Cody Weathers

Music so hip you'll need a bigger belt

 

F tchr: Hrdvrk (studio, 2009)

BUY IT:

$??? for album, .?? per single

The Songs:

Perfect Love/I Will Be There/Chemistry/Forget the Sorrow/Like You Do/Get You Dirty/Dangerous/Drowning/24 Bad Ones/Nudge/Kitchee-Kitchee-Coo/Window/Quitter/Water Drowns Men At Any Depth/Love Sweet Love/Tell It To The Sky/Amazing Grace

all songs written and arranged by Cody Weathers (c)(p)2009, Cody Weathers, all rights reserved. No stealing the worthless material, OK?

$8.00 download coming soon to CD Baby

The Skinny:

A hard-rock exploration of the spiritual parabolae of elation and despair through the eyes of the Northwest's most astoundingly-good* underground musical nerd. Touching on issues of vitality and love in Generation X's journey through middle age, marriage, and parenthood.

*Warning: some "goods" may be "mediocres"

  • Coming soon
  • 30 other online retailers, from amazon to napster, prices vary.

Don't Hate the Players:

Cd Wrs: all vocals and instruments

Additional Performers:

Vnne Wrs: participation

Cara Wrs: giggling, add'l vocals on "Love Sweet Love," "Let Me Hold It."

Hdl Wrs: excessive giggling, add'l vocals "Love Sweet Love"

Eli Castillo: backup vocals on "Get You Dirty"

Siri Harding: backup vocals on "Get You Dirty"

Elise McIntosh: backup vocals on "Get You Dirty"

John Keith: backup vocals on "Get You Dirty"

Produced, Engineered, Mixed, and Mastered by Cody Weathers

Cvr art: Catamount T Mayhugh

Band photos: eli Castill?

Graphi? design: Eli Castillo

MP FREES:


  • Liner Notes:

    PORTLAND, OR: July 28, 2009

    Griffin Buboe, Special Correspondent

    So much truth stays hidden for a lack of looking. Checkmate Studios, early evening in the hottest week this town's seen in 20 years. It's 105 degrees outside nd everyone's uncomfortable. Meanwhile, I sit reverently behind UFO Catcher's frontman/auteur Cody Weathers as he massages the final mix, his sweaty fingers nudging the console dials imperceptibly towards rapture. It has been a long time in the making. Since the 2005 release of "Last Significant Failures," Weathers has been dormant. But like the nearby giant, Mt. St. Helens --only 50 miles north of this chair-- his slumber has been tormented by an ever-bubbling reservoir of molten rock and roll. Pressure. For four long years, fans of his multi-faceted genre-busting oeuvre have waited hungrily for their next meal, knowing that two new hard-rock albums were in the works. And as their wait stretched on, the mountain seemed to offer no proof of life beyond sporadic ventings of hot gas. Then suddenly a rumble. Without warning, within a week, Weathers erupted with both Sunhouse Branch's "Cnema" (a collaboration with lyricist and erstwhile creative foil, Cat Mayhugh) and now --before my very eyes-- this master work.

    The mix now complete, we listen to the playback over the studio moitors. Weathers sips an iced roobos and releases his two young daughters from their well-ventilated isolation booths. He is visibly exhausted but also glowing with an unmistakable satisfaction.

    I ask him to tell me a tory. "William Newbold of VIVE magazine has postulated that your creative well may have run dry, but in listening to this mix right now, it sounds like a fresh new direction. What went on during the past four years?"

    He's mildly perturbed by the name, and I regret at once using my spurs on the stallion. "That guy needs to check his facts before he speculates in publc."

    "Sorry."

    He waves it off with a grin and opens both hands. "Here I have sword. Here I have bullet."

    He's got the scars to prove it. Twent years after bursting on the scene with a phenomenal new experimental blend of hard-rock, jazz, and open-space boy-band acoustic dubbed "swank" or "nerd rock," the critical jury has remained largely unmoved. Those who love this music do so fiercely, but the hordes of casual opponents wear a steady track across the plain. Nonetheless, these mysterious wounds alone cannot explain this unendurable creative nep.

    Another sip and he opens up. "After LSF, I felt like I'd said all I needed to acoustically for a while --the extra disc and live double-CD notwithstanding. I wanted to get back to my other roots." He pauses, brilliance in his eyes. "I'm not a carrot: I have lots of roots. Specifically, I felt like it was time to do a fully-committed hard-rock album."

    "Plus," he adds, "Eric Rorem teased me." For a moment, he is lost in a somber distant gaze, then returns. "Then he nagged me."

    Listening to the albm, the sonic direction is obvious. This is clearly the most consistently, crunchy, carroty hard sound of any of Weathers's 34 releases to date. But yet, it remains unmistakably his as well, full of the geometric tension and release of his own peculiar harmonic jungle.

    And then there's the book. Honestly, it's somewhat disconerting to glimpse someone else's penitent appeal to a higher power in the examinations of his shortcomings. It feels like a violation of the sanctity of all confessionals. And though we've certainly grown comfortable with the intimacy of his inner turmoil and self-doubt over these last two decades, this lbum's spiritual ton is at once refreshingly new and disturbingly unfamiliar. There's no avoiding the question, but I'm wary of the wording. "What's up with the God stuff?"

    "Good quest?on."

    "As a new topic, it's kind of a surprise --especially to be featured so prominently."

