Parque México

by Kevin Dickerson



Written and recorded between March 29 – June 16, 2017.


released October 6, 2017

Produced by Kevin Dickerson and Maryam Qudus
Engineered and mixed by Maryam Qudus and Kevin Dickerson to 1/4" tape on Nagra IV-SJ
Mastered by Jacob Winik at Tiny Telephone


all rights reserved



Kevin Dickerson San Francisco, California

Kevin Dickerson is a singer-songwriter who lives in San Francisco. His latest full-length album is called "Ginger Grapefruit."

Follow @kevindickerson on Instagram, Twitter

Photo: Kristin Cofer

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Track Name: What Do I Do That Makes You Love Me?
I woke up and made my girlfriend a latte
But the soy milk was curdled and it grossed her out

And I paid about $600 bucks to process some photos
For the album I’m putting out

Hopefully one photo will work
For Everyone’s Okay
And one more will work
For whatever I’m going to call this EP

I got a ride down to Bayview
To practice some vocal scales
Because you deserve the best well-practiced vocal lines
And after Heather and I went to get lunch at Old J
We shared a vegetarian plate and her boyfriend joined late

We talked about how cruel men
Working for Pinochet
Smashed Victor Jara’s hands
They tossed him out
Like a bag of trash
And filled his body full of lead
The guys who did it
Were found just last year in Florida and arrested

Just last week I was on a rooftop in Mexico City
Looking at an Aztec temple in the middle of downtown
With my girlfriend drinking bottles of water
Tossing a michelada down

My master reels came back from Chicago
For Everyone’s Okay
And they arrived at my front door sometime
While we were on vacation

Who knows for how many days my reels were sitting
In front of my apartment door
Just sitting there in a box on the floor
Of course I got everything else finished up
And neglected the album art, that’s just how my brain works

Last night I saw Ben Gibbard at Davies Hall
Play songs that were bouncing around my head
For twenty years, and me and my girlfriend shared a laugh
When the more excited millennials in the audience whooped
During “What Sarah Said”

Whooping and hollering during a song about someone knocking on death’s door
It made me think of all the ICU and hospital visits I had been on
Not long ago his song would have brought my eyes straight down to the floor
But me and my girl just shared a laugh at the young adults playing dress-up…

Life goes on and on and on

At home I was planning my next move
And realized it was the anniversary of the Orlando Shooting

And not too many days later the helicopters blared all morning
Long, and my girlfriend
Was on the couch and she said there’s a shooter at the UPS building
And General Hospital was locked down
And three people were shot dead

And some crazy motherfucker shot four more
At a baseball game in Alexandria

I turned to you and asked you,
“What do I do that makes you love me?”

Life goes on and on and on and on
Life goes on and on and on and on

My friends welcomed a baby boy into the world
Nine months to the day after their Tahoe wedding
Life goes on and on and on and on

And I pulled a muscle in my back
While at the gym wailing on my lats
And life goes on and on and on and on
Track Name: Parque México
When people talk about their dreams I sometimes stop paying attention
It’s not that I think dreams don’t deserve to be thought about
I simply don’t think that mine are worth mentioning
A lot of people read into their dreams like it’s some kind of window to their psyche
And spend a lot of time thinking about different ways to interpret the symbology

If you really need a metaphor to understand what I’m saying you might go with, “my dreams are my reality”
Like the other night guess who popped into my head but my surgeon Dr. Knee

And of course my new guitar was in my dream
And I asked the dream version of Dr. Knee if she had any collectible coins
As I had been concerned about my finances and how well my ankle would hold up in a hike in the woods

Since we had recently got dinner with Christine
And I was sipping on some ramen broth and eating soba noodles and she invited us to stay
Up in her cabin in the north bay up in Monte Rio
And we said fuck yeah Chris we’d love to join you

We talked about the value of knowing your neighbors
Christine said she's known hers for a long time
I said 99% of the time I'd rather not know any of my neighbors
I told a few stories of the strange interactions I've had in the past

We walked home after dinner and a crackhead came out of the lobby front door just as i was coming in
I saw his eyes they seemed vacant and crazy
He was holding stacked high a bunch of packages, balancing them under his chin

My neighbor was coming in right behind me holding his bag of groceries
And we looked at each other and he said, “that doesn’t look right,” and he called 911 while I hurried over and confirmed that all the packages were gone

He followed the crackhead into the Whole Foods parking lot
And a woman who was just trying to buy some ingredients for dinner tried to get someone pulling into the garage to help get the exit blocked
But the shopper was confused and didn't understand why everyone was running around waving their hands
The thief sped out of the garage in his possibly stolen sedan

Running a red light turning eastbound down 14th Street
His tired squealed and some other car honked at being cut off like, “What the fuck are you doing?”

