Songs that actually say something, performed by true believers, music-fanatic lifers who have no use for ironic distance and/or trend-hopping. Sinner-songwriter poetics, emo-ish dynamics and passion, classic rock showmanship and joy, all without a six-string in sight.


The three of us have been playing together since 1999. Relocations, graduations, hirings, firings, resignations, applications, flings, courtships, indulgences, marriages, children, separations, addictions, recoveries, searchings, embarrassments, triumphs, despair, hope, fear, faith, the march of time: we show no signs of stopping. We're all in our mid-30s. And we love you.

Some influences: Bruce Springsteen, Afghan Whigs, Thin Lizzy, Richard Buckner, Fugazi, Iron Maiden, Promise Ring, Sleater-Kinney, Kate Bush, Radiohead, Pixies, Ted Leo. Many others. Goner sound like courage and/or desperation.

Unlike so many bands that play as if they'd rather be somewhere else, Goner's shows are marked by celebration, confidence, intensity, outreach and sweat. Music has saved each of our lives, and we play accordingly.


Whatever Day It Is

Written By: Scott Phillips

Seven twenty five digital red, wash that nostalgia right out of my head. Freeze-dried coffee and morning prayer, clarity chorus, I'm halfway there. Clock in with sodas and claps on the back, dirty chord progressions and laughs. You work with knives. You might cut yourself. It's never a crime to ask for help. Welcome to whatever day it is, arrows and slings, fruit punch and piss. Welcome to a plan you didn't make. Congratulations. You're awake.

Are We There Yet

Written By: Greg Eyman

Get in the van or stay out at home, because we're done with school, but schooling is on. We're not going home. We're not coming back. Chris, is this where we needed to get? Once, when you were wild and younger, looking under anything for everything, you'd take a look around. Write it on the floor. Listen to the sound. You're not alone. Fell off the truck and still out of luck. You passed the exam but failed me again, because you're not breaking through. You're not making out. Scott, is this what you're screaming about? Find it in your look, waiting for that hook. Was it worth waiting for? We're not for sure. If they call, they'll call. When they come, they'll come. Once we quit, we're done. But we're not alone.

Jessica's Song

Written By: Scott Phillips

You were your father's blood and he covered you in fingerprints, called you stupid and plain, carressing all the same. You'd smell the Jim beam as he'd lean at the side of your bed, tickling your sleeve. You were living just to leave. You kept your eyes on your sticker stars, glowing in the dark. You would have wished on them if only they were real. Twenty one and bellying up a couple of states away, them angel tattoos you got sure do cover up an awful lot. But you're showing so much of the flesh you've been taught to hate, and as the crowd swells and thins you toss a Romeo a grin, and with voices sweet as nicotine, you talk and he says, yeah, I know what you mean. A year's worth of two A.M.s ending the same way, let's dim the lights and hit play. Touch and sway. Classic rock radio alarms. Someone slips out of someone's arms, head like a heart, beating thick and slow, barely time to sort out all those clothes. He's gonna call. I know. Jessica, you know that playground a couple of blocks away. Grab a wrench, a bat and a knife. All your friends are out there tonight. We'll tear the monkey bars down, crack the benches, rip the swings to shreds. We'll derail the merry-go-round. We can cry as it goes down. Splintered hands'll pass around the wine, pretty rubble in the blue moonshine. Come two A.M., you'll leave your father's blood behind. You can leave it behind.


How Good We Had It: full-length CD released by Bifocal Media October 2003. "Whatever Day It Is" received sporadic college airplay on the east coast, as well as in the south and midwest, and was featured on the MTV show "Made."

Dollar Movie: full-length CD released by Eskimo Kiss June 2002. Title track received sporadic college airplay on the east coast, as well as in the south and midwest.

Set List

Typical set list is 10-13 songs, 30-50 minutes. A cover is occasionally thrown in for fun (ranging from R.E.M. to Motorhead to Liz Phair and beyond), but usually all-original.

Our current song pool: Fight Of Yr Life, How To Put It Down, Mustn't Touch, One And Done, The Winter Pageant, Whatever Day It Is, Are We There Yet, Laura's Conversion, The Encore, Lake Geneva IL, Letters To Cal, The Lazy Star, Jessica's Song, Northgate Six, Black Coffee Red Wine, Me And Billy, Townies, Dollar Movie, Battleground Park, Acts Of God And Fireworks, Tapwater, Lifer's Lament, Some Are Love, Truth And Reconciliation.