NO OUTLET (volume 1: outtakes 2007-2013)


  1. 1.A Minor Disaster

  2. 2.Bus Station

3. All Saints

  1. 4.The Matron

  2. 5.Numbers

  3. 6.Don’t Make Me Sleep On the Floor


(back to DISCOGRAPHY)


Personnel:


Damon Waitkus - vocals, guitars, hammer dulcimer, piano, pianet, banjo, percussion, flutes, recorder

Emily Packard - violins

Kate McLoughlin - bassoon, vocals

Jason Hoopes - bass, vocals, percussion

Jordan Glenn - drums, mallets, percussion


with Nicci Reisnour - harp and wineglasses on “A Minor Disaster”

Ivor Holloway - saxophones on “Numbers”

Jonathan Russell - clarinet and bassoon on “All Saints”

Shauna Laurel Jones - vocals on “The Matron”


All songs by Damon Waitkus except “A Minor Disaster,” by Damon Waitkus and Nicci Reisnour, “All Saints,” by Damon Waitkus, Emily Packard, Jonathan Russell, and Jacob Kramer


Produced and recorded by Damon Waitkus, 2005-2019, Oakland, San Francisco, and Alameda, California, and Brattleboro, Vermont.


Drums and bass to “A Minor Disaster” engineered by The Norman Conquest, 2009


Mastered by Damon Waitkus at Orchard Hill Studio, Brattleboro Vermont, December 2019


ABOUT THE TRACKS:


A MINOR DISASTER


This is sort-of half remix of our early song “Disaster” sung in a minor key, half unreleased track. “Disaster,” along with “Analemma” and, later, “Saturday Afternoon on the Median” was originally part of a live set called “Crazy 8s,” which also included a couple of musical fragments that got excised as the set developed.


The quieter, polyrhythmic harp/hammer dulcimer/wineglasses/bells section which forms the centerpiece for this version is one idea that I always regretted having to abandon (for the sake of the flow) and I’ve had this recording of it kicking around since 2008. Somewhere along the line Kate improvised some bassoon over parts of this alternate version, and I’ve also added a number of layers to it over the years. Though the lyrics and rhythmic feel are almost the same as the original “Disaster,” the mood is quite different and it feels like a new song to me.


BUS STATION


I wrote this when I started turning from contemporary instrumental composition back towards “folky” songwriting, around 2006. Being one of the first songs out of the gate, it created a nice slipstream for its successors but wore itself out in the process. The lyrics are a barely-revised journal entry.


The recording I put together in subsequent years. Emily brought a great energy to this on the 5-string, and I added banjo and a little percussion to get it moving a bit. There was a nice upright bass part from Jason as well, but it unfortunately it succumbed to Arbitrary Digital Immolation.


ALL SAINTS


Emily and I used to record some of our improvisations with Jonathan Russell and Jacob Kramer, among others, and this piece derives from one of those. Here we were playing chords in rhythmic unison, with one person cuing the entrances, picking the pitches out of the air.


I liked part of the session so much that I went back and notated it, then re-recorded it with the original players, replacing Jacob’s classical guitar with bassoon (sorry Jacob, I thought a sustaining instrument would sound better). Included in this sound-collage are pitch-shifted parts of the original improvisation, including some eerie sections where we were all singing through our instruments, as well as Canada geese I recorded flying South for the winter over Alameda, California. The plaintive mood here always had a strongly autumnal feeling to me, so I named it “All Saints” after November 1st. Every fall since 2005 or so, when we did the original improvisation, I would open up the file and work on it a little bit.


NUMBERS


An oddity from around 2011-13, out of the cluttered world of a musical hoarder. I kept working it and reworking it each time I made an album and it never quite got there, until after Night Loops, when I gave it up along with “The Matron.” And yet I still like this warthog.


THE MATRON


Fun with water. I tried to meld my voice with Shauna Jones’ alto to create the impression of a single, androgynous singer. Originally recorded circa 2006 but reworked in vain for each album through Night Loops. Listen with headphones for a thorough head-cleaning.


DON’T MAKE ME SLEEP ON THE FLOOR


Another Travis-picked song from the early years that we rehearsed a little but never really developed. Inspired by so many one-second views down tiny streets in small towns in the middle of the country that seemed to want more attention. Unlike most of the other tunes in this compilation, a lot of this recording is fairly recent.


LYRICS:


A MINOR DISASTER


As the grape leaves choked the light from the sundial,

through the windless air just after the feast of St. Jerome,

a flying machine like she'd never seen

came bombinating over field and town.


It had four square wings the color of lobster claws

and a nose that buzzed like her father humming through a comb

and it made her sigh and need to fly

'til the engine coughed and the plane came down.


Oh my God,

is something moving in the cockpit?

Somebody's alive in there!

They're gonna die if I don't help them!

I'm not ready.

I'm not ready.



BUS STATION


Waited an hour at the bus station,

weary from working.

Some guy is washing out his clothes in the bathroom

while I'm trying to rinse my hands.

Was it a landlord? A hospital bill?

Don't look at me like that! I know--

it wouldn't take much.


I fell asleep on the bus

(this guy was watching me)--

I woke up lost.

Now, I don't know, but I tell myself

I am no longer young,

don't need a lot from the world.

But I can't escape this feeling of being drawn

backwards through the streets.


All right, I guess I'd be crazy

just to accept that I got no power.

What troubles me are these hideous dreams of impact.

I'm walking home with a rose in my hand

like an albatross again,

to mark the time.



THE MATRON


In persistence while you sleep

the matron stands before the sink

among the objects of the day

and grinds away the grime you miss

while you chicane the jungle gaze

down city shafts throughout the day.

You sweat harder than a horse

beneath the girth, and when you draw

the blinds...


And if you didn't drink so much

your body wouldn't wake you up

and send you squinting out across

the floodlit kitchen to relief,

to glimpse the flicker of a form

among your wants


scrubbing and scraping

soaping and scouring

grinding and grating

scrubbing and scraping



NUMBERS


Little man leaning

over the geometry of the night.

Who builds a model

of the heart out of numbers

is impossibly in love with the light


like Methuzelah, who,

after 969 oughts

stopped counting

a week before the flood.



DON"T MAKE ME SLEEP ON THE FLOOR


Oh, the wind and the broken rain

skimmed across the plain

and it blew away the heat.

Ever since I left the lakes

I've been dreaming about Rawlins

and your warm, yellow kitchen

at the end of the street.


Don't make me sleep on the floor

We're not that simple anymore

I leave all my work clothes by the door

Just don't make me sleep on the floor.


I don't know why you always hide

your bewilderment inside--

you know it's all I ever wanted to see.

After all the years I've known you,

after all the wounds I've shown you,

how can you be so formal with me?


Don't make me sleep on the floor

We're not that holy anymore

I leave all my history by the door

Just don't make me sleep on the floor.


Through all my traveling,

through all my plans' unravelling,

I've always found your garden full and green.

You're like a chain of tiny islands

skipping along the horizon

with the strangest native flora

these eyes have ever seen.


I leave everything outside of Rawlins by the door