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about

Over the course of 2010, each of these songs -- often unfinished and consistently unrehearsed -- were recorded and mixed in one day at Strange Weather in Brooklyn, NY. Each month, Imaginary Johnny gathered to learn and record a tune. Sometimes the path was obvious. Other times there were dares and double-dares (often involving a mellotron). The band enjoyed the freedom and thrill of not knowing what they were doing, along with the (near) certainty that it would be done by midnight. In many ways this recording shares qualities with Imaginary Johnny’s earlier albums, with the studio taking a primary creative role. However, there is more depth here and also more nerve. The songs share themes of airplanes, dirt, and outcasts looking for some luck. And like the recording process, at the heart of things is a desire to recall that gut-wrenching child-like feeling of excitement that can only come with not knowing.

credits

released July 26, 2011

Marc Alan Goodman, bass
Ismail Lawal, drum kit (3, 9)
Andrew Soto, drum kit (2, 5, 6, 11)
Adam Sylvia, guitar
Stuart Wolferman, keys/vocals

Other Performances By:
Marc Alan Goodman, backup vocals (6, 11) & many odds and ends
Paul Hutzler, pedal steel (5)
Adam Sylvia, drum kit (1) & backup vocals (1, 5, 9)
Stuart Wolferman, intro guitar (11) & percussion (10)

All songs by Stuart Wolferman.
Produced by Marc Alan Goodman.
Tracked and mixed in Brooklyn at Strange Weather by Marc Alan Goodman.
Assistant engineer: Daniel James Schlett.
Mastered by Chad Clark at Silver Sonya in Arlington, VA.
Art by Natalia Kutsepova.

Published by Unfinished Side Productions.

Lyrics at ImaginaryJohnny.com.

Special thanks to Zoë Knight & Jasper Wolferman; Robert Greene; Matthew C. Mills & Space Station Media; Zach Barocas; Natalia Kutsepova; Ken Abraham; Families & Friends; and especially all the musicians/engineers for their talent, time and energy.

