A Perfect Day for a Mall Date

by Thom Coombes

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    Mall Date CD

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"The shit hits the fan if the fan hits the floor."

Recorded January-July, 2015, in various bedrooms, basements, and bathrooms between St. John's and Conception Bay South, NFLD.

Written/Recorded/Mixed by Thom.
Guest musicians were given no direction, and wrote their own parts on the fly, usually having never even heard the song before they played on it.

Recorded on a Tascam 4-track cassette and with Reaper. Additional recording by Jake and Simon.



released July 6, 2015

Aley Waterman: Keys (2, 16, 20, 22)
Allison Graves: Violin (22)
Ashe Soper: Vocals (14)
Bucky Quagmire: Guitar (20)
Ilia Nicoll: Violin (2, 11, 13, 14)
Jake Nicoll: Drums (1, 5, 12, 17, 20)
Laura Jean: Vocals (10)
Mark Wilson: Cornet (8, 16)
Meghan Hollett: Vocals (4, 8, 16, 22)
Meghan Harnum: Vocals (12, 17)
Scott Royle: Keys (12)
Wyatt Shibley: Saw (2, 8, 11)

Layout by Simon Babineau.
Painting by Laura Jean Fraser.
Photos by Joel Upshall, courtesy of The Overcast.

Many Thanks to Al Watts, G., Sopestone, Simon, Hunter/Gatherers, Jean Jacket, Shifty Big Time, Ho-Dawg, Scrambled Meggz & Wing Ding, Scotty B. Goode, and the Why Guy.



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Thom Coombes St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

not me. not now.

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Track Name: Old Life
All the emotions I wanted to keep
could just as easily wash away in my sleep.
It's a laugh and a half and an empty epitaph;
"I was here," is all that it reads.
Now it's not quite as black and white
as you might think or as I would like,
because what's clear as day can be as dark as night
when it's under a different light.
But there was no second guessing
when we were messing around
to the sound and dressing down
because barnacle blessings were hiding
under every bad tiding that we found.

Now I've got this memory, but it got away from me,
and now it's just something that happened once or twice.
It's a laugh and a half, a paraphrased paragraph,
taken from a page from someone else's life.
I haven't seen myself in a day or two.
I was looking for something that I can hold on to.
Now I'm jumping from substance to substitute.
Is my heart an anchor or a parachute?
All the plans that never got done
were still a lot of fun to daydream about.
But how strange it is to miss this
fictional old stomping grounds.
Track Name: Another Catalyst
If I was just another catalyst, I'd be pissed, I'm not cut out for this.
But I threw myself in. I must have been a masochist.

Back in the day we used to say we would find a way to get paid to play.
But now I wonder what I was under to make it thru the mundane.

I forget what it does to the folks like us, at home or on the bus.
All the romantics argue semantics, alone or in love.

All the pain pills, they could not kill the way that I felt -the way that you feel.
What you need to be freed doesn't come in a bottle.

Just you remember that it gets better. We're not gonna feel this way forever.
Although I want to, I can't hold onto that kind of pleasure.
Track Name: In the Heat of the Moment
If you can't get past it, you can say you were sarcastic
or that she just didn't take the hint.
If it's inconvenient, you can say you didn't mean it,
but who are you trying to convince?

You can just take it back, if you wish that you had,
or you could just say that you're sorry.
Or you can count on the guys to sympathize,
'cause everyone loves a good story.

In the heat of the moment you took advantage, you didn't know it.
You didn't mean it, doesn't matter. You brush it off laughing after.
You blow it off til it blows over and show it off when the show's over.

But you left her hanging, while you kelp on claiming
that you'd be right back.
As if the feeling would come, once all was said done,
the feeling would come at last.

While it wasn't real, you really wanted to feel
the way that you said that you did.
You made her feel small, like she didn't matter at all;
just some fucking experiment.

How do you hide how hard you tried to run away with cold feet?
Track Name: Check Engine Light
Am I bitter or just burnt out?
If there's an answer, it's an easy way out.
I'm not looking to get off of the hook.
I'm held together by scrape metal and junk.

