Tacoma Ballet

Album: Tacoma Ballet (2002)
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Songfacts®:

  • This is the title track from the fourth studio album by Lucid Nation. It did well on college radio stations across America. In her interview with Songfacts, Lucid Nation frontwoman Tamra Lucid told the story behind the song:

    "A giant full moon was rising low in the sky over Tacoma. We'd been recording for a few days. Wes, more than a great engineer with vintage gear, ran Uptone Recorders, and he had at this point sized me up. He was so low key I once asked him why.

    'German guilt,' he responded.

    He suggested we take a break to go outside to see the beautiful moon. He noticed that I kept glancing over at the boarded-up, abandoned clapboard building next door lit up in the moonlight. It looked like what everyone envisions as a haunted house for Halloween, or the set for a horror movie.

    'You want to know the story of that place?' Wes asked me.

    This was deliberate. This was an engineer with sound-effects records he'd been saving for what he suspected was this very occasion. He told us all the story, but he was talking to me.

    A while back, that creepy building had been a squat for runaway punks where Wes saw Nirvana play their first gig in Tacoma. But he had history with that place that went back to being a kid with his friends daring each other to go inside. They knew it had been a school.

    As they explored, they found everything was exactly as it was left. School desks with paper, pencils, and open lesson books in Japanese and English, covered by years of dust and cobwebs, frozen in time.

    Wes and his friends left it undisturbed, leaving only footprints in the dust. Wes later learned that after Pearl Harbor, a bus had shown up one morning, and the soldiers ordered the schoolchildren outside.

    The children thought they'd be coming right back. But instead, they were put in the bus and driven to an internment camp. After that, we went inside and recorded the song. Later Wes kicked us all out of the studio and those sound-effect records he had been saving found the song to which they belonged."

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