They're Not Gone

by Desert Culture

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1.
04:53
2.
03:20
3.
02:56
4.
05:26
5.
02:13
6.
01:46
7.
02:45
8.
03:37

about

While writing this record, I was inspired by several stories from both my family's history and strange events that happened in the 1940's and 50's. Stories usually involving death, but also what happens after death, and how the living continue on. The music that would accompany these stories came from new geography I wanted to explore; what if the reverb-soaked sounds of surf rock from California was to meet up with Fender twang of country in Texas with some Latin percussion from South of the border. I wanted to write what would be in my mind a very Texas sounding record.

In Elva I ask, "What happened to my Uncle John?" John Vega was my father's oldest brother who drowned in Lake Medina, west of San Antonio. This tragic event naturally caused a strain on my grandmother Elva Vega, and lead to my father moving to Monterrey, Mexico, where he would eventually meet my mother. Events are never isolated; they are ups or downs on a continuous wave. The question, "where do they go when they're not gone" acknowledges that wave.

This album wouldn't be possible with out our families, Brooke, Brett, Grant, Taylor Thomas, Taylor Hughes, Juan Lopez, Harmon Li, Charlie Krampsky, Jon Niess, Justin Taylor, Kevin Butler, and a lot of other people.

credits

released April 25, 2017

All songs written by Daniel Vega and performed by Desert Culture
All songs produced by Daniel Vega and Desert Culture

Guitar, organ, percussion and vocals performed by Daniel Vega
Lead and rhythm guitar, and back up vocals performed by Brett Thorne
Lead and rhythm guitar performed by Grant Appleton
Drums performed by Taylor Thomas
Bass and percussion performed by Taylor Hughes
Trumpet performed by Juan Lopez
Organ performed by Harmon Li

Engineered and mixed by Charlie Krampsky
Tracking was done at Austin Signal in April and July of 2016
Mastered by Kevin Butler in October 2016

Cover Illustrated by Justin Taylor
Cover Design by Brooke Vega

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about

Desert Culture Austin, Texas

I want to make music you can do the twist to; music you can shake your knees to. My name is Daniel Vega. I write songs with Brett Thorne, Grant Appleton, and Taylor Thomas.

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Track Name: Buffalo
Buffalo, you left me low, you left me cold, Buffalo
And so I had to go where the southern wind blows, Buffalo

So I packed my bags and left,
Grabbed a map and I headed west,
Headed where the southern sun sets,

Buffalo, you left me scarred from the snow, Buffalo
And my body shows, the scars more than I know, Buffalo
Track Name: Elva
I've been forgetting ghost stories that my grandfather read to me,
right before I went to sleep, haunting my dreams
I've been singing old melodies, that my grandmother sang to me,
my voice shakes as my heart breaks, I'm out of key

What happened to my Uncle John,
Where do they go when they're not gone, Elva

I've been praying to you lately, praying for my family,
we kept faith you would take the weight off our bodies
I've been clutching your rosary, Holy Fathers and Hail Marys,
We kept faith you would take the weight off our bodies,

What happened to my Uncle John,
Where do they go when they're not gone, Elva
Track Name: Badlands
I've never seen a man stand so tall,
I've never seen a man, a rebel with out a cause,
I see myself in him, back against a brick wall,
I see myself in him, forgot who I was

In the Badlands, these are dark times,
I'll keep driving on until I see the sunrise,
I never hurt no one who didn't have it coming,
Until I see the sun, I'll keep the engine running

Born and raised in Lincoln, I am a carpenter's son
Born and raised in Lincoln, I am everyone
If I could only see what they say I did in that station,
If I could only see the things they say I've done

In the Badlands, these are dark times,
I'll keep driving on until I see the sunrise,
I never hurt no one who didn't have it coming,
Until I see the sun, I'll keep the engine running

These are dark times in the Badlands
Where some do evil things others won't understand,
His excuses, pay no mind to them
Do not lose your faith over acts of evil men
Track Name: Texarkana
The story of Paul and Anna, two teens from Texarkana
who wanted to feel alive one night,
Drove out to lovers' lane at dark, and put Paul's Ford in park
but something didn't feel right
She was nervous for his touch, and he wanted to feel a rush,
but they were surprised by a sight
Paul was blinded by a light, clubbed in the head with a lead pipe,
the phantom told Anna to run for her life

Welcome to the town that fears sundown, Texarkana
Welcome to the town that fears sundown, Texarkana


The story's been told before, the words sink to your core,
The scenes reply at night when you're alone,
The stories are the same, and the endings never change,
the mystery's remain unsolved,
The memories grow old, but feelings are still cold,
and we don't trust each other's mind,
So now what have we done, our feelings have grown numb,
and I don't trust myself sometimes

Welcome to the town that fears sundown, Texarkana
Welcome to the town that fears sundown, Texarkana