What Good We Do Cassette SPR13

by Penn's Woods

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    Recommended for fans of thoughtful, hyperliterate songwriting (see: the Weakerthans, Restorations) and punk-rooted indie rock (along the lines of Husker Du, Superchunk, Archers of Loaf); featuring members of the Angries, JTT, and Lease—pretty much a cross-section of what makes Corvallis music awesome

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03:33
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05:26
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03:46
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02:50
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credits

released September 16, 2014

guitar / vocals / words performed by Michael Thomas
bass / vocals performed by Justin Groft
drums performed by Wes Walker

Recorded by Brady Greig
Mastered by Wes Walker

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Secret Pennies Records Corvallis, Oregon

We live in Corvallis, Oregon and we make tapes and records. DIY 4 life.

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Track Name: For Anastasia
This is nothing like it used to be. The shadows have withdrawn to sleep, the dust left in the window-light, our foundations to silt from the worlds we used to build of sheets and furniture. We'd lie in them all day and at night an exodus. Staying out in the lawns past seven or on the rooftops under the empyrean. The din of days would all seethe out. The sidewalk cracked and you were caught and you were swallowed whole beneath this town, a ruined vault of broken glass and apertures. Don't leave us this way, I knew that you couldn't stay. And I know you haven't bled enough. No one gets out of here. We were giants, we were marred, sucking down the fire of the stars into our bodies where the molten cooled. It made us feel unconquerable and it made us full. Sister there are places that could contain this still. Anywhere but here.
Track Name: Better
We're slaking the night away. We're stained in its calm. All around we're ringed with trees, incandescent every leaf. I was dizzy in this place. I was a lecher in its grace. We're talking the stars all down, we're rooting up names. Here we drink and while we laugh we burn up whiskey in our wrath and now we don't have any. The tinder we carried there, it carries us back. We can all of us be seventeen again and not remember something better. We're rending at undergrowth and howling at the creek. We let our wilderness gloat and our better sense repose becoming feral in the dark and now we're brooded by its mark. The people we buried there, the last rites we gave. Our eyes welled as we spoke carefully of them, of all the torments we'd consent, to revive them. We close our eyes in reverence.
Track Name: Come Home
Just call it off. I know you'd rather live in the blackness and the pitch and go through walls just like a ghost. All you do is drift. You'll find your way back home. We raised a cairn, a promise there, but what was done we don't remember, we were young. All those stones fell long ago, now they're in riverbeds or underneath of homes. Just shed some skin. Let it sear away and drag off all the casing that you're in. You look for fire where there's ash. You stoke the wood but nothing here will catch. You'll find your way back home. You made a road through forest grove, now grown back over traces lost in branch and bone. You come back home but you're never grown. You'd eat your own I know you did. Such a lovely space for us to make a quiet grave. That's what you used to say but you could never keep your promises.
Track Name: Breton Coast
See the tidal range against the eddied day. See the water turning slate. Does its beaten stones and its drowning roads remind you of the coast back home? Let's drift into our wine and talk about each other until we slur into quiet. I can't recall it all for you. I can't draw it out for myself. There's only salt across my lips, there's only grist against the skin. There's only voices on the wind where words should have been. I know you'll forget, you have nothing left to forfeit. See the coming dark on the peninsula and on the houses of Dinard. We walked this quarried town and took a train back south with channel surf filling our mouths. Let's drift into our wine and talk about the things that we don't know about. I can't recall it all for you but you can repose your feet into the sand and feel the wet grass in the soles of both your hands. You can trace it back again.
Track Name: Talk of the Town
They strain, their vocals toil but breaking just the same to keep their secrets in soil but they stretch their arms and dig out of their graves. Masking banal with gossip and flesh is double-knotted all from Armstrong to Market it repels the reason that words can't separate. Roots cross, their torsos felled and in the park they are no longer leaning back in summer's weather. Rumors bound from their restraints but not with suspicious lips do they negate. All they do is speculate. Their prejudice lacks principle always there but just now visible. The community strays physical keeping their distance and their antique shops and inane talk wash into these storm-drains, their children become orphans, fostered by this town in their place remembering their names.
Track Name: Age of Grief
In the tallow's burn I saw your broken nose, your collar bone, and all those markings on your loam. Don't just go on by, my father isn't home tonight. I'll see your soot upon my knees. This place is a gallows land to me. I was used to grief and I'll take anything to cull me to your wilderness instead and the ocher of your bed. I could be another's daughter. Near the shoals we lie in bramble'd weeds and under trees. You'll retch up blood when we're apart. I guess we'll die down here in curtain light or anthracite. You know this place is a gallows. I could be another's daughter and go with geese over the eaves or reeling through the eddy-water drowned with leaves for them to see so they can't reach me.
Track Name: Dusk
We're taking to the open air like we had never treaded there on the backs of fireflies into their tombs of orange light, across a hundred lawns where summer dies by autumn's gun. My heart to sleep into the country with the daughters of carnivals and friends of old, consummate at midnight. In the dusk their trumpets sound above the river and the town. We walk the cemetery paths in fallen leaves our feet are wrapped and under their gathering we are shadows sometimes surfacing. I prayed for stars to guide our dialogue in the churchyard, living for this moment. Went to the house, three years absent. Stood in its yard, its body vacant. It shelters none, its flesh undone. My bones are buried in its walls.
Track Name: Do Not Ask What Good We Do
I followed the dead across the plain on a jailer's horse, his ears strung through my braid, using this rosary of suffering and pain as a sextant and I go to be with them to account for a fire of which everyone is flame. I'll see you all again. And in the bones there is this nameless dark, its substance thicker than the dread that testifies its mark. Its marrow is a lichen deep and red and I can't sense it, I can only taste the flesh where it carries on the wind and rolls from the mountains to the mesa below. Is this all the blood I owe?