    "I can see how you'd think that. Certainly my prior lyrics were more focused on romantic failure, then briefly romantic elation. But as I move into my undeniable middle age, my words need to --in some respect-- better reflect the real issues of my actual life. And the fact is that these days, I think less about how I once failed to attract women and more about how I'm currently failing my children --in a way it's a maturation."

    "Of failure?"

    "Precisely."

    "How did you prepare for that shift in your writing?"

    "I spent a lot of time analyzing the Vynich Manuscript and relating it back to medieval Gnostic beliefs --particularly those of the Catha?s. Then I just --you know-- connected the dots through all my own beliefs in a benevolent and moving God, the resonances of numbers and math in our universe, my interest in the unexplained, spirituality, yadda-yadda, parabolae of spiritual elation and despair: album complete!"

    "Isn't the Voyich ms undeciphered?"

    "Right; it's this mysterious text that may or may not be a code. It's probably very meaningful. Or a hox. But the pictures seem to connect to a ?eeper spiritual element. Mostly, I looked at the pictures."

    He hands me a printout, and I leaf through. "High ratio of boobs, here."

    "Spiritual boobs, yes."

    "Well, this is a fascinating and frankly, suprising wrinkle on your work. Definitely more of what I'd ?xpect in your collaborations with Cat Mayhugh than in your solo material. Can you walk me through the connections, song-by-song a little bit? Let's take 'Perfect Love' to start."

    He sips his tea and almost seems puzzled by the request. "Well, I guess that's mstly about how I feel about my daughters."

    "OK. How about 'I Will be There?'"

    Another thoughtful pause. "I guess that's a pretty straightforward appeal for the strength to be a good father."

    "'Chmistry?'"

    "Um.... having the hots for my wife."

    "'Forget the Sorrow?'"

    "Keep struggling?"

    "OK, let's try this avenue from a different angle. It's been a while, but I think the Voynich Muscript is divided into parts, right?"

    "Right. Astronomical, ritual, herbal, and pharmaceutical are the main sctions in most analyses."

    "OK, so how did your reading of those sections inspire this album?"

    Abruptly, he leaves the room.

    I groove along to "Like You Do" until he returns a moment later with a fresh glass of rooibos for himself and a lemonade for me. "Yeah, I guess when it comes down to it, all that reading and research had no real effect on the actual writng of the album at all. It seemed on some level like I needed to bone up on the world lexicon of archival obscura spiritual text, but when all's said and done, everything I've ever needed to know about God has always been what I sened in my heart rather than what I've been told. And I guess those struggles and those values are what really came out rather than any arcane academic X-files/Dan Brown sense of spirituality."

    I nod appreciatively. "So, in short: love kids good. Lust wife good. Struggle ?ive good. Fail measure up. Keep try good."

    "Yeah." He pauses, brooding. "Make sure tht gets in the liner notes. Words good."


    Lyrics:

    Perfect Love: My heart beats with overjoy. My love is endless, everything is you. You and you. Love forever, permanent and true. Money has no meaning now. My only treasure, only diamonds you. You and you. Wealth forever, permanent and true. CH: This is pure love. This is perfect love. All my pride grown uncorrupted, my wish is for the happiness of you. You and you. Joy forever, permanent and true. (Guitar) (CH) (Inst BR) Flesh and sinews all as one, we fuse together, all myself is you. You and you. Blood forever, permanent and true.

    I Will Be There: I could be a better father, kinder to each little daughter, mindful of my sway upon them --Lord, I ask you make me stronger. Keep in me a well of patience, evenness, and moderation, tireless consideration. Blessed am I, and ever grateful. Pre-CH: Keep me wise, strong and honest, focused on the road before us. Help me be the best I can: loving them as a better man. CH: This I promise, this I swear: every day I will be there. I should set a good example, carry all that I can handle, be their rock and moral mantle, in the darkness, be their candle. Lord, I need to shed my weakness, laziness and simple meekness. Help me to refine my reflex. Help me be a better teacher....

    Chemistry: That neck is the neck of a different way, a different kiss. I know not much, but I know this: those breasts, that mouth, that snicker smile, that thought, that seed, that country mile. Come and ride the hayride, you, up in the loft, know what we'd do: a little heat, a little fire, a catalyst to spark desire. CH: Chemistry is soulless, baby --love is what you need. That shape is the shape of a different joy, a different bliss. I know not how she can resist. That girl, that want, to wake and need her ghost to haunt my every deed. Hello kitty, hello doll, you lived for any, now taste all. A little heat, a little fire, a catalyst to spark desire. CH. Bridge: Fire, fire, heart on fire. That year was the year of a different man, a different fist. I know not where, but he is pissed. My chance, her choice, our destiny --our hearts become our family. Come and be my bride anew; there is no them, just me and you. A little heat, a little fire, a catalyst to spark desire....

    Forget the Sorrow: CH: Forget the sorrow and the sting. Lift each burden, everything, and find within yourself the way --make a footprint every day. Oh, I suffer, hurt and grieve, try and cry and wish to leave. Love a heart that once loved me; stay for hope of what might be. And in the blue, the endless blue, a single ray of light shines through, a single thought that must be true, a knowledge of what I must do. (CH). Oh, I wonder, smart and all, how quickly or how far I'll fall if I should say a word of doubt which cannot go back in, once out. And in the red, the fervent red, a single voice speaks in my head. Although my heart seems better dead, I take a simple step instead. (CH). Bridge: One step, two step, three step, four. First a little, then some more. First a road until a door. First an ocean, now a shore. (solo) And in the blue, the endless blue, a single ray of light shines through, a single thought that must be true, a knowledge of what I must do.

