There and Back Again

by The Nowhere Man

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about

The first album by the Nowhere Man, inspired primarily by travel and education.

credits

released September 3, 2008

All songs written by Patrick Vacek, March 2005 – August 2008.
All songs recorded and produced by Patrick Vacek, May – August 2008.
All songs mixed and mastered by Patrick Vacek, August 2008.
All acoustic guitars, electric guitars, e-bows, 12-string guitars, bass guitars, keyboards, melodicas, marimbas, drums, percussion, and vocals performed by Patrick Vacek.
General technical assistance by James Vacek.
Drum technical assistance by Shannon Vacek.

Thanks to the Vacek family, the Minder family, and all my friends and musical co-conspirators, especially Josh P., Josh K., Brad, Karl, Theel, Austin, Ian, and Greg. Additional thanks to Gabe for indefinitely lending his melodica.

Cover photography by Patrick Vacek, Mainz, Germany, February 2007.

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The Nowhere Man Austin, Texas

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Track Name: Moving On
Finally, it's here
After all these years
After all this time
Finally, it's mine
I'm ready to move on
To begin life anew
To live in a better place
To learn from the real world

Finally, I'm through
With that forsaken place
I don't have to face
All those wayward souls
They look just one way
And never look back
They are stuck in their cave
And ignore the world around

No more preaching
From just one book
No more hypocrisy
And living only lies
No more pretending
Like everything is great
No more foolishness
About trying to fit in
Track Name: Another Late Night
It's another late night, when must I get up?
Am I tired or am I not? Should I sleep or stay up?
It's another long night, what is it this time around?
Is it homework or is it friends? Is it love or something else?

There are times like these when I look back at myself
And I know I've changed, I know I'm not the same

I can't ever go back
Who would want to anyway?
I know I've certainly changed
I know I'm not the same

If who I was then saw who I am now
My former self would be furious that I'd sold out
I'd look at me now, curse, and call me foolish
I'd call my happiness fake and my reality false

Is it the people, the places, myself, or just time?
Something somewhere has caused me to change
And I really must wonder how I got to where I am
Even a year ago nothing seemed quite the same
Track Name: Unendliche Straßen
Ich könnte immer wandern
Durch diese unendliche Straßen
Immer wieder, immer wandern
Durch diese fantastische Straßen
Immer etwas, etwas Neues
Zu finden – auf diesen Straßen
Immer Licht, immer Leute
Etwas los in dieser Welt
Die alte Stadt, die alte Straßen
Für Autos viel zu klein
Eine Straße mit Kopfsteinpflaster,
Nur für die Fußgänger
Imbisse, Geschäfte, Cafés, Paläste
Eine Kirche pro jede Straße
Mit grünen Kuppeln gold'nen Säulen

Musik in der Luft:
Ein Cello oder Akkordeon
Der Wechsel der Saison –
Kalter Winter, schöner Frühling
Ein allmählicher Sonnenuntergang,
Eine Nacht mit nichts zu tun
Und so ich geh' spazieren,
Nur zu forschen durch diese Straßen
Sie bringen Erinnerungen,
Gedanken, und Gefühle
Es gibt noch mehr zu finden
Auf diesen unendlichen Straßen

Gebäuden, Geschichte, Geschäfte, Geschöpfe

Ich könnte immer wandern
Durch diese unendliche Straßen
Immer wieder, immer wandern
Durch diese fantastische Straßen


Translation:

I could wander forever
Through these neverending streets
Forever onward, always wandering
Through these fantastic streets
Always something, something new
To find on these streets
Always light, always people
Something going on in this world
The old city, the old streets,
Much too small for cars
A street with cobblestone,
Only for people on foot
Snack stands, stores, cafés, palaces
A church on every street
With green domes and golden columns

Music in the air:
A cello or accordion
The change of the seasons -
Cold winter, beautiful spring
A gradual sunset,
A night with nothing to do
And so I go walking,
Just to explore through these streets
They bring memories,
Thoughts and feelings
There is still more to find
On these neverending streets

Buildings, history, stores, creatures

I could wander forever
Through these neverending streets
Forever onward, always wandering
Through these fantastic streets
Track Name: Out of the Sky
One day it started to rain
And I had to step outside
And on my very short way
Out of the sky this thing hit my leg
I went inside to dress my wound
Then I had to continue on my way
But somehow now the sky had cleared
Now I'm left with this permanent mark

Out of the sky this thing fell on me
Brings back an old memory
Out of the sky this thing fell on me
Now part of my history

Later I went back to where it fell
It had been a large wooden thing
All that was left was just a single splinter
And this I carried back across the sea
Now you know I'm not a believer
I know you can call me a fool
But I don't know just what to think
When something falls from the sky and hits me

Another second and I might be dead
It feels strange but has to be said
Another second and I might be dead
Now I have this scar instead
Track Name: Home Is Where the Heart Is
Yes, I am home, home at long last
As best as this is now my home
I am scattered here, there, and everywhere, yet
They say that home is where the heart is

But then confusion strikes -
What if the heart is split in two
Or three or more, or just isn't sure at all?

