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Against The Night

by Jason Webley

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about

Over the years, this has been probably my most popular release - dark and stompy with vegetables. I wanted to write the soundtrack to a subtle apocalypse. Three variations on the title track attempt to reign in an eclectic collection of songs including 'Millennium Bug', 'Last Song' and 'Dance While the Sky Crashes Down'.

"A mix of raucous, stomping bar romps and soft balladry... An additional dose of compositional maturity over the debut can be heard here, but 'Against the Night' still has the fun and crashing that really define Webley's music."
-All Music Guide

credits

released December 10, 1999

All songs ©1999 by Jason Webley, except Ontogeny ©1999 by Jason Webley & Sean Lyon.
Recorded and mixed at home.

With: Michael McQuilken on drums (8, 11, 15), John Osebold on bass and electric guitar (15), some children, and an army of trained monkeys.

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Track Name: Against The Night
Hold on to these words,
I'd like to think that they may offer
Some protection,
Against the night.

Against the night,
Your life can feel transparent,
A reflection,
A trick of light.

So when sleep just won't come,
And you've got no occupation,
But nibbling at the fruit
Of the melancholy tree,
Just hold on to these words,
Hold on to me.

Just hold on to these words,
They're the best I've got to offer
At the moment,
As a lullaby.

As a lullaby,
You can lay down by the tracks
And feel the world
Slip by.
Track Name: Entropy
Today, there is a lot,
But frequent hints that this won't always be.
We are invariably running out.
The process seems slow because we forget,
Time does not exist.
Absolute zero stares back at us
From the other side of the mirror.
Track Name: Winter
Hey kid, I've been watching you.
Sleeping in the lilies with that old dull-bladed knife.
Still in those bulletproof pajamas you've worn all your life.
But tonight you're in some murky bar,
The music's too loud, and you don't feel like dancing.
Not a familiar face in the room,
Just that little voice in the back of your head,
That's always been there, but tonight it says:
The days are getting shorter, the air is getting colder,
And as you sip your rum and coke, kid,
You're just getting older.
You realize you're sweating, and the air around you stinks,
You stumble to the bathroom,
Throw your head beneath the sink.
And as you raise your eyes, your lips release a little groan,
'Cause the face that's grinning back at you,
Just isn't quite your own.

So you go back to your lily petals,
Pull those old pajamas tight,
But you can't shake this feeling
That your life is just a game of chess
Where ancient gods and devils fight.
People stagger by you,
Thick blood running down their faces,
While little jet-black serpents
Try to mate with your shoelaces.
An old blind dog's been at your heels,
With the overpowering stench of decay.
And an old friend sends a package.
The skull inside it seems to say:
I'm the face in every mirror, the shadow at your feet,
The little light that glows behind
Each pair of eyes that you meet.
You can hide inside your castle,
Spend years thinking you're free,
But I'm like ancient Rome, baby, all roads lead to me.

Okay kid, let me tell you a little story. See, I don't get into town too often these days, but sometime soon old Jack Frost's gonna blow back into the heart of the big city.
And I'll scream until the buildings melt,
Then whisper 'til they freeze.
And I'll stand on an icy tower with every eye fixed on me.
And everyone will follow,
As I raise my left hand to the sky,
And together we'll peel back the fabric
Of this world and stare into the void that lies behind.
Track Name: Devil Be Good
Devil be good, Devil be good.
No the Devil don't walk on water.
Devil be good, Devil be good.
So he's got himself a boat.
Devil be good, Devil be good.
He's out fishing with his lovely daughter.
And I've been biting at the bait,
So Devil, you better be good.

Devil be good,
Don't try nothing funny.
Devil be good,
I'm driving tonight.
Devil be good,
Got a pocket full of money,
And I'm going downtown,
So devil, you better be good.

Devil be good,
Just stay in your corner.
Devil be good,
Keep your hands off my gun.
Devil be good,
Nobody need warn her.
Got my finger on the trigger,
So Devil, you better be good.

We've got hell, hell,
Spilling out onto the table.
We've got hell, hell,
Yeah you've cooked us a hell of a stew.
I've got hell, hell,
But I'm doing just the best I'm able.
I tell you there's a devil in the kitchen,
And Devil, you better be good.

Devil be good,
I know what you're thinking.
Devil be good,
But she's dancing with me.
Devil be good,
'Cause we both been drinking,
And I'll do my share,
But Devil, you gotta be good.
Track Name: Dance While The Sky Crashes Down
The flowers by your bed are wilting.
The sun is setting in the west.
A fog is covering your eyes,
Your stockings are attracting flies,
Decay is nibbling at the boards on which you rest.

There's someone waiting at your window,
Familiar face without a name.
One night he'll creep in like the mist,
To touch your forehead with a kiss,
And lead you back into the void from whence you came.

