Old Sins, Long Shadows

by Jere Mendelsohn

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about

The Beatles came and the Beatles went. Hello, Goodbye.

And in between, we listened and we watched and we absorbed and we inhaled. And we went on, traversing the jingle jangle of the sixties and the power-pop sonics of the seventies. We even survived a well-deserved smack in the jaw from the punks. Oh, there was more to come, but it didn’t matter. Not the corporate rock or the hair bands or the Eltons, Madonnas and the King of Pop. While we huddled over a turntable, boomed it from Chevy speakers, or beach-blasted from our transistors, we were perpetually plugged in–- our ears tuned –waiting to hear the aforementioned moptops, the Spoonful, the Kinks, the Pacemakers, Turtles and assorted Animals, and even the sparkling, prepackaged pop of the Monkees.

And so the hungry young musical wannabees stayed up late in their bedrooms and garages, rewinding their cassette players, tuning their electric knockoffs, desperately cribbing the chords and licks. The music stayed with them, too.For some of us, the music we grew up with and loved forged a path into the future. For some of us, the passion we felt for the music of our youth became our calling card. Armed with an eclectic guitar, a coil cord and an amp, some brave souls carried on – playing the music we loved, the way it was meant to be played.

Jere Mendelsohn is one of those kids who grew up in the 60s and 70s and never left its message behind. Crafting his own songs to reflect not only his own journey, but the spirit, exuberance, and melodies of the era he loves, Jere has created a body of work that incorporates the heart-tugging harmonies of the Byrds and Burritos, the crunchy beat of Rockpile and Petty, and the smooth power pop of Crowded House and Squeeze. It’s an eclectic sound, always anchored by the full-bodied, melodic guitars that are as much Jere’s voice as his sweet and gritty California vocals.

But Jere’ s music isn’t a simple recreation of a bygone era. This is no Americana Sha Na Na. While his deceptively catchy tunes wrap themselves around you, Jere is telling you the story of his life – all of our lives, in fact. For every one of us who started out in those rosier flower -powered days, there’s been love and loss; there’s been the searching--and the yearning. In Jere’s songs, we find ourselves “running in place in the middle of nowhere” or “standing on a crowded street all alone.” Although we’re “praying for a happy landing,” we must finally acknowledge “there’s no absolution...no saving grace.” In the end, we’re warned: “Old sins cast long shadows.”

Clearly, sayeth Jere, it’s not all Peter and Gordon. Yet we go on.

And perhaps those very doubts and suspicions lend themselves to a more hopeful future. As Jere notes, “When your heart is aching, you can count on me.”So -- here we are in a new year with new challenges, new mountains to climb, new battles to fight. The Sixties all over again. Back where we started, back in the saddle, back to listening to what we love. And at least we know this: Jere Mendelsohn and his music are not going away. In fact, he’s come through it all, and, although he would be loathe to admit it, he’s still an optimist: “I’m looking for some light at the edge of the world,” he sings. And that ain’t weird at all.

-Lee Cohen, Los Angeles, April 2017

(Lee Cohen has written for television and movies and is the co-author of the best-selling memoir, "The Children of Willesden Lane." More to the point, he has enjoyed the friendship of Jere Mendelsohn for much longer than either of them care to admit.)

credits

released April 11, 2017

Jere Mendelsohn: Vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, harmonica,
electric sitar, autoharp
Darice Bailey: Electric and acoustic pianos, organ, Mellotron, accordion
Ed Eblen: Drums and percussion
Brian Netzley: Bass
Matt MacKelvey: B3 organ on "Looking For Some Light"
Sean Wiggins: Second lead vocal on "Old Sins, Long Shadows"

Co-produced by Jere Mendelsohn and Andy Z/Institute of Noise
Engineered and mixed by Andy Z/Institute of Noise
Mastered by Brian Lucey/Magic Garden Mastering

Basic tracks recorded at Agoura Borealis Recording
Cal Campbell/Engineer
Additional Recording at Funeral Home Studios and The Institute of Noise

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Jere Mendelsohn Los Angeles, California

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Track Name: Middle Of Nowhere
It all seemed simple enough,

Two young hearts and a pledge of love,

Driving west to the sea and the sand,

Your head on my shoulder, my heart in your hand.

