Solidago

by Chris Velan

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    Album download includes video documentary 'Chris Velan: The Making of Solidago.'

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Chris Velan recorded this album - over many burritos - at Mission Bells studio in San Francisco and released it in 2008. It was produced by the one and only Tim Bluhm of the Mother Hips - an incredible songwriter and performer as well as a gifted producer. David Simon-Baker, aka DSB, engineered it at MB and mixed the hell out of it at Laughing Tiger in Sausalito. Chris had such a blast making this record and was joined by an illustrious gang of Bay Area/SoCal musicians: Adam Topol (drums), John Hofer (drums), Paul Hoaglin (bass), Jackie Greene (piano, organ), Dan Lebowitz (guitar), Nicki Bluhm (backing vocals), Sara Johnston (backing vocals), Tim Bluhm (guitar, backing vocals) and Dave Ralicke (horns).

    It comes in this 4-panel eco-digipak with a lyric book and the enhanced CD includes a video documentary filmed and edited by award-winning filmmaker, Banker White. Artwork and design by CloudRaker and Kevin Peacock.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Solidago via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 13 NewSong Recordings releases available on Bandcamp and save 30%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Rabbit in the Road, Ocean of Birds, Glow, Occasional Summer, The Echo Choir EP, Waltzes, Quiet Songs For Loud Times, The Long Goodbye, and 5 more. , and , .

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credits

released April 1, 2009

Produced by Tim Bluhm.
Recorded and Mixed by David Simon Baker.
Assistant Engineer: Charlie Note
Recorded @ Mission Bells; San Francisco, CA
Mixed @ Laughing Tiger; Sausalito, CA
Executive Producer: Gar Ragland
Mastered by Mike Wells.

All songs written by Chris Velan
'Hard Way Learner' co-written by Sara Johnston.

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Track Name: Hard Way Learner
HARD WAY LEARNER

So I find myself here again
I have to wonder if it’s ever going to end
I once knew this place by a different name
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised
Had I thought I would have recognized
‘Cause the faces are different but it feels the same//

So please be patient with me baby
I’ll try to make this the last time//

But I’m a hard way learner
I keep my finger to the burner
And I need my time to get it right
I’m a, I’m a hard way learner//

For a while everything is fine
Like I’ve left it all far behind
But there’s a rip in the cloth where the past crawls through
And it comes in a new disguise
To try to look me right in the eyes
And ask again what’re you going to do//

So please be patient with me baby
I’ll try to make this the last time//

I’m a hard way learner
I keep my finger to the burner
And I need my time to get it right
I’m a, I’m a hard way learner//

The flags go up
The alarm bells ring
But I’m blinded I don’t hear a thing//

Push that rock, Sisyphus, up the hill
Will it roll back, yeah it probably will
But you don’t have to keep pushing ‘till you come undone
They talk about a wheel to which we’re bound
To ride forever as it goes around
And if you don’t get it in this life
You try the next one//

So please be patient with me baby
I want to make this the last time//

I’m a hard way learner
I keep my finger to the burner
I need my time to get it right
I’m a, I’m a hard way
I’m a hard way learner
I keep my finger to the burner
I need my time to get it right
I’m a, I’m a hard way//
Track Name: Wobbly Bones
WOBBLY BONES

The last time I saw you, you were lying on a bed
With bracelets on your wrist and a hole through your head
Your eyes wide-open looking straight at me
As if you still had something to see
The last time I saw you, you were running for your life
No child in your arms and no sign of your wife
Your mouth wide-open in strangest way
As if you still had something to say//

Take these wobbly bones
Break them with stones
Here is my skin it keeps it all in
Under my clothes
The blood still flows
To ten fingers and ten toes
Ten fingers and toes
Ten fingers and toes
Count them on your ten fingers and toes//

The last time I saw you, you were buried in the sand
A crater in the place where your home used to stand
Your arms twisted reaching up to the sky
Asking for the answer why
Oh, the last time I saw you all the soldiers had arrived
They lined you up along with the rest that survived
You dropped to your knees and you started to pray
Never stopping as they dragged you away//

