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Hello Hurricane

By Jon Foreman

The storms of this life shatter our plans. They tear through our world and destroy our hopes and
dreams. They ruin sunny days, flatten the structures we depend on, and shock our world views.
Hello Hurricane is an attempt to sing into the storm. Hello Hurricane is a declaration: you can't
silence my love. My plans will fail, the storms of this life will come, and chaos will disrupt even
my best intentions, but my love will not be destroyed. Beneath the sound and the fury there is a
deeper order still- deeper than life itself. An order that cannot be shaken by the storms of this
life. There is a love stronger than the chaos, running underneath us- beckoning us to go below
the skin-deep externals, beyond the wind, even into the eye of the storm. Hello Hurricane, you're
not enough- you can't silence my love.

I've seen storms in my life. I've even seen them pass through on stage. I've witnessed chaos and
dissonance overtake a song. But after the rain, some of these unsettling musical experiences
become my favorite moments: the ones that can't be planned, rehearsed, or repeated. I've had a
few of these unexpected elations up in a tiny LA club called Hotel Cafe playing cover tunes with
a few of my friends/musical heroes. The organizer of the evenings was none other than
friend/hero Tom Morello, the Night Watchman himself who would invite his friends (Slash, Ben
Harper, Serj Tankian, Perry Farrell, etc.) to join him in the musical festivities. The nights would
usually end with a memorable grand finale of cover songs with everyone onstage playing songs
that were only partly rehearsed. Most the time the results were spectacular- other times we would
have to stop the evening to figure out logistics like who was going to play what and determine
what key we were going to be playing in. It was during one of these pauses that Tom said a quote
about music that I'll never forget. He said music is like sausage. "Sometimes you want to enjoy it
without knowing the details of what goes into it."

There may be some who want this type of experience: to enjoy the music of Hello Hurricane
without knowing the back-story. Maybe the blood, sweat, and tears make you a little squeamish.
I completely understand this sentiment. There were stormy, (though necessary) moments during
the recording process that were neither graceful nor pretty. This was not an easy record to make;
we were fighting to get somewhere we had never been. Looking back at the ground we covered
I'm certain that every moment (even the more difficult ones) were meaningful to the final push.
But it certainly was a push... so if you want the shiny new music detached from the labor pains,
turn back now! For everyone else, here are a few of the stories behind each song. I'm so honored
to have been a part of this record- to share these experiences with Tim, Chad, Drew, Jerome and
everyone else who helped in the struggle for excellence. In many ways, these songs are like
children to me and I'm honored to be able to introduce you to them first-hand.


The world begins

with newborn skin
we are right now

you're a needle girl

in a haystack world
we are right now

you breathe it in
the highs and lows
we call it living

in this needle and haystack life

I've found miracle's there in your eyes
It's no accident we're here tonight
we are once in a lifetime
no, don't let go
don't give up hope
all is forgiven

you breathe it in
the highs and lows
we call it living

all is not lost

all is not lost
become who you are
it happens once in a lifetime

"There are only 2 ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as
though everything is a miracle" - Einstein

Here's a song that epitomizes the way that we recorded this record, pushing at every stage to
reach a higher ground. There are several iterations of this song, each of them with a radically
different approach- a method we never had the time for until we built our own studio. One of the
reasons we built our own studio was to enable productive experimentation like this without
paying for it by the hour. We first tracked this tune with a long time friend named Shane Wilson
(we did our very first SF record with Shane). Then we revisited this song again with another
friend of ours, Darryl Thorpe (Radiohead, Paul McCartney). For both of these versions the song
was cut at half time (rather than the frenetic double-time pace that's on the record). Upon
reviewing the list of songs with Mike Elizondo, "Needle" felt too similar in tempo and feel to
"Yet" (a tune on the final list for the record). So it was scrapped from the list of tunes for the
record. Because we recorded more than 80 songs for this record, we had a lot of songs to push to
the side. Mike's objective input on determining which songs not to work on was invaluable. I had
learned to really trust his instincts and agreed whole-heartedly with most the final list that he had
suggested. He was right that "Needle" and "Yet" on the same record made the record much
sleepier. However, "Needle" kept coming back to Tim and I as an important track.

