Windjammer

by Carl Hauck

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1.
My fingertips are tapping on a hefty stack of papers sitting Stamped and sorted carefully, all ready to be sent Sonnets, prose, and charming odes to ennui-laden scribbles so Affected by the rain or lack thereof that fell today I'm waiting patiently for June I recall the sunlight waltzing in and giving way to halogen Moons about the room, until the candles hit the switch We were buzzed on martial Riesling and an ever-growing feeling That we possibly were on to something worth another glass So we poured it, and drank the bottle dry And as the paid programming flickered, so did time Blank checks made out to certainty, the memos bursting at the seams With issues better left unspoken of and never seen Almanacs with pencil marks on golden bands and travels far To cities where our melodies can find a place to park And we'll settle down for a day Then we'll pack our things and be on our way Even though we'd love to stay Well if dreams are tiny trinkets on the dustiest of shelves Where only youthful fingers ever stand a chance I will raise you on my shoulders, lead you under, guide you over 'Til you get a hold that's firm enough for me to let you go You'll struggle, and it might sting But you know, my dear, what hurt can bring While the critics sleep at night, we'll sing Well I've got dreams too But I'm not gonna share 'em with you
2.
Windjammer 04:48
Summer bells at the crossroad Charcoal smells in the air Children scuttle with their claws stretched Empty pockets, cluttered mouths Restless limbs of an ash tree Swatting every crab apple aimed for the street Where a scrawny traffic dodger springs Darting nimbly, dropping leaks Cinder crackles from the rock bed As splinters burrow in a hasty step Coupled drudges in the shade of a pine Heaving mallets at railroad ties A search at dusk for a shoestring Or a finger poking out Cautious whispers from a vantage In the witch's battered hedge Sterile comfort in the wood fort Earth and scarlet painted joints Linen spirits in the closet door Imagined trappings of a boy Eyes wide, night light on Blinds and curtains drawn It's a thieves' dream
3.
Boring stage in the bark that I've built up The vermin parade with the rain Stones afoot, it's a twin city toss I'm wilting with guilt but I'm safe Dormant chalk and smoldering daylight Bring fantasy getaways Seaward trips where I cast out my deadlines Drop the pole and forget about the bait Anchored down while you're sailing away I love you but won't ask you to stay Some they wishin' for boots of native leather But I'm just wishing that you'll help me stay sane The future calls but it's hearing lift music While I'm chopping down telephone poles I'm pulling cords like a born-again Luddite And waiting for a natural hello Hope they was wrong about distance But we'll see how far hope goes I'm clearing airways and paving the streets So you can feel free to come home Anchored down while you're sailing away I love you but won't ask you to stay Some they wishin' for boots of native leather But I'm just wishing that you'll help me stay sane Anchored down while you're sailing away I love you but won't ask you to stay
4.
Coming Away 05:59
I'll curse you with the same mouth that loved you And admittedly I'll feel a little strange Time and time again it's the same, it's the same A welcome mat with letters gone gray Drawin' borders after you've crossed them A coward's way of taking a stand Catch the late crew change on the South-bound freight And before you know, you're in another land Coming away and going home Where the roof, it fades from black to blue to gold I dropped my scapular when I felt that I was ready When I knew I had to do things on my own Send your bullets my way, dig your concrete graves And if I'm saved, the credit's mine and mine alone Blue noses, carnal poses A useless lampshade too The more you think, the more you hate So let us just appreciate this time we have, please stop thinking, babe
5.
Nevers 02:56
Ain't it getting a little late for your roundabout ways I've worn the prints from my hands Drips become drops, and drops become stains If you don't clean 'em up, clean 'em up right away In the living room corner thinking, oh Lord It's been over seventeen months And now I'm grazing the doorknob, tasting lost meals on The tip of her, the tip of her tongue Thinking, honey, I've changed It just ain't apparent The sidewalk is watching, hidden under stale leaves that Tear with each sigh of the wind You were never one to blindly believe In anything, in anyone but me And it's a hell of a shame That you had to bear it You'd come running out, running out, without your mother's scars in my dreams You'd come running out, running out, without your Southern scent in my dreams You'd come running out, running out, without your sullen brow in my dreams You'd come running out, running out, only to miss me, dear, mmhmm Say what you want Maybe tact's overrated
6.
A voice you used to love that you've grown to hate Breaks dawn's silence with its cheery strain The rising steam carries heavy dreams away As sweat and tears flow softly down the drain They'll be back tonight in the same place Amongst a maze of cubicles you see The ebb and flow of worker bees With name and rank written on their sleeves The bulletins and answering machines Just spew out syllables endlessly Phantom collar soaked in rain Strident tweeter whistling more of the same A crescent lamp above an empty lane Put the heartless clock and chopping block away They don't let you breathe the same, or so they say Off with corks and caps and tabs and tops Bottoms up, drink till you drop The neon glows as the busboy mops Up the ghostly remnants of earlier today But the marks you left are here, here to stay
7.
Rooster 05:35
The haze of coffin nails and the scent of liquid nerve Swirl through the vacant garden rows The verb coils warm as the check, check, checker Reigns in his ersatz troubadour clothes The ivory is stale as the company Chestnut roots and fifths bled dry The tired minstrel turns out uninspired words Of hope and change and other statist lies Cue the garbled sketch of an overpass arena Where Rooster croons for an audience of two Passing pairs of headlights make for transient marquees And the stars guide his fingers in those rusty twelve-bar blues They start with pilfered wives, then slide to maudlin sighs For his only son who married a machine He flails his head about as his voice grows loud But nothing comes to mind for the turnaround So he says whoa whoa whoa whoa, don't wanna settle down Left with the slurred advice "don't depend on anyone," I slowly nod, but purge it from my brain, Assure myself that it's too late, it's too late for that And hope to all that's holy that won't change
8.
I shuffle each day past the greensward peasants Molding somebody's earth The helmsman directs from the bed of the crate And fingers his pockets for all that they're worth Bootstraps were made to be broken By a wealth of invisible hands Dignity force-fed, then stolen And packaged by the choicest of brands They surface as soon as the workers are gone And kiss on the edge of their fertilized lawn And he says, "Dear, I love you" And she says, "God, I love you" They watch the sun set on the boys in the street playing God with a magnifying lens With a hand on her stomach, she whispers to him, "I hope we have children like them"
9.
Warren 06:23
Pure shapes race around the house Green thumbs left behind There's glee between the cherry tree chops At night while the master dines We lie awake 'Til the humor runs dry Tiptoe to the high dive Climb for what seems like a mile Make like a pencil and fasten my eyes Feel the air rush by Under the splash I reach for the side A puzzle within a puzzle The cardboard casts do nothing But pass the time and fill the lines That hold the empty space We roll the dice Leave ourselves to chance The clock moves a little bit slower As we count through the garland of roses We hold back our laughter 'cause it's not a joke And wonder how long we'll burn Oh, we'll burn My teacher told me so The blue boy's horn goes quiet The snuff box rests unwound The fortune wheel and ill-timed meals Get lost on the auction block Going once Sold, sold, sold

