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The Cost Of Living

by Jason Webley

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about

"The Cost of Living" is my first solo album in over three years, and I think it the darkest and more solid thing I've ever done. It is a bit different from my old stuff, a bit less folky, a bit more of a 'rock album'. I recorded this with the members of my touring band (Jherek Bischoff on bass, Alex Guy on viola and Michael McQuilken on drums). They are all such incredible players and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. Features the songs 'Ways to Love' and 'Almost Time To Go'.

“CD of the Month... filled with nuggets of musical and lyrical epiphany.”
-West Coast Performer Magazine

“Happy-sad in a load of good ways... Go and listen to it.”
-Neil Gaiman

credits

released October 11, 2007

All songs ©2007 by Jason Webley.
Produced by Jason Webley & Jherek Bischoff.
Artwork and design by Jason Webley.

Jason Webley - vocals, guitar, accordion, piano, marimba, glockenspiel
Jherek Bischoff - bass, guitarron, percussion, electric guitar, trombone
L. Alex Guy - viola, violin
Michael McQuilken - drums, percussion

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Track Name: Still
Beyond the song that came before,
Before the song that's still to come,
A stillness comes, a stillness comes,
There's still, still more to come.

Back in the town where we were born,
Just past the corner grocery store,
Down littered pathways well explored,
Across the garden and through the door,
Inside a box under the floor,
Tucked in a long forgotten drawer,
In letters written long before,
In words that ask what words are for,
What these dreams are for?

The morning after the downpour,
An unrequested last encore,
In missives sent in semaphore,
To friends you don't call anymore,
Between the water and the shore,
Beneath the skin, outside the core,
Among the virgins and with the whores,
The stillness sounds its silent roar,
For bodies withered, wrinkled, worn,
That faith and time cannot restore,
Behind the eyes you once adored,
After the fire, between the wars,
Inside the mind that still keeps score,
Of synchronies and metaphors,
Of patterns you cannot ignore,
'Cause there will be more, yes there will be more,
All through her hair and in her pores,
In folds of clothing well explored,
She asks you do you still want more?

Do you still want more?
Track Name: Ways To Love
Our mother made us into swimmers.
She threw her babes into this river,
Full of mud and dense with weeds,
A century of odd debris,
We learned to fight and learned to love our
Breaths were short, we shared them with our brothers.

We learned new games under the covers,
How to laugh and how to grieve,
We learned to trust, we learned to leave.

We found this water's deeper than we
Guessed we had learned enough ways to love,
Still I don't know mother who we are.

Our minds were sharp, our bodies burning.
We gave ourselves over to learning,
How to break and how to give,
Betrayal taught us to forgive,
We stretched and soaked up everything they
Taught us well, we were first in our classes.

We learned to see through many glasses,
How to sink and how to fly,
We learned to watch each other die.

My God, this course is harder than we
Thought we had learned enough ways to love,
Still I don't know mother where we are.

We thought we were walking the way to love.
Do we have time to take a nap?
The house is on fire, the sky is falling.
Baby get back. Get back.
This is your mother calling.
Track Name: Almost Time To Go
Guess you never really stuck around,
All that long anywhere.
I guess I should have known that you'd skip town.
You always did catch me unawares.

Looking now at your debris,
These trails of paper strewn across the floor,
Towards an open door.

Look at all you've gathered, all you own,
Hold it in your hand,
Does it weigh more than a single feather?
If the things you feel outsmart the things you know,
It's almost time, it's almost time to go.

I don't know if you struggled at the end.
I know at times, you fought like hell.
I know that sleep was never quite your friend.
I hope that now, you're resting well.

Old band names and alma maters,
A patchwork quilt of people you have been,
Tattooed on your skin.

Think of people, places you have known,
Sculpted out of sand,
The tide's coming in and we're going nowhere.

Your feet are still in shoes that they've outgrown,
It's almost time, it's almost time.

Think of seed you've scattered, and you've sown,
All out of your hands,
Lost in the wind like a little feather,
And the things you feel outsmart the things you know.

It's almost time, it's almost time to go.
Track Name: They Just Want
They'll tell you they're in it for money,
They will say their intentions are pure.
They are scouring the room for the prettiest face in the bar.

They're hungry for power, they're just picking flowers,
They are looking for a war to fight,
Or they just want someone, they just want someone to hold tonight.

They'll say they are looking for diamonds,
Or that they want to conquer the world.

They'll tell you they're building a tower that climbs to the stars.

A straight-A report card, an island, a sports car,
A woman's cigarette to light,
Or they just want someone, they just want someone to hold tonight.

They'll say they are hungry for knowledge,
They will tell you they're thirsty for God.

They are combing the earth for the notes to a song,
The world can all join arm in arm and sing along.

They want a straight answer, they're trying to cure cancer,
They are digging for the sweetest bite.

No, they just want someone, they just want someone to hold tonight.
Track Name: Disappear
Play the tape back, take apart,
Just what happened in your heart,
Where exactly you fell through.

Now you're going to do some time,
You don't know, did you cross the line,
Or did the line cross you?

And no one's going to pick you up down here.
No one's going to say you're in the clear.

You push, you stretch, you rend apart,
The edges of just what you are,
And no one's going to see you disappear.

