Pauper Dreams

by Bill Mallonee

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about

~ PAUPER DREAMS ~ (formerly "Recent Demos")
Why is this album important?

It was recorded on 1 & 4 track machines. A "vibe" that is immediate and compelling, I think.

This was the FIRST set of pre-WPA demos I did after VoL's demise.
Very happy with the tracks. Mostly short songs, they capture the garage spontaneity i was striving for in my work at the time...
In some ways, "Talk Around" & "Never Be Another Like You" are as good as any garage recording could be. It's what i love,anyway, about garage-indie bands. Immediate, passionate...and possessing a certain magic.

"With Souls As Big As Western Skies," is one set of the most chilling set of lyrics I've ever written. Still love. They grapple with failure, real & imagined and wrestle with a God Who seems absent, distant.
"Brand New Skin" is a paean to my mother Mary Alice who had recently gone to be with the Lord. I built an other-world quality into it. Lose, imprecise in a very studied way, i think a lot of this was inspired by Big Star's 3rd album. (Big Star 3)

What you're hearing on this "Pauper Dreams" are the first stirrings of a new way of working, delivered in a new format that has become dear to me for it's immediacy and heart-on-sleeve qualities. i think these excursions have made me a better lyricist, a better guitarist and better writer...and it all started here.
Peace,
bill
-Footnote to the 2 Bonus Tracks-
These last two songs, "Shit P.A." & "How Much Longer Will You hang Around?," are analog 1 track DAT player recordings. "Live" in a cluttered room. Primitive. The first installment of a sound (pre-WPA) that began to surface on as a solo artist. You write, learn, take a breath and DO NOT overt think a one-track-one take recording.

Muriah & I recorded this shortly after we were married. We were living in a lil' house in Athens, Ga., a rental from some church friends. The house was situated near a large park, which we strolled in daily. I think we've found that Nature wields an intangible power over our spirits. When ever we feel depressed about eeking out a living as a writer, I am reminded that there are no guarantees. Poverty (& her sister, "Oblivion,") are friends I think I know on a first-name basis. I count it all joy on some days & skip thinking about it on others.

Sober denial can be a studied faith, all to itself.

Anyway these 2 songs showed up, were chased, written & recorded pretty fast. Muriah navigates really well on harmonies, considering we rehearsed them maybe twice before grabbing what i feel was a good take.
enjoy,
bill

credits

released August 18, 2013

Bill Mallonee: guitars, vocals, keyboards, drums, harmonica

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about

Bill Mallonee

Bill Mallonee is an Athens, Ga. Americana artist w/ 70 plus albums, spanning a 20 year career. Voted by Paste Music Magazine #65 in their prestigious "Top 100 Living Songwriters" poll. He fronted the band Vigilantes of Love from 1991-2001. Mallonee has worked with other great artists such as Buddy Miller, Emmylou Harris, and Peter Buck from REM. ... more

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Track Name: TALK AROUND
Yeah, you old soul...I didn’t know you were back in town
Oh, God, it’s been years since I saw you around

and of course we’ll just
talk around, talk around
where it hurts the most
yeah, we’ll just talk around, talk around
leave that for the ghosts

And all of that blood, that you spilled
on the pages of your songs and life...
Wasn’t that just...a writer’s...
some kind of writer’s device?

and of course we’ll just
talk around, talk around
where it hurts the most
yeah, we’ll just talk around, talk around
leave that for the ghosts
Track Name: NEVER BE ANOTHER LIKE YOU
I’ve decided that pride...is always at your sleeve
I’ve decided the heart craves...mostly what it doesn’t need
You know what I mean?
what if I’m losing you but coming clean?

honey I’m so afraid
there may never be another , no never be another like you
honey I’m so afraid
there may never be another , no never be another like you
I’ve decided we’re all scared...just like a kid who lost
and most of what we call the truth...it’s all just plain false honey I’m so afraid
there may never be another , no never be another like you
honey I’m so afraid
there may never be another , no never be another like you
Track Name: (WITH SOULS AS BIG AS) WESTERN SKY
I hear they call it walking wounded
oh, if words did just what they should
nomenclature is a treasure that gets looted
baby, ain’t we all just damaged goods?

