pumphrey appear on the record.

Lawrence Lanahan is 39 and lives with his wife and young son in Baltimore. He played with jazz-rock band Juicebox in the early 2000s, and with country band Oella in the early 2010s. He studied jazz with Carl Filipiak and composition with Judah Adashi.

Lanahan is also a freelance journalist; he has reported for Al Jazeera America, NPR’s Morning Edition, and Columbia Journalism Review. He spent four years at Baltimore public radio station WYPR, where he created “The Lines Between Us,” a duPont Award-winning multimedia series about regional inequality.

The album comes out Monday, December 8, 2014, with a release show at Baltimore’s The Windup Space on Thursday, December 11. An advance press copy is available at https://soundcloud.com/disappearingink/sets/disappearing-ink-album-preview/s-sZE7B. The 2004 EP is available at www.cdbaby.com/llanahan.

You can reach Lawrence Lanahan at 410-375-6350 or lawrencelanahan@gmail.com.

SOME NOTES FROM LAWRENCE ON THE ALBUM:

I put my first album out in 2004. This is my second album. In between I left Baltimore for Paris, ditched a career in education research to become a freelance journalist, spent three years in New York, lived in a tiny Colorado mountain town, moved back to Baltimore, got married, became a father, played in a country band, and produced a year-long public radio series about inequality. I recorded a compete demo of this album using Reason software in 2010. Four years later, after finding some players, rehearsing, and hitting the studio, it’s finally ready to go.

One day, long after I released the 2004 EP, it dawned on me that all the songs were essentially first person ballads with very straightforward storytelling. I wrote them before I really knew I wanted to be a reporter or writer. The lyrics on these new songs are less penetrable; I must be getting the straightforward stuff out of my system through journalism.

Some of these songs are very old. One I recorded on four-track in 2002 and arranged for horns in 2004. On one song, I wrote the first verse in 2003 and the second and third verses in 2011. The melody of another song I plucked from a guitar solo on a 1996 four-track recording. Some of these songs were supposed to go on my first record, but I wasn’t able to pull together the players. (That album wasn’t supposed to sound folky—or be an EP—but with mostly just me and my guitar and a little budget, that’s what happened.)

For years I’ve been trying to find a way to bring together two kinds of music that don’t fit neatly: tight pop songwriting and free improvisation. Along the way I stumbled into classical composition. On this album are musicians from all three worlds. Joe Tropea is the former bassist of my favorite Baltimore band, guitar-pop icons The Jennifers. Drummer Bob Wagner has made some outrageous music with Jason Willett and at High Zero and the Red Room, both centers of experimental improvisation. Saxophonists Chris Pumphrey and John Dierker play in many styles of jazz and improvisation. (Pumphrey is the main cat wrangler for the 23-member Baltimore Afrobeat Society.) I met Blair Skinner (violin, viola) and Peter Kibbe (cello) for the first time at the recording session and was amazed by their ability to put such feeling into their playing on short notice.

“Cowbear and the Punisher”: I wrote this as a solo guitar piece for the wedding of two dear friends. I rearranged it for this album as a violin and cello duet with some assistance from composer and Peabody Institute faculty member Judah Adashi.

“Pere Lachaise”: My older cousin John Furst turned me on to a lot of music, but it’s his own music that left an imprint on this album. In the 2000s, John made record after record of soundtrack-worthy piano and synthesizer pieces. They’d arrive by mail, on CD-R, out of the blue, in the mailboxes of friends and family. One time he sent individual songs to nearly 20 people, asking that they name the song and do more if they like. Then he sent out the album with all the titles he’d received. Someone had named one of his songs “Pere Lachaise.” I loved the tune. For There Is No Time and Nothing’s Been, I added lyrics—including some direct quotes from the letters of Peter Abelard, the famously emasculated philosopher and thwarted lover of Heloise—and arranged it for guitar. With contributions from the 12th and 21st centuries, it’s my favorite piece on the album.

“Window in My Heart” riffs directly off of Bob Dylan and Paul Simon lyrics.

“Watchmaker” is the tragic story of Pedro Ruiz Gallo, a 19th century Peruvian military hero. I wanted to write about someone who was good at making both watches and bombs—I can’t remember why now. My online research led me to Gallo. Everything online about him is in Spanish. My wife, Andrea Appleton, translated and helped me understand his story.

All songs were written by Lawrence Lanahan, except “Pere Lachaise,” with some lyrics from Peter Abelard and some music by John Furst.

LYRICS

A Window in My Heart

Look closely and see a window in my heart.
It betrays my smile and shows all the world
The empty room left there by you.
I tried everything to keep you there,
But someone let you out
While I was sleeping. They locked it up
And threw the key out behind you.
Now you see me only
Through a window in my heart.

