Nightvision

by Joe Pisapia

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about

Nightvision
or How I Got Out Of Trouble.

I have a few friends whom I’ve known for
a long time who I consider to be idealists.
There is nothing more inspiring, or contagious
of pure joy, than to see the spark of their idealism
survive, despite the myriad of challenges that they've endured.
Like the tempering of steel, I’ve witnessed their goodness
become more real.

A few years ago, I went to the emergency room
with a painful and lingering situation that I assumed
was an advanced sinus infection.

Without going into all the details, upon seeing
the CT scan of my noggin that evening, the ENT doctor on staff
told me that my situation was dire and he “didn’t
want to give me false hope." From the look of things on
the image, there were broken skull bones, brain involvement and a lot
of speculation and concern.

This left me with ten days of heavy contemplation
between receiving that news and an emergency surgery appointment.
Surgery would be the only way to truly uncover the mystery, but it wouldn’t be without risks. One of the things my surgeon relayed to me in our first meeting was, “if you should go blind after surgery don’t panic, I’ll fix it.” There was a mass and there would be biopsies--
all very sudden adult and mortal themes.

I immediately became aware of the grand mystery (miracle) of
autonomic function, frankly even of life itself. Knowing that music, even on a basic skill level, is icing on the cake of the already amazing base level of brain function, I became
unprecedentedly aware and thankful for my personal experience of life.

Suddenly the pressures of trying to write songs with
agenda (hit single, career changing, synch-worthy, critically acclaimed etc.,) seemed silly. I always felt it was important to “be yourself,” but now I felt how lucky one is to simply be able to “be” “yourself."

I also realized the futility in being stuck in feelings of self-loathing…feelings that had grown in relation to the current state of “selfie” narcissism, and not wanting to inject more ego into the already clogged bandwidth. I found it disillusioning that a record release
announcement on social media gets equal billing with a successfully executed chicken recipe.

I was very conscious of the fact that I might very well have either limited time left, or limited function, or a combination of both realities. One message from a deeper part of myself was clear, “Leave YOUR music behind.” It also occurred to me to follow that leading if I were to be re-gifted life after what I was about to go through.

In all humility, I think that I am still digesting some of the
concepts that occurred to me during that 10 day spell.

At that point in time, this record had already been mixed and in the can
for about a year. In truth, before all of this occurred, I hesitated putting the record out because I didn’t like that it was so dark and heavy. I had the concept and the title but I didn’t know what it meant or why. I simply didn’t want to be a downer.

After going through the health hurdle I waited to put the record out
because I didn’t feel up to it physically.
It took about eight months post surgery to
re-learn how to sing which was weird in its own right.

Even at its inception I toyed with calling the record
“Music On Hold.” Hmmm.

In retrospect I see that this record was a sort of
foreshadowing for me. I was about to go through
a dark and confusing time that would inevitably
make the record “real” for me.

I no longer perceive it to be a dark record.
Somehow now it feels light and uplifting to me.

Generic shame, false humility and pet insecurities
are virtually nonexistent when faced with the possibility
of losing earthly life. Honestly they seem like “luxuries"
when viewed in that particular light. They are some of the luxuries that exist within the illusion of immortality-- our shared collective denial, which lasts until it is challenged by the inevitable reality that we all intend to postpone for as long
as we can.

Thankfully I can say that given the situation, I feel
like I got through that surgery etc., in a “best case
scenario” way. I have had hurdles since, but overall I am extremely
lucky. I’m still here and for that I am thankful.

I once had a famous producer who’s work I admire
tell me that I’m never going to “make it” because
my music is “too musical” and people don’t really
like or care about music. It took me a long time to realize that I’m not
making music to “make it.” I now know it’s okay to make music
just to make it.

Sam Smith, my co-producer on this record, is one of the friends that I spoke about earlier. He reminded me of the person I was
when we first met 17 years ago, and then he kept reminding me.
We bonded over our love of music then as we do now.