    Like You Do: Pain within, my cancer grows, familiar ache, despair I know. My heart so blue, so ever blue. My heart so blue, so ever blue. On the drip, my pulse is slow; I'm running with no place to go. My north is true, so ever true. My north is true, so ever true. CH: Come around and love me like you do, like you do. In this scar, the anger shows --the fretted wound will never close. I thought you knew, you never knew. I thought you knew, you never knew. Safe again, the poison goes, and for a time, here blooms the rose. My love is you, forever you. My love is you, forever you.

    Get You Dirty: There's a fire on my floor, there's a fire in my house, and it's burning through the roof, and it's burning through my mouth. An inferno at my heels, and I cannot quench the blaze; if I want to breathe again gotta solve the burning maze. CH: It's a late, late night, gotta get up early, but before I sleep, gotta get you dirty. As the blacksmith strikes the blade, gonna shape her molten steel, gonna hammer it with stone, gonna make the leather peel. There's some water in the well, there's some water in the stream. Gonna douse our bodies cool. Gonna turn it all to steam. (CH). Bridge: (No dark) No dark (Can swallow up) Can swallow up (This light) This light (So bright) So bright.

    Dangerous: Oh, I can take you, you're not as tough as you think. I can see that you're insane, but I'd die without your rain. Oh, be that thistle, and I will put out my foot. In my slumber I have seen that a crown can't make you queen. CH: Starlight steals my vision, and it likes me cold. And people stop to stare at the tracks I made. Oh, I could have the wisdom of a thousand years, but I'm in love with a dangerous gal, her name is you. Oh, I can reach you, you're not as far as you think. Though you stripe me with your stick, I know anger is your trick. CH. Bridge: Take ugly me and make me the picture in your heart. Oh, be my bubble, and I will keep you intact. Though you kick and bite and scream, you're more fragile than you seem. Oh, be my aching, and I will fill you with sound.

    Drowning: Only a fool can't distinguish what might have been from what might yet be. Peekaboo heart, baby-talk language, stick-figure valentine drawn you by sad me. CH: I'm drowning, I'm lost and then found in you. Only the eyes, not the fingers, take in your skin, turn you softly. Once in a while, I remember how you once moved, drunk and lazy. (CH) Bridge: There's something in the air, contagious red despair, I got myself a horrible infection. I need another chance, I need another dance, I need a healthy dose of introspection. Think of a time, paint me a picture, think of a number between you and me.

    24 Bad Ones: 24 bad ones, dream a white room. Floor four, blank and spooky, too. How can he, how can you? Know what, do what you gotta do. 24 bad ones, unlucky and cruel; this white room says interview. Afraid to look for my place to cool, need 24 to plan my move. CH: Well I fall down hard, and I break my heart, but I rise back up again. 24 bad ones, burden to move --were these not my angels, I'd wriggle loose. Story of my life, open up, get used. You don't love me like I love you. 24 bad ones, more bad news: I got stuck, now you must choose. Born for greatness, born to lose, heart all beat up, pump on, bruise. (CH)/(Inst. Bridge). 24 bad ones, I can't prove, I can't win, and I can't move. Make a penny, spend a penny, shoo fly, shoo --I'm a little crackpot; how 'bout you? 24 bad ones, listen me you: give a man a benefit, make a man a groove. Knick-knack paddywhack, give a man the flu. This bad wind come rolling through....

    Nudge: CH: The truth is a nudge would betray me to weakness. It would not take much, and adrift I would be. I sit and I judge the missteps of my neighbors, but would for a nudge, in their shoes would stand me. Animal, vegetable, mineral, man. Lost without magic I do what I can. Faced with temptation, my weakness draws in, making excuses before I begin. (CH) Gluttonous, envious, lustful and sly. As so I slip so I also should lie. Thin the cocoon of my circumstance safe; sooner than soon it's too suddenly late. (CH) Bridge: One by one, my friends have fallen; I believe myself immune. Pride misplaced will not protect me --every day the fight renews.

    Kitchee-Kitchee-Coo: CH: Kitchee-kitchee-coo, I've got a crush on you, getcha-getcha kissee too. Ha-cha-cha-cha-cha, you make me feel so raw. Parlez-baby ooh-la-la? You're in my trance, improbable romance --you shake and make the lantern dance. You got the bug, and it makes you want to shrug. You scrape and make me cut the rug. (CH) We got a chance in this spicy circumstance --we make like hungry fire ants. We got the itch, and we claw a clabber scritch. We oscillate and cinch the hitch. (CH) Bridge: Kiss like trouble, body arson. Oh, me likey --get the parson.

    Window: I was lost on a brackish ocean, I was helm of a sinking ship. That was the cold me. That was the old me. I was caught by the spear of winter, I was bled in the red, red snow. That was the wrong me. Now I'm the strong me. CH: There is love in my window, there is light in my window. I was far from a friendly fire, I forgot how to find my road. That was my old strife. This is my new life. I was deep in the cloudless desert, neither rain nor relief had I. That was the low me. You didn't know me. (CH)x2/(Inst. BR) I was long on a lonesome journey --I was once, but I am no more. That was the blue me. This is the new me. You were down in a sunny valley, you were bright, and I saw you there. I must've wished you only to kiss you.

