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No Place

by A Lot Like Birds

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released October 28, 2013


Cory Lockwood • Vocals

Kurt Travis • Vocals

Michael Franzino • Guitar, synths, programming

Ben Wiacek • Guitar

Michael Littlefield • Bass

Joseph Arrington • Drums

Assistant Engineer: Mike Sacco

Produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Kris Crummett at Interlace Audio

All Lyrics and Vocals written by Cory Lockwood and Kurt Travis

All Music written by Michael Franzino and Joseph Arrington

All Music on No Place performed by A Lot Like Birds

Trumpet: Dave Johnson

Trombone: Russell Furey

Violin & Viola: Anton Patzner

Cello: Lewis Patzner

Congas: Dominic Garcia

Josh Benton (Joshua Tree)

Additional Aux. Percussion: Kris Crummett

Additional Tracking by Jack O'Donnell (Shattered Records) and

Arrangements, & Programming by Michael Franzino

Management: Eric Rushing & Aaron Poletti for The Artery Foundation

Booking Agent: Jeremy Holgersen for The Agency Group

Artwork: Bradley Edwards



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A Lot Like Birds Sacramento, California

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Track Name: In Trances
The sign above the door says no solicitors, whereas the vines along the wall scream no visitors at all; family, friend, stranger or otherwise. I never came in through the front door anyway though and I'd been here a million times. I'd lived a secret, favorite life within this house and I'd done my best to hide it. Loved it deeply, called it home but never ever dreamed I'd die inside it. I'd come in through the window, pried it open, slipped in gently and drank here, loved here and slept here. And when it came time to leave, I thought it best to leave the way I came but the window always stuck in odd ways when I tried to exit through it. It asked me questions. "If the eyes are the window to the soul, why do you only feel alive when they are closed?" And then something else took hold and the window broke. The glass went only inches into my skin but only inches was enough. And once the guilt has had its fill, only then will the animals eat me as well.
Track Name: No Nature
I say the devil runs this hole and hides his subjects wisely. We won't be waiting. We won't be waiting. Oh please. (Give it up!) Don't use your spells on me. (Give it up! Do your worst!) Disruption, the séance, a curse upon all of us. An addiction to chaos? I can relate. Kinda got the same damn problem myself. Away from the furnace it feels like a vague supernatural strain. Get closer baby! It's like the real flame! How long can you hold in your breath for? Long enough to fan out the fumes? Who is it you're saving your best for? And is he showing up soon? To show you that all prayers fall on deaf ears. Best to save the fresh air. And hey, who can blame you for wishing? (Give it up!) Hope's probably the last thing any of us can take from you. (Stop!) But we'll get there eventually. We take everything. Why'd you even come back in the first place? (Turn! Back!) This isn't your home anymore. It's mine. It's ours. (Leave.) My tangled knots are wound so tight they never untie. My mangled tongue's a mother birthing nothing but lies. My prodigy's in the dark with no need for eyes. Hold on, watch your step when you're walking down. Don't want to wake anyone. Everything you lost watches closely. Don't go far from the stairs. Oh, when will it be all over? Will you let me leave when it's over? I know you're not superstitious but you might just want to give it a try. Cross your heart and pray to die now! Knock on wood, turn off the lights now! Put your skin where I can taste it! Come on down, we're in the basement! Oh god, someone save us from us! Pacing back and forth, pacing back and forwards. Words fill up the space, words fill up the spaces. Is there any way, is there any way in? In or out's the same, in or out's the same place. Home can be such a terrible place when they won't let you leave. When you don't have the means. If I die in my sleep, will I dream before I do? And live this one final night in my desolate room. The room inside my head, ceilingless, fulfilling. If God can grant me this, then I might just go willing.
Track Name: No Nurture
All I really wanted was this home, a place to get away from all the cold. I think I'm okay now, much more aware. My body is failing, getting slowly there. And we choose to remember, always the same place. Can we move on past the outpost? We thought that each other was all we would need. We thought that each other was all we'd need. Well, I had a technicolor father with mechanical parts and an on and off heart switch. And he snapped all our plugs, dragged them out through the doorway like electrical entrails. As they dangled behind him, intestinal, wormlike, I grabbed one and sank in my teeth. It showed no signs of life. As static as a starscape that pulses when the channel is missing and signal is lost, only to be seen at night, in dreams and lucent skies. And yes, we have found out cause it's only