I had two hands high on the wheel, but there was

Something in the air that I just couldn’t feel,

Like the heat rising off of the road,

It was a little distorted, left me feeling so cold.

Now I’m under a starless sky, and the moon’s just a hollow grin,

Laughing down at the shape I’m in,

I’m running in place in the middle of nowhere,

Ever since you said goodbye.

Mile after critical mile

Lookin’ for some hope and a reason to smile

Then came that faithless day,

I was out in the road, and you were driving away.

Now I’m under a starless sky, and the moon’s just a hollow grin,

Laughing down at the shape I’m in,

I’m running in place in the middle of nowhere,

Ever since you said goodbye.

Goodbye………Goodbye……..

Now I’m under a starless sky; the moon’s just a hollow grin,

Laughing down at the shape I’m in,

I’m running in place in the middle of nowhere,

I’m just running in place in the middle of nowhere,

I got tears on my face in the middle of nowhere,

Ever since you said goodbye.

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye,

Middle of nowhere,

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.
Track Name: The Girl I Used To Know
I half-imagined it would happen this way,
A chance encounter at the end of the day,
While I’m making my way,
My way home, alone.
You know this city’s such an infinite place,
What were the odds we would meet face to face,
This way again?
So, baby, tell me how’ve you been?
She’s the girl I used to know,
Says she’s got somebody waiting.
Why did I ever let her go?
The girl I used to know.
After work we’d make a run for the train,
Dead tired, we got out of the rain,
Praying for a seat,
I pulled her close to feel her heart beat.
Her place was tiny over there by the park, so
We’d talk for hours on a bench after dark,
‘Til the night cooled down,
Grab a bite and maybe walk around.
With a girl I used to know,
Now she’s got somebody waiting.
How did I ever let her go?
The girl I used to know.
Now it’s summer giving way to the fall,
Get some coffee, maybe give you a call?
Gazing into her nostalgic eyes,
Her smile told me otherwise,
She left me standing on a crowded street,
All alone with my memories.
Of a girl I used to know,
Now she’s got somebody waiting.
And she really has to go,
The girl I used to know.
You were the girl I used to know,
Don’t want to keep somebody waiting.
I hope he never lets you go,
The girl I used to know.
My girl I used to know.

The girl I used to know.

Lyrics © 2015 by Jere Mendelsohn
Track Name: Mister Plan B
Somewhere tonight, music is playing,

Somewhere tonight, people laughing out loud,

You sit alone, hoping and praying,

He’ll come along and sweep you away from the crowd.

How many days, have you been waiting?

How many nights, have you walked home alone?

Girl, can’t you see, each time you tell me,

That your future is dismal and dim, how much I want to be him?

When your heart is aching, you can count on me,

Sitting alone, here by the phone,

Call me Mister Plan B,

Call me Mister Plan B.

I know it’s wrong to want you to love me,

I know it’s wrong to need you this way,

I can’t ignore all those tears you’ve been crying,

Or the longing I hear in your voice, I’ll gladly be your second choice.

When your heart is aching, you can count on me,

Sitting alone, here by the phone,

Call me Mister Plan B,

Call me Mister Plan B.

When everything you've waited for, and all your best laid plans,

Go tumbling like a waterfall, through your desperate hands…

I will still be waiting, you can count on me,

Sitting alone, here by the phone,

Call me Mister Plan B,

Put him in the past, let me be your last,

Call me Mister Plan B,

Call me Mister Plan B,

I’ll be Mister Plan B.
Track Name: Figures In A Landscape
Another incident, yet nothing’s changed,

He shakes your confidence, and you accept the blame,

You need your freedom now, yet you’re running scared,

The unknown calls to you, but you are unprepared and so…

The two of you remain; you fade into the scenery,

Like figures in a landscape.

