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These Times

by The Dream Syndicate

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1.
The Way In 02:41
Working hard Against the underwriter Got a dog in the fight But I’m a lover, not a fighter And we can’t begin Until we find a way in Trying to reconcile The past with the present Which one fits And which one doesn’t And we shed our skin Just to find a way in. What a tangled web What a piece of the puzzle Hot licks and rhetoric A syntactical muzzle And we can’t begin Until we find a way in Keep time—it feels like nothing Second time—don’t get me humming Third time—it’s in the oven Last time—and it might be/come true You know that I’m the man Who’s on a mission Keep it simmering In the kitchen And we can’t begin Until we find a way in THAT’S RIGHT SLIDE RIGHT STAY STRONG HOW LONG BY NOW THAT’S HOW PAIN WASH TRAINS LOST FINE NIGHT BLACK LIGHT TEXTBOOKS DULL HOOKS DOG FIGHT ALL RIGHT CROSS ROAD CHANGE MODE WORK HARD SCHOOL YARD WHITE NOISE BAD CHOICE HOT LICKS WHAT STICKS CAN’T USE CAN’T LOSE HOW LONG PLAY STRONG
2.
Said the saint to the sinner Give me some bread before my dinner A pad of butter in the oven Before the push comes to the shovin’ I can see that something changed A little older but still the same What did you do I put some miles on Put some miles on A zig zag marathon I put some miles on Had a long way to go From the last gig to the next show I was beat and I was tired But the AM radio was so inspired Had to drive overnight Kansas City by the harsh daylight I stuck my head out to feel the breeze And then I took a few of these I put some miles on Still a long long way to go Long past the break of dawn You put some miles on I was losing sight Of what I needed I mean, my compass Was seriously impeded The needle wouldn’t land On anything that I could understand I needed myself a soul midwife To birth the cool and make it all feel right I felt my inspiration heading south Until I took the horn out of my mouth I put some Miles on. And heard the space between the notes A power-sonic Babylon I put some Miles on
3.
Black Light 04:40
Crawled out from beneath the rock Crustacean rough and steely strong A weathered eye with a ticking heart I know where and why but not how long Exposed against the night Colors flip and reunite Under the black light Sucker punched the misery truck Suis Generis. Random luck. Trick the body but the mind won’t follow The mission is mighty but the foundation is hollow Revealed by the night Switching the polarity of sight Against the black light I work far below the surface Waiting for semaphore of light in the dark And they play for me with synergy, lethargy, fantasies Broken needles and dead batteries Suspended by the night It’s funny the things you see When you flip on the black light
4.
Bullet Holes 04:02
Barely surviving. Shell shocked. Struck by lightning and alone Death defying Acceptance without trying Walking on gilded air Down the boulevard without a care Something reminds me Nothing left to bind me I see the bullet holes The history that no one knows Just the way the story goes It’s all right. Eventually you were brought down to your knees Feels like relief Peace of mind And easier on your spine Pull into the station Space and supplication The tension and fight Just faded over night I see the bullet holes The history that no one knows Just the way the story goes It’s all right.
5.
Collected in the summer light And the night was shaking down Picked up all the pieces that fit Sometimes it ain’t just what it seems Long, stall of time Is all that’s left Still here now If we change our mind Will anyone forget Still here now I sing the song in vain And I know there are those Who might feel the same Stunted by light I just guess I wasn’t thinking right Long, stall of time Is all that’s left Still here now If we change our mind Will anyone forget Still here now
6.
Speedway 03:16
I sense there might be some shaking Just before the wheels come loose It’s never too late But it still ain’t any use Banging on the shuttered doorway The owner is fast asleep Gonna work it out this time Maybe just for keeps Don’t stick around If you can’t put the handle down The stakes are high if you run around with the crowd On the speedway Fancy meeting you here Call the authorities please I’m unequivocally Ready to sneeze The garden is sticky sweet Captured and complete I’m a pollen attack With an unrelenting breeze Sun is down And we’re canvassing along the ground Hit the chains, all the things that remain Paralytic shock absorber Two lanes of nothing I think you know my name Right here on the speedway Love to sit down with a saint Some things I can never get straight I will say that sometimes I revel in the code I believe I will have to get hip Before I can straighten out this ship I fail to understand if you’re talking to me Later in town we put the money down Rambling around I hope you’re sitting down Everything here feels complete But it wilts down in the heat On the speedway
7.
Tell me what would you be doing If you weren’t doing what you’re doing Are you afraid of the mess That would be left behind Are you a shark or a rabbit In the dark afraid to grab it Thrashing at the scenery With random sensibility Give me distraction Get me in on the action I’m here and I’m embracing the code Sliding into recovery mode Take a deep breath. Stop And now show me what you got Just as I thought You want a second shot. You came to the right place You got a kind face What if your saving grace Was lost in the chase I’m losing grip on the mother lode Sliding into recovery mode
8.
Somebody stop all that noise Making it hard to think I got it coming from every direction In waves of white and pink It’s hard to pull a diamond From a hurricane Feather from the rising tide Everything is wrong Differentiate the sides Same wrong, different time Life is overrated, Try to prove that You gonna lose that bet You gonna lose your hat Got a fear Things are gonna get mean So I’m standing on the sidelines Observing the scene So long Got to give it some time The whole world’s watching While we’re standing in line Here we are—in the tenderest of grips Here we are--afraid to let it slip Here we are-- paralyzed by time Rocking on somebody else’s dime The whole world’s watching Got to give it some time The whole world’s watching While we’re standing in line Whole world's twitching And you can't turn away Whole world's shaking And there’s nothing to say
9.
Space Age 03:08
Let’s line ‘em up sister Let’s throw ‘em back and lay ‘em down Put some salve on the blister The concierge is coming to town Don’t let it put you in a rage We’re living in a space age The time is right, honey There’s no one looking anyway We’re the invisible white bunny Along the Boulevard Loraine Just another barren white stage Set the lights for the space age You’re a loose and lovely freak And I’m a solid stoic flickering flash You’re not good enough to be meek Make sure we’ve got plenty of cash Set the controls for disengage It’s time for living in the space age
10.
You may not believe me but The villagers are finding better ways To bring the water from the reservoir And when the markers start to drop They plan to replace all the fluids With a substance that they purchased from the company store I say this in the strictest confidence, of course Should your sister ask you anything Tell her what you want except the truth I have her notebook and the figures are confusing Just a few small tweaks and twists, We’ll blow the shingles off the roof Treading water underneath the stars.

