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Silent Light

by g.o.a.t

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click here for a google doc full of notes & lyrics:

mostly written january 2017 - april 2017
cover art photo by Maureen Sill

you can download the record for free, and in the days to come, I will be uploading it to various servers and websites so you have an option of listening to it in a variety of places at any given time. The official record is 35 songs long (with five additional bonus covers).

Part One ends at Track 18.
Part Two begins at Track 19 and ends with Track 35.


released May 4, 2017

all instruments performed by jim laczkowski except:

tim bales - trumpet ("hello void")
patrick ripoll - melody line ("extinguisher")




Garden on a Trampoline Chicago, Illinois

Official releases are also on Apple Music, ITunes, Spotify & Amazon and more!

Formerly known as James Eric & Automatic Pilot. Greg Kot of The Chicago Trib., described one of my records as "Tucked with introspective lyrics and grand washes of shoegazer guitar." ... more

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Track Name: default to dysfunctional
always scared of losing my mind
in a life i can't define all of the time
death doesn't make much sense
but neither does this
don't let me be meaningless
baby don't let me fall apart
keep a song in your heart

i wanna hold myself more accountable
and not default to dysfunctional
can you get me high?
when i'm feeling low
feels like the sky
is overcast and cold
i get lost in my dreams
thoughts feel too heavy
get me grounded, gravity!

there is someone who can
reassure me that
love will make the worst more bearable
the light surrounding
love will ground me.
Track Name: changing disposition
getting lost endlessly
in a sea of blue leaves
better than being carefully
attacked by gathering leaves
but what a terrible disease
inside of our mind and our bodies
trying to find silence
while screaming inside

tomorrow comes then again it goes
you'll go back
to repeat the cycle of endless indecision
changing disposition

"every time i talk to you
i get a different feeling for who you are"
i wanna know consistency
in a sky that changes constantly
wanna know where i'm going
not reminded of where i've been
the granules of sand
in this misshapen hourglass
serve as a reminder that
you can't feel that special kind of feeling
i know all too well
Track Name: any voices left
anika said it best
"find an internal locus of happiness"
"walk away from your shame"
so many inspirations

we could be the greatest thing
since coffee or lemonade so why
can't we see it?

we're bleeding out our kindness
screaming aloud all of the senseless violence
wish we didn't wish ill will on the government
and on our stupid president
yes there's no design
only some chaos
no more cotton in the ear
no, we're not eyeless

we're not immune to the madness
anika said it best,
"go make and some decisions
start taking risks with your knowledge."

are there any other voices left
that can make any sense?
Track Name: do the doom
the quickness of this fathom
toxic kiss? come and get some
many years spent on pleasure
we'll meet the concrete together
what are we gonna do
now that the planet is doomed?
fools and kings will now be pleased
our armor will no longer be protecting
you dreamers and little children
building monsters
there's plenty to be frightened of
medicating platelets and neuronal strings
what are we gonna do
now that the smog is seeping through
weep to water down the bullied trees
can't you see that we're all being buried?
what are we gonna do
humanity is doomed
Track Name: dizzy spells
corner of my eye
zig-zag wavy lines
rhythmic bass kick
too much noise and light
lay me down to sleep
will the darkness lead
to a better place where the pain
stops being a bully?
ice slides in an achy skull
compacting into diamonds
hard pressing every space together
claustrophobic blood vessel
and it presses harder still
and harder still until new reactions
must happens like the sound of breaking glass
shards are rubbing
topamax and darvocet
can you get me out of this?
neurologist said the catscan didn't show anything
come back oliver sacks (oliver sacks!)
explain this brain attack
is it chemical or is it psychosomatic?
the million dollar question
bees approaching cold steel twisting
and the jackhammer keeps pulsing
vice grips pole-vaulting veins are screaming
while charcoal squeezes effortlessly
so hard inside my brain that the coyote babies can sense it
as they glide overhead dance of the dead
think i'll stay in bed forever
i hope i don't get dizzy today!
Track Name: comfortably lonely
blue moon rising
new orleans
looking forward
but feeling reversed
you are a blessing
i am cursed
for when you feel better
i might get worse

but there's a way to get through this
quiet patient persistence
but love doesn't work
the way it once did
i dreamed we kissed in our sleep
but i wake to darkness and feel empty

at least we drank champaign
and grew new wings
can we fly again instead of
always staying comfortably lonely?
but that's okay, it's the norm for me.

