Unfinished Melodies: Demos, Rare & Unreleased 2003​-​2013 Vol. III

by Jason Reischel

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about

The majority of these demos are first takes that were recorded immediately after being written. My songwriting process involves trying to capture a song in a single 1-2 hour session. I have always claimed that I don't write these songs, I just pull them out of thin air and they are already complete. Everything has to come to me within those 2 hours (lyrics, chords, melody, and arrangement) or it is not going to come at all. I never go back and work on a song if it takes longer than 2 hours. I lose interest.

Once I decide the song is done, I record a quick, one-take demo (unless I really mess it up and have to do it again!) These recordings serve to remind me of the vocal melody, the guitar part and arrangement, as well as to capture the mood and the feel.

These demos were never meant for commercial release. They are very raw and some even have wrong notes/harmonies and bad percussion thrown in there for good measure. They are very "in the moment", and that is what I love about them. They sound exactly as I heard them in my head on the day I wrote them. It also is a good collection to see the evolution of a songwriter over a ten -year period. I hope that some of these songs speak to you the way they spoke to me.

Jason Reischel
Brooklyn, NY
March 6, 2014

credits

released March 6, 2013

All songs written by Jason Reischel (BMI) unless otherwise noted.

Produced by Jason Reischel
Recorded on either a) an iPhone using the "voice memo" app, or b) on Garageband using the laptop speaker as a microphone
Mastered by Danny Wolf at Man Eat Wolf studios
Cover photo by Patrick Eves
Cover design by Naira Ayvazyan for Preillusion Design
www.facebook.com/prellusion

Musicians:
Jason Reischel: guitars, vocals, percussion, ukelele, harmonica
Terry Quire: guitar on
Sam Pettit: guitar on 11
Russ Flynn: bass on 11
Danny Wolf: drums on 11

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Track Name: Burly, Old Couch [7-29-06]
Lazy days have got me putting of what I cannot hide
I'll do tomorrow what I promised just give me time to move
Off this burly, old couch
I feel tied down and I can't remember a time when I said to you

Take the children, take the dog, call my mother when you are through
The great provider that you are, I know that you need to rest your head
On this burly, old couch
You should lie down, relax, and let me take full control for you

You may not ask me if I'm ready to go
You may not ask me if I forgot
I know what I said, I will do it tonight
Just give me time

Lazy days have got me putting off what I cannot see
I wrote it down, made a list
And posted it plainly there for you to see

But this burly, old couch
Keeps me tied down
And I can't remember a time when I did what I should do
But this burly old couch
Keeps me tied down
And I can't remember a time when I did what I should do
Track Name: All Things Change [6-24-10]
Nothing is permanent; nothing is harder to forget
Than giving it all away, giving it all away for love
And when you’ve lost that spark
Think of someone close to your heart
Think of them with gratitude for what they’ve done for you

If you smile more than you cry
If they are always on your mind
If when you touch hands, it’s a warm extended embrace
If it’s just a memory or a path you seek
Remember that all things change, all things change

It can be overnight, or it can take time
There’s nothing we can do, it’s going to happen
So let’s just enjoy the time we have before it ends
Think of me with gratitude for what I’ve done for you

If you smile more than you cry
If they are always on your mind
If when you touch hands, it’s a warm extended embrace
If it’s just a memory or a path you seek
Remember that all things change, all things change

Like fabric and flowers, and colors of walls
And the hours of sunset

If you smile more than you cry
If they are always on your mind
If when you touch hands, it’s a warm extended embrace
If it’s just a memory or a path you seek
Remember that all things change, all things change
Track Name: Bad Mistakes [6-7-11]
Now everyone knows that the way that I feel
I mean I haven't been that quiet or confused
I've have looking through memories
And reliving old times
It's like yesterday and we hadn't a clue

Of what was real or where we were going
It didn’t' matter cause we both knew
Bad decisions were made by the dozen
But if we made enough we'd make up for them