And we stood around for a second and shrugged and I introduced myself to my neighbor and he said, "Hi, I’m Chris."

And looked at my girlfriend and was like, “that crackhead just stole my sinus rinse.”

The next morning we went up to the north bay
The sunshine was beautiful and it was a perfect day

I was wearing a funny outfit that made me look like an 8-year old
I haven’t worn shorts since I left the East Bay
and the ocean wind was a bit chilly and the breeze was nice
and we sat right on the rocks and ate lunch
and the tide came up and splashed on the rocks

We drove Shoreline Highway
On Chris’ back deck we were perching
And the bluejays were chirping

And we talked about HOA fees
And we talked about lyme disease

I ran into my barber John on my walk to the gym
He said he had a funeral and from the Philippines
A bunch of family had flown in
And he told me squats were the key
I said, “whatever you say goes, I’ve never managed a gym in LA”
I just went to a funeral myself for Angie Hathaway
In February and it still concerns me

And what do you know poor JV just broke his ankle loading his van
And I immediately I was like Dr. Knee!
Maybe there is something to all this stuff about dreams after all

And JV was like, “I love you” and I was like, "don’t worry my friend I’ve done this plenty of times,
you’ll be hauling vintage plate reverbs around the city in no time
again let me know if you need any rides."

And I remembered hobbling around on crutches
After Dr. Knee reattached a muscle in middle of my foot
The guy who operated on me in the 90s just never put it back from where he took it
He later was arrested for attacking a taxi driver in Anchorage while drunk

And I called my dad because I saw the weather was getting nice again
And we talked about guitars and he said, “Well as a matter of fact I was 'bad,'
And the delivery guy just dropped off another one of your guitars—
Well, you’ll get it once I’m gone”

And we laughed and I said hey that’s too dark Dad,
Tell me about your new Gibson
And he said don’t worry about me son, time is something you can’t run away from
And said he loves his guitar because it tunes itself! and it’s frickin’ awesome
And we talked about how different things are than when he was younger
And how the world is so full of wonder
Track Name: Nice Day
I woke up this morning and watched the sun rise
As I normally do
And I wrote lyrics while watching palm fronds wave in the Mission breeze
As I normally do

My girlfriend was fast asleep snoozin’
As she normally is at this time
And I realized I was flush with cash
This was new to me

Within an hour I spent it all to pay off credit cards and my fucking student loans
At thirty-five I don’t have the same opportunities that my parents did

JV once told me there’s nothing more boring than listening to someone talk about being broke
I guess he was right
So let me get off this subject since the weather’s nice for once, I’m gonna call my dad and go for a walk outside

I’m still a little jealous that my older brother got piano lessons
It would come in handy right about now
Just like every other aspect of life I gotta
Make it on my own

So I’m gonna figure out some new instruments
To make some new tones
And keep writing songs because that’s just
What I do

Earlier last week, Maryam and I were mixing “My Girl,” and we were at a good place to take a break and we were trying to figure out where to eat lunch.
It can be difficult to find a restaurant that’s open at 3:00 PM on a Wednesday.
3:00 PM is a weird time—it’s after the lunch shift, but before the dinner shift.

And after much discussion over the course of the afternoon we landed at Razan’s Organic Kitchen in Berkeley.

I hadn’t been there since moving to San Francisco, and I was secretly pitting it against Old Jerusalem in The City—one of Maryam’s favorites.
The owner came out and talked to us. He was really nice.
Then later, after Beau got home from working with Tuneyards, Maryam said Razan’s was maybe better than Old J—score.

My girlfriend just turned on the coffee machine, she
Sure has a routine
And the sun is getting up there and it’s making the fog

We’re flying to Mexico City in a couple months, there’s a Mediterranean place over there that I like
They use all organic produce too, just like Razan’s
It’s really nice

I can’t wait to sit outside in the sun and the warm shade
In Parque México
And sip on a coffee in the morning outside at Café Rococo
Track Name: Joya
Jenny was my childhood friend
We grew up alongside each other, but our friendship came to a natural end
She was smart, tall, kind, she had long hair and porcelain skin
I don’t consciously remember drifting away, but a day came when I never saw her again

We’d walk around
for hours around town through the snow
And down to the riverbanks
I liked her peacoat

Often starting from the lone coffee shop
I missed Pedro the Lion play that place in the 90s or the early 2000s
Jenny always asked me to copy albums for her
And I gave her Paul’s Boutique, Slanted and Enchanted, and Joya

Many years later I saw a super pregnant Dawn McCarthy perform with Will Oldham
It seemed everyone from miles around was there

