Ghosts and Gasoline

by Lara Ewen

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    All songs by Lara Ewen.
    Lara Ewen: Guitar, vocals
    Howard Rappaport: Guitar, lap steel
    Donald Facompre: Bass
    Jordan Lash: Drums
    Produced, recorded and mixed by Allen Farmelo
    Assistant engineer: Katie Menke
    Recorded at Mavericks Studio, NYC
    Mixed at The Farm, Brooklyn
    Mastered by Jeff Lipton, Peerless Mastering, Boston
    Assistant mastering engineer: Jessica Thompson
    Photography and design by Emily Rawlings
    Cover and back cover shot on location at New Tulcingo Restaurant, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
    Hair and makeup by Masha Gvozdov
    CD Duplication by Oasis
    Thank you, thank you, thank you: Howard, Donald, Jordan, Allen, Katie, Jeff and Jessica for making this CD sound the way it sounds. Emily for making this CD look the way it looks. Masha for making me look like I belong on the cover of a CD. Nicole Giacco for her legal advice. Funkadelic Studios. Bryan Dunn for his incredible love and support, and for making the kind of music that makes me want to make better music. Along those lines: Tom Clark, Craig Chesler, Emily Helming, Kelli Rae Powell, Andy Mac and Jennie Muoio, Richard Alwyn and Keir Woods, and all the musicians who’ve floored me over the years. Jezebel Music and Local Correspondents. The club owners and bookers who’ve offered up their stages, and the radio folk who’ve offered up their airwaves. Anil Gupta for the wings. Jen, Theresa, Ann and Bosco for their love and friendship. Mark, for making me curse like the devil’s whore. Sam. My Kansas City friends. The Noonans, for being my family in every sense of the word. Mom. And people who come to the shows, buy the CDs, and generally make it possible for independent music such as this to exist. For you, my gratitude is boundless.
    © & 2007 Lara Ewen (except “Clear” © 2002 Lara Ewen) [BMI]. All Rights Reserved.
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  • Full Digital Discography

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Clear, Ghosts and Gasoline, and The Wishing Stone Songs. , and , .

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credits

released March 1, 2007

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Lara Ewen New York

Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Lara Ewen tells stories, most of which are true. Her work blends both the real and the imagined, and the musical landscape she navigates dips into country, Americana, and singer/songwriter influences, drawing comparisons to musicians who sometimes get summarily lumped into the folk category, such as Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams and Jonatha Brooke. ... more

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Track Name: Josephine
Josephine, why does it seem
That you always get it all wrong?
You come on so tough
but it’s never enough, and it won’t get you where you belong.

Josephine, you don’t have to scream
’cause girl, I can hear you just fine.
But you rail at the stars
And you show ’em your scars
And you put up one hell of a fight.

At the end of the day, what do you take away from this,
after you’re done taking names?
You always find just what you have in mind
And you always have someone to blame.

Josephine, what did you mean
when you said you never get what you deserve?
Were you just being wry?
Or was it a lie?
Or did you believe every word?

You think I don’t know and you think it don’t show
But it’s written all over your face.
And me, I can see who you’re trying to be
and who you want to replace.

Josephine, where have you been?
’Cause girl, I’ve been calling for days.
Are you out there alone?
Do you want to come home?
Look, I just want to know that you’re okay.
’Cause it’s a hell of a fight.
Track Name: The Airport Song
Everything she wants from you can be had at the duty-free.
Perfume, cigarettes and booze is all she really needs.
And you see her in the airport bar and she says she’s lost her bags.
She says she won’t date movie stars, and London? Well, London was a drag.

chorus:
And she said, “Nowhere. I know where this is going.
But I don’t care. I don’t care much for knowing.”

She likes to watch the passengers as they’re getting off the plane.
She likes to think they’re just like her, and she tries. She tries to guess their names.
She’s got a locker full of souvenirs. Her eyes are wider than the sky.
But her savior faire’s a thin veneer, and her laugh’s a little dry.

chorus

She loves to hear your stories, boy, she loves to hear you speak.
Your skirmishes and glories are the only gifts she’ll keep.
Track Name: Untethered
Summer Sunday afternoon, and the breeze
is warm and soft as sunlight through the screen door.
And I could lie in bed all day and listen to the traffic.
Sounds like waves tumbling to the shore.

chorus:
And in a sky like this one
I could just float away forever.
’Cause since you’ve been gone
I’ve come untethered.

