Monthly Journal

by Thomas Truax

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about

This album was recorded over the full circle of a year, starting last January. I committed to writing, recording and releasing (to online subscribers and a select group of radio DJs) one song per month. The concept was to create a living, mutating album in which tracks were informed by and reflected the mood, weather, and atmosphere of the changing seasons; the world news, daydreams, night dreams, travel experiences, memories and events of my personal life as they unfolded. The only rule I set for myself was that I had to write each song after the month started, and get it done early enough that it might have a chance at being played/heard before the month ended.

At the time I started I had no idea what a challenging and turbulent year lay ahead, nor what form the finished collection would take. The dream I wrote about in January seemed to portend some building menace, and in looking back now it is curious how the songs sometimes foreshadowed events ahead, like when my father died, adding a heavier pertinence to the song 'March Winds' which I'd written earlier that month.

Amongst other heavy things that transpired a longtime deep love relationship gradually and sadly broke apart, and in November I was forced to leave England which I had called home for the past several years, due to tightening UK visa restrictions. I wound up completing the final songs in Germany. In a way this project helped me from completely losing it by being one of the few constants I could return to regularly while everything else seemed to be collapsing. Music, both listening to it and making it, can be medicine in tough times. 2011 was also a difficult year for so many of my friends and family members.

But it wouldn't be fair to say that there weren't also times of joy and beauty, excitement, new starts, some good gigs and some wonderfully strange goings-on, both real and imaginary. I hope these songs reflect all that. In the end they are just entries in the journal of a single life on an off-kilter planet during a trying year.

I feel lucky and privileged for all the support and encouragement I've gotten for this project. To those of you who have helped me I send you my warmest thanks.

-Thomas
Krefeld, January 2012

credits

released February 7, 2012

All songs written, performed and recorded by Thomas Truax. Cover layout by Thomas with help from Philip Lethen. Cover photo of Thomas by Stephanie Swalwell. 'Graduate' (July) photo by Chris Saunders. Saturn Photo courtesy of NASA. Truax Penny Farthing logo based on an original sketch/concept by Amra Sariya. Mastering: Dirk T. Jambor at Truetrack

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Thomas Truax London, UK

"Thomas Truax crafts rich, poetically evocative songs about insects, trees, technology, and a lifelong obsession with all things lunar. He travels the world performing with his "band" of bizarre self-made instruments including a motorized drum machine made with bike wheels and a souped-up Gramophone called 'The Hornicator', as well as his venerable guitar 'Hank'.
"Inventive and Romantic" -TimeOut
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Track Name: February What Ya Doin To Me
February February whatchya doin to me?
Everybody's being graded on their popularity
In the cathedral of my heart the stained glass is on fire
Its the closest thing I've come to a religious fervor

And the water in the shower is a-talkin aloud
Sayin' boy you are a-hopeless you should go back to bed
You can wash and you can scrub until you turn bright red
But you'll still be dirty in the head

February February whatchya doin to me?
I tried to jump the river but was sucked out to sea
I woke up on the shore with my suit all wrinkled
Between Dick Van Dyke and Rip Van Winkle

I used to have the patience to draw a whole tree
But now I'm lucky to get through a branch or three
And I've been howlin' at the moon again like some kind of loon
Come on springtime you couldn't spring too soon!
Track Name: March Winds
March winds, you keep blowing, and keep our kite floating.
Track Name: April Showers
She puts a lighter jacket on
The cold is going but still not gone
You know your brother and your baby need ya
But still you stand down wind from Fukushima

Forget your flowers
Just bring your showers April
And let your rains disguise our tears

Forget your flowers
Just bring your showers April
Wash clear the tarnish from this year

Your limbs unfold your petals open sweetly but
Your brooks are lined with stinging nettles lately
I feel a shiver in my knees
Perhaps I'm too eager to please

We'll meet down at the Working Man's in Reading
Then we can carpool to the Royal Wedding
The cars push in and out through this big city
Like blood cells in a map of capillaries

Each work day's like a single beat
Each of us play our tiny part
I've heard that things are going to turn
But still this dry foliage burns

Forget your flowers
Just bring your showers April
And let your rains disguise our tears...
Track Name: Free As Fireflies In May
I'm just remembering how it got
On that warm May night
When you were showing your tattoo off
In the campfire light

And we could almost see the breeze
As it slid in from the seas

And we were free as fireflies in May

We drank and danced around the fire
The sparks they spun like fireflies
We stayed awake til there was no more
Then we'd roast s'more s'mores

We got very musical
As empty bottles became bells
You shook another full of shells
We cast ourselves into a spell

And we were free as fireflies in May

The summer stretched itself ahead
The beach itself became our bed

And we were free as fireflies in May
Track Name: Lost On The Moon In June
Lost On the Moon in June

My one and only's gone
Now London's upside down
Wild city, screaming, glistening
I don't see your glow or hear your singing

Beause I'm still on the Moon
Heartbroken in June
Sweet memories hide everywhere
Every corner, every crater