fair. You've withheld the words of affection from when I cared. Now it's too late to mend us. We start to deteriorate but we can always remember; we would not have been the same. If you had stayed nearby, would I have grown up in your image? If so, then it's good that you left. They say "like father, like son." Is that the reason that I constantly feel like I don't exist? I lost my fallen teeth to the bottom of the pillow. I lost all my sleep on Christmas Eve. And I'd do it all over for the little optimism that I harbored before you taught me to never believe. I just can't stand to see the same old walls. Try to leave me all alone. I don't want to see you at all. I can't help it. I'm bottling everything up. You promised you would deliver me. You promised you'd keep me safe and sound. Father, the day you die I hope you die in a living room. I hope the irony does not let you laugh. I hope the life that flashes before your eyes is mine and it doesn't flash fast. If you had stayed nearby, would you have taught me to vanish? If so, then it's all for the best. They say "like father, like son." Is that the reason that every time a person loves me I find it hard to love them back?
Track Name: Next to Ungodliness
(Premeditate!) I can't see far past the present and fortune-telling's not my profession but I can see the crystal ball, formed out of the water. Through it, I can see it all. When they ask you, what are you hiding from: all of the others in the way! And on this wall: a different reflection, I can recall it's not the same face. Quick! Pull this rope. Wash your hands of this. It's the dark reflecting. Images reflecting, and you're full of it. When all our thoughts are dirty, can we get them clean? Hold our heads under the water, let our eyes roll back and look deep. Deep into our skulls. Is there anything worth keeping? When they ask you, what are you hiding from: all of the others in the way! (The sink is full, the bubbles rise and stare at me like spider eyes.) And on this wall: a different reflection, I can recall it's not the same face. When nothing else will hold me up, broken tiles on the bathroom floor will have to do. If nothing else can pull me through. I just can't remember! Why can't I remember? When's the first time I looked in the mirror and said "I hope I die"? I know you keep pretending. Let me be the same! Let me be this way! I know you keep pretending. Let me be the same! Let me be this way!
Track Name: Connector
Go through solid stages not noticing me. Hands hold tightly. No one shares. Doll it up! At the rate the paint is peeling off the wall, we'll need to cover it! Before it all falls apart! Oh, it'll all fall apart. Truss it up! At the rate the skin is sloughing off our bones, they'll need to bury us. Because we all fall apart. Yeah, we all fall apart. The open mouths of these rooms are connected by a hallway, dark and narrow, that we pass through like marrow through bone. And we do it alone. I miss the point and wish I still didn't dream. A taste gone mad, a sweet sadness, my favorite feeling. The whispering walls sound like an endless corridor and at this rate, all the paint is peeling off the walls. And all I want to do is chase it (before it all falls apart) down the hall made out of frozen faces. Expressionless, eyes to the ground and lips locked tight, ever so quiet, ever so quiet. And I never choose to taste hallucinations of what I've seen. Because I don't see the difference between chasing ghosts in dreams and chasing dreams in life. Doll it up! All the ones still close to us are the ones that most of us still don't see. Still don't see the way. I would have thought that it could be the sympathetic solution, disillusion. And if I stayed or left would you notice more or less of my existence? Out of the corner of my eye, I see the ghost stutter-stepping like strobe lights, ever-inching closer, but always out of reach. So I hold my breath and keep it under my tongue and wait until both of my lungs are filled. If I count to ten, will it all go away? Brushed aside or pushed aside: a difference in tension, intention and force applied. Cast aside or passing by people as canvases: blank outside and bleak inside. We learned (and it caused other things asunder) to stay (and avoiding all the turmoil) out of the way of each other. Just stay out of the way! Always colliding with the things that we had tried hard to avoid we just bury them, close our eyes, cover it up. But what was buried managed to unlock the door even though we had boarded them, nailed them shut, hid the keys. Will we (in for it now) ever (board up the house) find happiness, clarity, peace of mind? Follow me down the hallway. If I should take a fall, don't look back. Pick a door. Any door. Any door! NOW! And now we sit in what was built on our dreams. A space, now sad, speaks madness, attempts concealing the crumbling walls. It feels like our time is getting short. And it's too late cause all the paint is lying on the floor. Did we selfishly erase it? (And we have all ignored the fault.) Busy filling mirrors with our damn faces? Circling flaws that we find without respite, what do we find? What do we find? And in the meantime, all the vultures circle us in hopes to feed. Because they don't see the difference between death disguised as life and life with lifeless eyes. Doll it up! All the ones still close to us are the ones that most of us still don't see, the way. I would have thought that it could be the sympathetic solution, disillusion. The open mouths close!!