You lose your will to love, your life becomes a silhouette,

Like figures in a landscape.

Your sadness is a friend, it keeps you company,

Now you’re so used to it, it’s like a basic need.

His words go ‘round and ‘round, oh girl, just like they always do,

Keep your resistance up, or else he’ll bury you and then…

The two of you remain; you fade into the scenery,

Like figures in a landscape.

You lose your will to love, your life becomes a silhouette,

Like figures in a landscape.

And so, the two of you remain, you fade into the scenery,

Like figures in a landscape.

You’ve given up your soul, your life becomes a silhouette,

Like figures in a landscape.

Figures in a landscape,

Figures in a landscape.
Track Name: Shadow On Your Wall
You went lookin’ for trouble, and you found it fast,

You knew what you were doing, and you knew it wouldn’t last,

I met you, girl, let you inside my head,

You left me hanging by a thread,

Now I’m slipping right over the edge.

When you run to him, and the lights go dim,

And darkness starts to fall,

There will still be a light you see, bright enough for me to be

A shadow on your wall.

Now don’t you love that fever, don’t you love that rush,

Love the aroma of love’s first blush?

It comes and goes with the speed of light,

Slipping off into the night,

It’s like a ghost in a dream that you can’t fight.

When you run to him, and the lights go dim,

And darkness starts to fall,

There will still be a light you see, bright enough for me to be

A shadow on your wall.

When you run to him, and the lights go dim,

And darkness starts to fall,

There will still be light you see, bright enough for me to be,

More than just a memory,

I’ll be a shadow on your wall.

I’ll be a shadow on your on your wall,

A shadow on your wall,

I’ll be a shadow on your on your wall,

You won’t forget about me.
Track Name: Old Sins, Long Shadows
First time I laid eyes on you, you looked so lost and lonely,

The warning carved into your heart said, “Invitation Only,"

I could not wait to heed that call,

Now I can’t wait for night to fall, ‘cuz

Old sins cast long shadows,

Your memory clings to me like a second skin;

When that sun sinks low, down below,

I hear love’s dead bones rattle,

Old sins, cast long shadows.

Now, you promised me devotion, Honey, I swore that I’d be true,

Just goes to show what restlessness and reckless youth can do,

For every kiss and sweet caress,

We sent a thousand to their deaths, now

Old sins cast long shadows,

Your memory clings to me like a second skin;

When that sun sinks low, down below,

I hear love’s dead bones rattle,

Old sins, cast long shadows.

Old sins cast long shadows.

To tell the truth now, Honey, you still got a line on me,

And when the light gets funny, I’m as dark as a fool can be.

They say one day your Maker, will all your sins reveal,

On that Day of Judgment, there’s nothing to conceal,

Now, if that day should never come,

I’m gonna keep my back turned to the sun, where

Old sins cast long shadows,

Your memory clings to me like a second skin;

When that sun sinks low, down below,

I hear love’s dead bones rattle,

Old sins, they cast long shadows, old sins, they cast long shadows.

Old sins, long shadows, old sins, long shadows,

Old sins, long shadows, old sins, long shadows,

Hey, hey, hey- that’s what I say,

Old sins.
Track Name: Without A Trace
She said, “A penny for your thoughts”

I said “Honey, you ain’t rich enough for that,

If I tell you what I’m really thinking,

You’ll be broke in seven seconds flat.”

Laughing, she said “Try me, go on and run it by me,

You never know what you might find.”

But darling, secrets are for keeping, and

My love is the leaving kind.

There’s no absolution, there’s no saving grace,

When a heart becomes a tear, a tear becomes a memory,

And that memory disappears without a trace.

Then she moved a little closer,

As the evening breeze went strolling through her hair,

My heart was in my throat,

And I could taste her sweet breath floating on the air.

