Egocentric in the City

by Soy La Vid

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about

The Concept: Middle-class, suburbanite white couple moves to the city. Hilarity, heartbreak and selfishness ensue.

credits

released 06 September 2013

All album art by Kathryn Dart
"Our Second Christmas in the New House" backing vocals by Laura Abdon
"Good Questions" features Phil Edwards
Mastered by Channel Fuse Media

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about

Soy La Vid Indianapolis, Indiana

Soy La Vid is the musical whimsy of Mark Abdon. Graduated from DePauw U. and now hailing Indianapolis, IN - current interests include Cinnamon Toast Crunch, tall mountains, Jesus, living in the 'hood, and his wife Laura.

Musical parents include the unlikely matrimony of such persons as Iron & Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Coldplay, The National, George Winston, Sarah McLachlan, Hammock, and yes... Enya
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Track Name: Ghosts of the City
You say that God’s been talking a lot
Telling you things you shouldn’t know
You wrote it all down but went a bit Joseph Smith
And you lost it all

Like how to cure our diseases – like the common cold, and those pesky freckles

They push shopping carts with long beards and incoherent eyes
Tell me where do you sleep at night, oh

Stop you to talk about the weather
and the end of the world
And how they’re always watching you with cameras
Now I’m watching too

If nothing else – a survivor. But then again, not a whole lot more

They push shopping carts with long beards and incoherent eyes
Tell me where do you sleep at night, oh (x2)

Ghosts of the City!
Ghosts of the urban underground!
Ghosts of the City!
Ghosts of the urban underground!

Ghosts of the City!
Track Name: Atticus vs The House of Leaves
I am not the Atticus that I had hoped to be
I am inconsistent in loving people not like me
It’s hard to cross a culture every time I cross the street
I feel about as stable as that house of leaves

It’s more than an only child can take

Sometimes I look around and just lose my grasp on hope
My only consolation, Jesus, is that you don’t
Sometimes I look around and just lose my grasp on hope
Oh oh oh oh

That’s a lot of starfish by an unrelenting sea
That’s a lot of folks who are dying slowly
Many days I do not look the well-watered tree
Feel about as stable as that house of leaves

It’s more than an only child can take

(Chorus)

The Lord is concerned for the poor;
Ostensibly so am I

There’s nowhere else I’d rather be
But gosh! It keeps me in a near-constant state of dependency!
Track Name: Dear White Privilege
You may notice
I wear sweaters
I drive a hybrid
And I like Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain in the background
I like Seinfeld
And microbreweries
And we don’t raise our hands, raise our hands at church

Dear White Privilege –
Thank you for all you give
Smiles in the grocery store in place of glares or being ignored
I’m assured a better deal on an apartment or an automobile
Every job that I’ve desired – my skin’s not kept me from the hire
I walk down the street with my girl
We’ve never had to deal with a racial slur

You may notice
I climb mountains
I own a banjo
And I like Slanted and Enchanted in the background
I like sci-fi
And apple cider
And we are ignorant, ignorant of this

Dear White Privilege –
Thank you for the life I live
Casually I’m unaware of the color of my outer layer
The test are written for me to pass and the ceilings never made of glass
I can drift through colorblind – so tolerant; yes, I’m well-refined
Walk a mile in your shoes you suggest?
I’ll check my schedule and give you a tentative ‘yes’
Track Name: Confessions of a Recovering Racist
Can I admit
When I first saw you on the street
I was so afraid
I made assumptions on the spot
Though some of them were right; I was wrong more often than not

That’s in the past
Now I’m embarrassed to confess
I was on my guard
I judged the book by the cover
Though occasionally you find a good read; mostly I was off

Does this happen to you every day?
Do you have the hope that this will change?

It’s hard to say
The ‘r’ word self-referentially
Well, at least out loud
So can we soft-pedal this
And skip to the part where I admit how irrational I’ve been?

Does this happen to you every day?
Do you have the hope that this will change?

And in Luke chapter 10
His Samaritan
Answers the question
Of ‘Who’s my neighbor?’
Simply by loving him across tenuous ancestral lines

Does this happen to you every day?
Do you have the hope that this will change?
This will change.
Track Name: Our 2nd Christmas in the New Home
We’d just put away the autumn decorations
Replaced them with the winter ones
There were white LED lights all around
Lit up your face
Lit up the room
Lit up your face
Lit up the room

And in the background I try to set the mood
“Christmas in the Room” was still just too strange for you
But I asked you to dance, spun you around
Just like the movies
In the living room
Just like the movies
In the living room

The droning sound of the everyday took nothing away
Yeah, the dishwasher sang along with us
And I could tell from your eyes; green and brown
That you love me deeply
In the living room
That you love me deeply
And I love you

And if it’s our last Christmas together; just you and I
Hang out to memories like this one for me
Track Name: Tonio/Ace Boogie
This isn’t the first time that I’ve done this he said
“Gardening?”, I ask.
“No”, the 8-year-old replies
“This isnt’ the first time I’ve helped a white person dig before.”
I smile quizzically, shake my head, and keep digging