So we put it aside for a week or two to see if it would return (the best ones always come back
around). I kept coming back to the content of the lyric. All of the concepts behind the song -
hope against the backdrop of chaos and meaninglessness, recognizing the value of every human
life -these felt so existentially motivating. "Needle" felt like a song that I wanted to sing every
night. And I felt like it could be done with an element of the horizon built into the song. So,
onstage in Vegas we worked up the song in sound-check, recorded the idea into a cell phone, and
came back with a fresh direction for the tune.

Drew came up with an ingenious idea for a unique guitar tone. We played the electric guitar
through an amp, miked the amp with an acoustic guitar (in open tuning of the key of the song),
plugged the acoustic guitar into another amp and recorded the signal from that second amp. The
result was so expansive and dramatic I felt like it should start the record. So that's what you hear
at the top: a sweet amalgamation of electric and acoustic madness.

This song makes me think of abundant, overflowing life. The math involved for life to be
possible at all is staggering. Let alone beauty. love. joy. forgiveness. To hold someone in your
arms is to hold a living, breathing miracle. At any age, this life is a gift.


I am my own affliction
I am my own disease
there ain't no drug that they can sell
there ain't no drug to make me well

there ain't no drug

there ain't no drug
it's not enough
the sickness is myself

I've made a mess of me

I want to get back the rest of me
I've made a mess of me
I want to spend the rest of my life alive

we lock our souls in cages

we hide inside our shells
it's hard to free the ones you love
when you can't forgive yourself

I've made a mess of me

I want to reverse this tragedy
I've made a mess of me
I want to spend the rest of my life alive

"He not busy being born is busy dying." - Bob Dylan

"You were born a white man in mid-twentieth century industrial America. You came into the
world armed to the teeth with an arsenal of weapons. The weapons of privilege, racial privilege,
sexual privilege, economic privilege. You wanna be a pacifist, it's not just giving up guns and
knives and clubs and fists and angry words, but giving up the weapons of privilege, and going
into the world completely disarmed. Try that." - Ammon Hennessy

Lyrically the song is yearning for abundant life to spring from past mistakes. The song attempts
to explore the darkest parts of the human animal and transcend them, rising above these gloomy
moments to find true life. If you're Freud, you call these darker urges the death drive. If you're
St. Paul, you talk about doing the things you don't want to do. Whatever you call them, these
dark places destroy us if we leave them unchecked. I feel that tension everyday, between the
right and the wrong, between life and death. And yet there is no easy path to freedom from self.
It’s a narrow road and few find it. We've all thought about the quick fix: that special
something/someone that could take the pain away. Yet the problems in my life are much bigger
than any temporary solution. We die a little everyday- physically, spiritually; we are in sorry
shape. Ain't no drug to make me well. Ain't no drug that can relieve me from the monster of
myself. Ain't no one to blame. But my decision is made. I want to follow this through... I want to
spend the rest of my life alive.

This tune has lived several lives all revolving around the guitar hook. It started out as a song
called "I Saw Satan (Fall Like Lightning)" I wrote it a couple years back when I was stealing
heavily from scripture. We dragged it into the studio with Charlie Peacock for a week of
recording at Big Fish Studios and came out with a really great bridge. Then we wrote a new
chorus, called the song "There Ain't No Drug" and built the verse lyrics around the new chorus.
We made the bridge the chorus after that. (And at this point I was about as lost as you, dear
reader. These are the limitations of having no limitations!) So we stepped away from this song.
We knew it was a great one, we were just too inside it. When we came back to it we realized that
we were really close... we just needed the final push- so we re-tracked everything at Mike's
place. Tim was the champion of this tune: lifting it from one phase to the next, never giving up
on the riff. I'm really proud of Tim for pushing through till the final version that ended up on the


I hear you breathing in

another day begins

the stars are falling out

my dreams are fading now, fading out

I've been keeping my eyes wide open

I've been keeping my eyes wide open
your love is a symphony
all around me
running through me

your love is a melody

underneath me
running to me

your love is a song

the dawn is fire bright

against the city lights

the clouds are glowing now

the moon is blacking out

I've been keeping my mind wide open

I've been keeping my mind wide open

your love is a song

with my eyes wide open

I've got my eyes wide open
I've been keeping my hopes unbroken

"But the beauty of Einstein's equations, for example, is just as real to anyone who's experienced
it as the beauty of music. We've learned in the 20th century that the equations that work have
inner harmony." -Edward Witten
"I would believe only in a God that knows how to Dance." -Friedrich Nietzsche

"Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize
that it is he who is asked." -Viktor Frankl

For me, melody is a constant. I am always buzzing with some hook or rhythm or idea... (for
example, I've got an idea in my head now from when I went surfing a few hours ago).
Sometimes I imagine the entire universe as a song, or an incredibly elaborate symphony- the sun
is setting, there's a kid staring at the evening train going by. People are falling in love. Fathers
are apologizing to their sons after years of unspoken silence. Children are looking for the
approval that only a mother can give. I think of life as an interwoven and interconnected
masterpiece. It's like Lauren Hill and Kierkegaard say- everything effects everything.

