Vice / Viscera

by THE PAPER TRAIL

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1.
04:28
2.
05:14
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5.
03:19
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03:34
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12.

about

'Vice / Viscera' is a collection of songs recorded during the period from 2009-2017 by James Davidson, in the many renditions of his bedroom studio, in Miami, Connecticut, and Los Angeles. Some parts were recorded in the back of a minivan outside The Space in Hamden, CT.

'Vice / Viscea' has been a labor of love. It's been mixed no less than 4 times by 4 different people, and in the end it turned out that I'm far too difficult to work with, so here lives my version. Billy, Jon, etc, thank you for giving it a whirl. Sorry I'm the worst.

Honestly, I've been so terrified to release her. These songs are far more poetry than pop music, to me. They say a lot, every little guitar part was considered, ever layer agonized over. When I tell people the hours into this record, they look at me like I'm crazy and I look at them in agreement. Truth is, I largely did this for myself, but I really hope this finds you one day. I hope that the people that came into my life and inspired these songs hear them and say, 'hey that's about me', because it is. It's about you. and I couldn't have done it without you.

I love you. I miss you. I hope you're doing ok.

Along with you, yes you, I'd like to formally dedicate this album to my departed grandparents - Jean Bertoldi, Alfred Bertoldi, Julia Davidson, and James Davidson. 3/4 of whom were alive when I started recording this record. It pains me, every single day, that I was too human for you to ever hear it.

still slow-dancing on the inside, wishing you knew you are why I write.

credits

released February 28, 2017

Written, performed and recorded by James Davidson

Track 5, "Ode", features additional performances by Susanne Gerry (The Bay State), Jeff Mishley (The Sky Light), and AJ Perdomo (The Dangerous Summer). AJ Perdomo appears courtesy of Hopeless Records.

Track 9, "News is Breaking", features lyrics taken from the song 'Yellow Cat (Slash) Red Cat" written by Say Anything and Max Bemis.

Track 12, "I am angry at my god.", features a quote, spoken by Julianne Moore, from the movie 'Children of Men', directed by Alfonso Cuaron, and appears (hopefully) courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Album Cover Designed and Photographed by Anthony Colon
www.cowancolonphoto.com

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THE PAPER TRAIL Los Angeles, California

Hi, my name is James and this is The Paper Trail.

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Track Name: cartography
cartography

alright, let's go.

her last words were silence.
you and I and our last days on Roosevelt Island,
the Creamsicle twilight set the 59th Street Bridge on fire
and seated beside me was my last sorry that I ever got.

She slept safe and soundly then sobered in the morning
in sister cities, New York is haunted with old bones and running mouths,
tall tales and taverns
and I'm awake in the Bowery and lucid dreaming

subway sequences and sends, like diodes in happy hearts,
off to Coney Island.
The little ghost-moon watermarked the pale blue sky on high over the park,
like I bled to death in Rockefeller Center or froze to death in Times Square.
Here's to a waste of our best sex,
geography we won't forget,
a sad song remixed to sonic boomin window flex,
to breaking points where we can't take much more disrespect.
So here's to good health and swiftly mending heart.

She slept safe and soundly then sobered in the morning
in sister cities, New York is haunted with old bones and running mouths,
tall tales and taverns
and I'm awake in the Bowery and lucid dreaming.
and lucid dreaming.

her last words were silence.
you and I and our last days on Roosevelt Island
the Creamsicle twilight set the 59th Street Bridge on fire
and seated beside me was my last sorry so I let her burn

She slept safe and soundly then sobered in the morning
in sister cities, New York is haunted with old bones and running mouths,
tall tales and taverns,
there's no more to it's skyline than her iris unraveled,
and I'm awake in the Bowery and lucid dreaming.
Track Name: new one
new one

my hands have had a rough month,
not cause they've been beaten to the punch almost every time,
more like they're sore from breaking up my streaks of boredom
that wander off like wisps of smoke,
reminiscent of blood drops dripped in the waters where I used to swim
when my biggest worries were cut knees as kids and the colors of our bandages,
but I'm just not the same.

I'm not livin the best, but I guess that I can't complain
and if it's all the same to you then I'd rather stay in my room
all da-da-da-da-da-da-damn day
I don't give a da-da-da-da-da-da-damn anyway about what you say,
cause I'm just not the same.

well, I tried to date a good girl but it was really just dumb love young, so I grew up
and with any luck, cause I never had that much before, the next one will be just as beautiful
and I'll hold the same hope in our gripped palms

cause I'm not livin the best, but I guess that I can't complain
and if it's all the same to you then I'd rather stay in my room
all da-da-da-da-da-da-damn day
I don't give a da-da-da-da-da-da-damn anyway about what you say.