Am I rusty or just worn out?
Did we break up or did we just break down?
My heart's an engine nearing the end of the line.
I'm not expecting to get much more time.

My check engine light is always on.
I can never tell if something is wrong.
Is it safe to assume that it's a lost cause
when my check engine light won't turn off.

And I feel like I fell like a heel into hell.
I'm the ghost of a shell of a man I knew well.

There's a check engine light.
Track Name: Other Cities
Spending time in cities that just look like other cities
all filled with people who just act like other people.
The downward spiral takes a little while
so you got some time to kill as you roll down the hill.
There's no strings attached if you fall off the map
because all of your best friends have better friends.

But it's not good. It's not good for your health
if it's not good for no one else.

First thing in the morning is a handshake with host.
I feel like a robot. I feel like a ghost.
It feels like heaven and it feels like hell
when I got something to say and no one to tell.
I climbed up to the bottom of a black hole
-pollute your body, pollute your soul.
I did the distance but I wouldn't cross the picket
so I ran outta gas and I got a parking ticket.
Lately it seems about half the time
when I try to help I end up with a fine.

But it's not good. It's not good for your soul
to make a mountain out of a hole.
And it's not good for your health
if it's not good for no one else.
Track Name: Slow Learner
Sometime between the wine and the wood-stove
I got drunk and I fell in love.
And when I awoke it felt sort of like a dream I wish I could remember more of.

So I said so long to this place I've barely seen.
It's been so long since I've longed for anything.
I'm afraid I'll never feel this way again.

It's easy to get burned when you're on the back burning.
Sooner or later I would return the favour
but the only thing I learned is that I'm a slow learner.
Track Name: That's Not Why We're Friends
I was taking the stairs 2 at a time.
We fall in love and we fall behind.
I was a mess at the best of times.
We were lost but we never crossed the line.

It's OK to slow down if you're moving too fast.
You got one foot on the break and one on the gas.
It's a common concern that we never learn to ask
the question when we're scared to mention the past.

You began to suspect it was a touchy subject
so you let it slide and you tried to forget.
The highlight's the limelight but it's hard to find.
We're the pair that takes the stairs 2 at a time.

I'm scared about fading out of view.
As it turns out, I'm just as burnt out as you.

But that's not why we're friends.
That's not how this ends.
Track Name: This Is Not a Fucking Love Song
Miss you, kiss you on the cheek.
I'm not sure if it's been more than a week.
10 years of longing put at ease and it's hard to wait another week.

The days crawl by when they're not as long.
They all feel the same since you've been gone.
I'll be happy when this is done, but this is not a fucking love song.

I wanna be the man you can lean on.
I wanna be the boy that you bleed on.
I'm your pillow, I'm your tampon, but this is not a fucking love song,
'cause I'll be happy when this bullshit is done.
While I was waiting for someone,
I forgot which part of the heart I'm singing from.
This is not a fucking love song.
Track Name: Coming Apart
All of a sudden everything got dark.
And everything that came together started coming apart.
And I thought about what it meant
to me to lose this part of my identity.
I didn't feel any pain til I felt it disappear.
And I wanted to hang on to that lonesome fear:
the same fear that was always there
at my side for so many years.
It's kinda funny but I never understood
how every bad memory just feels so good:
all the times I remember so well
felt like happiness in hell.

All of a sudden I felt like shit.
My limbs didn't work and my clothes didn't fit.
If I didn't quit something I would just quit.
I had to find something but i couldn't find it.
All of a sudden I got bored
with not being the person that I ignored.
Then one day it kinda just stopped.
Or did I just get tired of living in the dark?

I don't know how I got out.
It's like I'm only realizing this just now.
It's not as simple as a scale between good and bad;
I don't feel any happier but I feel a lot less sad.
Track Name: In the White Noise and the Black Background
It all comes back every once in a while
as I hold the phone I never dial.
And I think of letters I'll never send;
the sweetest thoughts are left unsaid.