Take these wobbly bones
Break them with stones
Here is my skin it keeps it all in
Under my clothes
The blood still flows
To ten fingers and ten toes
Ten fingers and toes
Ten fingers and toes
Count them on your ten fingers and toes//

The last time I saw you, you were nowhere to be seen
They painted the walls scrubbed the floor squeaky clean
I haven’t seen you since, I won’t see you for sure
‘Cause no one’s going to knock on your door
You don’t have a name anymore
Yeah, no one’s going to knock on your door
And you don’t have a name anymore//

Take these wobbly bones
Break them with stones
Here is my skin it keeps it all in
Under my clothes
The blood still flows
To ten fingers and ten toes
Ten fingers and toes
Ten fingers and toes
Count them on your ten fingers and toes//
Track Name: Oldest Trick
THE OLDEST TRICK

Gonna take more eyes than the eyes that you have in your head
To see what’s happening gonna take more teeth
Than those in your mouth to chew it all down
Gonna take more brains than the brains that you have in your skull
To find the answers ‘cause these days information stinks
There’s enough lies here to fool the Sphinx//

The newest version of the oldest trick
It’s been working since they wrote that book
And you say that it makes you sick
But not before that it made you look//

Gonna take more words than the words that can roll off your tongue
To express that there is a way better than this to be free
Gonna take more hands than the hands that grow on your arms
To chip away the tired veneer
It’s thick as a myth
You don’t know what you’re messing with//

The newest version of the oldest trick
It’s been working since they wrote that book
And you say that it makes you sick
But not before that it made you look//

Well, it started so long ago with
Just a few rich men they
Had to protect what they had, what they had but the
Problem with freedom is
Everyone wants some and
If all are equal than the poor might get mad
So they found enemies, built up mythologies
To keep the people from snooping around
It worked so well we can no longer tell
Where the truth turns to rust who to kill who to trust//

The newest version of the oldest trick
It’s been working since they wrote that book
And you say that it makes you sick
But not before that it made you look//
Track Name: Pauper in a Palace
PAUPER IN A PALACE

You’ve never known where your place is
Among faces and how do you do
The planets made you divided
They decided to split you in two
So you tried many disguises
Shapes and sizes to fit yourself in
But each one left you wearing strange clothes
Now when the wind blows you start to spin
‘Cause when it comes down
It really comes down//

You feel like a pauper in a palace
A pretender to the throne
Feel like you’re a prince in a poorhouse
And you’ve never been so alone//

Everyone’s running from something
Probably the one thing they need the most
And it’s there if you think you deserve to
But you prefer to remain a ghost
‘Cause if you decide
You have to decide//

You feel like a pauper in a palace
A pretender to the throne
Feel like you’re a prince in a poorhouse
And you’ve never been so alone//

You’ve got love in your heart
And there’s something you’re supposed to do
But you’re throwing the fight
‘Cause you’re scared of what might be true//

Your seat is set a the table
If you’re able to let yourself stay
And the world is patiently waiting
For you to get out of your way//

You feel like a pauper in a palace
A pretender to the throne
Feel like you’re a prince in a poorhouse
And you’ve never been so alone
Lately you’re a stranger to your own self
Though you’ve known it all along
If there is nowhere that you fit in
Maybe you are already where you belong//
Track Name: Hunting Season
HUNTING SEASON

Forest floor, here we stand
Beast to beast and man to man
No reward, no applause
Just strangers baring claws
After we take our stance
After this ugly dance
All that comes shining through
Will be wasted on you
So if you can’t walk away
And let it go//

Let me begin
I don’t want to fight
But you’re pulling me in
Why you still swinging when nobody can win
In this hunting season
Let me begin
You are the grenade but I am the pin
Look how we’re bleeding from the shape that we’re in
‘Cause everyone gets hurt in this hunting season
Everyone gets hurt in this hunting season//

I seldom shout but you’re bringing my devil out
And I’m dreaming how to make you sting
Now I see why they say
That a small like yours is a dangerous thing
You’re greedy hands are around my throat
But you’ll get nothing from me
‘Cause I’m not your antidote
No I’m not your enemy
But if you can’t walk away
And let it go//

