Swan Dive

by Sister City

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1.
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3.
03:15
4.
03:30
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02:18
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03:02
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03:21
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9.
03:32
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04:33
11.

credits

released September 13, 2016

Sister City is Daniel Abzug, Kyle Bosler, John Gamble, and Adam Linder
Music by Sister City
Lyrics by Adam Linder
Engineered by Tom Conran at Philly Sound Studios
Mixed/mastered by Casey Bates
Artwork by Cara Patten (www.caraliane.com)
Additional vocals on track 8: Keith Rogers, Dallas Scott

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Sister City Maryland

Baltimore / Philadelphia tenuous punkish kinda indie rockish

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Track Name: Attenborough Blues
Burning interest as if it's incense
Taking in the scent
Of someone else's cigarette
Water to the lungs
Words on the tips of our tongues
I've left but I'm still leaving
Got caught between the floor, the walls, and ceiling

Swore I saw the closing, the floating
The atoning final moments, I've seen the omens
The symbols and speech
How every “us” only ever meant “me”
Opposite my musings
Is a four letter word I call choosing
And I'm still reconstructing a plan
The first in a long line of last stands

Always fighting something back
Like there’s something in that

For the moment it's a miracle
To be so unapologetically material
On the shoulders of giants
We are the weight that breaks the backs of better men
For the moment it's a prison cell
Make yourself comfortable and maybe even sleep a spell
We'll speak but we don't have to do it now

Shout out to my silhouettes
The shadows as our sustenance
Steady while the sun ascends
It's a slap across the face
Toward starting to consider another way
And getting better but it's still hard to concentrate
On days as days

Rather than a contest
Who best can cut their losses

For the moment it's a miracle
To be so unapologetically material
On the shoulders of giants
We are the weight that breaks the backs of better men
For the moment it's a prison cell
Make yourself comfortable and maybe even sleep a spell
We'll speak but we don't have to do it now

If there's dignity in indignation, then I'm a shining example of greatness
But if there's integrity in integration, then I'm a sad excuse for

A primate blessed with common sense
With empathy and with arrogance
I am swinging from the trees
I am crawling out of the sea
Track Name: Everywhere Else
You could always die another day
Pick a poison or fall fearless on a blade
For the honor, some ancient concept of a father
More likely never bother, too focused on the fraudulence of summer
Some secret you’re the only one who found
Never considered it’s the other way around

This is the end
This the only new beginning we have left
This is just to say
I never really understood redemption anyway

Hold tight till it breaks
Until the blood swells in your fingers
Until the static dissipates
Hold tight till it breaks

You could even last another year
Taking bets on when your friends all disappear
Play the odds, help them along

It's one thing here at the bottom of the city
On the top floor sitting where the walls start spinning
And another entirely everywhere else
Where everyone’s been taking care of themselves

This is the end
This the only new beginning we have left
This is just to say
I never really meant that “better off” trash anyway

So this is it?
I studied symmetry for centuries for this?
So this is mine?
I untethered each and every tie to the treadmill of time
If it is done then I am safe
I am a swan dive in a lake
I am a perfect summer’s day

Hold tight till it breaks
Hold tight till it breaks
Hold tight till it breaks

This is the end
A mess of circumstance and ever ebbing interest
And this is how it starts
A spark, then smoke as the symphonic sulking falls apart
Track Name: Caveats
There's been a moth kamikazeing my light for days
And at first I condescended, now I think it’s brave
I'm seeing symbols I cannot explain

Every thought stops just before it hits my brain
So every soft spot's safe from every tiny strain
So I never look for fractures in the frame

Like caveats to every single cemetery plot
Cause added up the sum of everything you've done
Is only equal to the weight on both your aching shoulder blades
The trophy case of accolades, the china and the dinner plates
The praises slurred, but never heard
Despite each crafted triumph of a word

Let's get some music in this mausoleum
Let's make a mockery of meaning
A moratorium on ceilings
Like any one of us could grow remotely tall enough

These bodies of ours they will break
These bodies of ours they will break
These bodies of ours they will break
So it’s a race to pry your way to something great

I naively believed I could stay
On the sly, on the right side of fate
But I coughed and it gave me away

It said “That body of yours it will break
And your family is laying awake
You had time you decided to waste
So this is you now”
I said “fine, I believe you, okay…”

Sure, there's a compromise in every pair of open eyes
It's just that if you focus on it ninety-nine percent of the time you’ll find
There are certain things that cannot be sustained
There are things you’ll understand, and things you’ll plan, and seeds you’ll plant
There are things you’ll make and things you’ll change
But go ahead, concentrate on the couple things you can’t
Track Name: Avenir
I saw my future in a flash of a thought
I saw my future, when I blinked it was gone