    Quitter: What to do with this sad year? Let it go or keep it near? Find the sense within the tear or misremember it with fear? Did I give myself the best or mail it in like all the rest, somehow hoping I'll be blessed to glide through life without a test? CH: The quitter instinct loud in me, the quitter finds the door with ease. Why face this stuff when I could leave? Why risk myself on my beliefs? What to do with winter here and sorrow in my atmosphere? The slightest thing provokes a tear; I wish my heart were warm and clear. And if I every slight confessed, would I become just more depressed? Would every moribund suppressed neurosis be my lasting guest? (CH) Bridge: It's hard, say I, it's hard to breathe. It's easier to quit and leave. What to do with one so dear whose face adjoins mine in the mirror, whose love I want to keep me here, though hidden 'neath a cruel veneer? I need her comfort and caress, and once assured she loves me, yes, I find new strength within me lest I lose that which I love the best.

    Water Drowns Men At Any Depth: We could be a pair in winter, paired to warm this room. Sing you like a bird of slumber, drag you like the moon. We could be a pair in summer, paired to scorch this noon. Sing you like a crack of thunder, break like the monsoon. Karma is consistent in the currency of crushes --what fool a f***er fooler man am I? CH: Siren in the orchestra, siren on my breath. Water drowns the sailor man, drowns at any depth. We could be a pair in autumn, paired to burn this trash. Sing you like the fall of paper, hang you like a sash. We could be a pair come Easter, paired to end a fast. Sing you like a lonesome ocean, stand you like a mast. Kindness is contagious in the carrion of courtship --what fool a f***er fooler man am I? CH. Tickety-tack, my heart speaks out, she waves, but walks away. We could be a pair forever, paired to paint a house. Sing you like a choir of angels, sneak you like a mouse. We could be a pair entangled, paired about the mouth. Sing you like a wolf in winter, creep you like a doubt. Clutter is comingled with the clarity of questions --what fool a f***er fooler man am I?

    Love Sweet Love: Waiting for a bus, waiting for a break. Searching for a sign that it's not too late. Hoping for a cure, climbing on a gate. Wishing on a star, worried for a fate. Pre-CH: Oh, my baby, how I wish I was free. CH: Strength within, strength above, all you need is love sweet love. Point, click, do the trick. Cry, man make me sick. Here but not in full --crank and crush my skull. Torture self, repeat. Heal with sugar treat. Close eyes, restless dream, remember who needs me. (Pre-CH)/(CH) Bridge: And in that honest, caring glare, that simple, bold, unflinching stare, I haven't done my best to find my way. And in that warm, persistent light, I have yet to truly fight, but maybe I still have a chance today.

    Tell It to the Sky: I say, I fear, with shame, with shame that I will try to dodge the blame and trust my finger's aim. I see the truth, I know, I know that I will need to let it go and find my path again. Battered bones in need of tending, broken heart in need of mending. Flag of truce in need of sending, year of pain in need of ending. CH: Feel it, trust it, move it high --me, oh my. Tell it to the wind, tell it to the sky. I want to change, I can, I can --I know that I could be a man if only I would try. I see the way, I know I know that I will need to make it so and leave my doubts behind. Rendered mute to mend with wrongness --this has been the worst and longest. Gonna take an act of congress; from the weakest to the strongest. (CH) Bridge: Voc1: I can't hurt her, I need her, I love her. Voc2: I feel it, it moves me. Voc3: There's gonna be a lot of change in me this year, I blew out all my candles, and I burned away those fears. I'm gonna be the kind of man who gets it done; I've promised it before, but this will really be the one (Guitar)/(CH)x2 Fade: Got to pull the curtain back, Jack. Got to get true right quick and make the map fit the plan. Got to put the word on the deed and the pieces on the board. Memorize positions, get a handle on the grapple, come to know the face of what you're wrestling with. Predicament. My predicament. It's a doozy, and like every other sad loser in this same joint, I am back to the cold wall wondering how in the name of the empty hourglass did I draw this straw or find my hand pressed among the throng of hands drawing desperate straws in the first place. I was supposed to somehow slide beyond this place and snap and blink my eyes and click my magic heels and find my fine mind had auto-piloted me to a blissful den of quick and sure rewards. But that ain't me. No pride, no vanity's gonna change the number on these busted dice, and even still I speak the language of the chance of alleys. Thinking I'll find my solution in the gambler's lust, but that ain't true. Here I am. Here I am, but here I will not stay. Even now, I'm spinning words into a cloud of pretty sounds. A pleasant way to move a tongue. A clever click all strung like pearls together. A little fractal pattern folding out in endless spirals. Predicament. Predicament, says I. Not so long ago, I held no hope, convinced I'd run the course. But so the sun must rise. So I say the sun is rising now. I have to fix it. I have to find the strength and push the foolish hurt aside. Here I am. The sun is rising. I will fix it. My will is strong. My eyes are clear from tears. My family is the forge and I am tempered steel that will not bend. Shake at me your worst. Here I am. (Amen) The sun is rising. (Amen) The Lord is my shepherd. (Amen) Here I am. (Amen) Here I am. (Amen)

    Amazing Grace: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see. 'Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear, and Grace my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear the hour I first believed. The sufferings and stings I bear are only for a time. Enduring is my every deed unselfish, pure, and kind. Amazing Grace, the treasure that my shadow has concealed. When lost in dark, follow the spark Of what the light reveals. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.


    Listening Log:

    Coming soon.

