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Dust Diner EP

by Levon Henry

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Dust Diner is the singing & songwriting debut of American musician Levon Henry, also known for his career as a woodwind multi-instrumenalist. This is his first release as a leader since the instrumental effort Music for Trains of 2013.

[dust diner as in: to dine on dust, as in: the dust not the shelf, as in: to ruminate on the alterations of nostalgia more than the actual events, as in: to discard the body but keep the flake, as in: i can't enjoy this meal because of everything else that happened in these four walls, as in: there is too much association going on, as in: too much dust at the diner, as in: that guy is making weird faces at me]


released March 10, 2015

Levon Henry: Vocals & Acoustic Guitar (+ electric bass, track 3. additional keyboards and guitars, track 6.)
Dominic Mekky: Keyboards & Electronics
Tom Csatari: Electric Guitar & Effects

All songs by Levon Henry © 2015.

1, 2, 3, 5, & 7 recorded by Levon Henry at Le Petit Abri in Lyme, New Hampshire.
4 & 6 recorded by Levon Henry at the Garfield House in South Pasadena, CA.

Mixed by Mike Odmark.
Mastered by Julian Cubillos.

Artwork by Vaughan Ray.

Released by Tiny Montgomery, TM04



all rights reserved


Levon Henry New York, New York

Levon Henry is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter from Los Angeles who currently lives in New York City. In addition to recording sand performing his own music, Levon works extensively as a reed player for others, and on the side as an audio documentarian for Rock Fish Stew. ... more

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Track Name: Lullaby
why i see wolves when i
think of the ocean
oh why
i gather fever from the street
when it’s oh so lonely
and plenty’s out there too

turned on the kettle and
down went the pilot
i wouldn’t
believe you that he’d lived
lying in the backyard
the sky is resting now

sometimes sleep takes a fucked up lullaby, lullaby

i’ll stay in bed until
i can remember
just who
i let in last night
they’re out in the front room
i’ll wash up on the rocks

all my old flannels and
tack dioramas
long gone
traded for some buzzard’s talk
know I’ll never lose
for I can’t chase them off

i'm loving my failures because they'll keep me company
loving whatever will keep me company
how are you keeping the morning so hungry today

sometimes sleep takes a fucked up lullaby, lullaby
Track Name: Canine Teeth
where did you go with my canine teeth
my longest rope, my early belief
i gave them to you to give back to me
fool that i was to give to receive

i stay in the truck and swallow the nails
as the timberline thins I fill up the pails
with runoff tobacco and the blood I don’t need
fool I was to kiss just to be kissed

she’s still in the car, back at the filling station
and I’m halfway to canada without insulation
i feel badly she likely won’t get the car started now
she'll run the heater too waiting for me to come out

fool that I’ve been to speak just to breathe
and a fool she is for being so easily deceived
and shame on me for letting her believe
that I just stopped in to use the facilities

and a fool she is, she oughta know it’d be just like me
to slip off like that, without a word about it
and a fool I am for letting her believe
i was above any of those easier methods

where did you go with my canine teeth
the final condition of my early beliefs
so the fool I am, to give to receive
nearly to canada in my shirt sleeves
Track Name: Snake Oil
to produce flame
tall and clean
in passing
it licks back, the faster forward
on the filthy banks
a bottle of snake oil
you’ll take it any way it comes
you’ve got an empty bucket
you found a rusty nail

i disappear behind whatever it is
you need from me
whatever it says on the front of the label
let it be all things of which you think me able

to produce flame
calm and sure
when leaving
keep it from the open window

on the filthy banks
a can of turpentine
still holds the same currency
you’ve got an empty bucket
you found a tarnished dime

i disappear behind whatever it is
you got from me
whatever you read on the back of the can
i’ll let it be all you ever think i am
Track Name: Car In The Night
they’re lining up in every season
just to be on national television
put up roadblocks to let it through town
till then to wonder how to get around

and pouring out the rest
of the aluminum cast
the metal gone cold so quick
i forgot to even ask
was the motel too quiet
or your pulse too fast
to want to stay a while?

