In Vein
CD & Vinyl (2009)

Album Liner Notes

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Lorrie Matheson – In Vein (2009)

Side 1

  1. A Hollow Wind (3:05)
  2. Falling Down Sober (3:01)
  3. Another Seven Minutes (Shot to Hell) (4:17)
  4. Down on the Main (4:49)
  5. Don’t Let This Living Kill You (3:57)

Side 2

  1. You Can Curse the Dark (7:05)
  2. Blues from the Register Side (3:59)
  3. Gone (4:13)
  4. This Beautiful Bottle (3:54)

Produced and arranged by Jay Crocker
Engineered by Lorrie Matheson at Arch Audio

Mixed by Dave Alcock at Sundae Sound
Mastered by Golden Mastering
Graphic Design by Xerxes Irani

Played by Andrew Blizzard, Brooker Buckingham, Jay Crocker, Chris Dadge, Steve Fletcher, JC Jones, Lorrie Matheson and Scott Munro

Thanks to everyone to made this record possible.
Special thanks to Rawlco Radio for their financial support.

Lyrics & Song Credits

A Hollow Wind

Credits

BB – electric guitar, baritone guitar

JC – acoustic guitar, dictaphone, backing vocal

CD – drums

SF – piano, prepared piano

LM – acoustic guitar, vocal

SM – upright bass, nylon string acoustic guitar, backing vocal

When I played this for my friend Buck, I said it was for him, which in all fairness, at that precise moment it was. Truth is, I wrote it for Rae Ellen, whose skies are bluer, and so am I.

There’s a hollow wind that blows through the space you occupied before you left us here in your search for bluer skies. You can’t be blamed for moving on- we know your reasons why- but there’s a hollow wind that blows through the space you occupied.

There’s an ache that rules my heart when I remember you. The love you brought to life is now but a memory or two. On the days I need you most, when the storm clouds loom, there’s an ache that rules my heart when I remember you.

When I wish you well, it’s tempered by a tear. For though I want the best, I also need you here.

Falling Down Sober

Credits

CD – drums, shaker

LM – acoustic guitar, piano, vocal

For the people on the #1 bus who’ve missed out on the Alberta Advantage.

What’s the verdict? I’m screwed, I guess, but I’m anxious to hear what you think of this mess- and to have a friend right now- that would be a plus. Half a brain’s what I’m working with- the other half’s been shot to shit- blown out riding to work on the Bowness bus, and I’m falling down sober- I can’t get any lower than here.

I’ve never been one for popping pills and smoking grass never cured my ills and the alcohol won’t help too much, I suppose. I’ve never needed help clouding my mind- I’m running out luck, I’m running out of time, I’m breaking down trying to keep these ducks in a row and I’m falling down sober- I can’t get any lower than here.

I’m feeling like a buck and a half- like the fifth man to the four-man raft- and the ship is sunk and there’s no sign of land. So if it’s sink or swim, I guess I’m sinking. Maybe I should just start drinking- at least I’d have a reason to feel this bad- I’m falling down sober- I can’t get any lower than here.

I’m hoping you will understand that what you’re dealing with is a broken man- if you could see your way clear, I sure could use a hand.

Another Seven Minutes (Shot to Hell)

Credits

AB – clarinet

BB – electric guitar, baritone guitar, banjo, effects pedals

JC – piano, backing vocal

CD – drums

SF – prepared piano

JCJ – trombone

LM – vocal, acoustic guitar, organ

SM – upright bass, backing vocal

I heard somewhere that it takes an average of seven minutes to smoke a cigarette- some doctor on TV said smoking a cigarette takes an average of seven minutes off your life expectancy. Go figure.

I already know what the doctor will say- he’ll tell me to bear down and make you go away, but if it was that easy, I’d have done it yesterday or perhaps the day before. I’ve got me a pain down in my throat, and I wish I had a telescope so I could search the land from coast to coast and never see your face. Every time you turn me on, it’s another step into my grave. Every time you drag me down, it’s another seven minutes shot to hell.

