Abandoned Mansions acoustic EP

by J. Robbins

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1.
02:04
2.
02:09
3.
4.
02:48
5.
03:17
6.
04:53

about

This studio recording is a partial document of J. Robbins' acoustic set: versions of songs originally written for the bands Jawbox, Burning Airlines, and Office of Future Plans, along with the new song "Abandoned Mansions."

credits

released June 25, 2014

J. Robbins: voice, acoustic guitar
Brooks Harlan: keyboards, voice
Gordon Withers: cello
Recorded by J. Robbins and Shane Stanton at the Magpie Cage.
Mastered by Dan Coutant at Sun Room Audio.

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about

J. Robbins Baltimore, Maryland

J. Robbins has been the singer/guitarist and principal songwriter in several DC-and-Baltimore-area post-punk rock bands since the late 1980s, most notably Jawbox and Burning Airlines. He is also owner and operator of the Magpie Cage recording studio in Baltimore MD. ... more

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Track Name: Aviary
now clarity lost out to desire
I married the madness in her eyes
a ceremony with a serried edge
what's the price to fly
in a cage of wire

displaying the scars where my hands were tied
from martyr to sinner in record time
while she took the orange from the autumn sky
so sublime
so we said goodbye
what's the price to fly
in a cage of wire

boys spin by like a mobile inside
her knowing ambivalent mind
but isn't this one more alive?
where am I?
and where's my right mind?

outside of the aviary tonight
would I still fly?
Track Name: Lorelei
from the tower of temptations
the king of calculations
celebrating his salvation
sends out the doves
at last, in love

past and present: complications
ambitions and way-stations
is Lorelei losing her patience
folie a deux
the lost, in love

I should close my eyes
who am I to moralize?
we could all survive
the most violent divide
but you lie lie lie
do you get the truth from Lorelei?

what you want, and what you’ve given
you live in the division
get rebirth, forget redemption
this kind of love
i’ve seen enough
Track Name: Abandoned Mansions
no the years really haven’t been kind
central booking at sunrise
in the red at the edge of your eyes
let it blur as you drive by

grand abandoned mansions from a better time
rotting out from the inside

if you dig, what d’you think you would find
it’s a tomb, not a gold mine
it’s the creche of the creatures who climb
over each other’s bent spines

giants in the earth and bullets in the sky
little castles in their never-ending lines
rotting out from the inside

if you dig what d’you think you would find

“resignedly beneath the sky
the melancholy waters lie
and from the towers in the town
death looks gigantically down”

giants in the earth and bullets in the sky
grand abandoned mansions from a better time
bars and churches in their never-ending lines
rotting out from the inside
Track Name: Spoiler
what you already know
should be more than enough
to cut this two-bit show
down with the dust

target: wires and the seams
induce the rush of disbelieving
lies that aren't your own

spoiler, spoiler
come just to turn it over
spoiler, spoiler
if you could kill it slower

working the wrecking ball
maybe you feel less small
religion for the mean
'cause disbelief

suspended for the sake of nothing
more than empty insides humming
is sending you to sleep

spoiler, spoiler
come just to turn it over
spoiler, spoiler
if you could kill it slower

ah, vindication isn't what it used to be
Track Name: 68
I got the message
calling me back home
don't ever let go
6-foot-deep hole

their paths are cut so deep
from 30 years of sleep
walking from a quarry to a wall

rationalizing
all compromises

their paths are cut so deep
from 30 years of sleep
walking from a quarry to a wall
and all they try to keep
is slipping piece by piece
in spite of all attempts at holding on

I got the message
calling me back home
Track Name: Salamander
in the kingdom of the dead
we don’t talk about the weather
when their vision is your prison, there’s no surrender
who listens now
you’ve run yourself to ground

arms and arson, broken hearts
heavy weight, sins of your fathers
come to life, trouble the waters
they knew you’d drown
or run yourself to ground
all dreams of breaking out
will end in breaking down

welcome to the present tense
let’s put your theory into practice
tear up those criminal commandments
here and now
we only go to ground
all dreams of breaking out
will end in breaking down

salamander, salamander
step into the fire when you can’t see another way
toward a brighter day