And it’s just like you were here.
It’s just like it was yesterday.
Like there was nothing to it.
You found the window in my heart
and you pushed it open
and you flew right through it.

chorus:
Into a sky like this one
Like you were something feathered.
And as I watched you go
I came untethered.

And I’m tossed by the freedom of my loosening life.
And I’m nobody’s mother, and I’m nobody’s wife
and nobody’s trying to pull me back in
and I’m just trying to breathe
but the air is so thin.

And it only takes an afternoon like this.
It only takes the slightest breeze
to blow me away. To blow me away.

chorus:
Into a sky like this one
I could be gone forever.
’Cause since you went away
I’ve come untethered.

And it only takes the slightest breeze…
Track Name: Turning Blue
I keep my distance in a box beside my bed
next to my copy of all the things we never said.
And I keep telling myself not to get upset.
And I keep coming back for more ’cause I forget.

You bend over backwards to cover your ass.
You think you’re so clever. You think I don’t see that.
So I try not to notice, and I try not to care
and I keep thinking maybe this is going somewhere.

chorus:
But there’s nothing I can say.
And there’s nothing I can do.
I’ve got no reason to stay.
But I’ve got nowhere to run to.
This is me, and I’m wondering if you’ll come through.
I’m holding my breath, holding my breath, holding my breath
And turning blue.

You love your drama like I love my gasoline.
I always want to drive away; you want to stay and make a scene.
And we don’t make promises; we only make mistakes.
And we can’t fix anything, ’cause we don’t have what it takes.

chorus

I keep my distance in a box beside my bed
Next to my copy of all the things we never said.

chorus
Track Name: Our Song
When your dearly beloved are gathered around
At that church that you love where the steeple came down
on the night when the storm swept your father away
I’ll be there.

When the priest or the justice or whoever you get
asks the people if anyone cares to object
and the words split the silence like shrapnel
I want to hear.

But I won’t say a word.
Baby, it’s nothing that you haven’t already heard.

chorus:
I want to dance at your wedding
That is, if you’re letting old memories in.
I’ll smile at the bride across the divide
of your grace and your sin.
Because I want you happy
I’ve said all along.
If it’s not me in that white dress, then baby, I promise:
I won’t let the band play our song.

After all of the nights when the dark was so deep
and we clung to each other just trying to sleep
and you told me my name; said it over and over again.

Well, we never held back but we couldn’t hold on.
We just took it too fast, or the timing was wrong
Or we just lost our nerve, and couldn’t say what we meant.

But I have no regrets.
Part of me still believes our story ain’t over yet.

chorus

And I love you still.
I guess I always will.

chorus
Track Name: Clear
He said, girl, do you want to be a star?
Leather pants and a loud guitar
You can play for all the big shots in L.A.
And I said, man, that life is not for me
I like my job and my T.V.
and I can’t stand California anyway.
L.A.’s got too many cars
Too many blonde girls, you can’t smoke in bars
and New York City suits me
Finally, I know where I want to be
I know where I want to be

CHORUS:
The good life fit a little too tight
It was pulling at the seams
And my shoulders got all hunched over
With the weight of those American dreams
I had to throw out shit, forget about it
I had to get myself free and clear
There’s a place I want to get
and I’m not there yet
But I’m near, I know I’m near
I can see it from here.

Then he said, girl, don’t you want to be saved?
Oh, your life is so depraved,
Ain’t your mama ever taught you wrong from right?
And I said, don’t go waving that book at me
Your brimstone cracks too easily
And salvation’s just what gets me through the night.
And anyway, heaven’s got too many stars.
A girl like me wouldn’t get too far.
and New York City suits me
Finally, I know where I want to be
I know where I want to be

CHORUS

Then he said, girl, do you want to be my wife?
A family van and an easy life.
You know, I could love you if you’ll only let me try.
And I said, I’m not ready to wear that ring
And settling down would still be settling
You know, I’d have to leave you by and by.
’Cause baby, I just can’t live that way
Thought I may live to rue this day
New York City suits me
Finally, I know where I want to be
I know where I want to be

CHORUS
Track Name: 20 Years Ago
I wish I’d met you twenty years ago
’Cause back then, I was somebody to know.
I had them hanging from the chandeliers
I put on quite a show
and I wish I’d met you twenty years ago.

I wish you’d seen me when my hair was brown
’Cause back then, boy, I bought and sold this town.
They all lined up to see me
and I knocked them all back down
I wish you’d seen me when my hair was brown.