In the end I was glad I waited
around in the dark parts we gravitated,
where the best wishes come belated.
We learned ways which time is wasted.

The best intentions got drowned out
in the white noise or the black background.
Now The pillows pushed off into the floor,
I'm in same clothes as the night before.
I didn't see where things went wrong.
I guess I fell asleep with the lights left on.

I can't shake the feeling.
I can't escape the thought.
I can't explain the reason
why I left the best parts out.
Track Name: Unknown Pleasures
I chain smoke when I get nervous. I
t's another bad habit that serves no purpose.
You're gonna get lost if you linger on a line.
Tonight's the night I'm gonna mellow my mind.

I feel the same, I feel like a kid,
but I don't do the stupid things that I did.
And I'm starting to look like my dad
back when he was a young man.
When all is said and all is done,
it took a lot of work but it took a lot of fun.
The shape I'm in,
I feel more like a mannequin under my skin.

Once you open the door,
once you only want more,
you're never quite the same
as you were before.
Desperate times call for desperate measures,
while my heart holds on to unknown pleasures.
And yes, it's true, I don't know what to do,
but if you take care of me, I'll take care of you.

Decisions made poorly.
I know you're bad for me.
Bad habits and shitty advice
run around like they own the place.
Track Name: Dead Beat Poets
The dead-beat poets cough and hang out on my shelf, all trying to show off what they should keep to themselves. You can just write them off, if you can't talk it out. You can write them off. But I might be wrong. I would not recommend sending you home if you spend your time mending your bones, if you can just walk it off, if you can talk it out. To wake up in the same place as before; the shit hits the fan if the fan hits the floor. You can't just walk that off.
Track Name: Learn Through Play
I learn thru play and I learn with my hands.
I sing everyday when I play in the band.
And all I can do is do what I can.
I learn with my hands.

If I hold you like a fistful of sand,
then the tighter I squeeze,
the more will fall thru my hand.
So what do I do? I do what I can,
I learn with my hands.

If you're scared for tomorrow, then you'll ruin today. T
ake this useless felling and throw it away.
Say what you do and do what you say.
I learn thru play.

Everything said took time to digest, f
rom the back of my head, to come off of my chest.
All I could get was a half-hearted attempt
I would rather forget.

I wonder what advice Jesus would give
when it's easy to forget but it's hard to forgive.
So I take advice from the role model
who may or may not exist.

There was a time when I learned all sorts of things
and at first I felt fine, then I wanted to scream.
My heart was guilty but my hands were clean;
I didn't do anything.

I had no way of knowing what was polite,
with no way of showing what felt right.
It was hard as hell just trying to tell
if you were coming or going.

So I try to play fair, and I try to have fun.
You can play too rough and hurt someone.
My brain was deaf and my heart was dumb,
it didn't bother me none.
Track Name: On a Whim
On the tip of my tongue, on the palm of my hand,
there's a longing I didn't ask for, let alone understand.
At the back of my back head, on the cusp of a plan,
coming to an end, back and forth again,
there's a fantasy I can't see myself in.
There's a fantasy I can't see ever happening.

I know myself well enough to know,
if I don't leave now, then I'll never go.
It's on a whim or there's nothing to show.

I gotta get the time to get around
getting over getting tired up and getting tied down.
And if I keep it short and sweet, keep it concise,
I might miss the chance to miss the chance twice.
But there's a fear that I can't ignore;
that what i”m looking for isn't here anymore.
There's a fantasy I can't see a chance in hell.
There's a fantasy I can't see ending well.

I know myself well enough to know,
if I clear my head I might cleanse my soul.
It's on a whim or there's nothing to show.
Track Name: Death Bed
I'm on my death bed, I don't know it yet,
my life is just flashing before my eyes.

I'm finding this unwinding an it's timing to be picking up speed
from the beginning and getting to the ending which I can almost see.
I'm spinning, with time tripping up over my feet.
What used to feel familiar now just feels like history