"Escape Pod For Two"
Release Date: 2003
Where To Buy:
CD Baby (CD) - $11.99
iTunes (download) - $9.99
3. Escape Pod For Two
7. Drops and Splotches
(DISC 2 - CD is out of print)
1. Sedgwick (Syrian Remix)
2. Departure (Raindancer Remix)
3. Escape Pod For Two (DJ Ginger Snapp Remix)
4. In-Flight (Cloudless Remix)
5. Abort (System 22 Remix)
6. Regenerate (B! Machine Remix)
7. Tinnitus (T.O.Y. Remix)
8. Vast (Instrumental)
9. Oxygenius (Assemblage 23 Remix)
10. The Dreamer (Club Mix)
11. This Is Your Crappy Christmas Present
The sign says "Sedgwick". It isn't hard to see. I run from that hotel, though no one's chasing me. I sit in moonlight waiting for the train. For the first time in my life, I long for it to rain. But no rain ever comes. These clouds just won't produce. And I'm left here feeling slippery like God has cut me loose. Just then, I see her on the stairs. She's totally aware, but I can't break my stare. I'm going over there. She smiles at me just so. We nervously "hello". I know I was meant to go to Sedgwick Station. I found her, finally, at Sedgwick Station. Waiting, patiently, at Sedgwick Station.
She whispers secrets. She knew me in her dreams. She says that we're connected. I know exactly what she means. We talk of friction, sandpaper chemistry. I tell her of a world with no hostility. Her eyes fill up with hazel. Her hands attach to mine. I know now that we're going, and we're going just in time. Just then a train pulls in to rest. She says “This is our test. It's time that we resist a world that's kept us lonely and wondering ‘if only’”. As she looks at me just so, I know... I was meant to go to Sedgwick Station. I found her, finally, at Sedgwick Station. Waiting, patiently, at Sedgwick Station.
Through streaks of motion, I can't see where we are. We haven't travelled long so I'm sure we're not that far. We start to calculate distance, speed and time. If we find out where we're going, then we might know what we'll find. But our paper drifts out the window and our eyes track its ascent. As it falls up to the stars, we feel out where it went. Just then the ceiling tears away and, though we're both okay, we sure don't want to stay. So we jump out through the air. Where we land, well, I don't care. When she looks at me just so, I know I was meant to go to Sedgwick Station. I found her, finally, at Sedgwick Station. Waiting, patiently, at Sedgwick Station.
In real life, Sedgwick is an "L" train stop in Chicago, IL. For this somewhat fictionalized song, Sedgwick is the place at which Sara and I meet and begin our journey away from Earth and into space. Choosing this real life train stop is meant to be symbolic of the amazing way in which Sara and I really met: Not long after the horrible break-up documented in "Pure", I went to a club in Detroit to bring a local DJ a copy of a single I'd been working on. That DJ was Sara Krist, my bride-to-be. So, in this story, I'm running from the Hotel Allegro Chicago which was, not coincidentally, the title of the last song on "Pure". I end up at Sedgwick, which really is a train stop not far from that hotel. This is fitting because, in reality, I met the absolute love-of-my-life not far from the all-time relationship disaster of my life. The ol' "it's always darkest before the dawn" thing proved to be quite true. (See the music video for this song for even more details!) (The rest of the song is a high-speed account of our desire to move away from our solitary, and often lonely, lives toward a loving, adventurous, and accomplished life together.
Outer Space Man, what have you done to me? I was just broken, but now there's sympathy. I can't stay here and I'll miss this apathy, but I can't turn my head. You've shown me too much mercy. You said "Don't look down now 'cause it's not there somehow. When you're tripped and falling down, just forget to hit the ground, then float away.." Outer Space Man, how did you know me? Even I'd forgotten the man I meant to be. But you had X-Rays or some kind of telepathy. And though I strain to own it, I want what you've given me. You said "Don't look down now 'cause it's not there somehow. When you're tripped and falling down just forget to hit the ground, then float away.." I'll stand up now and I'll leave here somehow. You may hear me shouting that I'm done with doubting. Yes, I believe you. Now I know better. Now I know better and I have found a way. Outer Space Man, why did you come to me? Was I deserving of so much sympathy? You said "Don't look down now 'cause it's not there somehow. When you're tripped and falling down just forget to hit the ground, then float away.."
Right off the bat: the "outer space man" is meant to be a God-like figure. I'm a big believer that there's some kind of God. I'm not religious... I don't attend a church... but my instincts tell me that this world isn't based entirely on chance. So, this song is a sort of letter to God. It is both a "thank you" for whatever guided me to Sara, as well as a vehicle that I use to convey to the listener how the Escape Pod works: faith. "When you're tripped and falling down, just forget to hit the ground." This idea actually comes from a series of books by Douglas Adams known as "The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy." In his story, this technique for flying is literal; if you want to fly, distract yourself as you're falling down and you'll begin to float. In my song it's more about determination. Instead of allowing yourself to be hurt when someone's tripping you up, resist and rise above it. Take yourself where you want to be instead of allowing others to flatten you. So, Sara and I begin to resist... and we have liftoff.
