berkeley blues

by salvador

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about

for Amer Azad
il miglior fabbro

written spring MMXI - autumn MMXII

recorded spring - winter MMXIII in berkeley, ca

credits

released March 3, 2014

all songs written, arranged, engineered, performed, & produced by Omar Khan

contributors:

Owen Barnell................trumpet on tracks ii & ix
Finn Butler....................piano on tracks ix & xi
Anela DeLaveaga.........flute on track xi
Grayson Flood..............bass on track ix
Peter Hook...................auxiliary guitar on track iii
Megan Kramer.............vox on tracks iii & v
Alex Millen....................wurlitzer on track vii
Spencer Nyarady.........violin on track xi
Lily Rose.......................vox on track ii
Alejandra Santiago.......likeness on cover art

special thanks to:
— berkeley, for welcoming me into its crushing embrace
— residents of casa zimbabwe ('13-'14), for tolerating my noise
— my parents, for their constant support despite my fall from grace
— my friends, for their company, encouragement, and inspiration
— my muses, my addictions, and my insecurities

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

salvador Berkeley, California

my name is omar.
i collect and record musical instruments when im not sleeping, reading, or crying.

contact / help

Contact salvador

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Track Name: addison street
depression tastes like cigarettes and hair follicles.
happiness feels like the hands you've dreamt of holding.
i fastened bells to your heart,
and i went deaf when the ringing stopped.
did instinct tell you i wouldn't make a fitting father?
did your soul catch a cold when i coughed up my love?

i don't give a fuck if you say that you're sorry,
it's hard enough not to drown...
it's hard enough not to drown.
Track Name: may 1st
dear mother mine,
i am sorry if you mind
my grand delusions
and my seclusion
from a world i fear
with doubts i can't measure in tears
but what i do,
it's all for you.

dear mother mine,
though it seems i've lost my mind,
i do remember
her sweet surrender,
resulting in your birth
and entrance to the Earth
that you showed me,
when you set me free.

in twisted forms i trembled numbly at night
with the thought that you will die,
and still we pray to a creator i fear
is unaware of you and i.

in restless dreams, i seem to wrestle with fiends...
they have robbed me of my breath.
so if i kneel and say an ave for you,
will you hear me after death?

dear mother mine,
i have written crooked rhymes
of self-reflection
with no direction,
but now is not the time
to burden you with lines
of guilty thought
from when we fought,

so on this first day of may,
as i lay in disarray,
i just thought i'd call to say
that though i live so far away,

i love you deeply.
Track Name: love & death pt. 1
on sleepless nights i am well versed
and how it hurts
that i've forgotten what it felt like
to sleep by your side

and when you wept
and when you wept as i slept at ease
you harbored hate in your heart
and dreamed of joyous nights, our nights apart

then i saw you there on the bed we used to share
with feral eyes when i caught you by surprise

and I, had seen the way you looked at him before
and recognized his voice before I broke the door

(screams)

so tell me if you've ever felt a love like mine
strong enough to make a sane man lose his mind

but then i saw your life force pooling at feet
spreading like the shade at sundown when we'd meet

and i don't know
how i could've done anything to hurt you

you said you loved me, but i could never know
you shone so brightly, i felt helpless and alone

so when you sunk in the shadows of your mind
i had to find another love
who understood
to hold me closer now
like you never could

and i turned around when you threw me to the ground
and ran to hide when you shot me in my side

and i, had never seen that look upon your face
and gasped for air when you held my neck in place

(screams)

but why'd you spend the whole night picking through my bones?
tearing flesh that was more caring than your own?

and when you stood upon the chaos you had caused
did you really think you triumphed nature's laws?

well did you find your proof?
or do you still deny the truth?
Track Name: untitled
pray for me

i love you

pray for me
Track Name: love & death pt. 2
are you there, my love?
can you hear my cries?
tell me what you see
through your lifeless eyes

will you ever know
how i've suffered so?
hold me tenderly
rid me of my woe

i can see you now
and what you've become
all the wickedness
to which you've succumbed

there was once a time
when you held me close
whispered quietly
all your loving prose

but if i've lost respect for my perception
what else can i trust?
and i admit i've jumped to the conclusion
that my world is false

darling, your denial only clouds the truth
but i feel soulless and empty
when do morbid thoughts make you so aloof?
when my senses overwhelm me
won't you think of me when you lose faith in living?
oh, i do

and when you spoke to me
i could feel your breath against my ear
and im haunted every night
by the final words you made me hear

so if this is life
what's there left to live?
how can i go on
with no love to give?