Let me begin
I don’t want to fight
But you’re pulling me in
Why you still swinging when nobody can win
In this hunting season
Let me begin
You are the grenade but I am the pin
Look how we’re bleeding from the shape that we’re in
‘Cause everyone gets hurt in this hunting season
Everyone gets hurt in this hunting season//

‘Cause the traps are set and the lines they are drawn
Long knives at night or pistols at dawn
No matter what happens when the battles is on
I’ll still be here, you will be gone
Understand I am a peace-loving man
I trod upon this earth with a guitar in my hand and
You seem like you want to drag me down but what goes around
Must come back around
What goes around must come back around
But if you can’t walk away and let it go//

Let me begin
I don’t want to fight
But you’re pulling me in
Why you still swinging when nobody can win
In this hunting season
Let me begin
You are the grenade but I am the pin
Look how we’re bleeding from the shape that we’re in
‘Cause everyone gets hurt in this hunting season
Everyone gets hurt in this hunting season
Track Name: Go Easy
GO EASY

Your message said you’d be OK
I hate it when you lie to me
But I am just too far away
To help much to calm your sea
The hanging judge is at your door
The serpent’s underneath your bed
You summon all your angels out
They tell you it’s in your head
And this may hurt for just a while
But it always comes out right//

Go easy, go easy on yourself tonight
Go easy, go easy on yourself tonight//

When all the secret codes you know
Can’t seem to unlock the door
And all the roads that led you home
Don’t arrive there anymore
Don’t scare yourself by thinking that
You’ve lost your only light//

Go easy, go easy on yourself tonight
Go easy, go easy on yourself tonight//

When all the pretty temples you built
Make you want to tear them down
You’re crying over milk you spilt
Long before it hit the ground
Pull your mad genie back inside
And screw the lid on tight//

Go easy, go easy on yourself tonight
Go easy, go easy on yourself tonight
Go easy, go easy on yourself tonight
Go easy, go easy on yourself tonight//
Track Name: A Year Can Change a Lot
A YEAR CAN CHANGE A LOT

No flights out of Paris
The new year’s almost here
The old one’s on its last legs
And I may disappear
‘Cause lately I’ve been thinking
You’re going the wrong way
Going the wrong way
You’re not where you expected
The dreams you collected
Might cost more than you can pay
And I almost fell on St. Michel
‘Till I found what I forgot
A year can change a lot//

There is no language to catch the beauty
Of the moon over Montparnasse
And I can’t explain for the life of me
How this could come to pass
That a family was torn
And your first child born
All the people that we’ve become
I’ve given up predicting
It’s leaving me conflicting
And wondering where it all comes from
Why a friend was lost
And another one found
Some lessons they can’t be taught
Oh, a year can change a lot//

A year can change a lot
You’re worried ‘bout the end
But you’re missing all the plot
One moment you are freezing
And the next you are red hot
A year can change a lot//

It looks like I’ll leave on standby
This airport is like a heart
It pumps me out with a million souls
To make a brand new start
And wars will rage
Then turn the page
And fortunes will rise and fall
The old ones will leave
And I do believe
That I’ll surrender to it all
‘Cause the best laid plans
Unfold like fans
Then snap tight on the spot
And a year can change a lot
Another orbit around the bright star
Guess I’ll give it another shot
‘Cause a year can change a lot//
Track Name: Out of Range
OUT OF RANGE

Well you disappeared this morning
And you’ve been gone
For the good part of the day
With your invisible radio crackling
And those eyes that say
Stay away
Where you go is a mystery
‘Cause your body never leaves
It’s only your expression that turns strange

When you get out of range
Yeah, when you get out of range//

There are rivers raging below these streets
And mountains growing underneath the sea
When you hear hidden decibels
You ask does it happen much to me
Then you beg me to come find you
And pull you back to ground
Tether you to something that won’t change//

When you get out of range
Yeah, when you get out of range
When you get out of range//

When you come back to the moment
And the water settles clear
Then we can both be citizens of nowhere
Nowhere else but here
And gravity will cradle you
Call out your return
And never give you reason to exchange//