I just hope when I'm dead that there's someone who can explain me to my family and friends.
I just hope when I'm dead that there's someone who can explain me to my family and friends cause I'm just not the same, well I'm just not the same, I'm just not the same, not the same, not the same.

well I'm not livin the best, but I guess that I can't complain
and if it's all the same to you then I'd rather stay in my room
all da-da-da-da-da-da-damn day
I don't give a da-da-da-da-da-da-damn anyway about what you say
cause I'm just not the same, not the same.
Track Name: Formal Season
Formal Season

Oh god this part of me won't ever go to sleep,
cause god this part of me won't ever go extinct,
and god? I just thought this kinda thinkin must mean something.
if you're even listening.
is anybody out there?
well? is anybody there?
well, I don't even care, I just thought you should know.

I just thought you should know that when you lied to me, to my face, this place took on a whole different light.
when I saw I'd become what I swore I'd never be, darling, I nearly took myself to a mountain,
where I'd live in seclusion, regretting never a ring around you and
all the trees on the mountain would like your illusion when I turn my head too fast cause I thought I heard you singing - "it's a lovelife for all of time" - and it keeps me awake when I'm alone at night.
this is my last goodbye so I let it rhyme,
this time I think I'll tell you what my car-crash-heart woulda said
about burning bridges and driving off of them
about loaded guns and loaded friends and our hearts held hostage,
but I'm headstrong and I always thought that we were better than that,
like we were legends from a Roman Coliseum,
but now history's passed and it's Formal Season, all goodbyes and tears in eyes,
we're just college sweethearts severing ties to go make a 'real world life'
but I hope that you never forget that we were better than that,
like we were legends from a Roman Coliseum,
but now history's passed and it's Formal Season, all goodbyes and tears in eyes,
we're just college sweethearts severing ties to go make a 'real world life'
but I hope that you never forget that -
Track Name: it's about you.
it's about you.

it's about you, yeah, it's all about you.

she had a wrought iron soul, moves like Motown, but a heart made of coal,
said she hates the night,
she wants to skin a star alive to wear when she is cold
to make her shine in an electric storm when she's alone.
this is my five year black eye, blood iris in marrow white,
and left me with a laundry list of people that I wish that I had never met,
and I hate to admit that I just want to be able to hold her
but tonight it's just me and my panic disorder so I don't care if you're hurt
cause I'm alone and Baltimore burns, and still no one seems to care, either way.
they just whistle past the graveyard singin, 'please enjoy your stay' -
I never will, I never will, no.
I never will take another lover, sorry mother, but I never will, I never will, I never will, no.
I never will, so,
I don't care if you're hurt
cause I'm alone and Baltimore burns, and still no one seems to care, either way.
they just whistle past the graveyard singin, 'please enjoy your stay' -
I never will, I never will, no.
I never will take another lover, sorry mother, but I never will, I never will, I never will, no.
said, she hates the night, she wants to skin a star alive to wear when she is cold
to make her shine in an electric storm.
oh, it's about you.
Track Name: Ode
Ode

you're wings over water for the next couple hours and I'm not even sure for how long
cause you're gone tomorrow
and I'm gone tomorrow
and I won't be ok til we're home.

you're wings over water, I'm living bottle to bottle, it's sometime until we return
cause you're gone tomorrow,
and I'm leaving tomorrow,
so stay with me and watch this town burn.

you're wings over water for the next couple hours, and I'm not even sure it's that long
so let's drink like our hearts might stop tomorrow,
til we get caught borrowing time we don't own, we don't own.

she's wings over water, the mechanic's daughter is moving herself towards the sun
cause, after all, all I'm after, is something that's better,
we're finding that out on our own, she's gone, she's gone.

cause I'm wings over water, living bottle to bottle, and only god knows for how long, if at all
cause if you're gone, I'll follow, I won't wait for tomorrow, love,
I'll be driving and singing this song all along, all along, all along,
all alone, all alone, all alone, all alone, all alone, all alone.
Track Name: News is Breaking
news is breaking

the sun cried light as I watch the day break,
said that it was all that he could take to see split in two, time, space, and university drive
as I turned away from Mark Light's, said my body was running out of time,
tired of hearing satellites insist I'm home,
cause when I am home I'll stick my hand in that sand and pray that I grow roots on the shores of the Long Island Sound.

surround the city from around the city,
I am down so let's go out.
we are never down-and-out.
we are here now and now is forever.
and now is forever.

the way we live life, like we're hurricanes, come through with names never to be heard again,
miles of dissonance in the burden in the bond of distance
and the trust that what goes up always make it's way back home
cause when I am home I'll stick my hand in that sand and pray that I grow roots through the cracks in the Grove's pavement.

surround the city from around the city,
I am down so let's go out.
we are never down-and-out.
we are here now and now is forever.
and now is forever.

