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Melting In The Dark

  • $8.00

Steve Wynn

Release Date: 1995
Album Notes:

I've never been a big fan of re-living the past especially when it comes to making records. I always figured that once a record was finished it was there for all time to be re-examined, re-discovered and re-loved by the listener with a constantly changing perspective. When fans would approach after shows and ask "Will you ever make another album like 'The Days of Wine and Roses' or 'The Medicine Show?'" I would usually politely explain that those records would always be there and there was no point in making them again.

So how did it come about that on the 13th anniversary of the making of "The Days of Wine and Roses" I found myself in a studio in Boston, Massachusetts summonsing the sounds of feedback, distortion, frenzy and general guitar anarchy in a way that I hadn't since the early '80?

In 1983, a band called the Dangerous Birds opened for the Dream Syndicate in Philadelphia and I was stunned by the amazing singing and gripping charisma of the lead vocalist Thalia Zedek. We became friends that night and over the years I kept an open ear for any project she was involved in. I was never completely taken in by her following bands Uzi and Live Skull but when I heard "Eleven Eleven" the debut album by her next band Come in 1992, I was completely floored. The guitar interplay of Chris Brokaw and Thalia took me back to all my favorite soloing duos from Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry to John Cippolina and Gary Duncan to Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd and even, heck I'll admit it, to myself and Karl Precoda in the early Syndicate.

Following my 1992 European tour for 'Dazzling Display," my tour manager at the time Dino Galasso went on the road as the tour manager for Come and upon hearing my name said, "Tell Steve we'd love to play with him sometime." Upon hearing this very flattering and very interesting proposition, I began a two year dialogue with Chris and Thalia trying to find a time to get together and play. The problem, of course, was time. They made a follow-up record and toured constantly; I divided my time between making my third album "Fluorescent" and recording and touring with Gutterball. We both led such busy lives that we barely had time for phone calls to constantly postpone each planned session.

Last July both Come and myself found ourselves with some time on our hands and I took the Grehound bus up to Boston and after one night of rehearsal, spent a 16-hour day at Fort Apache Studios with engineer Wally Nagel (Superchunk, Sebadoh, Folk Implosion) laying down eight songs, seven of which ultimately made it to "Melting in the Dark." The session went so well that we got back together again in October to record another seven songs and the long awaited collaboration was finished. All that was left was a very enjoyable mixing session in Los Angeles with my longtime producer/mixer Joe Chiccarelli (who produced my first two solo albums and mixed the first Gutteball album, as well as producing American Music Club, Stan Ridgeway and Frank Zappa) and the record was finally a reality.

Shortly before making the record, Come's bassist Sean O' Brien and drummer Arthur Johnson quit the band, making our second session the last time the original lineup of Come ever played together. Thalia and Chris will continue to make records as Come with various rhythm sections and will also accompany me on my March/April tour of Europe. The remainder of the latest 'quintet' will be Armistead Wellford (Gutterball, Love Tractor) on bass and the legendary Dennis Duck (founding member of the Dream Syndicate) on drums, marking his first European tour since the band broke up in 1988.

I by no means find this record to be a carbon copy of the early Dream Syndicate and neither will you. Nonetheless, Chris, Thalia, Sean and Arthur helped me to revisit a style that I thought I had long since abandoned. It's a nice place to visit and I can't say for certain that I will stay there but for the next year it will make a lovely home.

Steve Wynn

Item 1: cd
# Track Title Play
.75¢
1Why

Lyrics

Speak my language
Do a little damage
Nothing left to salvage
Never mind the carnage

Why do birds fall from the sky
Every time that you walk by?
I don't know why
I don't know why

Get a little lowdown
Gonna be a showdown
Not enough to go 'round
Look at what I found (ch)

Kinda like a dancer
New romancer
Spreading like a cancer
There's no answer (ch)
Melting In The Dark
2Shelley's Blues, Pt. 2

Lyrics

Darling, it's a shame
The way they play you like a game
Baby, it's a sin
The Way you never seem to win

Shelley, can't you understand
I only want to be your friend

Honey, I want to know
Why everything seems to scare you so
Darling, what can I say?
I only want to let you do it your way (ch)

Baby, is it fair
The way nobody seems to care
Darling, is it known
Why anyone should end up all alone (ch)
Melting In The Dark
3What We Call Love

