Bazan: Curse Your Branches

David Bazan | Curse Your Branches
Pre-order: August 10, 2009
Release date: September 1, 2009
Record Label: (Barsuk)
Format: CD / LP / MP3

Mixing and Mastering Notes by TW Walsh

1. Hard To Be
2. Bless This Mess
3. Please, Baby, Please
4. Curse Your Branches
5. Harmless Sparks
6. When We Fell
7. Lost My Shape
8. Bearing Witness
9. Heavy Breath
10. In Stitches

Curse Your Branches was Recorded by David Bazan in his basement.
Mixed and Mastered by TW Walsh in his basement.
All songs by David Bazan (Eat My Flesh, Drink My Blood/BMI)
Management: Bob Andrews / Undertow Music Collective
Booking: Trey Many / The Billions Corporation
Legal: Mike McKoy / Serling, Rooks, Ferrara & McKoy
Art Direction: David Bazan, Bob Andrews, Christian Helms
Design: Christian Helms and Renee Fernandez at Decoder Ring
Photos: Bob Andrews (Bazan), Amos Morgan (Guitar), Jesse Long (Keys)

Hard To Be

Pedal Steel Guitar: Casey Foubert
Tambourine, Sleigh Bells: James McAlister
Other Instruments, Vocals: Bazan

you’ve heard the story
you know how it goes
once upon a garden
we were lovers with no clothes
fresh from the soil
we were beautiful and true
in control of our emotions
til we ate the poison fruit
and now it’s hard to be
hard to be, hard to be
a decent human being
wait just a minute
you expect me to believe
that all this misbehaving
grew from one enchanted tree
and helpless to fight it
we should all be satisfied
with this magical explanation
for why the living die
and why it’s hard to be
hard to be, hard to be
a decent human being
childbirth is painful
we toil to grow our food
ignorance made us hungry
information made us no good
every burden misunderstood
so i swung my tassle
to the left side of my cap
knowing after graduation
there would be no going back
and no congratulations
from my faithful family
some of whom are already fasting
to intercede for me
because it’s hard to be…..

Bless This Mess

Pedal Steel Guitar: Foubert
Tambourine, Shaker: McAlister
Background Vocals: Andy Fitts, John Roderick, Josh Tillman, Blake
Wescott, Bazan
Other Instruments, Vocals: Bazangod bless the man who stumbles

god bless the man who falls
god bless the man who yields to temptation
god bless the woman who suffers
god bless the woman who weeps
god bless the children trying her patience
trouble getting over it is what you’re in for so pour yourself another
it’ll take a steady pair of hands
holy or unholy ghost well now i can’t tell but either way you cut it
you should get some distance if you plan to take a stand
god bless the house divided
god bless the weeds in the wheat
god bless the lamp lit under a bushel
i discovered hell to be the poison in the well
so i tried to warn the others of the curse
then my body turned on me i dreamt that for eternity
my family would burn then i awoke
with a wicked thirst
by my baby’s yellow bed i kissed her forehead and rubbed her little tummy
wondering if she’d soon despise the smell
of the booze on my breath like her mom
through a darkened mirror i have seen my own reflection
and it makes me want to be a better man
after another drink
god bless the man at the crossroads
god bless the woman who still can’t sleep
god bless the history that doesn’t repeat

Please, Baby, Please

Bass: Yuuki Matthews
Electric Guitar: Josh Ottum
Tambourine: McAlister
Background Vocals: Fitts, Roderick, Tillman, Wescott, Bazan
Other Instruments, Vocals: Bazan

when i woke up the next morning
you looked right through me
through your eyes crying
i could finally see
they said please baby please
when i called you from atlanta
you refused to speak
not three days sober
begging for a drink
i said please baby please
those two pairs of big blue eyes
stare me down, watch me fall
what makes a man realize
that he’s about to lose it all
sunrise at the county lock up
now our baby’s 23
she was out late drinking
killed a mother of three
she said please daddy please

Curse Your Branches

Electric Guitar: Matthews, Ottum, Roderick, Bazan
Shaker: McAlister
Other Instruments, Vocals: Bazan

red and orange or red and yellow
in which of these do you believe
if you’re not sure right now please take a moment
i need your signature before you leave
when i sleep i’m usually dreaming
though more and more it’s only one
where every hired gun i’ve ever fired
is making love to you while i look on
all fallen leaves should curse their branches
for not letting them decide where they should fall
and not letting them refuse to fall at all
digging up the root of my confusion
if no one planted it, then how does it grow
and why are some hell bent upon there being an answer
while some are quite content to answer i don’t know
all fallen leaves should curse their branches
for not letting them decide where they should fall
and not letting them refuse to fall at all

Harmless Sparks

Pedal Steel Guitar: Foubert
Drums, Percussion: McAlister
Other Instruments, Vocals: Bazan

they might have burned
but the priests were all taking turns
showing nuns what they had discerned
about their bodies in the dark
they carried on
from the evening until the dawn
like they should have been all along
making harmless sparks
instead of breaking little boys hearts
god knows
if you notice the millions of small holes
and ponder the weight of an apple
compared to the trouble we’re in
then a grown man might
be tempted to question his birthright
in front of his kids and devout wife
causing the doubt to begin
to spread like original sin

