night owls

by varsity drag

supported by
subscribers:
/
  • "...[Night Owls] reveals musical ambitions that fans were likely unaware that the punk statesman harbored...and while he selected former LEMONHEADS producer Tom Hamilton to mind the faders and the knobs, Night Owls is a significant sonic step forward for Deily...
    [G]enius...entirely gratifying."
    --Jay Breitling, Clicky Clicky Music Blog

    "'Night Owls' is a nervy, brisk bolt through a set of tunes whose crisp sound and bittersweet temperament pre-dates the alternative rock that would morph into 'grunge'--but thankfully post-dates it, too."
    --The Boston Globe

    "['Night Owls'], their second studio record, has matured vastly from the first, whilst still as melodically charming...each chorus delivers mountainous, foot-stomping melody, catchier than the clap.
    It does ring true with early Lemonheads sound, which has been distilled, maturing for a couple of decades, and it’s Ben’s progression as a songwriter which sets 'Night Owls' aside from his days in the Lemonheads...By right, it is pop punk for grown ups."
    --Joe Callaghan, Collective Zine

    "A truly great album."
    --Suspect Device Zine, UK

    Immediate download of 9-track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire. And the money goes to us, not Steve Jobs.
    ... more

     $5 USD  or more

     

  • Buy Disc

1.
(free) 02:43
2.
02:10
3.
(free) 03:58
4.
03:41
5.
6.
01:50
7.
8.
03:52
9.
02:55

about

Lemonheads co-founder Ben Deily's VARSITY DRAG returns with their second studio album, "night owls": a darkly melodic, moodier older sibling to their 2006 debut "for crying out loud." Nine songs sketching a relationship's trajectory through joy, desolation and loss, "night owls" traces a poignant arc of bruising love—and life—celebrated and survived with wry tenderness, compassion, and ruthless candor.

credits

released 12 December 2009

ben deily (guitar, vocals, piano)
lisa deily (bass, vocals)
joshua pickering (drums, vocals)

aliah rosenthal played the cello

engineered and produced by tom “still crazy after all these years” hamilton

co-produced by ben deily & varsity drag

all songs recorded by tom at Hamilton recording—except for “hammer” (performed by ben) and “post script” (performed by ben & aliah), recorded by ben in the gray street basement studio.

sound clips liberated by the fair use committee of project mayhem.

all words and music (except where noted) by varsity drag, c. ben deily, p. by henry’s confession music/ASCAP. all rights reserved, pal.

tags

license

all rights reserved

feeds

feeds for this album, this artist
Track Name: animal
animal (for Steinway)

...and so the years went crashing by.
the stars were scattered from the sky.
I should leave well enough alone,
and clutch my heart of skin and bone—
the hand that’s cradling my phone—
I should keep still:
like a shadow; like a small boy—
like an animal...

your ice-blue eyes, your crackpot smiles,
I followed through the dark for miles—
do you remember when you said:
the cat you spoiled, he wound up dead?
and I heard ringing in my head,
and I kept still—
like a shadow; like a small boy—
like an animal...

my dear, I have to go—
you of all people on earth should know—
and now I’ll go to my grave
missing the one I could never save.

the nights you held me in your arms
through sirens, screams and smoke alarms...
with hats, and bags, and magic charms,
and we held on for a while;
for a long time—
for the longest time...

and now we say goodbye—
don’t you dare tell me you don’t know why.
you know I’ll go to my grave
loving the girl I could never save.

the nights I held you in my arms
through sirens, screams, police alarms...
I tried to keep you safe from harm;

I know I failed, my darling.

I let you down,
and saved myself.

I saved myself.

Like an animal.

Like an animal.
Track Name: night owls
night owls

I haven’t worn a watch for months,
but bedroom curtains tell the time:
the sunset’s never late—
and climbing out of bed,
I catch your smile in twilight coming down—
the whole damn world can wait.

the streets have sparked alight
in streaks of black and white—
come on, come on: let’s stay up all night.

darkened doors, and liquor stores,
and Orphan Andy’s drawn a crowd—
and there’s still so much to see—
down to Mission, Noe Valley
feels like uphill all the way—
but I don’t care if you’re with me.

and everything’s alright;
the clouds are fire-bright...
...and we’re burning time at the speed of light...

it’s such a lovely sight.
the streets are fire-bright.
and we know this city is ours tonight.
Track Name: Richard's gone
Richard’s gone

it’s early Christmas day,
and Richard’s on his way—
I’ll get the door.
and time is outside-in,
and where would I begin
to tell you more?

and through his crystal day,
Richard wends his way—
it’s all routine.
and under crystal skies,
to finally close his eyes...
and finally dream...

flash-forward now:
Richard’s gone—
you know what’s worst?
is that it’s no surprise at all.
but now, Richard’s gone—
how will we get along?

the curtain’s always drawn
the lights are always on...
and seasons change—
our creaking oven door
silent evermore...
it feels so strange...

