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The Neon Skyline

by Andy Shauf

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    LP version of Andy Shauf's "The Neon Skyline" from ANTI- / Arts & Crafts

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    CD version of Andy Shauf's "The Neon Skyline" from ANTI- / Arts & Crafts

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  • Judy - Limited Edition 7" Vinyl
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    7" limited edition from ANTI-, featuring:

    SIDE A - "Judy"
    SIDE B - "Jeremy's Wedding"

    Both are unreleased tracks from The Neon Skyline sessions. Limited copies available.

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  • Limited Edition White Vinyl LP
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    Limited Edition White Vinyl LP version of Andy Shauf's "The Neon Skyline" from ANTI- / Arts & Crafts

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1.
Neon Skyline 03:38
I called up Charlie about a quarter past nine and said, “What’s going on tonight?” He said, “No plans, but I wouldn’t mind holding a lighter head tonight.” I said, “Come to the Skyline, I’ll be washing my sins away.” He just laughed, said “I’ll be late, you know how I can be.” I looked in my fridge, it was a dark scene so I buttered some bread. Chewed my way out the door and walked down the street to the neon skyline, I grabbed myself a stool at the bar. Oh somehow Rose always knows just exactly what I need. She didn’t ask, she just opened a cold can and set it down in front of me. I said thanks and thought about how Judy used to come here with me. But I got so tired of her calling this our disease, ‘cause I’m just fine. Sometimes I need to clear my mind, you know how that can be. Charlie walked in about a quarter past ten and I said “Greetings, old man.” He hung his coat on the wall and took the stool next to mine. He asked Rose for one glass of merlot and she laughed. Oh I’m just fine, I’m wasting time, sometimes there’s no better feeling than that.
2.
Gentle mess, water falling from two eyes. You looked at me, said it would be alright. City lights dazzled you away from me. I think we both knew that's how that would be. But now Charlie's in my left ear, blowing my mind again as he's saying “Did you know Judy's back in town?” “I guess I didn't hear about that. How long has she been here? I haven't seen her around.” I only miss her when the skies are above. Oh, where are you Judy? A telephone rings and I wish it were mine with your voice on the other line, telling me that you were sick of everything. Like we could pick it all up again. Now I'm in my left ear telling you lies again. Do I pretend that I know all the shit I did, and I know how I could fix it? I wish we could start again, I think you would understand. I only miss you when the skies are above, oh where are you Judy? If you were in my left ear talking so sweet again I would ask you “Where are you Judy?”
3.
Rose is smoking a clove cigarette and it takes me back to your summer dress, and that green plastic table with those green plastic chairs. And you’d touch my summer skin and you’d toss your golden hair. It takes some steps forward and some steps back, oh it just doesn't matter ‘cause I'm on track. On the sidewalk she turns her foot and I hold the door as she tiptoes through it. I'm getting foggy but I don't really care ‘cause I've no reason to be anywhere. It takes some steps forward and some steps back, oh it just doesn't matter ‘cause I'm on track. Is this my family? Are these my friends? Oh it's not a problem, I just had other plans. That green plastic table with those green plastic chairs and you’d touch my summer skin and you’d toss your golden hair. It takes some steps forward and some steps back, oh it just doesn't matter ‘cause I'm on track.
4.
Is it my fault that you never got home? If we'd taken the train, I guess you would’ve got home. I was so tired of lugging those bags around. We hopped in a cab, you were so excited to stretch out in bed, it was such a long flight. Thirteen hours of trying to fall asleep. Judy and me crossing the street, she said, “What did you leave for the cabbie?” “That's such a bad tip.” She walked back to give him some more. I heard tires come screaming around the corner, some drunk asshole saying he was so sorry. One broken hand, two bruised ribs, and one hospital gown. “If you weren't such a cheap bastard I'd be at home.” “Oh, I'm not made of money, you should have left it alone.” As soon as I say it, she looks at me so surprised: “Of course it's your fault that I never got home."
5.
Things I Do 02:27
Seems like I should have known better than to turn my head like it didn't matter. Why do I do the things I do when I know I am losing you? It was supposed to be a surprise, me showing up, you thought I was working. Why do I do the things I do when I know I am losing you? Thought you'd be happy to see me but you said, “What the hell are you doing here?” Why do I do the things I do when I know I am losing you? You pushed me away from him. He said “Buddy calm down,” you were so embarrassed. Seems like I should have known better than to turn my head like it didn't matter. Why do I do the things I do when I know I am losing you?
6.
Living Room 03:05
Claire stands beside us, she is ordering a drink, she says hello to us. Charlie says hi and asks about her boy, she says he’s fine and there’s a pause. She says, “It’s funny that you ask, today I had a strange experience. I remembered once when I was a girl my father came home late from work. I'd drawn a picture for him in school that day and I wanted to show him. He said, ‘Go show it to your mother dear.’ But I’d drawn it just for him - just for him. Anyways, today my son came home from school and he had drawn a picture. But I was so tired from work, I told him I would have a look in a little while. I should have hung it on the fridge for him. I mean how hard is it to give a shit?” Claire walked away and Charlie looked at me with wide eyes, like we had accidentally walked into some stranger's living room
