Standing Stones

by Marian Call

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    The compact disc of 'Standing Stones' will ship in March 2017, a few weeks after the digital release, so you will receive the digital album in February and the CD's will ship about a month later. Order a copy now to receive it as soon as it's printed!

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about

Marian Call's tenth record, coming on Friday, Feb. 24th to discerning ears near you.

Join us for a first listen on Friday, Feb. 24th at noon Alaska time (1pm PST, 4pm EST).

More about Marian at mariancall.com; inquiries: marian@mariancall.com.

credits

released February 24, 2017

Marian Call, keyboards, percussion, vocals
Bryan Ray, guitars, keyboards, banjo, saxophone, percussion
Scott Barkan, guitars
Kyle Robarge, bass
Stephen Bidwell, drums
Ellen Kilcup, cello
Poppa Diggity, harmonica
Her Majesty Laura Zahasky, mandolin
Joseph Woullard, baritone saxophone
Derek Phelps, trumpet
Mobley, vocals
Molly Lewis, vocals
Seth Boyer, vocals
Bryan O'Flynn, DMX drum machine
Colter Lemons, percussion
Zippy, percussion
The Donors' Circle, claps and vocals

Engineered by Nick Joswick at Sixth Street Studios in Austin, TX
Austin Kirk, assistant
also by Sebastian Cure at The White Room in Austin, TX
and by Bryan Ray at Boogie Wonderland in Austin, TX
and by Marian Call in Seattle, WA, Anchorage, AK, and Juneau, AK

All songs composed and arranged by Marian Call
Produced and edited by Bryan Ray and Marian Call
Mixed by Bryan Ray
Mastered by Erik Wofford at Cacophony Recorders in Austin, TX

Album art illustrations by Karen Luke Fildes, karenlukefildes.com
Design and layout by Marian Call


Special thanks to:

Patrick Race // Bryan Ray // Karen Luke Fildes & Poppa Diggity // David, Kaitlyn, Tora, & Zoe // Paul & Kathryn Pew // Todd & Ellen Kilcup // Ron & Marilyn Thompson // Seth Boyer // Staci Lammering // Marian & Arjan // Carol & Amy, for the Grandmother Clock

You cannot raise a barn alone. Deep and endless gratitude to my Kickstarter backers and the Donors' Circle.

Dedicated to Ron & Marilyn Thompson, heralds of optimism, fully in love with the world.
And to the ember-bright memory of Wendell & Lois Pew, who taught me to rest and to rhyme.

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about

Marian Call Alaska

Marian Call loves making music for you. She sounds a little like Joni Mitchell meets They Might Be Giants & Regina Spektor for bourbon & laughs. She hails from Alaska but can often be found touring North America and Europe, and she lives on Twitter. Her songs are quirky, geeky, eclectic acoustic confections that taste like vanilla-cinnamon-chipotle something. ... more

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Track Name: Bones
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

LYRICS:

My first language was rhythm
a heartbeat not mine

And my first meal was shared
Blood and body bread and wine

Lord, but we never saw
No we never saw

My first quest
To leave home
Bright and cold

And my first test was to cry, was to cry
And my bones and my

And at the bones of it at the bones of it...

(Spare me just a second to be sincere, for old time's sake; it seems the stakes are high, and I know we all brought somethin' to burn)

(Spare me just a second to be sincere, for old time's sake; it seems the stakes are high)

(Pray if you could spare us just a second to make things clear, we found these bones bewildered by the fire –)

And the first law I learned was my own geography
what is out
what is in
where you end
I begin

And my first waking words
were to make a map of me
eyes and ears, hands and toes
hair in rows and the bones the bones the bones

Oh, the bones I did not ask to bind, still soft, already strong
And braced to stitch a story on
(Braced to stitch a story on)

And at the bones of it at the bones of it
In the stones around the fire –

(Oh I swear if you could spare us just a second to be right here, for pity's sake, we were not warned –)

So Imagination took the hand
Of Memory and chose a strand
To sew/sow the Twelve Ages of Man
In us again the something-billionth time
A calendar along the spine
A heart-clock pounding time
A primer 'cross my palms and standing soldiers for my skin
Physics at my fingertips, a fortress in my hips
And feast days on the tongue
And feast days on the tongue
All fiery gifts for waking songs
Fiery gifts and waking songs and oh

(Start at the beginning and start sincere, for glory's sake, it seems the stakes are high, and I've got to choose which bridges to burn)

(Pray if we could start at the beginning and wind up here (and who knows how) with kindling in our hands, and dawning causes for concern –)

And at the bones of it at the bones of it
In the stones around the fire

And at the bones of it at the bones of it
In the stones around the pyre the pyre

We start and finish lonely
The mo/urning moves in one direction only

And my first quest
Was to find out how it felt
And my first test
Was to speak
For myself.
Track Name: No Paper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

LYRICS:

There is no paper big enough for what I'm going to draw today
There are no letters high enough for what I've got to got to say

The margins are not mine, I run outside the lines I run
Outside the lines I
Run outside

Ba da da....