Escape Pod For Two
Our eyes are dark. Our lips are cold. Our lust was traded. Our passion sold. We can't get up. We dare not shout. We have no choice. We have no out. But that's yesterday. That's not right now. Forever's coming soon. We're on our way, in this escape pod for two. They poison hope. They filter sun. They have the bullets. They own the gun. We can¹t resist. We dare not fight. We can not charm. They always bite. But that's yesterday. That's not right now. Forever's coming soon. We're on our way, in this escape pod for two. Together in search of a better place: a different scene... a sweeter taste. Pain left behind is not misplaced: it is our fuel... it is our faith. Let's start today. Let's go right now. Forever's coming soon. We're on our way, in this escape pod for two.
This song is meant to work on a couple levels. In a more literal way, it was written about Sara's struggle to deal with the cold, corporate realities of her day-job as an accountant. It also carries with it much of my own frustration with our red-tape world. It's not meant to be preachy or anti-corporate or anything political like that. It's just a song about the frustration so often felt in today's impersonal working-world. In a more symbolic way, it's about two people who, together, really begin to see their lives for what they are and , in so doing, their desire to take themselves someplace higher. In the story, we're escaping Earth in search of a new life together. In reality, we hope to escape complacency; motivating each other to reach for what we really want.
Looking down I see what was: a place I lived, well, just because I was in it, for the moment. But looking up I see what's right: no clouds, no sky, just endless night. And I feel it. I really feel it. Everyday I wonder how. Everyday I ask out loud: “How did I get where I am?” I know I'll never understand, but I won't come down again. I won't touch ground, instead, I'll fly above your head and I won't come down now. I won't turn back now. I won't fall down now. I won't look back now. I lift my head, but close my eyes. The engine shakes my mind to life and I want it. I just absorb it. Pushing out through pitch black sea I pause to face reality, but I leave it. I just don't need it. Everyday I wonder how. Everyday I ask out loud: “How did I get where I am?” I know I'll never understand, but I won't come down again. I won't touch ground, instead, I'll fly above your head and I won't come down now. I won't turn back now. I won't fall down now. I won't look back now. Racing past reality. Orbiting my fantasy. Standing's far too stationary. Landing's far too ordinary so I won't come down again. I won't touch ground, instead, I'll fly above your head and I won't come down now. I won't turn back now. I won't fall down now. I won't look back now.
This song is basically an all-out celebration. On a pretty raw level, this is my celebration dance. I found love... I've gotten out of the depressive rut I was in for far too long... and, as Sara and I move forward together, I'm happier with each passing day. As it pertains to the greater story line, this song is simply about the excitement we're feeling now that our journey into space is finally underway.
Sitting on cushions designed for support, I dare not abort any critical missions. Though awkward positions dare me to consider, maybe I'd be better off walking in space. Never heard of gravity. Newton's laws are lost on me. What goes up just keeps on going. Weightless blood just keeps on flowing. Conscious, but barely, I'm thinking, though rarely, that I dare not resort to any serious decisions. Though galactic conditions are nearly sub-par, I'm really not far from walking in space. Never heard of gravity. Newton's laws are lost on me. Friction's just a fairy tale. Earth was just a test I failed. My breathing, though stable, is frantic, but I'm able to catch it when the situation calls. Though my heart falls asleep at the wheel, I wonder how I'd feel walking in space. Never heard of gravity. Newton's laws are lost on me. I won't give him the satisfaction of some proportionate reaction.
This song is an expansion of an underlying theme. It's about the urge to bail-out on large undertakings. Or, to take it a step further: Being so afraid of failing to accomplish your dream that you never let yourself follow-through. So, throughout this song, I'm debating this trip through space. Does this mean I was pondering my decision to get married? Yes. Of course. I'm a thinker. I think about stuff. If I didn't, wouldn't you then have to wonder about the strength of my marriage? I know I would! So, I gave time to the notion that "maybe I'd be better off walking in space." It would have been easy to bail out. It's easy to make bad decisions. But I didn't. I'll give away the secret: this trip has a happy ending. Nevertheless, it wouldn't be much of an adventure without some conflict, now would it?! This song should also resonate on a screw-my-day-job level... there was a bit of that going on in my head when I wrote it. Also, all of the verse vocals are performed by one of the Macintosh computer "voices". I thought this technique would function very well in this song because I now feel some distance from the concerns expressed in these lyrics. Having the computer perform them helps give me that distance. Technical stuff: To get this to work, words were spelled out phonetically, phrases were sped-up and slowed-down, and then everything was spliced into tiny sections and placed on various beats so there would be a consistent sense of rhythm.