7.
Dust Kids 02:40
Charlie asks me if I believe in reincarnation. I say “No, but please go on.” He says “I was reading about these kids, they're like two years old, recalling their past lives. Could you imagine if that was your kid?” Rose asks if we want another, I say “I'll take another life.” “Do they say what happens in between?” He says, “Some talk about heaven and watching from up above.” And I imagine sitting on that shelf, watching over you just waiting to be someone else. If I died and you died too, could we sit up in heaven and choose to live on together? They say after you die you start drifting skyward and it reminds me of a dream I had where I was shot in a shopping mall. I died and started rising until I dove headfirst into the ground. I woke up and told Judy, she started laughing at me, just laughing in the morning light. Maybe hell is coming back as the dust that you sweep off the floor forevermore.
8.
The Moon 03:36
“Are you gonna mope all night?” I focus my eyes, I guess he’s probably right. “Did you drag me off of my couch so we could sit here in silence until we say goodnight?” He says, “We need a change of scene, let’s go to the bar around the corner where it’s always dark.” And as we’re putting our money down, Claire’s asking Charlie if we’re hitting the town. He says, “We’re making our way to the moon and we’re taking off soon.” She says I’d be down for the moon but I didn’t bring my helmet, she catches me rolling my eyes. So I say I packed a spare. I don’t think it saves me but she doesn’t seem to care. She’s asking Rose for her bill and just as she’s paying Judy walks in the door, she’s giving Charlie a hug, she won’t look in my eyes but she asks where we’re going. He says “We’re making our way to the moon and we’re taking off soon.” Judy laughs a little too hard. I didn’t think it was that funny the first time around. Claire asks if she’d like to join, she says that’d be nice and I don’t know what the hell's going on, but soon we’re walking the street. Charlie’s walking with Claire, Judy's walking with me. I say “I didn’t expect to see you.” She says, “To be honest I knew exactly where you’d be.” And I say “Making my way to the moon” and she laughs too soon. That old feeling pours over me, reaches to the pit of my stomach so I reach for her hand. She pulls it away from me, she says “You know it can’t be like that. We’ll just make our way to the moon and I’ll see you soon.”
9.
Try Again 03:48
Somewhere between drunkenness and chivalry, I hold the door open and let her pass through. She says thanks to me in a British accent and I try to answer her in the same voice. She laughs at me, says “What was that supposed to be?” I say “I’m sorry, I’m from a different part of the country.” She says “Come on baby, try again.” Somewhere between drunkenness and sincerity, I smile at her for just a little too long. Charlie’s drinking wine, Judy's laughing at him, she says “I forget that you’re such a fancy guy.” He tips his hat, says “M’lady, do you come here often?” I swear I’ve seen them do this one a couple times before. Come on baby, try again. Somewhere between drunkenness and charity, she puts her hand on the sleeve of my coat. She says “I’ve missed this.” I say “I know, I’ve missed you too.” She says, “I was actually talking about your coat.” She makes me laugh, oh how she makes me laugh. I just let my head sink down and fake some deep sobs. Come on baby, try again. Somewhere between drunkenness and jealousy, I watch her talking to some old friend. What a reunion, he recognized her across the room. How many years could there be to catch up on? And somewhere between drunkenness and honesty, I make a silent toast to the things that I do and don’t miss. Come on baby, try again.
10.
Fire Truck 03:21
A fire truck goes screaming by and it reminds me of that night when you said that you were coming home, then I waited up till four in the morning. She says, “I remember, and why the fuck would this be a good time to bring that up?” And I am silent, because I’m not sure. Sometimes I feel like I should never speak again. She takes my hand and says, “C’mon you know this one’s my favourite song.” And I can see it in my mind, those flames reaching so high into the night, and that poor family standing on the front lawn watching. And for some reason, I remember that feeling being almost jealousy for a new beginning, but I should have known that I was already burning it to the ground. Now that I’m dancing in the ashes, I just want it to be whole. And somehow with all that distraction, I still managed to pick a fight. When she got home, and all she had were questions about those flashing red lights. And now the song is ending, Judy’s leaving, and I’m getting one more right at last call. Claire orders three shots, Charlie raises his up and we tip our heads back before we say goodnight. Now that I’m standing in the ashes, I just want it to be whole. Now that I’m standing in the ashes, I can’t help but sing along.
11.
Changer 03:01
If you didn’t notice it then, you won’t remember it now, but I met you with some friends, there was lightning in the sky. I tried to make a joke about angels and a disco. I got tongue tied and you all got fed up. Change on, changer. I heard you’re back in town working at the drugstore. Did you get the city blues? Oh that I can relate to. Oh I can see it now, me telling you how I found my way back home, oh I’m already bored. Change on, changer.

credits

released January 24, 2020

Written, performed, arranged and produced by Andy Shauf Mixed by Rob Schnapf at Mant Sounds; Assisted by Matt Schuessler. Mastered by Philip Shaw Bova at Bova Labs.
Art by Meghan Fenske Photo by Colin Medley Layout by Mat Dunlap
Thanks to AEA Ribbon Mics and Preamps, Waterloo Guitars, Fender, Sennheiser, Roland, Boss, C&C Drums & iZotope.

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