What Is and What Could Be

by Little Yellow Dog

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04:03
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04:56
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04:40
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05:13
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about

What Is and What Could Be was recorded largely through a music tracking application on a smartphone and a small headset microphone. Map of The World, I Was A Savior, Free Spirit, and Slowdown Dreams were conventionally recorded with good old fashioned microphones and laptops.

credits

released February 12, 2014

All songs written, performed, and recorded by Dakota Buyka with exceptions to track 5 and 10.

Free Spirit features Drew Settipani on trumpet and Brian Roberts on bass guitar.

Map of The World was recorded at the Modern Renaissance Studio and mixed by Frank Lintzeris.

Album artwork and editing by Griffin Thorne.
Photo by Robert Botts

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about

Little Yellow Dog Chicago, Illinois

Little Yellow Dog is the creative outlet for Chicago-area musician Dakota Buyka. Accompanying Little Yellow Dog during live performances is Gaspare Stabile on drums, Deven Elion on lead guitar, and Stuart Beaman on bass guitar.

The story-like writing of Little Yellow Dog aims to tell tales of friends lost and gained, romance, heart break, and ambition.
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Track Name: Entry Number Three (Snake Pit)
Woke up three mornings ago in a snake pit made of friends.
Realized how the mornings are cold and the heat will meet its ends.
You've told me how the goings been rough, like the devil at your door.
Lucky you have all the answers and the band will write your score.

So tell me now, am I volatile? I won't hold anything else in.
We can play follow the leader and only forget your sins.

Woke up three mornings ago in a snake pit made of friends.
Realized how the mornings are cold and the heat will meet its ends.
You've told me to be self aware, that I can't settle down without a mess. Well I'll let you confess.

So tell me now, am I volatile? I won't hold anything else in.
We can play follow the leader and only forget your sins.

We won't hold our tongues. Just keep that breath in your lungs.
Track Name: Grace of Caroline
Come quick. Come gather 'round. Please listen to the story of what I've found while I was traveling alone. I was gone for several years. I met a friend. We shared some tears over what we couldn't get back.
And as the talk got heavy she said, "Babe, it's been a year."

She spoke of all the men who tried to cross her out with their quiet persuasive pens. And all those black eyes they gave to her with their blue inked smiles.
I said, "Oh god that must hurt, but first tell me your name."

"My gosh I've forgotten my pace. I'll have you know that my name is Grace. And would you please oblige my taste and indulge me in the man behind that face?"

This is where I go, but this time I said, "No. Oh Grace, so pure and divine. What will you gain from your hand in mine? There's love that we'll find and she might be sitting in the seat across from mine, but from the year you've had think back to your dad and the lessons that he preached."

"Dear child of mine, daughter of Caroline, stay safe during the rain." Is what he said to her. And she knew what he meant, it was time for her to stay away from wet cement.

That night we parted in our ways and I felt like a stray who left his own home, but that word in my head that I couldn't shake from bed still gave me peace of mind 'cause I knew she'd be fine. That daughter of Caroline. That daughter of Caroline.
Track Name: Slowdown Dreams
What's there to say when all of these words have been spoken? I can rhyme in meter with my grammar all broken. My thoughts are scattered, scattered and few. With an ounce of concentration this message will come right through. I'm not scared of dying, but I'll look for success. A quiet strum of a chord, maybe that will impress.

See men sitting on the corner of a god-forsaken town, while I rest in the front seat of my car. Driving past an old dream, forgotten long ago by a man who sees the world pass before his eyes.

We'll wish and pray to stave off dismay of all that's been done and never done before.

Keep yourself busy, try as you might. The stage is getting brighter as you sweat beneath the light. Your finger tips are bleeding from your little Hollywood dream. It's a cut too deep to be healed by a balm or a cream. So you press on tight and hold to what you know. There's no time for thinking when you're minutes from a show.

Then we'll come together in a plaster-walled hotel drinking and singing with smiles from the show. We know it's all passing, just a glimpse of what's ahead. When we wake we fidget with our phones.

So go on now go. Tell 'em all how much you know from all those lessons learned with back-alley whores.
Fight, fight, fight. I said try as you might to see the day, you'll see the day.
Track Name: Dandelions
When the road withers those soles of yours, then sit in the ash of your pastor's place. Let those feet of yours hang above the dandelions. Jump when you know it'll hurt your blood filled feet.

The shock of falling; that bolt though your body. It's a sobering moment of clarity, a vacuum. Now you see the road's much shorter than it was before and maybe your soles can take the heat from the floor.

In the distance we can see the ever fading memory of every place we've been: names, faces, girlfriends. The drunken nights I sit and pray that you like it, my lame excuse for a try. And you'd barely even bat an eyelash. Then you pry the words straight from my lips. Every time you say goodbye the sting really hits.

I've wasted all my money while searching for a bank; where I can invest in a lifestyle I'll thank. The sound of trees falling; the shock in your head. The sound of trees falling; the shock in your head.

Dandelions and ash where the sun first set burning the horizon with boyhood regret regret regret regret regret.
Track Name: Free Spirit
You break the seal of your crusted eyes at dawn, never quite sure where you are in those first few moments. Your collected landmarks give a signal in your brain telling you this is the bedroom you've spent the past twenty years in, the past twenty seconds.

All the time you've had and all the time you'll have.
All the time you've had and all the time you'll have.

You claim independence and self-determination, but how free are you? Let's check the time. Oh it's getting late and it's time to leave. I'm sorry you sullen free spirit you're just one drop of water rushing from a city drain pipe.

All the pain you've endured and all the pain you'll face.
All the pain you've endured and all the pain you'll face.

