Oceans of Islands

by sinaloa

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released March 31, 2008

recorded at machines with magnets in pawtucket, ri by seth manchester and keith souza in november 2007

mastered at westwestside music by alan douches

trumpet on name names and what we could not move recorded and performed by forbes graham

artwork and layout by james weinberg

released by level plane records (US) and purepainsugar (Europe)



all rights reserved


sinaloa Massachusetts

sinaloa is a band from boston, massachusetts


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Track Name: Tread, Not Trudge
there is a story in each room, door to door. battered and torn, still doesn’t erase what was here. from street to street, we walked in arms, from lizardi to congress, finger to finger. these seeds will grow into fields, into a beauty that always lived here. hope within these walls, within a people who know, know no boundaries. swim these waters, tread with head held high. share your sorrows and struggles. hearts that have been sunken deep, this is where it lives and breathes. these waters ripple in each soul who enters, stir like new beginnings, with a hope so strong.
in the summer of 2006 i had the opportunity to help lead a group of teenagers down to new orleans, louisiana to help in the aftermath of hurricane katrina. to truly explain the experience would be impossible. from helping to gut houses, to meeting the people who lived in the area and were planning on moving back, was an eye opening experience. almost a year later from the storm, and from the lay of the land you would have thought it had just happened. most of the areas were ghost towns. we’d enter abandoned houses with clothes and furniture strewn across each room, walls covered with mold and watermarks that were close to the ceiling. upon entering each house i couldn’t help but think how we were trespassing through someone’s belongings. to have everything that was once so personal to someone, emptied throughout the house, destroyed. remnants of a life that took place within each room. yet, all we could do was make piles to be sorted or eventually trashed. however, when we met the people who lived in these houses, they had a way to them, a sincerity, strength and hope that they would continue to move on, that this disaster would not stop them. it really put things in perspective, to hear stories and see the people of new orleans (and all areas effected by katrina) push forward and reclaim their lives.
Track Name: What We Could Not Move
with tiny fingers we reach up and up, sometimes it takes the likes of us all. and maybe it’s my fault if it doesn’t work this time. maybe it was never meant to be fine. eyes closed, we drive through streets we know so well. i mouth all the words i’d love for you to tell. with hopes and wishes, on tired knees, at the foot of this bed. my mind plays back and forth all you ever said. and it speaks to us in ways we never knew, at this point i’m grasping on to what’s left, knowing it’s through. this proves to be the hardest, even when it takes the likes of us all. maybe we did the best that we could.

some people say that if you work hard enough anything is possible, and while i know and believe that effort is needed to make something work, there are certainly times when things just weren’t meant to be. there is a point when you need to step back and reconsider the situation and realize that even all of your effort is not going to make a change. i’m not trying to be pessimistic, but i think it is important to know that there are times when reality needs to surface and take precedent to help make decisions, move forward and learn.
Track Name: Ashes of Giants
sounds, wavering in their youth, end a silence that followed fury. for the first time in months, the sun rose, and battered the waking earth with light. it rained warmth on frozen ground, and uncovered the ruins of night. no more would giants bend the earth. water melted, and again began to move – washing over the buried bones of giants. gathering, from the fallen, what could be used, the water held promise. no more would giants bend the earth. the hands of industry had to give up their grip, when the bodies weakened with their own girth. the fires that engulfed the earth were, now, only ash and silt. the giants that set them were destroyed by what they built. water then carried the distilled remnants of what gave them breath, but left buried what gave them greed and guilt. for the first time, in months, the sun rose, and battered the waking earth with light. it rained warmth on frozen ground, and uncovered the ruins of night. no more would giants bend the earth.
this is an addendum, or postscript, to ‘the earth is on fire’. this takes place after the imagined apocalypse, and life has not ended – although the species that was the architect of destruction is gone. moreover, the biological imprint of the deceased (lacking the desperate drive to grow for growth’s sake) carries life on into a new era. one of rebirth, and of healing.
Track Name: Seek Harbor
it billows and sways, almost engulfing us capturing anything in its course. even holding on tight won’t save us this time. we can’t be saved, we won’t be saved. clouds above, follow like a moth to a flame. like terrible monsters with mouths and hands hoping to swallow us whole. and we can hide but it’s still there. we lock ourselves in down below, still it hunts us and haunts us. this is our own creation, right here in front of us a very hell of our own…and you whisper, “it never ends.” we can’t sleep this one away. it’s our own doing, with no end to these dark clouds; so unforgiving, unrelenting, with no end in sight. you write it all down frantically with hopes that we’ll be found. not to be lost forever, not to ever stray this way, not to follow this course again.
we make mistakes throughout our lives, as individuals and as communities. over time, you’d hope to learn from them, to not make the same mistakes on a consistent basis. some choices have greater effects than others, and one can only hope that these events sort themselves out over time, through work and communication. individually, i know that i have made mistakes, some that i still look back and wince at. i learn from them, but still they don’t always make me feel good about the situation. on a larger scale, you look at the world and how we treat (and interact with) each other, as one nation to another nation, and it is truly terrifying. it makes you wonder, no matter how many books record our history, if we will ever truly learn from our mistakes. does it ever end? will we ever learn? will the smaller voices, the true people, ever rise up and be heard? can we continue to live like this?
Track Name: Voices Resound
from sender to sender, i guess they’ve all forgotten. from sender to sender, we don’t sing the same songs. we’ll look back at all of this, in the shadow of a building, with silence saying all we ever could. to feel new soil under our feet and see where we traveled (from point a to b) and all the places in between. sometimes we don’t sing the same songs. this may never reach your ears. you never saw the intent. you never could see the end. years of listening from sender to sender, i guess they’ve all forgotten. do you see beyond your own space?
in high school i was fortunate enough to stumble upon a wonderful youth organization called the andover youth services (ays). the program gave, and continues to give, a voice to the youth of our town. furthermore, it continues to inspire me today. beginning with one person and a small group of high school students in 1994, it has now grown to a full time staff of 5 who serve roughly 2000 people ranging from elementary school to high school. all the while, they have continued to strive in bringing a youth center to the town. yet, there have been many people who have refused to give support to ays and the goals they strive for, to empower the youth. each person who works at ays has amazing passion to create, serve and contribute constantly. it seems few and far between that you find a group of people who continually work so hard, with a perpetual desire and drive to better themselves and the community, both large and small. these are truly inspiring people. this is for bill, glenn, suzie, tony and sobhan.
Track Name: Rows of Tops
we shout at those who can hear, but whisper in the direction of the deaf. we are oracles and truth seers, but we don’t get up from our desks. we don’t want to follow where anyone goes. we are oceans of islands with no shore. we shoot up into trees at eagles and crows, but can’t see through the branches anymore. we forget our friends, even more – our foes, but we type until our fingers are sore. we maim our face, to spite our nose, and stop working when it makes us sore. we try to topple columns by forming rows, and yell in ways so easy to ignore. we’re revolutionary, but just spinning.

