Circle the Day
'Circle the Day' is the debut long-player from the Chicago based folk-rock-country-twee-pop band Consortium. Diverse in it's influences and sounds, the songs range from straight-forward Americana to lushly arranged pop. If you favor early REM, Neutral Milk Hotel and/or Belle and Sebastian, with a bit of alt-country (such as it is) thrown in, give it a listen. The words are: 1. My room has three clocks set fast and slow. Like love, I never know if it's past, present or future. Black boots in the corner that smell of smoke; their scuffed leather knows the burden of every step I take. Oh, I got tired of waiting there in vain. So I went to the station and took the Anywhere Train. A space heater softly groans, forging warmth into a space only friendly with one color of breath. Clothes piled unevenly and they look more substantial now - but still believing in happy endings. 2. I circle the day and spell your name (the foreboding odor of being away). I think out loud and sing your name (absent the shame of being proud). Blue sulks gray and I forget your name - tomorrow's blame boasts garishly today. Hail cascades indiscriminately through the distorted air in the candle's wake. French folk music drifts in from next door - just enough sound to hear the words and distill the meaning. I forget your name. 3. The aspiring poet stood in the station jet-lagged and wet. Embracing his new home like an old friend he'd just met. Wild-Eyed Mary's dog approved of his scent, so she told him to keep the music down and he gave her two month's rent. Wild-Eyed Mary drank her days away, madly mopping the hallway and screaming at Rocco to stay. The builders next-door would mock her crazy ways. 'F***ing builders,' she would scream at nobody down the lane. By the light on the windowsill, the poet imposed his will. But he saw nothing, saw clearly - and the words finally came - when he began deconstructing Mary. The poet's words came slowly at first, stilted and forced. Letters from home encouraged him to stay the course. Mary would howl at the TV and smoke herself hoarse. The poet was sated by barren images for his blank verse. Mary would serve tea everyday at four. She'd ask the poet if he'd written anymore. Rocco would lie on the ground and lick the crumbs from the floor. And all around them: the shore. 4. All your books are coming down. Your closet's empty, all your suits are gone. Your cab is waiting, where will you go? Maybe once you've settled down, you'll find a rationale in Faulkner or Wilde. You never knew them, what did they know? We've all been just waiting, knowing that you'd forsake us. We knew you (we'd knew you'd go). Your thoughts were always on the things you missed while you were anchored down. The wind can take you, where will it blow? 6. They're closing in on all sides, Mom. There's no compassion in the trees. The Gerrys were on the run, so we soft-slept in Gay Paree. But now my feet are numb, Mom, there's no compassion in the trees. With this letter done, the bombs of night will come again. I'll dream of the Sun and ask forgiveness for my sins. But there's no forgiveness in the trees. Right before the shells come we can hear the soldiers sing. When their song is done, I put my head between my knees; sincerely, your loving son. There's no compassion in the trees. I don't want my luck to come undone, so I'll write again tomorrow night - if there's ink left in my pen. There's no compassion in the trees; sincerely, your loving son. 7. She moves me like a concrete checker (slow and under-whelmed). My secrets are an open letter (there's nothing left to tell). But when she makes up her mind, I fall in line. I'm her cap and she's my feather. When she trips, I fall. She's the wool sewn in my sweater, every brick in my wall. But when she sings out of tune, every smile is new and I'm renewed. 8. Listen to me, babe, because I know you're not sleeping. I saw your eyelids flutter when I said: 'you're the one for me and I've known it from the start (Picasso's imagination swept the floor behind me). I know your mind has never been as made up as mine, but I'm here tonight and every night to ask you to:' Listen. Listen. Because I'm staying right here by your side, so listen. There's something that you need to know: 'you're my only chance for redemption and to be the kind of man that I've always wanted to be. If you can hear me now, I know you feel alone. But there's no other place I'd rather be than right here now.' Listen. Listen, because I'm not going anywhere. When you cry, your eyes shine and it only draws me nearer. I can't promise you a discovery everyday, but what it will be, will be ours alone. Nothing that's worthwhile in this world is ever free, but I'll sacrifice and pay the price just so I can whisper to you now and every night. While you're sleeping, you'll listen and I'll pretend not to know. What I tell you now is yours and yours alone. What I have to say I've never given away to anyone else. There's a place for us that's quiet and warm. I'll take you there if you dare listen. 9. To my mother: I never wanted another. I should have been warmer and taken your love in, like you meant it to be. To my brothers: you were never a burden. Our differences only made me stronger and I wouldn't want it any other way. And I promise that I'll do better the second time around. To my friends and lovers: I'd have never recovered, if you hadn't thrown me a line when I was floating away. 10. It's the idea of you that gets me every time; drawing me in, promising, that it'll be different this time. And then you break my heart again. Pat yourself on the back. It'll take more than that to marry the promises with the facts. There's nothing that would lay you lower than reconciling what you wanted to be with what you are. Like the lonely girl, bragging about how much you're loved, your words ring hollow. Why don't you show me what you've done? I still believe in the idea of you. What is it that you want to be, my dear? If you'd only act on your aspirations and stop giving into your fears. Only a fool is proud of something that they don't control. The wind doesn't brag when it blows. If dissent brings progress, then you bring less, much less. 11. You know enough about me to know that I know enough about you to stay. I can see you're thinking about it and I can't wait another day because I know enough about you. You say that you want to take it slowly. If it goes wrong, I'll take the blame. I know you're my one and only, and I know you feel the same because I know enough about you. 12. I love her anyway (she's a real fat dandy) 13. A kiss-off from six time zones away. You're making me wish that I was gay. Strained and crippled, I stumble through my days. You left when I finally wanted to stay. And you see me in your side-view mirror - a distorted funhouse face, closer than it appears. And you see me in letters wrongly sent, a distorted message, half-lost, half-bent. Could it be that I was wrong about you (your aloofness was my first clue), and tomorrow's pictures of us that I drew, could it be that I was wrong about that too? 14. I followed the sound in my head. It led me around by the hand. Ignored the living; revered the dead. Giving nothing but demands. Sometimes the siren's wrong. This is my redemption song. I sought doctrines to de-mystify. Always missing the truth behind the lies. I found solace when I realized that to grow in length, I'd have to cut my size. Sometimes the muse is wrong. This is my redemption song. I'm righting my wrongs. This is my redemption song.