Music & Lyrics.
“Sometimes faith feels more like cataracts than clarity...”
Part introspective journey and part religious commentary, Cataracts follows Levi The Poet’s storytelling into a deconstructive critique of modern evangelicalism, tragedy and the world he thought he knew... and what rebuilding might mean after the curtain has been torn back on the Great and Powerful Oz.
No matter how small a spec we are – floating in some empty living room – you are still a world to me, and I will expect to see you at peace with the debris that I return to in your afternoons, like the glimmer of old stars – no matter how dead they are – knowing that each and every piece was once a prelude to our eternal somethings who already knew the news. Anything could happen with the right set of lungs breathing into this room.
Levi's second EP was pressed to limited edition 10" vinyl, features Eisley's Elle Puckett, and includes two songs written by Andy Othling of Lowercase Noises, and remixed by Glowhouse's Alex Sugg.
The word sanctuary means "a place of refuge or safety." It's a word that has fascinated me for years. A word I've spoken in poems past and written into countless others never released to the public.
At the beginning of 2017, for better or worse, I sought sanctuary of my own in cities whose pride was built upon offering exactly that to whomever found themselves inside their walls. The story is long. But there are glimpses within this song – a piece that grew from soil tilled with the pain of searching and the joy of those glimpses of freedom that come from walking alone along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, California or the streets of Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington.
It's All Worth Living For
I can't tell you why, but I can tell you that I'd love to sit with you through it all over a cup of coffee - no matter how it tastes - or over a beer, or over a damn lemon and ginger wellness shot if that's your thing. The people who have done the same for me have been miracles and hands and feet like a savior knew what he was doing when he gave us one another...
It has become crippling. It constricts my body. It feels like paralysis. Like life plateauing. The mornings grow more difficult to wake up to. I dread them for the way they allow for a few seconds’ worth of stillness—like heaven—before my body realizes it is awake, and the air itself forms hands that push down so hard into my chest that I think I’ll fold in two...
Correspondence (an instrumental)
I always wanted Correspondence to be a story that pointed beyond itself. Songs that exist beyond the context of the story. If you happen to be a video maker, live performer, commercial somebody, etc. interested in integrating this story into yours, you can easily license it through my friends at The Music Bed.
Correspondence has been licensed by many people and corporations, including:
Correspondence (a commentary)
The word “story” is redundant and junk-drawerish like the rest of meaningful things lost in repetition or manipulation, but I still consider myself an advocate for working to tell a better one. The majority of what I hear in poetry is pregnant with good intentions, but fails to deliver. People aren't inviting others into a story that they can resonate or sympathize with, as much as they are trying to beat an agenda into their audience’s head with rhyming one-liners and truth statements.
Correspondence (a fiction)
Correspondence (a fiction) is Levi The Poet's fourth studio album, but it was the beginning of a whole new story: artistically for him, conceptually for you, and literally for the fiction's characters...
A tale of Beginnings, and of New Beginnings. Letters - Correspondence - between young lovers, separated by the sea. The Girl, a whaler's daughter, drifting at the whims of her ship's captain. The Boy, and orphan, hand to the plow and building a tree house for her return. For their home. It is their history. It is their future. Who knows... maybe you'll find your own [non]fiction in theirs.
Seasons, Levi The Poet's third release, and first true studio album to date, was released in December 2012. It was an experiment that altered the course of the project. With the help of his wife, Brandi Macallister, Levi teamed up with Glowhouse's Alex Sugg and Lowercase Noise's Andy Othling to incorporate their creative musicianship into the record.
Levi's faith, preceding years of theological study, recent marriage, and the loss of his father to suicide spurred him to write what became – through it all – Levi's darkest and brightest, most despairing and hope-filled album to date.
2009 - 2011 found Levi The Poet on tour for 8 to 10 months out of the year. Two days before Thanksgiving '11, Levi released a follow up - the Monologues EP - through Come&Live! Records. The album consisted of only five tracks but boasted a lengthy 41 minutes of poetry. "Kaleidoscope" and "Memories" became fan favorites and, as Levi's writing matured, so did his interest in narrative. Truth exists within a narrative, and Levi The Poet was becoming an invitation to engage in a greater story. Monologues asked questions. It recalled life on the road and what it was like to "live the dream" away from loved ones at home. It told the story of a woman who wondered whether she would ever see beauty or color. It looked hard at love and abuse and loss and life. Its final track became an artistic retelling of Luke's gospel, an ode to the ultimate Storyteller.
A hobby in the summer of 2009 marked the beginning of Levi's touring career, when a group of friends invited him to hop in their van for a tour of the West Coast. In autumn of that year, he released his first full-length spoken word album, Werewolves. It was recorded in a friend's bedroom with a handkerchief rubber-banded to the bottom of a blown out styrofoam cup for a pop filter. Werewolves was the epitome of what Levi became known for - a raw, unapologetic exploration of what it would look like to unveil the deepest places of a person's heart for all to see. The debut, at it's truest, was an autobiography of the years that had led Levi to where he was. As it turned out, it was the biography of a vast number of other people, as well, who had finally found their thoughts, addictions, doubts and hopes articulated vicariously through another man's mouth.
Singles & Features.
Hotel Books – Friendly Crossfire
2016 / Feat. Levi The Poet
I spoke in the tongues of angels, but every floral arrangement
Still didn't turn human beings back into ideologies
They are all so much less threatening, shielded by the pulpit
A clashing gong doesn't ring as deep as my pockets seem
With hands buried as far as the east is from the thirsty light
I love social justice just enough to smoke it socially
Like fear is the opposite of love, so let it be a lie regardless
I never knew you or your idol theology
Sleeping Giant – Violence
2014 / Feat. Levi The Poet
A goblin told me that God was metaphorical.
Well, metaphorically, when I come to the end of myself
he's got a lot of the same questions as me.
Said he's drowning beneath an ocean of dogma and liturgy
and the waves keep pulling him further out to sea,
while whatever the water uncovered underneath
washes up, exposed on the beach...
Glowhouse – Braincase
2014 / Feat. Levi The Poet
And I don't have all of your answers
I know because I don't have all of mine
But I do know that if we both
Wrote out all of our questions
And somebody took the time
To explain all the mystery away
(Maybe in numerical order,
Calculated, textbook highlights)
They'd be cold and unable to sympathize
With how you felt when your dad died...
To Speak Of Wolves – Rearview Memories
2012 / Feat. Levi The Poet
Dear Dad, I don't hate you. I think there was selflessness in your selfishness and after seeing Preston's kid I don't even know if I think it was selfish at all. Maybe you'll correct my theology when we laugh with God together. I'm going to think of you when I hold my son and I'll do my best to watch over your wife and your daughter and in the end I'm glad that your dad got to clean up your arms and wipe your tears away...
In The Midst Of Lions – Defiance
2010 / Feat. Levi The Poet
"I never knew you. I don't care! And while you stood on the street corners, screaming your prayers, I starved to death, naked and bare! But you never cared! You never turned your head as I begged beneath pointing, crooked fingers attached to crooked, faithless men...