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Ogen, old man

by Matt Holubowski

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Old Man 03:39
Old man, what are you holding on to? The remnants of an expired youth? We all age with no say on change, so be graceful man, but do it your own way. Old man, what is it that frightens you? Is it all the things you never got to do? Don’t expect the things you love to stay the same. Just remember that, You’ll simply live a different day.
Mango Tree 03:27
Are you surprised of the direction you have taken your life in? Is it not just how you imagined it, exactly how you dreamed of it, and longed for it? Well, I have known for long that kindred spirits, we have grown into our own, and into one another’s roots; we’ve become each other’s irrevocable, and everlasting truths. Just like the ocean, you have sprayed my thirsty heart, and like the mango tree, you’ll never let me go hungry. It wasn’t by mistake that intertwined were our fates, our roads now destined to become embroidered like a chain mail that will never fail to shield our hearts that weigh so, so many tons. And many suns will have to be ignited and extinguished, way before the flames between us finish flickering in the wind. Even in the winter I am warm when I am lying in your arms. And you may go away as far as Spain, but no extended interval of time, or distance visible will ever me far for long. Honey, you’re my paragon.
Sometimes, words won’t do, so you just have to let the music speak for you.
Find wolves gnawing on your bones, doves flying by your tomb, where the grass is growing through your nose, and the gravekeeper sprays you with a garden hose. All those things you swore to do in the short years that you knew are carved upon a stone, with a dozen words at most. When the time came to exist, and your life’s catalyst was borne unto your youth, I hope you choose to live it Through, and through; for when you rot under the ground, and all of those around you hope that you are cozy in heaven’s fantasy. And all that you will know at rest will be the mold that you become, and all that you will know at rest will be the mold of your recycled soul. Find peace in whatever creed you’re born into, and breathe the fiction that it holds, if it makes this life more whole, and bearable, but don’t hold back from living here, it’s all that’s guaranteed: the marvel of your being. Salvation comes from epic eulogies. One more thing, my dying friend, in case this is the end, I’ve loved you even though your faith it was a hoax all along. Love me, even if to you my soul forever looms in hell’s immortal vault. Don’t you know it’s not my fault?
Face to Face 03:21
I said, I wish I had a camera to save what I have seen, to pile em’ up in boxes, and preserve the memories. If only I could capture what I felt that fateful day, but the pictures just don't recreate emotions anyway. I said, if only I had evidence, then I'd always tell the truth; for the moments shot through lenses will forever cling to you. Oh, what things you miss in hiding behind five, or six inches. Have you captured moments, or have they imprisoned you? Well, I see faces through a forest of handheld electronics, like an island for your isolation, but you're not lost – you want it. I see eyes glued to the brightness. They move, but seem so lifeless, and when I call them they pretend to not have heard me say how are you? Would you like to have a conversation? Face to face, without any distractions? Talk about the world, and all of the people in it. And we will say what we will mean, there’s nothing else to it.
I got ran out of town. They threw me out of city hall. I got ran out of town because of alcohol. I couldn’t even walk, less even run to exile. I couldn’t even talk, explain myself to all my loved ones. It started with a friend, and we did it again. It was so innocent back then. I see with clarity the blur in front of me. I see my wrecked reflection. How could I be this way for all my loved ones. At night, I am alive, but by the morning light I shiver, sweat, and cry; for I’ve forgotten all my loved ones. I’d give it up for you… …hmm yes, but then again it’s all because of you that I will lose all my loved ones.
Eugene 07:25
Eugene, I see you looking, looking at me with those forlorn eyes, that tired dejection, and bravery. Well, maybe, I said, maybe you can toss this dreadful life, and flee, but your heart’s gone cold, as cold as your ears, and hands, and feet. All through the eyes of a blind man. How many more have we stunted like this? Oh, we are not to be faulted, we said, for we are the ones with the fortunate ends. Eugene, you were a broker, and a seller of goods, but you’ve lost it all, and you’d sell your soul to stand where you once stood. Once wed, you felt love of a kind that I have never had. Heaven knows her better now, and for her it’s not so bad. Eugene, you see the passers, passing you by. They deny you change, abuse you, reproach you of getting high. But it’s been many a year since you have first been clean. You are sober now, but your mind’s still bursting at the seams. You said, told me you were sent down here to earth to be an angel for all of our friends in need, and I may have walked you by a thousand times before on a floor of stone, coarse and cold, all alone, frighteningly hollow, and somehow filled with life, joy, tears, and smiles, and love, and hope.
Endearing though to me, many a man has tried to flee the sordid corners of this putrid penitentiary, oh, are you here with me? Are you here with me, or am I dreaming of your shackles loudly dragging through the hallways of my reverie, oh, are you here with me? Farther than a lunar axis, as far as I know outer space is. Innovation never takes us as far as we can be. What is left for me? Dimmer than a summer solstice, north of any blooming roses, melted water, open faces, below the winter freeze the cold paralyzes me. I’m holding on to home. Thumbs up for the next ride in, I’ll go where fuel carries it. I hope it’s reaching Gulu town. I’ll meet my friends sometime around the bend. The kitchen smells of memories, and there beside the quarterlies are photos of my family, but some of them are missing me, and I am missing them right back. I’m holding on to home. There is nothing captivating on this road that we are roaming. I know every step to take, I know every creak the stairs will make. Holding on to home like it’s as real as a stone, and if I told you: “you imagined it”. Would it matter anymore, if you’re with me? As long as you’re with me. I’m holding on to home.
