Where Were You?

by PJ Bond

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02:43
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03:07
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02:34
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04:46
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03:17
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released May 4, 2015

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PJ Bond Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Track Name: Everglades
I came to town with nothing but a warning, “Everyone here hears everything.” I saw her standing at the counter cutting down advances and compliments. A couple days, she told me he’d been sweet sugar cane, but now was bitter and rough. I came around at the wrong time maybe, she’d been thinking about moving out.

I asked her what she wanted, she bit her lip at me. Wait a minute, wait a minute, where is your man? If you can keep a secret, well I can keep a secret, and no one ever needs to know.

A couple of weeks, her eyes got redder, she had black marks up and down her arms. She cut her words into tiny little pieces, but always asked me not to leave.

Do you think anyone would ask if he ended up missing, "Wait a minute, wait a minute, where is your man?" If you can keep a secret, well I can keep a secret, and no one ever needs to know.

You were soft and sweet and incomplete though I didn’t know it then. Still, I got wise to things in time, and I couldn’t stand for them. I watched you go back and forth defending him and all he’d done to you. I could take him down to the Everglades. I should take him down into the Everglades. I could take him down into the Everglades for you.
Track Name: Broad Street
The last time I saw you, we were walking down Broad Street. The busses weren’t running, everyone was partying up in Center City. But we were hiding in the church aisles listening to all of the sinner choirs sing. And it was too soon to know, I knew I had to give it away. And maybe then it would stay.

It started off nice, and ended in aggravation. Give me your hand and we’ll reach the destination. I’m sure you’d give me a call if you had my number then, but I don’t know what you’d say. So let’s just keep it that way.

The last time I heard from you I’d grown tired of listening. You said your mother she’d been making jokes, and most of them were at my expense. It’s just the same old situation of miscommunication, but frankly I just think you’re being ridiculous. Maybe next time I won’t go and try to wish you the best. So let’s just give it a rest.
Track Name: Calm in the Corner
Well there's cracks between the floorboards, and it’s letting all the heat in, so I’m sitting in the dark in an old man’s room. I can hear some voices floating outside, slip under the door as they creak by. I can't see them, though I know that they’re there.

There’s a calm in the corner, I don’t know what, but it’s staring straight at me, I can feel it in my guts. I’m going to lay me down low in the tall grass. When I hear angels singing, and their voices carry on high, I will not worry about dying.

She came into the room, I saw her shivering, freezing cold. She said, "Maybe I am having fever dreams." I looked her in the eyes, and she said, “My father is still in my heart. Maybe he is still in these walls. He always said that he'd look after us. Yea, he always said that he’d look after us."

I'm going to lay me down low in the tall grass.
Track Name: Seer
Beautiful girl I know you’re scared, and that’s all right. Maybe you’ve given up, maybe it’s not time. But I’ve held your hands and I know your heart, and I think you’re fighting the honest stars. What did that woman say when she read your cards?

I think it’s getting hard and I know you’re missing parts of the life you see in my eyes. I swear you’re too scared to try, to give up your whole life for this man, put your heart on the line. Sometimes loving ain’t easy. Love is the hardest move.

Beautiful girl I know you’re afraid and I understand. Maybe you’ve given up, you’ve thrown up your hands. But I’ve kissed your mouth and I know your heart, and I swear you’re fighting the honest stars. What did that woman say when she read your cards?
Track Name: '87 Broadcast
I had it bad, I had my broomstick guitar, I heard “Twist and Shout,” and I knew who I was. The radio made me honest, the radio makes you honest. I bought a used Korean Squier for 85 bucks, cut calloused fingers out of 12-year-old hands. The radio made me honest, the radio makes you honest.

I saw everything I wanted from the other side, I was taken by the radio and shook up for the rest of my life.

Young Samantha and her catholic school skirt invited me to go down and hear the bands play. The radio kept us honest, the radio will keep you honest. I took a flyer, had to see more, found the church basement just two towns away. The radio kept us honest, the radio will keep you honest.

I spent years trying to say something that might someday matter to someone. The radio keeps me honest, the radio will make you honest. If I can’t, I would rather say nothing, I’ll just go back to sweeping these rooms. The radio keeps me honest, the radio will make you honest.
Track Name: Hellfire
We spend our days trying to keep our souls safe, it’s all that a good man can do. My father tried to teach me the way, so I could get by. Like how sometimes the darkness creeps in way too close, and a good man knows to turn it away. It’s a path most of us learned to walk, some of us have strayed.