With souls as big as western sky
like a field that is straining but lying fallow
all the fruit’s dead before it arrives
growing up into your own shadow

If I could just hear you whisper my name
disturb the universe’s dead air
whispered like you really mean it
before I vanish in thin air

Awaiting something like catharsis
you’ve already failed the whole damn thing
here’s your ghost and there’s your pauper each...exchanging wedding rings

Conjure up the memory of some laughter
seems like it all once came down for free
where’d the hour glass finally run out?
the one that lies beneath your feet?
Track Name: BRAND NEW SKIN
Mother, I remember you all ringed with roses and laurel thanks for teaching me those words, but I couldn’t save you from your sorrow

oh, please close your eyes...and wait to begin
you’ll wake up...in your brand new skin

Show me out some different way...to slide through that tomorrow
if it vanishes like haze...your old life it’s just borrowed

oh, to close your eyes...and wait to begin you’ll wake up...in your brand new skin

now whatever falls away
and whatever is dross
whatever fills the grave
...and whatever gets lost

If I hold it all up to the light and it’s all wrecked and scarred
All that chrome and touch-up paint? Well, it won’t take you far

oh, please close your eyes...and wait to begin
you’ll wake up...in your brand new skin
Track Name: OTHER SIDE OF THE WRECKING BALL
how you gonna make it to the door?
how you gonna pay up on...more than you bargained for?
How you gonna live down your past?
how you gonna define your current ragged ass?

yeah, this is gonna be one of those “baby-hold-on-tight-songs”
This is gonna be one of those “baby-please-all-night-long-songs”

chorus:

What do you see...when you look in the mirror?
God, you gotta make this a little clearer
Did you know ‘bout the ruin; ‘fore the fall
On the other side...
On the other side
On the other side
of the wrecking ball?

I’m sorry for the hurt...I’m sorry for the shame
I’m sorry for the frame...you had to rearrange
all bought and sold...yeah, the glitter and gold bought and sold
yeah, this is gonna be one of those “baby-hold-on-tight-songs”
This is gonna be one of those “baby-please-all-night-long-songs”

chorus:

what do you see when you look in the mirror?
God, you gotta make this a little clearer
did you know ‘bout the ruin; ‘fore it started to fall
On the other side...
On the other side
on the other side
of the wrecking ball?

self-loathing...well, she’s a wicked mistress, son;
spilling all the details through a bull-horn
mercy, won’t you kiss a simple fool

And I’ll buy you another round...and your new record, too yeah

(Repeat chorus)
Track Name: HOW MUCH LONGER WILL YOU HANG AROUND?
(HOW MUCH LONGER) WILL YOU HANG AROUND? by Bill Mallonee

outside a motel room dawn assembling
throwing our gear in a cold van
boredom of the days and the toll of empty rooms and stages
how much first aid will this take bartender

paths are winding backwards and the clocks are running down
how much longer will you hang around

was it all some cruel joke the punch line slow unfolding
led here in wrong direction by putting your best foot forward
lead you to this place a little numb from it all
the pieces fall and fill up this hole in the wall

a box of your regrets wristwatch and other personal effects
photographs and notebooks with filled up pages
two kids and a few friends long roads with many a dead end
sweep it up and offer what's left to God
Track Name: SHIT P.A.
SHIT P.A. music/lyrics: bill mallonee

brought it forth in the road noise drone
wrote it down on dog-eared, yellowed pages
girded up guitars for an audience of One
and bled it through a shit PA

sobered by the sound of 1K spikes
nurtured on 2nd hand inhalation
spoils of war...measured out in ounces at night
no medals given for surviving degradations

CHORUS:
Once you ran...now ya’ stumble
lookin’ for eternal light...at the end of the tunnel
And I swear...if I make it outta here
God, there’s no cover...it’s just one foot in front of the other
and I swear...I won’t ask why
if I make it out...out of here...alive...

living by sharpened wits and razor-edge fear
counterfeit thanks; the doorman hands to you the smaller part
too big a lump to swallow...the killing of the years
yielding nothing but these weeds inside your heart

too many: “well, kid it didn’t work outs”
too many benefits of the doubt
too many phone calls never returned
too many bridges you were forced to burn

rent’s always cheap on hell’s half acre
all the residents wave and say: “we’ll see ya’ later!”
Ya’ sally forth to greet whatever’s left of the day
and bleed it through a shit P.A.
and bleed it through a shit P.A.
and bleed it through a shit P.A.
credits
Mallonee: 12 string acoustic guitar, vocal
Rose: vocals