i prefer the cold
the heat feels unhealthy
burns to the core
clothes get too heavy
i like to cover as much of myself as i can
i never felt right inside this body
i get better whenever you're here
misplaced affection wrong directions
we move somewhere
with miles in between our hands
i want you near
so i can get used to something other than the fear.
Track Name: why bother trying
the darkness made you cringe
i was tired and unignited
the many hats i wore for you
every weakness so apparent
down the stretch i couldn't be oblivious
to your sadness and your trauma
i am grounded by the sunshine
in your wild eyes
the terrible lies
only wanna smash the window
robbing us sober
sinking much lower
warm-blooded not beautiful anymore
i'm just getting older
i'm tired of life
but too wired to die
when you said "do you want to _____ ___ tonight?"
i should've headed
towards my room
i had no clue
that you would ask and try to make a life
and then you changed your mind
(suddenly everything has changed)
play that song, while you lie
i try to come towards heavenly everything
but why bother trying?
(it's all going to end when we move again)

i am avalanching, ambulancing
not sane and not crazy
reliably unhappy
and wishing for consistency
or some kind of everything
some kind of everything!
but why bother trying?
Track Name: lead me to the shore
days keep stretching further
like sand and shifting dunes
broken ocean smoky fog
but i see you

and the white of your blue eyes
talking mysteries and drinking
late at night

there you are
sinking star
can i take you somewhere in my car?
yes of course
you're spoken for but
even your friendship will lead me to shore

dreaming of a kiss that will never come
at the movies we sit close
i feel the warmth of a million suns
but a song remains unsung
but you're happy and that's what really counts
Track Name: no more longing
this mystery
that i see
her twilight eyes
looking back at me
as i walked in
i was enveloped
she gave me timeless relief

the sistine chapel is
here in chicago
in a bar with her friends
yes bartender
i'm the great pretender
pretending that there's no more longing

quiet smile
heart so kind
hanging on your every sigh
i hear music whenever you speak
a symphony underneath all of this noise & drinking

i keep turning the pages
in hopes of learning more of your story
a saving grace like a shot of whiskey
this is such absurdity!
when you feel something that cannot be

can i dream a dream
make a movie
about how much you mean to me?
dream a dream
hear your story
just your presence
is why i like living.
Track Name: not going anywhere
there is a darkness
that will never leave us
if love is our light
i cannot feel it
oh, since she is gone
there is no song
there's no moving on
i want her to know
that i'm still here
just carried
in the atmosphere
all alone, this feels weird

why does everyone feel hatred
they only see disaster
and i hope we don't choke on the fear
i want her to know that i'm still here
for worse or for better
through the hurt of cancer
i'm not going anywhere
Track Name: silent light
your body was all over me
greg dulli singing
felt your heart beating
thank god!
you weren't drinking
the last girl that i wanted
always needed more than me
like some benzodiazepines
she knew how to killed me
but i wanted you more
and you came discreetly

afraid to see you now
you're living out loud
with a new man
much prettier than me
oh, goddamn insecurity
i'm better off alone
than making a telephone call
speaking sweet nothings
"i ain't got nothing at all"

three times i was yours
nervous, but never torn
no need to repeat
what felt like a miracle
as the darkness calls
i dissolve
into sleep
where i see
you running back
to laugh and kiss me
my silent light
Track Name: cope
there is no rest
since she departed
i can't breathe
under this water
i long to sail and float
if only i could cope but
there is no money
to escape
this vacant home
so i better
get comfortable
with being alone

if only i could cope.
Track Name: restless nest
restlessness you always win
can't sit here commenting on digital transmissions
and the corner bar isn't working
unassured, patiently loving
at a distance
all of the bombs
lack of sleep
the claws are scratching... me.

