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 thirty three and one third

revolutions per minute

of dirt and longing

 the needle glides silently

like the memory

of a lover's embrace

the speakers whisper and crack

until the void-colored wax

unravels its poetry and its ghosts

"harmony makes a heavy love"

she said, though her eyes

were filled with tears.


 'Love & Coffee' is the written companion to the ongoing series 'Love & Coffee Tapes'


Love & Coffee X - Morning Song

written last summer after a party, this tune is a kind of farewell send off to friends.  it's a short song so we left the ending open.  this is exit music for a film.  pitchfork is not going to review this song.  it will not blast your face off.  it is not a radio hook.   it is a graffiti flash nearly forgotten or a greeting card in the discount bin.  heart felt but unadorned.

here comes the sun the party is all done
everybody's heading back where they came from
the bottles of beer are shining so clear
there is a free light that's falling all through the air

please come again all my dear sweet friends
may god bless and keep you when the road starts to bend
what is real is what is shared words turn to notes in the air
there will come an answer though i know not where

 love & coffee is written by aaron berg ©2010 

 photographs by

 kristin isgett - band at the handlebar, 2010
 erica schrag - berg at party, june 2009

  performance by:

  a.b. - vocals, guitar
  mike bagwell - pedal steel
  chris garrett - bass
  john byce - drums

  recorded live & mixed by chris garrett


Love & Coffee IX - Farewell Song

this is a bootleg demo recorded on a single mic hand held cvs recorder.  i wrote the song in williamsburg, brooklyn in one night at the roebling tea room.  this version is a brief low-fi glimpse into the newest incarnation of the heavy love rehearsing at a house on paris mountain in south carolina.  the song and nine others will be featured on the upcoming album on tight ship records this winter titled 'exiles in paradise'.  recording is set to begin the first week of november in chicago. 

farewell my darling, farewell my love
i never meant to frighten you
you have seen the darkness shining in my eyes
i can take you there if you want me to
we are middle children in an endless hurricane
you can run but you'll fall right through

farewell my darling, farewell my love, you're the one i'll be thinking of
in the morning under the rising sun, you'll reaching for me but i'll be gone

in the city streets i watch for you
your heart beats beneath the earth below
the silver snake slips through the ground as the father loads his gun
the child rests his head upon the stone
gazing at the lidless eye the forked tongue now speaks
there is more to you than flesh and bone

all night i pace the floor hoping to recall
the reason why i feel the way i do
i gave you what you asked me for and you left me in the cold
if you can't handle it then don't invite me to
the same hand the pulls the heavens in the sky
is the same hand that pulls me back to you

love & coffee is written by aaron berg ©2009 -  photographs by rosy nolan

performance by:

a.b. - vocals, guitar
mike bagwell - pedal steel
ira rosoff - bass
john byce - drums

recorded on a portable one mic recorder from cvs drugstore

best if listened to on headphones


Love & Coffee VIII - Honey For You

when the world leaps forward something must always be destroyed. standing in the cracks the watchers gather memory in and try to see what ultimate nothingness has in common. this is an accidental courting song not unlike our universe. this is a period of time. this is a crooked record bent around some daydream vibration you brought me to. this piano is a little out of tune. this whole testimony i would trade in an instant for another look at the clarity of you.

i have seen the coast of california
i have seen a man with nothing left to say
a little life and a little death love
passes through us every day

honey for you anything at all
a bird that sings or a fortress wall
if you need me i won’t be far
honey for you anything at all

i have seen the curve of days unending
i have seen the greatness of the year
compared to the motion of your body
nothing has ever seemed so clear

i have seen the face of one in many
i have seen what i thought could not be true
i have been a fool for what shall perish
but i have never seen the likes of you

Buy this song now at Aaron Berg - Love & Coffee Tapes

love & coffee is written, recorded, and performed by aaron berg ©2009

a.b. - vocals, nylon and rhythm guitar, bass, upright piano, harmonica

best if listened to on headphones


Love & Coffee VII - Until I See Her Again

this is a song written very quickly but performed a thousand times over. on the road i played it often at the end of sets as a kind of quick farewell. the chords reach back to younger days in new york. as an interlude between increasingly drunken hands of spades or poker, friends, girlfriends, dogs, and roomates took turns trying to improvise rhymes on the melodically unsynchronized sea of messily strummed guitars assembled throughout the apartment. as the night wore on the card games got more rowdy and the impromptu serenades more and more crude fading eventually into total unintelligible ridiculousness. we played it in three like an irish drinking song. for some reason its easier to sing in three when you’re drunk. goes back to the rolling decks of the seven seas i guess. in the end it became some kind of fractured love song. i borrowed a nylon string guitar from a friend and recorded it for the first time last week in two nights just as the first warm breaths of spring swept into town.