This record could also not exist were it not for
the same loving support from my brother Marc, James Haggerty,
and my wife, Jennie.

In the humble hope for all,
that idealism survives the night of despair,

Joe
March 2015

credits

released March 19, 2015

Produced by Joe Pisapia and Sam Smith

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about

Joe Pisapia Nashville, Tennessee

Joe Pisapia is a singer, songwriter, mulit-instrumentalist, recordist and producer living and working in Nashville, TN. His production and/or songwriting credits include k.d. lang, Ben Folds, Guster, Drew Holcomb, The Silver Seas, Josh Rouse.

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Track Name: Get Back Up
You were on the sunny side
and everything was so alive
Now every time we talk it seems
that something's wrong
something's wrong

You're looking at the balance sheet
and where you thought that you would be
so different from the place where you have ended up
What went wrong

I remember in the past
before we were afraid to laugh
We'd throw a middle finger to our cares
and that would be that
and get back up again

That anger's gonna burn you up
oh you better watch your speed
Remember when we laughed so loud
that it made it hard to breathe
and get back up again

I remember in the past
before we were afraid to laugh
we'd throw a middle finger to our cares
and that would be that
and get back up again

And so now my favorite clown
it's so hard to see you down
So reach into your memories
and bring it back around
and get back up again
Get back up again
Get back up again
Track Name: Burned Out
Back before the fall of the old regime was evident
we were stuck running in a circle of embarrassment
And there were rules but nobody knew the terms
and everyone was out of it
And nobody looked another person in the eye

And everyone was so burned out that I knew
Everyone was so burned out
Everyone was so burned out that I knew back then my love
Everyone was so burned out

We were so distracted by bullshit out at every turn
that there were drugs to help you pay attention to important things
But people lost discernment between the crap
and all the things that mattered
Everyone was wondering just how far it would go

And everyone was so burned out that I knew
Everyone was so burned out
Everyone was so burned out that I knew back then my love
Everyone was so burned out

And in the middle of the night you would wake up
with your head in your hands
In the middle of the night you would wake up
in a heated sweat
Track Name: Music On Hold
There's a way to win
so tell yourself again
But understanding is such a bigger word
all the more you get older

Still the mail comes in
Then the late March winds
Soon the holiday lights are taken down
without much fascination

Was there magic
Did you miss it
All the songs of life and love and laughter
that never got written

There's a human voice
beyond the touch tone choice
but how long do we have to wait
just for communication

Somewhere a fiery heart
with a thousand false starts
Move the trash to the street on Sunday nights
without much fascination

Was there magic
Did you miss it
All the songs of life and love and laughter
that never got written
that never got written
that never were written
Track Name: Wake My Heart
Oh my God it seems you're heading straight for me
I've been afraid of what your knowing eyes would see
Looking back it seems I've wasted so much time
Knowing eyes like yours so patient and so kind

Wake my heart if it should fall asleep
I don't want to miss another day

I was masterful at hiding in my fear
Kept postponing peace of mind for years and years
Now I'm finally standing with you face to face
All I hope for is your tenderness and grace

Wake my heart if it should fall asleep
I don't want to miss another day
Track Name: Thoughts Of You
I fought the thoughts of you
for fear of what they'd do
They'd lock my heart away
so no other one could ever take your place

I fought the thoughts of you too
for fear of what they'd do
The ghost of lovers' past
forever dancing an imaginary dance

Years have passed us by
So why do I still find that I still have to fight
Friends say give it time
But how much more time
do I have to fight
to get you off my mind

How long to make my peace
if we should never be
What is it holding me
And how long until I finally can be free

Years have passed us by
So why do I still find that I still have to fight
Friends say give it time
But how much more time
do I have to fight
to get you off my mind
Track Name: Suitcase And Guitar
I'd like to take a good year and drive around
with a suitcase and guitar
I'd go from town to town
but take my sleep in the outskirts
under starlight
with a clear point of view
Nothing important to do