caught a spaceship on the way to yesterday
take my worries to some other place!
in the morning
i will be laughing
to see all of the change
that's coming my way!
restlessness fades!

look at all the curious cars
comets burning with sulfur
eager weapons and double speak
lay down your arms and talk it out
with empathy
purge the demons from the machine

caught a postcard on the plane to the future
take my worries to some other place!
in the evening
i can be kissed to sleep
to see all of the change
that's i've been missing
restlessness fades!
tired of wanting to leave my body!
Track Name: thirsty for anything
"fade to black
then fade through that"
lose my skin
no more suffering
through this
broken laugh
inside the madness
missing limbs
tired skeleton
cringing thoughts

when will i love powerfully?
take the sweet and the sour fearlessly?
i feel livid
as the panic takes hold of me
imperfect and thirsty for anything

i look to the moon
what can i do
to heal these wounds?
i just hunker down
in my room
with the error of drinking
the terror of drifting
overtakes my will to breathe
imperfect and thirsty for anything
Track Name: i wanna be your song
quiet bus ride
with phenelzine
no appetite
window gazing
prepare yourself
for exit, love
money screams
for your boredom
but is it all that bad
or is this our home?
at least we live in the blue
and i have you
as the power shuts off
we cannot assume
that we'll survive
or choose to love in a song
it's just love in a song but
i wanna be your song
i wanna become love
Track Name: flood pressure
basement was full of boxes
a closet where a cat would sleep
the furniture was all too crowded
so the floor became polluted
now i wish i didn't need any of this history
but i would give anything just to save the photograph album
our names were written in cement
the cracks broke through the heavy ceiling
cigarettes were kept in coffee cans
washed away with the apartment
Track Name: sllip
we want to be something for somebody
but we can't see
doctor prescribed clarity
ahhhhh slip of the pills
to keep you safe from harm
ahhhhh you got the chills
to keep you warm
ahhhhh the arms of a stranger
seem so familiar now
forever ended here's your new prescription
you try to leave
but the itch keeps right on scratching
kissing the enemy
as he screams inside your body
doesn't mean anything
Track Name: deplorable
slow burn
no more concern
for the future
of this tired earth
there's blood on the bar
lapsed weather patterns
examine the spectacle
of our deplorable
liars, leaders, deceivers
no oncoming eulogy
for our haunted tragedy
just a ghost we are privvy to see
can you feel it each house is trembling?
this is the nightmare from which i wake up screaming.
it's all beginning to feel like it's ending.
Track Name: napalm springs
burn the sky and your skin
our faith is receding
and they wish you nothing
they wish you nothing but
the worst
and that's what coming
napalm springs!

fears you can't transcend
no tears or compassion
backwards again
and you thought you were in
constant motion
headed in the wrong direction

broken fist
sleepy boredom
manifest into panic
futile finite
serving servants
take their lies and choke on them!

napalm springs
field of dust
black river stream
no honest lust
the ice is aging rapidly
the death and regret keep on mounting
just like money in their tired bloodstreams
Track Name: dark matters
criminals kissing podiums
now you'll get what is coming
the migraine can't just fly away
ill unease destitute but you've got hell to pay
floorboards, world war
it's nothing new
this time prescriptions will not save you
live your lie then choke on spins of twisted ruse

nothing left but your deceased equity
wounded from circumstance yes let it bleed
some of us never ever wanted this
but your wish for apocalypse is granted