don't you feel regret
what we had was real
don't let loveless fools
tell you how to feel

so when we shared warmth
and i let you in
did you truly care?
with everything within

but now that we've sinned
what am i to do?
please remember me
as i remember you

but if i've lost respect for my perception
what else can i trust?
and i admit i've jumped to the conclusion
that my world is false

darling, your denial only clouds the truth
but i feel soulless and empty
when do morbid thoughts make you so aloof?
when my senses overwhelm me
won't you think of me when you lose faith in living?
oh, i do

and when you spoke to me
i could feel your breath against my ear
and im haunted every night
by the final words you made me hear

though the years have tried
your sensitivity
don't abandon faith
in human empathy

has it been that long?
i can barely see
distant memories
they're escaping me

i had hoped by now
you would realize
that my final words
were meant to sympathize

yes, i understand
but i never knew
that you needed me
and i needed you

and when you spoke to me
i could feel your breath against my ear
and im haunted every night
by the final words you made me hear
Track Name: the shooting lights of thy wild eyes
you gave me years i won't soon forget.
you gave me purpose all through their neglect,
and as we unfold you hold my history.
keep hope in your heart and hate in your periphery.

now you drink your coffee black like your mother used to everyday,
and "don't you ever forget where you came from" is what she used to say,
so we stood upon the ledge and we stared into the sun until we cried
for the brightness, and the beauty, and the blind and everyone we knew had died.

don't you ever forget me.
don't you forget who you used to be.
i will never forget you.
i'll never forget what i meant to you.
Track Name: sticks & stones
oh, irene
what have we seen?
desperation personified by me

and oh, irene
though it may seem
like i never intended to be your friend

'cause by the morning you'll be mine;
i hope you'll have the time.
by the morning you'll be mine;
i hope you have the time.

sticks and stones
may break my bones
but the words you spoke to me that day

have all but left
my weary mind
and now I doubt they'll ever fade away

but by the morning you'll be mine;
i hope you'll have the time.
by the morning you'll be mine;
i hope you have the time.

so don't you worry
if i'm not there
it's not that i'm selfish or arrogant
it's that i'm scared

and don't you worry
if i'm not around
just listen for the faint
and distant sound

of my voice
calling your name from afar
through the ambience
of passing cars

don't you know i tried to say goodbye, to you
don't you know it's hard to say goodbye, to you

so tell me once more, tell me once more, tell me once again
tell me once more, tell me once again, my friend

don't you know it's hard to say goodbye, to you
don't you know i tried to feed you lies, it's true
don't you know i fell in love with you, again
don't you know i fell apart for you, again

and i tried to find the sounds that would keep you around

but then the world said, "ha! he thinks himself an artist!
let him sleep another day away in pain,
and if his days turn into years, well who's to notice?
he might as well be crying in the rain."

so tell me once more, tell me once more, tell me once again
tell me once more, tell me once again, my friend

don't you know it's hard to say goodbye, to you
and don't you know i tried to say goodbye, to you
Track Name: i was a teen once
i met a charming girl recently.
yeah, she's an interesting one
and nothing like the countless mindless others i've been patronizing for fun.
no no, it's really love that i'm after, not meaningless banter leading to a disaster, but an actual answer to why my heart beats faster and i hold nervous laughter every time i'm around her.
god, she could turn the worst wallflower into a dancer.

is this what love is? i kept asking myself, when i felt that cold stinging feeling in my chest and fingertips. well, i hope not or i'll have a goddamned heart attack if i ever do go in for a kiss.
but i'm in no rush, i'm a pleasure delayer
and i asked if she'd like to have lunch with me later
and spent the next two days deciding where i would take her
and lost so much sleep i stayed awake for what seemed
like a whole half delirious/half euphoric week.

so i held doors open and avoided smokin'. ya know, things a gentleman would do.
i like to think of myself as one, even though i'm a bitter selfish asshole too.
and yeah, that date didn't go as i planned so i did what any sane person would do,
and coated my lungs with tar to subdue my mind's racing and my pathetic heart's pacing at the thought of even being close to you. and i've caught myself rehashing our conversations for hours, wishing i could've been more witty.
hell, should i just tell you how i feel or would that only inspire pity?
damn it! i should've made a move when we were lying on your bed
and you got the sudden impulse to lift up your head,
but i, i didn't know how lightly i should tread
and i was hoping i'd have the courage to ask you instead...
to ask you when i realized our conversation was dead...

why can't we talk about food?
i want to talk about sex
why can't we talk about food and sex and sleeping?
i want to talk about food and sex and sleeping
why can't we talk about food?
i want to talk about sex
why can't we talk about you and sex and sleeping?
i want to talk about you and sex and sleeping

well, what do i do now? i guess i could write some more songs, and avoid seeing friends until the semester ends. with any luck, my seclusion will create a false sense of exclusivity...
didn't i hear someone say girls like a guy with a sense of mystery?
who the fuck am i kidding?