I wish I still remembered how to dance
’Cause if I did, you wouldn’t stand a chance.
One turn on that old wooden floor
the cadence of romance
I wish I still remembered how to dance.

I wish you didn’t have to leave just yet
’Cause baby, you and I have only just met.
Would you stay for one more round
and maybe one last cigarette?
I wish you didn’t have to leave just yet.

I wish I’d met you twenty years ago
’Cause back then, I was somebody to know.
I had them hanging from the chandeliers
I put on quite a show
You should’ve seen me
You should’ve seen me
and I wish I’d met you twenty years ago.
Track Name: Manhattan/Kansas
I let do all the driving.
I watched the highway for signs.
I think I slept through Kentucky.
You didn’t seem to mind.

You took some pictures in Nashville.
“Something,” you said, “to show all our friends.”
I took my chances in Vegas.
You said, “The house always wins.”

chorus:
We don’t need a map now.
I can take you anyplace.
A thousand miles of highway are written on my face.
And if you walk away now
and leave me on my own,
I’ll just adjust the mirror.
I can show myself home.

So from Manhattan to Kansas
We kicked up a whole lot of dust.
And I was cleaning my boots off
while you were checking for rust.

There was a night in Missouri
When you carved our names in a heart;
and somewhere south of Miami
We turned her over, and tried to restart.

chorus
Track Name: Misery Wholesale
You sell misery wholesale
and I want to buy your lot
so roll up your shirtsleeves
and show me what you’ve got.

’Cause baby, I’ve had happiness, and it wasn’t worth the price I paid.

You sell misery wholesale
and I only want one thing.
Baby, I ain’t after romance
and I don’t need a ring

To hell with all your sweet talk. I’ve had enough of that.

chorus:
I’m in the market for a heartache
spin me once around the floor
make me dizzy, crazy, baby,
crying for more.

But don’t waste my time
Let’s get to the part
Where you give me what I paid for
When you break my heart.
Break my heart.

Well, you sell misery wholesale
And I hear it’s a steal
It’s cheap at twice the price
so let’s make a deal.

Tell me what you want for it and I’ll meet you halfway there.

You sell misery wholesale
and I hear you’ve got enough
So I’m buying all your pain, dear,
’cause I can’t buy me love.

Send me out a truck full, and I’ll take it, C.O.D. Listen to me.

chorus
Track Name: Blessed
Sometimes it’s like I’ve known him for an hour
Or a hundred thousand days
And I know there’ve been other girls before
But he says I just get his ways.

My baby, he has complicated ways.
My baby, he’s got complicated ways.

Sometimes, his face is clear as tears
And open as a beggar’s empty hand.
Then suddenly he’ll pull back like the tide
And slide away like sand.

My baby can be hard to understand.
My baby, he’s a complicated man.

chorus:
And oh, his shirt is torn. His shoes are worn,
but he was born for better things.
I know he does his best, and he’ll be blessed.
In time, he’ll finally find his wings.
He’ll finally find his wings.

His smile is like a summer afternoon.
His laugh’s a glass of cheap champagne.
But if he lets his demons loose,
They’ll chill you like a February rain.

There’s some things that my baby can’t explain.
And that’s something my baby can’t explain.

His fists are from his father
Like the lines that crack the corners of his eyes.
But his love is like his mother’s.
If he lets you in, he’ll hold you, hold you tight.

And it breaks my heart to see how hard he tries.
It breaks my heart to see how hard he tries.

chorus
Track Name: A Way To You
Never really hung around
when it was time to go.
Never looked over my shoulder
after I opened the door.
Never could run fast enough
or far enough away.
I only stopped here because I was tired.
I never meant to stay.

I never could tell right from left.
I always get it wrong.
I’ve got a strange sense of direction
but I always get along.
So if you spin me at the crossroads
I’ll find a north that’s true
’cause even if I lose my way
I’ll find a way to you.

Never wanted nothing from you.
No, I always wanted more
and I always fell fighting, biting, kicking
and cursing like the devil’s whore.
My past is full of pins and needles
and they’ve made me sharp and thin.
But for you I could be gentle.
For you I could give in.

So if you don’t think you can love me now
then please don’t even try.
’Cause I don’t want half a life
and I’m not afraid to say goodbye.
But even if I walk away
one day you may come through
and if that day should ever come
I’ll find a way to you.