Angels & Commerce

by The Small Calamities

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $8 USD  or more




released November 17, 2015

Recorded at Stagg Street Studio, Reeltime Audio and Block of Joy.
Produced by Jonathan Menchin and Charlie Wolf.
Engineered by Chris Kahn and Eric Delegard.
Mixed by John Elliott, except for "Different Directions", "This Time Around", and "My Hometown": mixed by Eric Delegard
Front cover design/art by Charlie Wolf, Brian D. Roberts, and Meredith Leich
Back cover design/photography by Charlie Wolf and Mateo Aaron
Track graphics by Brian D. Roberts.
All songs written and published by Charlie Wolf (BMI)
Copyright © Charlie Wolf. All rights reserved.

Studio Personnel
Charlie Wolf - vocals & acoustic guitar
Derek Brown - drums & tambourine
Adam Zimmon - electric guitar
Chad Watson - bass
Jonathan Menchin - piano, organ, bells, wurlitzer, synth
Kristen Toedtman - background vocals
Robert Aguayo - additional guitar (track 8)
Logan Heftel - harmonies (track 1)

Special thanks to Patricia Wolf, Logan Heftel, Richard Green, Meredith Leich, Robert Aguayo, Max Wolf, American Airlines, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority, Harry Perry, Jacquline Imel, Kyle Zeiller, Tommy Miller, Melinda Becker, The Great State of Texas, Harry Ostrem and Farhad Niavarani.


all rights reserved



The Small Calamities

jangle pop / neo-90s sadcore

contact / help

Contact The Small Calamities

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: This Time Around
[Verse 1]
I’ve been thinking of all of the times that I started and all that I’ve had to be thankful or angry about
And I shut up my mouth, and I take in the city and put it back out

[Verse 2]
It’s so long to create what it’s quick to destroy, I’ve been thinking ‘bout gold
I could buy a house down in Detroit, if I wanted to be there
I only want to be somewhere

[They say that you gotta know where to go to
They say that you gotta know where to stay away from
They say if you know where you’re going then you’ll be fine...
Well, I’ll be fine this time around](8066846)

[Verse 3]
I’ve been thinking of all of the Thanksgiving faces
And thank you for asking, I have been fine, how are you?
Please take your time ‘cause in only a moment I’ll go and take mine
It was prisons, peninsulas, penance and pain
It was days in the darkness to learn it again and again, and start in a new light
There in a new light

[Repeat Chorus]

And the same mistakes will pass right by again
And the things I’ve learned I try to keep them in
It’s controlled here, it’s not old yet
I will try it, and I won’t deny these walls

[Repeat Chorus]
Track Name: Welcome to Autumn
[Verse 1]
It all broke down by the elevator well with a name on your chest and your dreams on your final sell
It's a countdown, it's a takeout

[Verse 2]
They locked you out in a handshake scene with a note on the table surrendering everything
It's a throwback, It's a throwdown

Welcome to autumn days!
I am amazed, I am the same way that I was
It's always right now, it's only like this
Welcome to playback calls!
I am away, I am in circles through these halls
It's only right now, It's only like this

[Verse 3]
We all came through in a check-in line, a familiar face and a moment to check the time
There's a way in, and there's a way out

[Verse 4]
I heard it pass through the end of a year in a circus of new roads passing your rear view mirror
It's a setup, it's a setback

[Repeat Chorus]

Get used to it, when it won't change but we all change and I know
It won't be long, it's never long before it goes

Welcome to autumn days
I am amazed, and I will be right here where I was
It's always like this, it's only right here
Ou're welcome to playback all our calls
I am away, I am in circles through these halls
It's always right now

It's a throwdown
It's a throwdown
It's a throwdown
It's a throwdown
Track Name: Different Directions
Who would have known it would be in a box at the top of the shelf?
Folded with photograph albums, weary and written

Who would have known at the end of the night with the radio off?
Silencing off in the distance, and lost by the water

And we made it this far without it
I'll send you a postcard about it
Happy Birthday, Christmas, New Year, hope you're fine
Some empty words of future times when this way finds us home

Silhouette frames as the slice of one winter goes down from the
Someone says "way back in the fall", like it could be written

Who would have thought that the hum of the freeway would fade far away?
Like everything's gone in directions, too different directions

[Repeat Chorus]

And I knew from the first time, the sliding glass windows
The concrete, the corner, the table that morning
That I would emerge someone else

And who would have left it to fall under circular sidewalks?
Breaking a pattern existing. a four minute reason
Who could have guessed that it all became bad and then better again?
Taking a shot at a long way, right and uncertain

[Repeat Chorus]

