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Octane (January, 2005)
A Flash Before My Eyes
01. The Ballet Of The Impact

(I) Prelude To The Past
(II) The Ultimate Quiet
(III) A Blizzard Of My Memories

02. I Wouldn't Let It Go
03. Surfing Down The Avalanche
04. She Is Everything

(I) Strange What You Remember
(II) Words Of Forever

05. Climbing Up That Hill
06. Letting Go
07. Of The Beauty Of It All
(I) If I Could Paint A Picture
(II) Into The Great Unknowable
08. NWC
09. There Was A Time
10. The Planet's Hum
11. Watching The Tide
12. As Long As We Ride

Special Edition Bonus Disc

01. When She's Gone
02. Follow Me To Sleep
03. Game Face
04. Broken Promise Land
05. Listening To The Sky

extras from "A Flash Before My Eyes":
06. Someday I'll Be Found
07. I Was Never Lost
08. Paint Me A Picture

09. The Formulation Of Octane (video)

Nick D'Virgilio - lead & backing vocals, drums, percussion, loops, some electric and acoustic guitars
Alan Morse - six and twelve-string electric & acoustic guitars, theremin, saw, vocals
Ryo Okumoto - keyboards
Dave Meros - basses

Produced by Spock's Beard. Recorded and mixed by Rich Mouser at The Mouse House, Alta Dena, CA. Mastered by Jay Frigoletto at MasterSuite, Hollywood, CA. Assistant engineering at The Mouse House by Jenkin Tudor. String and horn arrangements by John Boegehold. Artwork by Thomas Ewerhard. Photos by Alex Solca

Additional musicians:
Strings on "I Wouldn't Let It Go", "Of The Beauty Of It All" and "Watching The Tide" performed by The Section Quartet: Eric Gorfain - violin, Daphne Chen - violin, Leah Katz - viola, Richard Dodd - cello ~~ Horns on "The Ballet Of The Impact" and "Of The Beauty Of It All" performed by Gina Ballina - french horn, Johnnie Corno - french horn, Ramon Flores - trumpet. ~~ with: Molly Pasutti - voices, John Boegehold - ambience, sounds, voices

A Flash Before My Eyes

9:27 a.m., today...

Suddenly, I'm aware of everything that surrounds me. About fifteen feet to my right, there's an old man picking out roses at a flower cart. He's leaning on a carved wooden cane, but barely maintaining his balance as a flurry of pigeons rises from the sidewalk around him. A few steps away on the corner, there's little blonde girl with a pink plastic purse, holding her mother's hand as they wait to cross the street. I see all of this through the delicate, miniature rainbow made by the sun reflecting off the coffee spray from my "world's greatest dad" cup, which a moment ago was balanced on the passenger seat.

The intersection of West Lexington and Grant Avenue has become the cosmic nexus of all I am, ever was and will be. As profound as all of that seems, some small part of my brain is distracted by the irony of Mick Jagger singing "You Can't Always Get What You Want", coming from the radio of the speeding truck that has just begun ripping through my newly-paid-off, freshly washed Honda Accord.

So, is this it? Is this where an army of angels appears in blinding white light to sing me to my eternal rest? Is this where I sink forever into that darkest bog of dreamless sleep? I never really bought either poetic scenario, but it looks like I may finally get the answers to all of those herb-fueled philosophical questions that sprung up from endless, all-night discussions in college. Of course, this is a lot sooner than I ever imagined having to confront the ultimate reality. There is one thing I know for sure. If I ever wake up, this is going to hurt like hell...

Part 1 - The Ballet Of The Impact
(Boegehold & Meros)

(I) Prelude To The Past
(II) The Ultimate Quiet
(III) A Blizzard Of My Memories

The windshield explodes
Like a bomb packed with diamonds
There's a deafening silence
Time flows to a crawl
As the ballet of the impact
Spreads out across the blacktop
Angels dancing down like raindrops
In the air as they fall

So this is how it goes
So this is how it ends
A flatbed runs a red light
No time to comprehend
As a blizzard of my memories
Lights up like fireflies
In the sliver of an instant
In a flash before my eyes...

