Mountain Portal

by YOU

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about

All those ideas that go into your record; the sounds, feelings, expectations… When Hiram picked me up that day we delved directly into that world. Skipping through obligatory reminders and updates on hometown happenings, we began to synthesize the worlds we’d been fostering in our minds. We talked of Pantheons and of spiritual evocation, we speculated as to the coloration of cosmic iron fuzz, and we interrogated each other’s ideas of time formant.
I don’t know that the tale we spun ever made rational sense either separately or together; but it made a tremendous amount of phenomenological sense, and we both left for the desert with a mutual understanding that we knew what we were going to make, we knew what parts we had and how they would fit together in a way that retains their integrity but edifies the larger structure. We may have known this only theoretically, but the theory had a personal salience that never left from us during the production of the album.
We arrived in Red River to a full house of happy people. This is Hiram’s family cabin and every year relatives come from near and far to participate in the Red River Fourth of July parade. Nieces and Nephews were constructing rainbow trout hats and Grandma Jewell was sewing up Dad’s Teddy Roosevelt chaps. The weather was grey, but we we’re settling into paradise. All of us had grabbed ourselves out of full time jobs- stress, grind, soul-crushing indentured existence; and leapt into a forest paradise. Windows reached from the floor to the hight of the vaulted ceilings in the great room at the center of the cabin. A tapestry of field, stream and summit, beams in light tempered by the cold of the waning June gloom. The space is filled with the light and energy of wild and curious innocence. As Hiram and I began to plug in amplifiers, tune guitars and set up stomp boxes; our discussion of the day previous began to take on a terrific weight. What was just then so crystalline and clean cut on the plane of verbal history does not so effortlessly extend itself to imagining the intricacies of it’s transmogrification. We began to wonder what it would take; what shape will be the space, where will we aim our hearts to ensnare the pantheon which we purported to purchase with imagination?
About that time Lee Sillery arrived at the cabin, with his studio packed into the car. We unloaded monitors, a mixing console, a cable snake, pre-amps, interfaces, rack-mounted channel strips and more. After spending some time sidestepping some old and noisy wiring, we had a full studio wired up in the family cabin. The drums were just outside Lee's control room. In the dining area, and the guitar amps were opposite each other in the adjacent great room. Everyone worked facing the windows which looked out to a breathtaking view of the mountain from anywhere in the cabin.
That night we built a fire outside. We played banjos and guitars, caught up with siblings and parents, danced in the long grass, laughed together in ecstasy, and dreamed of a song to mean it all; to keep it close.
For the next 5 days we worked tirelessly. We got up early, the first to rise made coffee and got everyone up to face the day. We would pick out the songs we wanted to take on for that day and set straight to it. Sometimes we would start with a drum track, sometimes a guitar track, but most of the songs were recorded from the foundation of the drums and guitar being played and recorded together. This imbued a natural feel to the beginning of the day. Because these songs were brand new to all of us there was a lot of time spent simply learning the songs as we would have in rehearsal, playing them until we got a feel, finding the right speed and range. Once the feeling was found, we would press record and let the energy expand into that space, play the song with the full feeling of our vision of it’s potential. After that initial capture, it was a simple matter of patience for the overdubbed instruments and vocals to fill the space left in the tune.
Many of the songs are recorded minimally, some with only one guitar and vocal track. Other songs, songs that beckoned for it, received more extended treatments: samples, synthesizers, field recordings, etc. In each case and for each song, we responded to the energy captured in that initial recording, and didn’t waste any time recording something that wasn’t sure of it’s place in our world. In the moment this can be the most difficult move. Once a foundation is laid, it is my compulsion to start composing for every nook and cranny of the sound. On this record I had to hone in, appreciate and utilize the full detail of the instrumentation we had.
I believe our crunch for time may have worked to our advantage in this particular case. We simply didn’t have time to sit around thinking up extraneous instrumentation for these songs, we had only the ideal image of what they were at their core, and the drive to bring that into existence as efficiently as possible. I think in the end, some of the simplest recordings on the album ended up being our favorite songs. I think “Gay Science” is a prime example. I taught Hiram the guitar riff for this song so that I could more easily sing along with the drums and guitar during recording. As we played the track back, a I felt a bouncy jangle that I’d never heard on my own. I recorded a totally different bass line than what I had intended, and that was that.
We had planned from the beginning to take the Fourth of July as a vacation day. The holiday landed right in the middle of our time recording and we all needed a break by that point. Lucky for us, the family had prepared a marvelous parade float that evoked the natural beauty of the enchanted circle and celebrated the National Parks of America. They gave us styrofoam hats that transformed us into chipmunks and trout, and we walked down the sunny and candy cluttered streets of Red River that morning laughing and smiling and waving; taking part in a truly joyous celebration of freedom. There was much feasting, much frisbee, and only a little bit of sneaking away to adjust mixes throughout that day. Family and friends came and went, the recording was off to a great start but we knew we would be busy. The fourth was the only day we didn’t work from sun rise to midnight. We were joined in the second part of the week by friends of the fire spinning persuasion, and enjoyed extended displays of twirling flames under the stars and beside the dinner fire.
Splitting wood for said fire was a continual pursuit, and proved especially effective as an outlet of frustration during difficult takes or long bouts of technical troubleshooting. By the end of the week we had all but busted through every axe, hatchet, and sledgehammer on the property. I recommend to any mountain portaler that a freshly handled axe find it’s way into your rucksack.
As recording began to wrap up, a strong presence made it itself felt there in the cabin. We had filled up the vaulted ceilings of this great room, filled it to the top with searing guitar solos and triumphant arias, with the ringing of cymbals and the hiss of electric vacuum. We began to feel the magic of the pantheon we imagined, the empowerment that comes from a new family of gods, born imagined to the new world.
We were listening for the first time through to the finished mix of “Dark World” when our friends returned from a day trip hike. Bewildered and silent they made their way in through the sliding glass door to the control room. Looking about his head like he heard voices in the rafters, Simon looked over at me and proposed with cautious reverence: “This right here is like the center of the universe,” he held his arms up like a cosmic energy funnel and I think we could all see it, at least feel it.
It had come to be our last day to spend in the mountains. The studio was packed away and the final mix of the album was being sent off to be mastered.
We were joined the night prior by our fellow traveller and dear friend Amina, and Hiram was looking forward to taking us all on his favorite hike to Horseshoe Lake, which sat just beneath the summit of Wheeler Peak. It was a 15-mile journey into higher altitudes, so we were fortunate to have a substantial breakfast prepared for us. After the delicately satisfying poached eggs which Amina dressed with avocado and perched atop a buttery english muffin, all we had to eat was one organic gummy bear soaked in LSD apiece until we reached the top.
There, after nearly unfathomable and absolutely indescribable obstacles overcome, after facing down gila monster mountain slides and making snow angels in July, at the end of a week of absolute spiritual focus and permanent inscription; we found the mountain portal. A crystal clear lake reflected the warm light of the sun back into a sky untroubled by clouds. A herd of bighorn sheep gently gazed upon us from the ridge, from the top of New Mexico, views unimpeded by trees. We dove into the cold clear water for as long as we could stand. We were mesmerized, looking out over the edge of the lake where the water flowed down the mountain, face bare to nothing but open sky.
There, at the top; dried of a wet more pure than we’ve ever been by wind so thin of air it could tear skin, we shared an apple and started back down.