in my bed back home I was in an elevator in my dreams,
in LOVE with the girl next to me - I prayed she would say anything
and I'd wake sweating to the pulse around another light fixture -
do you think when she dreams that she dreams that I miss her?
thinking throughout my sleep that I went our separate ways, and I let her slip from my memory -
banking on the daybreak to save her from her heartache
but at least I feel safe with the good Sound around me,
got a 'Long Island sound' around me:
"cause these are my friends,
this is who they have been for always,
these are my days, this is how they stay, hey, hey
these are my friends,
this is who they have been for always,
these are my days, this is how they stay, hey, hey
hey, this is how they stay hey, hey, hey, hey
this is how they stay, hey, hey
this is how they stay, hey, hey, hey, hey,
this is how they stay, hey, hey"
Track Name: telemetry
telemetry

if the writing's on the wall then this one's on my throat,
this proof comes with a sting:
the dead flask of Jameson split between me and a forward-serving Marine that bleeds for me
but I'm no good at listening,
I'm a wolf asleep in a lion's den pocket-dialing dead friends again,
who's numbers still live in my phone but mean much more to me -
these are the lies we lead,
but my constellation-life burns brighter than I think,
burns brighter than I think -

and every night there's still Orion
and 'Take This To Your Grave' taking us to Maine in the morning
and I'm lost in the first frost of this year.
I know I am the consequence of passing time and circumstance, Bud,
a thousand days south of the Gold Coast can change people that way,
I know we got Virginia in our future,
and someone reading this over my shoulder,
it still beats to hell sharing Mike's lucky on our fifteen at work.

but I'm no good at listening,
I'm a wolf asleep in a lion's den pocket-dialing dead friends again,
who's numbers still live in my phone but mean much more to me -
these are the lies we lead,
but my constellation-life burns brighter than I think,
burns brighter than I think -

and I'm no good at listening, I'm a wolf asleep that dreams
I'm no good at listening, I'm a wolf asleep that dreams
I'm no good at listening, I'm a wolf asleep - these are lies we lead.
but my constellation-life burns brighter than I think,
burns brighter than I think.
and I'm no good at listening, I'm a wolf asleep:
these are the lies we lead.
but my constellation-life burns brighter than I think,
burns brighter than I think.
Track Name: Wednesday Addams
Wednesday Addams

Let me look after you cause your Dad isn't around
cause your heart's been let down
hey Wednesday Addams what's that sound?
the moon follows you around
you sing sad songs so loud but your face paints you miserable.
but count your blessings:
jet black hair, jet black lips, jet black everything.
and I know, I know you want to kill me right now
you wanna get stoned and blackout
cause you love a bit like wildfire and I feel you like the stars
but you said, you said that we should just stay friends
so get up on out of my bed
and you said, you said that we should just be friends
so get the hell out of my head.
it's been good mourning, mourning you.
but count your blessings:
jet black hair, jet black lips, jet black everything.
hey Wednesday Addams what's that sound?
the moon follows you around
and you've got fire in your eyes when you stare at me
but you said, you said that we should just stay friends
so get up on out of my bed
and you said, you said that we should just be friends
so get the hell out of my head.
it's been good mourning, mourning you.
but count your blessings:
jet black hair, jet black lips, jet black everything, everything, everything
count your blessings:
jet black hair, jet black lips, jet black everything, everything.
and I know, I know you want to kill me right now,
you wanna get stoned, get high as hell
hey Wednesday Addams what's that sound?
the moon follows you around
Wednesday Addams what's that sound?
the moon follows you around
Wednesday Addams what's that sound?
the moon follows you around
and you've got fire in your eyes when you stare at me.
Track Name: though I hope...
though I hope...

who hasn't said that they're a sinking ship?
well, I'm a brick around a sailor's neck while he's trying to swim clear,
being tossed by hurricane-force-fair-weather-friends,
got me writing my epitaph in crayon cause it's waterproof
and I can't read between the lines, so they simply label it
'graffiti on a battleship' and nothing else.

and it takes a lot for me to feel this so I don't take it for granted
cause if you felt a fraction of 'All the Fugue and Canon'
then you'd see a difference in how I didn't act it.

but I can't read between the lines so they simply label it
'graffiti on a battleship' and nothing else, yeah.

who hasn't said that they're a sinking ship?
well, I'm a brick around a sailor's neck while he's trying to swim clear.
Track Name: from the foot of Mt. St. Helens
from the foot of Mt. St. Helens

she's rolling tubes of paper on record covers and we're all eager,
sleep deprived, and ulterior motives hanging from the words of either New Orleans or Brooklyn's great emcee -
if only Dave knew what 'Knights' meant to me
and all and every one of us,
the ones who ever was,
acting our age and living up to unprecedented throws of judgment.
but I think we're all laureates and broken, like our promises,
scoundrels, trying to deal with the awards bestowed on us
for soliloquies and sonnets and everything else that was never meant for the general public but made the paper in my room.