My friends try talking me down
I'm grateful they're around
They will keep me hanging on
But in my heart right now I am so gone.... gone gone gone

Though she's no longer here
We still talk in my head
How about that one? Oh right, we have done
Then lets try this new one instead

She's somewhere out there
With feathers in her hair
Maybe she's found someone lately
That makes her as happy as she once did me
Track Name: A Gold Star for Miss July
Give yourself a gold star
Put it on your guitar, put it on your car
You know you deserve it
'Cause you have come so far
That teacher that flunked ya
Well fuck her
'Cause her gold stars, her sticker stars
Could never shine half as bright as yours

That smell of fresh cut lawn
That you puked on at the dawn
It's a gift for you Mr. Robinson
'Cause there's a whole lot more that's going on
Than your groomed and tidy lawn
And here's to you Mrs. Robinson
And one for you too Miss July

Just when you think you're getting really old
You get a little bit older still
I guess you'll always be that child inside
Still got your chin on the window sill
Somehow you've kept your lamp still alight
Through all these dark and stormy nights
Let's give ourselves one more gold star
For making it half way through another year

Half way through another year
Track Name: Midnight In August
When the August Moon
Lights midnight up like noon
Out of everyone, might you be the one that
Wont leave me hanging undone

Please don't let me down
Don't you let me down
Out of everyone, might you be that one that
Wont leave me hanging undone

I pull my own weight but sometimes it's so great
Yeah sometimes I'm afraid that I might fall

So don't you let me down
Please don't let me down
Out of everyone, might you be that one that
Wont leave me hanging undone

When the August Moon
Lights midnight up like noon
Out of everyone, might you be the one that
Wont leave me hanging undone

Driving to your house
I see the rising heat
The military cemetery
Flashes by like a strobelight
And in this melting economy
It's hard to be what you want to be
Riots in the streets
As history repeats
Made to feel selfish and worthless
and that's just scratching the surface
Made to feel selfish and worthless
and that's just scratching the surface

Please don't let me down...
Track Name: Grandmother's Advice
Grandmother says Whatever
You know I'm easy I've just got one piece of advice
And that is never, no don't ever
Don't book a wedding in September

The videographer has got
Deja-vu and double vision
He's suffering from a hangover
Or its a double wedding, he's not quite certain

The bride takes out the bridesmaid's eye
With the bouquet that the bride makes fly
The bridesmaid was distracted by
An old man that looks just like a little boy

The little-boy-looking old man
Watches an ascending balloon
The child from whence the balloon came
Cries softly trapped inside his pram

His Mother takes a cigarette break
Forgetting to secure the brake
(Of course) the pram it rolls off towards the lake
But in it's path: the wedding cake

The sky explodes with white frosting
Much slipping, sliding, panic ensuing
From a distance it looks like they may be dancing
Some take to the lake and are even swimming

Grandmother says Whatever
You know I'm easy I've just got one piece of advice
And that is never, no don't ever
Don't book a wedding in September
Track Name: Everything's Gone Halloween
We bought an old dark house
Put up a fresh new fence
Bought into the illusion of permanence
But as the new paint peels
So too the we feel
And the low price makes new sense

Everything's Gone Halloween

The candle is ticking
The clock is dripping
The pudding is in the proof
We need bigger beads for bigger prayers
There's footsteps on the roof

The paranormal experts are called in
They pick up results right away
Phantom vibrations
Spectral gyrations
Validated by photography

(they said) Everything's gone Halloween around here

I used your Halo like a Yoyo
You liked it at the time
But then you ran to Mom
Head bowed in shame
When you heard those church bells chime
crying...Everything's gone Halloween with him

Have you given up the ghost or has the ghost given up on you?
Track Name: November In Berlin
The seven-billionth child was born yesterday
And relatively speaking I know I am still lucky

I'm going away but I'll come back some day
I will always be wherever I stay
Track Name: Family and Friends
I live on a lower level
you live in a higher zone
Is it me that's going up
Or is it you that's coming down?

Something to hold on
Family and friends
They're coming around again

Family and friends
Family and friends
They're coming around again

Lord won't you erase my drive
Some of these memories are fearsome
And now I'm seein all these tents outside the church
Couldn't we just reinstall the system?

I just stop for my aspirin then
Slip back down the alley to avoid the din
The windows on the high street are so loud and bright
Those automated elves they work all night

Here's Albert the groundhog with his long warm hugs, lightweight but well-intentioned
And here's PC Jack. "Are you still on that Mac?" He's still chewing on that bone of contention
Purple Aunt Myrtle, all bananas and candles, interjecting with her usual precision
They redid the kitchen, they settled on lavender, "But it really was quite a decision"

She says that's partly why Uncle Todd don't say much, the other part's his rheumatism
But he asks me where I've been, was it off to Berlin? "Aint that where they drink that Gluhwein?"
And isn't it nice that we're all here together? First dinner and then when's the game on?
Last year I made so many friends on line, and made so many dinners alone.

Family and friends
They're coming around again

Can you believe the speed of this year?
The Carousel turns again