credits

released December 1, 2016

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about

YOU Albuquerque, New Mexico

YOU is a "party-wave!" "power-trio" based in Los Angeles and playing shows anywhere the wind blows in support of their brand new double album...
MOUNTAIN PORTAL

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Track Name: Inherent Longing
There is a purpose within each of us
Inherent longing is the cinder of materiality
The Earth is all we have
To hold us alight over the sea

Moonlight is a dampening brine
She penetrates the fat of disjunction
If we could be held, homogenized
I would rise with the tide

Here the clammy flesh disowns me
Gaze tethered to lunar countenance
Upon the ground I toil restlessly
On fire in my sleep

The world is a vacuum
Bearing cold upon all light
Our birthright is the struggle
Through which we stay alive

Eternity is a paradox we can reject but not deny
No machine can perpetuate a desire for life
Stride along the vortex heedless
Programming override

Currency is the grid link of captivity
Devouring always only lies
No truth has ever been bought or sold
In the system it slavishly reifies

I will despise that systemic disfunction
Irradiate that cancer of our mind
Hold close contempt for feeble solipsism
Until compassion is it’s price
Track Name: Holy Virgin Pornstar
I don't want to be your girlfriend
I just want to hold your hand
I'll take you out into the ocean
We can stand there
We can look into the wind
You can have my inspiration
You can have my love
But if you're going to want my body
Baby there's a price that you've got to pay

