at the bookstore
Release Date: 9/96
Album: KEEP YOURSELF AMUSED
Writer: ADAM MARSLAND
And I did everything within my power
To steal an hour from the day
I called you but you were in the shower
Or otherwise at play
So I'll stay at the bookstore
I lean back on the magazine rack
Check out the group du jour
And you won't see space for my name or my face
That much is for sure
But I'm on tour at the bookstore
I've got an afternoon free
And I'm gonna spend it reading
'Cause only fictious friends await me
That's the news that I'm conceding
'Cause I don't know where you are
And I know less where to look
But I will never travel far
From the solace of a book
So you're off the hook at the bookstore
I will not cry, I will not cry
Will not break down, I will not break down
I will be happy, I will be happy
I will not lose faith, I will not lose faith
I will not quit, I will not quit
I don't miss you
Like "Disappear," among my most popular songs of all time and like "Disappear," not a song I thought much of when I wrote it. In fact, I didn't like the song at all until, practicing the difficult barre chords in the studio, I accidentally transposed one of my fingers to a different string, making a completely different chord. I liked that so much that I similarly changed a lot of the rest of the chords, and then it sounded distinctive enough to record. I still think the lyrics are weak, but the simplicity of the message, the groove and the underlying sense of desperation that bursts out in the fade seems to resonate with people.
The old version definitely had desperation, and it also had one of the absolute worst vocal moments on any of the early Cockeyed Ghost records (falsetto, 1st chorus, OW). When we revived the song with the Chaos band, Evie added some new guitar licks that brought out the song's latent Philly soul influence, and we started experimenting with the song that way and liked how it came out.
The 2007 version, while it may not convey the despair of the original, it may be the single best-produced track we've done so far. I think the lead vocals and keyboards are among my best I've ever done as well as ace vocals from the girls and the aforementioned Evie Sands lead guitar. I also made some minor tweaks to the lyrics. It even includes a vocal from Steve Refling, taking the part James Hazley did on the original. It certainly was fun turning the tables on him in the studio and making him cut a vocal while I ran the tape deck. I promise you I leaned on him just as hard as he ever leaned on me to get a performance. And that is leaning pretty hard.
It was fun.
The lyrics were inspired by my friendship with a fellow musician named Heidi Rodewald (who was rarely available to hang out as it happens), who went on of course to play in The Negro Problem, so I wound up unwittingly writing about two members of the band (three, if you count my minor contribution to Baby Lemonade's song "Pop Tarte," about ex-TNP bassist Gwynne Khanne), who I then went on to play with myself. Incest is best, eh?
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