He finds a place he can afford and calls it home. He brings a suitcase full of clothes and a house plant. He brings a box of books he’s been hoping to read, a hodgepodge of CDs and records, and a set of speakers. He brings alcoholic peace offerings for his new roommates. He brings a bicycle, not the one he got when he was sixteen, but an unfamiliar used one he found at a shady shop, maybe stolen. He brings earplugs. He brings ramen, he brings instant soup. He brings the neighbor from Barbados, the neighbor from Trinidad, the neighbor from the block. He brings a girl from France he met at the park. He brings his roommate’s sister. He brings a desk he found on the curb, a dresser he found on the curb, a chair. He brings bedbugs. He calls his mom. He calls an exterminator.
He buys a print from a guy in the park to hang on the wall. He buys a wastebasket and a variety of nails and screws. He buys a proper bed and a duvet cover. He buys a space heater, then a fan, then an air conditioner. He buys a new computer and some kitchen utensils. He buys a gym membership. He buys a suit. He buys plastic storage bins. He rents storage space.
They open a coffee shop down the block. They open ground for a new luxury condo. They open fire on a teenager. They open the bulletproof window at the Chinese restaurant. They open houses every weekend to prospective buyers. They open wallets and drain them dry.
They close the jerk chicken place. They close the dollar store. They close the case—cops acquitted. They close their suitcases and front doors and retire back to the islands. They close on the house and send the tenants packing. He calls his girlfriend and asks if he can stay with her for a while.
from Jean Rohe & The End of the World Show
released November 27, 2014
Jean Rohe – mandolin, guitar, lead vocals
Ilusha Tsinadze – acoustic and electric guitars, dobro
Christopher Tordini – acoustic and electric bass
Liam Robinson – accordion, keyboards
Skye Steele – violin
Rogério Boccato – percussion
Richie Barshay – percussion
James Shipp – vibraphone and percussion
And everyone sings.
Ljova Zhurbin – viola on 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11
Dave Eggar – cello on 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11
Tony Hdez – radio announcer on 4
All songs by Jean Rohe
Produced by Jean Rohe & Liam Robinson
String arrangements on “Fisherman”, “Pacific Street”, “Water”, and “O Bright Star” by Liam Robinson.
“Who Shall...” incorporates part of a Russian children's song in translation, “May There Always Be Sunshine (Пусть всегда будет солнце)”.
Field recording in “Umbrella” from Uskudar, Istanbul, Turkey, 2011.
Recorded by Chris Bittner at Applehead Studios in Saugerties, NY
Additional recording by Oliver Straus at Mission Sound, Brooklyn, NY, and Aaron Nevezie at The Bunker Studio, Brooklyn, NY.
Mixed by Todd Sickafoose at Earycanal
Mastering by Alan Douches at West West Side Music
Illustrations by Melanie Chopko
Photo by Jen Painter
Layout and design by Ilusha Tsinadze