Troposphere

by Eric Peter Schwartz

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about

Until 1931 all human history took place within the troposphere, the lowest level of the Earth's atmosphere. As you read this, unless you are orbiting the Earth (and that would be cool!), your head is in the troposphere. It's our home. It's where all of our problems and all the solutions to our problems reside. With a few exceptions, this is where we make our stand... usually against ourselves (thank you Carl Sagan and the Tiny, Blue Dot). In this thin band of wind and cloud and rain we have to figure out how to make things work or disappear forever.

All these songs were written in the troposphere, someover twenty years ago ("Sleep Tight", "Tree", "The Stone", "Strange Electric Trains"). "Why Are We Not Burning" is the most recent, having only been written in the last few months. So the question is - why crank out another album so soon after TROUBADORK? That's easy. These songs were asking to get out. They were asking to hit the air... stop moving through my head and begin moving through the troposphere.

Another box of songs has been set free.

The cover photo was taken in several years ago at O'hare Airport in Chicago. It's the tunnel under the runway to another terminal.

Travelers through the troposphere.

credits

released December 23, 2013

All songs written by E.P Schwartz
except "The Stone" written by M. John Vertenten and E. P. Schwartz
Recorded during December 2013

The cigar box guitar I used to record "The Night Beat The Hell Out of Me" was custom built for me by Eric Goetzinger at Goetzinger Guitars: www.facebook.com/goetzingerguitars

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Eric Peter Schwartz Aurora, Illinois

I make guitary and facehole sounds that some people think are nice. I do this around the greater Chicago area most of the time.

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Track Name: Why Are We Not Burning?
WHY ARE WE NOT BURNING?
words & music by E.P. Schwartz

Every day they give us
some new gadget for us to play with
it's a really funny way to
rub our noses in the shit they get away with

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain
there's an app for that I'm certain

Why are we not burning?

You can write this off as tinfoil
hat crap if it makes you feel better
but Eisenhower and Orwell got this
right down to the letter

They make us think that soul selling is the best thing we can do
then they sell it back to us for new

Why are we not burning?

Jesus Christ and Ayn Rand are at odds
but work together
while Richard Dawkins and John Lennon
can't even agree on the weather

I just sit here in my electronic glow
and I wonder if it's going to snow

Why are we not burning?

Why are we not burning and raging
in the temple and flipping tables?!
The only thing that keeps rich bones from snapping
is gizmos, cute kittens and cable

And don't think I'll be giving my goodies back
I'm bought and fat and I know it, Jack

Why are we not burning?

It's not about rich or poor or "stuff"
it's about power in the end
we give them the ability to have control
and be frictionless, my friend

"Who cares if they spying on me, I'm not doing anything wrong."
But that's what they've wanted you to feel all along!

Why are they not burning?

The pigs and the humans all dance and swirl together
at the top
And we're too happy watching Breaking Bad
to make the bastards stop

Deep down we all know they're shaking keys for the kids
while every last one of us hits the skids

Why are we not burning?

When this song is over, listener, shut off the power
go outside, ignore the screams, feel the sun, just for an hour

Don't put faith in anything but family and friends
they're the only ones who care about you in the end

Why are we not burning?
Track Name: Softly Now
SOFTLY NOW
(words and music by E.P. Schwartz)

Softly now
we move through
the Troposphere
undeniably
a silent satellite
tonight
we wonder about
the outer worlds
and seek knowledge
want to leave our sins
and these scars behind

We don't trust our leaders
we don't trust our friends
we don't trust the ones that gave us life
I guess we just don't trust ourselves
in the end

loudly now
we crack through
the stratosphere
undeniably
a singing satellite tonight
we move 'round
the outer worlds
seeking knowledge
leave our sins
and our scars behind

We don't trust our leaders
we don't trust our friends
we don't trust the ones that gave us life
I guess we just don't trust ourselves
in the end
Track Name: Meet Me In The Garden
MEET ME IN THE GARDEN
words & music by E.P. Schwartz

Me and you
in the fighting time
walked away
with mouths full of ultimatums and lies
like
“I don’t care”
“I don’t love you any more”
and I don’t even remember
what the fighting was for