across the table by the window standing at the bar
there was a three piece band tuning up in the hall
she spoke to me in a flash whispered in my ear
i’ve been looking for you everywhere have you come for me at last

oh, its been too long since i’ve held my true love in my arms
i know that she is just around the next bend
its a few more days until i see her again

on the rooftop in the snow the shadow of a dream
crept into my heart like the motion of the sea
her eyes filled with fear when she looked in my soul
i knew by her mother-earth bones on the other side she was near

through the desolate terrain have we done this before
i wonder if this time we’ll make it back home
under a blood red moon with my heart bleeding
hoping that this road will lead me back to hear soon

love & coffee is written, recorded, and performed by aaron berg ©2009

a.b. - vocals, nylon and finger-style guitar, bass, hammond organ

best if listened to on headphones


Love & Coffee VI - The Darkness

love & coffee 5

i wrote this song over a long period of time along with another song as a sort of b-side to this one. the b-side called 'sonnet for a lone dove' is a more tranquil considerably shorter gospel equivalent of this tune. to write a long song over an extended period of time allows form many angles of the same question to appear. the words map both the spiritual rambling of its author as well as a kind of scrambled record of the larger time within which it was imagined and completed. still to paraphrase country legend keith whitley, "this song don't belong inthe top forty radio".

my most lucid memory of working out the last bits of words is strumming the chords on an unplugged telecaster in an endless rotation with its yet to be unheard companion 'sonnet for a lone dove' in an econolodge motel in omaha, nebraska. after having been on the road for weeks and weeks without pause the woman i was traveling with decided to use the much cherished rarity of the motel's newly renovated, and therefore pristine bathroom to take a long hot bath. sitting on one of the beds by the nightstand her voice calls out from the other room. i go and sit beside her on the covered toilet seat leaning against the wall with guitar in hand. i begin strumming again but this time a love song. without looking up she says, "play what you were playing before." i start again on the last verse. the piano rippling in my head. "did you ever dream about some place beyond..." after a minute she starts to hum along softly with the melody. the television in the adjoining room roars from commercials to gunfire and back again as the pitter-patter of water in the bathtub joins the wandering rotation of two voices searching.

did you ever wish you could sail into the sun
or set out on the road alone
anything just to keep you from
the darkness that is coming on
when the lights are all shining and nothing is revealed
and everyone is hiding, and still no one really feels
and the airwaves come crashing, until your soul's paper thin
and the only feeling that is lasting, burns like a sunset within
it won't be long, before the darkness that is coming on.

did you ever wonder about your burning eyes
think maybe its all just a bad disguise
a stacked deck in a house of lies
underneath a black curtain sky
where good men are blinded and the the blind somehow see
and there's no hope in finding, any shelter from the screaming
where the lost souls all ramble, until their dreams lay in earth
where on the hillside they're gathered, as they ghost their last words
with their eyes fixed upon, the darkness that is coming on.

did you ever believe in the masquerade
if only to keep your heart from the pain
of the memory, of the heat and the burning plane
reflected in a lost man's face
who thinks only of violence, and the conquest of space
who condemns any victory, his hands cannot claim
who stands and with a straight face, steals your dignity
while attempting to relate, how you could ever find peace
down the barrel of a gun, in the darkness that is coming on.

did you ever dream about some place beyond
where the lines of color are no longer drawn
and the weak are not enslaved by the strong
in the darkness that is coming on
why so many have not spoken, in the rising of the tide
as the nightmares of the waking, eclipse the visions of the mind
why the idles are not broken, though the brass tongues all lied
as the sacrifice that is offered, wipes a teardrops from its eye
why the mountains are not quaking, under the absurdity of the strain
of the masses of forsaken, left to the wilderness and the rain
why the spirit of the fallen, does not see his shadow and reflect
upon the higher movement calling, him to lay down his foolish threat
i am standing in the bright light, with both feet on the ground
reaching towards a great height, as these words resound
i will not be a pawn, in the darkness that is coming on.

Buy this song now at Aaron Berg - Love & Coffee Tapes - The Darkness Coming On


love & coffee is written, recorded, and performed by aaron berg ©2009

a.b. - vocals, harmonica, guitars, bass, and upright piano

best if listened to on headphones...