Think twice babe about this window in my heart.
Don’t look too closely at the many
Sparkling, enticing snares left there for you.
I’ll try anything to get you there.
But not for long, at least
Not as long as I’d made you think.
Come with me, move along, and
Now you see me only
Through a window in my heart.

The curtains were drawn in this window in my heart.
I had ambitions, I dreamed dreams for one,
Never for two,
Then I met you.
You tried everything to meet me there.
And I said no to love.
You said no, too, then I dreamed a door.
You came back and you walked through, and
Now you see all the world
Through a window in my heart.

 

True

How can I know that the words you say are true?
They didn’t come from me, they came from you.
They are vessels of letters, sailing past, flying the
Flag of a foreign shore.
So how can I know that the words you say are true?

How can I know that the past you share is true?
I wasn’t there, it was you and only you.
When our memories fail us and tell us lies,
Is the truth behind any door?
How can I know that the past you share is true?

When I’m going slow,
Hold on to me.
When I’m letting go,
Let go of me.
I only want what never ends.
Light-hate love-weight, wait.
Wait for me!

How can I know that the love you give is true?
It didn’t come from me, it came from you.
When I know you complete me and forgive me all,
Is it wrong to ask for more?
How can I know that the love you give is true?

 

Turn

You, you are the pitch-bending sound of an ambulance siren fading away.
You are a postcard from South Africa,
The rumble of a southbound train,
A highway sign obscured by trees,
Tomorrow, in a moment, but never today.

And I, I am the wind that has blown everywhere and brings you its latest bouquet.
I am the wildflowers of Connemara,
The salt of the San Sebastian Bay,
The crystalline alpine snow,
The dancing smoke from a Chesterfield
Blowing your way.

You go one way, I’ll go the other
And if we stay on the straight and narrow
I’ll meet you on the
Other side of the world
Unless one of us turns at the sound of anything . . .
Of anything, anything
Anything, anything.

And we, we are the pedals on a bicycle that never meet but circle the same way.
We are letters posted Charing Cross,
The Grand Canal and Venice Beach,
The two statues of liberty,
The sun watching the moon as she steals the light from the day.

You go one way, I’ll go the other
And if we stay on the straight and narrow
I’ll meet you on the
Other side of the world
Unless one of us turns at the sound of anything . . .
Who will turn first?

 

Relief

Where can you find true rest,
Where the tide of your mind
Darts forth and rests its head
Gently upon the sand?

Oh, it could be days, it could be years
It could be more years,
So I’ll take relief whenever it comes,
Where I can find it.
I know what awaits on my last day
Before I slumber, so
Why would I rest now, while I’m alive,
When sleep awaits me?

For each night that you rest,
In the morning you are
Born unto yourself new,
And one morn you’ll rise no more.

Oh, it could be days, it could be years
It could be more years,
So I’ll take relief whenever it comes,
Where I can find it.

I know what awaits on my last day
Before I slumber, so
Why would I rest now, while I’m alive,
When sleep awaits me?
And while you sleep, you dream…

 

Watchmaker

People of Chachapoyas, I built this clock for you.
You made me feel so welcome here.
Behind its face are movements beautiful and true.
Now let me make its purpose clear.
The order in its golden hands
Has brought great wealth to many lands.
And if you let it rule your souls,
It will do such for you.

Watch out, watchmaker.

General Prado, I built this watch for you
For trusting me with this command.
And in its movements I see much else I can do
In protection of this band
Of brave and hardy men of arms
Who dare embrace the waiting harms.
I’ve given time to those I love.
My foes I’ll take it from.

Watch out, watchmaker.

Chilean sailors, I built this bomb for you.
It will swim to you from the shore.
You’ll never touch my trees or see my clock of gold.
You’ll rest at sea forevermore.
Your envy and your ignorance
We will engage with equal strength.
I studied shorebirds so the sky
Would know my anger, too.

Watch out, watchmaker.

 

Lindbergh Blues

There’s a reason why hero rhymes with zero
Mostly having to do
With this town.

Today the bull rode, and Augie Metzler came by.
Now my friends are in a pile.
They’re stopping the clock.
Forget the gremlins in the subway for now,
Their day will come, too.
Is that heartless?
Hey, you have to play the game
Before you win or lose.
I have a ton of flesh,
Of course I have an ounce for you.

El Dorado in reverse
El Dorado in reverse
It’s a blessing and a curse
El Dorado in reverse.