...I remember this house. We live here until I'm five or six years old. I remember the clang of the milk box early in the morning and the all-white living room with the wood floor that gives us splinters when we slide around in our socks. It's Christmas Eve and I'm worrying about how Santa Claus will get in since we don't have a chimney. Mary, who is three years older, tells me that the grown-ups are lying to us and that there really is no Santa. I tell her that I don't believe her, but the seed's been planted and I need reassurance. I find my mother in the kitchen and start to ask her why daddy hasn't come home from work yet. Before I get more than a few words out, I see that she's been crying so I stop. I go outside and look up at the winter sky. It sure seems like there were a lot more stars then. I guess it's true, your life really does flash before your eyes...

Part 2 - I Wouldn't Let It Go
(Boegehold & Morse)

I was just a boy
A rough and restless child
All skin and bones and thistles
A tough weed growing wild
Someday I'd be an astronaut
And make my way up to Mars
But I was like a monkey
With my hand stuck in a jar

I was holding on to something
That I couldn't make my own
At times it seemed so hopeless
But I wouldn't let it go
No I wouldn't let it go
No I would not let it go

Once I took a penny
Placed it on the track
When the freight train flattened it
I couldn't change it back
I was never lost
In my little town
But I remember hoping
That someday I'd be found


...I'm barely awake on another endless walk to school. Finally, my friend Tim catches up with me. We hurry past the scary gray church and the gas station that gives out Green Stamps. Tim is asking what my plans are for summer vacation, but I change the subject to The Green Lantern. Oh, I have very big plans for my life, but for some reason, I want to keep them very well hidden. My immediate goal is to blend into the background and not make noticeable waves. Kind of like human wallpaper. I don't know how or why it happens, but everything changes pretty quickly right about the time I turn thirteen. It's like someone flips a switch in my brain and a bank of bright lights goes on and shorts out at the same time...

Part 3 - Surfing Down The Avalanche
(Boegehold, D'Virgilio & Meros)

I had a mother chasing planets
Shopping doctors for her Vicodin
A weekend father absent
Searching dungeons for some discipline
School was like a prison
The zombies ruled and the masses just gave in

I had to run - breakout - I had to run

I didn't see the world like the others did
Cause I couldn't see that world

I had to run - break out - I had to run
Break out - break out - break

I am invincible
No one can stop me
Not even mom and dad
They never had a daughter
But I bet they wished they had
I feel like I can walk through walls
I'm fearless and shocking
You're looking at the face of evil baby
Comin' to ya at the tender age of thirteen
The tender age of thirteen
But I'm mean...

I lived high on a hill
Until the ground gave way
I felt a wave of my debris
Pick me up and carry me

And the rocks started rollin'
The rocks started rollin'

Surfing down the avalanche
Surfing down the avalanche
Surfing down the avalanche
Surfing down the avalanche

...Gradually, my life finally starts smoothing out. It pretty much has to, since my options are grim. It's a clear summer night and I find myself at a party I was dragged to by my college roommate. That's where I meet Sarah. She's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. Man, if I could paint you a picture... "Let's go down to the lake and watch the moon rise." Those are the first words she says to me as she takes my hand and pulls me toward the door. As we walk outside, I hear the distant roar of a large crowd cheering at a high-school football game a half-mile down the road. For a second, I imagine they're cheering for me. Strange what you remember...

Part 4 - She Is Everything
(Boegehold & Meros)

(I) Strange What You Remember
(II) Words Of Forever

The first breath of summer in warm morning rain
Where crimson flowers covered the ground
The world faded 'round us
We fell to our knees
Amazed at the love we had found

She is everything
The sacred, the pure
The fix, the addiction
The vision, the cure
She rings down the years
'Round the corners we turned
An ember still burns to this day
But now it's all fading away
She is everything

With words of forever we'd paint through the night
Pictures of life we would share
Then we joined together with all that we owned
A promise
A ring and a prayer


...After a few years, Sarah and I do what people in love usually end up doing; we settle down and have kids. Am I ready? It doesn't really seem to matter. The truth is that she's ready, and the last thing I'm going to do is risk losing her by asking her to wait a few years longer. It never dawns on me what a struggle life can be until I finally decide to be responsible. After a while though, things fall into place and I more or less learn to cope with the mundane reality of adulthood. None of that stops me from wanting something more...

