9 Casler

by As A Lark

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released October 1, 2013

9 Casler was...
Written by Jordan Berry and the rest of As a Lark.
Recorded and mixed by Alec Bretzloff.
Produced by Alec Bretzloff and the rest of As a Lark.
Mastered by Mark Michalik.
It was also a house.

Guest vocals by...
Alex Phillips on The Lark Ascending.
Clara Balmer on Life Compromised.
Kat Steih on The Page Turned
...and lot of our best friends doing gang vocals all over the album.



all rights reserved


As A Lark Ypsilanti, Michigan

They have more elaborate calls than most birds, and often extravagant songs given in display flight. These melodious sounds (to human ears), combined with a willingness to expand into anthropogenic habitats — as long as these are not too intensively managed — have ensured larks a prominent place in literature and music. ... more

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Track Name: The Lark Ascending
If you don't mind my asking, how the fuck did we end up here?
I can hear music in the background but the melody is unclear
It makes me sick for the days back when we knew just where we'd stand
And who we were, on who and what we could depend
And where our sights were headed

I was blind but now I can't see a fucking thing

I came here to say:
I got somewhere, then I got going
I got somewhere, then I got gone
I got somewhere, then I got gonzo
I got somewhere, then I got gone

And all I know

I was blind but now I can't see a fucking thing

For exposition's sake:
I made my way to the map room from downstairs
The climb felt like a fucking mountain and I didn't know how I got there
Fell asleep half on the couch, woke up feeling achy
With the credit screen of some Netflix movie screaming at me
The light blinded me, the noise deafened me
My mouth was cotton and I couldn't process anything
I should know by now that I'm not living fast or dying young
I'm living slow and dying a little early, probably
I don't remember anything past last week

But everything is temporary
Track Name: Home is Where the Hart Is
I haven't had a home since I was seventeen years old and
I'm done being scared of what that means, I've learned to love these streets
They made a Patty Hearst out of me, I just can't up and leave
And all these landmarks remind me of things I'll never be

Like how I wish my voice was higher, and maybe not so gruff
I wish I wasn't so tired, I'm only twenty. What the fuck?
Wish I wasn't so angry at the God I don't believe in and the world I'm not too fond of either
Wish someone would have told me it's gonna get hard, you gotta learn to take the punches and get harder

I'm not new and I'm not old
My life burns like these Parliaments, fast then slow
No one talks to me but everyone knows who I am
Things seem so short when they're over but take forever to happen

I used to say that my life was just lyrics that I
Sang to strangers every Friday night
But now I think it's more like making sure that I
Don't surpass my philosophical grounds for being a human being
Because when I'm not at work I'm fucked up, and if I'm not fucked up I'm planning
How to get fucked up when I'm not working
It's not even that I need to, I just don't know what else to do
And everyone I know is in the same boat
I just need to get the fuck out of this Christian small town
Where everyone you meet is a:
Pothead, racist, ignorant Republican, anti-intellectual, 18, pregnant and born again
Redneck, metal head, frat boy sexist party kid, no fun social conservative
Or a bitch

So hey, Gainesville, hey, Quantana Roo
The next time I come back to you
I'm calling you home
I waited way too fucking long
Wrote too many sad songs
Spent too many nights sad, angry, high, and alone
And I can't ignore the science
Location's not compliant
A new city's not a new story
You can't change your genre that easily
And I'm still the same old me
The me I can't stand being
And that won't change with new scenery
So listen to me, I think

Everyone's got these pipe dreams of escaping, and I'm no exception
And you can chalk this up to cynicism, but I
I'm pretty sure of it
That it's not just here, everywhere is shit

It's not where you are, it's where everyone else is
Your hometown's your home whether or not you hate it
It's not where you are, it's where everyone else is
Let's find our hearts and live
It's not as hard as we think it is
Track Name: Life Compromised
Tell me, do you start your day with coffee?
Do you start your day with weed?
Do you start your day with a cigarette?
Or do you prefer all three?
Because it just hurts to live sometimes
There's never enough time
And I'm walking around with my claws always out
Can't uncurl my spine

When it's winter in the shade and summer in the sunshine
I'm living the life compromised

It's time to live or not to, it's only up to me

Get my shit straight with the bank
Try to formally appeal my dumb mistakes
Stop slacking off, start pissing clean
Stop cowardly putting off everything

