Ten Dollar Album

by Ten Cent Days

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about

Review of 'Ten Dollar Album' in Williamsport Sun Gazette:

Ten Cent Days released their first recording June 16, an album titled "Ten Dollar Album." Having followed the evolution of the music on this album by visiting various local venues throughout the past year or two to enjoy the talent of the band's creative director, Caleb Banas, and his longtime friend-jam partner, Lena Yeagle, I thought I was in a reasonable position to make an attempt at reviewing the album, especially after the band had recently requested this through various social media websites.

What is a Ten Cent Days, you may wonder? Ten Cent Days is self-described as a "flea market" of musicians who have an "eclectic style with a dirty old-timey twist" and who share a penchant for Victorian-era inspired garb. Ten Cent Days also is Jason Shuman on percussion; Yeagle on cello, violin and mandolin; Mathias Lovemotor on melodica and guitar; Ian Fink on bass; and songwriter Banas on guitar and a whole lot of singing. They typically perform acoustically, although a small handful of heavier numbers incorporate a little fuzz into the mix. Haunting, dark, desolate, complex, beautiful, joyous ... Ten Cent Days are all of these things and more. Unfortunately, I do not have personal experience with popular bands to compare Ten Cent Days with, so I must do with this incomplete description: while the basic melody of their acoustic-folk music is fundamentally straightforward, the complex layering of instrumentation, lyrics and vocal harmonies creates a rather unique sum that only rarely delves into any kind of conventional rock or pop sensibility.

"Ten Dollar Album" opens with a somber and dark number contemplating the nature of human interaction titled "October," and closes with an irreverent-yet-dark number that bluntly acknowledges the importance of valuing life titled "Country Folk Death Song." Inbetween these bookends, the songs internally transition seamlessly from folk dirges portraying utter dejection into remarkably beautiful proclamations of the rejection of suffering and acceptance. This transmutation is a joy to behold and it is a process that repeats within many of the songs on the album. This is certainly not homogeneous and commoditized modern pop or rock.

Throughout the album, the songs are nearly all a cathartic release of the lyricist's personal turmoil. As with all great art, there is more than enough room for the music, the tone and meaning to be instantly relatable. This is no simple task, considering how intensely personal the moments are that have been condensed and distilled. Combining the relatable lyrics and tone with the band's deft interplay of melody and harmony quickly hooks the listener, allowing one to listen past discomfort until they're faced with the bare and honest truth of the recorded experience.

If you only have a few minutes and need an instantly accessible song? Try "Only in Theory." Appetite whetted and want something more complex to sink your teeth into? Try the slow, melancholy movement of "Black Marbles." Ready for a deep and beautiful musical foray that explores what it means to be human? Put on your listening ears along with the best pair of headphones you can track down, and try "Flowers for Rick."

I'd highly recommend "Ten Dollar Album" to anyone whose taste for music runs deeper than the Top 40. This may not be the most immediately enjoyable record that you will come across this year, as it is quite often very dark and intensely personal ... but after allowing the album a place to live and grow in your heart, you will discover that the songs are timeless and you will soon be coming back for repeated listenings.

-Garret Socling

credits

released 16 June 2012

Ten Cent Days is:
Caleb Banas
Lena Yeagle
Mathias Lovemotor
Ian Fink
Jason Shuman

Recorded at 1602 Studio. Engineered by JJ Lenios & Ryan Williams. Mixed by Ryan Williams, Caleb Banas & JJ Lenios. Mastered by Hunter Wentzler. Produced by Ryan Williams, JJ Lenios, Dave Whitman & Ten Cent Days. Photo by Streetlight Photography. Design by Caleb Banas & Bo Bower.

Thank you so much:
Val LaCerra & Isaac Conner for their vocal offerings.
Ralph at Streetlight Photography for the marvelous photos.
Tim Banas & Carol Parr for making the pressing of this album possible.
Mark Piatkowski for driving us to gigs even before he was in the band.
Our Country Folk Death Singers:
Tegan Hartman
Adam Thompson (aka The Ducks)
Dave Whitman
Luke Yocum
Ryan Williams
JJ Lenios
Isaac Conner
Dawn Probst

Ya'll sang pertty.

Our friend and family for coming to every show they can!
OUR FANS! Without you guys this is impossible and damn near pointless so thank you!

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about

Ten Cent Days Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Ten Cent Days has progressed through many amazing members starting in 2011 with Caleb Banas, Lena Yeagle, Mathias Lovemotor, Ian Fink and Jason Shuman. In 2013 primary song writer Banas relocated to the Philadelphia area and enlisted the talents of Kyle Anderson (guitar, vocals), Andrew Bokoski (bass) and Nick Bonsanto (drums). Together they continue to carry the music to the world. ... more

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Track Name: October
I'm looking outside
we're there in the street light.
It's just like a spotlight,
standing in his sight and you're
looking at me.
It's plain to see
you're crushing me.

It's always you
Track Name: Only in Theory
There are consequences in the rain.
In the pools surrounding me.
In each crystal drop a splash of pain
in my state of atrophy.

It's no surprise that as it falls
i find a new way of failing.
It's no conclusion, no not at all.
Everything is just a theory.

We both know that to love me means
to fall.
Once you're down here you might know
all of me.

The water never cleanses my broken heart,
nor fills the space in between.
Nor does the love that crashes down.
The sound is simply deafening.

And I can't find a means to replace
whatever it is that's missing.
I continue to find this lonely place
where all that I am is lacking.
Track Name: The Fall
Does it hurt love?
You're not dying now as I die.
Are you happy?
Floating flowers in your blue skies.
Does it feel good?
Does he savor your whole body?
Are you happy?
Are you happy?

