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Recollection, Part II

by The Calculus Affair

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The red lights are flashing as the boxcars roll by, But I keep the engine running, have her ready to gun and fly. Message on the police band says they can't get next to you, Well, they aren't the only ones, but there's nothing I can do. I'm waiting on a freight train to make a play. Freight train--until another comes by going the opposite way. Freight train, let me be, Oh freight train, unless you're planning on spending the night with me Now there's dueling bells and whistles and a glitter disco ball, BNSF, OOCL, and a literal cattle call. Now The Police are saying that the truth hits everyone, I think it's too soon to say that yet, ask me when the night is done.
Memphis 03:22
I'm gonna go to Memphis and I'm gonna play a show, Gonna tell all the girls who've never heard and all the boys who know. Yeah, I'm gonna go to Memphis, gonna get on the stage, Gonna take my babies on the road and our lives are gonna change. Gonna go to Memphis, yes, yes, yes, yes. I'm gonna go to Memphis and I'm gonna sign a deal, Gonna buy myself a touring van, gonna get behind the wheel. I'm gonna go to Memphis, gonna get my music heard, And all the people listening are gonna spread the word. I'm gonna go to Memphis at the end of the run, Gonna thank the people who turned out, give regards to everyone. Gonna play a show in Memphis, do as they do in Rome, Gonna play a show in Memphis then I think I'm gonna go home.
I see haunted people wander everywhere, I see haunted people hanging in the air. I am often haunted by the sound of all these haunted people's footsteps as they hit the ground Oh aye, haunted people. Oh my, haunted people. I see haunted people but they don't see me, Like that movie, see just what they want to see. They walk by me past the point of care, bodies present but their souls aren't anywhere. So grave, haunted people. God save haunted people.
Got on a bus in some city on a river, I was looking to get going somewhere. And I took it as far as some faraway place, That was just like the one I left there. And I guess that I needed to check up on something, That always already I knew, They offered me the world, but I only wanted you. Took a job in an office in a big downtown high-rise, Where the money was good, And I came home at night thinking, "This is the life," Thinking I should be happy, I should. But I was still young then, I thought I'd have time for, All the things in my life I didn't do, They offered me the world, but I only wanted you. Now we're sitting outside on your parent's back porch, A little bit older, a little bit bare. And it's cold out tonight, it's the end of December, But it doesn't seem like you care. And I guess just this minute I realized something That always already I knew, They offered me the world, but I only wanted you.
Take me into your life with you, whirl me around, Lift me up and hold me, don't let me down. Sweep me off my feet again for all that you do, Make me understand you and then break me in two. All this went unsaid, you love drama, love the scene too. There's so much we'll never do, you always break me in two. Speak about it freely, so matter-of-fact, Let me see beneath the surface, see how it's an act. Take my breath away, do what you do. Make me try to love you and then break me in two. Break, break me in two. You always... Take me back again into your life one more time. Tell me that it's different, say that you're mine. I'll pretend to falter, do what I do. Let me dream about it, and then break me in two.
Sol Invictus 03:46
The sky is white, the clouds are blue, It's beautiful and everything, everything... Sol Invictus, birth of the unconquered sun Sol Invictus, we welcome in everyone The wind is up, the shadows long, The time is right for everything, And now the day is done, the night will fall. It's beautiful, it's every little thing. Sol Invictus, birth of the unconquered sun, Sol Invictus, the white winter season's begun. The sky is white, my aim is true, It's beautiful when everything opens. The rain will fall, the earth will glow, We'll come again, it's everything that you know.
Coming to the V.U. on a cold fall night, Blending with the crowd in my trench coat and a tie, Everyone will dance and we will rock and roll all night long. The Fellows are opening for Jon and Ken, Helping us to reach a state of teenage zen, As cool as anything I knew. I knew I was wrong. And you wanting everyone you know to always be okay.... Follow you at night we go across Red Square. It's one in the morning and there's no one else there. Kneeling in the fountain, hear your whispers in the dark. The viewing of the sky in telephoto lens, Gave me the illusion we could just be friends, Now we're shaking hands, agree to always drift apart. And I loved you so even though you would already leave me. You took a stand next to, "The Man Who Used To Hunt Cougars For Bounty."
It's spring today, the mower's in the yard. In the alley behind my house, the kids are playing hard. But the wind still has a chill as we bicycle down the hill. It's spring today, time to run and shout. My neighborhood is coming up and out. We can leave them all behind, Close our eyes and we're flying blind. But the wind still has a chill, As we bicycle down the hill. And all the things you've waited for all of your life, That were hidden in the winter under the snow, And all these mysteries you thought you'd never understand, Now you see them, now you know.
Met a girl who works down the hall, Never seen her before, I don't know her at all. That makes this one thing hard to explain: Why the absence of her just makes me insane. Oh I, just this once and then never have to be alone again. London calls and I'm off with the shot, Only thinking of her and I like it a lot. She calls in the night so she can explain, Why the absence of me just makes her insane. Oh I, just this once and then never have to be alone again. Never sigh again, never cry again, Swear I'd never ask for anything again, As long as I have you in my life and oh, I.... Met a girl with the time to spend, Think I'll be with her 'til the living end. Know she'd never cause me pain, Cuz the absence of her would just make me insane.
Men of Luggage, check your coats, sit down and stay awhile, Loosen your ties. Enough rope to hang yourselves, Is waiting on the nightstand when you're picking up the phone, I thought at least you would have figure out by now, That same mistake that you'll make over and over again, In your lives. You're burying the past and then just digging up the graves. Don't feel bad, I know you'd fight it if you could. Making up the rivals who are knocking down your door, Don't hang around they might be coming back for blood. That same mistake that you'll make over and over again, That same heartbreak that you'll make over and over again, So travel light. And you're wearing the coat that isn't keeping out the cold, And you carry that torch for yourself. And I warn you the flame might just burn you at the touch, But you don't want to hear about it all that much. Men of Luggage turn around, try to retrace your steps. I do not think they will be coming back for you. Men of Luggage, it's okay, it's hard to live this life, In your shoes I don't know what I would do. That same mistake that you'll make over and over again. That same heartbreak that you'll make over and over again. So travel light.


This record marks the end of something. I'm not quite sure what. This second (re)collection isn't anything career-capping. But it is kind of a coda. If I had to put it into a quote, it would be something like, "this is the last album like this I will ever make." Do I know what I mean by, "like this?" No, I do not.

Two years ago when I released "Recollection, Part I", I noted that it was the culmination of things I learned while making a record in February–as a participant in the global RPM Challenge–every year for 13 years. This album was made the same way as that one: using songs from prior February albums as demos for this new album. Yet the experience and the results were completely different. What I learned this year is that working closely with another person on your music changes how you hear everything. What I learned this year is a new musical concept we dubbed, "wobble." What I learned this year–this being now the 15th iteration of this particular process–is that there is still everything to learn.

I'm not stopping or anything. I'm only marking the end of this particular path with a flag in the ground–this second (re)collection of songs–and wandering off to search for another path. I'll let you all know when I find it.


released April 22, 2021

Written, performed, mixed, and mastered by Marz
Produced by Fronesis


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The Calculus Affair Seattle, Washington

The Calculus Affair is what happens when a Seattle-based singer songwriter learns folk guitar and then spends his formative years listening to XTC.

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