    F tchr: Hrdvrk (studio, 2009)

    BUY IT:

    $??? for album, .?? per single

    The Songs:

    Perfect Love/I Will Be There/Chemistry/Forget the Sorrow/Like You Do/Get You Dirty/Dangerous/Drowning/24 Bad Ones/Nudge/Kitchee-Kitchee-Coo/Window/Quitter/Water Drowns Men At Any Depth/Love Sweet Love/Tell It To The Sky/Amazing Grace

    all songs written and arranged by Cody Weathers (c)(p)2009, Cody Weathers, all rights reserved. No stealing the worthless material, OK?

    $8.00 download coming soon to CD Baby

    The Skinny:

    A hard-rock exploration of the spiritual parabolae of elation and despair through the eyes of the Northwest's most astoundingly-good* underground musical nerd. Touching on issues of vitality and love in Generation X's journey through middle age, marriage, and parenthood.

    *Warning: some "goods" may be "mediocres"

    • Coming soon
    • 30 other online retailers, from amazon to napster, prices vary.

    Don't Hate the Players:

    Cd Wrs: all vocals and instruments

    Additional Performers:

    Vnne Wrs: participation

    Cara Wrs: giggling, add'l vocals on "Love Sweet Love," "Let Me Hold It."

    Hdl Wrs: excessive giggling, add'l vocals "Love Sweet Love"

    Eli Castillo: backup vocals on "Get You Dirty"

    Siri Harding: backup vocals on "Get You Dirty"

    Elise McIntosh: backup vocals on "Get You Dirty"

    John Keith: backup vocals on "Get You Dirty"

    Produced, Engineered, Mixed, and Mastered by Cody Weathers

    Cvr art: Catamount T Mayhugh

    Band photos: eli Castill?

    Graphi? design: Eli Castillo

    MP FREES:


  • Liner Notes:

    PORTLAND, OR: July 28, 2009

    Griffin Buboe, Special Correspondent

    So much truth stays hidden for a lack of looking. Checkmate Studios, early evening in the hottest week this town's seen in 20 years. It's 105 degrees outside nd everyone's uncomfortable. Meanwhile, I sit reverently behind UFO Catcher's frontman/auteur Cody Weathers as he massages the final mix, his sweaty fingers nudging the console dials imperceptibly towards rapture. It has been a long time in the making. Since the 2005 release of "Last Significant Failures," Weathers has been dormant. But like the nearby giant, Mt. St. Helens --only 50 miles north of this chair-- his slumber has been tormented by an ever-bubbling reservoir of molten rock and roll. Pressure. For four long years, fans of his multi-faceted genre-busting oeuvre have waited hungrily for their next meal, knowing that two new hard-rock albums were in the works. And as their wait stretched on, the mountain seemed to offer no proof of life beyond sporadic ventings of hot gas. Then suddenly a rumble. Without warning, within a week, Weathers erupted with both Sunhouse Branch's "Cnema" (a collaboration with lyricist and erstwhile creative foil, Cat Mayhugh) and now --before my very eyes-- this master work.

    The mix now complete, we listen to the playback over the studio moitors. Weathers sips an iced roobos and releases his two young daughters from their well-ventilated isolation booths. He is visibly exhausted but also glowing with an unmistakable satisfaction.

    I ask him to tell me a tory. "William Newbold of VIVE magazine has postulated that your creative well may have run dry, but in listening to this mix right now, it sounds like a fresh new direction. What went on during the past four years?"

    He's mildly perturbed by the name, and I regret at once using my spurs on the stallion. "That guy needs to check his facts before he speculates in publc."

    "Sorry."

    He waves it off with a grin and opens both hands. "Here I have sword. Here I have bullet."

    He's got the scars to prove it. Twent years after bursting on the scene with a phenomenal new experimental blend of hard-rock, jazz, and open-space boy-band acoustic dubbed "swank" or "nerd rock," the critical jury has remained largely unmoved. Those who love this music do so fiercely, but the hordes of casual opponents wear a steady track across the plain. Nonetheless, these mysterious wounds alone cannot explain this unendurable creative nep.

    Another sip and he opens up. "After LSF, I felt like I'd said all I needed to acoustically for a while --the extra disc and live double-CD notwithstanding. I wanted to get back to my other roots." He pauses, brilliance in his eyes. "I'm not a carrot: I have lots of roots. Specifically, I felt like it was time to do a fully-committed hard-rock album."

    "Plus," he adds, "Eric Rorem teased me." For a moment, he is lost in a somber distant gaze, then returns. "Then he nagged me."

    Listening to the albm, the sonic direction is obvious. This is clearly the most consistently, crunchy, carroty hard sound of any of Weathers's 34 releases to date. But yet, it remains unmistakably his as well, full of the geometric tension and release of his own peculiar harmonic jungle.

    And then there's the book. Honestly, it's somewhat disconerting to glimpse someone else's penitent appeal to a higher power in the examinations of his shortcomings. It feels like a violation of the sanctity of all confessionals. And though we've certainly grown comfortable with the intimacy of his inner turmoil and self-doubt over these last two decades, this lbum's spiritual ton is at once refreshingly new and disturbingly unfamiliar. There's no avoiding the question, but I'm wary of the wording. "What's up with the God stuff?"

    "Good quest?on."

    "As a new topic, it's kind of a surprise --especially to be featured so prominently."