it seems to me that a higher and higher percentage of human interactions are faceless, anonymous, and largely without consequence. they are conveyed through a computer, a text message, or some other device of convenience, and they happen very much in isolation. there is also a vast universe of online spaces, and it seems that many people respond to that vastness by desperately trying to be noticed, to be distinct amongst the countless masses, but not necessarily being desperate to connect with anyone else in a meaningful way. people are forgetting what it is to look another person in the eye. the most important, and most trivial, topics are debated vehemently (often expertly), but because the trivial seamlessly neighbors the important, very little gets beyond debate. very little turns to action. a generation of people see very clearly the problems of their day, but largely in isolation, and the real mimics the tone of the hypothetical.
Track Name: No Bearing
when this vessel reaches shore, it will be empty. it calls to no one. adheres to nothing. alone among these waters no direction, no course. let the sinking begin, let it swallow it whole.
the overall feeling of when things have reached, what seem to be, rock bottom, or are spinning out of control. when you feel like you have no control over the situations that are in front of you. i guess these are the times that truly test us, allow us to learn, but also feel so defeating that you want to just hide from it all.
Track Name: Echoes
these months have been unforgiving, to watch her slowly lose pace. and i sleep standing up, or not at all. but these feelings can’t amount to the struggle i see in that room. but within it, i see a smile and i’m not sure where that courage comes from. and if i wrote a last “goodbye” i’d be calling it all quits, giving it all up. i know the smells and sounds, all a little too well. so i struggle to watch this day in and out. but long ago we built this fire and it still glows. we fan the flames and it fills me up. neither rain nor snow deadens it. with closed eyes i wonder the pain, my heart fills, cries and holds her.
this is really written from the stand point of my father and the way i imagine he may have felt and thought as he watched my mother slowly lose her battle with cancer. as a young child i know it was hard for me, but i was also sheltered a bit from what was really happening. for him, to watch the love of his life succumb to a horrible disease at such a young age, i can only try to imagine how very hard it was, how indescribable it must have been, and how these feelings must still resonate within him today.
Track Name: Name Names
can you see yourself along this stream? ripples only make it messier. there is a poison, one that you can’t touch. was it in you since day one? something you feel inside and out. your name was known, the shadow that you cast. it seeps into you, this toxicity. and not for one year, but many. so it’s broken, broken from the start. is it for us to fix, to put these parts back together? to not put you in the corner, to not ignore what went wrong. if you never knew how to swim, would we throw you in? with you flailing, the tide carrying you out. would we save you? these are the ones who were marked, the “nonexistent.” we’ll be the first to point the finger, we’ll be the first to call you out. to learn from the unlearned, please ignore our ignorance, this has become so routine. what will save you? what will save me?

in school there have always been people who were labeled as “trouble.” where these labels came from, it’s not certain, but they always seemed to stick. often times, the image that was cast upon these individuals stayed with them throughout the course of school, sometimes leading to self esteem issues within these people. we are so quick to judge, to place people into categories, so that we have a better handle on them and can feel secure about ourselves. as a teacher now, i still see this happen, with both students and teachers guilty of doing so. obviously, this is not unique to just a school setting, but really to any social situation. we have the tendencies to mark people and truly this is out of our own insecurities.
Track Name: Legs.Limbs.Wings
standing on shaky ground, bed and clothes that barely fit. see my ankles and wrists, awake with cold feet. when this bed is too short, our legs have grown too long and weary. now we breathe in december’s air and go silent, like in a dream. all comes rushing back, all we used to fear. the things we said we’d do and undo but never did, just like we knew. it’s been us for so long, for so many years. and we’ve all grown so very much, legs to limbs to wings. we grow and outgrow, dance and take steps. it becomes us slowly. never to return that place in quite the same way.
i’ve never been great with change. i get used to the way things are and then over time, what once was is no longer and it takes me a little while to adjust. it’s obviously a part of life, and an important one at that. sometimes these changes can be scary, or take you by surprise. however, we need to take these steps to better ourselves, and at the same time we need those around us to take these steps. change can, unfortunately, bring criticism when often times they should be celebrated. i know i have been guilty of this myself. i can only hope to help those around me, as i know they would help me, to help better one another.