Now we all know that there's nothing to know about fixing
And trying to change old directions into different directions
Track Name: Commuter Town
[Verse 1]
Half asleep in the back of a train heading out and away and around it again in the starlight, if you can see it
When it's lost and it's gone to the edge of the world, at a corner in Venice, waiting on empty words if you can hear them
So it's now or it's never or it's 1 AM at a diner by the exit sign

Now I'll take the right way down
Somehow it's only a commuter town
It's so beautiful outside today

[Verse 2]
So it's okay to be in the top right line of an envelope answer through retrospective time
It's how it should be
The people have changed but the place is the same, with an empty reminder of long lost games we knew
It's how it should be
So it's now or it's never or it's almost done in this California traffic jam

[Repeat Chorus]

Somehow the words they said were true, and all and only anything we asked for
It's gonna happen soon
It's gonna happen soon, now
It's gonna happen soon
It's gonna happen soon, now
This time

It's now or it's never or it's up to me
In a photographic entryway

[Repeat Chorus]
Track Name: My Hometown
There’s a picture in the restroom of a volleyball charade
Next to sidewalk conversations with a man on roller blades
He’s playin’ metal on the corner and he’s been since seventy
And his lunch was twenty dollars but you know it’s gluten free
And hey, I’ve been down this road
Hey, I’ve been down this road

I remember high school like a panoramic dream
But there were days and weeks and months where I was somewhere in between
And I learned to learn wisely, and I learned about touch
And I thought I knew disaster and I thought I knew too much
Hey, I’ve been down this road
Hey, I’ve been down this road

And the memories point backwards
Where the people are the same
And they're painting picket fences on the wire
Things have changed, things will change in my hometown
Things will change in my hometown

There are movie stars in makeup in the supermarket line
My taxi driver tells me “don’t you worry, Lindsay’s fine”
And everyone has watches on but nobody has time
It’s the price of sleeping Saturdays with angels close behind
Hey, I’ve been down this road
Hey, I’ve been down this road

That city taught me everything , it brought me my first love
And the drunken dating afterwards when that one was enough
It taught me about death and what it means to stay alive
There was an evening on a corner in July I almost died
But hey, I’ve been down that road
Hey, I’ve been down this road

[Repeat Chorus]

Just a bike stampede at midnight
And latte with soy foam
And January miniskirts reminding you you’re home
Hey, when I take that road
Hey, I’ve been down that road
Track Name: Halftime
[Verse 1]
All of these people from all different places sit still in their silence
An army of lawnchairs arrayed in the field like a football memorial to people we were, and the ones we've become

[Verse 2]
I've been thinking about buying a life insurance policy
Lawnmower, barbecue, reusable grocery bags
All of these things to make people believe that I know what I'm doing and do it on purpose

It's halftime, we're still playing this game
It isn't over 'til the microphone's calling your name
The thing about endings is they're just like the start of something new

[Verse 3]
Welcome to paradise, population overload
We have got sweatshirts, and name tags, refreshments
We're still in the thick of it so make yourself comfortable
Give it a decade and you will be used to it

[Verse 4]
It's not like I miss it, it's not like I'd choose it, but sometimes I drift and I wind up in lawnchairs
Stacked in a closet like mummified furniture with the people we were, the ones that we used to be

[Repeat Chorus]

You can’t stop, and you can’t try
It’s too late now to turn back time
First it’s "hello", then it’s "good night", then it’s waiting for summers that never come
Don’t look behind the veil!

The start of something
The start of something new
The thing about endings
Track Name: Modern Day Pyramids
[Verse 1]
It’s seven o’ clock on the old road
The ground is cold to a basketball folding chair, and it’s so nice to be back for a moment

[Verse 2]
And days I remember are silk screened in black and grey...
A stale cardboard memory, and it’s only in the frame for a moment

And all these crowded sidewalks
And all these see you soon times, when we lose times
And all these answers in search of better questions show me
It was always on the highway

[Verse 3]
And now it is still on a weeknight...
An audio blip when there’s something about cubicles
And there always is a place to go

[Verse 4]
The endless lengths of a concrete amusement park...
A reminder that we’re all a part of a snapshot, in a singular moment

[Repeat Chorus]

[Verse 5]
So, still it is not what I’m sure of, and sure it’s the same, but it’s hard to imagine how
Yeah, I know it only happens again

[Verse 6]
A secular altar embedded in grocery lines, wading just inches from time
When it passes, I’ll be there in the moment

[Repeat Chorus]

Since somewhere we’re the playing the same game with radio silence, in modern day pyramids
Track Name: Angels & Commerce
[Verse 1]
Sunday morning in the heart of the summertime...
Smoke in our skies and our eyes
Being late for the first and the last days...
You were borrowing your time

[Verse 2]
And the world stopped for hours in the summer sun, throwing shadows on our footsteps
Staying close never seemed like the next room
I am borrowing my time