Because everbody has there sign
You know that I have my
Go on and show me the divine

I'll be you're holy virgin porn star
I will set you free
I can be your pornstar
I'll give you everything

Nail me up love
I'm your blessing from above
Come on darling
Show them how you love
How to love
Track Name: Gay Science
Independence
Destiny
The whole body problem

Concrete farce
Synthetic mind
Sample my dream thoughts and fuck em up all kinds

Acid bass lines
Vibraslap ratchet hats too
Addicted to the clickity clack and the pew pew pew pew

Hymnal rack bench
Counter point school
Talkin fear but the god of the song is praisin you

Look at you dancin fool
Got a rock in your shoe
Like you were shakin' your pulse width toes in the electric blue

Stand back lemme get a look atcha
Ain't done too many drugs yet
Still got those eyes they shine like the ocean I knew

Back when I was still scared all sorts
Of falling behind
Scared of never falling in love scared of forgetting my life

Now I come up I live it all kinds
I go freeways and I fly
I call loud as a trumpet hello world I hope you hear me IM HIGH!

I'm gonna make my foot good
I'm gonna smile all the time
Because I've already got everything I thought I could out of life

Carolina Rain
Louisiana Dynne
I'm still listening

To the rain and the thunder
Electric resonance
High frequency sandstorm sizzle

~~!~
Track Name: Not Capital
Here I am sitting in the back
Of a golf cart with no brakes
I've got the fruit of my own homeland
Stuffed in between my legs
I am looking for an answer
To the question that we are
I am searching for solutions
from inside this puzzle box
I am using both my hands to keep
My tongue inside my face
Because what I really want to say to you
Makes no sound when it comes out straight

I am not capital
I am a bastard noise
seething caterwaul
breathing in your face

and it smells like blood
blood and pussy
because I got hungry, and I’ve been busy
eating up all of your luck
that you gave away for free
now all you sell are needles
broad enough just for the stream
of the lucky famished addicts
floating on clouds of cologne
down a cosmic slide of paradox
like bad acid on rainbow road

I am not capital
I am a shining star
burning holes in space
grinning in your face

and I’d be damned if you minded
I’d say who’s got time for that
but as it stands I’m shining
on a mirror with a baseball bat
swinging blindfolded with three
like minded philosophers
I caught pissing where I sleep
and it smelled so bad it knocked us out
into a psychedelic dream
and damn did we have dreams!
they were the only thing we owned

I am not capital
I am a unicorn
sacred beast of the soul
drowned right before your eyes

when my hooves catch land they’ll take it by storm
my cloven steps seared on the shore
to light up the crystal wilderness
that’s been clawing at your door
making fallow all your land
we’re gonna eat up all your chemicals
and grow a future on your bones
we’ll feed your cancer to the appetite
of our embryonic sphinx
and choose a world with pyramids
and we will know we are the dream

I am not capital
I am a nightmare
real awake and on fire
melting your face

Dear lord they need a bigger boat
I guess Jaws believes in Jesus
two she-bears with an appetite
is it God or just the red bull?

I am not capital
I am a rolling stone
fingers worn to the bone
flying in your face
Track Name: Cat King's Eye
Yesterday I saw you sitting
On your tea cup you were sipping
You were looking mighty fine

Now that I am thinking
I wonder what it was you were drinking
Were you drinking of the Cat Kings Eye

Did you drop
Your bodies shape
And sail off into to space?

The Cat Kings eye
Will show you
Where everything is one
And where we are
Together
In space

Just stare off
Into the Sun
Just stare off
Become everything at once

Look too long
Lose all that you own
Become your own

Just stare off
Into the I
Just stare off

Yesterday I saw you dreaming
Or were you simply thinking?
Just staring at the sky
Were you asking?
Or were you basking?
Basking in the eye
Just basking in the eye.
Track Name: I Wanna Be Your Baby Now
I wanna be your baby now
Put me in your tummy honey

She's gonna show you the world
She's got eyes for you
Eyes for you, eyes for you

I'm gonna show you the world
I've got eyes for you
Eyes for you, eyes for you

(sprinkled with bromantic chatter)
Track Name: Greater Space
If you could see outside
The greater space
Around your mind
Break apart the lines
And hear
The spinning drone of time
The blood
That's burning in your mind
Would cease to move
And you'd be kind
Of a kind
Out of time
Track Name: Dark World
Wind across the dunes
Sings it's invisible song
Time drifts forward
On the back of a tortoise
Who is floating down the nile

