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Latitudes and Longitudes

by Signals Midwest

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about

Most of the tracking for this record took place over two cold days in early March of 2011 in a warehouse nestled between Cleveland's Ohio City and Gordon Square districts. We tracked 8 songs the first day and another 4 the next (2 didn't make the record). Almost all of the bass, guitars and drums were tracked live, together, in a room with a loud and mildly hilarious gospel choir stirring next door. Vocals and overdubs were completed sporadically throughout the next two months. Joe and Josh came and played horns on "The Weight & the Waiting", Laine sang on "January & Seven", and a bunch of our friends came in and did gang vocals and drank too many beers and got us sidetracked.

Adam Wagner at Bad Racket Recording Studio did a killer job recording and mixing, and Mark Trewella of Full Circle Mastering in Philly lent us his mastering talents. Somehow it all came together and we ended up with what is now Latitudes and Longitudes. We hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we did making it.

credits

released December 27, 2011

Signals Midwest is:

Maxwell Stern - Vocals, Guitars
Steve Gibson - Drums, Vocals, Trumpet
Loren Shumaker - Bass, Vocals
Jeff Russell - Guitar

Joe Quandt - Saxophones on "The Weight & the Waiting"
Josh Scott - Trombone on "The Weight & the Waiting"
Laine Seliga - Vocals on "January & Seven"

Recorded, produced and engineered by Adam Wagner at Bad Racket Recording Studio in Cleveland, OH

Mastered by Mark Trewella at Full Circle Mastering in Philadelphia, PA

March - June 2011

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about

Signals Midwest Cleveland

we are a punk/indie band from cleveland, ohio. we've been doing this together since 2008. we will play in your kitchen or anywhere really.