Bad Mistakes
Bad Mistakes

Now everyone knows that they way that it is
And I never thought to change it at all
We'll work through our problems
And we'll work for our kids
And we'll work until we can't work at all

Was that the dream when we got going
It doesn't matter cause we both know
Bad decisions are made by the dozen
And we've made enough to be sure of it

Bad Mistakes
Bad Mistakes

You've got your ball and you've got your chain
But you've got the time to do it all
Only you can change the rules of the game

Bad Mistakes
Bad Mistakes
Track Name: A Long Way From Home [September 2003]
You’ll never know why I love you so
You’ll never see what you mean to me
You’ll never hear my words so clear
No, not today for I’m miles away
And a long way from home

I’ll fill you in on all the places I’ve been
We’ll cut the rug before I’m done
I’ve seen your face in every town I’ve been in
And will tonight, it’s a sight that I like

I count the days before I went away
And never knew there’d be much sorrow
I count the days since I left on my way
Would love to be with you tomorrow
But it’s a long way from home

You’ll never see what time does to me
You’ll never know how much I missed you so
The only thing that can save me
Is you tonight, in my arms, holding tight

I count the days before I went away
And never knew there’d be much sorrow
I count the days since I left on my way
Would love to be with you tomorrow
But it’s a long way from home

I count the days before I went away
And never knew there’d be much sorrow
I count the days since I left on my way
Would love to be with you tomorrow
But it’s a long way from home

You’ll never know why I love you so
You’ll never see what you mean to me
You’ll never hear my words so clear
No, not today for I’m miles away
And a long way from home

Not today for I’m miles away
And a long way from home
Track Name: New York Gets Cold At Night [7-13-09]
I stil feel the way i do
When I first saw you
It wasn't that long ago
It wasn't that long ago

When we first me on these streets
What promise did we keep?
New York gets cold at night
New York gets cold at night

What good am I to you
If I can't speak the truth
New York gets cold at night
New York gets cold at night

I still feel the way i do
I only think of you
Why are you so far away?
Why are you so far away from me?

One sign is all I need
Let me know you think of me
New York gets cold at night
New York gets cold at night

What good am I to you
If I can't speak the truth
New York gets cold at night
New York gets cold at night
Track Name: No Necklace (She Can't Wait To Dance) [8-4-08]
She don’t know what she is waiting for
She can’t see, she can’t unlock the door
That she can’t find, happens all the time lately

She can’t wait to dance
When she bought the dress that she would wear tonight
A different circumstance, she would’ve cut her hair
For it has grown too long
To pull it back, or leave it down
No necklace, or just leave it on

She don’t know what she is waiting for
She can’t see, she can’t unlock the door
That she can’t find, happens all the time lately

Much too lately
Much too hasty she feels she’s been with him

She can’t wait to dance
When she bought the dress that she would wear tonight
A different circumstance, she would’ve cut her hair
For it has grown too long
To pull it back, or leave it down
No necklace, or just leave it on

Much too lately
Much too hasty she feels she’s been with him
Track Name: Insomnia Song [3-15-10]
I used to write it down, I think I used to have it all
I never had a thing I didn’t need
But then you came along, and you gave me nothing at all
That’s when I knew you were all I needed

I lay awake each and every night
Waiting to fall asleep, a tear in each open eye
Working over-time to fight the light
Wondering what happened to the night, to the moon

I stumble through the day, and then I stumble through the night
I can’t tell if this is all a dream
I’ve talking to the Ivory Man who live beneath the stairs
He seems to think you are all I needed

I lay awake each and every night
Trying to fall asleep, your book is by my side
Helping me with boredom and rebirth
Helping to detach me from this earth, and you

I can’t stop thinking of you
I can’t stop thinking of you
I can’t stop thinking of you
I can’t stop thinking of you
I can’t stop thinking of you
I can’t stop thinking of you
Track Name: The Meaning of Life [5-12-10]
If you stay, I will say the right things
What I’ve never said before
I know that you will not be satisfied until I have
Told you the things that I want you to hear

