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Mistakes Have Been Made

by John Ludi

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wafiii I can think of very few albums that I've heard in my lifetime that display such a mastery of the songwriting craft. Each of these unique songs seemlessly melds incredibly powerful messages in poetic, perfectly-worded lyrics with unique and gorgeous soundscapes to match. Also, John is one of the most masterful voice chameleons you'll ever hear: each song presenting a voice that will surprise, please, and impress. This is one album that I would not hesitate to recommend to ANY music lover. Favorite track: Frozen Souls.
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1.
Kings (The Depopulation Song) We thank you for your contribution, but the time is due for a new solution. Your reward for services rendered? Your needs ignored and a system dismembered. You stumble around barely conscious while we aim for the stars. So we'll just replace you all with robots and self-driving cars. (Chorus) Pulling the plug. Yanking the rug. Cleaning you bugs out of the whole damn thing. Cleansing with fire, the widening gyre... you filth that aspire to be like us, the Kings. Wise and free (you really are neither). You peasantry, we've filled you with either despair or hate (and fake populism). Now take the bait of the call to fascism. Useless eaters bred as slaves, unaware of your captivity. Dumbed-down and disaffected and mired in disunity.
2.
The Traveler 05:36
The Traveler Your spirit whispers like a draft in a moldering tomb. You eye the dusty suitcase lying in the corner of your room. To don your wings once more and pretend you are free, as Autumn's wind again compels you to flee. The parade of novelty for now keeps you engaged, but the night leaves you pacing an empty stage. Though the faces may change, the motivations remain the same. All the traveling you do takes you to the same old place. It's like thousands of writers coming up with the same old play: the dream's consistent though the food has a different taste. After a while you outpace even your favorite regrets... you're a wandering ghost in a world of marionettes. Every time you think you've found a home it's just a place to fly away from.
3.
Wild is the Wind (by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington) Love me, love me, love me, love me, say you do Let me fly away with you For my love is like the wind And wild is the wind, wild is the wind. Give me more than one caress, satisfy this hungriness. Let the wind blow through your heart. For wild is the wind, wild is the wind. You touch me, I hear the sound of mandolins. You kiss me. With your kiss, my life begins. You're spring to me, all things to me. Don't you know you're life itself. Like a leaf clings to the tree. Oh my darling, cling to me. For we're like creatures of the wind, wild is the wind, wild is the wind.
4.
Everybody Here's Getting Stupider So it's come down to this apocalyptic abyss, where sentience of any kind can barely exist. And we find ourselves led by hearts that are dead... for the suffering they cause, not one tear do they shed. Their addiction to greed, pushing perpetual need: the base desires of stunted minds where vultures do feed. It's all led to a hell of buy and sell, buy and sell, where everyone's reduced to a pale broken shell. The dead eyes of the young whose futures are hung upon the endless lies of a million forked tongues. On their flickering screens, visions sick and obscene forge their souls into something small, dark and mean. And the hearts of the old, once adventurous and bold slowly molder in the remnants of the principals they've sold. For once you give in an avalanche will begin, and then you'll find that YOU are why those pricks always win. Take back your brave new world and book me a flight to Jupiter... 'cause I don't wanna be human no more: everybody here's gettin' stupider. The blind rage that you feel. The “Art of the Deal”. The inexorable turning of a big f**kin' wheel. And the strong eat the weak, the wise grow flaccid and meek, and the rich feast on all the fruits of the power they seek. If there's a future at all (after all of this falls) it will not be if we heed the same darkness that calls. The human heart it yearns for the path that does turn towards the place where all good virtues bake, boil and burn.
5.
Frozen Souls 06:24
Frozen Souls I'm under the ice, trapped within your frozen soul The quiet voice of your spirit pure and whole I'm eternity laughing at your minor mortal role The twist of fate that shutters all your tiny goals. Daylight daylight...throw off your chains and step out Outside outside...the warm summer rains quell your drought Rise up rise up...constraints are all of the mind Waken waken...this illusion where all are confined In your core are stars, down where the frost can't grow. The ageless spark, those embers still do glow. Below all the weight and the ever-mounting toll, Waiting for sunrise to escape this sorry hole. Daylight daylight...throw off your chains and step out Outside outside...the warm summer rains quell your drought Rise up rise up...constraints are all of the mind Waken waken...this illusion where all are confined To the sleepers in their nests, to the slumbering soulful best in the breaking of the day, another path, a clearer way. To those silent amidst the din, to those who never join in to the ritual puppet's dance, the contrived consensual trance To the ones who watch and doubt as the many revel and shout in praise of their conditioning and their owner's positioning.
6.
Go Along to Get Along You tried to find your way in this sad and wicked place but all your good intentions got thrown back in your face. Everyone eventually gets pulled into the race, gets swallowed and digested if they don't keep up the pace. Climbing up the ladder in this sad and wicked time, how to get ahead is all that's on your mind. Honesty and ethics abandoned on the way... the payout makes it worth it: you're a richer man today. Take the money and run, you whore. Grab what you can, find the back door. Presidents do it, so it's ok. Deal with your conscience some other day. [C] And go along to get along, it's what's done...right or wrong. Don't rock the boat and don't make waves, while you're digging your own graves. Now you are a leader in this sad and wicked land raking in the rewards of all your greedy plans. Rolling in the spoils of all that you could steal, and no one dares to ask you, how do you really feel? There is no center, nothing can hold and all your futures are bought and sold. It doesn't matter what the rich folks do, 'cause just admit it, you'd do it too. Do it for the money all that awesome money tasty yummy money happy happy money you're worthless without money bad people don't like money what's wrong with them anyway? They should get with the program.
7.