​There is no paper big enough for what I'm going to draw today.

​Grass stains on your knees that's good that's good
​Dirt under your nails that's good that's good
​Paint all on my jeans all right all right
​Fall out of some trees you're all right all right all right I

used to want a trademarked toy
Now I only want more space​
I want a room with empty walls
I want more bricks and paper please​

Look how tall I wrote my name how tall I wrote my
Name how tall I wrote my name how
Tall I wrote my

Ba da da....

Oh ​I want a word that says it all
I want I want more paper please

Let's write ourselves a story 'cause the writers make the rules
​We'll need a starship and a cutlass and a key
​And I'll make a treasure map all codes and signs
Twenty paces dotted lines
And when all these paints are shaken up we'll make a new color
And name it after us

Oh there is no paper big enough for what
I'm going to draw today
Oh and there is no shouting loud enough
To tell you what I've got to got to say

Ba ba ba....

Oh there is no paper big enough for me
No paper big enough for me
Oh there is no paper big enough for me
No paper big enough for me
Oh there is no paper big enough for me
No paper big enough for me
Track Name: Oregon Trail
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

LYRICS:

And we set out in the springtime with our bindles and our boots
And we reveled in our poverty, abandoning our roots
A brand new path, adventurers
All lonely bold and brave
Breaking free and making do
And telling tales of how we'd save ourselves

'Til everybody else we knew
Had started on the journey too
Then we were not phenomenal, no, we were not phenomenal
We never were phenomenal,
Just part of our whole generation's vague instinctive mass migration
We were not exceptional, no we were not exceptional
We never were exceptional

We were longing longing longing though,
And true
We were dreaming that the world was dreaming too
Ohhhh

Surrendering exceptional to lighten up the load,
We woke up one day to discover that the world was all a road
The walls and chapters disappeared
Around us
And the
World
Was all a road
Was all a road

We bought some land out west
Though nowhere seemed to feel like home
And digging up the yard we found somebody else's bones
Moment that the shovel hit,
We bowed before the things we should have known
For we were not the first ones here
(Course we're not the first ones here)
We never were the first ones here
Just part of our whole generation's
Childish frontier re-creation

We were not adventurers
No, we were not adventurers
We never were adventurers
We were longing longing longing and so lost
We were barely what we needed, and it cost, ohhh

We left our stolen settlement
And did not much look back
No more traveling songs or epic tales
The road a fatal fact

And the GPS, it misdirects, the travel stretches on
With autumn setting in by now and winter just beyond

And we have not found shelter yet,
No, we have not found shelter yet –
We've eaten what we meant to plant –
And the twelve ages of man are circling hungry overhead –

And grandmother would disapprove –

We will make no more miles today.
Track Name: Standing Stones
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

LYRICS:

We drew nine lines from east to west
We drew nine from north to south
And we stitched our names in concrete veins
Through miles and miles and miles of ground

The solid rock, it does not care
If we scratch our names, if we scab and tear
If we line and spine and grind it
If we dare to try to sign it

But we were here, yes, we were here
Say the spirals and the runes / ruins
Yes, we made beauty, it made sense
Sometimes in our better moments
We were wild and we were wrong
And this is how our portrait's drawn
So sculpt and sketch and sign your own
All we leave are standing stones

We scored the limestone just like so
To map the stars' ascent
To prove we understood the moon,
We left circles where she went

The triangle unlocked for us
To Babel up our towers
And then we wrangled fire and rocketeered
Our sticks back to the stars

Saying we were here, yes, we were here
With the ciphers in the caves
Yes, we made beauty, it made sense
Once a lifetime, we were brave, oh
We were wild and we were wrong
And this is how our portrait's drawn
So sculpt and sketch and sign your own
All we leave are standing stones

The stars have hardly time for us
They'll scatter every sign of us
But my path is mine and I'm drivin' dust
As I find it find it find it
As I dare to try to sign it

