Russian Novels

by Luna Moth

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about

I wanted to write something a bit more subdued after "Shamanic Youth", and the result is "Russian Novels". These songs came to fruition during the autumn, which was quite conducive to the more introspective and reserved feel that I was going for. The title is not necessarily meant to convey an overarching motif- I don't know that the scattershot thematic references to Russian literature are substantial enough to warrant labeling this a concept album, but I suppose it's not altogether impertinent.

An interesting note about the cover art... before I began recording this album, when the songs were still incubating in the vague realms of fancy, I approached Norman artist Sarah Capshaw about doing the album cover art. She agreed, and we began a collaborative project by which the songs themselves influenced the artwork and vice versa. Sarah was the first person to hear these songs in their embryonic state and the first to hear them upon completion. I was as well able to witness the painting as it became ever more layered, complex, and dreamlike throughout its stages of manifestation. It was a very illuminating process, and I felt that it added a welcome new dimension to my own creative process as well. You can view more of Sarah's inimitable work at sarahcapshaw.ugallery.com

I had lots of help from lots of shiny stars on this one...

Penny Hill sings on "Sheltering Sky" and "Waxwing Funeral", and plays banjo on "Waxwing Funeral" as well. Do yourself a favor and check out her album "Unbutton Your Heart", it is quite lovely, and her music has been a recent influence of mine: www.pennyhill.bandcamp.com .

Blue Valley Farmer sings on "Sheltering Sky", "Waxwing Funeral", and "Some Birds Sing" (another brilliant Oklahoma musician and phenomenal folksinger, whose songs can be heard at cllct.com/art/bluevalleyfarmer

Rae Rome sings on "Some Birds Sing"

Kara Joy McKee sings on "Some Birds Sing"

Zakk Flash plays Arabic drums on "The Dustman"

Released Dec. 19, 2010

credits

released December 19, 2010

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Luna Moth Norman, Oklahoma

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Track Name: Sheltering Sky
We scattered sparks amongst the stars and smoothed the scars out of the sun
We wiped the winter from our bones and let the spring sink to our blood
We watched the redbirds bury berries neath the boughs of the redbuds
We swiped the stripes off swallowtails and stole the spots off ladybugs

And somewhere far away, a toadstool collects rain, a dragonfly shines silver and a moth lands on the shoulder of a statue.

We wove a cobweb to recombine the continental divide
We wrote some rhymes on riversides and tied them to latitude lines

And somewhere far away, an old man's face turns grey, a galaxy disintegrates, and a tadpole disappears beneath a taproot
Track Name: La Vida Gitana
La reina de España anda por las oliveras escuchando las guitarras de los vagabundos gitanos
Los gitanos le invitan a su banqueta de aceitunas, comparten historias de aventura, paz, y libertad
La reina de españa toma a su seno muelle una guitarra y sin pensar renuncia su corona
Te amo, Andalucía
La gitana de Espana se rie todo el día. Cambió su castillo por todas las estrellas en el cielo..
Ya lo sé sí, es para mi, la vida gitana
Ya lo sé sí, es para ti, la vida gitana
Track Name: The Dustman
I gotta rest my bones, and sit for a spell, I've been walking this road so long, I can't tell, and when the Dustman comes, he's gonna whisper to me about the secrets in the symbols of my serpentine dreams

I gotta close my eyes and sleep for a spell, I've been haunting these hills so long I can't tell, and when the Dustman comes he's gonna whisper to me about the secrets in the symbols of my psychedelic dreams

You gotta shake your trepidation and leave your home and cast your comforts aside and slide into the unknown, and when the Dustman sees you seek the mystery, he will reveal the clues to your kaleidoscopic dreams

I'm gonna shock this world with the things I know, 'cause what the Dustman told me is more valuable than gold, and when the Dustmans speaks, you'd better lend him your ears (or your eyes if your ears are committed to fear).