as the light falls on the concrete terrain
and i watch another steal back in its wake
the letters you send i open quite late
for them to take me anywhere

and the envy of
each connected star
is for the ones who get pulled
out of the jar
and handled in pockets
and sweaty palms
and likely rubbed out
but still seen on their own
well scapegoats you know
i’ve got plenty of them
and now the looks i get
are just empty gloves dear
and i resign
to have been one of them
to secretly exist

well maybe it’s better, that you left anyway
i get the feeling for being small
like a car in the night
Track Name: (Talkin') New Spectacles
with new spectacles he said “don’t you ever try to breathe
with the same breath that you use to grieve"
too many times in the mornings i spend
waking just to clean out the den
from last night’s party
get the grease out of the tub, take out of the trash, recycle the bottles
sylvie was there
i know you heard it, and you believed it too

ain’t it just like that old fire bell
says it’s rightly the end, but first a story to tell
keep busy while you’re waiting for what’s new
why there’s plenty of the old stuff still to sell
to the neighbor’s kids
they’ll take anything, a bit like her and a bit like you

well i told them sylvie was no longer my friend
but still kept mother’s kerchief around her neck
it was a hand-me-down
from my mother to her
it is a signal that will play out later on

is it already time to call in the cows
i’ve seen a few friends, took the christmas lights now
just barely finished clearing the porch
in time to sit down and find my place in this book
the protagonist is seasick
but he gets along well with the captain
god i hope he gets the girl

you’ll never guess what happened the night before
i was in the kitchen prying ice from the tray
and everyone sitting around with nothing
to say to each other, just silent expecting
the door to open, one more time
well i don’t know who invited her

it is evidence of spring when the wood it creaks
and the door doesn’t fit like it fit before
the warm weather expects to be invited inside
and who wouldn’t with such lovely eyes
it’s bandit season
everyone’s passed out at 4am in the front yard
and the kitchen door is wide open

sylvie walks in looking much the same
while i’m trying to master the gin and tonic
i didn’t notice the hand on my shoulder
just like i missed that three-foot-boulder last thanksgiving
wrecked the ford
and hard a bird delivered, for myself, to the auto yard

she says to me: you’re looking very well
i say back to her: well how can you tell
she says: at least better than at the beach
you were all burned up by the time we reached the hotel
i knew i might as well, she said, leave you then
when they messed up our reservation and gave us a single bed
i said that’s weak symbolism... when it’s self-fulfilling

i’m so glad that she had a good time
i’m especially glad she enjoyed the wine
even gladder than that, that she’s also well
and gladder still that she’s got a new friend
i’d say thanks for not bringing him though
seeing her and blue and twinkletoes and t-bone and j-bird all asleep out front
i knew i’d already been robbed long ago, there was no need for the door guard

i remember the first time she came into town
she tripped on the curb stepping out of the car
only used one hand to break her fall
the other stayed covering the lines about her neck
she’d had some trouble early on, much before our time

i fit the bill for a while anyway
that’s all any of us can really hope for
no matter the differences of circumstance
you get to keep what you can grab and hold
on your way out
while steady goin
you get to keep what you can grab and hold
on your way out
while steady join
you get to keep what you can grab and hold
on your way out
while steady going

bury me later with a raincoat on
i might need it, i might need it
you can bury me later with a raincoat on
i’m gonna need it, i’m gonna need it
Track Name: Dust Diner
i identify with this man
he has shaved this morning
think i’ve seen him before

he palms along the vinyl booth
and then sips his coffee
with both hands outright

he’s got that kinda look
like you’ll never know which way he’s gonna go
like he bowls with his left but shakes with his right
ain’t one stretch of straight track in this country
always some kinda weather to tire the boys out

is he here to tell me something true
or he's just some final eagle out along the land
or just, making sure he ain’t the only damned one
in a booth without a plan

the neon shines outside
and the cool air drifts in
it is an un-brokered exchange

he palms along the vinyl booth again
for the moisture between
unrelated on the same stage

and looking straight this way
maybe he waited for me to show my flake
maybe watched what i took to decide what to take
when he’s left the loose change and rising
leaves his cigarettes on the table, nods ’your move’

sister, i’ll not call you anymore
but it’s, too far back to walk to close the door
still i play all the better tapes
the ones from days you really gave

walking quickly now
and the manager is flossing in the back
i walk out along the mud-darkened dawn-shadowed land
though it has not yet begun to ring
there is dust at the diner
too much dust at the diner