But I'm so goddamn fucking freaked out
Tail, scared, tucked between my legs

It's time to live or not to, it's only up to me

When there's always too much to do and never enough time
I'm living the life compromised (so unsatisfied)
When you're exhausted and restless at the very same time
I'm living the life compromised (so unsatisfied)
Track Name: Texas Hold Me
I'm the kind of guy who likes to turn the radio off, not down
Because I know what it's like to talk and not be listened to
And I know that you do too
We all like to pick at scabs, bringing up scars from the past
I guess it just helps us get through

And I know you're trying, God knows I'm trying too
It really does feel these days like you're being pulled in two
And I get that feel, man, the last few months have been hard
Come on by, we'll have a smoke, we'll sit and talk in my backyard

And I wonder if all the people who have saved my life
Know that at some point they saved my life

Because when the tracks seem so inviting
And my promises aren't promising
I don't know what would've went down
If you weren't around

You're too hard on yourself, you're too hard yourself
You have to learn to let me help

Sorry I'm not always around, you never let me down
Hell knows where I would be if you weren't around
Track Name: Ain't No John Cusack
When you wake up tomorrow try to find your plot device
The trophy, the light, the walk, the mystery, or the vice
I came across two paths diverged in a fucking wood and I
Remembered what Clara said, it's amazing to realize
There's no such thing as somewhere no one's went
We are the only difference

When we wake up tomorrow will another dead tradition pass?
We found new constellations where the old ones hung up their hats
In every smile I see things that are never coming back
It makes me sad but makes sure I don't forget

We are all observers in a self aware universe

And so I'm spending my summer reading b-b-books on the b-b-b-beach
Getting lost with my best friends, finding new realities
I picked a pinecone from the twisting, shifting forest floor
What a curious thing to feel such affection for

You could have been a tree, but here you are with me
You could have been a tree, but here you are

I sincerely miss those shitty bar shows, the mics sh-shocking my lips
The small crowd of friends and acquaintances bobbing their heads, shaking their hips
Everyone goes outside to smoke, they get back in for the opening notes
And you know we all got work tomorrow

Sometimes we kind of hate ourselves
That makes us no different than anyone else
We left our fear behind with our faith and fate
If the world's gonna end, this is where we'll wait

You could have been anything, but here you are with me
You could have been anything, but here you are
Track Name: Homeboy Shoulda Gone to Space Camp
There are lights in the sky
At an [8] or [9], trying to find
Which lights are made of the stuff of made of
The planes and their people or the stardust and it's love?

And it makes me feel like things might be okay
I know I've fallen apart but I found the last piece today
There's a hole shot through the middle, but I think that it'll run
Stick that fucker in my chest, yeah, there's some work to get done

And I know I've been a shitty friend
For the past like dozen weekends
I don't respond to texts
Pass out on your couch because I'm depressed

So thanks to all my friends
For opening your doors and floors
And letting my fucked up head get some rest

Sometimes Adam's Song still makes me cry
Sometimes I just cry and I don't know why
When I'm alone I start freaking out
So I always spend every night out
Changes in tone and small creases in faces
Make my mind jump to the worst places
When someone pauses, silence before they respond
My head goes off like a fucking alarm

When I drive I try to avoid places where bad things happened to me
I'm running out of places to go
I guess it's time to find a new map, a new city
And start crossing off another batch of roads

But thanks to all my friends
For giving me that extra little push
And getting my dumb ass into life
I know I can be a dick
And I'm always fucking late to everything
But I'm closer than I've ever been to all right

Remember when we got in that car accident
And we both thought it'd be fun to do again? (Hell yeah!)
Because life could always use some more excitement
More unexpected, honest nights we won't forget
Ribbons we won't remember right but
We'll always feel the ties
Like the summer I smoked cigarettes
Man, I was so weird back then
I guess I still am now
It's just a different sack of shit to sell

I know when to use 'good,' when to use 'well'
I've honestly no more fears of going to Hell
The world's not so bad, it's mostly me
But it's harder to change a planet than it is to change a human being
Track Name: woop woop
I've got no reason to be here
It just sounded like a fun way to spend a year
And now I live like five blocks from all my friends
But I still don't see them
I wish I knew I what I want
Because I want it so damn badly
Wish I knew where to start
Because this way is starting badly

Throwing leftover baby carrots in the grass
For squirrels or some shit like that
I've been succumbing to road rage
Being freaked out by the way I look in store window panes