Track Name: Myth of Lasting Sympathy
Someone cruel gave me my dreams last night. I barely stood before a darkened closet, baring skin and soul before its unseen jaws. "You will never be the creature that you were when you were younger," it whispered. We get disconnected from our childhood. We tell our stories like we read them in a book but had not lived them. I don't remember much from then but I do remember what a closet becomes when the lights go off and I know the many things that fill it up. When we used to have dreams like this we called them nightmares. We ran barefoot through the halls of our house and clung to our parents sheets like they were the only real thing left in the world. And my mother? She would save us, you and I. She would lead us hand in hand through the hallway that made us feel silly for seeming run by shadows and endless only moments before. And I'm here now, barely standing in the land of dreams before it, and I see you, I see myself as a child sitting inside. Scared. Crying. And you have every reason. Because while we grow up through song and story learning that love is everything in this world and that while we believe it and want it more than any single thing...I know that when we have it, we destroy it. That when we grow up, you and I, that we cheat. That we find the girl we love and that we lose her because we learn to love ourselves much more. That the friends that we make will drift away once we have leeched them dry. That the mother who turned our darkened scary hallways into pathways to a bedroom will call us and miss us and love us and we will stay hidden. That really, we will be cruel! That in the stories we want told to us before we fall asleep, the heroes are ideals that never get reached and the villains are absolutely ordinary. And we are absolutely ordinary. And you stare back at me through the closet and into the world that I never really changed and ask me the only thing you want to know. "When we grow up, do we still get scared when the lights go out?"
Track Name: Hand Over Mouth, Over and Over
I wish I could, but I can't rest as easy as you. I never really could anyway. And thoughts of the future make me worry. Heart, settle down! This isn't your last day. You'll wake up tomorrow. This bedroom never gets to see the light of day. The shades are always drawn completely and it only ever seems to come alive at night. I took you here to take you from yourself once. And you smiled at me. You smiled shamelessly and often then. But it wasn't enough. I read your thoughts like sifting through your cabinets while you were out of the room. I stole every treasured thought that you had and left you gutted when I could find no more. You had poems written on the roof of your mouth. And I had scraped them out with the tip of my tongue and spat them onto the floor, where they dried up and blew away. And the butterflies in your stomach were all pinned to the skin on the inside. And if didn't love you then, I love you now. But it's easy to love something when there's pain in its eyes. This isn't your last day, you'll wake up tomorrow. This isn't your last day, you'll wake up tomorrow. So I pull the shades back, let the light pour in through every crack I slammed into the window. Will the good parts stay in limbo? Why can I only remember when you said you'd love me better if I left? And not the way you said, a thousand times, that if I left you'd die?
Track Name: Kuroi Ledge
The cool air takes me back, just for a moment, and I spend it all without realization. I have to go back. I have to go back. It's not fair. I wish that time would stop for me, just this once, but it never will, so run it off. I'm still here. I know you're waiting for me past the doorway and if it's you that's haunting me, say something. If it's you that's haunting me, just speak. I've come this far with a different map in each of my hands. They're drawn completely from memory. One takes me home, one takes me nowhere in particular. I always seem to pick the path with all the shortcuts open and the lines and the circles more steadily drawn. (I guess there's only one more way to go.) I always seem to say the things that I had promised I would leave unspoken and act surprised when they come tumbling out into the air and sounding wrong. (We've all been way too far away from home.) I never thought of what would happen if I ever found the gate closed, tethered in rusted thread and iced over blue and grey from the cold. (It's time to break off all those chains of old.) But the gate holds, allowing entrance to the wind and smaller leaves and I am stuck now, homebound. (I guess there's only one more way to go.) Can I turn back? Is it too late? Is there