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Cassadaga (Remastered)

by Bright Eyes

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    - Remastered vinyl pressed at RTI
    - Tip-on gatefold jacket
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released November 11, 2016

Remastered by Bob Ludwig. Originally released 2007.


Bright Eyes is Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, and Nate Walcott.

All songs recorded by Mike Mogis. All songs mixed by Mike Mogis.

Hassan Lemtouni’s vocals recorded by Louis Schefano (thanks).

Assistant engineers: Rudyerd Lee Cullers (Stratosphere Sound),
Mike Laza (The Boat), Ian Aeillo (Presto!, ARC Studios), Paul Smith
(Capitol Studios), and John McEntire (Soma)

Orchestra contracted by Suzie Katayama.

All songs written by Conor Oberst, Sony/ATV Sounds LLC/Bedrooms; Bedrooms and Spiders (BMI), except “If the Brakeman Turns My Way” by Conor Oberst and Jason Boesel, BB Lindstrom (BMI), and “Coat Check Dream Song” by Conor Oberst and Nate Walcott, N. Walcott Music (ASCAP).

Booking by Eric Dimenstein (Ground Control Touring)
& Steve Strange (X-Ray Touring Limited).

Management by Juan Carrera and Nate Krenkel (Ravenhouse, Ltd).

Artwork and design by Zack Nipper.
Focal Decoder by, patent no. 2315240

Bright Eyes Gives 1,000,000 Thank Yous to: All the wonderful musicians who played on this record for your time, talent and friendship -- we could not have done this without you. Jessica, Stella, Maria, Stefanie, Ian, Clare and all our families for their love and support. Bill Sullivan, Simon Wring, Sean Foley, Jacob Feinberg, and all those who have been part of our traveling family at one point or another. Eric Dimenstein, Juan Carrera, Nate Krenkel, Darin Harmon, Matthew Kaplan, Matt Oberst, Chloe Walsh for your technical support and love. Robb Nansel and everyone at Saddle Creek. Luke Wood, David Joseph and all at Polydor, Mark Bowen, Rick Rubin, Andy LeMaster, Jenny Lewis, Jason Boesel, Ian Aeillo, Ted Stevens, Butch Hogan, Nick Zinner, Tim Kasher, Matt Maginn, Zack Nipper, Simon Joyner, Todd and Orenda, Gill and Dave, Phil Lea, Taylor family and YOU for listening to this record (if that’s what you’re doing).



all rights reserved


Bright Eyes Omaha, Nebraska

Bright Eyes are the Omaha, Nebraska-based band led by lauded songwriter Conor Oberst.

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Track Name: Clairaudients (Kill or Be Killed)
Corporate or Colonial
The Movement is unstoppable
Like the body of a centerfold it spreads
To the counter-culture copyright
Get your revolution at a lower price
Or make believe and throw the fight, play dead
It’s exploding bags, aerosol cans
Southbound buses, Peter Pan
They left it up to us again
I thought you knew the drill
It’s kill or be killed

Future Markets, Holy Wars
Been tried ten thousand times before
If you think that God is keeping score, Hooray!
For the freedom-fighting simulcast (Victory! A defeat! Victory!)
The imminent and the aftermath
Draw another bloody bath to drain
Like the polar icecaps centrifuge (Oh Allah! Oh Jesus please!)
First snowman built at the end of June
He slicks his hair for the interview, his fifteen-minute fame
Would you agree times have changed?
Track Name: Four Winds
Your class, your caste, your country, sect, your name or your tribe
There are people always dying trying to keep them alive
There are bodies decomposing in containers tonight in an abandoned building
Where the squatters made a mural of a Mexican girl
With fifteen cans of spray paint in a chemical swirl
She is standing in the ashes at the end of the world
Four Winds blowing through her hair

When Great Satan is gone... the Whore of Babylon...
She just can’t sustain the pressure where it’s placed
She caves

The Bible is blind. The Torah is deaf. The Qur’an is mute.
If you burned them all together you’d get close to the truth
But still they are pouring over Sanskrit under Ivy League moons
While shadows lengthen in the sun
Cast on a school of meditation built to soften the times
And hold us at the center while the spiral unwinds
It’s knocking over fences crossing property lines
Four Winds cry until it comes

It’s the Sum of Man slouching towards Bethlehem
A heart just can’t contain all of that empty space
It breaks. It breaks. It breaks.

So I went back by rented Cadillac and company jet
Like a newly orphaned refugee retracing my steps
All the way to Cassadaga to commune with the dead
They said, you’d better look alive
Now it’s off to old Dakota where a genocide sleeps
In the Black Hills, the Badlands, the calloused East
I buried my ballast. I made my peace.

