Lost With The Lights On

Simon Joyner  

Lost With The Lights On

Released: March 16, 2004



In over a decade of artistic exploration, Simon Joyner has never been content to make the same record twice. Lost With The Lights On is Simon Joyner’s ninth full-length album, and it is a sprawling document in the grand tradition of the post-Dylan singer-songwriter epic. It begins with the narrator declaring “I got sick in the rain on some holy day, dreaming of St. Teresa and I lost all your pills after they spilled out of the bottle into my possible futures” and what follows are the promised vignette raptures, the possible futures from a creviced palm, where time and despair are corrosive but hope is never completely beaten, where dream and reality collide, standing in for each other on either side of a viscous world neither can complete alone. Some characters plummet unceremoniously, some rise. The human heart may be heading for an eclipse, the world is sometimes shooting for apocalypse, and Joyner takes us where we didn’t want to go, to the darkest places, the deepest wells, where a glimmer of a light or a cast shadow can never be taken for granted. Joyner is a benevolent guide and he wants to see us succeed, so he’s got to show us all the burned out basements and blown bridges and the traps along the way so we know how to survive them when they come for us, and they always come for us. By the end of the album, the narrator of “Forgotten Blues” can’t see out his window, he can only see his reflection in it. The danger of putting yourself under the microscope is that you sometimes change the thing you attempt to study through the very act of trying to understand it, and Narcissus threatens. So Joyner changes his mind in the end, knowing he’ll never make sense of it all, that you can be lost in the dark or lost with the lights on, and that’s okay, that is life. The triumph then is in the attempt to locate a truth, in the expressed desire, in the challenged hope, in the struggle, and these are the qualities that distinguish these songs and this songwriter from the rest of the flock, the cardinal from the blackbirds. Simon Joyner was born in New Orleans and ended up some time later in Omaha, Nebraska where he has lived for the last two decades, writing and making music. He is an influential local hero with a devoted international following. Although he tours only occasionally and remains mysteriously private, he continues to charge the musical landscape each time he releases a new collection of songs. Lost With The Lights On is a dramatic addition to Joyner’s diverse and uncompromising collection of songs and stories.

Other releases by Simon Joyner

  • Skeleton Blues

    Skeleton Blues

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  • Beautiful Losers: Singles and Compilation Tracks 1994-1999

    Beautiful Losers: Singles and Compilation Tracks 1994-1999

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  • Room Temperature

    Room Temperature

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