You took away my breath- poisoned my blood, put me in debt- and still I’ll go to unfathomable depths to keep you by my side. You made me feel like a man when I was young, but now that I’m a man and you’ve blackened my lungs, I’m forced to accept whatever fate comes, because I’m too weak to fight. Every time you turn me on, it’s another step into my grave. Every time you drag me down, it’s another seven minutes shot to hell.

You will be the death of me, of a piece with suicide. Some say that it’s the coward’s way to get over to the other side. I’m not ever going to find me any relief- you give me trouble and all this grief. How can I drown in my own disbelief when I’ve read all the danger signs? Every time you turn me on, it’s another step into my grave. Every time you drag me down, it’s another seven minutes shot to hell.

Down on the Main

Credits

BB – electric guitar, baritone guitar

CD – drums

SF – piano

JCJ – trombone

LM – vocal, backing vocal

SM – upright bass, backing vocal

I wrote this for J.M. before he died. He was a smart, passionate, funny, caring, loud, obnoxious teddy bear of a man, who couldn’t shake his demons once they caught him. “Show me light, and I’ll show you pain” was his- I hope he doesn’t mind that I used it.

Don’t you want to come and take me for a drive? Don’t you want to come and read my mind? I’ve got these fireworks bursting in my brain. I want the feeling again- I want to ride down on the Main. I wish she never would have loved me at all- I’ve still got the broken bones and bruises from that fall- and you just sit there wiping listening tears away. Don’t you have something you could say to keep me from riding on the Main? I know you don’t mean to be heartless, cold and mean to me. I know you don’t have the means to save me from riding down on the Main.

Poems, preachers and parsed out dreams- the perfect pitch-darkness poison needs. Show me light, and I’ll show you pain and the Mark of Cain- I want to ride down on the Main. I know you don’t mean to be heartless, cold and mean to me. I know you don’t have the means to save me from riding down on the Main.

You tear me up so your sutures have a home. Your false words of comfort are strange echoes and moans to me. You give and take; you take and give until only want remains. Somebody help me- hold me. Someone at least who knows my name. It’s a riddle and I’m desperate for clues. I can’t walk the Main with these nails through the soles of my shoes. I want to glide smoothly through the shame, and then all of this will be in vein when I ride down on the Main. I know you don’t mean to be heartless, cold and mean to me. I know you don’t have the means to save me from riding down on the Main.

Don’t Let This Living Kill You

Credits

BB – electric guitar

JC – tambourine, backing vocal

CD – drums, tambourine

SF – vibraphone

LM – nylon string guitar, organ, vocal

SM – electric bass, backing vocal

When I wrote this, I thought I was telling it to Jim Bryson, but now I think he told it to me.

Snow’s falling down on this sleepy town- a village of a million souls. Everybody knows everyone, and nobody else, I suppose. From across two time zones and miles of wire you took me aback again. I don’t know where or why or how, but this winter’s going to end- you can count on it my friend. So don’t let this living kill you now- hold on.

The prairie welcomed us half-hearted, for it was time to go to sleep. Stitching on the new blanket done, November storms with a promise to keep. We tried to light a fire out there but all the kindling was wet. Still, we held out hope through the wind and smoke, “This ain’t as good as it’ll get”. You better, you better, you bet, so don’t let this living kill you now- hold on.

These lakes and rivers, rocks and sky between us cannot change my love for you. There aren’t too many things that I have found in this world to be true, so don’t let this living kill you now- hold on.

You Can Curse the Dark

Credits

BB – electric guitar

CD – drums

SF – piano, vibraphone

LM – omnichord, acoustic guitar, vocal

SM – electric bass

I couldn’t bring myself to go to the wake- I was too angry and too sad and probably too selfish. I’m pretty sure I meant all of this, though, and if some think it’s too harsh, I accept that. I sure wish his life hadn’t ended the way it did, though.

He walked the line between glory and disgrace, wanting every thrill, every touch, and every taste. All those sensations, yet every one would pass except the feeling that only pain was made to last. “Beauty’s just a myth”, he’d spit through whiskeyed teeth, but then I’d watch him chase it through his mind and through the streets. He picked his poison to try and forget, but all it did was bring up the shit he hadn’t remembered yet, and he’d curse the dark, he’d rail against the moon, but he spent his daylight hours in an empty, shuttered room.