Heard Four Winds leveling the pines

When Great Satan is gone... the Whore of Babylon...
She just can’t remain with all that outer space
She breaks. She breaks. She caves. She caves.
Track Name: If the Brakeman Turns My Way
When panic grips your body and your heart is a hummingbird
Raven thoughts blacken your mind until you’re breathing in reverse
All your friends and sedatives mean well but make it worse
Every reassurance just magnifies the doubt
Better find yourself a place to level out

Got a cricket for a conscience always looks the other way
A cocaine soul starts seeming like an empty cabaret
Hey, where have all the dancers gone? Now the music doesn’t play
Tried to listen to the river but you couldn’t shut your mouth
Better take a little time to level out

I never thought of running
My feet just led the way

Mixed up Signals
Bullet Train
Cars are switched out in the crazy rain
I could meet you any place
If the Brakeman turns my way

All this automatic writing I have tried to understand
From a psychedelic angel who was tugging on my hand
It’s an infinite coincidence but it doesn’t form a plan
So I’m headed for New England or the Paris of the South
Gonna find myself somewhere to level out

Are your brothels full, Oh Babylon, with merry Middlemen?
Never peer out of their periscopes from those deep opium dens
All this death must need a counterweight always someone born again
First a mother bathes her child then the other way around
The Scales always find a way to level out

I tried to pass for nothing
But my dreams gave me away

Mixed up signals
Bullet Train
People snuffed out in the brutal rain
I could live to any age
If the Brakeman turns my way

It is an old world it’s hard to remember
Like a dime store mystery
I’m a repeat first time offender
Who has rewritten history

Mixed up tea leaves
Phantom pain
Fuzzy logic in the crazy rain
Getting better every day
If the Brakeman turns my way
Mixed up signals
Bullet Train
Cars are switched out in the blinding rain
He’ll be smiling as he seals my fate
When the Brakeman turns my way
Track Name: Hot Knives
The Wife forgave the Mistress for she only entertained
The pain was gone the instant she cleared her throat to speak her name
Said, “Both of us must suffer from this same unending ache”

The world was not of interest though her days were never dull
Her bed beneath a crucifix on guests performing miracles
With the Son of God just hanging like a common criminal
When I do wrong I am with God, she thought
When I feel lost I am not at all

So give me Black Light (Give Give me)
So give me Hot Knives (Deep Clean sleep)
On a dance floor no one tells time (There is no time)

Oh, I’ve made love, yeah, I’ve been fucked, so what?
I’m a cartoon, you’re a full moon, let’s stay up

She went to see a Mystic who made medicine from rain
And gave up her existence to feel everything, dream others’ dreams
Bid farewell to her family with one ecstatic wave (Please take care I love you all)
Out the window as the car rolled away
She just vanished into a thick mist of change

So let us rejoice (Let’s Rejoice!)
In all this Pink Noise (Our Pink Noise!)
An oscillation that we can pin point (We’re right here!)
Track Name: Make a Plan to Love Me
I heard you’re scheming new pyramids
Another big idea to get you rich
Make a plan to love me sometime soon

You said you had your foot in the door
You buy and then you sell, you buy some more
Make a plan to love me sometime soon

Life is too short
Death doesn’t ask
It don’t owe you that

Some things you lose
You don’t get back
So just know what you have

And make a plan to love me sometime soon

First you want to ride off into the Sun
Then you want to shoot straight to the Moon
Make a plan to love me sometime soon

When you are young the world is a Ferris Wheel
I know we will grow old it is lovely, still
Make a plan to love me sometime soon

Life is Too $hort
To be a fool
I don’t owe you that

Do what you feel
Whatever is cool
But I just have to ask

Will you make a plan to love me?
Will you make a plan to love me?
Will you make a plan to love me sometime soon?
Track Name: Soul Singer in a Session Band
See the Soul Singer in the session band
Shredded to ribbons beneath a microphone stand
Felt the quickness of pity like a flash in a pan
For the Soul Singer in the session band

A red carpet bagger makes a Blackberry call
To the plastic piranhas in the city of salt
Wasted wheat paste campaign post no bills on the wall
You mean nothing to no one but that is nobody’s fault

See the Soul Singer in the session band
Shredded to ribbons beneath a microphone stand
Felt the quickness of pity like a flash in a pan
For the Soul Singer in the session band

I had a lengthy discussion about The Power of Myth
With a post-modern author who didn’t exist
In this fictitious world all reality twists
I was a hopeless romantic now I’m just turning tricks

Just like that Soul Singer in the session band
Shredded confetti beneath a microphone stand
Saw the Conflict of Interest slipping cash in the hand
Of the Soul Singer in the session band