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Track Name: To Be Excused
Noah built his arc before it rained / I keep my good boots by the door / I track tornadoes as they land / To see what the angels are aiming for / Noah built his arc before it rained / I keep my flashlight in the car / I have pills by my bed / But I’m not so unhinged anymore / I wait to be excused / Noah built is arc before it rained / I bury bullets in the yard / I stopped hearing from my boys / I may have pushed them a little hard / I wait to be excused / I lick my lips and wait for the rain / For the rivers to run over and we’ll all be excused / We’re up to our necks and we’ll all be excused
Track Name: She Has the Sky
She’ll point to the moon and whistle through her teeth / A sad little tune no one ever hears / She cocks her back when an airplane’s in the sky / And she keeps her head back till the plane disappears / She keeps her eyes peeled till the plane disappears / There’s magic in the sky for her / And somehow it doesn’t fade / She stands in the rain and the hail / What ever comes from above / Held by the clouds, one step closer to God / Held by the clouds, one step closer to God / We all start with something / With her it was stars / The constellations are stuck to her walls / And as she got older she just wanted more / She climbed and she climbed as far as she could / She climbed and she climbed as high as she could / There’s magic in the sky for her / And somehow it doesn’t fade / She has the sky
Track Name: Small Prices
Like opening the door just to feel the air again / Opening the door as far as it will go / And the rain falls crooked / Like looking for answers you know don’t exist / And feeling nostalgic for things you don’t miss / And the rain falls harder now / And you know, all that motion / Doesn’t hide all the lines in your face / We all have shadows / Trailing us place to place / Just open the door / Just open the door as far as it will go / Just open the door and they call you by name / The world is full of small small prices / We all have to pay / Just open the door / Like feeling envy for someone you’ve never met / And asking forgiveness for what you don’t regret / Like opening the door / Like looking for answers you know don’t exist / And feeling nostalgic for things you don’t miss / And envy for someone you’ve never met / Asking forgiveness for what you don’t regret / Just open the door / And the rain falls harder now
Track Name: Sole Survivor
I’m courting the sole survivor of a passenger airplane crash / I hope her luck rubs off on me / I’m seeing stars again sitting in my padded room / Writing letter after letter with no reply / She was a headline at the lunchroom table; a hometown girl who walked away without a scratch / Now I want a dinner with the lone survivor of a passenger airplane crash / I think her luck will rub off on me / All I wanted was a good luck charm / Something you would see and say / Boy, your luck has changed / Your luck has changed / She’s a tiny little sliver of a girl / I wonder if the metal and fire missed her by a mile / It’s getting hard again pacing on this hallway rug / What do I have to do to get a reply / I’m courting the sole survivor of a passenger airplane crash / Take me away from my fiery places / All I wanted was a good luck charm / Something you would see and say / Boy, your luck has changed / Your luck has changed
Track Name: Money is Magic
We’re hanging on for our lives / Like litter in the trees / Breaking down, breaking down / Piece by piece / Don’t tell me money isn’t magic / The river seems to steam / In this new kind of heat / Running down, running down / It all heads downstream / Don’t tell me money isn’t magic / Don’t tell me money isn’t magic / You know it isn’t true / I’ve seen it save / I’ve seen it heal / I’ve seen it love / And God, it seemed real / Money can take me downstream from here / I’ve got enemies in my blood / You have to say these things out loud / Spinning and spinning / Just dancing around / I Just want to have a shot / Don’t tell me money isn’t magic / The cards are stacked / Don’t tell me money isn’t magic / Don’t tell me money isn’t magic / The river seems to steam / In this new kind of heat / Running down, running down / But it still heads downstream / Money is magic / Don’t tell me money isn’t magic / You know it isn’t true / I’ve seen it rain / I’ve seen it pour / I just want my shelter from the storm / Money can get me downstream from here
Track Name: The Auctioneer
Feet on a fence / Watching the town sway / Hands on my hips / I’m just an auctioneer / Heads to a beat / Simple little engine / Just pushing the air / How do they stay up straight / I try to run / I try to run / How does running in circles feel so out of control / Feet on the fence / Watching the town sway / Wind in my sails / I’m just the auctioneer / Calling out numbers / Calling out the numbers / I try to run / I try to run / To keep from falling down
Track Name: From the Cockpit
Let’s steal a seaplane / We can make it to the Great Lakes / Sure I know my wings are fragile / Or I wouldn’t have asked you in the first place / Let’s steal a seaplane / We can make it on a half tank / I know symmetry’s a weakness / But I have to get this done for its sake / We really stuck it to him / Out cold on the half-couch / But a promise is a promise / And my brother took my hand and we headed out / Out to the carnival / The carnival / And it saved my soul / Let’s steal that seaplane / We can take the fight to the clouds / And it’ll all be softer when the water ushers us back to the ground / Oh, he couldn’t touch us / Our secret was a tank trap / We’d smelled the smells of the carnival / And nothing he could do could take it back / 
Out to the carnival / The carnival / And it saved my soul / This land is my land / This land is elastic / You can see it from the cockpit / You can see it from the cockpit
Track Name: Dirt Over Your Shoulders
Claws and beaks and terrible things / Put your hands to your ears / So you can hear your heartbeat / Put down the magazine you’ll need your sleep / When we wake we will dig / On your hands and knees / Yellow eyes, sharp teeth, and terrible things / Back luck piled up on pretty bad genes / In the morning you breathe / We’ll just dig / Dirt over your shoulders / A thousand tiny tunnels / God doesn’t throw dice / Take that lead tape off your back / Get some clay in your nails / Put a fort in the hillside / Poisonous bites and glorious stings / Turn your eyes to the ground / Terrible sound / Terrible sound / Dirt over your shoulders / A thousand tiny tunnels / God doesn’t throw dice