All my comfortable resistance was no match for her persistence,

So I noted every exit north and south,

And I was gone before the day broke,

With a taste for Arizona in my mouth.

There’s no absolution, there’s no saving grace,

When a heart becomes a tear, a tear becomes a memory,

And that memory disappears without a trace.

The sun was high and mighty,

As I watched the landscape fade from green to brown,

The light came dancing off the mesa,

Where the sacred winds come screaming to the ground.

Where the red dust never settles,

It stings your eyes and whips your face,

Before it kisses the horizon, disappears over the ridge–– without a trace.

There’s no absolution, Honey, there’s no saving grace,

When a heart becomes a tear, a tear becomes a memory,

And that memory disappears without a trace.

Without a trace, without a trace,

Without a trace, without a trace.
Track Name: The Devil Took A Bride
When she met him at the function he was lookin’ rather debonair,

He had a casual demeanor- you might even call it devil-may- care,

And when he caught her in the candlelight,

She was a stunning little vision in white,

Strictly antebellum from her lace to her upswept hair.

He took her home, gave her a throne & made her queen of his underworld,

But all that fire and brimstone proved too much for the girl,

When her allergies began to react, he had to back off on the thermostat,

Pretty soon that place was colder than a freezer at the top o’ the world.

All he ever needed was a woman’s soft touch,

Did everything to please her ‘cause he loved her so much,

The Devil took a bride, the place went straight to hell.

They stayed up all night making love until they both were spent,

Come the morning he was crawling, couldn’t get his bad self out of bed,

As soon as people heard the news,

They started filling up the empty pews,

Now every sinner and his mother and his brother’s rushing down to repent.

All he ever needed was a woman’s soft touch,

Did everything to please her ‘cause he loved her so much,

The Devil took a bride, the place went straight to hell.

Now all the heathens and the demons knew the Big Guy wasn’t lookin’ too strong,

So they prayed for deliverance, in a flash of light they was gone,

Now The Lord wasn’t feelin’ too good about his newly-overcrowded neighborhood,

They got a line into Heaven ninety-nine light years long.

All he ever needed was a woman’s soft touch,

Did everything to please her ‘cause he loved her so much,

The Devil took a bride, the place went straight to hell; yes it did,

The Devil took a bride, the place went straight to hell.
Track Name: Looking For Some Light
Lying on my back, gazing out your window,

Staring at the midnight sun,

Thinking ‘bout the past, worried ‘bout the future,

Dreaming ‘bout things that I have and have not done.

(Whoa, whoa, whoa) Put your arms around me,

(Whoa, whoa, whoa) Make love to me, girl;

(Whoa, whoa, whoa) Take me through the darkness,

I’m looking for some light up at the edge of the world.

The wind in the trees, the last of the fire,

The smell of the rain through your door,

Your wintergreen kisses full of desire,

Your hands on my face, so gentle and warm.

(Whoa, whoa, whoa) Put your arms around me,

(Whoa, whoa, whoa) Make love to me, girl;

(Whoa, whoa, whoa) Take me through the darkness,

I’m looking for some light up at the edge of the world.

Holding you close while you lay sleeping,

To shield you from a sudden surprise;

I’m tracing your name in the small of your back,

Wishing I could see this world through your loving eyes.

(Whoa, whoa, whoa) Put your arms around me,

(Whoa, whoa, whoa) Make love to me, girl;

(Whoa, whoa, whoa) Take me through the darkness,

I’m looking for some light up at the edge of the world.

(Whoa, whoa, whoa) Put your arms around me,

(Whoa, whoa, whoa) Make love to me, girl;

(Whoa, whoa, whoa) Take me through the darkness,

I’m looking for some light up at the edge of the world.

The light, the light, I’m looking for the light-the light, light, light, yeah!

The light, the light, I’m looking for the light-the light, light, light, yeah!

The light, the light, I’m looking for the light-the light, light, light, yeah!

