Seven Songs

by Matthew Houston

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Recorded live August 14-16, 2015, in Orient, Maine.

A trilogy of love songs flanked on either side by songs about family, loss, friends, and death.

Thanks to my mother. Thank you, Libby. Thank you: Alex, Billy, Cory, Dan, Jonathan, Mark, Peter, Peter, Shane, Stefan.



released February 6, 2016

Matthew Houston - Guitar, Voice, Writing, Engineering



all rights reserved


Rough Draft Records Maine

Not a real record label specializing in sporadic releases from the same handful of people in varying configurations. Used to be more ambitious.

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Track Name: Nester
A nest will never last.
Some final task will find no rest.
All is poised on an end.
Can't mend - all is poisoned.
Can't talk without real trust.
Really just can't talk.

And I feel stupid for feeling bad.
I feel bad when I have fun.
I set my face with mortar, order myself to stay in place.

A room made of twigs and fuzz - does it ever feel stable?
Not like old discarded rubble
Whose walls leak air, and cold, and bugs?

Robins seem content,
Living lives of little leaps,
Huddled warmly on little heaps.

Something crumbles in my face,
I crack a smile,
Put it away.
Track Name: Something I Keep
I can almost still smell it,
Faint as a glance passing by unexpected
And rolling something in my gut.

It's a piece I shouldn't have.
An impossible sense from an impossible person.

I almost see her those last times handing it to me.

I can't I can't I can't I can't

I try to remember, to see her clearly, to use windex on this memory.

And I get that awful taste in my head,
And I remember I don't like these memories,
And I run over stupid shit I've said
Trying to think when I saw her last
And I'm drawing a blank
But I know it wasn't beautiful, I know it wasn't glorious.

My heart's being awfully silent
While my brain just can't stop yelling,
Posing so many possibilities and
They're all so demanding and
I'm frozen between them
Trying to offload all this shame.
I turn against my poor heart, I put it down and
Then I turn against my brain.

I attack it with my fists, with beers, and sad pop songs.
I want it ringing with the stinging of the heat my hands lay on -
The heat that swells up when you're drinking but too quickly will be gone.

And so this cold skull is remaining
And I put my headphones on
And I hear Joni Mitchell
Singing about getting her gorgeous wings on.
And she says that she'll be flying,
But the melody falls down.
Track Name: Feeling
Sound in my heart.
Simple, beautiful tone ringing

Sharp as a knife
On a wood block knocking

Right against my skin,
My blood, my hands, a felt thinking

God couldn't know -
His everywhere-point-of-view always shrinking.
Track Name: Force
You said, "You."
And there I was
Already called out of myself.

Framed in your eyes.
Pierced and concrete.
Not me - not now at least.

Conversation catches,
Demands speaking,
a forced thinking.

But I'm already here,
And I say, "You."
And this strange wound keeps circling.
Track Name: Freedom
Such a strange flow:
Our frame and content both,
Always our source and goal,
Our changes ringing and ringing.

The other day I started to play Pinkerton
And we both started singing.
It was the first time that ever happened,
And I loved discovering this new thing.

Love seems to go. It seems to love moving.
We want it to feel automatic just like those knee-jerk words we take for its presence.
But it goes on, and it uncovers new expressions -
A freed thinking.

You and I and between
This feeling this force this freedom
Track Name: Winter
Designate bounds.
Transform the sounds.
Motivate, inspirate.
Freedom is staggering, clambering, moving.
Floor is twitching - stop shaking.

Cold slips up your sleeve.
Losing your leaves.
Winter tree - black arteries
Stretched against sky
Rattling out sighs.
Many paths.
So many paths.

Traces branches, seek sources and ends.
What yields what?
Many connections.

Can't see past zero.
Just pushing, and the pushed pushes.
I imply over and over down lots of tunnels.
I'm implied by a web - a naked tree of decisions and occurrences.
I change every instant, arranging conditions - pushing, dizzying progressions.
I fit on a template, I need to understand it.
Without rhythm I know I couldn't follow it.
Clutch close - don't break.
Track Name: Bacchus
The stillness of assembly,
The motion of completion,
The rest of dismemberment,
Reattaching what was lost to that which kept on growing.

Uneven-ended pieces I wish I could stop knowing.
Words ran off, fled this disaster.
I'd remember, but I never followed after.

Bacchus died so many deaths, and if not, he'd never live.
Not even stones are static - whatever is has torn or split.

Reborn through dismemberment.
Kept in death with remembering.

Hear those words and remember
A body torn put back together.