The Nature of Things

by Francis Friday

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about

The Nature of Things is a good companion album to Culture & Consequence. It's a very well rounded collection of material, with all sorts of themes and styles explored during its making. I took my time on the recordings and learned a lot about my craft as a result. There's a lot of collaboration on it which is something I missed in the previous 2 releases.

I wrote and recorded most of the material from Dec '09 to Oct '10. There were also a few songs left over from earlier outtakes. I tried out a bunch of new instruments on this album as well as a team of guest vocalists. Rachel Mason sings a country duet with me and Rob Markoff and Jonathan Cole sing harmonies on my 'gospel' number. I hired a pedal steel player to add the sad 'n sweet final touches to a couple tracks. I also had some visual help from an artist I met at the Greenpoint Open Studios, Rebecca Posner, who provided the cover art (seen on this page). Some of the new instruments I played were my old-and-revived Kimberly electric 12 string, which sounded amazing, a handmade strumstick from the Appalachia, an imported Indian harmonium and a mandolin I bought in Montana.

The Nature of Things is a dynamic album with all sorts of styles thrown into the pot; bluegrass, country, gospel, '50's rock, psychedelia, folk and of course good ol' rock 'n roll. Enjoy.

credits

released October 7, 2010

All instruments and vocals by James Botha except...

Rachel Mason: vocals on Divided in the Rain
Rob Markoff and Jonathan Cole: vocal harmonies on Therapeutic Confessions
Jonny Lam: pedal steel on Divided in the Rain and Memphis Summer Dream

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Francis Friday Brooklyn, New York

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Track Name: Valeria
Valeria, and I got no shoes
She's a long tall woman in the rhythm review
Well I got cold feet when I'm dancing with you oh honey
I feel lucky when I go outside
It's a sunny day in Houston, wanna go for a ride
in my old school T-Bird, it's purring inside, oh yeah

Valeria, don't ya treat me so mean
I got one heart empty and the other's a spleen
Well you know that I love ya, my teenage queen
I got the moon and it's lovely and bright
and the whole world's empty on a Saturday night
Let's go to a movie, it feels so right, oh yeah

Well I hold ya, I squeeze ya, I'm pinching your butt
and our eyes are both reeling, we're so in love
When the big mean daddy comes around
I put the pedal to the metal and we all fall down

Valeria, and your thoughts are so mean
I got a winning lotto ticket and I don't even care
As long as I got you and you got me, oh honey
Track Name: It Is Here
It is one, it is here for you
It is all in the things you do
It is heat, it is freezing cold
It is life, it is 10 years old
It is dirt in our bleeding hands
In the sky, in the earth and sand
It's the sun in your eyes of blue
It is truth, I am here for you
It is lost, it can still be found
Over there in the winter ground
If you're frightened of what you know
You are here in the ebb and flow
It is burned in the blackened coal
It is deep in your sheltered soul
It is torn in the pouring rain
It is love, it is here again
Track Name: The Flu Song
Drop the golden sphere upon the atmosphere
Watch it turn around when it hits the ground
Open up the bends, science fiction friend
Tells me all about it, right up 'till the end
Terrified of god, military fraud
Told me all about it, right up 'till the end
Happy to oblige, the fear of getting caught
Hold it up to the edge of the atmosphere
Track Name: Girl From Louisiana
As she swept them off the floor, they had been there once before
Like a nighttime summer dream, there's a thousand miles between
And I like her winter smile, it had been there all the while
If you don't mind to give me the time

Because of all the loves before, there had been so many more
But this time was like a car that had been so very far
And the time had gone so fast, it was just not meant to last
Say a prayer for the girl from Louisiana

In the face of many lives, she had lost her hazel eyes
If you want to go there still, they'll be waiting by the hill
In an afternoon that's lost, they don't want to pay the cost
Some of their dreams fall apart at the seams

Like an old worn winter coat with a secret lover's note
There had been so many laughs like a torn up photograph
And if it's all just the same, don't you please forget my name
Say a prayer for the girl from Louisiana

In another land and time there had been a man so blind
When he finally looked to see, it had been an old oak tree
Then he climbed up to the top, he could see out on the rock
At a girl whom he had loved

And the vision was so clear, it was oh so very near
As he reached out for the one, it was almost said and done
It had come back for a while and then vanished with a smile
Say a prayer for the girl from Louisiana
Track Name: Divided in the Rain II
When the fireman came from washing his hands in the water
In the down pouring rain there he stands, waving his arms in the air
In the woman and the man he sees, divided they stand
In the rain

When they ring out the bells and the blistering sun burns the valley
All the children run out and they stand, waving their arms in the air
In the smoke and the fire we see, divided they stand
In the rain

In the red and the white and the blue they follow their way down to you
In the rocky red land they divide up their hands
and stand in the rain