The light, the light, I’m looking for the light,

I’m looking for some light up at the edge of the world.
Track Name: What's So Weird Is
She spins stories out of thin air, tell you ‘bout her nightmare, and make it seem real,

She’ll feed you at her table, laugh when you’re unable, it’s no big deal;

She opens all the windows, sees what no one else knows about your fears,

She’ll wrap herself around you, very nearly drown you in her tears.

Days go by and she won’t even call,

Then she’s flying at you like a human cannonball,

And what’s so weird is, it ain’t weird at all.

She knows forty constellations, all her cable stations, some poetry,

She’s got water in her basement, knows where to place her apostrophes;

When her cooking’s a disaster, you can hear her laughter echo through the trees,

When she’s reading by the window, you can feel her heart break piece by piece.

Days go by and she won’t even call,

Then she’s flying at you like a human cannonball,

And what’s so weird is, it ain’t weird at all.

Now you can’t remember, where or when you met her,

But you know one thing’s for sure,

Your new normal is a whole lot better,

Than the one you knew before.

Days go by and she won’t even call,

Then she’s flying at you like a human cannonball,

And what’s so weird is, it ain’t weird at all.

She lies underneath a full moon, singing to you out of tune, but you don’t care,

She needs you just to love her, never ever judge her if you dare.

Days go by, she won’t even call,

Then she’s flying at you like a human cannonball,

And what’s so weird is, it ain’t weird at all.

Yeah, what’s so weird is, it ain’t weird at all.

What’s so weird is, it ain’t weird (at all), what’s so weird is, it ain’t weird,

What’s so weird is, it ain’t weird (at all), what’s so weird is, it ain’t weird,

What’s so weird is, it ain’t weird (at all), what’s so weird is, it ain’t weird.

Lyrics © 2013 by Jere Mendelsohn
Track Name: Sad-Eyed Lonely Girl
Sad-eyed, lonely girl, sad-eyed lonely girl,

He wasn’t good for you;

Sad-eyed, lonely girl, such a sad-eyed lonely girl,

When memories pull you down,

You’re on the next flight out of town.

You can run in desperation,

You can search all over the world,

I will still be waiting,

For the sad-eyed, lonely girl.

Sad-eyed, lonely girl, you’re a sad-eyed lonely girl,

With nothing left to give;

Sad-eyed, lonely girl, such a sad-eyed lonely girl,

What makes your river run?

It isn’t over ‘til it’s done.

You can run in desperation,

You can search all over the world,

I will still be waiting,

For the sad-eyed, lonely girl.

You can run in desperation,

You can search all over the world,

I will still be waiting,

For my sad-eyed, lonely girl.

Sad-eyed, lonely girl,

Sad-eyed, lonely girl,

Sad-eyed, lonely girl.

Lyrics © 1982 by Jere Mendelsohn & Ken Brown
Track Name: Search and Rescue
You love like the wind, fall like the rain,

Round and round in circles;

You blank out the past, erase the pain,

In your happy-ever- after dream world.

You’ve been lied to, and baby I know it,

Search and rescue,

I’ll take you in and soothe your weary heart.

You live on the edge, blown off the ledge,

By a wind with no understanding;

Fall through the sky, years flying by,

Just praying for your happy landing.

You’ve been lied to, and darling I know it,

Search and rescue,

I’ll take you in and soothe your weary heart.

Let me take you to a place where there’s sunlight on your face,

You can lose the darkness you’re drinkin’,

Or hold on to your pride, swim against the tide,

But you’re not as tough as you’re thinkin’,

You’re sinkin,’ you’re just sinkin’…

You’ve been lied to, and baby I know it,

Search and rescue,

I’ll take you in and soothe your weary heart.

You’ve been lied to, and darling I know it,

Search and rescue,

I’ll take you in and soothe your weary,

I’ll take you in and soothe your weary,

Just take me in and soothe my weary heart,

Oh, my weary heart.

Lyrics © 2013 by Jere Mendelsohn