I deny that birth implies home,
But I must admit a degree of comfort there
It's what I know, it's where I grew
But I must ask what's left for me there...

But what about another place?
The other side of the world?
So called "foreign" here,
But maybe it's there I belong

On the other side of the world
I could write a song about every last thing
It's hard to lead a double life, my mind in two places
And nostalgia will lead me away

I'm caught somewhere between
This world and that
I'm living a double life
Of two irreconcilable halves
I love the life I've found on the other side of the world
But I miss what I'd grown in the old
When I think about where I belong
I have no answer to where I call home
All that I know is that I'm caught in between
I don't have a final destination

Man sagt, das Heim ist wo das Herz ist
Aber mein Herz liegt hier, da, und überall
Ja, ich weiß nicht, wo ich gehören
Ich bin zwischen diese Welt und die andere

So wo soll ich gehen
Wenn ich gar nicht weiß,
Wo ich wirklich gehören?
Mein Herz ist verwirrt


Translation of final verse and chorus:

People say that home is where the heart is
But my heart lies here, there, and everywhere
Yeah, I don't know where I belong
I am caught between this world and the other

So where should I go
If I have no idea at all
Where I really belong?
My heart is confused
Track Name: The World Won't Listen
Does it matter what words I write?
Does it matter what words I sing?
Will anyone read them?
Will anyone ever care?
If I write them, will they read it?
If I sing them, will they listen?
Does it matter what chords I play?
Will they notice if I'm not in tune?
Why should I even bother
If no one stops to listen?
What am I supposed to do
With all these words I write
And the words I did not write
And the words I can't even spell
Will they be remembered?
Or will they just fade away?

Where do the go if they aren't heard?
Left to rust like broken guitars

Does anyone ever listen to what I'm saying?
Does anyone care? Should I just fade away?
All alone with my words, my memory for sale
No one ever seems to listen, maybe I should fade away

We'll just fade, fade away...
Track Name: Staring at the Clouds
You know, I think it's time – time to admit it's over
And I think I missed my chance; I let opportunity fly by
These mistakes are not lightly made, but all so easily rued
Sun comes through my blinds – a silhouette of a tree on my wall
And I'm alone, I feel it

My mind still thinks in winter; the late light suspends disbelief
You could be here, but no avail - you have made a different choice
Love has truly torn us apart, but we're not truly disconnected
I know it can't be like before, but let's not toss this wholly away
But I'm alone, I can feel it

You could say I'm set free, free to find a new direction
Call it a blessing and a curse; now it's time to move along
Dark clouds come and then they go; there's always something new to learn
The hitch of dissonance will slowly fade; time to live my own life
And I'm alone, I feel it
Track Name: Horizon
Wild mood swings assault me again
I feel up, I feel down, I'm all around
Another day feeling helpless again
Running in circles, back to the start
Trapped in a loop of endless repeat
A wasted morning and a beautiful evening
A sleepless night and a stressful new day
It all comes back like déjà vu

Stuck here but waiting for something to change
Optimistic, pessimistic, and all in between
Hoping for a break from these unceasing days
Wondering will life ever be normal again

When did these days get so dark?
Whenever will spring finally come?
I cannot escape these such strange, strange days
I cannot handle this heavy weight
I'm high as a kite until thunder strikes me down
Floating by, just waiting for the storm to come
I know this cannot last here forever
But the end seems nowhere in sight

I cannot escape from these strange endless days
I cannot handle what I have done to myself
Life's become a psychological nightmare by day
Wild mood swings have taken over my life
Track Name: Set in Stone
Is it possible to record every memory?
To trace every thought, remember each detail?
It would take a lifetime – just to write everything down
Each and every thought; a countless sequence

I could write a song about
All the songs I never wrote
All the people I've known
All the places I've been
All the things I've done
That I never wrote about
I could write a song about
All the songs I never wrote

And the further you go; the more you think about it –
The more you can recall: things long since forgotten
How great the temptation, to permanize your life
Write every idea down, record a lifetime
Track Name: Vergaßenes Reich
In einer Welt, die ich nicht verstehen kann
Gab es ein Land, das heute kaum existiert
Städte, die jetzt eine andere Sprache haben
Leute, unter andere Länder getrennt
Geschichte, zu oft übersehen aber gar nicht vergessen
Kultur, dankbar noch zu finden und nicht verloren
Ein Reich, einmal mächtig und heute zerstört,
Das über den Kontinent ausbreitet

