the Hard Times LP

by Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers

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    Get all 6 Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers releases available on Bandcamp and save 30%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of PLUTO, Terra Incognita, On Being, The Quilted Attic Sessions [Live], Sleeping Giant EP, and the Hard Times LP. , and , .

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  • Limited Edition, Hand Made Albums.

    50 CD’s
    2 Packs of Sharpies
    500 photos
    100 hours of work
    2 Months

    I just finished the physical pressing of my album, the Hard Times LP. The idea was to make something tangible. You know, with that vinyl-esq’, aesthetic feel to it; something that people could [hopefully] really appreciate. Every single one is completely original and it is an amazing feeling to have finally finished this project. You can view the whole photo set by clicking:

    Each album is completely original and comes with a hand drawn CD and 5 high quallity photo prints. Below are 5 examples of my artwork.

    Sold Out



The Hard Times LP, as of 3:39am on January 28th, 2010, is now finally complete! I'd encourage you to re download the album, as the recently uploaded tracks sound much nicer than the previous ones.

All these songs were recorded solely by myself in my bedroom / studio in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. I'm a huge fan of my state and the character of it's landscape. In my free time, I like writing, photography, cooking, skiing/snowboarding, computers, audio hardware, vinyl, fly-fishing, and comic books. I have a lot of hobbies to say the least. Thank you for everyone who's downloaded this album. Honestly, it means the freaking world to me.

love, joe

facebook page:


released October 31, 2009

I wrote, recorded, and made about 99% of this entire album with my own voice, instruments, camera, and recording gear, but if I hadn't had the opportunity to meet the following people, well... this whole music thing probably would never have happened. Really, I can't even explain how thankful I am.

Lauren Deming
Jon Leaf
Jeff Pianki
JT Royster
John Krohn [who mastered this album]
Doc Holliday
My Roommates
Kads and Chase
Mom, Dad, and Kate
and all the homes in which I've made

The top four people are really great musicians, so google them asap! You won't regret it.



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Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers Michigan


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Track Name: recursion, the overture
i saw a man with a telescope to his eye watching the stars late at night.

i asked him what are chances of the universe retracting back inside

he said son, to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion

follow the roots from the ground up, as the stars we seek are only blinding
Track Name: he was crushed
it's late at night and im on old medicine
and my closet is full, but i'm about to make amends
right now, right here, i will let it be known...


in this room, by myself
i'll let you in, if you don't tell
because of me, he was crushed
oh my god, he was crushed

will time dig up where secrets won
and show it was the hand and not the gun

it's late at night and the floorboards are trembling
and the blankets cast over, but it don't hide none of them
we all have old ghosts, so let's let it be known

in this room, by myself
do you fear, in what you dwell
because of me, he was crushed
oh my god, he was crushed


do you know what it's like to have something inside
like a ghost from the past that is still so alive
and as hard as you try you can't let it out
and when i do i find that i'm

in this room, by myself
where heaven can be just like hell
because of me, he was crushed
oh my god, he was crushed
Track Name: dancing with a ghost
i'm here in my room again
dancing with a ghost who i used to know
but i'm face down in my bed and

three years of memories
come pouring down like a thunderstorm
drowning out my head and i want it to dry out andleave
cause when there's a ghost in your bed
it can get so hard to sleep

and with every lightning flash
your face come back right from the clouds
and you float right down and lie down next to me

i reach out to touch your hair but my fingers find nothing but air
i can see you bright as day but i'm so alone
i'm just dancing with a ghost
i'm just dancing with a ghost

this last weekend
i stood on the shores of lake michigan
and i watched the waves move sand around my feet

at this time i was so afraid
cause you were the home in which i stayed
and now im left here standing on two feet
thinking about the day i watched you leave
and all the secrets that lay beneath the sheets

and i miss you
Track Name: dreamer
i'll admit that I'm a dreamer
falling asleep, admits a flock of sheep

vacation comes on when i'm sleeping
cause these crowded rooms,
wont get me home soon

the universe is expanding,
i just hope that she comes back

captain prepare the men for landing
cause these seas are rough,
our friends have already sunk
do you ever try to remember
the first snow on that cold december
your phone call,
that i didn't even want
but it put the breath back in our lungs,
and blood in our veins
i'll admit that i'm a dreamer
it's just this loneliness, made me unpack and regress

but always when i'm sleeping
you slide back in, right into my bed

so i pulled your heart out of my suitcase
i'm leaving today, skipping every other wave