Death Knells are sounding all around, as you drive your life into the ground. Did you hear us calling you? Can’t you see that we love you? I know you’ve seen your share of pain, and I know you want it all to go away. You know, I’ve seen it too, I’ve been right there with you. If our eyes were covered in a hue, you’d think it’d be a shade of blue, but our eyes they are green, if only you could see the potential you have inside, from which you always seem to hide. It’s not just me who can, I am Sam, Sam I am. Yeah, you’ve done ok, you’ve done alright, but it’s never been enough, has it? Yeah, you’ve done ok, you’ve done alright, and if it’s good enough for you, it’s fine. We have a demon in our heads, he does our thinking in our stead. He may try to steal your heart, don’t let him get that far. Those who don’t know what it is like, who always had the perfect life, will make you feel like shit, but they’re fucking ignorant. Who said anything about condemning what you do? I could never really stay that mad at you. It’s not normal to be throwing stones at you, then turn around, and talk about how much we love you. Just listen to my cheerful words, I’ve gone and conquered Satan first. It is worth all the pain, but you have to stay the same. I wish that you would come back home. Since you’ve been gone, I’ve been alone. I have lost my best friend, who I’m made to defend. If it’s good enough for you, it’s fine by me.
Mon cher monsieur, comme elle est chouette cette belle guitare que tu caresse, avec tes doigts usés de temps. Tu as le don de dompter l'âme de rendre sourire au plus macabres. Puis quelques sous te sont laissés, pour réparer les humeurs si blasées. Les gens autour de toi ont ri de mauvaise foi, lorsque tu leur a dit que tu as fait ta vie avec tes jolies melodies. Ah, la misère! Misère à ceux qui osent vivre ce que les autres considèrent un simple rêve. Mon cher monsieur, que disent tes yeux pensés? Ta peau maintenant ridée d'une vie assez remplie, merci? Qu'a t il de mieux pour enchanter les masses de gens cherchant à oublier? Mon cher monsieur, tes sifflements me font penser à une ère simplifiée, sans guerre, sans vie politisée. Tu es un ancien musicien, gardien d'un art qui nous rend plus humains. Prête-moi, monsieur tes grands souliers, que tu prenne ton repos bien mérité.
On Trains 04:53
Nimbus clouds surround the mountains now. Can’t tell who resides this wooden town. There’s a makeshift mystery that’s going down. The plains below me here now live in peace, where farmer grows his rice and Chinese tea. Never has a man seemed so damn free to me. So damn free to me. Darkness comes now as it please, then light comes back to me so suddenly, as we tunnel through to further majesty. The sight of smoke, and sound of ringing bells, the ones we’ve come to love, and know so well calms our qualms, and makes us feel so swell. Makes us feel so swell. Well honey, maybe you don’t know this, but life’s a train ride and we are all on it. Pretty homes all made of marble stone line up one by one to say hello, hello. They are beautiful, and they don’t even know. They don’t even know, they are beautiful. When I am on trains, I feel safe. The city lights are now coming in sight. They shine on me with all their pretty might, but I can’t tell, because I’m sleeping oh so tight Conductor calls us all to come on out, we’ve reached the platform, now it’s time for solid ground, and remember where it is that we are bound. Where it is we’re bound.
Here goes my undercover mode, hiding from all of world. Who knows? Maybe I’ll remain safe from all of this burdensome rain. So-so is how I’ve been of late, trying to cover my many faces. My moments always come and go, but it’s when I wait for a blow that it hurts the most. Oh my darling, stoic as a stone. You’ve got my hurt in your bones. I warned you, the leaves would never cease to fall. My doldrums have sunken a bottomless hole. My heart is ready to explode, so I cemented it in like a tomb. I’m faithlessly praying to the great unknown. I’ll believe anyone that can save my soul.
I’m holding on a rope, holding on to hope that apathy will leave my mind alone. Oh, and all the winding roads that I’ll never know are calling me to try to get to know them. Say it isn’t so, I will go wherever I want to. One single ticket there, I don’t care, anywhere, and I only want to buy a one-way fare. Look at me one last time, don’t know if I’ll survive, and I won’t return as long as I’m alive. Say it isn’t so I will go wherever I want to my sweet surreal. All the measures of a man that no one else can stand, and I am he, will you remember me if I forever leave you?


“In time I'll try to be
all things to all around me”,
he said.

I replied:
“Old men with weary souls
reached far beyond their goals,
old men with youthful skin
are wrinkled from within,
will die before they live,
and take far more
than they will ever give.”


released July 26, 2014

Words, and music: Matt Holubowski
Artistic direction: Matt Holubowski, and Cassian Bopp

Producer, and mixer: Connor Seidel/Evermoor Audio
Mastered: Marc-Olivier Bouchard/Le Lab Mastering Montreal

Art: Lydia Marier/Illustrations LM

Matt Holubowski: Vocals, guitar, harmonica, mandolin, ukulele
Connor Seidel: bass drum/holding on to home, slide guitar/all my loved ones
Chris Lamarche: Drums/Mango Tree No. 17
Aidan Mitchell: Cello/Mango Tree No. 17
Felix Leblanc: Piano/Sweet Surreal


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Matt Holubowski Montreal, Québec

Matt Holubowski's first album 'Ogen, Old Man' was written and recorded in the spirit of simplicity, embracing of imperfection, and the search for truth and meaning. The raw, lo-fi album meant to bring the focus back to story telling, as was originally the tradition of folk music.

Holubowski's second opus is set to appear in the fall, with more arrangements and colours, but the same candour.
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