Black Coffee, Bad Habits

by Choke Up



released February 3, 2015

Engineered by Ryan Stack at Format Audio in Amesbury, MA.
Mastered by Dan Coutant at Sun Room Audio.
Released by Black Numbers.




Choke Up Boston

Four best buds from Boston, MA.

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Track Name: Wildflower
There is a dark mountain rising in my chest and it's shortening my breath, because I see her staring back at me and my god, she's so goddamn pretty. I am bereft but I am not empty; there is an ever-­looming climb behind my teeth. Send a Sherpa to come help me, baby. I've been out braving these snow drifts, lonely. I never did make the ascent, you fought your way to the summit, held council with nine new moons and left your heart in the operating room. All our time debating, I couldn't see the hue had changed in your eyes, just steady footing fading. So defenses bloomed like waves of wildflowers and breaches blew away like dandelion seeds cast asunder in the breeze. Take me home, I'm bleeding.
Track Name: My Oh My
They lit a fire in the belly of the patron saint of indifference and he came like a fever to my bloodstream, saying, "leave it alone, leave it alone, you are ill­ fit to condemn or condone. Leave it alone, leave it alone, leave it alone." My oh my, oh, I don't feel myself today. I'm the wind at the back of a float in a slow parade. The crowd begins to applaud as the clouds start to dissipate.
Track Name: Crosses
All of this was all your fault, now we've got no way out. We know where all the crosses lie and we know which ones you try to hide. With your head hung and your gun slung around your feet, you're tripping over rounds, yeah, you're burying the sounds that you knew we'd make. Two, three till retreat chimes in and victory's in your head. You swear you thread shit into gold, barrel to head, you know, we're really quite impressed. Bravo. Hell, what a fucking show. When I was starry­eyed, I used to love driving around in your car at night.
Track Name: Thicket and Vine
I'm gonna bring you in right by the fucking collar. No, I'm not blowing smoke, just giving you fair warning. 'Cause I don't right my wrongs, just chalk 'em up to failures. My hands are powder white from clapping out erasers. You can burn a world of bridges but you can't kill the rescue mission. I know the only time that you feel alive is when you're working on dying. Back when you were a kid, you were fearless and so god damn triumphant. Wildflowers bloomed where you walked. The weather vane don't rotate, porch lights don't come on at night anymore. Casting contentions aside, tearing through thicket and vine, I'm gonna find a way to bring you in from the outside.
Track Name: Don't Wake Up
Oh, comrade, come down. Your perspective is obscured by the clouds. I'm just that one drop of rain falling fast on a sunny day, trying to disbelieve what history predicts is fate. I suppose I won't get too close to anyone anymore. Holes in boats and plots; my head keeps thinking that I'm spinning when I'm stopped. And on a postcard day I feel that one drop of rain tear through every disaster I tried to cover up with tape. I suppose I won't get too close to anyone anymore. I suppose that's how it goes with anyone anymore and I'm a little scared 'cause it's beginning to not bother me.
Track Name: Coldest Brew
Stuck like a pig, I'm bleeding from the bank, and debt collectors are circling my new address like vultures to a carcass. I downshift on 90 west to flee a state of impending duress but the water rises high above my tires and crisis and I coalesce. I don't know how, but you found me out. Wind shakes the branches of a tree you used to climb back when you were a kid and you needed a place to hide. You could scale every Sequoia that shadows the west coast but nothing would keep you from the flood of "I don't know"s. The racing world's a river and I'm an aimless oar, tossed from chandeliers to sandy floors. Fuck me for expecting more than what I fueled. I was the spotless map and the shoddy crew. Now we're never going home.
Track Name: 1301
I was a leather jacket behind a coffee mug at the counter. You wore a yellow apron when you took my order. You chewed the end of your pen then used it to push up your glasses. I can't move when you look at me that way. Blue eyes, nothing was gonna kill the distance in these boots, but you turn shoelaces into deep roots. At the white chapel on the vegas strip, I wore a nervous smile, you wore a leather jacket. I can't move when you look at me that way. "Most of all, I'm scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I'm with you."
Track Name: Marcher
I could write volumes on the cold; an allegory of our steel resolve. But what's another dead metaphor in a cemetery full of crusading extroverts? So I'mma dig my heels in the dirt until oil runs down my shirt, and I'mma let the tops of trees turn to ash on a stale breeze, 'cause I could scorch the fucking earth if I thought that's what it deserved just by laying my hand to the ground and letting every ghost inside me out. No sermon or cultural observation, no personal attack or socio­political statement. Just selfish self­-medication with a pen and a piece of paper, a captive audience and an unreliable narrator. If Ford Maddox Ford could see me now, he'd say, "Go fuck yourself, you fucking Freud. You're a regular John Marcher. You've got years left to destroy or not destroy."