some place I belong? Is there any place to call a home? I guess there's only one real way to know. Is this the only way? As shallow as the water is, it swallows me. And I can't stop looking at the world around me solemnly. As we stand here in the fallen leaves, will you promise me, just promise me that no matter what the weather's like, you'll follow me? And no matter what I say, you'll take it honestly to heart? I've got a long way to go and if I do it alone I won't make it. The call of the void is coming from the balcony. "L'appel du vide." So now I let my fate take over and as I sink into the consequence below, this is how far we go. Face forward falling straight for the pavement, mouth open catching death just to taste it. Twist my body to align with the stars, this is my favorite part. This is my favorite part: suspended close to earth but very far. This is my favorite part. Once we touch the ground we forget who we are. I guess I finally had the courage to go away. The promises we made were made hollowly. Sometimes you'd reassure me we'd be okay. But you'd always leave.
Track Name: Recluse
Within the shadows of the ever-barren, we decompose like decrepit particles, windows of your inner being. Neglecting what is loved. It's the absence of substenance. Struggling to exist in this hallowed yet hollow shell. Hey you, your guard's up but the whole room can see straight through. Your exoskeleton is plastic, melting ‘round the edges and dripping down your spine. You've got very little time. And most of it is mine anyways. Oh no! Don't hesitate, they can sense it. Within the shadows of the ever-barren, we decompose like decrepit particles. Can you feel me crawling through your inner being? You're a hollow shell that once existed. Did you come into the sending? So send me away. We all just end up as dust. Glorified ash. Rust. Welcome, my guest, to the attic! Just shut the trap behind you, don't panic, we don't mean to startle you. If you could just remove all your clothes, shut your mouth and relax and we'll remove a part of you. Wrap her up, wrap her up, wrap her up. Struggle deep inside the cobweb, we can feel the strands shake off. Fill up my stomach with heartbeats! Skitter backwards into cluttered recesses, your home is ours! Everything you threw out, abandoned; we took as our own, built it up in our own way. Mansion of mess! A legacy of refuse, eaten memories and scars. Don't stay. I don't care, just let me be or make me whole. Walk, crawl, run. As long as you don't forget this place, our faces, these old floors. "Home is where the hearts are," said the hunger to the waiting predator. Now I know where to go. "Home is where the fun starts," said the hunger to the waiting predator. Yeah, I know where to go. Go for the throat.
Track Name: Shaking of the Frame
Well, I might have to diffuse this one. Call the listeners but they don't speak the same tongue. Send me away. You laugh and scoff and spit out false intellect. Guess I'll let you have your way this once for the greater goal of us. Sometimes it's better to let them win to escape the mess. Just let it go, you already know my faith now is swayed. Can trust be remade? This silent fight is worse than a scuffle. The same violent night and we both share the struggle. Amiss, dismissed. You might be right so take your own advice, just let it go, you already know. Don't write about love, no more cliches! No more delays. Glass-wristed grasp of my surroundings and dizzily shuffling forward; that's where I'm found, pulled to the sky from the ground and spun round in an aerial court of my peers and stripped down to only skin, bones and tears. And the ever-chugging monolith, my inner voice, is inviting me to stay here for years. I'm wired weird, I've grown wrong. And sing the same damn songs to the ever-nodding audience, until my body is gone. Quiet your open thoughts and turn the other way to make grimacing actions. And if it's not possible, okay. Just stay that way. Just let it go, you already know my faith now is swayed. Can trust be remade? This silent fight is worse than a scuffle. The same violent night and we both share the struggle. Amiss, dismissed. You might be right so take your own advice, just let it go, you already know. Like frantically rifling through all of your keys. There's no wind behind you but something's moving the leaves. This place is familiar. You used to call it your own. Now there's nobody home. No, there's nobody home. Once a room is empty it has no need for a name or title and when a glass is empty someone fills it up or puts it away. But when the glass broke, the room spoke in dangerous tones, "If it's broken just leave it alone!" We have to go! We have to go! Let the passenger take hold, let the stranger drive you home. We have to go! We have to go! May this song fill up a hole. May the room with no purpose forever be closed. Although we left in a panic, I took a look back at the house, saw it turn on its axis and vanish. The dust enveloped the sky, the splinters fell to the earth, swam deep in the soil and came back to life. It survived! It survived! It survived.