But I am here, I am here
That's all I can know
I'll sing it spell it smash it, hell, it's
What my soul is for

But we were here, yes, we were here
And this is how it went
We made beauty, it made sense
And we destroy and we repent because
We were wild and we were wrong
And this is how our judgment's drawn
So sculpt and sketch and sign your own
All we leave are standing stones
All we leave are standing stones
Track Name: Hope
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

LYRICS:

I pulled to the edge of the road, I got out, and I walked
Hundreds of miles from a stoplight and rolling North
Nothing in mind but escaping the fallout so hot
And nothing to feel but the Labor Day sunshine so warm

I don’t know how to move on, but September does
​One day after the other, and if it's just
​A little darker every day
​Well the leaves look happy falling, don't they
Don't they

But my hope is not light
​It is not frail, it is the anchor anchor
​My hope is not slight
​It’s not the sail, it is the anchor anchor, oh

Friends formed a line over Christmas for coffee & ghosts
To nail down the tragedy's lesson and swear and sigh
They’re kind and they’re real but I'm a little relieved when they go
'Cause what they all want to give me they can't,
Though I'm grateful they try

​I don’t know how to move on but my body does
​I’ll find the rhythms that I walked in once
​My hands make tea, my brow makes furrows
​My ankles cross, my shoulders worry for one
​And my lips say, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, mm-hmm mm-hmm mm-hmm

But my hope is not light
​It is not frail, it is the anchor anchor
​My hope is not slight
​It’s not the sail, it is the anchor anchor, oh

I took my first flight home to you on the Fourth of July
With lightning a-riot above and fireworks below
Oh, something possessed the Midwestern summer sky
Thunder and sparklers, aurora and stars, and a red sub-Arctic sunrise

My heart was in my eyes

​I don’t know how to move on
But this airplane does
You run real fast with your nose up and jump
​It does the work if I just let it

​I wonder if I've been struck by lightning yet
​Have I been struck by lightning yet?
​Have I been struck by lightning yet?
Have I been struck by lightning yet?

'Cause my hope is not light
​It is not frail, it is the anchor anchor
​My hope is not slight
​It’s not the sail, it is the anchor anchor, oh oh
Track Name: Like This
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

LYRICS:

Baby let's go out tonight, I'll find the place that gets the best reviews
Send me your criteria and I'll design the perfect night for you

I've brought a limited set of regular expressions in your size
So use these icons for your feelings
So that I can more precisely empathize
So engagement's optimized

The resolution is so high in here
Surround sound is so crisp and clear
Just like in the montage where we met
How it glows!
And no one knows
If we've felt our feelings yet
If we've felt our feelings [cut]

Am I having fun? Let me show you, here's a picture, that's the one
It makes me look the way I hoped when I was young
But am I having fun yet am I having fun yet
Am I

I imagined me like this, I imagined me like this
Come here where we're nicely lit and
Take a picture while we kiss and
I imagined me like this, I imagined me like this
Take a picture while we kiss and
Gimme proof that we exist

We'll –

Take a romantic walk and rate the passers-by, comparing notes
(Take a picture, come on take a picture)
And if the conversation has some dull bits we can punch it up in post
Sharing wishlists of our wants
(We've long since conquered all our basic needs)
Oh and what a thrill to act like grownups do
In movies and TV and magazines
This looks kinda like my dreams

My favorites are all trending and the playlist's neverending
So let's drink and dance til we're dizzy dizzy

Is it midnight yet? Is it midnight yet? Is it midnight yet?
This is fun I bet
Have we done this yet
Have I won this yet
Have I done this yet
Am I am I am I am I

Am I having fun? Let me show you, here's a picture, that's the one
It makes me look the way I hoped when I was young
But am I having am I having having
Didja think that I was having does it look like does it look like

Fun

This looks like what I always wanted to become
I've got to capture all my minutes til they're done
'Cause am I am I having fun yet am I having fun yet am I having fun yet am I having fun yet am I


I imagined me like this, I imagined me like this
Come here where we're nicely lit and
Take a picture while we kiss and
I imagined me like this, I imagined me like this
I am where the party is I
Think I blinked, I think I missed it

I imagine me like this, I imagine me like this
I am where the party is I
Think I blinked, I think I missed it
I imagine me like this, I imagine me like this
I am where the party is I
Didja catch it, I existed

I imagine me like this, I imagine me like this
Track Name: Mediocre Algorithmic First Date
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