Eine Erinnerung, die die Leute noch erinnern
Aber die die anderen glücklich schnell vergaßen
In so einem heutigen kleinen Land
Lebt noch diese Idee von Majestät
Ein alter Traum, wunderbare Gedanken,
Der ab und zu noch bemerkt wird
Es gibt noch eine Stadt mit diesen Wundern
Mit alten Straßen, Gebäuden, und Geschichte

Erinnerungen in anderen Städten, die einmal ein Teil waren
Und eine literarische Tradition, die nicht verschwinden kann

Dies ist ein vergaßenes Reich
Dies ist altes Österreich


Translation:

In a world that I cannot understand
There once was a country that hardly exists today
Cities that now speak a different language
People divided into different countries
History too often overlooked but not at all forgotten
Culture thankfully still abundant and not lost
An empire, once powerful but today destroyed,
That spread across the continent

A memory that the people still remember
But that the others happily forget quickly
In what is such a small country today
Still lives this idea of majesty
An old dream, wonderful thoughts,
That now and then are still noticeable
There is still one city with these wonders,
With old streets, buildings, and history

Memories in other cities that were once a part
And a literary tradition that cannot disappear

This is a forgotten empire
This is former Austria
Track Name: Your Words
It's been so long since I heard your words
I'd forgotten what they meant to me
If only I'd paid more attention
It feels just like yesterday
Farther in space but not in mind
Try to remember the days gone by
Always offered a cold root beer
Happily jamming with nothing in mind

One of a few in a place of none
Such a poor environment
Trying to be a bit different
Trying to do something unusual

Play me a song, sing me a story or something
Let me escape from this cruel, cruel world
Let's do something ere the world stops
Play some music, learn something new
Take a trip to see your new abode
See you flourish in your new life
Show us around and what it means to live
Live a new life away from that hell
Track Name: Rumination
When I ruminate like this, when I think about these times
I can't help but feel strange; I feel weak and insecure
This tale never ends, it's a path that never ends
No matter how far I follow or how often I stumble

We've been through a lot now, here and there and back again
And in this latest chapter I have really lost my way
This tale never ends, it's a path that never ends
No matter how far I follow or how often I stumble

Should I feel regret or a tinge of guilt?
Should I just submit and then call it a day?
Should I forge ahead and thus never let go?
Should I break down and cry or perhaps at least try?

It's too hard to keep this up, slowly losing my mind
Too complex and too confused, I must find a way out
I don't know what to do, I don't know where to turn
Should I find a new direction and just live with my mistakes?

It's over, it's done, I'm finally through
I can sleep, I can dream, I can live my life
It all comes back in the blink of an eye
It hurts to say but the time has come
My heart is released; it unfolds into shape
All things must pass but it's hard to end
I'm free from these chains of perpetual frustration
Free to look around and free to wake up
It's been a long ride and a hard one at that
One door has closed and another must open
I've followed that path and I'm done with that
I don't yet know which road to take
Track Name: Farewell Song #34
You know this all came from nowhere, and it left in a flash
And I just feel alive and maybe I feel in love
In my head is all this music mixing with my thoughts
I've got this feeling, this crazy feeling, that I'm not going to sleep tonight

Driving around at night, staying up far, far too late
Trying to get lost, trying to go nowhere
Just sharing my mind, letting it free - it's a beautiful thing
I guess I'll never quite know why I acted this way or that

I guess I fell in love and I couldn't stop thinking
It felt too soon I'd leave you, but we didn't seem to care
I wanted to sit and write a song, run around and make some noise
All my emotions float around in the cauldron of my mind

Driving around and hanging out - it's another late night
Now I'm driving back home - it's always a slow drive
It's dark and the streets are empty; no one's around but the police
I wish the night lasted longer, I wish I could skip responsibility

I didn't want this to end; I would do this forever
I knew I didn't want to say goodbye, I just knew that I would cry
Track Name: Reconciliation
I find it strange that you feel so lonely
And the reason you say is that too many have wanted you
And you find it strange that I feel so lonely
Because... no one gives a damn
So how could it be that we both feel the same
When such different things have happened to us?
Is it so simple or could it be deeper?
Is it my gender or is it my sex?

Sometimes I feel like the world is too big
And all I really want is to understand everything
I've said it before and I'll say it again: we live in a world split in half
But how do I get to the other side of this chasm?

I wish I could say that we are the same
But I fear that we aren't and I wish I knew how
Try as I might and try as I do -
And I do, but I can't understand what it's like
Call it mystique or call it what you will
But what gets me down is I'm not allowed to try
Who cares that I'm male or if you're a girl?
You can be me but why can't I be you?

I can't feel the pain that you feel inside
I can't know what it's like or share in your thoughts
Perhaps we experience life in a different way
Words can't express all the feelings caught in between

I just wish I knew how it feels, what it's like
I suppose that you could ask the same of me
I just want to know and understand everything
But how can we meet and share what we know?