Lyrics

Here in this place we call home
Torn and divided but never alone
Shadows reveal what they try to conceal
Here in this palace of broken glass
Nothing is promised to nothing is asked
Nothing delivered when nothing is severed
I love you, I hate you
Caress and berate you

Here in this heaven for fools
It's loser take all until we change all the rules
Darkness becomes you but silence betrays you
I want you, I crave you
I kiss and enslave you

No promises no more
Only the shadows
Badly lit from above
What we call love

Come on, walk across that line
The one that your drew when you said you were mine
Slightly insulting when something is nothing
She knows something that I want to know
Barely concealed but never to show
Trying to tell you I love you, I need you
I rip you apart and suck you and bleed you

Melting In The Dark
4Drizzle

Lyrics

Is everybody gone now
I think we better go now
Frightening the children
That's the way it goes

I come undone
It's the only way that I've ever known
I turn and run

You shouldn't oughta do that
Frightening the children
Holding on to your neck
Is this still what you want

I come and run
It's the only way that I've ever known
I turn and run

And the rain
Doesn't' even fall
It just hangs there in the air
That's all
And the darkness never comes
What makes you think
That it will get any better than this?

Come along now
No one's gonna hurt you
We're gonna go home now
We're gonna go home now

Melting In The Dark
5The Angels

Lyrics

On the day that he left they placed a ring around his neck so they'd know where he came from. He was tired of all the lies and all the shallow ties and he was tired of acting dumb. But on the third day alone he was waiting by the phone for any familiar voice. And he recalled another day when he wished everyone away but now he didn't have the choice

And the angels won't talk to me anymore

On the day that she left, she said it was for the best"she said a person's got to grow. She left all of her friends, she said "everything ends and a person's got to grow." But she couldn't believe, she couldn't hardly conceive that they would take her at her word. Staring at the wall, wishing anyone would call, it all felt so absurd.

And the angels won't talk to me anymore

On the day that she left he thought he never would regret what he had done. He had struggled for years through frustration and tears and now he didn't need anyone. But after throwing all the switches and pulling all the stitches everything felt so flat. And he thought about pleading to show how badly he was needing but it was much too late for that.

And the angels won't talk to me anymore

Melting In The Dark
6Epilogue

Lyrics

In the corner room they do what they wanna do
Oh no. Baby can I follow you down the hall?
In the wee hours, they don't want to know your name
Oh now. Baby what's your favorite game, can I play?

In the old days, did you have a killer line?
Oh yeah. I bet you really spoke your mind smooth and slow

Don't talk again
It doesn't matter now
Don't want to hear a thing
No way. No how.
Unbending
Unending
Unlikely
Unlikely
Unsightly
Degraded and hated
Until the final bell

When the dawn breaks, where you gonna lay your head?
Oh yeah. Would you like to go to bed all alone?
When the news leaks are you gonna show your face?
Oh yeah. Are you gonna show disgrace to yourself?

When the film ends, will you let the credits roll?
Oh no. will you find a pot of gold by your head
When your good friend has a sudden change of plans
Oh yeah, when the money changes hands what will you do?

Melting In The Dark
7Silence Is Your Only Friend

Lyrics

Day breaks the night
In tiny pieces
Pounds on the light
And then increases

I don't want to have to face the day
Silence is your only friend
Melting In The Dark
8Stare It Down

Lyrics

When the devil is at your door (it's like an invitation)
And he won't listen anymore (it's like a celebration)
Flying in the face of recrimination
Breaking down the walls of illumination
Right there before you
Don't you know you've got to stare it down

When the lightning splits the skies (it's like a holy thunder)
And nobody seems surprised (it's like a touch from under)
Looking for clues in a room full of strangers
Brushing back the hair from the face of danger
Right there before you
Don't you know you've got to stare it down

In a dream I was overcome (but I was only sleeping)
Silent and acting dumb (as it was slowly creeping)
Laying in a pool of my own determination
Swear it was more than imagination
finding the truth in a hallucination
Turning the corner on elimination
Right there before you
Don't you know you've got to stare it down
Melting In The Dark
9Smooth

Lyrics

Listen to the wireless
They say they'll catch you nonetheless
No disturbance, no duress