I want so bad to wake you up... to shake you out and bring you here. I want so much to stretch the seam of what you've seen and make things clear. When it's dark, this universe is wasted, but I stay up for life you've never tasted. Regenerate with me in the hidden galaxy, where takers never keep and dreamers never sleep. I need this time to show you in, to stop you short of practical. I need this space to slide you through, to show you who you're meant to be. When it's dark, this universe is wasted, but I stay up for life you've never tasted. Regenerate with me in the hidden galaxy, where sunlight never falls and passion never stalls. Feel, Touch, Loiter, Linger... Absolute bliss at the tip of your finger. Just beyond your fear, you'll always find me here. You will never be alone. Regenerate with me in the hidden galaxy, where love can never lie and thirst will never die.
"Regenerate" is one of my favorite songs on this album. I've loved it from the second I thought of it. The short explanation is that it's a song about the creative underground. It's about writers, musicians, and artists, as well as any number of other creative types, who stay up at night to do things that most people only dream about. So, in this song I'm inviting Sara to discover this "hidden galaxy". I'm asking her to share in the joy that I feel as I create music and generate new ideas late into the night. I also offer this galaxy to her as a sort of balance against the day-to-day practical things that she loathes doing. Music and writing are the things that keep me sane, that's for sure! And, in a more literal way, I was just asking her to stay up late with me. I'm a late-night person. She usually goes to sleep at 9:00 p.m. :-) Finally, this song is a suggestion that "regeneration" (as a symbol for sex... c'mon, you knew it) will help us keep our lives connected throughout space and time. As it relates to the larger storyline, the lustier content is meant to give the listener an indication that any thoughts about "aborting" this journey have been abandoned. The tone and recording of the song has been intentionally humanized to contrast with the very technical sound of "Abort". Additionally, the mention of a "hidden galaxy" is the listener's first indication about where exactly we might be going on this journey.
Drops and Splotches
So maybe I'd lost myself in endless showers; washed myself down endless drains. All that lather, all that rinsing... none of it was too convincing. But you saw me from a distance though Monet-filtered eyes, so my scattered drops and splotches were added up to size. You will never be alone.
Something of an instrumental, this song is meant to be an extension of "Regenerate", and a lyrical set-up for "Tinnitus". The oh-so-brief lyrics speak to Sara's early ability to see me for who I was underneath my battered outside, instead of rejecting me as "damaged goods". I had a lot of issues coming out of my relationship troubles in the "Pure" era. Sara never batted an eyelash as she waited patiently for me to work through them. Oh, and yeah, she digs Monet, hence the reference and images.
I know just what you're feeling. Your hands give you away. With all that's come before this, you're more than just afraid. But December's long forgotten. Those moments can't compare. I'm a former visionary now capturing more than most eyes dare. Yesterday I was missing in orange so endearing. A twisted tangerine frequency with something interfering. But that color's long forgotten. That shade could not compare to the spectrums that I'm seeing now in your pace, your grace, and everywhere. From this distance I can see everything that’s wrong with me. On this ship that never lands, I know you'll always understand. I've suffered through Tinnitus, the most seductive virus. I simply cannot hear it here. Too safe within our atmosphere. Now that planet's long forgotten. The weight will not be missed. You're the angel that I dreamt of. You're the feeling, you're the bliss. From this distance, at this speed, I can see what's going to be: Boundless life with no demands, on this ship that never lands.
If "Abort" is a song that spoke to my fears as Sara and I approached our wedding day, "Tinnitus" is meant to address hers. Though she's never expressed it directly, I know that Sara has felt concern about my ex-girlfriends. I've got mountains of lyrics documenting my feelings for them, so there's really no denying what once was. But I wrote this song as a kind of declaration. A musical "I Do", if you will. The lyrics "on this ship that never lands" are easily translated to "I will love you forever." This line also applies to the larger story line, informing the listener that our space flight is not scheduled to make a landing. I used tinnitus as the title and as one of the symbols in this song because in the 90's film "Singles", tinnitus (the dulling of sound in your ears after loud concerts) is referred to as "Club Disease". Explanation: I really believe that I needed to get over my obsession with the club girl fantasy I was clinging to before I was mature enough to really fall in love with Sara. And I did get over it - learning through experience that most "club girls" (or, to take it a step further, most super-model-hot girls) really ARE better as a fantasy. Reality is something else entirely. Anyway, that common male obsession has been dubbed "Club Disease" by Sara and I, hence the link back to the term "tinnitus"! (Plus, with any luck, this song will be played very loud in clubs and give everyone Tinnitus.) Final note: The careful listener will hear many references to Cosmicity songs and lyrics written about previous relationships, including "Today Is Better Than It Seems", "The Moment", "Visionary", "Orange", and "Self Involved".
