Soundtrack to a Deleted Dream World

by City of the Asleep

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The long-lost second City of the Asleep album, for which "Releted Dream World: Memoirs of a Machine" is the second half. Written 2003-2005 while I was working as a record store clerk and attending community college, being exposed for the first time to ideas that would shape my thinking for years to come. Also I was obsessively listening to Radiohead's "Hail to the Thief" at the time and starting to realize just how oppressive the uniformity of commercial consumerism could be.


released February 3, 2005




City of the Asleep Seattle, Washington

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Track Name: Suburbs of the Paranoiac
[sound of videotape being inserted into VCR]
The blue of an empty and unassuming sky,
The white of a freshly-painted picket fence gaping like a sun-bleached jawbone,
The green of a brand-new garden that just arrived in the back of a truck yesterday,
Black-tar asphalt still steaming with the blood of the potential it has annihilated,
Variegated rows of muted pastel houses, their idiot faces staring with vacant window eyes--
Silent, but for the sand of a distant lawnmower and the occasional car passing by,
Everything smells new, freshly made, straight out of the factory.
This brightness feels disingenuous, fanatical, but somehow hollow, because it is concealing something.

Behind these doors lurk lives of quiet desperation, unfulfilled dreams, confused desires, and things even more sinister.
The walking statistics that populate these euclidean husks exist in a hard-fought anonymity, forcing their faces into plastic masks in hopes that the flesh underneath will be reformed.
At night, as sleep stalks the streets distributing cold sweats and stirring up visions of repressed desires, the ghost of the paved-over Earth rattles its chains.
Those that remain awake stare at the squares of emptiness that are framed by their windows, and the emptiness stares right back into them.
All the arc-sodium lights in the world could not illuminate the darkness of a suburban street at night.
[sound of videotape being ejected from a VCR]
Track Name: Trail of Gears
The ego laughs, the spirit starves, the body hides its wounds.
The senses flee into anaesthetic dreams.
With hollow steps, recursive breaths, ambitions carve a pattern on the mind.
Enslavement feeds on pursuit of liberty.

Ignorant bliss: all that remains to conceal the stain of our sealed fate.
We cannot see the irony of prison bars forged from broken chains.
All hope is locked inside a dream of futures past, but this moment is the key...and yet we rot in circle hells, seeking cures in the source of our disease.

While this melody replays, the buildings rise in waves, crashing down in a flood of empty streets. What was born within our hands now makes its own demands. We have success at last: our lives are obsolete.

For all we've gained, what has been lost? The memory of what it meant to be anything but machines of flesh, mindless drones that see the world in binary. Now it's too late, we can't retrace this trail of gears that's led our world astray. Our only hope is that the rains of time will wash it all away.
Track Name: Yellow Lines into Oblivion
Shining sing in headlight's glow reminding me of how the distance grows.
This road leads just one way: to the land where the failed humans stay.
What I've held for all these years--I must realize that it's just fear.
I once knew a brand-new world...I wish time could still flow that way.

There's one thing I want more than my next breath: I want to remember the moment of my death. When you hold to such distinctions, how can you not believe that all roads paved by man's machines lead to insanity?

I've got a stomach full of knives, I've got an empty space inside.
Highways are just hallways outside...corridors for vagrant souls to roam lined with doors that lead back to empty homes. What I've held for all these years--I must realize that it's just fear. I once knew a brand new world...I wish time could still flow that way.

I've got a stomach full of knives, I've got an empty space inside.
Track Name: The Realist
I was born to lose my way in blinking lights (in camera eyes). I can feel a crushing weight. I've learned my lesson: no more questions.

Take the bait of packaged disconnection, feel the hook of static-born deception pierce my tongue (make me numb). Cleanse me with a hurricane of whispers, tear my mind, replace what I remember with apathy (with dead beliefs).

They'll weigh on me until I break.
They are the realest fear that I can find.
They are the tyrant treason of an open mind.
They are the worthless truth condemned to strike me blind.
Track Name: A Language Older Than Words
Can you feel the way Earth calls to blood: "Free yourself to run across me, return from whence you came"? It's our "souls", it's the deepest kind of love: elemental, anatomic, and instinct.

As distance shrinks between walls of rooms, the people that are trapped inside are pushed further from themselves...and they scream for the anguish of release, to return the blood to the dust beneath the streets.

We build machines to set things right, we shut our eyes to our true light. We forget that we're not weak--our flesh is made stronger than concrete.
Track Name: A Dying Robot's Last Dance
Ease into the fade that a whisper generates. A painful tide of resurrected connotative frames. Seen thru scarlet gauze, this memory's decay: a wound that time just might've mended, had I not looked away. Search the sky one last time, before the flames consume your eyes.

Silence speaks through a lipless mouth of reminiscent grace: the wisdom realized in the moment sepia turns to gray. It cannot die if you refuse to mourn it, it can't be born if you deny its message, but nothing stops the will that time ignores. What can't release can never be forgiven; what cannot change is doomed to be forsaken; the one belief that cannot be mistaken is this:

The words you whisper as the shadows grow, and waves of light recede from burning shores, will echo back to everyone you've been, reminding them of what will come to be on this burning sea.

Search the sky one last time, before the flames consume your eyes.
Deny regret, embrace defeat, and so consumed, become complete.