you'll be standing in the water
where i held you once, where your heart still pumps
maybe you'll see me swimming
maybe you'll have yet to forget me
you'll standing alone in the water
and i'll wrap you up tight and we'll
sink all the way deep down
i've always been a fucking dreamer
cause reality , is so blinding

this ship is all but sinking
and i'm in the crows nest, fighting for one last breath

you always knew i was dreamer
while i was lost in the clouds , you were here on the ground

oh love what have you done
Track Name: back home
i grew up in a house that was
made from wood and nails
and tall tales
just like the one's that you used to tell
up here in the great midwest
we ripped the clothes right off our chests
and the rain cleaned out our lives
baby death brings life, death brings life

i don't mind all the lies in the air
cause I hold on to a truth that hardly causes me to care

entropy burnt me down like a wooden house
and a king a cross and the 12 who were lost told me not to look back
don't you dare look back now
i was the first born just like cain and abel
and with my heart in my hand, i took back the land
you bet i looked back, god damn i looked back

i don't mind all the lies in the air
cause i hold on to a truth that hardly causes me to care
and if love is real, does that equate to my faith
and if so, why don't you take this heart from this face

and they said to come back home
Track Name: pontiac
i took a walk through this old dead town
as intersection lights gave me direction through the fog
with my shadow at my side, we searched on for a home
but he'd vanish between the lights, as to remind me i'm alone

in downtown pontiac we sat side by side
and silence won the war as the drunks passed us by
i guess i kinda missed you, thus i do apologize
i let the flowers wilt, i didn't think they'd ever die... and that was the last time

damn you loneliness, what you can do a decent man
while you break us at our knee's, you compose with a potter's hand
as my cigarette burns the smoke floats on with your memory
while the shore binds be so as I dream out with the sea

in downtown pontiac we sat side by side
your dress was filled flowers as the drunks passed us by
i thought that if i kissed you maybe it would be alright
but you left, so i wandered on through pontiac that night... and that was the last time
Track Name: the cake is a lie
i was born between two lines
heaven and hell, for me, oh, how they've tried
time reminds us that things have already passed by
against a thing like that, what need is there to try

i was born other day
i washed in through your window while waited you waited in the pouring rain
i don't know where, but we'll all end up
in the same place
and there we will mix with the water
and become the same

do you think maybe I'll stand a chance
against a thing like that, against a thing like that
when mary asks to see my hands
will he take me back, will he take me back
this how the world begins and how it ends

but what if I decide to dive back in
Track Name: where you'll find me
sometimes i want to go back home
but i didn't think the price would get this low
im not interested in hollywood
i just want you to know that that i understood

someone asked me if there's a ghost in our town
i said yea, im pretty sure that he's still around
and he's one more reason that i want to stick around
i don't want to let go

when no one else is listening
i can feel my heartbeat at my beat
so i dug a hole right down to my soul
and that's where you'll find me

i love you cause your so good
when all the trees fell just one stood
i feel safe inside of these woods
now if heaven and hell would just put down their books

i heard the news it was last night
as my shadow dodged between the lights
it reminded of all the times
that i watched phantoms dance with fireflys

and when no one else is listening
i can feel my heardbeat at my feet
so i dug a hole, right down to my soul
and that's where you'll find me.
Track Name: welcome to michigan
i've been talking shit lately
bout the ones I love the most

She said, oh how your nose has grown
and i replied if there is any truth in me, then the truth be told

since when did the world get spinning so fast
makes me wish i had spent more time [with you]

she said welcome to michigan
i think i know how you feel

i read today
that the world ended the other day
guess i must have missed it
so in bed I stayed

and I thought this time
that i could defeat time
i aint hear no buildings crumbling, gunshots thundering, aint no king of men
welcome to michigan she said

everything, is a little farther than it seems
guess i just miss my friends

i tried to hide what keeps me alive
but it just buries me instead

i tried, i tried
still stuck in this web of all my lies

she said welcome to michigan
i think i know how you feel

i read today
that the world ended the other day
guess i must have missed it
so in bed I stayed

and I thought this time
that i could defeat time
i aint hear no buildings crumbling, gunshots thundering, aint no king of men
welcome to michigan she said

we've walked through bone yards of angels
can you hear them calling out your name

that is the sound of a thousand broken hearts
and i'm the one to blame

i've walked through the fire,
i've been bound by the chains
but the blood on our lips is what makes us the same

she welcome to michigan, let me wipe away your tears
i forgive you
Track Name: daniel
daniel if you could
please explain this dream
i saw a cross in a courtyard
and a man on his knees
he dropped a book from his hands
and it burned on the ground