Part 5 - Climbing Up That Hill
(Boegehold & Meros)

Finally got caught up
We thought we had it made
Then life stepped in and sent another mouth to feed our way
Once our world was more than fighting traffic kids and bills
Working all day straight into the night
No time for chasing thrills

Dancing through the landmines
Right down to the wire
Walking through the fire
But we're

Climbing up that hill
Breaking for the blue skies
Someday we will find our real life
On the other side

On a map let's find a place we've never been before
Pack our bags and book a flight
We'll walk right out that door
Guess that's just a dream

Since we grew roots and settled down
Wonder if we'll ever leave this tired little town

Home up on the high wire
No net down below
There's one thing that we both know
We are


Dancing through the landmines
Right down to the wire
Walking through the fire
But we're


As much as most of my adult life has been consumed with making the mortgage, promotions at work, and whatever I can do to keep my head above water, none of that means a thing right now. My kids, Sarah...I miss them more than anything and my car hasn't even stopped spinning yet...

Part 6 - Letting Go

The silence erupts into a dull roar as one by one, the fireflies dim. Here it comes, I hope I'm ready...

Part 7 - Of The Beauty Of It All
(Boegehold & Meros)

(I) If I Could Paint A Picture

I am drifting on the water
Far out from the land
Moving through my memories
As I try to understand
If I wake tomorrow wiser
Or it's time to shed my skin
And let go of a lifetime
That I can't have back again

All the love we leave behind
All the work we leave undone
All the words we leave unspoken
All the things we won't become
But there's little I would change
In the life that I've recalled
If I could paint a picture
Of the beauty of it all

(II) Into The Great Unknowable


NWC (instrumental)

There Was A Time
(Boegehold & Morse)

These days are drifting through me
Like faces in the clouds
Memories lift me up
Stare me down
I open a window close the door
And watch the shadows cross the floor
Never talk too much about it

There was a time
When all of our dreams were spun like sunshine
Through a kaleidoscope
Lit the corners of our minds
There was a time

Love found us clear as diamonds
With eyes as bright as stars
Never thought that we'd
Fall that far
Our world was turning back around
And soon our feet would touch the ground
Never talked too much about it

There was a time
When all of our dreams were spun like sunshine
Through a kaleidoscope
Lit the corners of our minds
When I held her close on the day she left
And she wished me love and happiness
Now I wonder if I ever cross her mind
There was a time

Well I held her close on the day she left
She wished me love and happiness
Now I wonder if I ever cross her mind
Now I wonder if I ever cross her mind
Now I wonder if I ever cross her mind
There was a time

The Planet's Hum
(Ausmus, D'Virgilio & Morse)

Living life at ease
He tries to keep it straight
Filling all the cracks
Unlocking all the gates

Heart - Style - Grace

He gives a little back
Makes it very nice
Never runs away
Rolls his dirty dice

Everybody's got to do what they got to do
From him and her to me and you

Right or wrong, he keeps on movin' his own way
Likes to wear a surly frown
Even when it's the sunniest of days
Thinks he owns the world

Feels compelled, hates to tell anything about himself
Tryin' to find his reason why
Tryin' to make his way up off the shelf

Hypnotized by the planet's hum
Eyes fixed hard on a silent sun

There was a time he'd get out
Get out of his own way
Let it fly, let it ride in the face of dismay
Safe to say he'll try
Is he shy, is he crazed
Gossip knows its way around
Once it starts it builds a bomb of sight and sound
Fireworks light the sky

"Sorry!!" he shouts out loud
"I don't live my life so every one else can feel proud "


Give it all this time

Stop the waiting, lights are fading
Don't get left behind

Watching The Tide

Watching the tide roll in again
Right now the ocean's my true friend
Pouring my heart out
She listens to me
I wait for her answer

Time flies so fast
It's hard to just keep up
I'll find patience with a little luck