Does it hurt love?
In his kisses do you miss me?
Are you happy?
When he's inside you are you crying?
Does it feel good?
You've driven a man to dying.
Are you happy?
Are you happy?

The red autumn leaves in my room as I sleep
to remind me that the world's still turning.
I'm tickling your back, lie naked, clasped hands
I'm immersed in the colors of you laughing.
I'm locked in a room and I can't leave too soon
'cause your ghost is outside and looming.
They've given me medicine to set my mind straight.
My condition is love and longing.

It seems like a poison, the absence of you.
Now you have resolved to forget me.
Our years pass me by bringing tears to my eyes.
Never more will I feel your heart beat.
I'm locked in a room and I can't leave too soon
'cause your ghost is outside and waiting.
They've given me medicine to set my mind straight.
My condition is love and longing.

Love, love and longing.
Track Name: From Avalon
They set forth from Avalon both wandering and weak
with the smell of their death sewn on to their knees.
He brushed salty tears from her pale blue eyes
knowing clearly and well her intentions and spite.
They had no place in heaven, no bed left on earth.
A storm in their hearts, a cyclone of heart.
As he longed for times passed before
he stared at her now now and weeping implored.

He's singing:
Please, please release me
for I'd rather hell than this transient state.
Singing:
Please, please forgive me.
Our love is a train wreck and I in it's wake.

They set forth from Avalon both wandering and weak
with the smell of their death sewn on to their knees.
He brushed salty tears from her pale blue eyes.
The flame once so vivid had smothered and died.
She could not remember how to feel alive.
Her passion had faded for the beau by her side.
As she longed for times passed before
she stared at him now and weeping implored.

She's singing:
Please, please release me
for I'd rather hell than this transient state.
Singing:
Please, please forgive me.
Our love is a train wreck and I in it's wake.

They walked along further knots in stomach and throat.
The ground wept beneath them, stars fled from above.
The lumbering lovers lamenting their love.
No more passed from their lips.
They each were undone.
They set forth from Avalon both wandering and weak
with the smell of their death sewn on.

Singing:
Please, please release me
for I'd rather hell than this transient state.
Singing:
Please, please forgive me.
Our love is a train wreck and I in it's wake.
Singing:
Please, please release me.
Please, please forgive me.
Please, please, please.

Please, please.
Please.
Track Name: West Branch
He met her by the river's edge.
Song after song by the muddy ledge.
Questions were asked on a New Year's Eve.
She told him of times she had spent over seas.

Visits and virtue in aging motels.
In musical boxes the lovers both fells.
Claiming all the while to take things so slow.
Little did they know how quickly two hearts grow.

I'll meet you in the stacks.
I'll meet you in the night.
Meet me in the stacks
or by the river's side.

Giggling kisses on a warm summer's night.
Dancing in the rain like their souls taking flight.
Embracing each moment as if for all time.
They gently made love in the throws of the candle light.

Talking through the night as young couples do.
The wonderful passion of lovers so new.
Together forever to travel and sing.
He wanted so much to share diamond rings.
Track Name: Scraps
Scraps of paper
control my life.
Assuming that it's mine.
Candied secrets and
things unwind.
Would you still be there for me?
Would you still be there?

I feel lost.
I feel alone
but at least I feel it al.

Soft bodies
control my life.
You show me yours and
I'll try and find mine.
Walking whispers.
Yeah, walk on by.
But at the end of the night,
at the end of the night

I feel lost.
I feel alone
but at least I feel at all.
Track Name: Beans
I am distant
and I'm sorry.
I'm alone.
A broken home.

You were a heart.
You were a stone.
You were a home
and then you were gone.

I point my shaking hands
toward Providence
and I beg to lose your name.

Home.
Track Name: Black Marbles
The same old set of lies
plotted on a new landscape.
I've seen all of your pictures.
The ones where you seem happy.
Still every where is your face.
A profile that's foreign to me.
I question the use of space.
The taste of disagreed.
We said an oath to set us free.
Don't be high.
Don't be high and mighty.

But just for today.
Well I'll wait.

Self prescribed agonies.
High ceilings of hopeless seas.
New faces on old places
and paintings of what would be.
You win the lottery and
I'm in waist deep
black marbles and self esteem.
We said an oath to set us free.
Don't be high.
Don't be high and mighty.

But just for today.
Well I'll wait.
Track Name: Flowers for Rick
I know it hurts this eve.
I'm screaming Bones.
You came out from your tea.
A greater man sets to leave.
A heart as big as love now covered by grief.

Don't make believe that
erasure's impending.
These people live in
the places we keep in our hearts.
Community is forever evolving.
He'll never part from the memory
deep in your heart.

It's hard to watch faded light.
One so deserving of long, silver life.
We'll plant a flower late tonight
and in your absence a blossom to bloom for all time.
Track Name: Country Folk Death Song
The greatest thing in the world it seems
is your hand laid in mine.
I'd like to think that I don't need a drink but
baby that world ain't mine.
We're poor and sick.
God doesn't give a shit 'cause
He's no god of mine.
Nothing matters in the world it seems
'cause baby we're gonna die.
We're gonna die.
Hey, hey we're gonna die.

The government is swell it seems
'til it comes to freedom time.
Drugs you see they mean the world to me.
Yeah, they help me pass the time.
Well skip the charade and put 'em straight to my veins.
Hell we're running out of time.
Nothing matters in the end it seems
'cause baby we're gonna die.
We're gonna die.
Hey, hey we're gonna die.

My friends you see they keep me squeaky clean
and my ego stays in line.
They just happen to know what's best for me
and that now is not my time.
You see we all contemplate the great escape
in this shit world of me and mine
but we got no control we're fishing with no pole
and everybody's gonna die.
We're gonna die.
Hey, hey we're gonna die.

So you better learn to love before it's time.