    "I can see how you'd think that. Certainly my prior lyrics were more focused on romantic failure, then briefly romantic elation. But as I move into my undeniable middle age, my words need to --in some respect-- better reflect the real issues of my actual life. And the fact is that these days, I think less about how I once failed to attract women and more about how I'm currently failing my children --in a way it's a maturation."

    "Of failure?"

    "Precisely."

    "How did you prepare for that shift in your writing?"

    "I spent a lot of time analyzing the Vynich Manuscript and relating it back to medieval Gnostic beliefs --particularly those of the Catha?s. Then I just --you know-- connected the dots through all my own beliefs in a benevolent and moving God, the resonances of numbers and math in our universe, my interest in the unexplained, spirituality, yadda-yadda, parabolae of spiritual elation and despair: album complete!"

    "Isn't the Voyich ms undeciphered?"

    "Right; it's this mysterious text that may or may not be a code. It's probably very meaningful. Or a hox. But the pictures seem to connect to a ?eeper spiritual element. Mostly, I looked at the pictures."

    He hands me a printout, and I leaf through. "High ratio of boobs, here."

    "Spiritual boobs, yes."

    "Well, this is a fascinating and frankly, suprising wrinkle on your work. Definitely more of what I'd ?xpect in your collaborations with Cat Mayhugh than in your solo material. Can you walk me through the connections, song-by-song a little bit? Let's take 'Perfect Love' to start."

    He sips his tea and almost seems puzzled by the request. "Well, I guess that's mstly about how I feel about my daughters."

    "OK. How about 'I Will be There?'"

    Another thoughtful pause. "I guess that's a pretty straightforward appeal for the strength to be a good father."

    "'Chmistry?'"

    "Um.... having the hots for my wife."

    "'Forget the Sorrow?'"

    "Keep struggling?"

    "OK, let's try this avenue from a different angle. It's been a while, but I think the Voynich Muscript is divided into parts, right?"

    "Right. Astronomical, ritual, herbal, and pharmaceutical are the main sctions in most analyses."

    "OK, so how did your reading of those sections inspire this album?"

    Abruptly, he leaves the room.

    I groove along to "Like You Do" until he returns a moment later with a fresh glass of rooibos for himself and a lemonade for me. "Yeah, I guess when it comes down to it, all that reading and research had no real effect on the actual writng of the album at all. It seemed on some level like I needed to bone up on the world lexicon of archival obscura spiritual text, but when all's said and done, everything I've ever needed to know about God has always been what I sened in my heart rather than what I've been told. And I guess those struggles and those values are what really came out rather than any arcane academic X-files/Dan Brown sense of spirituality."

    I nod appreciatively. "So, in short: love kids good. Lust wife good. Struggle ?ive good. Fail measure up. Keep try good."

    "Yeah." He pauses, brooding. "Make sure tht gets in the liner notes. Words good."


    Lyrics:

    Perfect Love: My heart beats with overjoy. My love is endless, everything is you. You and you. Love forever, permanent and true. Money has no meaning now. My only treasure, only diamonds you. You and you. Wealth forever, permanent and true. CH: This is pure love. This is perfect love. All my pride grown uncorrupted, my wish is for the happiness of you. You and you. Joy forever, permanent and true. (Guitar) (CH) (Inst BR) Flesh and sinews all as one, we fuse together, all myself is you. You and you. Blood forever, permanent and true.

    I Will Be There: I could be a better father, kinder to each little daughter, mindful of my sway upon them --Lord, I ask you make me stronger. Keep in me a well of patience, evenness, and moderation, tireless consideration. Blessed am I, and ever grateful. Pre-CH: Keep me wise, strong and honest, focused on the road before us. Help me be the best I can: loving them as a better man. CH: This I promise, this I swear: every day I will be there. I should set a good example, carry all that I can handle, be their rock and moral mantle, in the darkness, be their candle. Lord, I need to shed my weakness, laziness and simple meekness. Help me to refine my reflex. Help me be a better teacher....

    Chemistry: That neck is the neck of a different way, a different kiss. I know not much, but I know this: those breasts, that mouth, that snicker smile, that thought, that seed, that country mile. Come and ride the hayride, you, up in the loft, know what we'd do: a little heat, a little fire, a catalyst to spark desire. CH: Chemistry is soulless, baby --love is what you need. That shape is the shape of a different joy, a different bliss. I know not how she can resist. That girl, that want, to wake and need her ghost to haunt my every deed. Hello kitty, hello doll, you lived for any, now taste all. A little heat, a little fire, a catalyst to spark desire. CH. Bridge: Fire, fire, heart on fire. That year was the year of a different man, a different fist. I know not where, but he is pissed. My chance, her choice, our destiny --our hearts become our family. Come and be my bride anew; there is no them, just me and you. A little heat, a little fire, a catalyst to spark desire....

    Forget the Sorrow: CH: Forget the sorrow and the sting. Lift each burden, everything, and find within yourself the way --make a footprint every day. Oh, I suffer, hurt and grieve, try and cry and wish to leave. Love a heart that once loved me; stay for hope of what might be. And in the blue, the endless blue, a single ray of light shines through, a single thought that must be true, a knowledge of what I must do. (CH). Oh, I wonder, smart and all, how quickly or how far I'll fall if I should say a word of doubt which cannot go back in, once out. And in the red, the fervent red, a single voice speaks in my head. Although my heart seems better dead, I take a simple step instead. (CH). Bridge: One step, two step, three step, four. First a little, then some more. First a road until a door. First an ocean, now a shore. (solo) And in the blue, the endless blue, a single ray of light shines through, a single thought that must be true, a knowledge of what I must do.

