The Best of the Rest, Version 6

by The Nowhere Man

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This is a collection of the best material that I've recorded that has not appeared on any of my primary albums. Most of these songs are just demos or unfinished outtakes, so the quality is correspondingly variable. I like these recordings, but they didn't quite fit on the albums proper. Maybe one day they will see further life.


released July 31, 2015

Written by Patrick Vacek, December 2006 – May 2011, except track 10 March 2004 – November 2010.
All instruments and vocals performed by Patrick Vacek, except track 11: guitar and vocals by Patrick Vacek and Joshua Potter, bass by Cristian Pérez Muñoz.
Recorded and mixed by Patrick Vacek at the Vacek Family Studio and the Pestalozzi Palace, January 2007 – May 2011, except as noted, and track 11 recorded by Brad Schumacher and Missing Values.
Remastered by Patrick Vacek in Austin, Texas, July 2015.
Tracks 5-9 and 12 originally appeared on the A Double Life Outtakes compilation, released in 2011.

Thanks to Alyssa, my family, Josh, Cristian, Brad, Josh, Paul, Austin, Jim, Chris, the Students for Gender Equality, Herr Mainka, Nelson, my cats, everyone who listened and/or put up with the noise, and all the musicians I've had the pleasure to play with over the years.

Cover photography by Beth Blumfelder, September 2007; Patrick Vacek, February 2008; Laila Wessel, April 2008; and Joshua Potter, May 2009.




The Nowhere Man Berlin, Germany

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Track Name: The Time Is Due [Demo]
This has gone on far too long
You offer nothing good to me

You don't deserve another song
You offer nothing good to me

This has gone on far too long
You don't deserve another song
Track Name: Memory for Sale [Demo]
Say a word for my hateful past
I was bitter, angry, and lonely
Could you pause to forgive me?
Nothing I said was really poetic
There it is: memory for sale
All my writing: my feelings exposed
Like some song you know you can't forget
Even if my words tend to fail me
I still have this strange, strange feeling
"I am living out the life of a poet"

Say a word for what's no more
The people, the places, all that is past
But in the back of your mind
You know you won't forget – it's all there
Call it boredom, call it what you will
I know when you sleep what goes in your head
It's always just another minute somewhere else
You know, I've heard every word you've said
Even when you thought I couldn't hear
Let me tell you: I know something's up
Track Name: Zyklus [Demo]
Spät in der Nacht
Vielleicht ist es Zeit, ins Bett zu gehen
Endlich fertig oder vielleicht nicht
Immer noch etwas mehr zu tun
Ich schau' aus dem Fenster: nichts zu sehen
Kaltes Nachtluft, keine Autos
Die Straßenlicht tickt, es haltet nicht
Ich kann es von hier immer hören

Ich dreh' mich um – zu spät zu essen
Wenig Zeit zu schlafen
Trink meine Tee aus, vielleicht mehr machen
Wie ist es morgen? Was muß ich tun?
Ich muß immer so früh aufstehen
Diese Tage werden mich töten
Und ich kann nichts darüber tun
Nur ins Bett fallen und kurz schlafen

Neuer Tag – steh schnell auf
Mit nur wenigen Minuten
Brauch ich mehr Schlaf
Oder bin ich erschöpft?
Wie könnte man leben
Mit wenig Schlaf, zu viel Arbeit und Streß
Tage, die zu kurz sind
Wie findet man einen Gleichgewicht?


Late at night
Perhaps it's time to go to bed
Finally finished or maybe not
Always something more to do
I look out the window: nothing in sight
Cold night air, no cars
The streetlight ticks, it doesn't stop
I can always hear it from here

I turn around – too late to eat
Little time to sleep
Drink up my tea, perhaps make more
How is it tomorrow? What must I do?
I have to always get up so early
These days will kill me
And I can't do anything about it
Just fall in bed and briefly sleep

New day – get up fast
With just a few minutes
Do I need more sleep
Or am I exhausted?
How can one live
With little sleep, too much work and stress
Days that are too short
How does one find a balance?
Track Name: I Can Hear My Soul Cracking
I saw a man in the park, his face bloated with anger, red
His arm raised the end of it a fist aimed at the child at his knees
I want something to eat but he had nothing to give, no money
The fist braced to explode like a bullet and the little girl screamed