Forging my way through a city where nobody knows me
I don't know what the fuck I'm doing
So all right, pass the light
It's a pretty nice night
And sure, I've been better, but I'm doing all right, yeah

I've been trying to meet new people
At parties and on the street
And maybe it's just me but these peeps
Don't seem so worth the anxiety

When every night we just end up back here
Chilling on the couch, toasting our beers
Smoking in the back, sharing our deepest fears
Saying, "Hey, it's okay"
Like when the world was spinning and so was your stomach
We watched the trees dance from that puke-soaked blanket
And cuddled even though it might be weird the next day
Saying, "Hey, it's okay"
Cleaning up all that Barry threw up
If you're going down, please bring the trash can up
You'll be all right, man, I'll be right here
What a fucked up way to spend a year

Forging my way through a city where nobody knows me
I don't know what the fuck I'm doing
So all right, pass the light
It's a pretty nice night
But I know that with friends like these we'll be all right
Saying, "Hey, it's okay"
Track Name: goboldlying
I'm not dealing with this bullshit
I've only got one life to live
And I'm not gonna spend it on my knees

I know that it's really cliche
But that phrase and it's double entendre
And imagery just resonates with me
Sorry, Czapski

And I'll never be a Dylan
Fuck, I'm barely a Hoppus
And I act like an Oberst
But no one's falling for it
Maybe it's the weight I put on
I'm always running out of breath
I sing the melodies wrong
And do the same note to death

I tried to rectify who I am and who I want to be
And the tragedy of distance is that it's never that easy

I used to want to be a doctor
But I can't stand the sight of blood
I had a nosebleed in a Meijer once
And I fucking threw up
What would seven year old me think of me?
Getting high, feeling down and settling?
If I sit here everything will be all right
Yeah, right

We are not what has made us
We are made of what we've made
When we let things change us
Nothing of our old selves remain
And for the people who saved us
We are the not the men we were
We are stronger now, we are better now
We will not be deterred
Track Name: Warrior... Priestess... Tramp
Wake up, another day just like the rest
Sorta hungover, sorta depressed
Clear my throat and pound my chest
Zone out for a few and then get dressed
Try to figure out what to do with all my time

Even though it's like mid-October
Scrape my windshield, try to get over
Things I'm not sure I wanna get over
Things I'm pretty sure are keeping me from sober
Because, versus sober, not wins every time

And I know I'm gonna die
But it's gonna take such a long, long time
And I don't know what to do with my afternoon
So I guess there's nothing left to do now
But walk to Joe's and gather everyone around
Put Xena on and drink until we pass out

And I got rid of those metaphors
I've got no use for anymore
Because real life's sad enough
Really starting to worry that I might be a fuck up
The bills are piling up and up and up and up and up and up
Yeah, real life's sad enough

There's something about looking at the trophy case
Reflecting on the pints of poison intake
That makes me sad but makes me feel okay
There's something about looking back, remembering
The way I spent the last three years' Thanksgivings
Two in all night diners with Chris, one drunk with Jenny and Alex
And I never thought that my life would be anything like this

I can't stop thinking about that kid that might have died
If we didn't pick him up that night
He was drunk and walking home
Turning blue, sixteen years old
And back when I worked at the grocery mart
I knew an addict with a golden heart
He said, "Hey Jay-bay-bay, sometimes it's tough
To not give up when no one backs you up"

So I'm thankful to have friends
Who make sure I make it back to my bed
Instead of leaving me passed out on the couch
So I guess there's nothing left to do now
But gather everybody that I love around
And drink, dance, laugh, fuck around (make fun of Gabrielle)
Until time runs out
Track Name: Whiskey v. Food
I haven't eaten since like Saturday
Unless whiskey counts as food
It's not like it would matter anyway
I couldn't eat if I wanted to
I had a dream that I was flying
It ended like they often do
I had a dream that I was dying
I dreamt I dreamt I woke up next to you

It's just I couldn't tell if I wound up in Hell
Or if the ringing in my ears was just the diving bell
That I put on myself, I don't need it but it helps
Or at least that's what I motherfucking tell myself

And I've been stuck living the slow life
Monday through Friday, nine to five
Taking walks and watching Netflix
It's unbearable but it's nice
But I've been missing all the road trips
Pulling your dress up from behind
Singing songs that people sang back
Yeah, I just miss feeling alive

Everything went to shit, left me to deal with it
And I think I'm making the most of the circumstances
Until I'm counting dimes to be shit-faced by nine
So I can pass out, wake up drunken in the middle of the night

Singing, "Please, don't let this be all there is for me."

