• Jul 29th, 2011


Purchase on iTunes

KEVIN DEVINE | Between the Concrete & Clouds
Release date: September 13, 2011
Record Label: Razor and Tie
Format: CD / LP / MP3

1. Off-Screen
2. The First Hit
3. Sleepwalking Through My Life
4. Awake In the Dirt
5. Between the Concrete and the Clouds
6. 11-17
7. Wait Out the Wreck
8. A Story, A Sneak
9. The City Has Left You Alone
10. I Used To Be Someone


1. Off-Screen
I saw you
I saw you
Did you see me?
I was off-screen

From there I
From there I
Saw the flood rise
In my daydream

With my dead eye
With my dead eye
Watched for vultures
By the road side
Road side

The sun spoke
It said my name
The sun spoke
It said my name
I answered
“Good morning.
Are you alright?
Are you alright?

Cuz I can’t see you now
So I stopped looking out.”
The dread collects in clouds
Drifting off-screen
Towards us off-screen

And I can’t see you now
So I stopped looking out
Imagine my surprise
When you became my eyes
And overwhelmed the sky
Now the ground’s hot
And the earth’s dry
Here’s your answer
Here’s your big bright
Here’s your leased life
Here’s your white knight
Here’s your alright
Here’s your alright

2. The First Hit
Christ on the cross
No more room
Just slide off

Meet on the wire
No more lines
Can’t climb higher

So from your new plateau you writhe and wait
For something real to shake your bones
To turn you back into a person

You sublet the space
Cut your costs
Flipped off fate

And watched as she packed
Cried and cried
But no, “come back”

You figured you could sit around and wait
For love this real to just pop up
To fall from trees, to ride on rainstorms

Convinced it was worth it
You swore it was worth it
You said it was worth it
Through the first hit

But back amongst the dirt and spent grass
The empty coffee cups, the green glass
The basement brokering and side bets
The puzzle pieces in the tool shed

I think you can build it
I think you can build it
I know you can build it
Cos I built it

Convinced it was worth it
You swore it was worth it
You said it was worth it
Through the first hit

(Back before you moved so fast
And traced your veins with splintered glass
You lazy eyes aligned to find
A purpose, a purpose)

3. Sleepwalking Through My Life
Some days stand up
Fixed at attention
Some days race by too fast to mention
Those days I wonder if I’ll ever get it right
Sleepwalking through my life

Sometimes I’m sure
Most times less certain
If anything’s behind the curtain
Sometimes I wonder
If it matters what it’s called
God or nothing else at all

Sometimes I’m clean
Sing like a sparrow
Some days I’m nasty and I’m narrow
And I get spiteful, I get ugly, I get mean
Can’t get back on the beam

Some days the world’s
Prim as a show dog
Sometimes it’s filthy as a boss hog
And those days the phone feels like a 3,000 pound weight
Can’t lift it to my face

Some days it’s clear
So I can see it
What to be and how to be it
Some days I wonder
Some days I doubt it
Today I’m hopeful that I’ll knock it off tonight
This sleepwalking through my life

4. Awake In The Dirt
Dad I know
You can’t see
My actions as
A plea for peace

You can’t get past
The rocks stained red
The nailbomb blast
The doctor, dead

Your prairie dream
Your liberal heart
Your patient mind
Your father’s arms

They just won’t do
They just can’t fit
It’s them, not Marx
You can blame for this

Alive in the dirt
Alive in the dirt
I’m at peace, sainted + waiting
For my perfect pain to speak through me again

Dad, I found God
Through Vietnam
My Lai’s graves
Agent Orange

See, we live lies
We have to choose
Our bombs spoke loud
So I spoke, too

Then disappeared
10 miles from home
Newark slum
Where you won’t go

It’s here I’ve found
My higher self
A life that works
And suits me well
I pray for the dirt
I pray for the dirt
And I ask to suffer in silence
To stay here in hell

Awake in the dirt

My stutter lifts
My words come clear
Your little girl
She’s just not here

I am sure
At my death
The truth will float
On God’s sweet breath

Until that time
Don’t ask for me
Behind this veil
Is where I’ll be

At one with the dirt
At one with the dirt
I’m at peace, sainted + waiting
For my perfect pain to cover me for good´╗┐

5. Between The Concrete & Clouds
Walked in the world, became a Catholic
The oil & the guilt
Somewhere in high school switched to atheist
Your anger & your will
Turned 25 freaked out by everything
The bodies piled up
Fled to your mind when they stopped listening
And said, “Enough’s enough.

What if it’s all just jokes?
Casper, The Holy Ghost
What if it’s all just stones you get to throw?”

And every single time that you opened your mouth,
Someone else’s lies came tumbling out
Parading as the truth in a cap and a gown
A graduated curse that you cast to the ground

To settle your debts you took a dozen steps
Or started on the path
Kept falling off when faced with righteousness
You couldn’t work the math
God in the wood, the words, the coffee pot
It wasn’t adding up
At war with yourself, afraid of everyone
You said, “Enough’s enough.

How could you ever know?
What if you said you don’t?
What if you cleared your throat and let it go?”