We've all begun to die, and don't know what to do.
Since it hurts to pray to God, when God is dying too.
Takes strength to laugh, when you start to drown.
And we dance while the sky crashes down.

Like that the earth begins to quiver,
And all the oceans turn to black.
A ship of maniacs with knives,
Are playing Blackjack with their lives,
To kill the time until the giant rats attack.

It's raining leprosy and acid.
The saints were taken out and shot.
When someone proffers you a pear,
You sink your teeth in unaware,
That just beneath the skin lies pestilence and rot.

All that now breathes, and all that you love,
All that we weave, will find its way back to the dust.

A band of skeletons is playing,
Don't act like you don't know the tune.
Your part is echoed in the path,
Of every dead leaf blowing past,
Against a counterpoint reflected off the moon.

There is a banquet at the table,
Exotic cheeses wines and cakes.
And every one of us is damned,
Until we start to understand,
That living is to gorge ourselves at our own wakes.

When the stakes are high, best to play the clown.
And we dance while the sky crashes down.
Track Name: Ontogeny
Got a flashy car,
And a druid's smile.
Got a shooting star,
Shape of a crocodile.

I'm your sassy girl,
I'm your pop machine.
I can make you hurl,
I can make you clean.

The anole is going crazy.
He has higher aspirations.

Got my third eye open,
And a brand new skin,
Got the whole world hoping,
That I'll let them in,

Cause I'm a Russian Czar,
In a new disguise,
But I can see the bars,
And I can feel your eyes.
Track Name: Again The Night
Hold on to these words,
This night won't last forever,
That's a promise.
This light won't die.

This light won't die.
Between the shadows of the leaves,
It dances.
As the wind goes by.

So when sleep just won't come,
And you've got no occupation,
But nibbling at the fruit
Of the melancholy tree,
Just hold on to these words,
Hold on to me.
Track Name: Millennium Bug
So we're sitting here again,
We're retracing where we've been.
And you just nod your head,
And I just nod my head.

So it's six o'clock again,
I'm repeating what I've said.
Do you want to screw me?
Let's go rent a movie.

And this room it suits us fine,
The temperature's just right.
The candle's not too bright.
I don't dare to go outside,
'Cause I'm sure that I would wither in the light.

Familiar gestures mark the time,
You tell me everything's just fine.
And you just go to bed.
And I just go to bed.

Here it's nineteen ninety-nine.
And we've got our place in line.
They're accepting applications,
For early resignation.

Yeah, we're sitting here again,
I'm repeating what I've said,
'Bout how you'll just sink like lead.
And I'll just sink like lead.

Here it's nineteen ninety-nine,
I've still got my place in line.
But when it finally gets me,
I hope that I go quickly.

It's too late to change our minds,
There's nowhere else to be,
And we like the company.
I don't dare to go outside,
Lest the beauty bring me weeping to my knees.
Track Name: Constellation Prize
Two stars fell out of the sky,
Bounced of a cloud and landed in your eye,
Now there's two stars, right here in my arms tonight.

Two cars went speeding by,
A hair to fast to catch the rapture of the dragonfly,
Now those two cars, are parked outside bars tonight.

You've got a Turkish umbrella over your head,
A fading lover in your bed,
And a fleeting immortality balanced on the tip of your toe.
I spent about eleven hours making love last night,
This morning someone turned the flowers up a bit too bright,
Yeah the world is grinning, my head is spinning,
And my feet can't figure where they want me to go.

Two stars fell out of the sky,
It always hurts to watch a good thing die,
Now those two stars are safe behind bars,
Right here in my arms tonight.

You've got a fading umbrella over your bed,
And a Turkish lover in your head,
A fleeting immortality balanced on the tip of your toe.
I spent about thirty-seven hours making love last night,
This morning someone turned the flowers up a bit too bright.
Yeah the world is spinning, my head is grinning,
And my feet can't figure where they want me to go.

Two stars fell out of the sky,
Rolled the dough, chopped the apples, started baking a pie.
Now those two stars are in mason jars,
I said those two stars are lighting cigars,
Those two stars are just where they are,
Right here in my arms tonight.
Track Name: Absynthe Makes The Heart Grow Fonder
After a couple glasses,
The floorboards don't feel so secure.
And I'm afraid I could really go down tonight.
I'm out-numbered by the ashes,
Held hostage by the door.
And the air in here is so damn loud tonight.

But I've got this old four-by-six photograph,
Your face pressed up against my shoulder,
Little pools of salt mark where tears have dried.
And I've got this big needle stuck in my chest,
So deep it's starting to tickle.
I'm a thousand miles from the chimera I chase.
Love is a sadness with a face.

There's a darkness in all wanting,
My intentions all feel stained,
And the Devil keeps filling my glass tonight.
My adrenaline is clotting,
And the faces in here all seem strange.
But I just want to touch something that'll last tonight.