I would love to be in love
Track Name: My Psalm 7
Everything is easy to understand
A perfect play don't mean a loaded hand
In an infinite universe coincidence don't mean a plan
Do we look like him or does he look like a man?

They say his words are written on our hearts
They say that he breathed life into our built to fail parts
But I've seen love and I've seen guts and I've yet to see any pen marks
And, last time I checked, I'm pumping these lungs

When you find yourself stuck, when you've fallen in a rut
Thank no one but the hand that helped you up
Let's be our own gods, protect ourselves and the ones we love
Together there's nothing we have to be afraid of

And you can sing me all your songs
You can close your eyes and tell me all the things you've done wrong
And I'll never ask for anything but that you do the same in return
There'll be no talk of a pit in which to burn

And I can't help you live forever, can't promise an eternity together
That's not the point, my friend
We live and then we die, it's easy, it's all right
The middle don't mean a thing without the end
Let's go out and live while we can
Track Name: Have a Nice Life
Woke up to my senses sensing sense data I really had no right to sense
I don't know why I don't know I just wasn't really thinking, I guess
Looking back I don't know what we thought this clumsy attempt at change was gonna accomplish
I think you wanted touched out of the pain, I think I just had something I could not contain

Lying underneath the words he wrote
Conscience clogging the back of his hope's throat

Tried to describe in vague terms
Things even then I could not put into words
Just don't wanna forget the way it made me sick like nothing did
So I'm doing my best to capture it

What the fuck?
Everything feels like pretend
Life shits and then it ends
And I really love my friends
But I don't know if I can
Keep on going like this and
Never once changing the plan
While I was looking for my Japan
Or maybe a new Michigan
I got lost and don't know where I am
Could you come and get me?

Thought this would be something I could cite
Something secret, something bright
A burning example of this unclassifi-
-able, restless, messy life
But my insides weren't locked up
They were only real pissed off
The creature I created spends his days
Drinking and throwing up in my face

Leaving me with all the pieces, begging me to re-piece them
So I bury them in unkempt piles of pretend
Because I don't know where they go, ignored the hints
Then again, I was never good at games of patience

These vestiges of guilt
Some well-worn, some well-built
Wearing nothing but eyeglasses as a disguise
Saying, "Get the fuck up, man, this is life"

And I can still feel it when I close my eyes
Tremble in the voice as the words come back to life
"Wrap around my neck and squeeze"
We were pawns, the night did with us as it pleased

We'll be all right, have a nice life
Track Name: The Page Turned
Been living my life through a small lens, been trying to be here now
Stopped tracking the twists and the bends, the ups and downs
And I'm walking the rhythm of birdsong down North Huron street
And I'm feeling the wind like I know that the earth feels the steps of my feet

The sun don't go down, the earth's just rotating
I've been lost, I've been found, been loved, I've been hated
I think we're okay, we're just scared of future
My lover, my friend, move a little closer

Fell asleep half on the couch
Woke up feeling like shit
I don't know anything
But I know I will, I know I will get through this
I've got everything I need
I've got you and you and you and you and you and you've all got me
I don't know what I'm gonna do, I don't think I ever want to
So throw me to the sky and let me be

So fucking free
I'm at home, finally

But everything is temporary
Track Name: It's Simple: If There is No Robin Hood, You Become Robin Hood
I left two marks on your slender body
That had never been marked before
We rolled around the grass on the side of the highway
And left branded, itchy, unsure
Five hundred little mountains turned our bodies into planets
My hands made maps for my mind to remember
I was looking for someone to help me through the weeks
You were looking for somebody for forever

And all I know of God sure as shit ain't from a book
And all I know of love, you'll regret every chance you never took

But you think love is something to be scared of
It's tender, shaky, achy, and it's hard
I could almost fit my hands around your waist
But I couldn't fit my head around your heart

Sometimes what we want and what we find
Don't work out in the ways we wish they would
And maybe it would work out if we gave it a try
But who's to say that it would?

But who's to say anything?
The world's a big, black, empty screen
And all we talk about is meaning
How arrogant is that?
And every choice has pros and cons
It's all about the fence you're on
The hue of grass, whether your bum
Is getting kind of sore
And maybe we'll look back on this
And wonder about how different
Our lives could be ever since this
And sigh and then move on
And I'll remember you well