Track Name: Polka Dots
I'm seeing scratched up guitars and smelling cheap vodka. Sixteen year­old you all bundled up over rosy cheeks and polka dot pajamas. You were wild and free when your parents weren't looking. I know that big old hand of god kept you nervous. And though you took those drugs and you mixed those drinks, there's not a soul that I can think of that ever glowed with that kind of innocence. You are a light that ignites in the dark when it's hard to find good and I'm so sorry that I never told you. I know I've never been the greatest friend, but you should know you're one of few I've looked up to. And lord knows you tried to get inside. I promised to write so much more often. I broke a promise to write so much more often.
Track Name: Woke Up Drunk
Woke up drunk in the middle of traffic with the devil in my lungs, I was driving real fast. Eyes lit like a fucking demon, I wanna fly out the seat and collide with the ceiling. Maybe then I'd feel a little bit of something. Maybe then I'd reach some sort of understanding, waxing and waning and painting my breath in the air. I tried my god damn best, but my god, I can't seem to care. I could wake up underwater or under sheets and comforters, and the postman would still deliver his mail. Always devastated. Call us if that changes. Restless but self­-barricaded. Wake up before indifference sedates you. As I roll into the ocean, I roll over and silence the alarm, put my feet on the floor, and throw some clothes on.
Track Name: Live and Die
Live and die with every new fault line, come undone by the rescue mission. Oh, compatriot, constrain me with the very same arms you called upon to defend your state from my coup de tat. Oh, friend, this war is fucking frigid. Well, I told you once we all burn a little bit of coal to keep warm, and I told you we all harbor a little bit of dark in our hearts. And I'm not mad anymore because I'm no exception: I'll sell you half my compassion at rates fully inflated. I won't miss you when you're gone, I won't care when you're home, I won't ask you how you are, 'cause I won't want to know. Please don't see black cats in every shadow that passes your periphery.
Track Name: KC
Half asleep I close the open window and let her rest her head on me 'cause she won't stop shaking, oh my pretty baby. Though I smell eighth grade in aftershave, I know your ears hear more than you would like to remember in the rolling thunder. Don't worry, pretty baby, the lighting's done. You can lift your head up out the covers. We can't keep the clouds from blotting out the sun, but we'll do our damnedest to make you feel safe. We won't stand by. So what the hell's this all about? I wake up burning in an old brick house. There was a lantern on the table I thought got blown out. I start howlin' for Carolyn but nothing leaves my mouth, and I fall back asleep, safe and sound. I know you've seen the dark side of man and been through hell under the knuckles of a violent bastard, oh, my pretty baby. So I'mma keep the windows closed when the storm rolls in, dance with you hand ­in ­paw in the kitchen, and make sure you know, no matter where we go, you will always have a home.
Track Name: Rust
"Celebrate, it's a fucking holiday. You're losing it," they say. "We'll send your capacity to recess, drape devils on your doorstep, turn the blood in your veins into blue engine coolant. We've always been here, looking over your shoulder, ready to swoop should that engine turn over. Come on, you've known it all along: the pool of oil in your lungs, uh huh, your incapacity to up and leave when the engine is deemed corrupt. We are the single seed of doubt that plagues every corner of farmland. We are the brutal winter, the empty harvest, the zero percent yield. We've taken root inside your chest and we conspire in your dreams. Right before you close your eyes, we will be the very last thing you see. And the next time you wake up, you'll be the shell of a farmhand's pickup truck, wasted in weeds and thorned shrubbery, and sentenced forever to rust. We're all just waiting."
Track Name: Dry Out
A bleary­-eyed morning rolls in like a storm. I'm awake but I'm not getting up. Oh, I don't think I have the stamina. I put my faith in sunglasses, black coffee, bad habits, and I pray every day for new distractions. Oh, please, divert my attention. I will be here waiting for the roots to leave the ground. I've got my hands to the sun, balled in fists, "Oh, rain, don't come." Come on, let me dry out. If hindsight held office, I'd plot to overthrow him and be crowned king of oblivion. Oh, I'd sentence my regrets to death by hanging. But my missteps are in my chest, they reappear with every breath. If I'm a joke, they're all comedians. Oh, I don't think I have the hide for this one.