LYRICS:

It was a mediocre algorithmic first date
Our opinions were the same enough for tea
He brought a story for me,
Said he got it custom made
He asked if I could try on
The role he had his eye on

​And he was nice
So I was game
​As I struggled to remember his last name
​I'm losing time time time and wasting miles
​It might be nice to have a path to walk awhile
It might be nice to have a path to walk awhile

It was a mediocre too-familiar story
It was all rivets, hinges, buckles, bolts and straps
It was heavy gilded armor
I held my breath to fit
Lovely but immobile, it pinched my skin all over

But he was nice
So I was game
​It was much too small for me, but if I work at it, maybe
​I stepped into his fairy tale and I acted nonchalant
​Thinking "I am just the crosshairs between you and what you want"
Thinking I am just the crosshairs

And it was fit for a princess, it was fit for a princess
He spared no expenses, ho oh
It was fit for a princess all fit for a prince's investment, ho oh

And in time she grew tired of castles and courtiers and cross-stitch and croquet
And she nodded her head and she looked at her hands
And agreed and agreed and agreed with him
And agreed and agreed and agreed and agreed

Oh, and he loved how he loved how he loved her
And never looked under her armor again

But he was nice
So I was game
​As I thought I might have written so much of this story the same
Oh, there was a part of this I wanted so much for so long
​But when it isn't your story, when it isn't your song
​When it isn't your story when it isn't your song
When ​it isn't your story when it isn't your song
​When it isn't your story it isn't your song

​even the good bits fit all wrong.
Track Name: Independence
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

LYRICS:

Curl up on the concourse floor
This is how your body feels
This is what your shoulder's for
No illusions anymore
This is what your lessons meant
The action and its consequent, oh

​You found a patch to call your own, but
​You cannot raise a barn alone
You cannot raise a barn alone

​And I curse the burden made you think you should
​And I curse the blind spot makes you think you did

The frontier lives on in the dreams of certain men
All thinking themselves heroes, all wide-eyed to defend
The right to never make a village square
The right to never lay a brick for someone else's sake, oh oh

​You found a field to claim to own, but
​You cannot raise a barn alone
You cannot raise a barn alone

​And the road asked us, who will share the load?
​And we all said not me not me not me
"​Our hands are full of all we've bought,
​we cannot carry more," we told the road

​The road asked, then who will do without?
​And we all said, not me not me not me
"​I've worked so hard, I don't ask much,
​I need just what I need," we told the road

So the road asked, then who will pay the price?
​And we all said, not me not me not me
Make it someone far away
Make it someone we can't see
Charge the people we don't know
We told the road,
ai
oh oh

You fought and scrapped and earned your own, but
You cannot raise a barn alone
You cannot raise a barn alone alone alone

Shove until you shatter
Shoulder to the wheel
'Cause Indepenedence is a myth
But loneliness is real.

And I curse the burden made you think you should
And I curse the blind spot made you think you did
Track Name: Vespers
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

LYRICS:

It was a holy smokes sunset
I found myself on my way to the shore
In a crowd of silent strangers staring westward
To plead, praise, and mourn

A girl gets good at losing things
And I have lost them all before
Nothing for it but to name them to the sun, one by one,
I'm done keeping score

In the last light, my scars all bear witness to what I've lived through
And I dreamed up another tattoo​
(Learning things that we already knew)
Yeah, I dreamed up a brand new tattoo

​Oh, you know the old stories, you know how it goes:
​The gift is the curse is the gift is the curse and
My binaries break in the dark after dusk,
​so I’m done running from what was hard and what hurt

​So our suffering wrote us a song
​So our bravery broke all our bones
​So the sunset is killer tonight --
​The sky laughs as it tells us we're done
​And it's no

No surprise, no surprise, no surprise...
​No surprise, no surprise, no surprise
​No surprise, no surprise, no surprise

In my garden twelve columns stretch skyward
They were pedestals not long ago
Where my youthful ideals and precarious idols did go
But with ropes and resignation
I tore all the tyrants down
They were poor substitutes for heroes and hope anyhow

(Nothin' to do but know we were wrong
Nothin' to see but a sky without storms
Nothin' to hear but the space where there should've been songs)

They thanked me, my statues
They wandered off, fractured but free
They could not hold my meaning for me
They could not hold my meaning for me

​So our suffering wrote us a song
​So our bravery broke all our bones
​So the sunset is killer tonight --
​The light laughs as it leaves us alone
​And it's no

