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Green Grow
The Rushes Grow

September 14 2010

Lyrics + Credits

Green Grow The Rushes Grow

1. Thule Fog
2. I'll Never Live Up To You
3. Pony Express
4. Streetlights
5. Lay Down
6. Penthouse Window

--

Thule Fog

When you're home from tour and the night is painfully quiet and still, your bedroom window frosted with fog, jump in your car and just drive: 280 S, 80W to Sacramento, 101 N, it doesn't really matter.
-----

I had to go, I was a prisoner
Of biology and math, like everybody else

Open the window

I drive all night, through the thule fog
If they don't ground me somehow, I'll never come back

Open the window

I had to leave, it's hard to believe
I don't deserve more than this, like everybody else

Open the window
-----

John Vanderslice: vocals, Moog Source
Matthias Bossi: drums
Carla Kihlstedt: violin, viola

 

I'll Never Live Up To You

A father so domineering and imperious, he's even intimidating on the embalming slab.
-----

When they laid you out, on the metal table
They got the suit right, but they weren't able to erase the glare

You've been dead for 16 years, a myth suspended in amber
Reputation burnished by fear

If they would believe me, I would tell them all the truth about you
I'll never live up to you

Even Mao, he looks all right, on a 40-foot billboard
All doe-eyed, but we remember the night

Expectations were all I heard, they took me at my word
But I couldn't do what he wanted me to do

If they would believe me, I would tell them all the truth about you
I'll never live up to you
-----

JV: vocals, Moog Source
George Ban-Weiss: bass
Matthias Bossi: drums
Sylvain Carton: saxophones
Mitch Marcus: saxophones

 

Pony Express

A letter of apology to a long lost, unfinished stamp collection, buried deep in my mom's basement.
-----

It's so late and I'm so tired
I started out with Washington and ended up with Jefferson

Oh ashen blue, 1862
Offset on a quarter block, mounted up on acid-free

But this one, only this one, only this one, only this one
Rode the pony

After that Jefferson blue, my collection is a broken mess,
I could never ever run the thread

Maybe it's a weakness, I'm not a completest
I'm giving up, isn't that me?
So one commemorates the TVA next to a pinkish, mint Apollo 3

But this one, only this one, only this one, only this one
Rode the pony
-----

JV: vocals, guitars, keyboards
George Ban-Weiss: upright bass
Ian Bjornstad: keyboards
Matthias Bossi: drums, piano, Hammond B3
Daniel Hart: violin, vocals, piano

 

Streetlights

The third song in the Crayola Series, after "Pony Express" and the lost B-side "Midnight Blue."
-----

I booked a room up on the 31st and climbed out, onto the window ledge
Walked past, out past the awning, a warm night in early September
And high above the city and all of its bad blood, the lights spreading out to the
Lake shore, what is the color, a yellowish decaying orange

It's like you dropped a chandelier in honey
And turned it on
Like a minor 6th, it's sad and hopeful mixed
That color near, it's amber dear and so it goes, on and on

I climbed back in the window and rode the glass elevator down
And walked out into the wild night, the lights oh what is the color

It's like you dropped a chandelier in honey
And turned it on
Like a minor 6th, it's sad and hopeful mixed
That color near, it's amber dear and so it goes, on and on
-----

JV: vocals, guitars, keyboards
George Ban-Weiss: upright bass
Ian Bjornstad: keyboards
Matthias Bossi: surdo, percussion, keyboards
Daniel Hart: violin, vocals, piano

 

Lay Down

I hung around Austin after the ACL festival to record this with Jim Eno at his studio, Public Hi-Fi. Jim produced, engineered, and played drums and percussion.
-----

I haven't seen you around
Since security had your face in the ground
Oh how I admire your endless fight
Vengeance as pure as the silvery light

Lay down
Your days are over unless you lay down

As a friend from the old selenium days
If you don't settle this by May
You'll disappear in a cardboard box,
They'll feed you pickled greens and radish tops
-----

JV: vocals, guitar, Memorymoog
Jim Eno: drums, percussion

Penthouse Window

It didn't take me long to figure out that our new intern at Tiny Telephone, Max Stoffregen, was a genius. I asked him to arrange this song for clarinets and he wrote it with Ben Goldberg in mind, probably the only person who could've pulled it off.
-----

There's a side to me that you'll never ever see
Oh hopefully

Run away while you can

Stay on your mark
I'll read you the lines
You breathed in as a child

Run away while you can

Have you ever seen the lights on
In that darkened penthouse window?
They spy on us through a telescope
There's always someone more dangerous than me
Waiting in the wings

Run away while you can
-----

JV: Vocals
Ben Goldberg: Clarinets
Max Stoffregen: Arrangement



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