I'd talk to interesting folks
and there'd be plenty of stories to tell
And since I wasn't consumed
with all the stress of agenda
I could listen with a new attitude
Nothing important to do

And I'd remember to keep away from
thoughts that brought me down

And there would probably be times
when I would be inconvenienced or waylaid
But since I wouldn't have plans there'd be
no wrongs to be righted and no reason
to distract from the truth
Nothing important to do

And I'd remember to keep away from
thoughts that brought me down

I'd like to take a good year and drive around
with a suitcase and guitar
And maybe after that time
I'd know what the important things are
Track Name: Get What You Want
Once there was a love
She was an angel sometimes
Sometimes she was the devil in white
It was always a big surprise

Once there was a love
She lived so far away
I would always count down the days
Till I'd see her from face to face

It isn't hard to get what you want
But do you know what it is you want
I believe that's the harder part
It isn't hard to get what you want
But do you know what you really want
That to me is the hardest part

Once there was a love
We would spend Sundays in the park
When she'd smile it would light up my heart
and I would just forget everything

Once there was a love
We had a long history
It would take years before we were free
of the ties to each other's hearts

It isn't hard to get what you want
But do you know what it is you want
I believe that's the harder part
It isn't hard to get what you want
But do you know what you really want
That to me is the harder part
Track Name: Apathy
If you should come one day to recognize
All the things you used to love
just make you feel nothing inside
Watch out
Watch out

Apathy
I can feel it holding me
It's such a dangerous place to be

If you should close your eyes
and find no dream inside your mind
Stuck inside the shades of grey
Don't wait too long to make a change
Watch out
Watch out

Apathy
I can feel it holding me
It's such a dangerous place to be
Apathy
I can feel it pulling me down
and I don't want to be down

No matter how it started
You'd be so much better off
just broken-hearted

Apathy
I can feel it holding me
It's such a dangerous place to be
Apathy
I can feel it pulling me down
But I don't want to be down no more
Track Name: The Sweetest Sound
Just today I was remembering my favorite season
It was the summer of new-found reason
In my life
When I'm low sometimes
look back into the sunny days
And the melody my memory plays
it is the sweetest sound I ever
The sweetest sound I ever heard

At the time all of these people thought that we were idealists
But who has time for realists
In summertime
When my life gangs up on me
I think of sunny days
and the melody my memory plays
It is the sweetest sound I ever
The sweetest sound I ever heard

Gratitude
Not only for my favorite season
but for the feelings that color the reason
In my mind
When I'm low I can always go
back to the sunny days
and the melody my memory plays
It is the sweetest sound I ever
the sweetest sound I ever heard
It is the sweetest sound I ever
the sweetest sound I ever heard

It brings me the sweetest sound
I ever heard
Track Name: Chelsea Days
You come to me and you bring me good news
Don't worry
There will soon be a new mood
on the streets and the avenues
A change for the better
Track Name: See You Again
What do you see
now that you're out there somewhere
Here in my world
it's all conjecture and kid fear
Nobody knows
from after the end
I've always known in my heart
I'll see you again

People come and people go
It happens all the time
But somewhere inside I know
True lovers never die

Ashes to dust
There's no escaping that fact
But after all
What's to remain there intact
Songs from a friend
sung from afar
I'll always know in my heart
I'll see you again
Track Name: Sing It Loud
Tucked away in a corner of a closet
is a bell that we got you as a little one
Often times in the night I would ring it
when I found you troubled and awake
And you would drift away to slumber
To dream

Then the days went by like a freight train
moving fast by the plains and the prairie grains
No one ever did explain
You got it on your own
It's such a privilege to see you become

So sing it loud
so everyone knows who you are

Stood by and I watched you make choices
bit my tongue when I saw you taking chances
Watched you go through strings of romances
Still I never had a doubt
I always knew you knew who you were

And when the days get dark with confusion
You can always give your burdens to the music
And even when I'm gone
There is a song that will play on and on
and on

So sing it loud
so everyone knows who you are
So sing it loud
So you can remember who you are