When you get out of range
Yeah, when you get out of range
When you get out of range
Yeah, when you get out of range//
Track Name: I'm In Come In
I’M IN, COME IN

I’m in, come in
I’m in, come in
All of this time where have you been
Stuck in a box of paper wings
Worried about the strangest things
Now I’m afraid I’m gonna pop
If I begin I’ll never stop
This is the head from which I think
These are the eyes from which I blink
Doing the dance upon the knife
Trying to carve a second life
One with a cherry on the top
If I begin I’ll never stop//

And I’m fading
I’m fading
But I don’t want to go
But, I don’t want to go
I’m fading
I’m fading
But I don’t want to go
But, I don’t want to go//

I’ve got a gypsy hobo heart
I’ve always known it from the start
It keeps me wondering what to do
It’s gonna to split me right in two
Can’t find the cure in any shop
If I begin I’ll never stop
I want to go to Mexico
Find me a beach that no one knows
Ride every wave that comes along
Not ever wonder if it’s wrong
All I would need is just a drop
If I begin I’ll never stop//

And I’m fading
I’m fading
But I don’t want to go
But, I don’t want to go
I’m fading
I’m fading
But I don’t want to go
But, I don’t want to go//

Show me the way I feel alone
Hand me the bloody microphone
If this is it I won’t complain
From all that I can ascertain
I’d never want to make a swap
If I begin I’ll never stop
Know that I love you everyday
Know that I try in my own way
To be the leaf that floats along
To be the maker of the song
I’m in, come in, I’m in, come in
God willing I will now begin//

And I’m fading
I’m fading
But I don’t want to go
But, I don’t want to go
I’m fading
I’m fading
But I don’t want to go
But, I don’t want to go//
Track Name: House Upon the Hill
HOUSE UPON THE HILL

This house
Called us on the other coast
It knew that we’d become a ghost
It said as far as it could tell
We should come out and stay a spell
And it took us in with open arms
High above the lights and car alarms
Of the carnival that can’t be killed
This house upon the hill//

This house
Sends me to the streets below
To go and play another show
But it loves it when we come home fine
To drink another bottle of wine
And it makes our bed upon the porch
Under starlight’s silver torch
And it stays up when I can’t sleep
‘Cause it knows I’ve got a plan to keep//

This house
Is going to take the fall for me
While I walk away free
While I walk away free
While I walk away free//

This house
Has seen it all done before
Had a hundred people through its door
And it knows we’re not getting young
But it wants our song to be sung
And it’s sad that we’ve got to go
Though I told it we’ll be back, I know
And I hope it will be standing still
This house upon the hill//
Track Name: May Your Soul Get to Heaven
MAY YOUR SOUL GET TO HEAVEN

If you see a magpie remember this rhyme
“One for sorrow and two for joy
Three for a girl and four for a boy
Five for silver and six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told”
Where a spider ‘round your neck in a walnut shell
Keep a folded newspaper in your shoe
Stick the pages up with wallpaper glue
The devil has to read every word
Before he can get to you I’ve heard//

May your soul get to Heaven
May your soul get to Heaven
Get to Heaven
So the devil knows you’re dead//

Don’t you let the robin in keep the white moth out
See the seventh son of the seventh son
If you need healing he’s the one
It never bodes well to see a dog cry
You dreamed of snow now your parents’ gonna die
If she doesn’t drop the scissors then she’s been true
But don’t part ways on a bridge, my friend
‘Cause you’ll never see each other again
And if you catch a sparrow on Valentine’s Day
You’ll marry poor but be happy anyway//

May your soul get to Heaven
May your soul get to Heaven
Get to Heaven
So the devil knows you’re dead//

Throw the windows up, move the birdcage out
If the doors are locked, his soul can’t leave
Take all the buttons off his sleeve
Sew up his pockets and close his eyes
Turn all the mirrors and tell no lies
If you lived a good life there’ll be flowers on your grave
And they’ll keep one half of your comb
But don’t ever try to follow them home
‘Cause they don’t want you there no more at all//

May your soul get to Heaven
May your soul get to Heaven
Get to Heaven
So the devil knows you’re dead//