Break my bones and take me home to the other side.
Track Name: Nikolai Gogol
Mother Russia will not suffer such keen eyes.
Nazdarobya! This shall be our last goodbye.
You shall never silence me with all your lies.
Don't you ever address another letter to this guy-
Nikolai Gogol

Dostoevsky was a lover, not a fighter.
Svidrigailov was a serpent, not a spider.
Nastasya Fillipovna, throw your money in the fire.
Semyon Marmeladov, shout your drunken prayers into the empty spires.
Nikolai Gogol

Don't you cry, Gogol
Close your eyes, Gogol
Track Name: Waxwing Funeral
Waxwing funeral, the afternoon as grey as grey can be.
All the sparrows silent, simultaneously sad and sweet.
All our sorrows laid bare in the time it takes for birds to blink.
Every bird will blink.

Waxwing Funeral, the neighborhood as grey as grey can be.
All the swallows silent, contemplating their mortality.
All our grievances aired in the space it takes for birds to breathe.
Every bird will breathe.

Waxwing funeral, the garden is as grey as grey can be.
All the starlings silent, savoring the shelter of the trees.
All our sadness stripped down in the time it takes for birds to die.
Every bird will die.

And when that waxwing dies again, he will be back to live again, as sure as birds will blink and breathe and sing.
And when that waxwing lives again, he will be here to sing again, as sure as birds will blink and breathe and die.
When that waxwing dies again, he will be back to live again as sure as birds will blink and breathe and sing.
Track Name: Charlotte Wears a Scarf
Oh, Charlotte of the sea
Charlotte of the stars
Charlotte, you're the spark that struck the kindling of Vesuvius
Charlotte, you're the sperm that shot through space to start the universe
Charlotte, your the sherlock that resolved the slaughter of Caesar
Charlotte, you're the fertile ovary that offered up the earth

Oh Charlotte of the trees
Charlotte of the park
Charlotte, you're the chakra that shone chartreuse from Siddhartha's heart
Charlotte, you're the chanteuse that sang sweetly as an archer's lark
Charlotte, you're the snake that slithered up the spine of Arjuna
Charlotte, you're the ship upon which Rimbaud rode to Ethiopia

Oh Charlotte of the breeze,
Charlotte of the chard,
Charlotte, you're so free
Charlotte wears a scarf
Track Name: Czarinas in Cerulean
Czarina mythos

Om shanti shanti shanti
Track Name: Some Birds Sing
Some birds sing about the summertime
Some birds sing about suburban life
Some birds sing about the way they fly
Some birds sing about the day they die
Some birds sing about Olympia
Some birds sing about Valencia
Some birds sing about their grandfather's grave
Some birds sing about the sound of trains
Some birds sing about the beards they've grown
Some birds sing about old Mexico
Some birds sing about the deep blue sea
Some birds sing about the birds and bees

There's one thing you can believe is true:
This here bird will only sing for you.
Track Name: Autumnal Arrhythmia
When the sun goes down, I'll sing a song about sunrise
When the leaves turn brown, I'll write about the summertime.
When the winter comes, I'll feel rather autumnal.
When the spring arrives, I'll wish the snow would still fall.

When the mountains tower, I will pine for the great plains.
When the plains get too plain, I will find a mountain range.
When the tide gets too high, I will find a riverside.
When the levee breaks, I'll head towards the coastline.

When I met you, I knew that I would not be here long.
Now it's time to go, and I will leave you with this song.
Do not take it badly, do not take it sadly,
do not take it madly, do not take it gladly.

So long, so long, I still love you.

When it starts to rain, I'll think about your dry humor
and when it gets hard, I'll think about how soft you were-
Soft as honeybees and soft as dandelions
Soft as chickadees and soft as wisteria

So long, so long, I still love you.
Track Name: Pseudo San Francisco
Lift your head up from your Russian novel, take a look around the room, dear
So that I can catch your eye and quickly look back down into my own
Settle into solipsistic solitude, this Tolstoy is a gold mine
Separate the scholars from the charlatans with one stroke of your pen

SF is a riot, you should try it, just don't let it hit you too hard
Stay close to the ocean and don't linger for too long far from the bay
Lift your head up from your teacup, lift your eyes up to the waning summer
You've been sitting so long sipping oolong that the autumn has arrived