Pseudocide

by John Parker, Jr.

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about

This album was written and recorded in various bedrooms between October 2014 and October 2015, while I was living in Northport, NY and Black Rock, CT. Two seaside towns, located directly across the Long Island Sound from each other.

It started out as a handful of stories about my friends, and feeling physically buried alive under the weight of the coldest, bleakest winter in recent memory.

I had a dark studio apartment, a long commute, and a job with no purpose. I had trouble maintaining any level of meaningful human relationship with anyone aside from my bandmates and close family members. I enjoyed my own company far more than any healthy human should.

It was unfulfilling in almost every area, but I lived in a picturesque Long Island village, and on my days off I would get breakfast at my favorite diner, then read or draw for hours at the harbor: watching boats, people, dogs, what have you. It could have been worse, but it could have been better. So, I moved to Connecticut. I did it for the usual reasons: money, a change of scenery, because I had nothing better to do, etc. It was roughly the same, but not as good, and the people and places had different names.

That’s what I thought this record was about.

But, as I got to know these songs over this past year, and learned the ins and outs of their characters and subject matter, I started to realize there was something else there. What I saw was a common thread in my work, and in my life, of escapism. Always looking for a way out, wanting to start over, wanting to be somewhere, or even, someone else (see: Pseudocide).

I’ve left jobs that I liked, places that I liked, and people that I liked, for no other reason than to simply be somewhere else. In the past 2 years, I've worked in 3 different cities in 2 different states, and called 3 different places home. In 2 weeks, I will have uprooted my life to North Carolina, and it’ll be 4.

What am I running from? What am I running towards? Why do I find myself dealing with the same problems regardless of where I go, or who I’m with? What is actually wrong with me?

These are the questions that this record poses and attempts to answer. They’re difficult questions, and sometimes, I’m learning, there are only difficult answers.

Pseudocide is by no means a perfect record, an optimistic record, or even a complete story. It is, simply, a document. It is a story I felt compelled to put to music and share, because as much as I still enjoy my own company far too much, I know I’m not alone with these questions. I’m happy that it exists, if for no other reason than to be better understood, and to lend insight to others trying to answer questions of their own.

JP x JR

credits

released October 31, 2015

All music and lyrics
written, performed, and recorded
by Matthew Cassillo
Artwork by Matthew Cassillo

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John Parker, Jr. New Bern, North Carolina

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Track Name: Scandinavia
The summer heats me up and swallows my soul. The winter’s still lonesome and cold. As far as I remember, the weather’s always better where you go. Where’d you go?

I’m blowing in between. I’m lying in the leaves. I’m knocking on your door. But we’re not talking anymore. And I wish you’d come and see me at the end of the day. Before you pack your car. Before you go away.

Somewhere in Scandinavia, I’m sure.

Your send off screws me up and puts me to bed. Picks up and plays with my head. You’re so hard to remember. Sometimes I think it’s better to forget, like you forget.

I’m blowing in between. I’m lying in the leaves. I’m knocking on your door. But we’re not talking anymore. And I wish you’d come and see me at the end of the day. Before you pack your car. Before you go away.

Somewhere in Scandinavia, I’m sure.
Track Name: Backseat
You can’t hold a conversation. Say you never leave the house. Unless you’re full of medication. And even then you don’t go out. Well I don’t think that you could be as lonely as you say you are. Cause baby you’re too beautiful. You make me nervous.

So I’ll be the ghost in the back of your car. Staring through your rear view mirror. Over your shoulder wherever you are. Always close and ever nearer.

Morning puts you in a panic. You take a pill to take the train. Kill the demons in the attic. Get to work and home again. I’ve never heard you play piano. Maybe it’s not in your heart. But baby won’t you let me love you? You make me nervous.

So I’ll be the ghost in the back of your car. Staring through your rear view mirror. Over your shoulder wherever you are. Always close and ever nearer.

And on the coldest winter days the north shore surely has in store, I’ll be up early at your house, and I will shovel you out. And I won’t leave a note to tell you how I’ve been to close. I just don’t want you freezing in the cold.
Track Name: Teen Angst
If I lose another perfect girl, I think I’ll lose, I think I’ll lose myself. Cause it’s no use if I ignore you, or tell you how I’m better for you than someone else. You make me feel like I imagined you up in my head. Some days I sink so deep I almost believe that I did.

Somewhere in the stomach of New England, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Like if you smile and take your pills, you’ll forget all the things that made you so sad before. Maybe if you go, you’ll be easier to forget. We both have the same dreams. Wake up wishing he was dead.

I talk too much. Take this too far. You’re not who I think you are.
Track Name: Pseudocide
Another northeast winter. My greatest fear. Another black hole basement. Another black new year. Another whole year older, and I’m still here. Well, life is still a bore, and work is still a chore. It’s all the same as before. I don’t feel human anymore.

Cause all you do is go to work and watch tv, and wonder why I come home and go right to sleep.

I’ve gotta get out of town if it’s the last thing that I do. I wanna go way down where it’s nothing but the truth.

Cause way up north, you can’t hide. If you go out or stay inside. And you can’t win. I wanna c-c-come on, commit pseudocide.

Is someone gonna miss me when I go? Cause nothing tells me so.