Smooth
Water off your back
You never had to fight
Because you've never been attacked

Surrounded by the heat again
The flames are rising from your feet again
And lady Eve is looking sweet again

Smooth
Water off your back
You never had to fight
Because you've never been attacked

Smooth
Man without a trace
You never leave a calling card
Never leave a trace

There was a partner in Versailles
Who never looked you in the eye
And when the whole thing went awry
You never stopped to wonder why
You just kissed him on the cheek
And then you said goodbye
Melting In The Dark
10For All I Care

Lyrics

The moon might fall tonight
Leaving shadows in the sky
For all I care
It can fall
For all I care

The stars might fade tonight
Leaving nothing in the sky
For all I care
They can fade
For all I care

Is there nothing I can do
Nothing I can say
Nothing I can be
To make you want to stay

The sun might die tonight
Leaving nothing in the sky
For all I care
It can die
For all I care
Melting In The Dark
11The Way You Punish Me

Lyrics

In another life I must have been bad
In another life I must have been bad
Stripped down, break my pride
Straight through the other side
Rip through my memory
Nothing that I want to see

I love the way you punish me

In another life I must have done wrong
In another life I must have done wrong
Don't tell me what I've done
Don't see what I've become
Ravish me, tear me down
Stub my life into the ground

I love the way you punish me
Melting In The Dark
12Down

Lyrics

Come to where they always love you
It's another way to bring you down
Come to where they always need you
It's another way to bring you down

Raise me up with greedy fingers
Lay me down where nothing lingers

Come to where always hate you
With another way to bring you down
Come to where they always break you
Like another way to bring you down

Raise me up with greedy fingers
Lay me down where nothing lingers
Melting In The Dark
13Melting In The Dark

Lyrics

8th and Alvarado
I thought I heard bells
McArthur's Park was melting in the dark
But so was everything else

Laid out cold at midnight
Flown like a kite
Hiding in the shadows of love
And searching for night

Uptown, lost and found
Nothing left to find
Because I know that I'm not looking,
Then I know that I'm not blind
I'm not looking for an answer
I'm not looking for a sign
"C'mon," she said, "Let's take a look around
Because I want to see what's mine."

I can walk away anytime.
Melting In The Dark
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Melting In The Dark

  • CMJ

    A brief history lesson: The Dream Syndicate's Days Of Wine And Roses dropped out of the sky back in 1982, marrying Steve Wynn's traditional song structure and Karl Precoda's ferociously......more>
  • AllMusic.com

    Out on his own since the 1989 breakup of highly influential paisley underground act the Dream Syndicate, Steve Wynn spent the 1990s pursuing a solo career. While 1991's Dazzling Display......more>
  • Tucson Weekly

    Steve Wynn, who drops in to perform at the Club Congress every now and again, crafts solid, defiant, roots-based pop. In this collection, he's not afraid to make a few retro nods--"Shelley's Blues" could have come from Michael Nesmith's catalog, "Silence Is Your Only Friend" takes Stonesy twists, "What We Call Love" pays unstated homage to the Plimsouls, and "Why" turns a Carpenters trope on its end and shakes it down. Even with his influences worn on his sleeve, though, Wynn's sound is all his own. Wynn's lyrics center on lost love, and his world view tends to bleakness, but his slide-driven melodies make you want to dance through the tears.
  • Stir

    Steve Wynn, formerly of the influential 80's band Dream Syndicate, serves up his fourth solo release laden with jangly guitars, biting lyrics and a backbeat that just wonn't quit. Melting......more>
  • ArgosyNet

    Steve Wynn has been through a lot of places throughout his career. He's best known for his days with the Dream Syndicate, but has since been involved with alternative bands......more>
  • Brian McMahon

    Featuring Thalia Zedek and Chris Brokaw from Come, former Dream Syndicate/Gutterball guy Steve Wynn rips through some of the coolest 'billy-rooted crunch-rock since Sam The Sham and the Pharaohs influenced Robyn Hitchcock to emulate John Lennon on acid way back when. The unbridled joy with which Wynn cranks out what are, without doubt the best tunes of his career, captures and holds your attention throughout what is unarguably one of the best discs released this year. Brian McMahon, 17 Volts - Al Muzer