Back then I assumed she used the music I copied for her to impress other guys
We were both pretty broke back then, that wasn’t a surprise
I always hated Weezer but I never told her. The Sweater Song is the worst.
And I don’t listen to those albums like I used to

I think of Jenny every once in a while
But not that often
And I guess that makes me think about how people drift apart
I’m not the same person I was five years ago much less twenty

There was nowhere to sit at my parents house
I was embarrassed by the mess
There was no one quite like her around
She was my friend and not too much later
She had three kids

And no—we were never gonna be like Boz Skaggs’ “We're All Alone”
And I’m glad I never tried
It wasn’t like that and though we grew up near each other’s sides
For longer than not we’ve had separate lives

Many years later I’m still surprised to learn that Beau
Made a lot of records with bands that I loved listening to
While washing dishes or going for long walks in the cold mountain air
Or that I loved listening to during those times I pirated albums for Jenny, cuz I couldn’t say no to her

Last week I watched the Cavaliers / Warriors at JV’s place
With Beau and Maryam and Jason and Merrill
JV cracked us up rewinding this little kid in attendance doing a funny dance
On the screen over and over again

And I almost finished half a beer
I guessed the Warrior’s final score right on the nose
Maryam made me snort when she cracked a good joke
And she and Beau dropped me off and my girlfriend was like, “look at that big smile”

And now Beau’s mixing a few more tracks, and I’m sitting on the couch
Catching up and thinking
About my dreams and my aspirations
And how differently I perceive the world now

Yes, I think of Jenny every once in a while
But not that much
And I guess that makes me think about how people drift apart
I wonder who I’m gonna be in five years much less twenty

I ate waffles at my friends house and we hung out
And he said, “Happy Martin Luther King day.”
And I said “I don't know how to feel
About Martin Luther King day this year,” given all the events…

Later I went walking and looked up the hill
in a break from the flooding rains the sun made the pavement glow
I looked in and out of windows
In my neighborhood at all the people coming and going

Passing the Swedish American Hall
I remembered saying hi to Owen Ashworth after opening for David Bazan, I told him he was one of the best songwriters I’ve heard
My girlfriend likes him
But she hates it when David Bazan does Q&A

I think about how different my life is now than when I was a kid trapped in Alaska, and about life in sunny Oakland
And those silent winter walks through the snow
My friend Erin just texted me “Hey how Are Ya”
It’s been seven years since I’ve seen her and her little guinea pigs in Pennsylvania

And here’s another message, this one’s from Emilio
He said he couldn’t handle the way my ex girlfriend
Was dressing up her kid up with clothing sponsorships and social media posting
And he unfollowed her and I said Emilio, I don’t want to know, and he’s having a blast in Los Angeles

I suppose that’s a lot of diaper changing for an Instagram photo
At least Emilio taught me what SMH means

I like to sit alone at home when it rains
Play guitar, I could be better—I’m okay
At least I'm not flying around thousands of miles every other day
Although my girlfriend said she wants to visit Oslo or maybe Spain

We are surrounded by beautiful moments every day
We are surrounded by compassionate moments every day

My friend John just lost his mom to a heart attack
It made me get right on the phone with my dad
He hasn't left the house in a few days
Because of the cold snap

And at the same time I read in the news about another chemical attack in Syria
They’re saying it’s a nerve gas, the worst attack since the last

Jamie asked me if I'd ever read this Alaskan author, Eowyn something
I said “No, but I bet she made a bunch of tourists happy”
Let me guess she went to Washington State
A brief fact check confirmed Bellingham—I was pretty close

If you hedge all your bets on a bunch of stuff about your childhood you're gonna run out of ideas pretty quick
No angel will cry over your misspent youth or your love life
Write what you know, you know? What else are you going to leave behind?
But if anyone asks me about Alaska and brings up Werner Herzog or Sean Penn or reality television I’m going to stab myself in the fucking face

I’m up here looking down on Dolores
And at the plants growing on my balcony and at a junkie curled up asleep on the street below
He woke up for a few minutes and fed his little fluffy white dog and kissed him on the head
And all the construction contractors working on the building he’s sleeping on the side of are looking out for him
We are surrounded by beautiful moments of compassion every day

And I just gave Danny another call about my new guitar
and discovered we are neighbors
I said “Damn, I just got a synthesizer from the house next door!”
Track Name: My Girl
I've got sunshine
On a cloudy day
When it's cold outside
I've got the month of May

I guess you'd say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl
Talkin' 'bout my girl

I've got so much honey
The bees envy me
I've got a sweeter song
Than the birds in the trees

Well I guess you'd say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl
Talkin' 'bout my girl

I don't need no money
Fortune, or fame
I've got all the riches
One man can claim

I guess you'd say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl
Talkin' 'bout my girl

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