by better days

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These songs were written by James Jaskolka and were recorded by Collin Bevan and Anthony Cardone, respectively, over the course of two years. Collin Bevan produced it, mixed it, mastered it, fed me, and helped reassure me that the songs were good when I got tired of playing the parts. Collin Bevan is a great human being. Shawna Smith did the art.


released April 8, 2015

Big thanks to Jaycie, Steve P, Collin and Anthony, Jon/In Writing, Toni/Spur, Glassgrade, Billy, Black Diamond, Courtney, Shawna, Mike, Curry Donuts, Erin, George, Pat, Danica, Josephine, Sarah, Victoria, Jacquie, Gabriella, Cody, Maddie, Derek, Alex, Ash, Mary, the places/moments these songs are about, my family (blood, extended, or otherwise) and to anyone reading this.



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better days

the music project of James Jaskolka // a constant work in progress.

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Track Name: 251 River St.
The things in my life never seemed to make a lot of sense to me.
The past is dead, the future's bleak, and I'm lost inside today.
I'm settling as second best.
I taught myself to be content and live without the innocence this mountain took away.
I'm always struggling to find the answers, or just peace of mind.
Everyone says I'll be fine, but it's hard to understand.
I'm looking for the best in me. I'm never getting sympathy.
I don't know who I should be and I don't know who I am.

But I know I'm not alone. I still have my heart and a place to call my home.

So I left town and took a part of me to 251 River st.
I owe this city everything because it taught me who I was,
and that it's not about the friends you find,
or the ones that just get left behind.
It's the ones that stand true by your side that shape who you become.
You'll learn a lot about yourself when you're broken and in need of help,
when no one's there to wish you well or even give a fuck.
So I traded insecurity for the best of friends and family.
They never ask for anything and always lend a hand to pick me up.

The best thing that you'll find is that it's not where you are in life, it's where you're going.
It's who got you there.
Track Name: Love Song for Winter
It's dark around 6 o'clock this month.
I've got the windows tightly shut to keep the snow out,
to keep the cold from creeping in,
because it's enough to have to shiver at the touch
of something you love too much
without the threat of what comes next.

If it's how it's always been, nothing more and nothing less,
then we can wait until the worst of it is over.
Spring will come again.

And if the seasons
can't provide a valid reason
to keep the two of us from freezing here,
there's no one else I'd rather die with.

What's another foot of snow?
What's another icy road?
If we get stuck here, at least we have each other.
We'll never be alone.

We'll hold each other close to keep the warmth inside our bones.
Track Name: Room 316
Do you recall the discomfort that we felt that day?
Drugged up on cough syrup with nothing to say
as we let our hands wander and get lost in the space
between love and something fake.

You called me a cancer,
said that I made you sick
then you traced my initials on each cigarette -
they made your hands tremble as they brushed your lips.
But I know you'll never quit.

The lines in your bedsheets are stained with my sweat
each crease in your blanket, my lack of respect
and they crept off of your pillows and under the bed
where here, they can be laid to rest
to sleep in the same place we did:

In room 316,
where you got high while I slept in.
Where we skipped all our classes so we could have sex.
The way our bodies moved together above your mattress,
pushing out all of the loneliness -
nothing's ever gonna feel that way again.

Nothing's ever gonna feel the way you did.