Alongside these beautiful, pure notes there are elements of horrific dissonance. Parts of the
symphony where the musicians are not following the score. To our shame, ours is a world of
slavery, bigotry, and hate. Of Rwanda. Of Darfur. These atonal catastrophes on our Darkwater
Planet would destroy the song if they could. But love is a stronger song. Alongside the
dissonance there is hope. There is forgiveness and joy singing alongside of hatred and despair.
The song is still being written. Everyday we choose whether we will submit to the score to sing
along with love.

When I found out about the string theory it made a lot of sense. I pictured all the universe
vibrating. Some instruments are out of tune. Some are not following the conductor. But love
conquers a multitude of errors. Your love can cover even the atrocities that I've committed in my
own life, even the times when my actions are horribly out of tune. Yes, even these have been
mercifully forgiven and brought into the song.

There are reoccurring themes in my life. Because I write about the things I'm wrestling, these
themes often find themselves in multiple songs. I used fight against this concept. Now I see these
songs as interconnected, sequels in a real life documentary. One idea that I'm continually
wresting with is the concept that the creator of heavens and earth would love a wreck like
myself. This idea has been the seed for a few of my songs, they are a trilogy of sorts: "Let Your
Love Be Strong," "Your Love is Strong," and "Your Love is a Song."

I wrote this song with Mike Elizondo the first day we worked together. The pre-chorus hook was
the seed for the rest of it. Mike was great about sitting back and letting me chew on something
until I got it. It was as though we were looking at the same thing from different vantage points,
mine was the micro scope- his the telescope. So he would guide the song from a bird's eye view
away from some of the dangerous places while I was trudging along with the particulars. I love
writing with people, you learn so much about who they are in the process. I learned enough from
this song that I trusted Mike's instincts a lot.


The static comes in slow

You can feel it grow
Our stream of conscience flows
Under the streets below

The rivers made of sound

Still running underground
Runs like a silent flood
we run as thick as blood

can you hear it rise

up from the ground
can't drown it out
can you hear it now

this is the sound

of a heartbeat
this is the sound
from the discontented mouths
of a haunted nation
we are the voice of breaking
can you hear me?
this is the sound
of the desperation bound
by our own collision
we are the voice of breaking

the static comes alive

beneath the broken skies
john perkins said it right
love is the final fight

let it rise above

rise above
there is no song
louder than love

"You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God
hates all the same people you do." -Anne Lamott

"When we talk about heaven we talk about all people praising God together. Well, I didn't meet
many people down here that were Christians that were trying to make that happen." -John

This was the last minute addition to the record. When we were making the final list, I showed
this song to Tim (he's my first line of defense- If it gets past Tim, then there's a chance we'll track
it). He was as excited as I was. We wanted to have a song with a steady, relentless pulse on the
record and we all knew that this one fit the bill. The chorus was originally much more of a
straightforward lyric, maybe too much so. So we redid the chorus and began to rewrite the verse
lyrics to match the chorus vibe.

Lyrically, I feel like this song is a corollary of Hello Hurricane. I was reading a book at the time,
Let Justice Roll Down- it's the autobiography of John Perkins, given to me by a friend of mine. I
was struck by Perkins’ honesty and humility. He describes the Jim Crow world of not so very
long ago with brutal honesty. We are a haunted nation. Whether we admit it or not, the past runs
through our veins. Listen to the streets, they'll tell you the same. We can cover up our racism and
narrow-minded bigotry with excuses and time but the sins of the past cry out from the ground.
The undercurrents from our history are always buzzing around our ears. But rising above the
constant gnawing of past wrongs is the song of Love. Love is the reconciliation. The deliberate
act of forgiveness. The deliberate act of moving forward unencumbered by the past. This is the
sound. This is the sound.