When the snow falls like sand and the bottle runs dry in the evening
Will they scream, will they shout, and they talk
While waving their arms in the air
By the blue mountain moon we all knew, divided we stand
In the rain
Track Name: Therapeutic Confessions
As I sit on that couch in the chamber
and I search for the answer within me
I listen to the words of my analyst
of potential rewards through therapy

Well as I kneel before cognitive imbalance
I know I've got so far in which to go
Through self analytical confessions
I will follow the light on which to go

Well as I hold therapeutic confessions
And I pour out the feelings in my mind
Well I confront the self and the ego
I know I've got so far in which to go

As I hold onto didactic promise
I release the psychic fantasies
of a world without intimate communion
I embrace compassion and its law

Well I see Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler
Carl Jung and Erik Erikson
They opened the gates to my salvation
that I found through crisis and despair

Well as I hold therapeutic confessions
And I pour out the feelings in my mind
Well I confront the self and the ego
I know I've got so far in which to go
Track Name: Hope II
Hope can be the honest answer to the faction
We're leading up to all the action
of open minds and big attraction
Where credit cards can never do you wrong

And high is low, and fast can turn to achingly slow
The vision that you saw last night is
soft and darkly in disguises
Where nothing ever wanted them to be

And love is all a question that we both can answer
So lay it on me quickly as I count the stars that lead me tonight
and hold me close as ever what you see

And trust is just a consequence
of nature's own admonishment
I wish you'd take the time to see

We hold our hands
The placecard saves the page from turning
A thousand trees are never burning
and gentlemen are always learning
About the one you never really knew
Track Name: Fall Asleep
Listen to the trees at night, it's only getting better
I can hardly wait to go, if only for a second
I can hardly wait to fall asleep

Listen on the radio, it buzzes on the table
The soundtrack to my toss and turning 'till I'm finally stable
I can hardly wait at night, it's only just a day
I can hardly wait to fall asleep

Premonition feeds the call to all your lucid dreaming
My eyes are open wide and staring at the ceiling
Take it all away

Listen to the afternoon, the sun is getting heavy
All in all I wait to fall, the night is growing steady
Can't explain just how I feel, the dreams are much too real
And I can hardly wait to fall asleep
Track Name: It's Such a Beautiful Apartment
It's such a beautiful apartment
It's so beautiful I would want to live there
It's such a beautiful apartment

It's got a kitchen and a stove
It's got a kitchen that I could cook my food in
It's got a kitchen and a stove

It's got a walk in closet
You could keep all the clothes you have ever owned there
It's got a walk in closet

It's got a yard and a back porch
You could sit out in the sun have a BBQ and a beer
It's got a yard and a back porch

It's got a skylight in the hall
You could look up at the stars in the comfort of your own home
It's got a skylight in the hall
Track Name: Memphis Summer Dream
Up through the dawn in a Vegas hotel
So alone, I do recall
Will the plane take me home to a Memphis summer dream?
Will I fall? Or not at all?

For a man is a soul that he knows what he been
It's a spirit in my bones that keeps on calling
When I walk through the gates of my own happy home
I will leave but a rose for dear ol' mama

Way on the hill off Highway 51
Is it all not said and done?
Once in a while I will sing another song
Before I go on tour again

For the Wolf River winds like a cold icy hand
That grips a man down to the bottom
As his spirit drifts alone to its own happy home
Will the song still live on and carry on?
Track Name: History of Music
Open up the basement door and step into the history of music
Walk around the darkened floor and feel your way, the history of music
If you looked it up to find it hiding in the ground
And you're not sure if you know which way to go
Then you walk right down and turn around and soon you face the history of music

Hold your breath and roll your eyes we sympathize the history of music
Dance around the little tin can and sing about the history of music
If you don't know what you're looking for you're going to find all the leaves will turn a shade of red and brown
Then you'll spin around and hit the ground and soon you face the history of music

Step right in and lift your chin and look upon the history of music
Men of wisdom, women of time, we all will find the history of music
If you don't know what you're looking for then hold it down
It's a silent law that keeps the things you do
Then you laugh out loud and open your mouth and soon you taste the history of music
Track Name: Wreck it Down
If you're gonna wreck it down then I'm gonna need your love
If you're gonna wreck it down
Then I need your love, If you're gonna wreck it down then I'm gonna need your love
If you're gonna wreck it down

If you want to build it up then it's gonna take some time
If you want to build it up
It's gonna take some time, if you want to build it up then it's gonna take some time
If you want to build it up

If you think you want it back then I might just be around
If you think you want it back
I might be around, if you think you want it back then I might just be around
If you think you want it back
Track Name: I Don't Want To Know the Truth
How did I do? Wait don't....
How did I do? Wait don't...
Please don't tell me what they talked about with you
I don't want to know the truth

How do I know what they...
How do I know what they talked about when I'm not around?
What I don't know won't hurt me, so dear please...
I don't want to know the truth