pushing words on a dry white page
doesn't seem to help matters anyway
comment then like what they say
patching where the heart is frayed
dark matters finds a way
we're dying
and denying
Track Name: blood and water
i heard a noise
it said, "jump off the roof."
i got real high
i didn't fall, but i wanted to
you talked me down
you stayed around
until i felt like i could move
by myself, but i needed help
i need peace of mind
and not a war to quell
now you are a rose colored blue
you are a dream i crawl into
soft sun quiet moon
a light i will always find when i need to
i am a farm in need of company
you are a tree that's thirsty
and i'm hungry for the flood of blood
Track Name: extinguisher
you don't know how to get out of this mess
how about now?
your blood is thick but can it run quick
when they're after the sick and the poor
the president and his friends and his men get you mad
so you can't stay in bed
hoping and searching for some protests and petition
to get us out of this madness

my dreams are telling me
they'll extinguish the unfortunate
take all they can get

you gotta do more than you've ever done it's not just all
waiting, hesitating for action!
they want our blood
they want our wallets
to fund the apocalypse
and extinguish the unfortunate
and they'll do it without regret
after all
it's just more money in their pocket
Track Name: don't run away
we can all be beautiful
we can tear down these walls
all stars fall and endear us
to all of the mysteries, we hold in the night
don't lose sight, don't run away from yourself
yes they can call the shots
feeding mass illusions
don't let them turn you into something you're not
don't run away from yourself
or the sun ain't gonna shine anymore

i don't believe in their wars!
love will always matter
it holds our power
don't run away!
Track Name: er blues
i wish you didn't give up on me
grateful for distance because
whenever i see you
in pictures or in that theater
i only wanna get closer just like before
just like before

called my sponsor
i was in the er
panicked with xanax
it no longer worked
after all one drug one love
leads to another
but nothing compares to your laughter

maybe i'm doomed
to repeat the cycle
oh i think it's true
that i've been in denial
that i could love someone new
had my heart and mind set on you
there's nothing i can say or do
to get you back in my arms
for conversation
and lemon rice soup
one drug one love
leads to another
but nothing compares to your laughter
Track Name: forever disappear (please)
couldn't get out bed
let my mind stay in red
sent a text to a friend
"i miss your voice in fact i miss everything"

hasn't really been the same
no reply when i ask "how's it going?"
it's changed and rearranged
thanks to what you did
you did the damage
and i will never forget this

your vulnerability
once got the best of me
i learned how to just let it be
now disappear completely
forever please

wanna find a better place
settle into my body
before it decides to stop working
all of this weathering
tired patterns and lack of energy
you deleted my records
from your computer
you said love doesn't matter
it just disappears
love doesn't matter
you did the damage
i will never forget the mess
that was left
Track Name: cravings
think i'm craving
a hazy shade of spring
my body doesn't like all of this humidity
think i'm craving
more than just a song
to get me through all of these happy days off

sometimes when i walk to the library
i imagine that you're hear and talking with me
about future plans
or where you'd like to eat
i can't believe
how much i need for you to be near me
but i also think you don't feel as strongly
so all i can do is sing sing sing
sing sing sing sing

and imagine a world full of love
and taking care of someone other than my mum
been reading memoirs and watching some tv
but i always end up playing guitar or ukulele
to distract myself completely
and not think about how beautiful you looked that night
i fell asleep on your couch we slept side by side
but i can't get too attached all of my friends remind me of that
but i still replay your laugh in my mind
and now i can't believe
how much i need for you to be near me
Track Name: wild blue eyes
abject slave
imperfect feeling
you don't know how to get old
so you just buy a home
and hope someday you won't be alone
just throw away yesterday forget about
the things she said like she feels lonelier now
somehow you were closer but now way more distant with
a tired highway with no regrets

doctor says this will work
laughter heals and then it hurts
when you think of how she laughed
at the things, the stupid president said
all the words replaced and wrong
and all the hurts misplaced in song
yeah ok now whatever
you can "cry five rivers on the way over"

"as you vegetate and wait around for brighter days
and can dance contended to the sound of money
have you ever seen a sight much greater than her"
wild blue eyes
they penetrate the silent light
say goodbye
as i drive
to the wedding.