I watched in the mirror as it came to me
Then got distracted and it slipped my mind immediately
I watched the clock cross hands
And how it kept my attention
Reversed in reflection

Was it too old to care or too young to be careful?
I grin and bear through the prayers but never tire of the riddles
Was it too lost to be profound?
Or too found to lose out now?
I am wrapped in the rhythm

I saw my future in a flash of a thought
I saw my future, I know I say that a lot
I was starved, I was parched, I was delirious and wandering
I was starved, I was parched, I might have almost made the promised land
But to be honest, I’d moved on by then

See, I’m working on wings, I’m gonna fly to the sun
Cause what that first guy got wrong’s he didn’t plan far enough
He only thought of the rise, he didn’t think of the fall
He was half there, but I’ve got the rest of it solved
You’ve gotta focus on ending the second you start
So in a smoldering nosedive, there’s peace in your heart
So when you smash into the earth, you did it on your terms
That’s living the dream

Was it too old to care or too young to be careful?
I grin and bear through prayers but never tire of the riddles
Was it too lost to be profound?
Or too found to lose out now?
I was wrapped in the rhythm
But I’m scrapping the system
Track Name: Bad Day
Always picking fights with lightweights
With lowlights and outtakes
I keep my outrage
Tucked in my ribcage
I got a sunburn
I made a mistake
I thought I lost touch with my reasons

Almost took ownership
Like that's all I needed
Conciliatory, the strength of the story
Accredited, crosschecked, the facts
Are all I've ever lacked

Except maybe tact
Or ammunition
I'd rather not win
Than have to listen
To the obliging
Philosophizing
There is a high tide rising

And I’m unsubscribing
To the lines in the sand
Policing my plans
Never mind that they’ll just wash away

I had a bad day
I made a mistake
I had a bad dream
It turned my hair gray

Now I don't recognize my not blue eyes
From the same set of specs
Spent half my life up perched atop my head
And I've been letting go
Or is it coming home?

And I will build from my revulsion
To forward motion
Track Name: Survival
I will always choose survival
As every effort works to purge my soul off of god’s green earth
I will meet them with an eyeroll
Like a child

I will build a boat, I'll learn to sail
Nevermind my utter lack of motor skills
A set of stumbling sea legs
It's been nice to know the ocean
Only as far as I've been rowing it from home

I'll walk another mile
A disciple, a dupe, and I've worn holes through my brand name shoes
I'll idle as entitled
As my idols

I will build a cabin in the woods
And die by my ineptitude with earthly things
I'll hunt and dig
It's been nice to know the forest
Only as far as I've been foraging from home

Death already listens
He’s got the out of print editions
So all this preciousness can stop
It’s casting reels and skipping rocks
And crowing about how many hops
And talk of all the fish you caught
From a long since dried up pond

I will build a life I will be good
I'll will away the wickedness
That I've retained, ingrained, embraced, and entertained
I will build a life I will be good
I will will away the wickedness of existential impotence
I will build a life I will be good
I will will away the wickedness of existential impotence
I will build a life I will be good
Track Name: Hepburn
Entry level empathy with nursing home intensity
Sound asleep but able bodied; tawdry effort, awful hobbies

I am every bit as bristling with bitterness as I was
I just try to take it down a notch

To not treat details as entrails, rancid as the landfills
On a mid-atlantic afternoon my fears are finally coming true
That I’m somewhere between solipsist and utterly anonymous
And the ground is just as bottomless as the sprawling sky is infinite

I will smile and nod pretending I don't speak the language
I could, but my accent isn't very good

There's a lithe young thing and it's calling to me
And I wipe the sweat from my palms on my jeans
As I approach, it bares its teeth
Says "I am the things you'll never be"

There's a lithe young thing and it's calling to me
And I lock the door and get under the sheets
As I lean in close, it sinks its teeth
Says "I am the things you'll never be"

"What you are, I know
Where you’ve been, I followed"

Meaningless decisions with circuit board precision
A prim and proper piston in an old, unoiled engine
I could be on the precipice or way down looking up at it
It seems more like coincidence the longer I look
And think I feel my fingertips brush up against some evidence
Of any indication I am close
To what I feel I'm owed
When I hear my conscious groan

"What you are, I know
Where you’ve been, I followed"
Track Name: California Death Bed
I’ll remain
I’ll always wait
The patron saint
Of peeling paint
The grays
Behind the greats

The aftertaste will fade away
Alaska to the Everglades

And I
With my straightened spine (for now at least)
I’ll have myself a good time
And drown on solid ground
I might get around to figuring the point out

I couldn’t care less
I’m nothing yet
I’m just a picket sign inside the greater protest
But my rhetoric
Is the opposite
An open casting call for kismet
On a California death bed

“For what it’s worth
The worst is far from here
Your quote-unquote cursed
And so-called careening career

It is what it is
And if that’s average
Well ain’t that fabulous!”