What is this question
Tearing through my skin
What from me is taken
When my dreams are locked within

The seance is embodiment
Thine only enemy is fear
Open the doorway of apperception
Expand time until neurosis disappears

But if your queen escapes you
Ask your star to find you
You'll be wrapped in light
From the sky

But if I could find
Any dream that I've had
In Hell
Would it really be
Anymore
If I don't need a way out

Secrets are
Hard to find
And hard to keep
In your mind
They live in time
A crystal song
And they shine
In your eyes
Light is just
That eager hunting
We reflect
Like blinding glass
Me I'll stay
In the sane refuge
Of a dark world mind
But if I could find
Any dream that I've had
In Hell
Would it really be
Anymore
If I don't need a way out
Track Name: Rectangular Mind Theif
Hey honey
Their shapes will sneak into your mind
(Mind mind mind mind)
Hey honey
Their hypno-screens will tell you lies
(Lies)

Because they just want to take over your mind
(They want to take over your mind)
They just want to take over your head
(They want to take over your head)
They just want to take over your heart
(They want to take over your heart babe)
They just want to take over your mind
(Mind mind mind mind)

Their pixalated chains are wrapped around
Your hands, LED rectangle bound
You are blind folded by the man
You're blind folded by the man
You've got to take him down
You've got to fight
You've got to fight!
The television!!!
( gata fight the television, gata fight the television, gata fight, gata fight)

They're coming for you
They're coming for you through the television
YAH!

Because they just want to take over your mind
They just want to take over your head
They just want to take over your heart
They just want to take over your mind
Your mind!
Track Name: Shut Up and Dance!
Oh and I saw you
Standing on the other side of the street
You said Oh and you let out another sigh
Collapsed in an angle of degrees entagled
So I ran like a city fox
Got to you
Ya I dragged you into the light
Askin' why are there only two sides
You said there's not let's break the lines
Let's break the lines

And you kissed me in the chasm shadow
You kissed me and the world crumbles
You kissed me and my body shudders
I Shudder

I Listen
Listen how your body twists
There's a thousand stories from your finger to your wrist
Hand in hand we got it all every word between our palms
You talk so much your words turn red
If we only had a powder for our head
Won't you shut up for me?
Shut up and dance
This is how we break lines
Track Name: Champion
I am a champion of being
Fear is the concept I've been loathing
Benign in virtue of it's prevalence
How long have we been hoping
On a wealthier man's god?

If I could sing to you in perfect words
What I have learned about my soul
You'd understand they're all worth having
Where all we have to fear is what we're told

Where we're going ain't gonna grow old
It's diggin in creeper
Underground
Railway to the middle of an ocean
Guarded
Sacred
Always
Already forgotten in the wavecrash apostrophe

Not absolutely evil
Just kinda mean

Accidentally hurtful when the situation calls for a clown
Qualified for removal from any reputable establishment in town
Gracefully capable of a plethora of dishonorable and atrocious things
Fuck it,
I'm free
Track Name: Sports
Going to the tailgate
Just before the game
We don't go to rock shows
'cause that shit is lame
We want
SPORTS!
SPORTS!!
SPORTS!!!
SPORTS!!!!
SPORTS!

We want
SPORTS!
SPORTS!!
SPORTS!!!
SPORTS!!!!
fuck you!
Track Name: Hairbrush
You lost your feet standing in the snow
For hours you would stand out in the cold
You said the whiteness had unpinned your wings
You burned and stood and then you sang
Ya you sang

You said "this life is painfully beautiful
And so
When I go
Yes when I go
I wish never to return
When I burn
I wish never to return"

Well I
Want to hear your swan song
I want to be there when you die
To see the light escape your eyes
I want to be the silent witness to your prayer
I want to make paint brushes from your hair

(In limbo)

All your fears come to sing again
The river is dry and the crows are hungering
Whispers speak in currents of the night
You dream of things that burn and swallow fire
And hearts consuming everything
They consume your desire
You can't think where you are
All you know is that it's dark

So you sing!
You don't know which god will come
And you pray,
But you don't know which god will come
So you dance!
You don't care which god there is above
Because
You know there are stars between the stars between the stars
There's blanket of light underneath the dark
You climb upon your moth
You Fly into the night
And eat a hole upon the darkness
Covering the light
You go and join the light
Ya go and join the light!
Go and join the light!