No surprise, no surprise, no surprise...
​No surprise, no surprise, no surprise
​No surprise, no surprise, no surprise

(Now we got nothin' to do but sit here and know
We were wrong, and know we were wrong
Now we got nothin' to hear but the space where there
Should've been songs, should've been songs)

So your victory came at a cost
So to find yourself got you so lost
Holding tight made it slip through your grasp
The storm drove you to shelter at last

​So our suffering wrote us a song
​So our bravery broke all our bones
So our scars map our fight to survive
Empty hands help you find your way home

Empty hands help you find your way home
Empty hands help you find your way home
Track Name: The Devil
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

LYRICS:

Ooh and after dark
Ooh the inquisition stars
(I dreamed a fire pit and a funeral last I slept)

The devil the devil is in my kitchen again
and I never know never know what to say to him
I put the kettle on and yawn and yawn and wait

He always makes his nightly rounds
and I know I know to expect him now /
He comes around at half past one
every night since I was young
I put the kettle on, it's on, it's on, I wait

And my mother always wondering why I'm up so late...

So if the kitchen light's on late tonight,
Don't mind me, I've got company again

Skip the song and dance, I know the drill
My thoughts go where they always will
I visit the crossroads every night
And I hold on tight, and I hold on tight

Because the calendar stutters and oh the weather portends
'Cause there's a crack in the wall between all our means and our ends
Because the kitchen light hums and the kettle says
Amen, amen, amen

(Amen, amen, amen)

Oh if the kitchen light's on late tonight,
Don't bother, don't bother
I got company again, but I'll eventually turn in...
Oh if the kitchen light's on late tonight
Don't mind me

Ooh and when the lights go out

I came up lucky to lucky without scars so I made some
Took a blade to a blade to all the parts that I hate some
Gave it up long ago, but at night
Still I hold on tight, still I hold on tight

'Cause the stuff I cut off shares a table with me
From a quarter to one until a quarter past three
Like to settle some score, but we've done this before
And I don't barter anymore


​You cannot intimidate me
Fear is my old friend
​We dated for awhile
And she still calls me now and then
​I've gone all the way with Fear and back,
You don't know what I've seen
And without her on your side,
You cannot turn me against me again

Oh if the kitchen light's on late tonight,
Don't bother, don't bother
I got company all right, but I know,
I'll hold on tight, I'll hold on tight
I / I / I don't barter, I don't barter
I'll heat the kettle one more time and I'll be fine.
Track Name: Grandpa Had It Right
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

LYRICS:

Grandpa had it right – oh so much depends upon
The weather and the price of gas, the bills the politicians pass, oh
Grandpa had it right – every morning up at dawn,
Eighty-one in old San Juan and ten cents cheaper a little down the road

Grandma had it right – oh so much depends upon
Symmetry and knowing names, on picture books and rhyming games
Grandma had it right – ghosts to scare the sleepless child
Storytime with wolves and wilds that ends with fewer answers than we want

​And at the bones of it, at the bones of it, in the stones around the fire
​We recount our secret histories one by one
​With no altars anymore, we come to the embers for to confess
​'Cause beggar, banker, king, and pawn,
​We're only bones with stories on

My counselor had it right – sleeping out under the stars
Children shivering and scared, refuging in truth or dare
My counselor had it right – far from our pretending screens
All that's left is what things mean and what we whisper when the lights are out

Lord, but we never saw stars like that, no we never saw, never saw
Stars like stars like that
No we never saw stars like that before, should've fall should've fall
should've
Lord, but I never saw stars like that, no I never saw, never saw
Stars like stars like that
No I never saw stars like that before, should have

Fallen on my knees

And hey hey hey – you know, I like you this way
All overawed and out of breath
And saying what you mean

​'Cause I was born for this, I was born for this, I've been ready all my life
​To chance on some enchanted secret door
​To a kingdom new and wild,
To my wonder as a child,
And now here you are --

​Each of us around the flames
​A universe that knows itself by name

​And at the bones of it, in the stones around the fire
​Our voices will be all we leave behind
​Not a one of us can stay, but it keeps the night at bay,
It keeps us warm

​We wake, we witness, and we're gone
​We're only bones with stories on

Beggar banker king and pawn
​We're only bones with stories on
​Taking turns to watch for dawn
​We're only bones with stories on
​Pretty but don't last for long
​We're only bones with stories on
​Beggar banker king and pawn
​We're only bones with stories on

And Lord, but I never saw stars like that before...