In The Ground

by Timeshares

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1.
Now I’ve got this long, long road laid out before me Longing for days before diagnoses, what does it mean Do you think we took sitting down for granted In the yard, the humidity before the breeze And where I saw the long, long road laid out before me I’d believed with what we’ve lost Honestly, after all that waiting There was no one left to die So you give yourself to a frightening world to shelter and feed And pray that you’re not the last to know when it’s time to leave Trembling, but let’s not talk about it, I’m sure you’ve got somewhere to be And I’ve got this long, long road laid out before me I’d believed with what we’ve lost Finally, after all that waiting There was no one left to die Your sister’s exhausted I’m awake most every night So come on by if you’ve got the time Don’t the time make it feel like we’re Just kicking around Trying to stick around Long enough to stick our folks in holes in the ground I guess we stick our folks in holes in the ground Stick our folks in holes in the ground That’s right we stick our folks in holes in the ground Stick our folks in holes in the ground With all we’ve lost, finally After all that waiting There was no one
2.
It’s as easy to wake up on the wrong side of the bed To be born on the wrong side of the tracks So if one day I came to find Only a dagger by my side I wouldn’t be surprised that everything looked like a back And you won’t have to catch me You won’t have to catch me A cross of lilies lain beside a bed would be Too tasteful for the gilded garden that grew my desperation But if you fertilize my fear The only bounty I will bear Will be the harvest of Venetian preservation And you won’t have to catch me You won’t have to catch me Swinging from the balcony shouting sic semper tyrannis While history is retold From his ear to my lips There won’t be a hunt on horseback There won’t be an old tobacco barn ablaze for me to rest You can jeer at me when I miss my lines but I won’t miss him And no one will miss me And you won’t have to catch me You won’t have to catch me Swinging from the balcony shouting sic semper tyrannis While history is retold From his ear to my lips
3.
You never meant to hurt her You’re just a New Jersey Turnpike worker And the next brew’s due at 3 Who’ll wake the weary steering wheels Moving up and down the highway I can feel it bubbling underneath And then the sun comes up Sun comes up over the neon end And it’s just me again And don’t the lost deserve soft landings Or guiding beacons So I’ve got reason Why don’t you understand? Moonbeams gleam accusingly Through menus and murals And navigate into a night They send signals into an ether Desperate and searching for receivers Still existing to circle satellites And then the sun comes up Sun comes up over the neon end And it’s just me again And don’t the lost deserve soft landings Or at least to know just what they’re seeking Can you pick up the phone? You were crying again at me But I am an island dividing streams In constant motion Of the tri-state region’s workforce And the lost Where are they going? The Lombardi’s the last stop south of the city And depending on your way Your first glimpse at escape Or your last chance to stay You never meant to hurt her You’re just a New Jersey Turnpike worker And the next brew’s due at 3 Who’ll wake the weary steering wheels Moving up and down the highway

about

So, weird year, right?

If you’re reading this, you’ve found our EP Timeshares In The Ground. We hope you like it.

I don’t want to harp on the whole COVID thing. It’s been a nightmare for everyone. But hey, we’ve been a band for eleven years. We’d never really been apart for this long before. Needless to say, getting together at Retro City Studios in Philadelphia for another session with the patient and brilliant Andy Clarke was a tremendous joy and an even bigger relief.

You might have noticed a theme developing in the titles and artwork (done by Maxwell Stern, of course) across our releases for the past couple of years. Here’s the short version: we always intended these EPs to be part of one cohesive project together. The first one was an impulse decision to break us out of a deep morale slump, and it did. So, we kept doing it. Listen to this stuff however it pleases you but, to us, On Life Support, Out There, and In The Ground are essentially our latest full length. And hell, throw “The Boot” in there too as that weird outlier track. Y’know, like “Train in Vain” or “Can’t Stand It.”

“Folks In Holes” was written over two separate windows of time. The first was when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, the second was months later when another mass was found in her lungs. I’m happy to report my mom’s fine and cancer-free today. The song is part of a series of tunes I didn’t realize I was writing, about forming and developing a relationship with the idea of death. I guess that’s just a bummer way of saying “getting older.” The others are “Ladder” from On Life Support and another song we’ve recorded that I hope you get to hear soon. I’m really proud of us for this one - I love when we piece a neat pop gem together.

On the Drive-By Truckers album Decoration Day there are two songs (“Do It Yourself” and “When The Pin Hits The Shell”) about the death of a friend that Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley wrote separately. They take STARKLY different approaches and watching them play the two songs live back-to-back is a hoot. While the subject matter is different, I like to think Mike’s song on this EP, “From His Ear To My Lips,” and “The Boot” (that we released earlier this year) are our versions of the same concept. “His Ear” is such a dark and clever little tune, and boy, get a load of Max’s guitar solo. I just hope this thing doesn’t land us on any no-fly lists.

“New Jersey Turnpike Worker” is based on a short story I wrote a few years ago about the overnight shift at the Vince Lombardi rest stop. I imagine every band in the northeast is familiar with the place. They’ve recently renovated the hell out of it, and Mike tells me they’re going to rename it after James Gandolfini. I guess that makes a little more sense for the turnpike. Eric, as always, was so instrumental in arranging this tune, a bit of an ambitious one for us. We were honored to have the legendary Mike Brenner on steel guitar and Karen Kuhn on fiddle for this song. The two of them, along with Kyle Graham (who played keys on all of these releases) did such beautiful work on this song, I’m still floored whenever I hear it.

As always, thanks for listening. There’s a polaroid of us in Mike’s basement from our first practice, eleven-ish years ago. Eric’s wearing Mickey Mouse ears. I think about it whenever the group text flares up. Please be safe and take care of each other so we can get back in our van (or maaaybe even an aiiiiirplane), drag our asses out to wherever you are, and play these songs for you in person.

-jon/ts

credits

released August 6, 2021

Recorded and mixed by Andy Clarke at Retro City Studios in Philadelphia, PA. Mastered by Ian Farmer at The Metal Shop in Philadelphia, PA. Art by Maxwell Stern.

Kyle Graham plays keys on tracks 1-3.
Mike "Slo-Mo" Brenner plays lap steel on track 3.
Karen Kuhn plays violin on track 3.

Timeshares is: Eric Bedell, Jon Hernandez, Mike Natoli and Maxwell Stern.

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