I've cried like a child
Where's the man in me
Too low
What cost
I'll gladly pay the fee
To stop me runnin' round
Her and there and nowhere
I want to love again

Feel used and empty
It's hard to just keep up
I'll find patience with a little luck
I'll come runnin' home


I wait for her answer
Give me an answer

As Long As We Ride
(Boegehold, D'Virgilio & Morse)

Let's get this engine started
Pack up the trunk with all we own
No lookin' back we're our way
We're restless and open-hearted
Flowers in a junkyard garden
Can't think of a reason we should stay

As long as we ride
Readin' the road
Doesn't even matter
Where we're gonna go
Cheatin' signs
Jumpin' our load
Sittin' in the back
Sayin' something funny
And we'll all be doin' fine
As long as we ride

We'll follow the dashboard dancer
Chasing a postcard-perfect moon
We'll crank up "The King" and sing along
Well maybe we'll find the answers
Or maybe we'll just keep drivin'
With a full tank how can we go wrong


Special Edition Bonus Disc

When She's Gone
(Boegehold, D'Virgilio & Meros)

I stand by the bed watching her sleep
Trouble in mind
Still waters run cloudy and deep
Down to the core of our small world
Sure as the sun burns under dawn
There comes a time

A time when the last straw breaks
A bad choice turns easy to make
When nothing seems quite right or wrong

When she's gone
Who won't believe
That she put me out of her dark misery
Bullets made of ice leave cold evidence
I can bury the rope but not the loose ends
When she's gone

We danced to the edge flirting with hell
When we turned back
She lost her way stumbled and fell far down
And she never looked up
Closing my eyes isn't enough
To ease her pain

Maybe I should turn and run
From what I have become
Maybe one day I'll be that strong


Is there another way out
Look back to the beginning again
Forget about where you've been
My sanity I will defend
The past has found the future
Latched on like a cancer


The past has found the future
latched on like a cancer
There is no answer, there is no strategy

Follow Me To Sleep
(Boegehold & D'Virgilio)

A lost man draws his final card
Then leaves the Land of None
The sun's last light dies in the west
His journey's just begun
To where the faithful form a line
To join the dream parade
A slow dance with the sandman
Where promises are made
I'll melt into you he says
If you fade into me and

Follow me to sleep
Close your eyes
I'll lead the way
The fall will not be steep
Forever we will stay
Where twilight meets tomorrow
The wonders we will see
Forget your fears
Forget your sorrows and
Follow me to sleep

The rain man writes a symphony
For an orchestra of clouds
The first drop falls as thunder rolls
A hush sweeps through the crowd
The watchman in a coat of dust
Then suddenly appears
And with a jeweler's steady hand
Unwinds the clock of years
I'll melt into you he says
If you fade into me and


As his words ring true
You're hesitating
Thinking that he might be crazy
Still they're haunting you
And you're facing
All the time that you've been wasting...

The world where you belonged
You realize it's gone

Time for dreaming
Time for leaving now...

I'll melt into you he says
If you fade into me and


Game Face
(D'Virgilio & Okumoto)

Put on your game face
Move to a better place
Floating in deep space
There is no real escape
Leave it to your fate
Try not to get irate
No talk no live debate
All in there's no escape

You're movin' like a star

Come on don't be late
You can alleviate
Good for goodness sake
I've got some real estate
Put on your game face
Move to a better place
Floating in deep space
There is no real escape

No matter where you are
The promise land's not far

Put on your game face
Move to a better place
Floating in deep space
There is no real escape
Leave it to your fate
Try not to get irate
No talk no live debate
All in there's no escape

Move to a better place

Broken Promise Land
(Boegehold & Morse)

A murder of crows
On an old phone line
That runs along the road
Lean and hungry
Poised to dive
Dinner's in the ground below

Come on down
Walk a crooked mile
With your open hearts in hand
Shake the years off
Make your way
It's straight line out of
Broken promise land
Broken promise land

Lost alone
I'd walk the world
Beneath forever skies
Cold and dusty
Sun so bright
Not a shadow could survive


(repeat verse 1)


Listening To The Sky (instrumental)

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