And it was so real, it was blank and empty eyes
Now I can't wait, cause if I do I'd recognize the city of angels through a city of commerce

And you tried for a year just to come down, throwing stars into stone
Taking long breaks on couches at the edge of town...
And taking one more look around

[Repeat Chorus]

They couldn't move the mountains that they made in the thirties...
Nothing lasts forever, when it does it's in east L.A
The movement of wealth, from sickness to health, from ashes to ashes and dust to parking lots
From autumn to spring, and for all of your things, with these hand-me-down strings, I'll hand you a photograph

[Repeat Chorus]
Track Name: The Divide
[Verse 1]
[Touchdown, ten-thirty on a Thursday…
Alabama hometowns fill this place](8066872)

[It’s cold, it’s been since 1860](8066882), [lighting up our skies to outer space...](8066878)

Oh, we can’t go back. No, we can’t go back

[Verse 2]
I’m new but playing for the old team when all of these thread-lines come undone
And I’ll stay ‘cause going through the shortcut never seems to help out anyone

No, we can’t go back. No, we won’t go back

[The dividing line](8066892)
They’re closing all their windows and we’re shutting down our minds
So take all the time in the world. I’ll take all the time in the world

[Verse 3]
And I have never liked the winter, rain, or to commit to things
So now it’s freezing in a bad way, airport angels start to sing
Oh, you’ll soon go back. Yeah, we all go back

[Repeat Chorus]

If it’s not what I’m after (We can’t go back.)
Then it's not what I need (We can’t go back.)
It’s just a new disaster (We can’t go back.)
And it won’t wait for me (We can’t go back.)

So take all the time in the world
‘cause I’ll take all the time in the world
Track Name: Starting Up
I fell asleep in paradise and I woke up in a parking lot in a rental car at a Walmart in West Texas
It's all happened before, but just not to me
There's a time and place for everything, and this is not the place
Start the engine and pack your bags

I’ve been away in a two piece suit locked in a hotel coming to pieces on time
Believe me, you better believe me
It’s real life, like they told you about, like they stuffed in your mouth and told you to keep it all down
Believe me, you better believe me

It seems like all my friends are somewhere having babies or masters degrees
When did they sign up for that?
I started late, I guess I'll never stop. But I have got a backpack, so I can end up anywhere
Where did I go wrong this time?

[Repeat Chorus]

Did you see that classic movie about the drive across America
Where they're trying to chase love, or gold, or freedom?
I think I've seen it too, I don't know how it ends
But somehow I don't think it really mattered in the first place
Maybe I'll find out next time...

[Repeat Chorus]

Believe me, you'd better believe me
Believe me, you'd better believe me
Track Name: Sorority Row
[Verse 1]
All of the towers and street lights burn out in the depth of of the detours, the head of the mouth
"How many years 'til you're out of this place?"
I have been gone for a long time

[Verse 2]
There's linebackers lying back, pirouette plays in the heart of the beast and the edge of LA
'Reluctant' and 'doctor' are not the best words to use when you talk about futures

Sorority row
It's stuck in this small time
This isn't home
Yeah, we're only staying here, I know
I have to make it back to zero five

[Verse 3]
All of the people around are a part of this gridlock construction through dangerous hearts
I have been done, and I have been new
I will not wait for forgiveness

[Verse 4]
With all of the darkness enveloping light 'til we fall apart flat at the end of the night
If I wanted a skirt that said 'bad girl' in gold I wouldn't know where to buy it

[Repeat Chorus]

Five more times to the middle of the road
I was younger in the morning, now I've never been this old
I won't take for granted but if I don't take at all
There will be trouble when we get back cause the streets are closing down tonight
All the streets are closing down tonight

[Repeat Chorus]
Track Name: Upswing
It started in blistering heat when the days were so long that I don’t know when they end or
Beginning again at the end of the world, it’s so good to see you, don’t lose yourself on the way out

We’re running back out, we’re facing the grinder
And they say that this city will eat you alive and spit you back out
Or it’s now and it’s never or it’s on the upswing

In a way I went looking for God but I found an apartment that had no hot water
Where an auto mechanic said sing with your soul, and play like you mean it or don’t play at all

You’re free from it all, and I cannot fly til I’m certain that I am alright with the fall
Like it’s nothing at all
Or it’s now and it’s never or it’s on the upswing

It all changes so fast
One moment you’re somewhere
When all of these somewheres
Are hidden away in a storage compartment

This day will not happen again, it’s a new dawn, a new life, and three percent down
There in the third world in my fourth apartment, it’s a first time for everything, take time to try it all out

Like I’m just starting out
Or it’s too late to know that it’s too late to take things and turn themback out when they’re coming apart
Cause it’s now and it’s never or it’s on the upswing

It’s now and it’s never or it’s on the upswing

If you like The Small Calamities, you may also like: