Recollection

by The Nowhere Man

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1.
I'm going down to post rock country I'm gonna get lost in post rock country I'm leaving town for post rock country I'll find myself in post rock country I'm heading west to the old quiet flatland Out past the cities and their lights and people No more noise just the plains and prairie No more trees just the earth and post rock I'm going to take a trip and head out nowhere I'm going to go until the land looks familiar I'll look around at the fences and pasture I'll see the farmers and their limestone post rock I'm going to a place that doesn't make sense I'm going to a place that might not exist I'm going to visit the Garden of Eden I'm going to see the sins enshrined in stone If I'm lucky I'll find the van with The World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things Then I'll see if I can meet the makers Find the house with the weird rock garden See the rebarbs and dolls in the bathtub Admire art made of circuitry and toys Take a break in the fork statue park Wander through a museum for eccentrics Call it grassroots, call it outsider This must be some wonderful anomaly I'm going down to the Garden of Eden I'm gonna get lost in an awesome artcar I'm leaving town for a strange little haven I'll find myself surrounded by weirdness
2.
Alienation 05:34
When you walk around like that, how's it feel? What do you think they think about who you are? Are you worried about judgment and the looks? Do you feel alone or do you feel free? I know how it seems, you think it'd be easy Yet no one wants to understand your thoughts It's not a big deal, or so you would think But there are those that won't let it go You hide nothing from the strangers and their stares You put your heart on your sleeve for all to see You are fighting a fight that you cannot win But you hope that if you try, then they will change You just want to do something positive Try to change the world one mind at a time Or is it just for fun? Some foolish game? Are you really trying to make a difference? Who do you want to be or do you know? Why can't you pick a side and let it go? Why do you have to push on all the walls? Why don't you calm down and just let it be? How far does this go? Why do you stop there? If this is for real, why not go all the way? You could do much more if you had the will Are you a coward or not? Why is this so hard? Just make up your mind, just be who you are If this is what you want, then just live it up If this is about you, not a revolution You shouldn't worry about what others might think
3.
Forever 03:51
When I hear the bells in the darkest night Then I realize I am far from home Maybe I was born in the wrong place I don't know why, but this feels right In the summer, I'm working full-time With a family that's taken me in Living, working, breathing the life Of one who's been here a whole lifetime When the morning comes, I can't get up Sleep still pulls me down, thoughts go racing by Nothing seems quite right, somehow I get up Then I remember where I am now Suddenly it hits: this should be my home Even if it rains almost every day It feels fine when I walk the morning streets Twice before I have been in this land And every time I'm here I know I must come back So why not settle it for once and forever? I must live here, it's where I belong It might seem strange to leave my home But it must be so, I will find a way Somehow I will make this my new home
4.
Moving On 02:59
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
5.
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
6.
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
7.
Rumination 05:33
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
8.
It's not our place to conquer the world It's just so hard to know what next to do You know, it's such a frightful shame You know, it's just a waiting game Who will make the first move? Who will climb the tallest tree? Who will try to reach the stars? Who will climb the distant hill? It's not our place to conquer the world It's just so hard to know what next to do These four years have done us well But their time has come and gone You have grown and you have changed All you hoped and then yet more There are things that you would change We've made mistakes from which we've learned Now it is time for us to be reborn To find a place among the dimmer stars You know, there's a world out there You know, it stretches far and wide Somewhere deep inside this mess Somewhere we must all belong Somewhere 'cross this whole landscape Somewhere we will make it work Now it is time for us to be reborn To find a place among the dimmer stars
9.
Hey hey, my my, Mr. Rock and Roll Man Who do you think you are gonna be now? Tall man, smart man, all-around guitar man Tell a story, talk about the truth now Try to remember back how it began Stand up tall and look down on the rest of us Tricks and tales and who is just a loser? There aren't many who play as well as you can Hit the first note, don't worry 'bout the rest of it Nobody sees the man behind the mask Hide behind a wall of your self-image You must know that they just want to use you You just let them while you try to seem strong You've got more than they can ever dream of Tell them goodbye and do something better Mr. Rock and Roll, won't you sing me a song? Mr. Rock and Roll, please write me a song
10.
Halibut 03:13
Kitty is a boy, maybe three pounds worth Cute, gray tabby with white hazel eyes Blue fingernail polished claws Captured in the underbelly of a dirty, green Lincoln Halibut likes to lay in a baby sling While I walk Ms. Spot Will eventually be scooter trained Maybe with a pretty little helmet Also... happy birthday, I found us a kitty Traveling through the fabric of space-time magic I'm trying to understand what can't be understood Like an orchid express or a river made of ice Like all the stupid things from my long-forgotten life In another world, in the abstract heavens I look back on the middle of an old empire What do I see, but two friends and me Sitting in some room with a shattered-glass head Kitty is a reincarnated angel Sent here to save us from the falling sky Posing as a feline, he'll guide us on our way Through folly and vice and our great ambition Resurrect the past to start things anew Leave the old behind and hope for the best This cat may just lay under our embracing gaze But when he looks back, he knows what is to come
11.
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? Translation: 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?
12.
Winter in Hannover ist kalt und einsam Nach Weihnachten und einem Besuch Die Märkte sind vorbei und nichts ist los Deswegen muss ich irgendwohin weg Ich hab' nur einen Ziel, das Beste in diesem Land Der schnellste Zug dauert nur zwei Stunden nach... Berlin! Ich bin früh angekommen, so ich lauf' den ganzen Weg Von Potsdamer Platz nach dem Bauhaus-Archiv Nördlich bis zur Siegessäule, östlich nach dem großen Tor Es ist dunkel, es ist kalt, heute ist Silvester in... Berlin! Friedrichstraße, über die Spree, kleiner Imbiss, immer weiter Kleine Kneipe mit Punkmusik, zwei Bands und endlos Bier Kurze Pause um Mitternacht, alle gehen auf die Straße Feuerwerke und Schneebällchen fliegen in die ganze Stadt in... Berlin! Diese Stadt hat eine Energie Einen Geist, ein Gefühl, einen Zauber Geschichte lebt und atmet hier Musik und Kunst sind überall in... Berlin! Translation: Winter in Hannover is cold and lonely After Christmas and a visit The markets are over and nothing's going on Therefore I need to go away somewhere I have a single destination, the best in the land The fastest train takes two hours to get to... Berlin! I arrived early, so I'll walk the whole way From Potsdamer Platz to the Bauhaus Archive Northwards to the Victory Column, eastwards to the big gate It's cold, it's dark, but today is New Year's Eve in... Berlin! Friedrichstraße, over the Spree, grab a snack, move onward A small bar with punk music, two bands and endless beer A short break at midnight, everyone hits the street Fireworks and snowballs fly across the entire city in... Berlin! This city has an energy A spirit, a feeling, a magic History lives and breathes here Music and art are all around in... Berlin!
13.
Oh no, Josephine, I've missed a-strumming on your strings On no, Josephine, it's been a far too long a time Oh no, Josephine, you've been a-hidden far away Oh no, Josephine, too bad we had no better choice Got to town in good condition, but I knew the weather couldn't last Clouds rolled in, it just got colder, snow fell and never ever left Made a hobby of exploring all the alleys and the grocery stores Went to the top of the Rathaus – it's got nothing on the Arch Saw the Gardens on their last day, then I started hopping on the train Rode for free through Niedersachsen, tried to see every single town I knew needed my music back, so I went to find a guitar Looked around for the right one, searched the city all up and down Then I learned that I'd be leaving and I wondered what to do Too much to carry with me, but I wasn't going to leave you behind Caught a train off to Colonia, and I brought you there to stay Came back four weeks later, took you back to my new home
14.
Spring's awakening and so am I Things are finally turning green Seasons change and so do I Suddenly I feel alive again Snow has finally begun to melt Days have grown somehow so much longer Catch the tram, let's go to the park Cross the bridge, the water's clear Take the train, I'll meet you there Let's go walk down by the river Grab some food over at the market I'll show you around my part of town Spring's awakening and so am I And when you visit I feel high Let's go out, let's go take a trip Climb a mountain or cross some borders Who needs a car when you've got a train Takes you everywhere and you feel free Let's go out and find a snack Falafel Surprise and some Apfelwein Don't let the skyline intimidate you It's not Berlin, but it's not so bad There's plenty here if you know where to look After a while, you'll come to like it
15.
The time is drawing near When I will have to leave Away from this land again Back in the old homeland And when I set foot back there Will it feel like home? Will it feel alright? Or will I turn right back around? This has become my second home It's hard to lead a double life To tread two paths at the same time How do you choose which one to take? I can't answer in a word I can't put it in a box It's not as easy as it seems To reconcile these thoughts The more that you see The farther you go The more that you learn The more there is still to find My time is up, the dream is done (Die Zeit ist um, mein Traum ist aus) Schon zu Ende, ich muss weg
16.
Recollection 05:58
After a year of living the dream It's become hard to recollect it all All the pictures and the memories They're all that I have to show for it now After the dream is over and done How should it feel when it's all in the past It all seems distant and so impossible Now I wonder if it really happened I ran to Berlin whenever I felt lonely Meet some friends then head to Tacheles Or I'd find myself at the steps of the Kölner Dom Cross the bridge or go walk along the Rhein Spent the weekends always on a train Chasing Bauhaus or World Heritage Sites The mines of Rammelsberg, the Gardens of Wörlitz The old town of Lübeck, the palace of Würzburg Museums and churches, the Christmas markets And at the end, it came in a rush It must have been some kind of strange dream Readjustment is no easy task Should I go back and relive the dream

about

This is a compilation of the best tracks from the three albums I released as The Nowhere Man. Tracks 4-7 are from There and Back Again (2008). Tracks 1-3 and 8-10 are from Post Rock Country (2009). Tracks 12-16 are from A Double Life (2011). Track 11 is an alternate version of a song from A Double Life; this version was previously released on A Double Life Outtakes (2011) and The Best of the Rest, Version 6 (2015).

"Post Rock Country" is dedicated to Lucas, Kansas.

credits

released January 14, 2021

Written, performed, and recorded by Patti Vacek, 2005-2011, except as follows:
* "Reading the Stars" and "Recollection": additional vocals by Joshua Potter.
* "Halibut": lyrics by Patti Vacek and Niza Volair.
* "Feuerwerke und Schneebällchen": drums by Austin Case, recorded and mixed by Brad Schumacher in association with Oo-de-lally Audio.
* "Spring's Awakening": drums by Craig Hurst.

Cover photography by Meredith Vacek, near Lucas, Kansas, September 2008.

Thanks to Alyssa, my family, Josh, Cristian, Brad, Josh, Paul, Austin, Jim, Chris, Rachel, Ian, Greg, Keagan, Niza, Craig, the Minder family, the Schmettkamp family, Herr Mainka and the Carl Duisberg Centrum Köln, Andrzej and Daniela, Natalie, Arkadius, Raphael, Felix, Bernhard Esslinger, the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange, Candice, Emma, Mackenzie, Elaine, and the rest of the 26th PPPler.

Special thanks to James Vacek for the technical assistance, Shannon for helping with the drums, Gabe for lending the melodica, and Margaret and Theresa for the bodhrán.

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