I'm a wandering soul
I'm still walking the line that leads me home
All I know
I still got mountain to climb
on my own
on my own

Do you love me enough to let me go?

to let me follow through
to let me fall for you
Do you love me enough to let me go?

Back from the dead of winter

back from the dead and all our leaves are dry
you’re so beautiful, tonight

back from the dead we went through

back from the dead and both our tongues are tied
you look beautiful tonight

but every seed dies before it grows

breathe it in
and let it go
every breath you take is not your to own
it's not your to hold
Do you love me enough to let me go?

"Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is
lacking. The one is the shadow of the other." -Carl Jung

"Faith is the highest passion in a human being. Many in every generation may not come that far,
but none comes further." -Soren Kierkegaard

This one started with the guitar hook I came up with during sound-check; however, most of the
song took shape in a hotel room in Australia. I was thinking about how love (not just lust or
codependency that commonly flood the tunes on the airways) actually involves quite a bit of
faith. There's a lot of letting go involved. Two souls in love is an intricate dance of give and take.
I can be a fairly solitary person from time to time. Sure, I love being with people, but I also need
time alone. I guess I thrive on the poles. So this song is about the dance involved in a
relationship the coming together and letting go. The song equates love with breathing- pulling in
and releasing. Or a seed, for the seed to grow it has to be dropped and buried.

In our barcode media, love is often portrayed as consumption. As consumers in a commercial

driven culture we can begin to view other souls as objects, or potential cures for our deepest fears
and insecurities. "Perhaps if I found the right lover I would no longer feel this deep existential
despair." But of course no human soul could be the Constant Other, the face that will never go
away. Only the infinite can fill that role. But the silence can be deafening. It's a fearful thing to
be alone. Do you love me enough to let me go? "I can't live without you"- "I would die if you
ever left me"- These are not the songs of love, these are the songs of consumption.


I've got my back against the wall

But I still hear the blue sky call

The chains that hold me back inside

are the prisons of my mind

come set me free
down on my knees
I still believe you can save me from me
come set me free
come set me free
inside this shell
there's a prison cell
I try to live the light of day
why would I do what I hate

But when try to reach above

I only I hurt the ones I love

there's a hole in the neighborhood

where the shadows fall

there's a hole in my heart but my hope

is not in me at all

I had a dream that my chains were broken

broken, broken, broken open

"There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley
of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires... there
is no such thing as part freedom." - Nelson Mandela

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they
seldom use." -Soren Kierkegaard

I'm pretty sure that I wrote this one in an elevator. Tim says that the seed of it was written by the
time the elevator ride was over. I don't remember that, I just wanted to have a song on the record
(and live) that captured a reinterpretation of the blues. From the moment I started playing guitar I
was hooked on Led Zeppelin, BB King, and Hendrix. Wes Montgomery came later. I wanted to
have a simple throbbing, pulsing song on the record that epitomized the songs I played in Jr.
The concept of this song is fairly simple. I am trapped by myself. I am a man who is bounded by
his own lusts and vices, yearning to be free of these hindrances. We are enslaved to our passing
desires that are often more swayed by our environment than our own volition. Most of what we
call our "choices" are simply reactions. Free thought is incredibly rare. Who can know the
darkest parts within himself? This unspoken and nameless prison is the bane of the "free" world,
the hole in the neighborhood. We are in the chains of debt, the chains of consumption, enslaved
by our lusts, our fears, and our past. The truth will set you free but it's only slightly less scary
than hell and a whole lot harder to get there. There is no outer freedom until we have chosen to
be free inside.

Lyrically I feel like this song is the brother of "Mess of Me." Yearning for a life beyond what I
have. Hoping for freedom. Still yearning to get there. "I had a dream that my chains were
broken... broken open." I'm still running hard for this goal.