an old tree loomed over
before when he knelt
like the one in your backyard
that's got a story to tell
he took a watch from his pocket
and smashed it on the ground

daniel could you please
explain this to me
how'd i lose faith in symmetry

I know a ghost who, when then nights grow still,
she plants flowers in my backyard and in the morning they wilt
the sheet that she wears is always wet around her face

one time she asked me
on a soft summer night
if i could water all those flowers
so in the morning they wouldn't die
i said baby ask the fireflies

daniel i call to you from above
why have i lost faith in love

i'm losing faith in so many things
these solid grounds aren't really what they seem
one thing's for sure, the days will march on
and time dont care if you think your in love
Track Name: backyards
i was born in my backyard,
where the detroit towers melt into the ground
and from their ash, sprout hills and trees,
which shade suburbia keeping her hands clean
here tonight to keep us stable,
is the virgin mary drinking boxed wine across the dinner table
in orion the tree's grow old with the past
they whisper, those were good kids to bad the marriage didn't last

don't ever look behind, you may see your past.
and if I ever hit the finish line, maybe i'll understand

one year we changed, amidst autumn's leaves
and the good wind carried us back to sea
out on the waves, the salt wore off our skin
which released the the first grader, who's ready to swim
in the cheap seats of a parking lot filled with doves
i remember this place where i kissed the girl who i first loved
i was born in my backyard, under the shade of a tree
i was born in my backyard, and i'm still dreaming

a foundation is something that we all desire
but suburbia's walls are no more than fuel for fires

i've given angels so many hours
to water backyard flowers
where is the home, that i know
that has yet to be found
and when it snows
will i go, or will i still stick around

can i come back to orion
and find again a childhood
can i come back to your rolling hills
and veer off the path of paint creek trail
can i come back without solitude
and hide once again in your deepest wood
cause your voice is not one that i want to lose
and if love finds me i will not refuse
your a son of a bitch, dear orion
your a son of a bitch, dear orion
Track Name: painting chicago
i've got my gym shorts on
with two wings strapped on
cascading through concrete streets on the run
i am a child, the sky scraper's son

the lake winds blow cold
but i'm the warmest soul
as the sun hits the windows
it reminds me of the fires of old

the blood of calumet runs through our veins
riding the saddle of instrustry's reins
we'll paint chicago all black and white
and try to play our pieces right

the night is growing old
but i'm growing younger
this is what always to happens
when lost in the suburbs
world fair ghosts have been singing for 200 years

skyscrapers are sentinels
casting shadows from the canopy raining above
but their walls are so thick and hold secrets deep within

with the wind at my back and a brush in my hand
the highway spills paint like a river through land
we'll paint chicago all black and white
and maybe play our pieces right

we'll paint chicago all black and white
checkerboard sidewalks, how they provide
the next move, and maybe we'll make it through the night
if we play our pieces right
Track Name: i'm no man, just a mountain
don't you believe me
cause you left me to drown
and i'm so worn out

i'd like to say i tried my best
to get you back, i must admit
but i don't know how

i'm no man, just a mountain
how will you get around me
you will climb on the back of another man

he will take you to the top
but your ghosts will refuse to stop
he'll take you above the clouds
which will hide what you left back on the ground

i tried to escape from this
as shown by 3 lines and a wrist
and im so worn out

you didn't mean to point it out
that this mess was all my fault
and i believed it all

i pray everyday
that what matters will work it's way
through the blood in our veins
and that happiness finds its way

now if he gets you the top
and the ghosts retract their claws
and through him bliss is found
then content i'll be back on the ground
Track Name: au train
i stood on the banks of the au train in northern michigan
as mayflies dipped down like angels over the water
god forbid i was a little drunk
god forbid i was singing to myself
as the wind pushed harmonies through the willow that i stood under

[i loved you, elena]

at some point the creek swept me out from my feet
but i hear the water's clearer the farther you get downstream
now i don't know what i've been told
but as river bends so does your soul
i hear home is where you make it
so i kept on swimming

[i loved you, elena]

late that night the reflection of the moon on the water
looked like a million tiny shards of glass
but then the river started rumbling
as I washed on down a waterfall
i held my breath and thought that this is the end

but then as the sand cleared i saw a saw a familiar face
and her dark hair, which was so filled with secrets, said boy don't be afraid
i reached out to her and pleaded, take me with you
then, as she disappeared downstream she whispered, the river always runs through

[i loved you, elena]