Follow the bear tracks to the other side,
Where no one stays a stranger long
When the spikes come out.
Truth or consequences, truth or dare,
Oopsy-daisy, devil-may-care
What’s shameless,
When a bird in the hand is worth a
Knife in the back?
You feel good about what you got?
I feel bad about what you lack.

El Dorado in reverse
El Dorado in reverse
It’s a blessing and a curse
El Dorado in reverse.

Put your one-piece on, baby.
We’re going down
To the shore.
Put your one-piece on, baby
But be careful you don’t drown, oh
Don’t drown, don’t drown, don’t drown.

Today the bear rode and Augie Metzler died.
It might take my friends a while:
They’ve forgotten how to be surprised.
His mama and his papa took the train to town.
They rode first class in a
Suit and a gown.
They’re both spotless.
There are people in this world
Who do nothing but choose.
Sing for me baby, sing me them Lindbergh blues.

El Dorado in reverse
El Dorado in reverse
It’s a blessing and a curse
El Dorado in reverse.

 

This is Where We Said Goodbye

This is where we said goodbye.
This is where you said, “The seasons change and so do I.”
And I said, “Where did you get that awful line?
And is it really time for you and I to say good-bye?”

This is where we said hello.
This is where I said, “Nice to meet you,” so long ago.
And you said, “Oh, we’ve met once before, you know.”
And I said, “Is that so?” This is where we said hello.

I tour these places every once in a while.
They seem so close together now that I’m so far away.
They used to be my whole world
And so were you. Oh! So were you
If what you said was true, was true,
If what you said was true.

And this is where we’ll meet again.
When we’ve said all we have
To say and sleep closes in,
Where our words are free and true, and there is no time,
And nothing’s been. This is where we’ll meet again.

 

Quod erat demonstrandum

Telling people what they want to hear
Is crying wolf when you disappear.

Different person to different people?
Take a step back: whack-a-mole, whack-a-mole.
Different people own different parts of you?You’re a condominium.
Q.E.D.
What’s the fee?
Condo fee?
Quand tu es libre?

Here is a rack for all of the hats you wear,
Here is a camera for your soul,
And this type of film should work anywhere.
I hope you can finish the roll.

I can’t let you leave without giving you a—
It’s not—I don’t—I do—I wish—I know—
I’ll doubt I’ll ever have—no I want some—
Seven o’clock I’ll meet you over at—
At. To. For.
Before. Because.
De da da da.

Here is a rack for all of the hats you wear,
Here is a camera for your soul,
And this type of film should work anywhere.
I hope you can finish the roll.

Are you in that place where everyone
Goes to be alone? Get it? Everyone
Goes there to be alone, look around.
Or is it too dark to see a foot in front of you?
Come out.
No one can make you come out.
I can’t make you come out.
Only you can make you come out,
So make you come out.
“Go out, me.”
Come out, you.

And here is a Madeleine for your memory
And here is a fountain pen for your heart
And here is a paintbrush for your poetry
And here is a garbage can for your artifice
And here is a picture frame for your honesty
And here is a passport for your pride
And here is a compass for your company
And now you got nowhere to hide

Et quand tu te montre a tout le monde
Alors, tu es libre, vraiment libre.
Et quand tu te montre a tout le monde
Alors, tu es libre, vraiment libre.

 

Pere Lachaise

“What wonder
That the saints do not always
Show themselves inspired.”
Yes we all watched Peter fall.
Fruitful
Doubts among believers,
Doubts that will protect us –
Search for your truth, let love be.
Let our love be.
Let your mistakes shine like the stars.
God loves the stars.

“This tyrant
of the mind triumphed
over all my wisdom.”
How vain it is to flee from love.
Hide love
And silence will speak it.
Build a wall of reason
Love paints a door and walks right through.
Let our love be.
Let your mistakes shine like the stars.

God loves the stars
And what is unseen.
Sins can please God.
My sin can’t be seen.
Your eyes are my stars.
God loves the stars
And what is unseen.
Sins can please God.
My sin can’t be seen.

“Mix my
Grief with yours” darling
Mix me a potion
So that we both will forget.
Pry me
From my God and help me
Find a ray of hope in
Love that is constant and dead.
Let our love be.
Let your mistakes shine like the stars.

God loves the stars
And what is unseen.
Sins can please God.
My sin can’t be seen.
Your eyes are my stars.
God loves the stars
And what is unseen.
Sins can please God.
My sin can’t be seen.
Your breath is my star.
God loves the stars
And what is unseen.
Sins can please God.
My sin can’t be seen.
Your love is my star.
God loves the stars
And what is unseen.
Sins can please God.
My sin can’t be seen.
My lust is my star.
My lust can’t be seen…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


%d bloggers like this: