Memorizing Capitals

by Surface and Air

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This music paired best with a glass of red wine.


released May 28, 2016

All songs written, performed and recorded at home in Portland, Oregon by Kurt G. (guitar, vocals, harmonica, ukulele and shruti box)

©2016 Surface and Air



all rights reserved


Surface and Air Portland, Oregon

Some of the random thoughts and sounds running through my head, documented via this little DIY project, and set free to roam the world.

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Track Name: Postscripts
the early flowers get all the attention every spring

faded green plastic soldiers carefully aimed

midnight sound of distant boxcars through the fields
Track Name: Fire Drills
there's no intention of going back where it began
still attempting to calculate what the distance is
a reference point on a worn out pilgrimage
a reference point on a pilgrimage

to an unfamiliar house with a bit of hope
adding to the growing pile of winter coats
candlelit with no more miles left to go
candlelit, no miles left to go

there were random painted words on the kitchen wall
the conversations in the living room were starting to stall
oh what effort it took to seem so casual
oh what effort to seem casual

the shadows were the only things not taking sides
while the strangers sat oblivious to the great divide
and the best laid plans said "not this time"
the best laid plans said "not this time"

we swore we'd do it all again but we never will
then filed back out onto the street like a fire drill
another round of memorizing capitals
memorizing capitals
Track Name: We Spoke Convinced!
it's all there in the eyes
they say "oh, all I thought I'd see
and heaven knows I tried
but missed the 'lie' in 'belief'"

the edges have been dulled
and now the cut will be much worse
if we're not fulfilled in time
the ending's really gonna hurt

and we're talking in circles
and we thought it would matter

now edges have been dulled
and this cut will be much worse
when we're not fulfilled in time
the ending's really gonna hurt

and we're talking in circles
and we thought it would matter
Track Name: Knots and the Waves
I'm told my grandma died
before I was born
and Grandpa just got tired
and moved farther north

from his living room
he'd stare out at the lake
his weather radio
reporting knots and the waves

with every approaching storm
he'd watch across the bay
he thought of what he'd lost
and all he'd never say

when he left that shore
he left words for me
"life is just too short" he said
"don't try to make them see"
Track Name: The Painter
"I'm a painter but not by day."
is not what she came to say
"I must confess I've overdressed
please don't walk away"

the ride home after the show
her head pressed to the bus window
her reflected stare with the city glare
whispers, "we're all alone"

up the stairs to her rented room
that she swears she's leaving soon
in the corner leans a canvas streaked
mostly with the deepest blue

she says "if today was just a number
trapped in a grid on the wall,
I'll build tomorrow slightly different
even if it falls"

in the closet near the back
she finds her box of photographs
and sorts them by what's still alive
and all that's not coming back

she lays down among the piles
now the echoes have grown tired
and drifts to sleep to distant beats
and the humming in the wires
Track Name: A Law In Common
a little grey, a little death
patterns in the atmosphere
light a fire, give it breath
ashes born of faith and fear

the perfect plans begin to rust
now fields lie littered with debris
trace the outline of an empty cup
with the consequence of curiosity

all risings fall

an advertisement of the latest fix
and a line has formed to see the show
no hesitation to throw the switch
then rushing to the next false hope

all risings fall
Track Name: Still Quiet
doors are slamming shut again
wars so easy to begin
it's a long road to find the option not to fight

still quiet

words have taken over space
blame then dodge the ricochet
beneath the raging voices, electric images at night

there's still quiet

and none of this is even possible
there will be scars to show
the past was never perfect and the future's in disguise

still quiet

not to argue for position
hell-bent and paralyzed
rushing east into the darkness just to speed the rising light
Track Name: Outdated Maps
even the echoes seem uncertain
about the way back home
and the land above the fault lines
just pretends it doesn't know

unnoticed deep within these woods
the season's lightning fires burn
unconcerned with finding meaning
or the aftermath of words

a stack of maps now long outdated
in a dusty shoe box on the shelf
there was comfort in potential

even the echoes seem uncertain
about the way back home
and the land above the fault lines
still pretends it doesn't know

a kid hears late night city static
under covers on an AM radio
there was comfort in potential
Track Name: Exhalation Days
and then one day, one day you're done
the airwaves filled with unfamiliar songs
tired from the race but find that no one won
a fading series of intersections

and suddenly so little's left to say
at the horizon line of a great northern lake
a weathered past driftwood lining the bay
unpredictable exhalation days