I've been watching the skies

they've been turning blood red
not a doubt in my mind anymore
there's a storm up ahead

hello hurricane
you're not enough
hello hurricane
you can't silence my love
I've got doors and windows
boarded up
all your dead end fury is
not enough
you can't silence my love

every thing I have I count as loss

everything I have is stripped away
before I started building
I counted up these costs
there's nothing left for you to take away

hello hurricane
you can't silence my love

I'm a fighter fighting for control

I'm a fighter fighting for my soul
everything inside of me surrenders
you can't silence my love

hello hurricane
you can't silence my love

"Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself." -Soren Kierkegaard

"The capitalist culture of consumption... does not provide meaningful sustenance for large
numbers of people." -Cornel West

This is a subject matter that I speak of with holy reverence. Having grown up on the East Coast I
know firsthand of the houses lost, of the dreams turned into nightmares. I take my shoes off and
recognize that this is a matter that is dear to our nation, especially of late- with every passing
hurricane season. Last year, with Habitat for Humanity we helped to build a house for a woman
who lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane had taken her city, her house, and her
leg. As she relocated to Baton Rouge and learned how to walk as an amputee, her mantra was
this: "I walked out of my house and my life in New Orleans on my own legs, I'm going to walk
into this one the same way." This is the spirit that I wanted to capture with this song, and
moreover with this record. The storms of life might take my house, my loved ones, or even my
life- but they cannot silence my love.

Yes, the reactionary impulses of hate, fear, and despair really are defenseless against the storms
of this life. And yet, this selfless love really might be stronger than death. Perhaps, the kingdom
of the heavens really is at hand, ready to give, ready to love. And with this love as my song I will
overcome. In surrender to divine love I will find my strength. "Let no debt remain outstanding,
except the continuing debt to love another."


this is the start

this is your heart
this is the day you were born
this is the sun
these are your lungs
this is the day you were born

and I am always yours

these are the scars

deep in your heart
this is the place you were born
this is the hole
where most of your soul
comes ripping out
from the places you've been torn

and it is always yours

but I am always yours

I'm caving in
I'm in love again
I'm a wretched man
every breath is a second chance

and it is always yours

and I am always yours

Everything can be taken from a man but ... the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's
attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." -Viktor Frankl

“Everything alive must die. Every building built to the sky will fall. Don't try to tell me my
everlasting love is a lie.” -Jeff Tweedy

I am continually searching for meaning in my life. Why am I here? Why is there so much pain?
This cold, dark stream of sorrow runs through my life. Why does it run alongside of the warm
beautiful waters of joy and beauty? Why do the two rivers collide and intertwine? The dark and
the light. The death and the life... Most of my songs become outlets for these questions. The
music becomes place for the cognitive dissonance to chew away at something other than a
broken heart or an ulcer. The music becomes a place to sort through the dark and the light. I love
crosswords, sodoku, solitaire- games with a simple victory that allows me the momentary thrill
of setting the world right. But song- writing feels like a similar discipline to me. A puzzle of
letters and math, theory and rule, expression and passion.

The lyric of this song attempts to start at the womb and follow a human soul through life. And so
it begins: the heart beats, the eyes open, breath floods the lungs for the first time- what incredible
experiences! What extraordinary sensations! I wanted to write this from a father's perspective,
from the eyes of the father of life. One look into the eyes of his son and the father is smitten for
life. The possession that the young infant has over the father is complete. Always yours. The
second verse speaks of the pain. This pain is always with us. We are born into a world of pain,
the pain of losing a child, the pain of rejection, of racism, sexism, fears... these experiences rip us
to pieces.

Everyone feels pain. I look to those who have been through more pain than I will ever know for
guidance on the subject. The Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Victor Frankl survived several
Nazi concentration camps with his life and his hope intact. He lost more than I'll ever know... his
wife, his parents, and his family did not survive. His understanding of pain is in direct opposition
to our western world that is often found running from pain at all costs. Frankl’s “Case for a
Tragic Optimism” speaks of turning suffering into human achievement and optimism in the face
of tragedy. The memories, the pain, the scars, these are yours. Yes, the things that you and I have
lost. These are yours and they have meaning. No, these could never be The Ultimate Meaning in
our lives, but let these scars drive us towards "turning suffering into human achievement and

The bridge in the song is the acknowledgment of my own shortcomings. As a man born into
beauty and pain, there is a moment of surrender where I lay down my life. This is a free
volitional action, a gift, just as the father's love was given to me- this became the response. A
simple surrender to the Infinite Maker of The Finite acknowledging that I need his love. The
meaning in my life is often found in surrender rather than mastery.


I want to sing one for all the dreamers

I'm singing this one for the sparks
Here's one for the friction makers
We are the bleeding hearts
don't care whoever you are

we rise and fall together

our hearts still beat below
you can't stand by forever
you're a kid with a bullet soul
are you ready to go?

