Decline of Day

by 20 Minute Loop



I have to agree with my bandmates: before Phyllis Bramson's astonishingly odd and beautiful art graced our latest recording, this was probably our best CD design. I think the different insert panels accompany the tracks on this website. Judah Nagler, the wunderkind behind the Velvet Teen, designed the art for this CD, back when Kelly was robbing that 19-year-old cradle. Judah's quite a wonder, mid-to-late-twenties, I'm thinking. And he's pretty much a genius, and the co-founder and former drummer for the Velvet Teen was Logan Whitehurst, the deceased prodigy honored in our latest album.
This was the last album co-produced and engineered by Chris Manning, my audio amanuensis. In many cases, he improved on ideas I had, and I will always be grateful for the help he gave me throughout the '90s.


released October 23, 2001

Greg Giles- vocals, acoustic and electric guitars
Kelly Atkins- vocals, keyboards, organ, flute, xylophone, samples, optigan
Joe Ostrowski- electric guitar, scream on Mechanical Angels
Ethan Turner- drums, percussion, samples
Dan Jones- bass
Nils Erickson- electric guitar on Force of Habit

Additional musicians:
Nathan Paine- dumbek and handclaps on Mompha Termina
Chris Manning- shaker on Pilot Light

Produced by Chris Manning and 20ML
Originally released by Fortune Records
Recorded and Mixed by Chris Manning
Assisted by Ethan Turner
Kiddie Porn Sting recorded by Ethan Turner, mixed by Chris Manning
Technical engineering and digital editing by Ethan Turner
Recorded and mixed at Owl Mountain, Inverness, Ca.
Mastered by John Cuniberti at The Plant Mastering, Sausalito, Ca.

Graphic Design, drawings, inside flower photo and layout:
Judah Nagler

Color Photography in cover collage by Nikki Pratchios
Black and White portraits by Mia Greene, Toni Greene, and Nikki Pratchios

Special thanks to Daisin the mountain lion for meows and lovin'.


all rights reserved



20 Minute Loop San Francisco, California

Original music for the hook-hungry mob, the nervous foot, the jaded indie-phile.

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Track Name: Jubilation
Bracketed diamonds, billowing smoke,
A terrible heft behind that pitchfork,
A torn up napking, uneaten meat,
A bloody steak knife, bunions cut off the feet,
A crippled Arab, face in the street,
Searching the asphalt for her missing teeth,
(She mumbles something...)

When it had fallen and everything had failed,
But still a sense of jubilation,
She took a beating and coughed into her hand,
It settled into some jubilation.

She rode her bicycle down to the place where her husband was found,
He stood up and screamed,
"Where's your veil? You're missing teeth! Look what you've done! And these other men, my friends: They see your disgrace! I'd cut your tongue off, if God was blind!"
She pedaled off toward the harbor and got her dress caught in the chain...

When it had fallen...

Bracketed diamonds, billowing smoke,
A terrible feeling as you stare past the boats,
The moon is rotten, filled with holes,
Getting smaller, dripping on the bay and the road.

When it had fallen...
Track Name: Moses
Black heart links the body with the mind,
Ties them up with metal wire,
Everything works like this...

Oh look!
Machinery of the planets,
Pulleys, gears and fiber optics,
Leather belts to work their orbits.

Moses found tablets made of silicon,
Split in two within the ground,
Memory works like this...

And it's a miracle of science!
Forceps, lasers, and bionics,
Lurid visions of the prophets.
Track Name: All Manner
All manner of our kind must go.
Only a while to go now, you look tired,
And as the snow drifts, you move closer,
I must preserve you for the rest of time.

Anyone who finds us later in the spring thaw.

All manner of our kind must go.
It was overwhelming, how it froze,
How it felt, we drove all night,
Embraced the ice, and lie us down.

Let us stay like this forever, once and for all,
Anyone who finds us later in the spring thaw,
Let us stay like this forever, once and for all.
Track Name: Daughter's Down
Weltanschauung, take your pick, turn around,
Every sight, every sound, nothing,
What I need: you to lean, back to back,
Just in case I overlooked something,
Lip-synched words, mother's mind, daughter's mouth,
Help me out: keep your thoughts to yourself,
Brush your teeth, kiss me once on the cheek,
And tell your mom to let you sleep in later.

Father with his sleeping daughter sacked out on his shoulder as he walks across the gravel and shuts the door.
Automatic pilot is the nickname he can tease her with to get back for the fact that she's always tired.

Chocolate milk, every day, that's all she wants,
Eat some food, look at me, sweetie,
Daddy feels abandoned by both of you,
Your mom, I guess she gave up, but I thought that you were...

Not the kind of girl who'd hold a grudge against a man who cannot stand his daughter's silence and broken stares.
When she's all grown up, she'll have a place inside her body that's reserved for every urge to kill men who want to sleep with her.