Goodbye Catbird I can't let go of you, can't admit that it is through it all seemed so strong and true. (“Everything is change.”) Saw you leave and shed my tears, thought about our happy years life seemed so bright and clear. (“Everything is change, everything must fade into that good night...tears in the rain.”) You would sing to let the day begin, I'd draw the curtains, let the sunlight in meet your voice with a grateful grin... and smile and smile again So charming in your sweetly rasping way, filling my world with a sense of play comical bird greeting the day... oh, please don't go away. Spring brings you less and less, something dark has caused distress I think it's called “progress”. I don't think it's nature's way, this blight and this decay: Earth has become our prey. All this greed, rapacious need. The way we feed, the world we bleed. Words we don't heed sew poisoned seeds. Now watch us beg and plead. The holes we drill, coffers we fill, species we kill, lives that we still The lack of will persists until It's time to pay the bill. Use it up for profit's sake, bend it all until it breaks Just take and take and take and take... then take a little more Feed on it until it's just a shell, take this Eden and create a hell treat nature's bounty like an endless well: leave hope outside the door.
8.
This Time 05:39
This Time Down through the ages go you and I. On history's pages, hints of you and I. So who are you to me, this time? And will I recognize you this time? We nearly pass upon the street, pigeons fleeing from our feet, the wind troubled and cold, yet I feel within my soul the spark I know as you burning in someone new... a heart that beat with mine in other places, other times. Through peace and through warfare traveled you and I. To dirges and fanfare, listened you and I. So once more descending into these times. Once more the veil's rending into these times. We embrace as lovers do, all else fading from our view for a moment we are free from the world's calamity but around us is the sound of it all breaking down and distant sirens cry as the missiles start to fly. Through cycles and stages...tried you and I. Were we saints, were we sages...was that you and I? But we spoke and stopped nothing, even this time. Bigger fools for that knowing, even this time. Again I gaze into your eyes, fire starts raining from the sky and the air grows thick with smoke and we begin to choke. We came, we saw, we wept as all around us slept But we'll pass with conscience clear from our final moment here
9.
The Caretaker A tired old man of kindly soul watches the broader world lose control Pondering needs of a future unknown: What can be learned, what can be grown. The toll is great and the efforts ignored and incremental things are all he can afford. Those seeds need saving, put those books in a crate... protect this knowledge before it's too late. A dark ages monk scribing history, fading words lay on a wrinkled page the present world becomes a future mystery found by error in a wiser age. He tends to the smaller things: the green ones, four-legged ones, the ones who have wings. His own time is short and the road harsh and long, his pride but a memory, ambitions all gone He does what he can do and hopes it makes a difference when all this is through. He fights the tide, shines his tiny light against the spreading darkness, against the growing night The thoughtless and cruel become conventional: barbarians squat on squalid seats of power the damage becomes increasingly intentional, corrupted hands ring out the darkening hour. The cycle repeats time and again: tidal forces beyond the weak vision of men Unseen patterns, the ebb and flow, all that rose so high crash below. He will be as a ghost in the haze: no one will remember him, he'll pass without praise I hope he's still out there...we need more like him
10.
Whisper in the Wind I thought I heard a voice last night maybe the breeze was just right. A whisper in the wind, do I let it in? Amidst the patter of the rain I thought I heard it sigh again. Hushed words into my ear, the promise was unclear. Who are you, you half-remembered dream? How dare you wake what rests in me? You beckon, into my soul you creep. You tempter: I wanted only to sleep. And in my waking mind it rises up to claim its time. A thing I can't forgive: daring me to live. Who are you, you half-remembered dream? How dare you wake what rests in me? You beckon, into my soul you creep. You tempter: I wanted only to sleep.
11.
Weightless Saint He's falling up, come hold him down. Why must we keep him around? Is it his belief or his piety, or is it something else entirely? Unclever soul, a dullard's eyes. Is he a witch...a thing of lies? Sacred mystery or hyperbole? With his vacant stare what does he see? He foams, he shouts...stumbles about. He can't be trained, he's barely sane. Oh, but he can see and know eternity, God bestows those gifts unevenly. A false history? Religious sophistry? Or a rough-hewn mind setting a soul free? Only a glimpse of farther shores and deeper tides. Only a hint of hidden meanings. Just out of reach of solid certainty: a dream where promise wakes up empty.
12.
Mistakes Have Been Made You’re in the desert, the hot hot desert, but it don’t matter ‘cause you’re dead. And it don’t matter just what desert, ‘cause it’s all desert and it’s dead. No one’s there to remember where you bought that t-shirt or your last two-week vacation, they’re all dead But you got to party and you had spending money And you were kinda special, and now you’re dead. There used to be oceans full of plankton and fishes, now they’re full of plastic and they’re dead. And there were verdant meadows with animals aplenty only fading books remember what is dead. The end, it started slowly and then it came on quickly the masses, they were clueless…now they’re dead. The experts, they did warn them…but no one paid attention And politicians dithered, and they said “Mistakes have been made”. Some people made a fortune while others toiled and suffered. One thing they have in common? They’re all dead. The wealthy had their money and lawyers did their bidding they all just kept on lying, now they’re dead. The planet they did break it for trinkets and tokens and everybody bought it, now they’re dead. The last rich man expired on a mattress full of dollars in a mansion cracked and crumbling, and he said: “Mistakes have been made”.
13.
Afterlife 05:11
Afterlife I'll see you in better places. Far from the strife, smiles without faces. Wondrous sights, no eyes for the seeing. Home in the joy, a realm of pure being. When all you have left is your last dying breath and all of your thoughts are devoid and bereft of hope and the wish that time will forgive all of the mistakes and dramas you lived. Didn't you live? I'll see you, my sisters and brothers in unity where there is no “other”. Beyond space and time, beyond the search for meaning. Beyond material, beyond illusions and dreaming. When your time comes and your reflex is fear, the world grows dim and you regret all your sins. Your eyes focus on a distant glint of light, the flesh fades away and the passage grows bright. Isn't it bright? They will meet you there. They will grasp your hand. They will pull you out of this troubled land.