I want to turn up the radiation

I want to glow in the dark
love is the one true innovation
love is the only art
Don't let 'em blow it apart

we are the children of the scar

I want to start from the start

"Imagination decides everything." -Blaise Pascal

“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.”
-Jack Kerouac

Here's the second song that I worked on with Mike. We tracked a lot of it the day after we wrote
"Your Love is a Song." I wanted to see what it would be like to work on a rock tune with him
because I hadn't heard much of his work in that area. His passion and knowledge about fuzz
tones were an incredible surprise to me. He brought out a song called “Bugman” as a reference (a
blur song off of 13, a more obscure blur record that had some messier pinkerton overtones) and I
knew we were on the right track. The demo I had done was much more subdued and with
eclectic instrumentation (more of a cheap dust brothers concept). But he brought out a few
Deviever guitar pedals and the song took turn towards the rock side of things.
We are the children of the scar. Our lives flash so quickly before us... This song was loosely
based on a poem that I wrote a few years back. You only get one shot with your bullet soul, I
want to make all that I can out of my one shot. Life is not perfect or ideal. Life is full of messy,
bleeding dreamers. That's where things begin- Broken hearts making a broken record. But that's
not the end of the story...


all attempts have failed

all my heads are tails
she's got teary eyes
I've got reasons why

I'm losing ground and gaining speed

I've lost myself or most of me
I'm headed for the final precipice

but you haven't lost me yet

no you haven't lost me yet
I'll sing until my heart caves in
no, you haven't lost me yet

these day pass me by

I dream with open eyes
nightmares haunt my days
visions blur my nights

I'm so confused
what's true of false
what's fact or fiction after all
I feel like I'm an apparition's pet

but you haven't lost me yet

no, you haven't lost me yet
I'll run until my heart caves in
no, you haven't lost me yet

if it doesn't break
if it doesn't break
if it doesn't break
if it doesn't break your heart it isn't love
if it doesn't break your heart it's not enough
it's when you're breaking down
with your insides coming out
that's when you find out what your heart is made of

and you haven't lost me yet

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and
possibly be broken." -CS Lewis

I like old instruments, often better than newer versions. It's hard to describe, feels like old guitars
bring a life and a story to the conversation. When you write songs on an old guitar the guitar
tends to speak up for itself from time to time. "Yet" was written on an old National steel guitar
that I bought at a pawnshop on tour. It was a finger-picking tune played with a slide and very
unlike the version on the record. Tim and I both thought that the folk interpretation of the song
didn't really rise to the potential of the melody or the lyric. We spent a day at my house trying to
find the right instrument to carry the song. We tracked the acoustic and electric guitar that day.
We stumbled on the bass intro later. We were singing the final version of the song down and I
felt like the end bit wasn’t quite right. It needed a bit more to tell the story. So I wrote a new lyric
to go over top of the chorus chord changes.

The song is about hope. Hope is always reaching towards the future, reaching for what has not
yet come to pass. Once the hope is attained, it can no longer be called hope. Hope isn't the sort of
thing you can pull out of your pocket and show off. Hope is a "holding on" of sorts, an expectant
belief, a desire as of yet unfulfilled. I wrote this song from a really dark place, looking for some
form of hope. And maybe searching for hope is a form of hope in itself. There's a moment of
honesty when your mask drops, when you can no longer pretend to have it all together. When
this pretense is gone you breathe in your first real breath. When you are no longer pretending to
be something you're not, you're left with a truly honest assessment of the situation. Very little is
left, "Faith, hope, and love remain. But the greatest of these is love."


I'm on the run

I'm on the ropes this time
where is my song?
I've lost the song of my soul tonight

sing it out
sing it out
take what is left of me
and make it a melody

sing it out
sing out-loud
I can't the words to sing
you'd be my remedy

My song
My song
I'll sing with what's left of me

where is the sun?

feel like a ghost this time
where have you gone?
I need your breath in my lungs tonight

sing it out

I'm holding on
I'm holding on to you
My world is wrong
my world is a lie that's come true
and I fall in love with the ones that run me through
when all along all I need is you

sing it out

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle.” -Lewis Carroll

"And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." -Friedrich Nietzsche

there's a bluebird in my heart that

wants to get out
but I'm too clever
I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep
Sometimes I lose the plot. I feel like I'm hopelessly lost underwater, as though I can't figure out
which way is up. I know that there's a song somewhere inside of me but I just can't remember
what it is. I want my life to be the poetry of the Poet himself, I want to sing- to be a melody
intertwined with The Melody Himself. But sometimes I'm hopelessly lost, broken, spent. I fall in
love with the ones and things that take life and love away from me. I need The Song Himself to
sing through me. I need The Word Himself to speak into me.