I read this article – a Muslim girl, a Bosnian, just fifteen
Dragged from her bed, taken to a camp, surrounded by so many men
Who threatened to rape her and break her, who hit her and beat her till she screamed
A teenage boy passing by heard her and said to leave her alone

What does it all mean? We cannot abide by the violence we do to another
We must shout and scream until it stops, and at the same time we must think of the
More profound job ahead - to change the conditions of life that drive us to violence
Men against women, and indeed all violence against another

I heard a strange sound from inside of me, like cracking ice in the spring
I saw what I'd seen so many times, many times in nightmares
But now for the first time I saw it to the bitter, painful end
I can hear my soul cracking somewhere deep inside of me

Far easier to blame the victims than to share their helplessness
We do this without knowing it – every day in every land
And so the blame-shifting continues until we really make a change
Nothing to hate now but violence itself and the men out of control

These aren't stories, this is real life; don't ignore it and just look away
Sometimes I get overwhelmed and I lay here feeling rather powerless
Why isn't the world in an uproar when these things are happening everywhere?
In my life I have seen enough, I can't let this go on anymore
Track Name: Nichtsdestotrotz
Wegen dieser Klasse habe ich dieses Lied geschrieben
Zwecks eurer Unterhaltung spiele ich diese Gitarre
Obgleich ich schlecht singe, zumal ich aus der Übung bin
Nichtsdestotrotz bin ich hier, deshalb spiele ich jetzt
Sonst müsste ich schauspielern, obwohl ich das nicht kann
Anstattdessen habe ich dieses für euch geschrieben

Obschon ich Deutsch seit acht Jahren gelernt habe
Finde ich, dass ich noch viele Fehler mache
Je mehr ich lerne, desto komplizierter wird alles
Mangels Beherrschung der deutschen Grammatik
Manche ich diese Fehler immer noch
Es sei denn, ich komme hierher und studiere Deutsch

Trotz meiner Schwierigkeiten habe ich die Hälfte schon geschafft
Damit dieses Lied nicht zu langweilig wird, kommt gleich die Bridge
Entsprechend den Regeln der Popmusik ist sie kurz
Und falls sie euch nicht gefallt, ist sie bald vorbei
Nach meiner Meinung habe ich schon genug gesungen
(Aber) gemäß meiner Aufgabe muss ich noch ein bißchen mehr sagen

Jetzt sind wir hier aufgrund eines Schauspiels
Infolgedessen muss ich die Schauspieler vorstellen
Zuerst kommen Brittany, John, und Santiago
Nach einer Pause kommen Emma, Erik, und Markus
Diese Geschichte ist alt – ein Liebesdreieck
Und ihr werdet zwei Versionen zuschauen


Because of this class I wrote this song
For the purpose of your entertainment I'm playing this guitar
Although I can't sing well, especially since I'm out of practice
Nonetheless I'm here, therefore I'm playing now
Otherwise I'd have to act, although I'm not capable of it
Instead of that I wrote this for you

Although I have learned German for eight years
I find that I still make many mistakes
The more I learn, the more complicated it all seems
Due to insufficient mastery of German grammar
I will keep making these errors forever
Unless I come here and study German

In spite of my difficulties I'm already halfway done
So that this song doesn't get too boring, here's the bridge:
According to the rules of pop music it's short
And in case you don't like it, it's over soon
In my opinion, I've already sung enough
But in accordance with my assignment I must say a bit more

We've come here now due to a play
Consequently I must introduce the actors
First will come Brittany, John, and Santiago
After a pause will come Emma, Erik, and Markus
This story is old – a love triangle
And you will see two versions thereof
Track Name: I'm Not Your Man
I won't be your man, that's not what I am
Don't call me your man, that ain't who I am
If you think that's what I am
Let me tell you, you've got it all wrong

I won't play that game, I won't do it that way
I don't play the game, I think the rules are insane
If you think that's why I'm here
Let me tell you, I won't be taking part

Don't call me your baby
Can't you see that's quite an insult?
And I'll make the same promise
I think we'll both be better for it

I'm not going to sing about the way you talk
I'm not going to write about the way you walk
If you really want to hear 'bout that
I think we both know that's been written before