Have you ever heard the ice
as it shrieks in the night
a shooting gliss as it shapes and forms
calling the approaching winter light
that’s where I keep you
frozen in my mind
and I don’t even remember
which one of us won the fight

"You can call me
I’ll be home around five"
that’s if I make it out
of these rusted hulls alive
I want to kiss and keep you
make your feelings not believe you
This time
So meet me in the garden
if you can look me in the eyes

A windswept graveyard
brown with winter time
searching for a grave
that might as well have been mine
that was our last day
before we cut the line
and I don’t even remember
whose grave we tried to find

You can call me
I’ll be home around five
that’s if I make it out
of these rusted hulls alive
I want to kiss and keep you
make your feelings not believe you
This time
So meet me in the garden
if you can look me in the eyes

Me and you
in the fighting time
Track Name: Tree
TREE
words and music by E.P. Schwartz

Chop me down and count my rings
chill the clouds and give me wings
make me a bird and I will sing
I was hurt once and it still stings

I'm a leaf on the air
give me teeth I can bare
give me clothes that I can wear
give me clothes that I can share

I'm a tree in the wind
the cat vanished as he grinned
tear me down limb from limb
make a point that I sinned

Chop me down and count my rings
chill the clouds and give me wings
make me a bird and I will sing
I was hurt once and it still stings
Track Name: The Stone
THE STONE
Words by M.John Vertenten and E.P. Schwartz
Music by M.John Vertenten

Don't wait in the shadows
don't you wait in the dark
don't leave all that pain
buried in the center of your heart

don't go away
don't you leave me alone
don't be afraid of being hurt
don't be afraid to roll away the stone

don't mind
the lonliness
it's only a matter of time
don't mind
I'm only trying
maybe open up your eyes
and see

don't hold back forever
don't hold on 'til the end
don't think you're so clever
to hide your feelings once again

don't you know I've always seen
don't you see I've always known
everything you thought it would be
stop waiting behind the stone
Track Name: Strange Electric Trains
STRANGE ELECTRIC TRAINS
words & music by E.P. Schwartz

Someone's trying to kill me
with strange, electric trains
but their far too small to hurt me
so their efforts are in vain
but they try and try to get under my skin
no need for alibis
they think my guilt is reason enough
to haunt me until I die

So, someone's trying to tempt me
with a bottle of acrid wine
I'll play their little game with them
I'll let them waste my time
I'm a million miles from nowhere
That's a long, long way from home
Because love is a wandering madman
and hate? Hate is as hard as stone

And if you think I walk funny
you ought to see the way I dance
I don't do the steps of normal men
I never take the chance
So, someone's trying to kill me
with strange, electric trains
but their far too small to hurt me
so their efforts are in vain
Track Name: The Night Beat The Hell Out Of Me
THE NIGHT BEAT THE HELL OUT OF ME
(words and music by E.P. Schwartz)

It's so nice to have you to run to
when the night beat the hell out of me
it's cold
it's dark
and I can't feel my heart
'cause the night beat the hell out of me

Lay me down into shadows
lay me down into dark
between these sheets and this bed of ours
can you?
Can you feel my heart

It's so hard to breathe in this canyon
when the night weighs as much as my sins
open arms
at the end of my ride
to hold me and help me catch my wind

Lay me down into shadows
lay me down into dark
between these sheets and the soul deep inside
can you?
Can you feel my heart

It's so nice to have you to run to
when the night beat the hell out of me
Track Name: Sleep Tight
SLEEP TIGHT
words and music by E.P. Schwartz

Take me up
where eagles dare
I lost my heart on the way
and I hope I find it there

Too much fire
too little heat
I hope the flames align
and come to kill the beast


Come inside
I want you here
the blanket rocket ride
and I hope my aim is clear

Don't go out
don't let it in
don't even think to laugh
don't be fooled by its grin

And we'll all stay home tonight
yes, we'll all stay in the light

Got a feeling
inside of me
like two worlds collide
and then crash into the sea

tow the line
or take a stand
scrape away the dirt
that fills up the man

You should all stay home tonight
you should all stay in the light

you could all stand up and fight
we'll all stay home tonight

good night

sleep tight