it all went down:
now Richard’s gone—
must be our fault,
‘cause he did nothing wrong at all...
but now, Richard’s gone—
how will we get along?

and as the city wakes, the people gonna miss him everywhere—
from the Castro streets, to Folsom, right across the Union Square—
there’d always been a part of me that wished he would never go...
like the taste we get for all the things we know we should outgrow...

all stories end:
Richard’s gone—
here was a man
who did nothing wrong at all...
but now that Richard’s gone—
how will we ever get along?
Track Name: galaxies
galaxies

(oh...and you know...)
you know you’ve had this dream before:
twisted up in sheets, barely breathing—
a room that wasn’t there before—
how can you be sure that you’re dreaming?

on nighttime streets, the headlights roam...
someone’s trying to get home.

flying over fields and farms
galaxies with spiral arms
almost feels like you’ve been here before—
try to hold it, and it’s gone
swimming straight up to the dawn
that spins you round and drops you at your door...

piling up like autumn leaves
where are all these quiet seconds going?
is this body really you?
feel it on your face: cold and snowing—

the winter trees are holding still.
you haven’t found it...but you will—

flying over fields and farms
galaxies with spiral arms
almost feels like you’ve been here before—
try to hold it, and it’s gone
swimming straight up to the dawn
that spins you round and drops you at your door...


flying over fields and farms
galaxies with spiral arms
almost feels like you’ve been here before—
try to touch it, and it’s gone
spinning straight up to the dawn
that turns you round and drops you at your door...
Track Name: in this world
in this world

call in the cavalry—
nobody loves you:
all the water rolls, it flows into the ocean...
you're such a tragedy—
you were a crack shot.
falling with the rain: it is not pain, it is not you

and in this world I know
you're the only one.
I tried to let you down—
I flew into the sun.
and nothing's quite enough
to take away the pain,
but we keep getting up
to do it all again...

take in the scenery—
and keep your trap shut—
all the miles gone by, her mind can fly so fast now
don't get your dander up;
who can remember?
falling farther in, I feel my skin, and I am home—

and in this world I've known
the thunder and the rain;
the sky is full of snow;
the weather's gone insane.
and in this world I've felt
you're my phantom limb.
waking up so slow—
it's reveille again—

and in this world I know
there's no one here at all.
watch the sky collapse
and slide across the wall.
I turn to you my dear,
and take your battered hand—
'cause in this world I know
nothing goes as planned
Track Name: hammer
Hammer (by Joseph Lease)

Snow, rain, sun, nails.
Your hometown called sleep.
Your house in the sun
Shall have black cloth walls.
You wear black day after day,
Mourning the house.
Broken, fateful, cold
Snow, rain, sun, nails.
What you fear came true
Years ago.
Families fill and empty.
The house you build,
The lead sun.
Snow falling straight down
On graphite-colored water,
Yellow slick leaves, concrete.
Gaze: one smile that
Hides nothing,
Promises nothing.
Families empty and fill.
Because.
Track Name: long way home
long way home

the house remains the same;
only time is faithless.
driving all this way to watch the woods grow darker—
the orchard in the rain;
the fields, the tractor;
the wind that brushes past, on its way to northward...

and we remain the same;
only time is changing.
waking up each day to watch it blow right past us;
the stars that wheel and turn,
the tide that’s rising;
the tiny little shells
that whisper on the sea floor...

long way home.
Track Name: morning
morning

...and will I see you in the morning?
And will morning ever come again?
Is it night or is it morning?
And will this twilight never end?

And I will hold you through the morning—
I guess our morning turned to afternoon...
How did the years go by so quickly?
How did the future come so soon?

Will I still be here when I’m sixty?
Will I still be here when I’m dead and gone?
And will you ever come to sleep, dear?
Or will this night go on and on?

And no one calls anymore; don’t they know that we’re just sleeping—sleeping all day?
And everything we own is on the floor...and can’t you feel it all just slipping—slipping away?

And the sky is cold and empty.
And will you come to bed? I’ll wait and see
And I will lie and wait for morning:

How long will morning wait for me?
Track Name: post script
post script

I suppose we should be proud of ourselves
now that we’ve got everything that we’re
supposed to want

and I suppose I’ve got no right to complain—
(after all, I’d like to pretend I
could be gallant)...

and I’m not proud I let you down—
around the world, across this town...

take the years gone by and wash them away:
after all, you never were one to
regret one thing.

and I suppose I should be wishing you well:
I hope you’re feeling safe now, and loved now,
and everything

and I’m so proud you let me go—
you’re so much better off, I know—

so I know you will forgive me, my dear
when I say:
I can wake and feel you near me—
once in a while—it’s true.

But I’ve had a long, long day
so many miles away
and you’ll never have to say
anything at all...

you’ll never have to say
anything at all...

& I don’t expect to hear
anything at all...

(don’t even worry, dear...)
anything at all...