Appetite has gone away,
Anything else you can say,
Bees are buzzing around the hive.

A pull out sofa, some cheap red wine,
Yeah, you're going to do some time,
Just get in the car and drive.
Track Name: Raise Them Higher
He's got feathers in his pockets,
He finds them lying by the side of the road,
Along the train tracks, by the water,
He thinks about the seed he has sown.

He feels something tugging at him,
That pulls him close and lets him go,
He pulls it close, he lets it go.
He pulls you close and he lets you go.
His body's growing heavy underneath this mortal load.

Raise them higher, raise them higher,
These old bones just want to fly tonight.

She's got wings back behind her eyes,
Some days the colors catch them, lift her off of the earth.

In the morning, before the mirror,
She wonders how much eggs are worth.

She feels something, something breaking,
That pulls her close and lets her go,
She pulls it close, she lets it go.
She pulls you close and she lets you go.

Her lips are saying no, while her body is giving birth.
Track Name: Meet Your Bride
How are you going to meet your bride,
When she offers you her arm,
When she breaks into your house one night,
And sets off the alarm?

Will you rush to embrace her, or will you shrink and hide?
How will you meet your bride?
Yes and how are you going to greet your wife,
When she's standing at your door,
When she comes to claim your heart, your life,
Your body, then still wants more?
Will she find you bearing flowers?
Will you greet her with a knife?
Tell me how, how will you meet your wife?

Yes and how are you going to meet the one,
From these songs you loudly sing,
Whose bullet slips into your gun,
Whose finger fits your ring?

Will the place by you be waiting,
Is your bed already occupied?
Tell me how, how will you meet your bride?

Tell me how are you going to greet your bride,
When she's clawing at your rib cage, and demands to come inside?
Will you swerve to miss her, or will you collide?
Tell me how, how, how will you meet your bride?
Track Name: Clear
I thought I heard someone say,
You had just blown back into town.

I thought you might stay away,
Till it's clear.

There's still this voice in my head,
There's still this ghost in our bed,
And there's still this song we used to play.

Will we know when it's over completely?
Where are the angels now?

The feathers came drifting down.

Where are the angels,
Where are the angels now?

Most of the games people play,
Are fish fighting, dying,
As they push their way back upstream.

The water will wash the bodies away,
Til it's clear.

There's still this voice in my head,
There's still your ghost in my bed,
And I thought I heard someone say,
We won't know til it's over completely.
Track Name: Little Sister
Little sister, I don't know if you should look at me that way.

There's a blister 'bout to burst,
Only waiting for a quick, deliberate and violent touch.

But oh to resist her, or to kiss her, either one feels like,
They both feel like a sin.

Little sister, I confess you've been present on my mind,
With your mystery undressed and my heart scrubbed bare,
Burned clean by turpentine.

But still, she insists there are no fairy tales,
We end before we start.

I start to break as she fades and disappears,
And oh, when I'm with her I feel so much joy and brokenness,
It's hard, it's hard, it's hard, it's hard,
It's hard to know how to hold you sister.

Little sister, God, I know I shouldn't look at you this way.

We have a history, it's comforting, familiar,
When we set the house on fire and walk away.

But still, to resist her or to kiss her, either one tears me apart.
A part breaks free as she fades and disappears.

And oh, I am just a dumb beast, stuck here, stranded,
Staring at its heart, its heart, its heart, its heart,
Its heart to know, how to hold you sister.
Track Name: Back To You Again
Standing in a crowd and looking 'round,
Looking for a pair of eyes, pair of eyes,
Pair of eyes that are looking back at yours.

A little scared, a little proud,
Just a little paralyzed, paralyzed, paralyzed.

Everything you've ever felt before,
Everything you've ever felt and more,
Is coming back again,
Is coming back to you again.

Let the wind blow through the door,
Relax your fingers, let it fall away.

Sitting 'round the floor, you're looking tired,
You tell me that you're scared to die, scared to die,
Scared to die, and still a little a scared to live.

The little light, the little fire,
Still there just behind your eyes, behind your eyes,

Behind your eyes.

Let the waves come through your door,
Relax your fingers, let it fall away.
Track Name: There's Not A Step We Can Take That Does Not Bring Us Closer
And we return to her with thirsty eyes,
With history burning between our thighs,
With naked longing trembling behind our smiles.

We're going back to touch this hallowed land,
We've got God in our hearts, we're holding gifts in our hands,
And in that bag there is a loaded gun,
This is a loaded gun.

And we return, backs straight, chins high, hair shorn,
We're going back to taste the grain from where our hunger was born,
In bodies withered, wrinkled, worn,
The framework showing through where the skin is torn.

We are army ants, we are worker bees,
We are salmon in the stream after years at sea,
And this is blind man's bluff, but we don't need to see,
Because we never miss our targets, no we can't miss.

And we return to surrender, we return to fight,
To keep warm inside her beauty just another night,
We're going to turn back the tape to where the music starts,
We're going to feel the cost of living in our fingers and hearts.

We're going back to the place where the river begins,
We're going to break until the tears have burned away the sins,
We want to lose ourselves and learn to make love again,
We're here to finish what we start, we're going rip this all apart,
We're going to press against the sky until we see our mother's face.