i'll probably come crawling home because i can't really handle the stress
and the panic attacks, they'll just start getting worst because of my need to impress
and i can't decide if my fits of passion are the manic raindrops in my sea of depressed
thoughts about how life is a mess. if only i could shutoff my senses when they overwhelm me...if only i could rest.

forget what i just said, i wasn't feeling well, i just wanted to spill my guts or should i say my brain onto someone who wouldn't yell
at me for being mentally weak.
maybe i should spend some more time to think,
but only to myself. you know, develop a better relationship with my internal dialogue so it doesn't try to stab me in the back of the ego next time i leave my guard down, that vindictive bastard.
but anyway,

why can't we talk about food?
i want to talk about sex
why can't we talk about food and sex and sleeping?
i want to talk about food and sex and sleeping
why can't we talk about food?
i want to talk about sex
why can't we talk about food and sex and sleeping?
i want to talk about you and sex and sleeping
Track Name: youth group
these broken keys won't allow for cheerful melodies,
but i could play the saddest songs on balconies with ease

these painted walls haunt me.
these bathroom stalls taunt me.
these hallway blues have me turning hues too faint to view,

so what did you do instead?
you just stayed inside your room and ignored the world that propositioned you,
and what did you tell your friends
when they asked you why the life you've known was at its best when left alone?

but if i played this song for all the world to see
would she notice me?
or would she find some other fool?
who'd use his pseudo-charm to hold her in his selfish arms
and surely do her harm
oh, i can't take this anymore!

on quiet floors i knocked on quite doors
but did she notice, my lowest moments?
when the only way to fake it through the day
is with a jug of wine, don't tell me that i'm fine
i have a problem

but what did you do instead?
you just stayed inside your room and ignored the world that propositioned you,
and what did you tell your friends
when they asked you why the life you've known was at its best when left alone?

but if i played this song for all of you to see
would she notice me?
or would she find some other fool?
who'd use his pseudo-charm to hold her in his selfish arms
and surely do her harm
oh, i can't take this anymore!
no, i can't fucking take this anymore

so i lay my head down and wonder...
i wonder why
all the pressure that you put me under
was enough to cry.

and the times we spent
and your fragrant scent
i will never smell again!

and the lines you wrote
and the words you spoke
were all just fucking lies!

and when i see you now, i can never ever feel what i once thought would pleasure me, no, no, no.
Track Name: another party
i tried to find your face
in a crowd that made me question myself.
am i the crazy one for feeling this way
or am i just like everyone else?

come tell me what you feel
and i promise that i won't tell a soul.
and if you happen to cry in the process,
well, at least you won't be alone.

'cause i thought we were the same
and when you left i felt i was to blame
and the pain was too much to contain
now instant nostalgia's got me pulling hair
is it a curse to be so self aware?

i felt the darkness inside of you
so i kept my distance to hide from you
but i saw the beauty inside of you
and i let my love grow in spite of you

i tried to catch your eyes
but they wandered like they so often do
and if you find me drunk and alone
well, just know i'm waiting for you

to give me one last dance
and i promise that i won't force a kiss
just let me hold your heart against mine
and pretend that love does exist.

'cause i thought we were the same
and when you left i felt i was to blame
now the pain is just too much to contain
and my inhibitions got the best of me
so i thought it better just to let you be.
Track Name: serotonin
love, i can feel your heart
the spirit of the earth
and i've no need for words!

now i understand
what it means to live
and i will never die!

wait, was it just a dream?
am i soon to wake?
tell me how to stay!

was it all you've ever wanted?
to be alone and numb and sane
don't you tell me that i'm haunted
my only options are pills or pain

but did you even try?
sleeping through the time you couldn't share
and did you even care?
tell me where you are and i'll be there

don't you know that it's okay
to love without reward
and you threw it all away
for warmth that went ignored
and when you find
that you can trust again
remember how you felt
remember what you said
'cause i've lost the will to keep you here
and being you is all i've come to fear

don't you know i tried to save
the friend you used to be
and fought against the pain
with liquor and cocaine
to stop the thoughts
that wouldn't leave my head
and made me feel insane
to choose to live instead
but you're gone again, and i'm too far from home
and i can't help but cry when talking on the phone
Track Name: fetal position therapy
will they hear my sound and fury
years after i'm dead?

when you called me full of worry
what could i have said?

and was it wrong to hide my weakness
when you came around?

still i ask while lying sleepless
how have i failed now?

and when i hear your voice
i feel at home you see
and i remember
how it felt to have you close to me

and when you say i'm loved
it hurts to hear the words
'cause i've been gone too long
to realize what my life is worth