Western Transport

by James Irwin

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1.
04:04
Take me alive cause I don’t wanna die Take me alive no I don’t wanna die I am going to disappear I am going to disappear Let the black bear walk across my mind Now the blue dust is on my eye Now I see Now I see I am going to disappear I am going to disappear Like my mother done Like my mother done Don’t waste your mind. We die all the time. You’re gonna bury yourself with your own hands You’re gonna bury yourself with your own hands Let me leave as a river outta my mind Now the blue dust is on my eye Now I see Now I see I am going to disappear I am going to disappear
2.
Hearts like old cars, breaking down, breaking down. I’m tired of all the back allies, and electric lights that buzz all night. Everybody is haunted, and you cry and cry, never satisfied. Never satisfied. Never satisfied. Never satisfied. Without you I’d be out on a prairie, under a plain blue sky with my steady eyes, steady mind, steady rolling, steady engine. I’d drive all night. Hearts like old cars, breaking down, breaking down. Everybody is haunted, and you cry and cry, never satisfied. Never satisfied.
3.
Are you halfway here? Are you halfway to Mexico? Will you pillage on your way to the blue lake people used to say, sits somehow on the sea? You are on my mind. Are you in my body too? When the need goes away will the wanting stay? Will you sit seven days hanging on guilty dreams? Are you halfway here? Are you halfway to Mexico? Will you pillage on your way to the blue lake people used to say, sits somehow on the sea? I would hang from a tree if I could know the holy fall Make a river of me so I can leave that way, and I don’t have to stay on a wheel inside a wheel.
4.
t’s not a time when men sing songs. It’s not a time when men belong. If I decide what side I’m on, there’s a long line that’s drawn. All around the empty hills we pressed our horses on, lighting fires and trying to burn our footprints off the ground. All along that line I’m drawn. If I want you to be my girl how am I supposed to tell the world? If you want me to be a man, I hope you will understand. I saw sails a’ blowing by. It’s hard to please your dreaming mind. Did you think you were alone? You can never be alone. There are more boys being born. There are more girls being born. There are more boys being born. There are more girls being born.
5.
Tie my friends down to their beds Tie my loves down to their beds Let these crazy birds fly from their heads Put me back in my bar where we drink alone and go home Cause we are up in the middle of the night Ringing bells, shining searchlights The master asked for a word to pass, We don’t have it anymore We don’t have it anymore We don’t have it anymore Tie my friends down to their beds Tie my loves down to their beds Let these crazy birds fly from their heads Put me back in old orange town where we drink alone and go home Cause we are up in the middle of the night Ringing bells, shining searchlights The master asked for a word to pass, We don’t have it anymore We don’t have it anymore We don’t have it anymore
6.
06:45
I think the river took the bridge, after we went over it. I don’t know why I went along, somehow staying here felt wrong. I was in and out of sleep, sky reflected in a stream. Was there someone in the road? What he saw I’ll never know. Needle eye where I lay, coming like the light of day. We were gone through the glass, into time that wouldn’t pass, the way shadows move, like they already knew. Thrown out on the burning road, where the wind was moving stones, blood pools around my throat, like river mud between my toes. Needle eye where I lay, coming like the light of day. Between hope and how it goes, now that I don’t need to know. All around the waving wheat, a shadow of a pair of wings. Where he lay across the road, if he was scared it never showed. How long til my last air goes, up into the white unknown. Needle eye where I lay, coming like the light of day.
7.
03:15
I spent one too many mornings in a fog This is not what I came here for A change is never gonna come It’s me that’s gotta go I’m dizzy and we don’t see eye to eye I see the same damn thing here every night And I’ve been here one too many times I spent one too many mornings in a fog This is not what I came here for A change is never gonna come It’s me that’s gotta go I should be going up the mountain every night Instead I’m dumb out in the dark going to the flashing light And I’ve got nobody to be sorry to The easy life is gonna numb my mind Good morning, casualty to last night’s money Everything you get by giving in. Is another thing you gotta give away
8.
02:36
My conscience may be clean, but still nobody can know The blue moon saw nothing. There’s no one down this road. Who’s who to say we sold ourselves away? When we go back, don’t tell no one. We’ll be fine. Yeah I know, sometime, it’ll all come out Yeah I know, sometime, it’ll all come out We went out to the country. The blind dog let us in. I looked into the lake, I saw you in my face. We started out on Mission Street, now suddenly we’re set free. Just don’t go back. Don’t tell no one. We’ll be fine. Yeah I know, sometime, it’ll all come out
9.
Nothing you ever say has anything to do with your life. Yeah but I live that, I know what it’s like. I wanna talk about your blue triangle and the dizzy birds not what you heard would bring us ever-lasting night. It’s been a fuck of a year, but it comes to an end and just this morning I remembered how much depends on, Doo-doo-doo-doo, Nothing at all. Nothing at all. Nothing at all. We spent the spring digging a hole then I buried you in the rain. You sunk below and now you won’t be coming back here ever again. I fought a black bear to be free, then I let him get away, so be careful he’ll be coming back again this way some day. Doo-doo-doo-doo, Nothing at all. Nothing at all. Nothing at all.
10.
Now that everybody knows, everyone’s alone, anywhere where no one goes, will be the most travelled road. How can I follow you? Close my eyes and walk out of the hotel room, with my hands out reaching at the road, as if anybody’s blind with faith, as if there’s anyone to serve. Now you’re lying on a lion fur, telling me what you deserve. You wrap your lips around a blur of words, strangest thing I ever heard. How can anyone, listen to anyone, who’s got their luggage lying all around the room. Love somebody like a child would do. As if anybody’s blind with faith. As if there’s anyone to serve. Now you know it isn’t real. The illusion falls apart. Nothing comes without a mirror, and no one’s pure of heart. How can anyone follow anyone, who is holding out and wandering south, hearing words come from a spirit’s mouth, as if anybody’s blind with faith, as if there’s anyone to serve. It turns out you don’t know how to be poor. There’s only one way to learn. When you fall off the broken wheel, lie in the weeds and watch it burn. Are you too far gone, to think that anybody sees, a simple thing like sympathy, for someone you’re not trying to please. Everyone this is Alice, Alice this is everyone. She came all the way from Baltimore with me, and the only one who can see her is me. Though they tell me she was never even there, I will carry clothes for Alice to wear, as if anybody’s blind with faith, as if there’s anyone to serve.

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Recorded. mixed, produced with care, love, righteousness in Montréal CaCanada by Patrick Gregoire and James Irwin between 01/2010 and 01/2012. Mastered by Harris Newman.

credits

released May 1, 2012

art by Ruby Kato Attwood
photo by Derrick Belcham

James Irwin – voice, guitars, slide guitar, synths, rhodes, piano, drum
Shaun Weadick – guitars, whirly guitar, backing voice, bass, drums
Carl Spidla – guitar, bass, slide guitar, piano
Jeffrey Malecki – drums on 3,7,8
Patrick Bastedo – drums on 1,5,9
Nicholas Scribner - bass & drums, synth & loops
Adam Kinner - saxophone
Katherine Peacock – accordion, piano
Nisha Coleman – violin
Arwen Fleming – bicycle wheel, accordion
Angeline Gosselin – bowed bass
Jessica Kelly-Rhéaume - viola
Pietro Amato - French horn, whirlies
Ruby Kato Attwood – backing voice
Maica Machnik- – backing voice

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James Irwin Toronto, Ontario

Despite shifting from outsider folk to low-fi 80s pop to indie rock and back, the mood and lyrical voice of James Irwin's music has always been unmistakable.
Bandmates used to call it "Jamesing”.

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