If I could just taste one sip of an answer,
Maybe I could break out of this drunkard's prison.
I'm homesick for a place I might have never seen.
Something more than these old feet brought me here,
So these feet can't take me away.
No I didn't get here on my own,
Whoever brought me here's gonna have to bring me home.

I'm a thousand miles from the chimera I chase.
Home is a sadness, not a place.
Track Name: Eleutheria
There are stings strung from a hand,
They extend to every point across this land.
And the ants keep moving fast,
They just blink and nod while miracles slip past.

There's a face, unearthly clean,
That stares up at me from every magazine.
Computer screens and concrete lines,
I think I might let my subscription slide.

There's this song stuck in my brain,
With the unrelenting pulse of the inane.
And the words go tra-la-la,
Tra-la-la-la tra-la-la-la la-da-da.

There's a tick, and there's a tock.
They pursue like Hare Krishnas while I walk.
Storefront signs broadcast the time,
I think I might let my subscription slide.

There are words hung in the sky,
That the crazy children hum while they walk by.
Human souls on sale for dimes,
In a game of chutes and ladders run by mimes.

There's this voice, it won't shut up.
Says I should spill my juice and overflow the cup.
You've got rules, and I've got mine.
I think I might let my subscription slide.

There are rules, and we all subscribe.
I think I'm gonna let my subscription slide.
Track Name: Captain, Where Are We Going Now?
Well the streets have been swept,
And the leaves have all washed away,
And I find myself stumbling,
On something I'm trying to say.
Yeah, the breathing has stopped,
But the hair keeps on growing,
The anchor's been dropped,
But the crew keeps on rowing,
Captain, where are we going now?

Just the echo remains,
Of the refrain of a drunken song.
That I spent all my days,
Training monkeys to sing along.

Now there's some kind of answer,
Being demanded of us.
But tonight is infected,
I guess we should squeeze out the pus.

Yeah there's dust on the rules,
Of this game we're trying to play.
So I can't tell if I'm getting closer,
Or farther away.

Oh, where are you at?
And where are you going?
The wind doesn't answer,
It just keeps on blowing.
Track Name: Back To The Garden
Old Jack he had a sack of them magic beans,
This garden's been sown for a long, long time.
Now everywhere you look, you see a pillar of green,
And the reaper's just waiting 'til we're ripe on the vine.

A bright red apple led us into sin,
The Devil's been cooking for a long, long time.
So it could be an eggplant to lead us back again,
That sounds just fine.

We're going back to the garden, and out of the night,
I saw a fiery head of broccoli in a dream.
There'll be artichokes and rutabagas,
Collard greens and sweet potatoes,
Reaching from the earth to push us into the light.

Gonna carve a jack-o-lantern, hang the garlic high,
This crop's been coming for a long, long time.
Flaming red peppers will rain down from the sky,
And your tap water'll turn into okra slime.

There'll come a day you step out of the house,
And see a thousand armed soldiers with potatoes in their mouth.
Everyone's damned, and everyone's saved,
With a parsley garnish on every grave.

My friends, we are standing at the dawn of a new era. The United League of Vegetation, has just unanimously approved the new legislation, which places complete restriction on all forms of human migration.
Anyone caught moving faster than a turnip will be shot.
Now, I know what you're all thinking: What am I going to do with myself? I've got to go pick up the kids. There's a turkey in the oven. Relax. Don't panic. This isn't so bad. You've just got to calm down.
Now, close your eyes and imagine a bright, red, pulsing orb just in front of your forehead. Can you see it? Good. Can you feel it? I said, can you feel it?
Can you feel the beet?

Oh, forget about your taxes and your student loans,
This garden's pesticide free, organically grown.
Listen to your roots, they'll tell you what's real.
This world is an onion, all center, all peel.

From the heavens comes a hale,
Of cabbage cauliflower and kale.
They're reaching from the earth to push us into the light.
Track Name: Last Song
One day,
The snow began to fall,
And slowly, inch by inch,
Covered up the earth.
'Til finally,
The top of the tallest building,
Was lost beneath a powdered sea,
As quiet as a shadow's grave.

And we say that the world isn't dying.
And we pray that the world isn't dying.
And just maybe the world isn't dying.
Maybe she's heavy with child.

One night,
A woman took my hand.
I left my home and followed her
Into an icy field.
When I wanted to go back,
I'd lost the way.
So she beckoned me to lie beneath
The stone that always bore my name.

One morning,
We woke up in an alley.
To the smell of urine, alcohol,
Trash and gasoline,
With a dim sense of a notion
We'd held something in our hands,
That was bigger than us or God,
And we can never touch again.

I've been looking at the symptoms for a while,
Maybe she's heavy with child.