If you want to hear about that shit
Go turn on the radio
If that's all you want to hear
I think you'd better go find someone else
Track Name: Quarter Past
If you ask me yes or no I'll say maybe
Or I'll sit in silence and pretend to think
Lost in thought you'll be lucky if I answer
Lost somewhere in the distance, future or the past

I'll say maybe
Pretend to think
Lucky if I answer
Future or the past

Try to transcend space and time leads to nowhere
Forwards up and down have lost their meaning
Forgotten in the underbelly of a satisfied evening
Complaining yelling shouting underneath the bus stop

Leads to nowhere
Lost their meaning
Emptied-out evening
Underneath the bus stop

Water dripping I am hungry you think now
Time is lost and I don't care today tomorrow
Lucky we can see the place to be unknown
Space unfolds and yet I don't know destination

No more thought
Yesterday tomorrow
It's all unknown
Final destination

Up and down and all around and I've been here before
Somewhere in the back of my crumpled mind space
Wandering, wondering, looking for a place to go
A face, a name, a something else to look forward to

Nice to be back
Same old problem
Don't fall in the ditch
What's on the horizon

Lost and found and lost again it's nothing new at all
Talking stalking mocking to the sound of a drumbeat
Spinning down the sidewalk oh and high on chocolate
Don't forget your dreams go circle 'round the hemisphere

I've been here before
Music in my head
Try to hold back
Don't forget your dreams
Track Name: The Hundred Answers
What is the answer?
What is the point?
Where are we going?
What is the meaning?
We've got the answers
We know what's to come
Now listen here to us
We know everything

And if you stare me in the eye
And tell me what to believe
Well, you really think I'll change overnight?

Why don't you believe?
Why would you turn away?
What is your motive?
Where are you going to turn?
We have all the answers
We know how it works
We've figured it all out
We've been everywhere

And when you stop me on the street
And tell me what to believe
Well, do you think you can change my mind?

I don't have the answers
And I probably never will
But I don't think it matters
Believe in what you want to
And let others do the same

It's just another point of view
We all have our own paths
Can you really claim to know mine?
Please just let me be
You don't know everything

I don't need your system
I have chosen my own
I just want to live my own life
Does that make me evil?
Am I really damned for eternity?
Track Name: Erkenntnis [Alternate Version]
Es ist eine Weile gewesen
Seitdem ich bemerkt habe
Dass ich in Deutschland lebe
Nicht mehr in Amerika
Etwas kann nicht richtig sein
Wenn der Reiz fast verschwunden hat
Ist es nur die dunk'le Tage
Oder ist etwas Anderes los?

Vielleicht ist die Einsamkeit
Einfach zu viel zu ertragen
Vielleicht vermiss' ich zu viel
Meine Freunde und Familie
Dies ist keine kleine Pause
Ich bin ja wirklich weg
Und jetzt kommt die große Frage:
Kann das meine echte Heimat sein?


It's been a long time
Since I've considered the fact
That I'm living in Germany
I'm not in America anymore
Something can't be right
If the charm has nearly faded
Is it just the dark days
Or has something else gone wrong?

Perhaps the loneliness
Is just too much to handle
Perhaps I miss my family
And my friends too much
This is not just some short break
I'm really, truly doing it
And now here's the big question:
Could this really be my true home?
Track Name: Winter Nights [Live]
I walk the streets while the rain falls
The sky is dark and the buildings empty
Demons haunt my mind, I can't remember anything
The clouds above hide the truth from my eyes

I wish I could have all the answers
I wish I could know what's real
I wish the sky wouldn't get dark so early
I wish you could be here with me

Under these clouds I dream of my death
Under the moon I dream of it all
When the sun breaks it'll all be over
Lost inside the mysteries of the mind

To love and to lose
To know and forget
To have and to break
To act on something you don't understand
You don't understand...
Track Name: Puzzle [Live]
What do you want from this?
What do you want from the world around you?
Even when it should be clear
You don't seem to know quite what you want

You don't know what you want from this
You don't seem to match the pattern

What are you trying to find?
Where do I stand in your journey?
I don't seem to fit in the plan
I think, after all, this isn't what you thought

Why do you keep yourself distant?
What do you know that you won't share?

I think your path leads away from here
You have something hidden inside you
That if you find, you could go far and
You might finally fit into the puzzle

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