I’ve been waiting for the right time
But now I know it’s been here
All along, although I never thought to try
To tell you what you wanted to hear

Even though that I said we’d be happy
I had no way to ever know
So I’ve been putting all our memories in boxes
So I can lock them away and save them for you

There’s no such thing as the right time
To tell the ones that you love
That you do everyday, and in every way
Then the meaning of life will surely come to you

The meaning of life will surely come to you
The meaning of life will surely come to you
The meaning of life will surely come to you
Track Name: Sit in Silence [10-7-08]
Alone and on this darkened road
I dreamt I had to row my way back to you
Alone, the hot sun fries my bones
They’re aching ‘cause I’m old enough to know what to do

I could sit in silence
But when I closed my eyelids
I can see the water crashing down on me
Why do I dream of drowning?
What is it that is hounding me?
I’ll have a cup a coffee to stay awake all night

Alone, these nightmares that I own
are owning me I’m told that I’ll see what they mean
Alone, like a thief caught in the night
I awake to find that I am still home

Am I searching for an answer?
To a question I can’t bare to ask
Why am I afraid to fall asleep tonight?

I could sit in silence
But when I closed my eyelids
I can see the water crashing down on me
Why do I dream of drowning?
What is it that is hounding me?
I’ll have a cup a coffee to stay awake all night

Alone and on this darkened road
I dreamt I had to row my way back to you
Track Name: Lately, I've Been Avoiding You [7-8-08]
I want you to know that if you fall down on me
I’d be inclined to pick you up
Do you share that sentiment?
Cause lately, I’ve noticed you looking down on me
And not even try to hide your smile

Lately, I’ve been avoiding you
Did you ask yourself why?
Lately, I’ve had no excuse to be rude
Did you ask yourself why?
Do you wanna know why?

Lately, I’ve been avoiding you
Did you ask yourself why?
Lately, I’ve had no excuse to be rude
Did you ask yourself why?
Do you wanna know why?

I haven’t had a thing to do
That wasn’t what I wanted to do anyway
It’s still the same, nothing has changed
But now I look the other way

I want you to know that if you fall down on me
I’d be inclined to pick you up
Do you share that sentiment?
Cause lately, I’ve noticed you looking down on me
And not even try to hide your smile

Lately, I’ve been avoiding you
Did you ask yourself why?
Lately, I’ve had no excuse to be rude
Did you ask yourself why?
Do you wanna know why?
Track Name: Lately, I've Been Avoiding You (Rehearsal) [3-5-13]
I want you to know that if you fall down on me
I’d be inclined to pick you up
Do you share that sentiment?
Cause lately, I’ve noticed you looking down on me
And not even try to hide your smile

Lately, I’ve been avoiding you
Did you ask yourself why?
Lately, I’ve had no excuse to be rude
Did you ask yourself why?
Do you wanna know why?

Lately, I’ve been avoiding you
Did you ask yourself why?
Lately, I’ve had no excuse to be rude
Did you ask yourself why?
Do you wanna know why?

I haven’t had a thing to do
That wasn’t what I wanted to do anyway
It’s still the same, nothing has changed
But now I look the other way

I want you to know that if you fall down on me
I’d be inclined to pick you up
Do you share that sentiment?
Cause lately, I’ve noticed you looking down on me
And not even try to hide your smile

Lately, I’ve been avoiding you
Did you ask yourself why?
Lately, I’ve had no excuse to be rude
Did you ask yourself why?
Do you wanna know why?
Track Name: Contain The Fire [2-4-12]
The one way to survive is to stay on your toes
The one way to survive is to know what nobody knows
What nobody knows

The one thing you can't forget is to look them in the eye
The one thing you can't forget is that everybody lies

Contain the fire
But you can't put it out
Contain the fire
But you can't put it out

Contain the fire
But you can't put it out
Contain the fire
But you can't put it out

Contain the fire
But you can't put it out
Track Name: More Than Double [5-25-11]
Not that long ago I was hopeless and feeling
I would never find a woman like you
And since we've been talking I feel I've been walking on air
I just don't know what to do

