Songs Spent Walking

by Dan Shaw

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released March 23, 2015

All songs written, performed, and recorded by Dan Shaw, winter 2014-15 in Seattle, WA. Artwork by Dan.


tags: punk Conway


all rights reserved


Dan Shaw Conway, Massachusetts

Dan Shaw primarily plays the bass guitar, and is also a landscape designer. His bands include Health Problems and Birds in our Backyards

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Track Name: Torrential Dryspell
Young people staring at the phone. I'm busy frying bigger fish. It's the first day this year to walk with coat unzipped. I'm not unhappy, but I'm uncertain. Spread out the map, clear off the bottles and the cards. They'll strip the soil and repeat, that's what they'll do to you! Mark the territory gained by the sand.

It hasn't rained in a year, and when it did it was claimed. I'm sitting here, I'm getting a picture of modern wealth. I want the company I keep to keep on asking questions. This voice might face a family that doesn't yet exist- just an idea, and just an end, up there with birth and death and a trusting cliff-drop throat lump. Irreversible threshold, creativity and responsibility, tickles and screams, and somehow it goes:

Keep forgetting, somehow forgetting. Torrential dryspell, to keep on choking on exhaust. And here they pay me to stand by and plug the leak, and we're all standing still with our fingers in the dam. Do you want coffee? I think I need another cup, because I'm too tense to rest at night.

All life wants to do is live, and it appears to your advantage when you can corral it into being sold, whether that's a family, or if that's veggies from a field- graduate to sand, and repeat like there's no tomorrow; and charge too much at the door! Keep forgetting, somehow forgetting. Torrential dryspell.

I had to leave the party, everyone was staring at the phone. I want the company I keep to keep on asking questions, but they keep forgetting, somehow forgetting. Torrential dryspell.

I'll sit here nicely, and I'll lay awake, wondering how to spend a few useful decades.
Track Name: Early Darkness
You're awake.

No memory of which room this is, gradual realization: this is the forest, and I am asleep beside you. And the dead fire can't shake the deep shiver's grip, what a penetrating cold- what you need is a sleeping bag, but we fell asleep accidentally, when it was still light out.

And there's only one thing to do, because this is one of those nights where you'll lay there forever: sleep is pointless, you've done all the sleeping you can. The only thing to do is to stand up, zip up your sweatshirt, put your hood up, walk alone into the night, go out alone in the dark, let's rock...

(No one can see you when you're not awake! No one can hear you when you're not speaking!)

And you tried for awhile walking through the darkened woods by cellphone light. I was still asleep, and the thought creeps in: these are the woods that used to grow where our building now stands.

And you stopped out of fright at the sound of an approaching dog, who turned out to be friendly, who led you on the path with it's illuminating sense of smell.

And I rolled over in my sleep, oak leaves and dirt, deep whiff, almost to my tongue. Overnight lows is all my angel shoulder tells me, overnight lows, my devil shoulder's just a myth.
Track Name: Early Springtime
I opened up my foggy eyes
greeted by sunlight touching a curtain
Its mid February,
windows are flung open,
and all the land is in springtime.
Everyone's celebrating the births
of presidents and kissing their
valentines, and it's the spring.
Winter still found time to
tie me to the mast, so i can be
Tormented by nostalgia and desire,
Hidden in the pleasures of the senses.
Today we warmed our eyes with the
unfamiliar glare of the sun,
and stretched out, and went outside, and
Took our bikes out on rides,
and had the colors pink and green
seared into our minds, as we sang,
All the land is in springtime.
A wet cold breeze almost touches me,
and distracts me, and makes me stupidly say:
Each time you go away, i wish you
would come back to your senses.

And I'm saying this to the wind,
But of course the wind doesn't listen.
A wet cold memory emerges
of a time when springtime feasts were held in April.

Growth, growth is down
Growth, growth is down this quarter
All meaning and direction thereby lost
But no one ever asked why growth is
the eternal standard,
Industry engorged on eternal desire,
has the spring tricked you too?
Desicions based on nostalgia,
Decisions based on lust
An unexpected springtime drive to insanity
and desire
among the mud and the flowers
Now we've known each other since September
And now we've got a handle on this place
I listen to the clock tick
I listen to the faucet drip
I listen to the birds chirp
Is there anything so
bittersweet, as being stuck
indoors at a job,
when all the land is in spring

He likes that
It reminds him of the sixties
and he lets you know at every chance
Harkens back to a simpler time
When fruit
dropped from trees all by itself

And now the holiday of crushes
gets the season it deserves

And now I'm singing a bunch of wind,
about a time
when springtime feasts
were badly needed
Track Name: Quit
You know you're doing something that's bad for you, so why don't you quit! And you know this job's no good for you, and you know this habit's killing you- so why don't you quit!