Yeah, well, that’s easy for you
I’ve been living for two
But I’m stuck in the same fucking place
And I’m breaking in half every day

The aftertaste will fade away
Alaska to the Everglades
Those of us, the frauds and fakes
Float away, evaporate

Good for nothing’s good for now
First alone, then with the crowd
Until they believe it for themselves
Then blend back in and let ‘em shout
Track Name: Sensation
It is not hard to sound smart
When the cue cards are writ large
Say the best parts with the most heart
And a crowd forms in your front yard
Dead tired of the old guard
You took up arms for a restart
After a sidebar with the good lord
You built an ark for the last storm

And the rains came for a couple days
Then just as quickly went away
And the pairs of eyes inquired "explain!"
“I must have been off on the date
But everybody makes mistakes!"

Whoa now
All that doubt, you’re foaming at the mouth
Go run around in circles, you’ll tire yourself out
Slow down
Everything in moderate amounts
You can pout until you see those cows
You’ve heard so much about

Have you heard the good news?
The film crews
They all choose to watch you
To be amused by a cartoon
You don't argue or refuse
You'll show the old prudes a harsh truth
To break through their stone view
So you stand groomed in your best suit
And tie a noose to slip into

There’s no snap or sway on the fated day
Just feet hit ground with the stool away
And the pairs of eyes inquire "explain!"
"I must have measured off
But hey, everybody makes mistakes!”

Whoa now
All that doubt, you’re foaming at the mouth
Go run around in circles, you’ll tire yourself out
Slow down
Everything in moderate amounts
You can pout until you see those cows
You’ve heard so much about

A fleeting thought
Like an atom bomb
Rearranged your DNA
So you briefly saw
The grace of god
Or maybe not
Either way, you raced to concentrate until you forgot
Track Name: Shtick Talk
Solipsism
So serpentine
I think it might be time to simplify
If it's too heavy
Take off a load
The rush comes once you've given up control

I'm not as averse
To “worse before it's better” outcomes
As about them
I'm not out of touch
I just don't come around as much

Double vision
A single scrawl
An infinite array of cannonballs
And I'm exploding
Burst bombs and bones
I can't decide if I'd rather erode

I'm not as averse
To “worse before it's better” outcomes
As about them
I'm not out of touch
I just don't come around as much

I've got my rituals
Capsules and chewables
But I still don't take my vitamins
But I’ve lied to every doctor who has ever asked
Because I know everything about death
So a couple throbbing teeth
Don’t worry me in the least
See, I’m perfectly at peace
Happily hedging bets
I’m good for now
I’m nothing – yet

It’s not that I don’t toe the line
It’s just that neither of the sides
Are catching my eye
I'm not out of touch
I just don't come around

My prided prism
My prison clothes
Stars on slides slipped under microscopes
My brash decisions
My beating heart
The end necessitates another start
Track Name: Pretending I Had an Epiphany While Biking
I got new socks
At a big box store
And a more than decent parking spot
So I didn’t have to walk
Out of the best things that have ever happened to me
That is probably near the top

Let's have a somber silence for fighter pilots
For family I never knew
But realistically would have been just as uncomfortable with as I am
With most of the ones that I do
And it's true
There's a small herd of elephants in the room
I've taken under my care
I ask you don't stare
They're much more afraid of you

I'm piling pocket change
I am looking for deck chairs to rearrange
I’m arguing both sides of the debate
Whether it's better to be
A footnote in history
A minuscule misery
Or one of the greats
A grin through gritted teeth's a smile either way

If I'm in a bad place
At least I've got good taste
A fresh coat of paint and pictures hung in frames
People staring from the walls
Some summer nights we have singalongs
We sing "kumba-fucking-ya"

I had a vision of me laying splayed
In a newly painted biking lane
Blood lazily making its way
To the nearest city sewer drain

I'm piling pocket change
I am looking for deck chairs to rearrange
I’m arguing both sides of the debate
Whether it's better to be
A footnote in history
A minuscule misery
Or one of the greats
A grin through gritted teeth's a smile either way

I choke on the opening notes
Of the triumphant close
And as time starts to slow
I notice the echo
A ridiculous joke
A reverberant “nope”
Then a voice whispers "both"
I zone out and I float

To warmth and to white
As it swallows the night
When a sound to my right
Punctures the lie
And I'm back on my bike
And I swerve to the side
As a truck runs the light
I go on with my life