the shutter of the camera lens falls on deaf ears and documents moments where we won't ever be the same again,
and exhaled breaths of dust in after hours rusts the night and dulls the sounds of my life spinning in the background and falling on deaf ears.

we are now convened here to discuss the nonsense that we have rolled up,
so pardon me if I am being blunt with my metaphor and prose but I've never been one for eloquence, or elegance of tongue, but I've delivered many a librettos that have fallen deaf to ears and
I think we're all laureates and broken, like our promises,
scoundrels, trying to deal with the awards bestowed on us
for soliloquies and sonnets and everything else that was never meant for the general public but made the paper in my room.

the shutter of the camera lens falls on deaf ears and documents moments where we won't ever be the same again,
and exhaled breaths of dust in after hours rusts the night and dulls the sounds of my life spinning in the background and falling on deaf ears.

out now that the public's eye is shut, our laughs can fall deaf upon their ears, deaf upon their ears.
Track Name: Orange is the traitor
Orange is the traitor

I wish I could be considered Frank O'Hara on his lunch break, permanently,
waxing poetic with dramatic sweeps in my notebook on New York's streets.
With Beatniks bumbling around, fumbling with something aesthetic in their mouths,
but really saying nothing,
I think I'm invincible, at least on paper, but I'll probably amount to nothing
cause we're just a bunch of foul-mouthed kids, penning songs and talking shit
but ,microphone check, when it's on, that's it
cause we're the meanest business this side of New Orleans
cause we're the meanest business this side of New Orleans
cause we're the meanest business this side of New Orleans
so come on, Wayne, get at me.
haha, alright let's go:

my hands are worn and sore from ruthless wars of infinite attrition so I labored through the conditions of my surrender:
I will never
cause this is mine and I won't let it die,
I don't mince my words and you won't take me alive
cause I shoulda died last summer anyway, so what's there left to lose?

when we're just a bunch of foul-mouthed kids, penning songs and talking shit
but, microphone check, when it's on, that's it
cause we're the meanest business this side of New Orleans
cause we're the meanest business this side of New Orleans
we're the meanest business this side of New Orleans.
yeah, yeah, come on Wayne, get at me:

there's something to be said about someone singing the words and actually meaning them
but I've got no one to impress cause all my heroes are dead, yeah all my heroes are dead but
this is mine, and I won't let it die, I don't mince my words and you won't take me alive
cause this is mine, and I won't let it die, I don't mince my words and you won't take me alive
but
I got a little pride, even if I can't be on Cash Money, come on, Wayne, get at me
come on, Wayne, get at me
come on, Wayne, get at me
come on, Wayne, get at me
come on, Wayne, get at me
come on, Wayne, get at me
come on, Wayne, get at me now.

(go on, Jay, tell em kid, you the god damn meanest biz
go on, Jay, tell em kid, you're the god damn meanest biz
whoa, whoa
go on, Jay, tell em kid, you the god damn meanest biz
go on, Jay, tell em kid, you're the god damn meanest biz)
Track Name: I am angry at my God.
I am angry at my god.

all you do is run your mouth all over our little town,
let's have it out, right here,
Patron Saint of all the Non-Believers that you had once under your thumb,
now am I the one that got away?

I am angry at my god, whether he knows it or not, he owes me and he won't settle up.
it's not enough when I am angry with our god, whether I believe in him or not, he let me down and couldn't give a fuck and I've yet to hear his word,
so who am I to go speak first?

how about you beat me to the punch for once?
do you see a little bit of me in yourself when you look down on us?
do your mountain ranges seem a little dull with their melted-diamond glaciers cause you're alone?
well I, for one, I don't believe, and you owe me.
and you owe me, yeah , because seeing is sincere and I double-dare you to show your face around here anytime in the near future.

I am angry at my god, whether he knows it or not, he owes me and he won't settle up.
it's not enough when I am angry with our god, whether I believe in him or not, he let me down and couldn't give a fuck and I've yet to hear his words,
so who am I to go speak first?

who am I to speak up first?
when all you do is run your mouth all over our little town,
let's have it out:
we are waiting, we are waiting here like deer in front of trains, your headlights wipe us away.
we are waiting, we're still waiting, we are waiting here but I'm not scared.
I'm not scared.
am I the one that got away?
am I the one that got away, oh?
fuck it.

"you know that ringing in your ears? that 'eee'?
that's the sound of the ear cells dying, like their swan song.
Once it's gone you'll never hear that frequency again, enjoy it while it lasts."
(taken from Alfonso Cuaron's 'Children of Men')