And you say to the oil-burning public, illuminated in gaunt torchlight: we all know that car exhaust is robbing our future, so why don't you quit!

And you were about to tell him to shove it, and you were about to throw in the towel. And you were about to heal the hole in your arm. And then you choked in a sudden panic when you could almost taste the paycheck severed.
Track Name: Quiet
Eyes met, and memory changed its direction, complete with that filing of music; and vision undressed. Heart almost stopped, and the room tipped downward.

The innocent angel, here and there, cold and unaware of your misfortunes while smiling at others. There's a way she knocks that sounds like branches scratching at your door in a windstorm. And this one time I answered, and with doorknob still in hand I stood in disbelief as I was whispered to. And I knew that I had kept forgetting just then but that this had happened before, and so I listened, and so I followed. And somehow there's a way to remember.

Left by the door,
at the edge of escape,
run til you can't
remember anymore.

Well that didn't work.
Now what's your plan?
Wait til you can't
remember anymore.

Well this is my shovel,
and there lies the path:
and just up ahead
lies buried your fear.

Instructor in the front of the minivan has no good explanation for what you are seeing. Car sickness approaches, everyone out, gravel road, and full bladder. It's eight degrees too cold. I try to catch your eye, but my nose is too runny; this will only happen two more times.

The drugs let you pave
a path through the heavens, where
the trees have their names
labeled on plaques.

Well this is my shovel
and there lies the path.
The trees have their names
at the edge of escape.

Well that didn't work.
Now what's your plan?
Wait til you can't
run anymore.

The home of your dreams
lies quiet in the woods,
immune from the world,
but close, close at hand.

Why would you assume anything you can't explain must be in a book somewhere? I doubt that many have been written, but I grabbed you one discarded in the hall, somewhere out beyond the pigeon's call.

Now that you're awake, someone's here, someone's whispering in your inner ear. The pink light breaking told me that the day is here.

Why would you assume anything you can't explain must be in a book somewhere? I doubt the one you're looking for is really there.

And memory spun backwards again: so let's choose to forget.
Track Name: Overburden
Here you are standing above a wound in the earth. Yeah, you've really struck it big. It's just a wrapping for a present, a present just for you! If I was left alone on some lonely desert island, and I was granted three wishes, the only things I'd wish for would be jobs.

I dedicate myself to the removal of overburden, the ground itself that's in the way, because I dedicate myself to my Sundays doing nothing... how'd things get this way.. Overburden: that's an industry term for the land you have to ruin to reach the shale prize below!

And here we are standing above a wound kept neatly hidden, while speaking about income like it's a replacement for air.
Track Name: Goose Chase
I attended the school of the old
Eating sand and touching
sleep crystals,
Learning about the heroes of modern
And deciding on an optimistic career.

And then I chose myself a graduate school
that promised nice things to children
like me,
And I paid with what I had, which was
all my future income, I had
no sympathy for the horseshit adult world,
not even mine.

But now I'm chasing wild geese
Are all the big ideas I used to have
slowly being starved out of me

Flashlights in the woods
I'm chasing wild geese
They asked me on monday
what did you do last weekend?
And i made them all smile
by mentioning beer

Goose chase
I cut checks to big ideas

To our right, that would be the poor farm,
and up above us, that would be
the trophy case

Goose chase
no one's buying big ideas
I eat snow for a living
and it would cause crisis to change
my mind.

In a world defined by debt
this song I'm drawing for you,
cross section of my mental state
problems to which no one can relate

I can't return the life I bought,
i have to use it, and
walk the fine line between
creativity and insanity.
Education was first,
poverty and struggle are now,
and insanity must be next.

I'll have to start using what I learned
from the old lunatics
and let chased geese stay wild
and establish my mesic guild

If only for the sake of having
dreams again
to invite you along and create
things unprecedented
If only for the sake of my artisan wife
If only for the sake of unbuckling

To show that landscape is music
To test if improvisation creates us
To fight desertification any way that I can
deserts in the soil and in the mind

Goose chase,
time to give that up and
by my hand create a nicer place
Outdoor space, the eternal frontier

Over fear of lost security taste
the thrill of the unknown,
Senses heightened and