Countless planets bounce back starlight... in through pupils too dazzled to dilate. Now that we're here, I have no fear. Through these windows all things come clear. Each day is so vast beyond all recognition. This exceeds the definition at last. Years may pass but we feel rested, as frantic light shows they have tested our sharpened eyes that pierce through options. Like rain or friction we control them here. Seductive space dust travels with us. Through each system our hearts listen. Each day is so vast beyond all recognition. This exceeds the definition at last. Vast beyond all recognition. Stripping off my inhibition at last. Do you think they see us here? Would they even care? Will they sense it when we pass? Will we ever stop? Do we need to know? I doubt it as I taste your kiss. Vast, beyond all comprehension. Moving through our own dimension at last.
"Vast" is the beginning of an "arrival" of sorts. Wow, that sounds confusing. Okay... Though our ship is still in-flight, in this song I am singing from a later point on our journey. We've now become very comfortable with our travels together and are celebrating each day's excitement as we explore a "vast" unknown future. Of course, no one plunges forward without ever looking back a few times. So, despite verses sung with strength, there is a break-out section of this song in which I speculate about the people we fly past. Do they notice us? Are we too isolated? Or, in real world terms, are our lives on the right path? I answer my own question: one kiss snaps me out of it.
A planet dressed in white and green. A moon so crisp it's just obscene. I climb into a nervous cloud, then fly right through and laugh out loud. Sliding by without a sound, I am. Nurturing my failure. Spooning my regret. I flip the bird at destiny 'cause he hasn't caught me yet. I'm making out with enemies, sleeping with my fear. I'll never find a better world than this self-made atmosphere. Perpetually in motion now and too far gone to land. Passion keeps me searching but I don't want to understand. Heavens smear like censored skin. I pass them up and laugh again. I launch my voice to God and say, I am. Nurturing my failure. Spooning my regret. I flip the bird at destiny 'cause he hasn't caught me yet. I'm making out with enemies, sleeping with my fear. I'll never find a better world than this self-made atmosphere. It doesn't matter where we are. It doesn't matter just how far. The secret's always safe with me in our hidden galaxy. Nurturing my failure. Spooning my regret. I flip the bird at destiny 'cause he hasn't caught me yet. I'm making out with enemies, sleeping with my fear. I'll never find a better world than this self-made atmosphere.
This is a song about embracing your life. Most people, myself included, have spent way too much time thinking about what they don't have. Oxygenius is a song about rejecting that line of thinking. It's a song that suggests seizing everything you've experienced in your life, bad-and-good alike, and worshiping those experiences. The title of this song is meant to suggest that this wise (genius) line of optimistic thinking will bring new vitality to your life (like Oxygen: giver of life). As far as the actual story-line goes, this song is the anti-conclusion to a journey that, in fact, never ends. It continues with the theme established in "Vast" but it's explored entirely in 1st-person this time. Endless new worlds are passed right over because I have finally realized that the place I most want to be is where I already am: in an Escape Pod built for two, cruising though life with Sara, high on the experience.
I say I need you, but the truth is in the wanting. I could live without you and just suffer everyday. I say it's kismet that we've ended up together, but I am such a liar. With you, I choose to stay. Here we go. (With you I choose to stay.) You are my future now. (Thank God you came my way.) Here we go. (With you I choose to stay.) You are my future now. (With you I'm not afraid.) You think you know me, but I must beg to differ. Of a million secrets, you've only heard a few. You think you love me, but there's just no way. True love will take a lifetime, starting with today. Here we go. (We'll find more love each day.) You are my future now. (We will find our way.) Here we go. (We'll find more love each day.) You are my future now. (We'll know what to say.) There's a love song in the future, broadcast light-years from today, about a man who finds his fortune at a very early age. And I don't quite know the chorus, but I can surely tell you this: when I write it, I'll describe you as the reason I exist. (And so I must insist.) You are my future now. (You're the reason I exist.) Here we go. (And so I must insist.) You are my future now. (You're the reason I exist.)
Meant as a glimpse into our future, this is more of a straight-up love song. Now that we're married, we have eternity ahead of us to fall deeper in love. To avoid being too cliche-oriented, I chose to take an angle that denies cliches. We're not meant to be together forever - we choose to be. We don't love each other - we're gonna spend the rest of our lives falling in love. It's still gooshy, I know. But guess what? That's how I feel. They say that you should write from your heart. Well, I can't think of anything I've ever felt more truly than this.