So every single time that you opened your mouth
Something like the truth came struggling out
A picture of the past you kept whittling down
To a version of yourself you could follow around

So what if the end just ends?
It’s worthless to worry, then
To wrestle yourself to death again and again

Now every single time that you open your mouth
Give yourself a breath while you’re working it out
The answer’s in between all the concrete and clouds
It’s anywhere you want
It’s next to you now

6. 11-17
I thought I was in love
It felt like it from close up
But someplace to spill my blood
Was all it ever was

I felt I was in debt
Each night spent in your bed
A dream I let drop dead
And never had again

You were the moon held high
Broke black with your clean light
You’re words I can’t say right
Anytime I try

You said, “Sing from your joy.
You sound bored, you sound annoyed.
You can’t keep what you did not have;
Can’t even give it back

So go, write from your spine.
Tell the truth, and you’ll be fine.
So what if your truth’s just another lie?
No one seems to mind”

These sour grapes when the the joke goes bad
This same smirk, same bullshit laugh
The egg on my face when I can’t go back
I didn’t plan for that

7. Wait Out The Wreck
I don’t do that shit to myself anymore
I keep it away from me
I don’t want to live like I’m dead anymore, so
Keep that away from me
We broke all the bread
Argued through every side, now
What’s there to do but leave?
You can tailor the truth, make it look how you like, but
That didn’t work for me

You talk with your hands
And break bricks with your head
You’re black and you’re blue
And a matter of “when”

And I can’t wait around for bad news anymore
I keep it away from me

You talk with your hands
And break bricks with your head
You’re black and you’re blue
And a matter of “when”
You pray with a wink
Fingers crossed in your bed
That you’ll wait out the wreck

Well, I can’t hang around to find out anymore
I’ll keep it away from me

8. A Story, A Sneak
I took your ankle, tied you to the post
I fed you grapes
I asked for clemency and cut your throat
Held high your name

Ground down the coffee beans and lit the match
Wrestled the day
Chewed at your wristband til you came apart
Now I’m awake

Back on the ground you’re dressing for uni
30 years old
What the hell am I doing here?

You open the door
Say, “Age before beauty.”
Cringe as I pass
But I guess it’s a story
A sneak
A rumor I won’t believe

And somewhere in my past
She’s yawning, rolling her eyes
“Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, alright”

Look at the paper til it chokes you up
The world won’t wait
Luxury problems fill your golden cup
You take the bait

German girls pass
Grouped in teenage disasters
Gather you up in their confident laughter
Don’t do this to me

The gap from A to B
It never felt this wide
Yeah yeah, oh well, alright

Pinned to your seat
Practice circular breathing
Look down at the clouds
Where you’ll be
Where you’re leaving
You are always in-between

“Sir, if you’d please observe the
‘Fasten Seat Belts’ sign –
Calm down, you’ll be alright.”

9. The City Has Left You Alone
Neurotic intellectual
Emotionally unavailable
You’re everything you think you should be
But the truth is unavoidable
And every choice intentional
Darling, I don’t mean to be mean
But you’re see-through as see-through can be
And when the party ends, you’re sweating in sheets

The city has left you alone
To cycle on fast-forward through
The strangers in your phone
And you re-record your voicemail
Find that perfect hollow tone:
“Hey, you’ve reached me, but what does that mean?
I don’t know.”

So run your risk and play your part
Hide away your hardened heart
And tuck yourself back into your shell
But is all that detached irony
That finely tuned delivery
Hurting more than it’s ever helped?
Are you fooling anyone but yourself?
Well, you’re the only one who can tell

Because the city has left you alone
In a Chelsea bar at closing time
Too wired to go home
When a street shark with a songbird rap
And a repertory brogue
Slurs, “C’mon love. There ain’t no secret code.
Are you thinking what I’m thinkin’, yes or no?
Leave the mourning for the mornin’, love. Let’s go.”

You’re acting out the dead end of a theme
A cliche in a roundabout
Another person’s dream
It makes romantic copy but it’s not a life to lead

So roll your eyes and suck on your teeth
No, you don’t need to prove nothin’ to me
But you’re the only one who knows what you need

The city has left you alone
Squinting at an address
With a car service on hold
You keep waiting on redemption,
But isn’t waiting getting old?
You shut your eyes.
The city clears its throat:
“On with the show.”

10. I Used To Be Someone
Fix your eyes at middle distance
Rich queens, fur fezes, twin ridiculous
Avenue of the Americas
Between 45 and 46

The Debt Clock married to its uptick
A trillion brilliant blinking digits
Oh, the overwhelming evidence
Incontrovertible and elegant

You compartmentalize to make sense
Of the arranged marriage of opposites
As risen high as it is bottomless
Here in the playground of the fabulous

Quit second-guessing out your window
Can’t see 2000 through your telescope
Leave 10 years ago 10 years ago
Get back within yourself and listen close:

I came here dignified and dainty
But I don’t feel much like that lately
Two left feet and gloves full-up with thumbs
“Aw shucks” and “pardon me” and “sorry, love”

So tomorrow if you meet me
In my tangle of apology
Rest assured, I used to be someone
A brother’s brother and a mother’s son

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