Sometimes I’m that good man, other times I’m not, so I don’t know where they’ll bury me.

If hellfire picks me up and leads me away, I hope I’m not the one that it wants. If hellfire digs me up and leads me astray I won’t forgive what I’m not. I’ll never forget what I’m not.

Well if the devil makes plans and invites you along, he may never tell you that’s why. And if he screams and he’s asking for help, ignore all his cries. If just once you wet your lips from a dirty man’s glass I’m not sure it makes you unclean. But I’ll tell you right now that the next time will be easier.

So, if you try and you mess up, just try again. Most of us have had to try again. And I know we’ll have to do it again.
Track Name: The Better Option
If you see your mother, please say hello from an old friend, I once knew her. She’d say, “You ain’t the man that you pretend to be.” I’d hang round the estate every Saturday night while your daddy played cards, he said it was alright. “You ain’t the man that you pretend to be.”

Now I wake up on a slow train, I fell asleep in the wrong place. She wanted to hear a love song. Now I wake up on a slow train, I fell asleep in the wrong place. She wanted to hear a love song, I sang her one.

One night I came round, all the lights were out, she was crying in the dark, asked me for a ride. She said, “You ain’t the man that you pretend to be.” So I took her away for a while until she figured out I didn’t have much, some torn clothes and wanderlust. “You ain’t the man that you pretend to be.”

Now I wake up on a slow train, I fell asleep in the wrong place. She wanted to learn a love song. Now I wake up on a slow train, I fell asleep in the wrong place. She wanted to learn a love song, I sang it to her.
Track Name: Neighborhoods
It’s the banging all the time that keeps me from sleeping in, and if it weren’t raining outside I might go for a walk. There’s always something going up a block or two over, and this is where things used to go down. When they fill up the new houses, where will all the old folks go? Down there is the block where they smashed out the windows on my ‘93 Plymouth and took all my things. A couple of cars on a deserted street, 4:30 am, it’s the perfect time. The empty warehouses, they won’t say anything.

The neighborhood’s growing, they’re building all the time. The faces change color, it gets so complicated. The city changes shape under amber lights. The streets might stay the same, but everything is different. Some people they move out, but it’s never been that easy. This city changes shape under new street lights. This city changes shape.

There’s a girl down the street, works in a coffee shop, and her eyes always look so dark and bitter. She moved here from Missouri three years ago, she says things are getting better. Well, I wonder. Last week my buddy got dragged down into an alley, had his eyes all blacked up and blued, for a wallet filled with nothing. Maybe a sense of redemption, I don’t know. Can you blame them?
Track Name: For J.
Where were you when your father died? Do you remember how he laughed or his face? How the hell did your mother tell you, explain the way your life was to change?

You were young, I’m sure scared, and it still affects you to this day. But it’s made you who you are. Still, I wonder who you’d be if he stayed.

Things don’t happen how we might want them to, so we piece together what we can find. Maybe if we take all the parts we have, we can fit them all together in time. I hope you realize that happiness is yours to find. I think if we take what we need than we can give it a try.

Where were you when you lost your virgin eyes? Were you rolling with your love in the grass? How the hell did he convince you, did he promise you this love it would last?

You were young, and probably believed him, but it doesn’t matter anyway. You know, we fell for the same tricks, I think we turned out okay.

You can find a love, a life, anything you’ve ever wanted here, my arms, my heart, my hands are yours my dear. Maybe if you run away you’ll find the things you’ll need, but then again...

Where were you when your father died? Do you remember how he laughed or his face?
Track Name: Lucknow to Birmingham
He called me long distance from overseas because things were hard. There were so many days I needed to hear from him. We talked of all the times I’d tried for her, but he said, “Enough. It’s been too long you’ve been letting your heart get you down.”

Well, I know you know how I'm feeling. And you know I know how you're feeling. The blood we share can save us from being alone. The blood we share can save us from ourselves.

He called me long distance from overseas and I got so scared, it was the one thing I never wanted to hear from them. He told me about the love they tried, but said, “It was not enough. Yesterday she had two hearts, now only one.”
Track Name: We Were Just Kids
We were just kids down in Devil’s Ditch, hiding dirty magazines and empty Bud cans. We learned from our parents and found our getaways. We were just kids when I put my love into her, we were scared of what we had to do. I was too young to drive, I called my brother.

Oh no.

We were just kids on the playground swings, getting high enough to deal with what we’d someday be. We learned from our heroes that there's an easy way out. We were just kids when we buried our names underground in the morning on the edge of town. We were gone, well at least we got away.