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There's A Time For Everything

by maxwell stern

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  • Cassette + Digital Album

    Blue cassette with two-color screenprinted packaging on high-quality French Speckletone paper. Only 100 copies made!

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    A very fine compact disc that you can play in your car. Only 100 made. I did the artwork and it has our family dogs all over it.

    Includes unlimited streaming of There's A Time For Everything via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days
    edition of 100 

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i only saw you a couple times last year once at a wedding and once at a funeral i wore the same clothes to both and i was worried you would notice cause yours were impeccable you filled me in on potential five-year plans you’re thinking of jobs and homes and children slowly rotating a silver wedding band between your thumb and middle finger and i wondered “oh my god, did i get lost? 
am i young enough to just move on?” i saw a classmate i hadn’t seen in years he was well-dressed and i fucked up our handshake “how’s making music? i haven’t listened yet, but someone said you’re doing great” and it felt like a dream at double-speed on a Greyhound back from Pittsburgh comparing something like that to where others are at? what a backwards way to calculate self-worth my mother’s out there climbing mountains my father’s buried in his work my sister’s moving to a brand new city my brother’s looking out for her but anyway, thanks for having me over to your new old apartment i’m doing well, my flight was fine i see you listened to the record that i sent you i wish i saw you all the time but this is fine. i hope i see you a little more this year i want a good look at the life that you're building.
mostly smelled like grass and smoke as we left your grave dirt will settle, nature plots the course it takes and i’ll stare up at hidden moons howling like you taught me to do (awooooooooooooo) all splayed out across the kitchen, staring me down the quiet sounds you made replay and seem impossibly loud i want to thank you for so many things and right now for reminding me that there’s a time for everything for singing and shutting the fuck up low light soft glow coated in late Sunday afternoon snow old ground new year to grow again in everything around here — nation’s capital’s been calling you by last name you never liked it much and swore that you were gonna change it when you turned 18 but there was so much more to reshape and when we talk about the future i wring my hands and write it off as higher concepts i don’t understand but knowledge is the first step towards an actionable truth and every question leads me downstairs to a darkened dive-bar booth sitting under an exit sign back on the wall next to a fire escape that leads to some deserted avenue snow settles on wet concrete you summoned your worn-out wit and said “it won’t get better soon, but i’m working on it” low light soft glow coming from the seventh-story window new town new year to open up to everything around here
floral print sundress sandals strapped to your feet thick smell of hairspray and perfume a little too sweet you’d put your hands in my pockets dig your nails into my skin eight half-moon-shaped impressions begging me to begin your parents sounded unsettled we listened through the wall speaking Spanish in the bedroom down the hall wanna be able to look at you and have my mind not wander so wanna bypass my short fuse with attention kept whole i’ve got this programming function to react a certain way you’re a meandering river go on and lead me astray your father visibly nervous when your mother made the call speaking Spanish in the bedroom down the hall hid a bottle under the floorboards covered locks with electrical tape we turned the TV volume up just enough to mask the sounds that might want to escape convinced that we were so different immune from all unclean and as it turned out, we were right in ways we could have never foreseen and now there’s an onslaught of questions from relatives we count the days to the fall speaking Spanish in the bedroom down the hall.
you were there talking politics and sports with friends drinking a Black Label & lime (it’s your favorite) and telling a story that you told twice that day i’m a few down, eavesdropping or freaking out, punching the pinball machine nursing the same beer for 45 minutes til it’s mostly just backwash and water you talk too much and you get loud i don’t wanna bring it up but heads are turning now the city’s melting and our side street’s dead so baby, put that box fan at the foot of the bed and we’ll get close and then you came in like an open-window thunderstorm carrying the wind west from the nearest Great Lake soaking my sketchbooks & flooding the driveway the afternoons smell like laundry & tar but lately the nights, yeah they hit pretty hard sometimes I want an easy way to fill up the days but if you don’t sweat, what the fuck do you get anyway? you talk too much and you drink more spinning in your bar stool, scraping finish off the floor the city’s melting and our side street’s dead so baby, put that box fan at the foot of the bed and we’ll get close so i’ll meet you halfway but i never said i’d stay take the storm windows out for circulation scribble shapes in the condensation write a list, lines one and two: you drink water and i’ll sing the box fan blues
i made my way out east and everything got quiet it turns out leaving isn’t loud they say the city brings an odd, sporadic silence i guess the landlord left that out you are a brand new building, springing up overnight suddenly obscuring lines of sight navigate completely unprepared for what it might be like without you there some friends bring beer & goodbye cards & good luck charms some leave early, most stay late they cut me off before I get too sentimental they print a high school photo of my face onto a cake and i pass out little slivers of myself i know these nights are sweet, but they put our hell through health and the weight of all that waits is so much to bear see if i can hold it without you there and i wonder “can i live here? is there any space to spare?" a double yellow line a never ending equals sign i made my way out east and everything got quiet it turns out leaving isn’t loud.
Caltrain on the coldest day 12:10 out of San Francisco to San Jose we hid our drinks from the conductor saved our smiles for each other and your anxious ankles traced circles in the air forever we shared a Mad Dog in the parking lot where we first met I read a book and asked you what the word "somatic" meant you said "a physical response to something" and you touched my hand a thousand shivers traversed my spine I said "I understand" you were always there. you were glowing Spanish yellow orange everything was glowing Spanish yellow orange so was it you in my sleep I was talking to? what's worth more? is it the content or the context? a slurring, blurred-out me, asleep in the light from the TV maybe I only tell the truth when I'm unconscious I said "I feel exhausted" You said "I got this" And bathed in the reading light, yeah, you were flawless you were glowing Spanish yellow orange everything was glowing Spanish yellow orange and in that moment everything was foreign but it was perfect so why would we ignore it?


"There's A Time For Everything" is a mini-record about six real people, two imaginary people, five different cities and two dogs.

Dedicated to Jesse & Marley - may you both run forever and rest in the shade.

Thanks for listening.

<3 maxy


released March 24, 2017

Produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Eric Muth between February 21st and March 22nd, 2017 at the Knife Lair in West Philadelphia, PA.

Maxwell Stern: vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, glockenspiel, drum machine
Eric Muth: drum programming, trumpet, everything else
Shannen Moser: vocals on tracks 2 and 4
Fred Thomas: synth on track 5
Matt Cohen: field recording, encouraging words
Justin Strekal: tree-trunk toss, constructive criticism
Some brutal hardcore band practicing next door made it into "Spanish Yellow Orange"

Cover photo by Peggy "Momza" Mendes-Stern
Photo treatment by Jake Stern

Matt Arbogast and Adam Beck bugged me about recording these songs and inspired me to get my shit together.

All songs written by Maxwell Stern.


all rights reserved



maxwell stern Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hailing from the post-industrial shores of Cleveland, OH, Maxwell Stern has been writing music and touring since the early 2000s. He has released a slew of LPs and 7"s, and has played shows pretty much everywhere including an abandoned restaurant in Wyoming, a mall in China, several squats in Germany and a pretty nice bookstore in Australia. He is definitely not the person writing this. ... more


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