My friends tell me to just take it slow
But I worry that I'll let you go
I can't help but feeling this way
I have done it before
I want to change my ways

Since I met you all my questions are answered
And now I know what I need to do
I place in your hands all my faith and compassion
And I trust that you will see me through

My love for you grows stronger each day
More than double when you are away
The time has come for me to give in
I've never done it before but I can't wait to begin

To have your hand, and hold your heart
And wake up in the morning with you
To have your hand and hold your heart
And know that it's the right thing to do

My love for you grows stronger each day
More than double when you are away
It's taken me time to give up
But I know this is real, I know this is love

My love for you grows stronger each day
More than double when you are away
The time has come for me to give in
I've never done it before but I can't wait to begin

More than double when I am with you
More than double when I am with you
More than double when I am with you
Track Name: A Whisper Will Do [5-8-07]
What can I say?
When I see your face I melt away
And your eyes
I'm surprised I can even look away

Lazy summer days spent in the park
On the bench but sitting in the dark
Until you come and take
Until you come take me away

Into the light
I'll your hand and I will hold it tight
One kiss I'd steal
Just to make that you were real

And not a dream I had of love I lost
Of beauty so grand that I lose my voice
I can never say
What it is I want to say to you
To know how I fell
Do you even know how you feel?

And when I kiss you
Do you curl your toes?
Are your knees weak touching nose to nose?
Do you feel the same
Do you want to yell my name
So I will run to you?
Not a yell
A whisper will do
Track Name: Broken Bottle Blues No. 2 [6-27-08]
I forgot, you know, what it is you do
That keeps you up for hours while I snooze
Chicago, It must be in the air
Chicago, I really don’t care

I forgot, you know, what it is you do
When you’re low and you can’t shake them blues
When cocaine has gone to the brain
When all thoughts are one in the same

You can’t break my bottle and give it back
You can’t break my bottle and give it back

Do you know where I can get a gun?
Must shoot straight, must be the only one
That you would take to a duel
That you know would never fail you

You can’t break my bottle and give it back
You can’t break my bottle and give it back

You know you’re on the wrong side of the tracks
Bob Crosby would love to take you back
Just let him peak into your little sack, Jack
Then you’ll know you’re on the wrong side of the tracks

I forgot what it is they say
To feel the jack is to be blown away
Like Lester did every night
As we just did right now at this time

You can’t break my bottle and give it back
You can’t break my bottle and give it back
Track Name: Pieces Fall In Place [10-24-06]
You can try to put me inside the hole
But it’s not where I belong
You can turn me around, but I will never change
Unless you want me to, but we can’t change the game

I’ll leave it up to you, I don’t know where to go
But you can try me here
You can put me aside to concentrate your mind
On the task at hand
And I will understand if you change your mind

Wait and take your time
And play the game, rewind
And make the pieces fall in place
Don’t push too hard
Don’t pry
Don’t bend to make it slide
Cause when you’ve found the one you’ll know

Don’t tear or mutilate
If there’s one lost
A waste of everything we’ve tried to do

You are almost there
Your border of the air is only so close to me
That I can feel the breeze
Of your sneeze touching me
Track Name: Stronger Than You [11-4-06]
I haven’t smoked in two years
I never had the thought
That you might not be waiting
For me to come home

I try hard to remember
The time and how it relates to you
If it’s eight in the morning
Is it two to you?

You could never know the pain I’m hiding from
No, you would never make it through
I have my doubts if even I am a stronger than you
Are you strong enough for two?

I can’t seem to find fire
And the room is cold
Is New York as warm as a fireplace
On November 4th?

I don’t know if I look out my window
On a different road
I can see if it’s raining or snowing by you
I have no way to know

You could never know the pain I’m hiding from
No, you would never make it through
I have my doubts if even I am a stronger than you
Are you strong enough for two?