When We Fell

Bass: Walsh
Lead Guitar: Ottum
Floor Tom, Shaker, Tambourine, Chimes: McAlister
Background Vocals: Roderick, Bazan
Other Instruments, Vocals: Bazan

with the threat of hell hanging over my head like a halo
i was made to believe in a couple of beautiful truths
that eventually had the effect of completely unraveling
the powerful curse put on me by you
when you set the table
and when you chose the scale
did you write a riddle
that you knew they would fail
did you make them tremble
so they would tell the tale
did you push us when when we fell
if my mother cries when i tell her what i have discovered
then i hope she remembers she taught me to follow my heart
and if you bully her like you’ve done me with fear of damnation
then i hope she can see you for what you are
what am i afraid of
whom did i betray
in what medieval kingdom does justice work this way
if you knew what would happen and made us just the same
then you , my lord, can take the blame

Lost My Shape

Pedal Steel Guitar: Foubert
Shaker, Tambourine: McAlister
Other Instruments, Vocals: Bazan

you used to feel like a smoker
shivering in the cold
waiting outside the bar
til the opener’s over
but now you feel like a drinker
twenty days off the sauce
down at the liquor store
trying to call your sponsor
you used to feel like the forest fire burning
but now you feel like a child
throwing tantrums for your turn
you used to sound like a prophet
and everyone wanted to know
how you could tell the truth
without losing that soft glow
but now you feel like a salesman
closing another deal
or some drunk ship captain
raging after the white whale
you used to feel like the forest fire burning
but now you feel like a child
throwing tantrums and then some
you used to feel like the prodigal returning
but now you hate what you’ve made
and you want to watch it burn

Bearing Witness

Lead Guitar: Ottum
Tambourine: McAlister
Other Instruments, Vocals: Bazan

i clung to miracles i have not seen
from ancient autographs i can not read
and though i’ve repented i’m still tempted i admit
but it’s not what bearing witness is
too full of prophecy and fear to see
the revelation right in front of me
so sick and tired of trying to make the pieces fit
because it’s not what bearing witness is
when the gap between
what i hoped would be
and what is makes me weep for my kids
i take a cleansing breath and make a positive confession
but is that what bearing witness is
though it may alienate your family
and blur the lines of your identity
let go of what you know and honor what exists
son, that’s what bearing witness is
daughter, that’s what bearing witness is

Heavy Breath

Shaker, Tambourine: McAlister
Other Instruments, Vocals: Bazan

the walls of our house
are thinner than paper
the roof is a vapor
that hangs in the air
and our wedding bed
is made from the same stuff
our bodies are made of
if no heavy breath blew up these lungs
while dirt and wet spit hung a ghost in the air
well, we’re still here
while kids and their friends
make war by the fire
their old men retire
to drink and do drugs
we long for the truth
we argue about it
but most of us doubt
it can ever be found
is a ship without a captain just as doomed
as a ship without a crew
‘cause of all my friends who try to tell the truth
there are still a faithful few
who insist they won’t know what to do
if no heavy breath blew up these lungs
while dirt and wet spit hung a ghost in the air
well, we’re still here

In Stitches

Pedal Steel Guitar: Foubert
Piano: David H. Bazan
Other Instruments, Vocals: Bazan

my body bangs and twitches
some brown liquor whets my tongue
my fingers find the stitches
firmly back and forth they run
i need no other memory
of the bits of me i left
when all this lethal drinking
is to hopefully forget
about you
i might as well admit it
like i even have a choice
the crew have killed the captain
but they still can hear his voice
a shadow on the water
a whisper in the wind
on long walks with my daughter
who is lately full of questions
about you
when job asked you the question
you responded “who are you
to challenge your creator?”
well if that one part is true
it makes you sound defensive
like you had not thought it through
enough to have an answer
like you might have bit off
more than you could chew

THANK YOU: Ann-Krestene, Ellanor, Nils, David H., & Vickey Bazan, The Hume, Bazan, Olsson, and Davis families, Bob Andrews and Adam Klavohn at Undertow, TW Walsh, Cody Cloud, Ben Brubaker, Josh, Emily, Grant, Ever, Wes, Christopher, Jo, Adam and Erika at Barsuk, Trey Many & Everyone at Billions, Mike McCoy, Andy Fitts, Casey Foubert, Yuuki Matthews, James McAlister, Josh Ottum, John Roderick, Josh Tillman, Blake Wescott, Cameron Elliot, David Dark, Jason Martin, Kirby Fairchild, Robert Gomez, Jared Hankins, Luke Petillon, Matt Newport, & all the dudes at Black Lion Audio, Lionel M. Reinert at Summit Consultation & Custom Sales, Dot Org, Everyone who offered to host a House Show in 2009, and Everyone who tried to attend one.

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