So pick up your hammer and put those shackles back on. Now's the time to break those rocks and break a sweat. Don't worry just yet you'll dream all day of what you're going to do tomorrow and that will keep you lifted I swear, I swear, I swear, I swear it.

All the time you've had and all the time you'll have.
All the time you've had and all the time you'll have.
Track Name: The Hallway
Drink the wine child, come with me. It's another request, far from divinity. Sit by the fire. Let your wax melt from all your force-fed flying and your widening belt.

Your god's dead. Please listen to me.

Caesar please call your men off. Stick to pressing pennies in spite of us. Pilgrim sailed clear across the Atlantic. Sister's glad you found a home and an ice pick.

'Cause nothing is free. I said listen to me.

I'm screaming down the hallway. I don't know where you are. I don't know where you are. I've been breathing heavy. Call me. I don't know where you are. I don't know where you are.

The drifter on Fifth is still standing while that business man's been laughing and creating. He's turning water into wine and back again. He's taking everything you love and making it a sin.

His shit sucks. Still nothing is free.

He's getting greedy, getting greedy. Don't listen to me. Don't listen to him. Hes getting greedy, getting greedy. Don't listen to me, but sure don't listen to him.

I'm screaming down the hallway. I don't know where you are. I don't know where you are. I've been breathing heavy. Call me. I don't know where you are. I don't know where you are.
I'm screaming down the hallway. I don't know where you are. I don't know where you are. I've been breathing heavy. Call me. I don't know where you are. I don't know where you are.
Track Name: I Was A Savior
It's when you warm the air right next to my ear. That space above my neck that I love you to be near.
I've told myself for days you weren't the one. I've been searching for an excuse to say that we're over and done.

Who are you? What are you? I don't know.

So many people pass before my eyes. I'm supposed to live them, but I lay so often in this bed.
I lay so often. Hoping that I'll accept the outside. Looking into the eyes of another is just so strange.

Who are you? What are you? I don't know.
Who are you? What are you? I don't know.

Is this real? I'm never sure. That was just too easy. Now I know I'm no cure.
I used to matter. I used to help. Before sex wasn't sex it was all just laughter I was a savoir.

And now. And now.

Who are you? What are you? I don't know.
Who are you? What are you? I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I just don't know.
Track Name: Impulse
There are always those thoughts that attach themselves inside your skull like a pet sucker fish. It's a pest and a burden, those little impulses of incredibility the ones you thought you'd never miss.
A series of questions in a tiny room of one or an endless monologue. Eat away at doubt or let another into that cavern filled with smog.

Quiet child, now wait your turn. A pendulum decides your fate. The rest in line will surely burn. A boundless prize for those who wait.

You're coming closer to figuring this out, a race in a maze with several finish lines. The ivy's grown quite thick and there's no escaping through the vines.
Pass up your surroundings and never look on back. Your memory will guide you if you ever loosen up the slack.

You're constantly thinking of an endless tune with little melody and no resolve. It beats and strums and hums inside your head, but who wrote it is never solved.

Loosen up your head and the voices will stop.
Loosen up your head and these thoughts will make sense.
Loosen up your head and you'll make the time to talk.
Loosen up your head and you'll finally feel happy.

We're bringing you home. Your ride has arrived. Let's take this long green gown off and put this nightmare aside. I have a wheelchair waiting for you in the hall. Just keep your head to your chest; these people inside these white painted walls will tell you to stay, that this is your fault, but baby listen to me. You've come so far and maybe we could get married and walk in the park. I love you so and everyone else inside your skull. I love you so and everyone else inside your skull.
Track Name: Last Page
My dear, here's the last song. I've righted my last wrong. Recollecting our fairy tale is harder than finding letters lost in the mail. We're lost we're lost. So far gone. Never coming back, never coming back now.

I went the distance. I saw the end, but turning that page was harder my friend. With you gone I thought I was free like a small child holding a set of plastic keys. I was rattling and shaking plastic keys. I was rattling and shaking.

Then I turned in and I blew out.
I'm just a harlequin the world threw out.
I made the choice now I'm spiraling.
If you could hear my voice, I'm realizing how

Big the gap is inside of my brain. That place you used to sleep. Now I'm firing off in a random order at all the people I used to need.

Now tell me what was it for? Please tell me, what was it all for?

I went the distance. I saw the end, but turning that page was harder my friend. With you gone I thought I was free like a small child holding a set of plastic keys. I was rattling and shaking plastic keys. I was rattling and shaking.

Then I saw you and you saw me.
My face was painted blue. I had a bruised knee.
From every time I kicked myself.
And from every single line I ripped off the shelf oh

I will go straight to hell for every lyric I stole. I will go straight to hell before I grow old.

Now tell me what was it for? Please tell me, what was it all for?
Track Name: Map of The World
Staring at a map of the world.
Staring at a scene moving outwards.
You're never really sure where to call home.
You're never really sure what those signs say.

But when you figure it out, will you fall back into me like all the times before?
And when you figure it out, will you run freely beside me?

I'm lifting off and I'm loosing ground.
I'm lifting off and my strings are tightening out.
Your pulling the curtains. Everyone is looking out.
I'm pulling the curtains, just to pretend how.

And I'll only ask one thing. Will you tie these strings back together?
And I'll only ask one thing. Should I laugh or scream, which is better?

You need control, someone who will turn.
You need control to concentrate.
Although you're lost, you know right where I am
And while you're lost I'll be searching.

While you're resting your hands I'll be hanging my head where you used to lay.
While you're resting your hands I'll be locked in a chest, after your play.