His room is on fire since he painted it red
There are a stranger’s silk sequins at the foot of the bed
He has been to weddings and funerals but he still never wept
Now sorrow is pleasure when you want it instead

Just like the Soul Singer in the session band
Wailed like an infant atop a white baby grand
We’ll need every sand bag and every man
To save the Soul Singer in the session band

Headlights or Taillights it’s a flip of a coin
I have been coming and going since the day I was born
And I followed the breadcrumbs but I never got home
I grew old in an instant now I am all on my own

Just like that Soul Singer in the session band
Shredded to nothing beneath a microphone stand
Saw the wave of the future through the crack in the dam
Drown the Soul Singer in the session band
Bless the Soul singer in the session band
Track Name: Classic Cars
She was a real royal lady, true patron of the arts
She said the best country singers die in the back of classic cars
So if I ever got too hungry for a suitcase or guitar
To think of them all alone in the dark
So I laid some nights beside her in a bed made for a queen
She said I kissed her different, that all the men her age were mean
Gave me anything I wanted, Oh the generosity
I took all that I could, it was free
Now the sky is a torn up denim and the clouds are just splattered paint
It’s a room I’m renovating; it’s a name I got to change
If I get out of California I’m going back to my home state
To tell them all that I made a mistake

And I keep looking for that blindfold faith
Lighting candles to a cynical saint
Who wants the last laugh at the fly trapped in the windowsill tape
You can go right out of your mind trying to escape
From the panicked paradox of day to day
If you can’t understand something then it’s best to be afraid

The whole world it loves you if you are a chic chameleon
Intersecting circles she could hang with anyone
But when conducting business she would lie about where she’s from
Saying, life is how it is not how it was
I learned to listen felt like I was back at school
She’d talk forever about the phases of the moon
Saying, everything is a cycle, you’ve got to let it come to you
And when it does you will know what to do
Without even knowing I guess I took up her advice
Painted her front door it seemed a suitable goodbye
It’s not that often but I think of her sometimes
Just something quaint, a couple ships in the night

And they keep moving at a glacial pace
Turning circles in a memory maze
I made a new cast of the death mask that is gonna cover my face
I had to change the combination to the safe
Hide it all behind a wall let people wait
And never trust a heart that is so bent it can’t break
Track Name: Middleman
I traveled through the atmosphere as a wall of feedback climbed
The pegs were gold, the band was old, they played in half time
Now every dream gets whittled down just like every fool gets wise
You will never reap of any seed deprived of sunlight

So I have become the Middleman
The gray areas are mine
The in-between, the absentee
Is a beautiful disguise

So I keep my footlights shining bright just like I keep my exits wide
‘Cause I never know when it’s time to go, it’s too crowded now inside
The dead can hide beneath the ground and the birds can always fly
But the rest of us do what we must in constant compromise

So I have become the Middleman
The gray areas are fine
The ‘I don’t know’, the ‘maybe so’
Is the only real reply
It is the only true reply
Track Name: Cleanse Song
Hear the chimes, did you know that the wind when it blows
It is older than Rome and all of this sorrow
See the new pyramids down in old Manhattan
From the roof of a friend’s I watched an empire ending
Heard loud and long the river’s Om
Time marching on to a madman’s drum

Don’t forget what you’ve learned all you give is returned
And if life seems absurd what you need is some laughter
And a season to sleep and a place to get clean
Maybe Los Angeles, somewhere no one is expecting
On a detox walk through a Glendale park over sidewalk chalk
Someone wrote in red, ‘start over’
So I muffled my scream on an Oxnard beach
Full of fever dreams that scare you sober
Into saltless dinners

Take the fruit from the tree, break the skin with your teeth
Is it bitter or sweet? All depends on your timing
Like a meeting of chance with a train station glance
Many lifetimes had past in an instant reminded
Of a millstone house in a seaside town
When your heart gave out in a mission bed
So your wife gave birth to a funeral dirge
As you woke up purged as a wailing infant
In Krung Thep, Thailand

Hear the chimes, did you know that the wind when it blows
It is older than Rome and our joy and our sorrow
Track Name: No One Would Riot for Less
Death may come invisible or in a holy wall of fire
In the breath between the markers on some black I-80 mile
From the madness of the governments to the vengeance of the sea
Everything is eclipsed by the shape of destiny

So love me now
Hell is coming
Kiss my mouth
Hell is here

Little soldier, little insect, you know war it has no heart
It will kill you in the sunshine or happily in the dark
Where kindness is a card game or a bent up cigarette
In the trenches, in the hard rain, with a bullet and a bet

He says, help me out
Hell is coming
Could you do it now?
Hell is here

See the sterile soil,
Poisoned sky
Yellow water,
Final scraps of light
Bringing new tears