Ohhh, her toes and fingers are curled.
Don't cross her with your fatherly words:
"Sweetheart, angel, flirt."
Track Name: Pilot Light
I don't know why I'm tired,
Possibly I'm nervous about a girl that heard us play
The song about that time
You were into race cars, comic books, her pockmarked thighs.
I found my father's gun
Underneath his Hustler magazines and tin foil pipes,
Our day had finally come,
What a waste of time!

She was sweet and pale, a chopstick through her hair,
Shaking out the static from her velvet dress,
Wooden chairs and half moons spilled across her legs.

Let's just be cautious,
I never thought I'd last this long, I never thought I'd make it.
She could fit a cue ball inside her mouth and whistle, thereby demonstrating everything:

Her backward logic, hatred, lovesick, and painful headtrip...

I checked the pilot light,
It's out; we're in for one cold night,
I must admit, I'm terrified
Of spiders, shadows, bloodshot eyes.
Track Name: Force of Habit
I can lie here for hours while you breathe
indulging my doubts
All the dreams that escape you come to me and burn themselves out
I am hanging from shining threads that lead to the hands of the Fates
They have dressed me in pale faced jealousy and
left me to wait
And in the morning, we won't remember
why we're finessing a way of keeping each other down
We'll stay up all night, it's force of habit and that's not how it oughta be...
They say the night can fall too hard and you could lose yourself
And when the light returns again you'll find you are someone else
There are winged creatures who deal sleep to the bravest women
They will dive and circle over me until I give in
And if I could live this over, I'd change most everything
I would never leave myself open to anyone again
Track Name: Mechanical Angels
Cinderblocks, every wheel lifted into heaven,
Axle cracked, and all of its safety glass shattered,
No gas cap, instead he would stuff this rag inside it,
Loose tail pipe, odometer pointing toward the twilight,
Toward all the angels nodding and folding their wings before the decline of day.

Heartless car, your broken down engine, ruined pistons,
Smallest star, part of the biggest constellation,
Curling horns emerge from the foreheads of all the mechanics,
Mechanical angels, chosen, tucked in by virgins, met with a spectral charm.

Headlights out...
Track Name: Elephant
Alpha double seven
three five nine
Fixed on target over
please stand by
Forecast warning
warning storming
Come on back
Elephant moves slowly
Roger that
Holy shit sir
it's a Stukka
Changing course
Expiration noted
End report
Track Name: Mompha Termina

I am marching
We are marching
Your eyes, your burning eyes
Can not take this knowledge from me
We will explode
The fire will consume us
And the air will smolder with our memory
Sweet is the flame, sweet is the flame
We raise our arms in praise
We are all marching
Those eyes, those lovely eyes
Can not fool me
We will explode
The fire devours
The fire devours
Devours all of us
Track Name: Vaccine
And the vaccine it burns like fire...
The crosses crept inside
to meet and drink their wives
Share a smoke and have a poke
and a quick shot at Pichinco
And the vaccine is thick as sap
It kills the good with the bad
It's a homeopathic racket
It's full of gelatinous fire
And the bubble rings out
And it curses through the vein
and the wives are forced down
by the fast approaching flame
And the vaccine it burns like fire...
Track Name: Hell in a Handbasket
Backed across that bastard,
Spun the mud like fabric,
Tires lifting dropping,
The shining river blinds me...

One false stitch is all it takes,
Just throw your fist across your face and split a lip.
What a thrill to hurt yourself without a thing to blame
for all the suffering.
Serves us right, the violent types,
a word is flipped inside your mind until it's... shit.

Lost, all lost...

There's no crazy crush when
The thought is lost in
All the confusion,
The current swept it off...

Back across the byway,
Took the Northern Northern,
Spinal cord and muscle,
I'm strong as hell, I'm open...

Hollow rock beside an estuary bank
of mud and slime where a boat sank.
Clothing stretched across a stone,
cold cigarettes and chicken bones are all he left.
Stinking tide reminds a rat of better times and all
the bread he left behind.
All of the crumbs and gristled fat
he threw at birds who nagged and snapped
and cursed his eyes.
Track Name: Aquarium Song/Kiddie Porn Sting
Down to the wire
forced to revive in
shy silent water, unbearable pressure
Found you face down
Can you hear me, upside down one?
Used to laugh some, used to smile
You have suffered gear fed monsters
You're forgiven, but am I?
I won't remember lifting you out
Once it's all over, I won't remember
Look how you flush boy, look how you fly...
How the currents pull
you will rise and fall
Don't you leave me now
Don't you leave me
Don't go alone
Let me come with
you've run out on life
What did it feel like?
Lost underwater
Terrible lights
I found you face down, silent and shy...
Can you hear me, upside down one
Used to laugh some, used to smile
You have suffered gear fed monsters
You're forgiven, but am I?

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