Cavalcade (2013)



The second album from Cold Satellite, Jeffrey Foucault's full band lyrical collaboration with celebrated poet Lisa Olstein (author of Radio Crackling Radio Gone, Lost Alphabet, Little Stranger, and Late Empire, available from Copper Canyon Press), CAVALCADE follows the band's eponymous 2009 debut with a more deliberate approach to their classic, loose-limbed rock ’n’ roll, a sound somewhere between the arcing electricity of Crazy Horse and the joyful abandon of the Faces.

There’s the massive, ringing wall of guitars on opener “Elegy (In a Distant Room),” the propulsive Keith Richards jangle of “Elsewhere,” and the foot-stomping rocker “Tangled Lullaby,” along with the laid-back country-soul of “Careless Flame” and the haunting piano pads and brushed drums of the subtle ballad “Glass Hands.”

Rising stars in their respective fields and longtime friends, Foucault and Olstein began their collaboration at a distance, with Foucault coming cold to the poems and lyric fragments, creating songs by elision and arrangement, relying on his immediate impressions to inform the music, and leaving the listener to unify the intentions of the two writers in a single experience. The result is an expansion of the notion of authorship, and an experiment in the invention of meaning.

“I tried pretty consciously this time around to write music that brought more of my upbringing and education in early rock ’n’ roll into what I was doing,” says Foucault. “The first Satellite record was more country-inflected. This one is more four-on-the-floor rock'n'roll, with a couple blues and ballads. The first album I ever bought was Little Richard, and I lived on Led Zeppelin for at least a year, but I'd never made a record that reflected that.”

Pairing Olstein's visceral language with the rawboned authority of rock 'n' roll, Cold Satellite - Billy Conway (Morphine) on drums; Jeremy Moses Curtis (Booker T) on bass; David Goodrich (Chris Smither) on electric guitars; Nashville's Alex Mccollough on pedal steel, and Milwaukee's Hayward Williams on keys, guitars, and backing vocals - weave together strands of primitive rock, blues, R&B and Country to create a barroom masterpiece, cerebral and raucous.




"Grit and mystery."


"Sonic muscle... paint blistering rock 'n' roll."


"Gutbucket true and gorgeously rowdy, the second offering from Cold Satellite reminds us rock need not be polite to be heady or overtly arty/experimental to break new ground... intelligently saucy and subtly intoxicating – a work deeply simpatico with tying one on OR having a quality think."


"Cavalcade is an honest rock and roll album digging deeply into the rich traditions of Americana: a country rock album that believes in the power of the electric guitar."



1. Elegy
2. Necessary Monsters
3. Cavalcade
4. Careless Flame
5. Sleepers Wake
6. Pearlescent
7. Bomblet
8. Silver Whips
9. Glass Hands
10. Elsewhere
11. Tangled Lullaby
12. Every Boy, Every Blood


In a distant room
You are always dying
We watch it come
Slowly in its way

And with great speed
In advance as in retrospect
Past future perfect
The imagined happening

Remove the visible world
Its crowds of guillemots
Its auklets and street signs
And stones

They promise to offer
Less but for longer
And we would take it
But in the end
There's no offer made

There are measurements
Too small for taking
There are imperatives
Too large to see

All they find is a name
Moonlight on the strait
The San Juans at midnight
The iron waves

In a distant room
You are always dying
In a distant room
You are always dying
In a distant room

Necessary Monsters

The bullet the horse fears most
Is the one on its own back
So it drives a twisting course
Through the storm of night

The heart inside the brain
Tiny pain center
Tiny command post

Inside an ocean swimming
There are no maps here
The end is the beginning
A maze of cells burning

No scent of fig
In the fig tree's branches
Nor yet any tree

I wonder can you tell me
When do we say the sea

In the distance lies a city
A dappled ruby hub
Ruby mouth and harbor teeth
And stars strung out above

Fine lines mark the eyes
Lace the air
They might be lookout posts

They might be far off lamplight
Soldiers step from into
The shallows steady horses
Prancing up the plank that's pointing to

The ship the sea
Not yet the sea
The shallows churn and sway


Over there that's the kitchen
It's real nice in the rain
And right here is the sofa
Above it an old map of Spain
Before the revolution
There was a queen
But I can't remember her name

I have read the classics
Minus one or two
And I've watched the talking heads
Talk until they're blue
They say so many things
And you never know
Which ones are true

You could hold a pistol to my head
You could light fire to my bed
You could leave the hungry all unfed
What I meant by what I said
Is please please stay