Wake, Baby, wake but leave that blanket around you there is nowhere as safe
I’m leaving this place but there is nothing I’m planning to take
Just you
Just you
Track Name: Coat Check Dream Song
Shrill as a choir of children
Urgent like the first day of May
False and inflatable feeling
Tugs at my senses, big as the Macy’s Parade
One brick on top of another
Such is the measure of man
Planets are inset like diamonds
On a gravity halo, eternity’s wedding band
I slept with that dealer all summer
The ecstasy is still in my spine
Coat Check I couldn’t remember
Walked into the winter, came out on the other side

In the South the sun is shining
Back in the East the lights went out

Stuck on a ladder to heaven
On trial way back in The Hague
Lullaby sounds from the engine
In my Styrofoam coffin, asleep on the interstate
Black globes, old symbols of freedom
A murderer still on the lam
Cities encircled in iron
On a great silver beltway, democracy’s shackled hands
Séance that brought us together
Objects we move with our minds
Coat Check and I lost the number
Short sleeves in the winter, fell back through the other side

Out in the West the cars are crashing
Up in the North the ice gave out

Saada Tekmel B’Lhouria…
Track Name: I Must Belong Somewhere
Leave the bright blue door on the whitewashed wall
Leave the death ledger under city hall
Leave the joyful air in that rubber ball today

Leave the lilac print on the linen sheet
Leave the bird you killed at your father’s feet
Let the sideways rain in the crooked street remain

Leave the whimpering dog in his cold kennel
Leave the dead starlet on her pedestal
Leave the acid kids in their green fishbowls today

Leave the sad guitar in its hardshell case
Leave that worried look on your lover’s face
Let the orange embers in the fireplace remain

Everything it must belong somewhere
A train off in the distance, bicycle chained to the stairs
Everything it must belong somewhere
I know that now, that is why I’m staying here

Leave the ocean’s roar in the turquoise shell
Leave the widower in his private hell
Leave the liberty in that broken bell today

Leave the epic poem on its yellowed page
Leave the gray macaw in its covered cage
Let the traveling band on the interstate remain

Everything it must belong somewhere
Sound stage in California, televisions in Times Square
Everything it must belong somewhere
I know that now that is why I’m staying here
Yeah, I know that now, that is why I’m staying here

Leave the secret talks on the trundle bed
Leave the garden tools in that rusted shed
Leave those bad ideas in your troubled head today

Leave the restless ghost in his old hotel
Leave the homeless man out in that cardboard cell
Let the painted horse on the carousel remain

Everything it must belong somewhere
Just like the gold around her finger or the silver in his hair
Everything it must belong somewhere
I know that now, that is why I’m staying here
I know that now, that is why I’m staying here

In truth the forest hears each sound
Each blade of grass as it lies down
The world requires no audience
No witnesses, no witnesses

Leave the old town drunk on his wooden stool
Leave the autumn leaves in their swimming pool
Leave the poor black child in his crumbling school today

Leave the novelist in his daydream tomb
Leave the scientist in her Rubik’s cube
Let the true genius in the padded room remain

Leave the horse’s hair on that slanted bow
Leave the slot machines on the riverboat
Leave the cauliflower in the casserole today

Leave the hot bright trash in the shopping malls
Leave the hawks of war in their capitals
Let the organ’s moan in the cathedral remain

Everything it must belong somewhere
They locked the Devil in the basement, threw God up into the air
Everything it must belong somewhere
You know it’s true, I wish you’d leave me here
You know it’s true, why don’t you leave me here?
Track Name: Lime Tree
I keep floating down the river but the ocean never comes
Since the operation I heard you’re breathing just for one
Now everything is imaginary, especially what you love
You left another message said it’s done,
It’s done

When I hear beautiful music it’s always from another time
Old friends I never visit, I remember what they’re like
Standing on a doorstep full of nervous butterflies
Waiting to be asked to come inside
Just come inside

But I keep going out
I can’t sleep next to a stranger when I’m coming down
It’s 8 a.m. my heart is beating too loud
Too loud
Don’t be so amazing or I’ll miss you too much
I felt something that I had never touched

Everything gets smaller now the further that I go
Towards the mouth and the reunion of the Known and the Unknown
Consider yourself lucky if you think of it as home
You can move mountains with your misery if you don’t
If you don’t

It comes to me in fragments, even those still split in two
Under the eaves of that old Lime Tree I stood examining the fruit
Some were ripe and some were rotten, I felt nauseous with the truth
There will never be a time more opportune

So I just won’t be late
The window closes, shock rolls over in a tidal wave
And all the color drains out of the frame
So pleased with a daydream that now living is no good
I took off my shoes and walked into the woods
I felt lost and found with every step I took