Here's a song that we worked on maybe more than any of the others. There are so many versions
of this song. The demo leaned towards Massive Attack. The next version was even darker-
tracked with Daryll. Most of the elements that we tracked with Daryll made it to the final cut
(except some incredibly moody drums that we did with him). We kept trying to find a pulse that
would be constant but wouldn't feel like a dirge. The next iteration of the song sounded much
more like Sade with a really memorable bass line that Tim came up with. But still, we all felt like
the song was stronger without these superfluous elements. So we used the always effective "mute
button" on pretty much everything. The song is singing about itself- struggling for melody, for
life, for meaning. Singing about rebirth, the song spends most of its time in the grave and comes
to a bright glorious finish, held out until the very end. To match the lyric we saved almost every
instrument for the end of the song. In my opinion, the essence of the song was the only thing that
survived on the record.


what are you waiting for,

the day is gone?
I said I'm waiting for dawn

what are you aiming for

out here alone?
I said I'm aiming for home
holding on, holding on

with red eyes

What are you looking for?
with red eyes
red eyes

all of my days are spent

within this skin
within this cage that I'm in

nowhere feels safe to me

nowhere feels home
even in crowds I'm alone

holding on, holding on

every now and then I see you dreaming

every now and then I see you cry
every now and then I see you reaching,
reaching for the other side
what are you waiting for?

"Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough... The hunger for love is
much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread." -Mother Theresa

“Our churches have done little more than reproduce and radiate this brokenness of our
culture... Many congregations do nothing but outsource justice." -John Perkins

So here we are at the end of the world. And the beginning. Here we are at the dawn of the next
generation. Y2K has passed us by. MLK, Kennedy, Elvis, Lennon, Cobain, MJ... they have all
left the living. They have left us searching, wondering, hoping... I read the headlines, I watch the
news. Iraq, Rwanda, Iran, Darfur, Tibet, Columbine, OKC... Towers falling, mothers, brothers,
sisters, fathers... passing from life to death. We're killing one another, destroying each other.
Sometimes the state of the world can bring a man to his knees. It could make you cry. I get
angry. I get overwhelmed. I give up... almost. Sometimes, I find myself staring into a blood red
dawn, still awake from the night before. Still wondering why this new day has so much of the old
darkness, the old sorrows, the old hatred. I feel so alone. I feel so alone in this world of pain.

All my heroes are the ones who ran after the higher vision, the news that stays new. We've been
chasing lesser gods, gods who do not know our names, gods who will die alongside of us. The
kingdom of the heavens does not come to us in our wealth, it comes to our in our poverty. Our
money, our knowledge, our medicine, our sex, our privilege- these are double-edged swords,
dependent upon our own shaking hands for guidance. With our two hands we build up and
destroy, we hold and break the future. My own hands are shaking. I reach for the new day with
fear and trembling. I'm reaching for a bird called hope, for the one true song who could bring me
home. I'm waiting for dawn. I'm dreaming, reaching for the other side.

At the end of the record there is a reprise that goes back to the first song. For me this is a
reminder of the repetitive nature of all that we call life. Wonder, surrender, joy, forgiveness,
hope- yes, give us today the daily bread of our moment by moment existence. This life is so
fragile- at any instance one of us could slip beyond this life into the infinite unknown. It's as
though every breath we take has been given to us on loan. We are surrounded by mysteries,
miracles, wonders, and tragedies that we will never master. Yes, I will die one day- of this I am
certain. But I'm not dead yet! No, tonight there is breath in my lungs- pushing, pulsing, yearning
to break free... I will dream, for dreams are the seeds of what may be. I will wonder, for without
wonder, how could life be wonderful? And I will sing.

Yes, until my pending death I will sing. In the face of indifference, I will sing. In the face of
adversity, I will sing. I will sing about the pain. I will sing about the mystery. I will sing of the
hope, the cage, the bullet, the winter, the dreamer. I will sing of all of these. I've seen miracles
there in your eyes. It's no accident we're here tonight. We are once in a lifetime.