about

Los Angeles’s The Dream Syndicate is thrilled to announce 'These Times,' their second album of new music since their 2012 reunion nearly thirty years after they first influenced California’s Paisely Underground scene.

“When I was writing the songs for the new album I was pretty obsessed with Donuts by J-Dilla,” lead singer and songwriter Steve Wynn explained. “I loved the way that he approached record making as a DJ, a crate-digger, a music fan wanting to lay out all of his favorite music, twist and turn the results until he made them into his own. I was messing around with step sequencers, drum machines, loops—anything to take me out of my usual way of writing and try to feel as though I was working on a compilation rather than ‘more of the same’. You might not automatically put The Dream Syndicate and J-Dilla in the same sentence, but I hear that album when I hear our new one.”

If 2017’s 'How Did I Find Myself Here' was a 10 pm record, all swagger and cathartic explosion, then 'These Times' is the 2 am sibling, moodier and more mercurial with the band acting as DJs of their own overnight radio station as the listener drifts off into dreams and wonders the next morning if any of it was real.

The Dream Syndicate recorded 'These Times' once again at Montrose Studios in Richmond, Virginia. Co-produced by John Agnello (Phosphorescent, Waxahatchee, Hold Steady, Dinosaur Jr.), Wynn wrote all of the song’s lyrics in the studio after the band finished tracking, so that the words would be dictated by the sound rather than the other way around. This process contributed to the urgency of the album’s title.

“These Times. That’s it. It is all we’re talking about, all we’re thinking about. There is no avoiding the existential panic of a world that’s hurtling somewhere quickly, evolving, and shifting course by the hour. It seems like a lie to not address or reflect the things that we can’t stop thinking about—the whole world’s watching indeed. The lyrics are just a mirror of the dread, panic, mania, speculation, melancholy and ultimately shrugging abandonment that just might follow. It’s just all about where we are.”

The Dream Syndicate has a long and storied history. But where are they right now? They’re here. Right here. In These Times.

credits

released May 3, 2019

Steve Wynn vocals, guitar Jason Victor guitar Mark Walton bass guitar Dennis Duck drums, percussion Chris Cacavas keyboards
with Stephen McCarthy-backing vocals, Linda Pitmon-backing vocals

Produced by John Agnello and The Dream Syndicate. Recorded at Montrose Recording (Richmond, VA) by John Agnello. Assisted by Adrian Olsen.
Additional recording at Russell Street Recorders (Brooklyn, NY). Assisted by Alex Lipsen. Mixed by John Agnello at Kaleidoscope Sound (Union City, NJ). Assisted by Jeremy Delaney.
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound (Edgewater, NJ).
Artwork and design by Robert Beatty. Photo by Linda Pitmon. Photo treatment by Tammy Ealom.

All songs by Steve Wynn except “The Way In” (Wynn/Cacavas) and “The Whole World’s Watching” (Wynn/Victor/Walton/Duck/Cacavas)
Booking: Andrew Colvin and Mike Couse-William Morris Entertainment (North America) | Bas Flesseman- Belmont Bookings (Europe) | Legal representation-Josh Grier at Sloss Eckhouse LawCo.

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The Dream Syndicate Los Angeles, California

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  • Apr 27
    London, UK

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