When she came to him, it was like something from a dream. She had the truth, she had the ways, she had the means, but there’s a darkness even Love cannot confound, and when she couldn’t hold him up, he dragged her down. The one thing he built, he ground into dust. Nothing left to live for, and only powder left to trust. The search was over before it began, but blindness sets in when the medicine makes the man. You can curse the dark, you can rail against the moon, but if you live like hope’s lost, then it’s dying real soon.

He walked the line between glory and disgrace, the lines on the mirror put those lines on his face. All friends forsaken, when he went, he went alone. He may have just quit breathing, but he quit living long ago. You can curse the dark, you can rail against the moon, but you’ll never find the light with a needle and a spoon.

Blues From the Register Side

Credits

LM – acoustic guitar, vocal

For those who’ve done hard time in “retail jail”. My sentence isn’t up. Yet.

You came in to spend your money- I couldn’t care less if you parted with a dime. You asked my advice and I begrudgingly gave it- you didn’t listen and I wasn’t surprised. What’s the difference? It’s all about you, and I’m just the middleman, isn’t that right? When you walked in, I was thirsty for something- maybe relief, or possibly despair. I was marking time, patiently waiting, numb in my thousand-yard stare.

People walk by and they look in my window- once in a while somebody like you decides to bother me with pointless drivel and I hate him within a minute or two, but who’s alone here and in need of a friend? I’m willing to wager its not you, because when you walk away, I’ll still be thirsty for maybe relief, or possibly despair, and I’ll be marking time, patiently waiting, numb in my thousand-yard stare.

Who’s alone here and in need of a friend? I’m almost certain that it’s not you.

Gone

Credits

CD – cardboard box, foam, metal, cymbal

SF – synth

LM – vocal

Down the street from my house is a women’s shelter. It saddens and angers me that we need places like that. Sadder still is the fact that most of the women who seek help from shelters end up going back to their abusers, usually from a lack of a better option. This is what I wish all of them could/would say…

Call off the bloodhounds and give me up for dead. You won’t find what you’re looking for when all you see is red. Put out the torches and send the men back home. They won’t discover anything you
don’t already know- that I’m gone, I’m really gone.

I remember summer before your clouds rolled in. Those mid-day breezes felt as smooth and sweet as sin. You fed me honey and laid me down in fields of green- not until you stole the sun did I taste poison and feel your thorns breaking my skin, but now I’m gone, I’m really gone.

“Let there be light” – there was light, and the light was good. “Let there be hope” – there was hope and the nights were good. All of my prayers were answered, all I asked for you gave to me- I thought for free- but you collected and I paid dearly until all that remained was the will to leave.

This Beautiful Bottle

Credits

JC – acoustic guitar

CD – drums

SF – vibraphone

LM – high strung acoustic guitar, vocal, backing vocal

SM – upright bass

A few years ago, my favourite bar, the Mortal Coil, shut down. I hung out there a lot, and miss it terribly to this day.  I yearn for a lot of things that place gave me, not the least of which was the opportunity to eavesdrop on some lonely alcoholic yakking Brent or Todd or Craig’s ear off at the bar and me getting a song out of it.

Hey there, barkeep, won’t you set ‘em up? It’s been one hell of a son of a bitch of a day, and I hate everybody who’s shown me their face except for you. Ah the shit I gotta do to keep a roof over my head makes me feel like a beat down and shackled up slave, and I know the first five drinks, well, they weren’t free, but Goddamn, they sure make me feel that way, and I may not find the answer in this beautiful bottle, but when I get to the bottom, I hope to forget the question.

Well, there’s preachers, police, politicians and the bank all telling me what to do and telling me what I can’t, but I’ve never held no truck with Bible-thumpers, Badges, or Suits. Hell, I know that I know nothing, and that there’s a better way, but this is the road I’m on, and when I crash and burn at least they’ll say that I never gave up the wheel. No, I may not find the answer in this beautiful bottle, but when I get to the bottom, I hope to forget the question.

Hey there, barkeep, I’ll see you tomorrow night. You’re the only thing to count on in this godforsaken life. You never give me lip, you keep ‘em coming, and you always lend and ear. No, I did not find the answer in that beautiful bottle, but I got to the bottom…

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