They say we make
A thousand decisions
In the hour before the dawn
Every day is a cavalcade of words
Every bird has its own song
Every theory has believers
I know most of them are wrong

Careless Flame

That light through the trees
That cry in your ears
That's the ferry boat leaving
One week ago four years

All my bags were packed
My ticket was bought
We stayed up through the night
We made love then we fought

On some stranger's tongue
Today I heard your name
And it flickered and went out
Like a careless flame

I still see you in close-up
I still feel you all around
Oh but love your voice
That's a far away sound

You're that shadow slipping sideways
You're that hum inside my mind
Every day I wake to forget you
One more time

Sleepers Wake

She reaches for her drink
She lets go of my hand
She keeps her eyes on the floor
She says we've been here before

There's nothing more to say
Why don't we call it a day
Leave it for tonight
Draw the curtains on our tired eyes

It's only promises that break
When all the sleepers wake
It's just rain falling down

Listen: the wind is driving
Listen: the drawbridge is rising

She reaches for her drink
She lets go of my hand


Is there a secret you kept
Are there any promises left
Did they make you an addict
Of never again

Do you hear a strange calling
In the evening that's falling
When there's nothing left to see
But a world full of blue

Did he show you the way
Did he ask you to stay
Did he sing something sweet
Walking up and down the floor

Wherever you come from
The past isn't done
Wherever you go
You'd better go slow

You draw maps and prepare
But you're already there
You're a lost little girl
Who walked through too many doors

Tell me pretty tell me true
Did it all seem brand new
The way that you felt
With his hand on your hair


At the rock n' roll show
We hold up our phones
I thought we were taking pictures
But the phones are our candles
They are flames
With camera eyes
They are flames

Though we've taken already
More than it has left to give
We love our world
It wearies us
And sometimes for days
All we want to do is sleep
Sometimes for days

We love our world
It wearies us
And sometimes for days
All we want to do is sleep
Or listen to loud things crashing
Until there's nothing
Left to hear

Silver Whips

When the hail hits
The horses stand
Close together
We step outside
We can't always tell
Good fortune from bad
When the air cracks
The leaves sign
A language surely
Someone somewhere
Knows how to read
But not here
A whine stiffens the wind
The horses flare and turning
They pivot their feathered ears
They're calling
They're calling
They call without moving
When the hail hits

Glass Hands

All the cotton candy light
In a three-ring circus town
It blinds you for a minute
And then it lets you down

You always meant to leave
You always said you'd go
Come summer come fall
Come hard blown winter snow

Frankie fix your make-up
Frankie fix your hair
Go ahead and walk away
Like you don't even care
But leave me your
Glass hands to hold

The sadness when it comes
Makes patterns on the night
It fills your heavy lungs
With aimlessness and fight

And like a fitful child
I carry you to bed
To dream a little while
Inside your spinning head

But when you wake again
You're a deer caught in the glare
You're a bird with a broken wing
You catch me in your stare

And I say listen:
It's the midnight train
Echoing your name
Up and down these hills

Just tell me where you'll go
When you walk out of here
I think I'm going to want to know
When the wind blows in from there


Every day people
Pass back and forth
On planes to Amsterdam
And planes to Perth
She can get anywhere she knows
When it's time to pack up and go

But even standing right here
A part of her is elsewhere
Elsewhere elsewhere elsewhere

She was raised in four rooms
Where nobody spoke
About the fires burning
Or the smell of smoke
There was sunlight in the trees
There were Sundays on bent knees

She told me how the darkness bloomed
Up and down the lines
And the curves of those rooms
And i tell her that midnights sail past
Invisible processions can't last

Now every night she sorts out
The wounded from the well
What she lets on
From what she'll never tell
I love her according to plan
She loves me the best that she can

Tangled Lullaby

Open window far off call
Evening light leaking thin
As we trace and retrace this hall
And the darkness settles in

Listen and I hear you dear
Your body soft against the sheets
Breathe and I smell you dear
Your sweet mouth making its own heat

The road is longer than we thought
There's no signpost now in sight
We stop and then we start again
And we stumble through
The sleepless nights

I dream with my eyes open
I pray that nothing's broken
In the morning when we rise
I say amen amen until then

In the quiet there's a ringing sound
An old echo in the sky
A distant voice singing now
The idea of your eyes

Every Boy, Every Blood

Sometimes we worship with guns
Sometimes we need guns

To stand by us while we worship
To stand by us

At dawn we killed the killers
And then we washed our hands

The clouds looked like swimmers
Dragging their arms across the sky

There's nothing we can't calculate
My broken fingers for yours

This anguish for that face
Ten thousand rivers away