    Like You Do: Pain within, my cancer grows, familiar ache, despair I know. My heart so blue, so ever blue. My heart so blue, so ever blue. On the drip, my pulse is slow; I'm running with no place to go. My north is true, so ever true. My north is true, so ever true. CH: Come around and love me like you do, like you do. In this scar, the anger shows --the fretted wound will never close. I thought you knew, you never knew. I thought you knew, you never knew. Safe again, the poison goes, and for a time, here blooms the rose. My love is you, forever you. My love is you, forever you.

    Get You Dirty: There's a fire on my floor, there's a fire in my house, and it's burning through the roof, and it's burning through my mouth. An inferno at my heels, and I cannot quench the blaze; if I want to breathe again gotta solve the burning maze. CH: It's a late, late night, gotta get up early, but before I sleep, gotta get you dirty. As the blacksmith strikes the blade, gonna shape her molten steel, gonna hammer it with stone, gonna make the leather peel. There's some water in the well, there's some water in the stream. Gonna douse our bodies cool. Gonna turn it all to steam. (CH). Bridge: (No dark) No dark (Can swallow up) Can swallow up (This light) This light (So bright) So bright.

    Dangerous: Oh, I can take you, you're not as tough as you think. I can see that you're insane, but I'd die without your rain. Oh, be that thistle, and I will put out my foot. In my slumber I have seen that a crown can't make you queen. CH: Starlight steals my vision, and it likes me cold. And people stop to stare at the tracks I made. Oh, I could have the wisdom of a thousand years, but I'm in love with a dangerous gal, her name is you. Oh, I can reach you, you're not as far as you think. Though you stripe me with your stick, I know anger is your trick. CH. Bridge: Take ugly me and make me the picture in your heart. Oh, be my bubble, and I will keep you intact. Though you kick and bite and scream, you're more fragile than you seem. Oh, be my aching, and I will fill you with sound.

    Drowning: Only a fool can't distinguish what might have been from what might yet be. Peekaboo heart, baby-talk language, stick-figure valentine drawn you by sad me. CH: I'm drowning, I'm lost and then found in you. Only the eyes, not the fingers, take in your skin, turn you softly. Once in a while, I remember how you once moved, drunk and lazy. (CH) Bridge: There's something in the air, contagious red despair, I got myself a horrible infection. I need another chance, I need another dance, I need a healthy dose of introspection. Think of a time, paint me a picture, think of a number between you and me.

    24 Bad Ones: 24 bad ones, dream a white room. Floor four, blank and spooky, too. How can he, how can you? Know what, do what you gotta do. 24 bad ones, unlucky and cruel; this white room says interview. Afraid to look for my place to cool, need 24 to plan my move. CH: Well I fall down hard, and I break my heart, but I rise back up again. 24 bad ones, burden to move --were these not my angels, I'd wriggle loose. Story of my life, open up, get used. You don't love me like I love you. 24 bad ones, more bad news: I got stuck, now you must choose. Born for greatness, born to lose, heart all beat up, pump on, bruise. (CH)/(Inst. Bridge). 24 bad ones, I can't prove, I can't win, and I can't move. Make a penny, spend a penny, shoo fly, shoo --I'm a little crackpot; how 'bout you? 24 bad ones, listen me you: give a man a benefit, make a man a groove. Knick-knack paddywhack, give a man the flu. This bad wind come rolling through....

    Nudge: CH: The truth is a nudge would betray me to weakness. It would not take much, and adrift I would be. I sit and I judge the missteps of my neighbors, but would for a nudge, in their shoes would stand me. Animal, vegetable, mineral, man. Lost without magic I do what I can. Faced with temptation, my weakness draws in, making excuses before I begin. (CH) Gluttonous, envious, lustful and sly. As so I slip so I also should lie. Thin the cocoon of my circumstance safe; sooner than soon it's too suddenly late. (CH) Bridge: One by one, my friends have fallen; I believe myself immune. Pride misplaced will not protect me --every day the fight renews.

    Kitchee-Kitchee-Coo: CH: Kitchee-kitchee-coo, I've got a crush on you, getcha-getcha kissee too. Ha-cha-cha-cha-cha, you make me feel so raw. Parlez-baby ooh-la-la? You're in my trance, improbable romance --you shake and make the lantern dance. You got the bug, and it makes you want to shrug. You scrape and make me cut the rug. (CH) We got a chance in this spicy circumstance --we make like hungry fire ants. We got the itch, and we claw a clabber scritch. We oscillate and cinch the hitch. (CH) Bridge: Kiss like trouble, body arson. Oh, me likey --get the parson.

    Window: I was lost on a brackish ocean, I was helm of a sinking ship. That was the cold me. That was the old me. I was caught by the spear of winter, I was bled in the red, red snow. That was the wrong me. Now I'm the strong me. CH: There is love in my window, there is light in my window. I was far from a friendly fire, I forgot how to find my road. That was my old strife. This is my new life. I was deep in the cloudless desert, neither rain nor relief had I. That was the low me. You didn't know me. (CH)x2/(Inst. BR) I was long on a lonesome journey --I was once, but I am no more. That was the blue me. This is the new me. You were down in a sunny valley, you were bright, and I saw you there. I must've wished you only to kiss you.