about

Named after and recorded on the street where he grew up, Carl Hauck’s fourth album, Windjammer, is in many ways a reconciliation with adolescence. Hauck penned the songs at college, where all too often he’d find himself sitting at a coffee-stained desk as term paper deadlines approached, unwittingly soaking up the muffled cries of late night drunks, the melodies of waking birds, and the distant crashes of early morning dustcarts. After years of performing the songs in raucous bars and foreign living rooms, it only felt right to record them back home. Yet he wasn’t there for long before he found himself buried in a different set of deadlines, one that he himself had created for his students as a beginning high school teacher. The challenge arose for Hauck to thoughtfully explore, through music, his anxieties surrounding ambition and failure, the selflessness of love, the exploitative nature of personal comfort, and the meaning of home – all while putting on a confident front about the same issues when they surfaced within the context of classroom literature. As this challenge became both more demanding and more engrossing, Windjammer transformed from a labor of love into a labor of necessity.

The resulting sound is that of a man assembling a dream in place of sleep, an effort made more worthwhile by contributions from a talented ensemble of friends. There’s a genuine sense of beauty in that sound, an honest sparseness about it, adorned by richly-deserved moments of cathartic splendor. Whether it’s the triumphant horns in “Martial Riesling,” the wistful strings in the title track, or the delicate interplay of the electric guitar in “Rooster,” each and every note that rises beyond Hauck’s traditional acoustic fare is intended to complement the poignant lyricism for which he has become known. Hauck doesn’t claim that the songs on Windjammer are universal or even widely accessible; in fact, some of them are irrevocably personal. Yet there are still treasures within them for those who share a desire to go beyond the obligatory motions of everyday life, those more interested in anchoring down to create something than in sailing on with the current.

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released November 9, 2010

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Carl Hauck Chicago, Illinois

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