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Track Name: In Tensions
I awoke to a new sun and a heartbeat in your chest in a rhythm that I'd never heard. I couldn't keep time, no matter how I tried. Each moment was a couple steps behind. This can't last. Awkwardly pacing, I find myself flailing as I try to pinpoint the direction you're sailing. Classically conditioning myself while you struggle with sustaining mental health. I chased after you but the tempo kept increasing and my lungs began to freeze. And as the darkness spread I heard a voice that said, “Quit wearing those holes in your shoes. Things don't exist just because you want them to.”
Track Name: Monarchs
We broke down at the base of a mountain, way out west past the Hutchinson plains. I was more lost than I'd ever been and I must admit I found it kind of ironic that I was straining for a signal while you were drowning in a sea of them. I wore you around my wrist for 6,000 miles and 113 days. I reminded myself every day that the ground we were standing on was the same – just separated by a couple thousand miles and a few imaginary lines. I was counting the miles. You were counting the days. Ain't it strange that the numbers we wanted were moving in opposite ways?
Track Name: Family Crest
I can hear every noise this house makes, supported by a skeleton of steel. The termites eat away at the foundation and it's only a matter of time. And your family crest hangs on a frame in the hallway next to a painting that you made when you were 10, and each brush stroke glares a reminder of a simpler time when we were more concerned with living life than with what it meant. Enveloping and circling my mental state. This house is empty; every sound reverberates. So I plug my ears and try not to communicate but it has taken hold. I keep a notebook under my desk so I can write all my dreams down, or at least what of them I remember when I wake. Spending hours scanning the pages for some indication that these dreams and life might somehow intertwine. Because more than anything, I just want to believe it; that we all end up just where we should. And we can all have faith in the decisions we make under shelters of concrete and wood. So I evaluate the options I'm presented with. Navigate these notions of embarrassment. Long to learn “are my laments legitimate?” but it has taken hold.
Track Name: Memo
I closed my eyes, counting my blessings one by one. Confessing memories and sharing childhood secrets. We shared a town, a conversation, some friends and a roof for a few hours and I took for granted just how easy it was to live. Did you make the arguments that you felt you needed to? Did you appreciate those who surrounded you? It might have been in a classroom in the early 2000s that our feet walked these same halls.
Track Name: I Was Lost
Thoughts become words become actions become habits become cycles you get stuck in. So let's leave. We can eat when we're hungry. We can sleep when we're tired. We can live the way we want to. Let's get lost. And we? We were kids. We were strangers. We were pilgrims. We were traveling for the sake of seeing something that we hadn't. And I admit: I was shaken by the words of a stranger. I asked him, “What do you do in a town like this?” He said, “Everybody's working just to get out of here.” But is here any better than there? Or is it all just gas stations, truck stops and commercial developments? And is home any place that you feel you belong? I don't care just what state we're in. Keep the odometer spinning. Let me make it back there because I know just how naïve I was.
Track Name: The Quiet Persuader
Pacing hotel room hallways. Trying to call you but not getting through. Driving congested highways, closing whatever space that I can. Calming, a calming effect that is only achieved by arguing with those kind enough to listen to you. And then there's me; I'm the quiet persuader. Willing things to just happen while everyone else is working, working for something. Oh, to accept the space between what we do and what we dream of! Every compromise, every sacrifice just builds up the shame. Is it so much to ask, to make a life out of this? I should be choosing my words but I'm throwing my fists. I should be building up a wall against a sedative complacency but nothing's gonna calm it down and no one's getting through to me. Just how much longer can we stay? Just how much more can we take? We should be making our marks but we're cleaning the walls.
Track Name: Limnology
Burn brightly, my fair city. This is my last song to you. I've been spending my nights stumbling drunk and arguing with claims I can't refute. I circumvented this entire town, east to west and back again. I walked a tightrope on the power lines across the river and that's how I learned to swim. You'll never escape it – it will follow you. I shifted in my seat at the funeral and searched for a memory of you, but all my efforts were fucking useless so I strained for a mental substitute. But I can't escape you; you are part of me just like the body that's glued to my feet. I can't escape you; you are part of me just like the tongue that's trapped behind my teeth. I can't escape you; you are part of me just like the mouth that allows me to speak. You'll never escape it – it will follow you.
Track Name: January & Seven
13 degrees, January and seven. It's warmer inside but we can still see our breath. Playing board games in low-light conditions. Making grandiose plans for the good times ahead. Outlets pump life into lighting devices we'll regret we left on when the envelopes come. Yeah, we had some setbacks but it was a good year and I do believe there are things we learned from. If this is all a dream, then I don't wanna wake up. If this is all a dream, then I'm staying asleep. Body heat warms up the crumbling apartments where friends and acquaintances gather to talk. We stood on the rooftop. I told you I loved you and as if on cue, the fireworks went off. If this is all a dream, then I don't wanna wake up. If this is all a dream, then I'm staying asleep. And I will hibernate through every freezing winter. I can wait it out. I want to show you I am strong.
Track Name: Construction Paper
As I stand here locked in your warm embrace I'm not sure how I should be feeling. In a couple of days we'll be leaving this place for opposite coasts in a parallel world. Hypotheticals and scenarios – what if we could stay? I could sell back my textbooks and close my accounts and we could just live for a while. I just can't help but feeling that all of this idle talking is getting me nowhere. So I planned my life out on a piece of construction paper. I accounted for every waking second but the actions behind the words proved to take much more than I thought they would so I pointed my bow in a westward direction. So where should I be sailing? Cause all of this navigation just feels like flailing.
Track Name: The Weight & The Waiting
How could I ever forget the cheap taste of vodka we drank and the lingering scent of stale cigarettes? I tried to erase it but now it will always remain engraved in my brain. Patiently stating a message in sepia tone: “Stay strong and be well. I'll see you again.” And how are you dealing with death? When you look down upon me do you judge how my time is spent? Or am I wasting my breath which I should be saving for making due statements of love, of friendship and trust? These are the questions that we never got to discuss, cause I was so young and you were still here. “You don't wanna know just where I've been, like my father before me and his father before him.” I was counting the miles, you were counting the days. Ain't it strange that the numbers we wanted were moving in opposite ways? We've been building towers of tensions. We've accepted our own imperfections.