    Quitter: What to do with this sad year? Let it go or keep it near? Find the sense within the tear or misremember it with fear? Did I give myself the best or mail it in like all the rest, somehow hoping I'll be blessed to glide through life without a test? CH: The quitter instinct loud in me, the quitter finds the door with ease. Why face this stuff when I could leave? Why risk myself on my beliefs? What to do with winter here and sorrow in my atmosphere? The slightest thing provokes a tear; I wish my heart were warm and clear. And if I every slight confessed, would I become just more depressed? Would every moribund suppressed neurosis be my lasting guest? (CH) Bridge: It's hard, say I, it's hard to breathe. It's easier to quit and leave. What to do with one so dear whose face adjoins mine in the mirror, whose love I want to keep me here, though hidden 'neath a cruel veneer? I need her comfort and caress, and once assured she loves me, yes, I find new strength within me lest I lose that which I love the best.

    Water Drowns Men At Any Depth: We could be a pair in winter, paired to warm this room. Sing you like a bird of slumber, drag you like the moon. We could be a pair in summer, paired to scorch this noon. Sing you like a crack of thunder, break like the monsoon. Karma is consistent in the currency of crushes --what fool a f***er fooler man am I? CH: Siren in the orchestra, siren on my breath. Water drowns the sailor man, drowns at any depth. We could be a pair in autumn, paired to burn this trash. Sing you like the fall of paper, hang you like a sash. We could be a pair come Easter, paired to end a fast. Sing you like a lonesome ocean, stand you like a mast. Kindness is contagious in the carrion of courtship --what fool a f***er fooler man am I? CH. Tickety-tack, my heart speaks out, she waves, but walks away. We could be a pair forever, paired to paint a house. Sing you like a choir of angels, sneak you like a mouse. We could be a pair entangled, paired about the mouth. Sing you like a wolf in winter, creep you like a doubt. Clutter is comingled with the clarity of questions --what fool a f***er fooler man am I?

    Love Sweet Love: Waiting for a bus, waiting for a break. Searching for a sign that it's not too late. Hoping for a cure, climbing on a gate. Wishing on a star, worried for a fate. Pre-CH: Oh, my baby, how I wish I was free. CH: Strength within, strength above, all you need is love sweet love. Point, click, do the trick. Cry, man make me sick. Here but not in full --crank and crush my skull. Torture self, repeat. Heal with sugar treat. Close eyes, restless dream, remember who needs me. (Pre-CH)/(CH) Bridge: And in that honest, caring glare, that simple, bold, unflinching stare, I haven't done my best to find my way. And in that warm, persistent light, I have yet to truly fight, but maybe I still have a chance today.

    Tell It to the Sky: I say, I fear, with shame, with shame that I will try to dodge the blame and trust my finger's aim. I see the truth, I know, I know that I will need to let it go and find my path again. Battered bones in need of tending, broken heart in need of mending. Flag of truce in need of sending, year of pain in need of ending. CH: Feel it, trust it, move it high --me, oh my. Tell it to the wind, tell it to the sky. I want to change, I can, I can --I know that I could be a man if only I would try. I see the way, I know I know that I will need to make it so and leave my doubts behind. Rendered mute to mend with wrongness --this has been the worst and longest. Gonna take an act of congress; from the weakest to the strongest. (CH) Bridge: Voc1: I can't hurt her, I need her, I love her. Voc2: I feel it, it moves me. Voc3: There's gonna be a lot of change in me this year, I blew out all my candles, and I burned away those fears. I'm gonna be the kind of man who gets it done; I've promised it before, but this will really be the one (Guitar)/(CH)x2 Fade: Got to pull the curtain back, Jack. Got to get true right quick and make the map fit the plan. Got to put the word on the deed and the pieces on the board. Memorize positions, get a handle on the grapple, come to know the face of what you're wrestling with. Predicament. My predicament. It's a doozy, and like every other sad loser in this same joint, I am back to the cold wall wondering how in the name of the empty hourglass did I draw this straw or find my hand pressed among the throng of hands drawing desperate straws in the first place. I was supposed to somehow slide beyond this place and snap and blink my eyes and click my magic heels and find my fine mind had auto-piloted me to a blissful den of quick and sure rewards. But that ain't me. No pride, no vanity's gonna change the number on these busted dice, and even still I speak the language of the chance of alleys. Thinking I'll find my solution in the gambler's lust, but that ain't true. Here I am. Here I am, but here I will not stay. Even now, I'm spinning words into a cloud of pretty sounds. A pleasant way to move a tongue. A clever click all strung like pearls together. A little fractal pattern folding out in endless spirals. Predicament. Predicament, says I. Not so long ago, I held no hope, convinced I'd run the course. But so the sun must rise. So I say the sun is rising now. I have to fix it. I have to find the strength and push the foolish hurt aside. Here I am. The sun is rising. I will fix it. My will is strong. My eyes are clear from tears. My family is the forge and I am tempered steel that will not bend. Shake at me your worst. Here I am. (Amen) The sun is rising. (Amen) The Lord is my shepherd. (Amen) Here I am. (Amen) Here I am. (Amen)

    Amazing Grace: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see. 'Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear, and Grace my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear the hour I first believed. The sufferings and stings I bear are only for a time. Enduring is my every deed unselfish, pure, and kind. Amazing Grace, the treasure that my shadow has concealed. When lost in dark, follow the spark Of what the light reveals. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.


    Listening Log:

    Coming soon.