When will I see that you love me
When will I see that you care
I have to admit that it’s a little unfair

I haven’t smoked in two years
I never had the thought
That you might not be waiting
For me to come home

I’m not drunk, but I’m drowning my sorrows
For this I like to be alone
That said, I haven’t had many callers
Not one, and I should know

You could never know the pain I’m hiding from
No, you would never make it through
I have my doubts if even I am a stronger than you
Are you strong enough for two?
Track Name: I Don't Need A Fence [10-24-07]
I don't need a fence to keep me from you
I won't take offense if you build one
I will still come through
Because you need me just as much
As I need you
I don't need a fence
And you don't need one too

We can work in the garden
And plant seeds in the bed
And wait until the morning
And then talk over what we did

I don't need a fence to keep me from you
I won't take offense if you build one
I will still come through
Because you need me just as much
As I need you
I don't need a fence
And you don't need one too

You don't need to hide behind
Your fears by making mine come true
Now what to do?

We can work in the garden
And plant seeds in the bed
And wait until the morning
And then talk over what we did

I don't need a fence to keep me from you
I won't take offense if you build one
I will still come through
Because you need me just as much
As I need you
I don't need a fence
I don't need a fence
I don't need a fence
I don't need a fence
Track Name: Brown Eyes [6-30-10]
Not long ago I asked of you
To take me back
Take me back
Even though I was untrue
Won't you take me back
Take me back

I know I was wrong
Everyday I think about your brown eyes
Can you stay? A lifetime's too long
Holding onto the unknown
And thinking of your brown eyes

Please don't become a memory
Take me back
Take me back
My world is too dark to see
It's all turned black
Take me back

I know I was wrong
Everyday I think about your brown eyes
Anyway you can see me tonight?
There's so much that I want to try
To do for you

I know I was wrong
Everyday I think about your brown eyes
And the way you made me feel
I'm hoping that this isn't real
Can’t stop thinking about your brown eyes
Thinking about your brown eyes
Thinking about your brown eyes
Track Name: I Cried For You [4-28-08]
I cried for you
Part of me died
The part that was so true to you
Turned and ran
Left my heart exposed to your demands
But I tried

I cried for you
I have made a few mistakes
But though so have you
So let's just stop counting on
For our time is running out
So let's try
I cried for you

Now that I have lost you
The fault is all mine
I lied to myself until the end
That it was you playing games
That I forced you to play
But you tried

I cried for you
I have made a few mistakes
But though so have you
So let's just stop counting on
For our time is running out
So let's try
I cried for you

I cried for you
I have made a few mistakes
But though, so have you
So let's just stop counting on
For our time is running out
So let's try
I cried for you

Mistakes
For our time is running out
So let's try
I cried for you
Track Name: Regalo La Flor [4-1-08]
You could’ve been a heart-throb
You could’ve been a doll
If I go out of my head
You could’ve been them all

From the top of my head
To the top of my shoes
To the music in the air
To the moments that are true

That I will have a long night
On the old one 55
Take me into Memphis
Where I have to see tonight

In the back of my head
You haven’t changed in a year
My Juanita, mi amor
Quien te regalo la flor

I can see the sunshine
I can see the sun
In this moonlight hour
On this midnight run
But time is going to slow
Seconds turn into days
Only Mississippi stands in the way

Could’ve been a nightmare
Must’ve been a dream
If you were talking to yourself
Then you were talking in your sleep
But I heard another voice whisper in your ear
An unfinished melody for you to hear
It was an unfinished melody for you to hear
Track Name: Famous Thief [12-29-06]
Why do I always run away from
Far away from you
Now that you know that I have a lot to give
And I can't explain
What's its like to live with it
That's why I often confide in myself
Instead of you

If the ties that do bind us
Woud ever have to give
Well, then I must admit
That "take it or leave it" is really not my choice
And if forced to choose
I feel that you would know my choice
It's not something that I need to hide from you