Cause way up north, you can’t hide. If you go out or stay inside. And you can’t win. I wanna c-c-come on, commit pseudocide.
Track Name: Talking
And in the morning, my head’s in the basement. I’m thinking about all the lives I’m not living. I go to work on the train west to Greenwich. I know it could be worse but I can’t stand it. I get into a place where nothing feels okay. And I don’t make it better with all the time that I waste. And I don’t take care of myself, and you don’t let me forget it. You say I’m getting much too thin, and I keep withering.

But don’t stop talking to me, I need you close. When I hear your voice, I feel like somebody. When I can’t get to you, I need you the most, I do. Need you the most, I do.

And in the evening, I’m slowly fading. I’m thinking about all of the time I’ve been wasting. You’re doing the same. You’re drinking on the train. You tell me something funny, make it all feel okay. And I wonder when I get home, when I’m laying in bed. When you finally get to sleep, well, are you dreaming of Connecticut? Cause I wanna feel your heartbeat. Said I wanna hold your hand. Cause everybody cares but no one understands.

Don’t stop talking to me, I need you close. When I hear your voice, I feel like somebody. When I can’t get to you, I need you the most, I do. Need you the most, I do.

Need you the most, I do. Need you the most, I do. Need you the most, I do.
Track Name: Fond in Daylight
What makes a mood change overnight? What makes a heart stay fond in daylight? What makes a lover stay? I try, but can’t get it right.

When you came up to me and told me your name, I was about to leave. I don’t know why I stayed. I guess I thought tonight could be different. Better than going home to television. After a couple drinks, we started talking close. Your hands were on my jeans, feeling under my clothes. And love can’t live on alcohol alone, but I’m still gonna take you home.

What makes a mood change overnight? What makes a heart stay fond in daylight? What makes a lover stay? I try, but can’t get it right.

And in the morning, you pulled me close like you’ve been here before. And begged me, “Baby, don’t go to work. Why can’t you call out from the store? So we can lay in bed and kiss until our lips are sore.” But in a day or two, your love, it was no more.

And normal people have relationships. But all these people, they just make me sick. Cause everybody wants to play pretend. But I don’t ever want this day to end. Because I miss giving a shit, and being with someone I couldn’t be without. It’s been so long now, I think I’ve forgotten how.

What makes a mood change overnight? What makes a heart stay fond in daylight? What makes a lover stay? I try, but can’t get it right.
Track Name: Amy I'm Sorry
My friend’s got a big mouth. She hasn’t got a care for what comes out. And she might say she was trying to help, but it’s the kind of help you can do without. See, I don’t really need a helping hand at ruining plans, or watching love slip through my hands. I’ve got it down to an art form now. If it’s something I want, then it won’t work out.

So Amy, I’m sorry. You know there’s worse things in this world than knowing someone’s interested. Do you wanna be my girl? Amy, I’m sorry. I know this started off all wrong. Now that the word is out, maybe she’ll shut her mouth, and hear the lyrics of my song.

So tell me what you need. Are you looking for a good man? Or are you looking for a one night stand? Or could you use a little romance? And Amy, aren’t you, tired of going out on Fairfield Ave? And always going home to empty beds? And love that only lasts the weekend?

So Amy, I’m sorry. You know there’s worse things in this world than knowing someone’s interested. Do you wanna be my girl? Amy, I’m sorry. I know this started off all wrong. Now that the word is out, maybe she’ll shut her mouth, and hear the lyrics of my song.

Amy, I’m sorry. Amy, I’m sorry. Amy, I’m sorry.
Track Name: Not Present
Call me your right hand. You’re my best friend. I don’t have words for you. I got your letter, my response to pen, but now it seems my hand’s gone mute.

Should I say, “I’m in the basement. My life is a blood-soaked mess. I can’t sleep because I can’t get you out of my head.” I quit drinking, but it can’t kill my loneliness. I’m not present. It does my head in.

Now all I’ve got left is this picture of you from the day that I left. Now we’re so far removed. And sometimes I still try to reason with you. But your picture looks back, and she isn’t amused.

I said, “I liked you better with blonde hair and glasses, cause once you went natural and put in your contacts, the world got as dark as the darkest of shades in your hair. And I couldn’t talk to you. You didn’t care.”

Should I say, “I’m in the basement. My life is a blood-soaked mess. I can’t sleep because I can’t get you out of my head.” I quit drinking, but it can’t kill my loneliness. I’m not present. It does my head in.
Track Name: Science Fiction
Give it a night. Give it another night. Give it another month more. Maybe it’ll feel right. If I wait long enough, maybe my telephone will ring. If I wait long enough, maybe I won’t feel a thing.

And we won’t talk, and can’t be friends. And I won’t see your face again. And you won’t ever leave the house. Won’t feel a thing, or think about you and me.

So I comb my hair to look the way it was when we first met. And I started smoking your organic brand of cigarettes. And I walk around the harbor every time I get the chance. To find you sitting on a bench reading science fiction.

So we could talk, and just be friends. And I won’t kiss your face again. And we won’t have to figure out the way we got where we are now. Or make you feel bad about the past. Cause love it never made much sense. Like all the things I do without. Won’t feel a thing, or think about you and me.

And it gets worse when I get home. I watch tv and eat alone. I read a book or write a song. Cause there’s no message on my phone.