about

This is my new, and possibly final, album. I consider it the best work I've ever done and if I never make another album I would be happy to say that it all ended on this particular note.

Though I obviously have my own distinct sound and musical identity, I would say that major inspirations during my recording of this album would be David Bowie's Blackstar, Peter Gabriel's UP and Kate Bush's Ariel...at least in terms of all of those albums being eclectic studies in contrast and juxtaposition. Like those albums, each song has its own set of feelings and meanings and imagery...and I only hope that this album hits anywhere NEAR the level of artistry of those works. My goal is always to take the listener on a journey through dynamic peaks and valleys and leave them feeling well-traveled by the end of the experience. I want the experience to be impacting on deep emotional, intellectual and spiritual levels, and not just be aural wallpaper to serve as a mere backdrop.

I hope I have accomplished that goal, and I hope that people will take the time to actually LISTEN to this album...but that DOES take a certain level of commitment and an actual interest in music as art. If you have that, you may find this work gratifying. Many have said that it takes a couple listens to “get” what I do...and you may find that to be true as well.

I have made this album available on YouTube as a full album video with lyrics for free listening (look up John Ludi on YouTube), as a free download on Noisetrade, and as a paid download on Bandcamp. I had planned on making some videos for some of these songs and to roll it out in a more commercial way, but given the times it seems wrong to me to do so. Above all else, I would would like my work to be heard and remembered. If something happens to me, I would like to know that people listened to and enjoyed my work on some level.

credits

released March 22, 2020

With the exception of Wild is the Wind, all titles are
written by John Ludi...who also sang, played,
engineered and produced the whole album with the
exception of percussion on Whisper in the Wind by
Mitchell Hopkins and background vocals (and comic
vocalizations) on Mistakes Have Been Made and
Everybody Here's Getting Stupider by Em Elle.

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John Ludi Madison, Wisconsin

John Ludi is a musician/singer-songwriter with a wide array of influences and lyrical interests who was "Indie" before the term even existed. Working outside of the music industry by choice has given Ludi the ability to release songs of a level of lyrical depth that are anathema to the minds of the "suits". Ludi lives off-grid in a yurt in the woods of WI and will "fight the power" til he dies. ... more

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