With you I feel that everyone would know
With you I feel that everyone would know
With you I feel that everyone would know
With me you're a famous thief
Track Name: Camera In My Jacket [12-26-06]
Take me, there was one time when I knew a girl
She told me she was single and she liked to twirl
I talked her into walking and i knew right away
That her story was true
And the night dissipated away, away
Before I even knew she awoke and was gone
But she left me this note that i've been scribbling on

To try to place a name or a face
I believe there happens to be one picture I didn't delete
I know that I took many but late in the night
We tried to erase any evidence of our crime
It was late
I think I left my camera in my jacket downstairs
So we will l have a quick look and I'll check if it's there

I'm pretty sure I put it where I wouldn't forget
For I was pretty unsure of even where we were at
Somewhere off the 6 train, or the A or the C
Somewhere near the garden 'cause you wouldn't believe
The looks I got from walking with her in the night
I admit it felt good, I would have given a fight for her
It was late
Words don't do her justice, so let's take this outside
and see if I have a picture of my sweet Caroline

So let me look here first for I don't know if its right
To let you see her, let you see her in this light
I can't be too sure that you would keep your eyes closed
So I will take a step back where I will cover it up
So let me turn it on, the battery it is low
I'll have to scroll fast-forward and I can't take it slow
The pictures are all gone there nothing left to see
I thank you for the cigarette, I'll take it with me
Track Name: Anything Wrong (acoustic) [1-3-09]
Oh, me and Debbie we were not like normal friends
I never called her up to ask her out
But we could laugh and we’d sit around and reminisce
On all the wrong turns we made in our life

Now I keep thinking on the way she talked
A little bit uneasy, I wonder if anything’s wrong

We’re both survivors, that’s what me and Debbie say
Rolled with the punches and got on with our lives
If not for these talks, I’ll veture and I’d dare to say
I’d never credit myself with this life

Now I keep thinking on the way she talked
A little bit uneasy, I wonder if anything’s wrong

Debbie never made her mind up for herself
She looked to me to help to guide her along
But how can I sort through all this mess
She wasn’t quite as strong as she liked to think
She came in with the dawn, and then she’d leave with the night
Is there anything right?

Debbie never made her mind up for herself
She looked to me to help to guide her along
But how can I sort through all this mess
She wasn’t quite as strong as she liked to think
She came in with the dawn, and then she’d leave with the night
Is there anything right?

Oh, me and Debbie we were not like normal friends
I never called her up to ask her out
But we could laugh and we’d sit around and reminisce
On all the wrong turns we made in our life

Now I keep thinking on the way she talked
A little bit uneasy, I wonder if anything’s wrong
Track Name: Sunday Mornings [8-17-06]
I’ve always loved you
First time I knew was the first time I saw you
Walk into the room
I thought you might have made a wrong turn
I didn’t realize

How I’d come to adore you
And love your face
And every wrinkle we will erase by never knowing
Sunsets alone
I didn’t realize

How my whole world would crumble when I first saw you
Nothing else mattered
It was only you
I look back fondly on those days, my love
I didn’t realize that you were the one

We can grow old together
Watching rising tides, and setting suns
Moonlight drives
I’ll cook you breakfast on Sunday mornings

We can grow old together
Watching rising tides, and setting suns
Moonlight drives
I’ll cook you breakfast on Sunday mornings

Sunday mornings
Sunday mornings
Track Name: How Long Can I Wait? [12-27-06]
I was never one to wait
To wait for your call
I never wanted to wonder at all
If you would come through to me

Honey, that is why I’m taking
I’m taking my time
I don’t ever want to cross that line
Where I can’t pass through again

But how long can I wait?
But how long can I wait?
But how long can I wait?

And if I count the hours
Since I last saw you-still
It doesn’t help me to swallow the pill
That I will see you before long

And if I had one fault, dear
It’s that I spend too much time
Being lost in my mind
Thinking of you

But how long can I wait?
But how long can I wait?
But how long can I wait for you

But how long can I wait?
But how long can I wait?
But how long can I wait?
But how long can I wait?
But how long can I wait for you