Ace Boogie jump the fence
Ace Boogie chase you home
Ace Boogie bad name to
Every other pit bull

Ace Boogie attack my wife
Attack my dog
Attack the kids
Attack the kids
Ace Boogie – animal control; you’re gone
Track Name: Go For a Swim
Fold my hand and flag down a plane
Red and blue lights flash in my brain
I could stick it out in the urban fog or
I could fill my life with the SkyMall catalogue… Oh oh oh

Tradin’ fadin’ street lamps for the palm trees
Inner city pressure for 82 degrees
Broken-down mothers for the heated pool
An absence of fathers for the detached and cool…. Ah ah ah

I think I might go for a swim
While my friends lose hope and take it on the chin

I pretend to live in the city
Where the prostitutes are far from pretty
But truly I am off on beaches
Sipping drinks with stunning features

I think I saw someone famous
They told me that the money’s aimless
I think I saw one of my neighbors
They told me they’re living off of vapors …. Oh oh oh

I think I might go for a swim (I want to see beautiful people)
While my friends lose hope and take it on the chin (I want to see beautiful people)

There’s one difference between your life and mine;
I can trade up any time I like
‘cause I’m white and I’m middle class
I’m white and I’m middle class
I’m white and I’m middle class
I’m white and I’m middle class

Think I might go for a swim
While my friends lose hope and take it on the chin
Track Name: All I Want to Do is Read a Book
I am the most internally conflicted person in the room
But my cotton candy face will lead no one to assume
That my chest is a churning, roiling, burning cement mixer
So I smile just like we practiced in the mirror for the picture

When all I want to do is read a book
From cover to cover
My introversion makes me a pretty bad party guest
But an attentive lover

No one likes the music that I put on for the background
No one seems to notice that I’m upstairs; not coming back down
You laugh at things to which I relate and it’s doin’ me in
Can we pretend that you empathize or at least cognitively understand

Yeah this party wears me out; I only know so much about the weather
A small child that can’t be left unattended; wrapped ‘round you – I’m a tether

I open my mouth to let you in on the turmoil but I’m cut off
I don’t have the confidence to break in and pick up where I was cut off
I’ve got this enigmatic ocean that’s inside of me that I don’t understand myself
So maybe instead of trying to wade you through it I should place it on the shelf
And quit.

No one can tell I’m sentimental inside
Pull the trigger but it sits just like seaweed in the tide
No one can tell I’m sentimental inside
I yank the floodgates open but the flood it subsides
Track Name: Urban Hymn
Ah, Sovereign Lord, my city grace
With mirrored facets of thy face
Reweave your church into the fabric
Stitched by orphans and the addicts
Restorer of the streets with homesteads
Send your builders to the homeless
Paver of the patchwork roadways
(nos) Manda san trabajadores

Ah, Sovereign Lord, my city break
Of habits formed and poor forsak’d
Reverse the exodus to comforts
Of the self-protecting suburbs
Oh year of Jubilee proclaim!
Thus inequality profane
Dry bones again sinew with life
Graft us into our brothers’ strife

Ah, Sovereign Lord, my city bless
Renew thine urban wilderness
Consume the dross of sin’s oppression
Leaving thy sweet resurrection
That thou hast promised ages past
Oh glorious sight mine eyes possess!
To see descending from on high
Our eternal dwelling nigh!
Track Name: My Grass Won't Grow
My grass seed sits there
On top of rocky soil
Content to grow
Into nothing at all

No one will know it was even there

Ooh it overwhelms me
Oh it overwhelms me
The rain will wash them away

I yell at my lawn
Naming it as lazy
Yet I provide no
Fertilizer or straw

Nothing grows here. No roots are put down

Ooh it overwhelms me
Oh it overwhelms me
The rain will wash them away
Track Name: There Are Really Only Two Ways to Live
(I’ve got it all)
I wrap my arms around my knees
And like a hive of honeybees
I would insulate myself
And then drink to my good health

Pat my back for my morality
And my honed artistic palette
See me make an entrance at my church
While my insides are a hearse

Wake up when I’m 83
With a pampered life trailing me
And I weep with persistence
For my purposeless existence

Well that was my plan; what do you got?
Oh oh oh oh oh

I will unwrap your arms and spread them out
Turn your individualistic outlook around and about
I will grow your heartstrings until in time
They reverberate and resonate with what shakes mine

Happiness cannot be gained in the pursuit of happiness itself
But the joyful life is a byproduct of something else

And may I suggest
To retry Jesus
No I don’t mean the church or the moral law
But the knowing him frees us
Cause the one who knows you best
Is the one who loves you most
Can you set aside your cynicism?
Make room for the Holy Ghost?

And he’s moving to the city
Started with a garden but it ends with a city
Track Name: We'll Just Move
There’s a house
No longer a home

But if
Things get too bad
Child, don’t be sad
Well we’ll just move
And If
Things get too good
Go like they should
Well we’ll just move