The Backroom

by Mark Hart

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credits

released May 6, 2014

Engineered by Mark Hart, Jason Mariani, Bruce Sugar, Rick Moors, Steve Dudas, & Mark Leggett

Recorded at Behemoth Studios, Brotheryn Studios, East/West Studios, Legativity, Rick’s House of Hiss & Kryptone-Nite Studios

Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood, CA

Cover Art: Kurt Greenfield

Inside illustrations: Gordon Hart

Photos: David Weininger & John Walsh

Design: Amy Dakos

Executive Producer: Nick Binkley

Produced & mixed by Mark Hart

Thanks to all of the above.

Special thanks to Nick Binkley, Mark Ross, Steve Dudas, Mark Leggett, Ken Segall, Bob Mintzer, Kurt Greenfield, Bruce Sugar, Rick Moors, Chuck E. Weiss, Jesse Siebenberg, Bernie Dresel, Cliff Hugo, David Weininger, Anne Bell, John Walsh, Amy Dakos, Peter Green, Robin Teraoka and Franklin Odel at Oversight, Norman Hall, Stephen Johnson, Jeff Ezell, Megan MacEachern, Kelly Hart, Mille Sharp and my lovely wife Camille

Dedicated to my family

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Track Name: June in July
More bossa than nova
More tango than tang
She starts with a whimper
And builds to a bang

She’s a yellow egg noodle
A fattening dish
The need of the needle
The sign of the fish

A pop, a top, a tart, a dart
That pierces not quite to the heart
A rave, a wave, a miss, a dis
That sells itself out loud like this

She mostly gets over
And always gets high
Her crooning’s corrosive
Like June in July

She carves like a chicken
Throws like a knife
Cooks like a kitchen
Lives like a life

A wisp of steam, a queen, a pawn
That you can’t put your finger on
A battle pitched with spitball swords
You win, but then you lose the war
You win, but then you lose the war

As heavy as heaven
As loony as June
Unlucky as seven
And blue as the moon

She’s a rudderless gusher
A colorless tone
That you hear in the clear
When you’re stoned and alone

A pop, a top, a tart, a dart
That pierces not quite to the heart
A rave, a wave, a miss, a dis
That sells itself out loud like this

A wisp of steam, a queen, a pawn
That you can’t put your finger on
A battle pitched with spitball swords
You win, but then you lose the war
You win, but then you lose the war
You win but then you lose the
You lose
Win but then you lose the war
Track Name: Backroom Cordon Blues
There’s miserly wisemen
Who gamble and pray
To gods and godzillas that change everyday
But you can’t ever win
If you don’t get to play
The game that they run in the backroom

There’s a busload of children
Who fell through the ice
A White House that’s made out of red beans and rice
A real superhero
A fake Jesus Christ
Who handles your bags in the backroom

A social psychologist
Tacked up a sign
He says will de-fog and re-balance the mind
You’re welcome to bring home
What truth you can find
In the clubby retreat of the backroom

My ex-wife’ll call up
And tell me she’s there
With Cuban guys dancing and doing her hair
Her highlights are stunning
But nobody cares
How anyone looks in the backroom

For sure it’s a fad
And it can’t last too long
Half a more minute’s enough of this song
I’ll never get in ‘cause I’ll never belong
But I’d kill to have lunch in the backroom
Yes I’d kill to have lunch in the backroom
You know I’d kill to have lunch in the backroom
Track Name: Can’t Give Anymore
I’m all used up, used to think I was tough
But not anymore
Tried to do right somehow I lost sight
Of what I stood for
Quiet desperation, misguided aspirations
Now I suffer defeat

I can’t give anymore
I can’t give anymore
I can’t give anymore
‘Cause I gave you everything I had

Made a wrong turn then I got burned
I crossed the line
You won my heart but you wanted my soul
Now I’m losing my mind

I can’t give anymore
I can’t give anymore
I can’t give anymore
‘Cause I gave you everything I had

I’m all used up, used to think I was tough
But not anymore
You won my heart but you wanted my soul
Now I’m losing my mind

I can’t give anymore
No, I can’t give anymore
I can’t give anymore
‘Cause I gave you everything I had
Track Name: Love Among the Cannibals
When girls of odd construction
Wrapped in rhapsody and tension
Hang a right beyond redemption
And continue farther south
Follow past where Fall is falling
And the reptile brain is calling you
To make up fancy reasons
For that dryness of the mouth

And yeah, the hunger
So delicate, so smooth
Its cutting edge is graciously provided

Love among the cannibals
Runs hot and bad and fast
On thousand-year-old freeways
In the caverns of the past
Love among the cannibals
Is cool and good and true
Like the scuba gear of Satan
Blowing bubbles in the blue

The dim, dynamic meanings
Of exotic ladies’ leanings
Defy interpretation
So the feeling comes and goes
Lie down for truth and beauty
And designated duty
Where movies fade to violet
And nightclubs never close

And yeah, the hunger
So delicate, so smooth
Its cutting edge is graciously provided

Love among the cannibals
Is lava after dark
Sweet and sour tidal waves
That rumble past the heart
Love among the cannibals
Is light and sweet and slim
It sighs with perfect patience
And invites you for a swim
Love among the cannibals...
Track Name: People Go Whoa
Crazy world
House of mirrors
Got a mind all of its own
Breaks the rules
Blows up busses
Calls you on the telephone

World don’t stop
People in it
Got no time to wonder why
Go to town
Underwater
Make appointments in the sky

Woman gets a monkey’s heart
People go Whoa
Pope adopts a porno star
People go Whoa
Flower has a funny face
People go Whoa
Planet dies without a trace
People don’t know

Meet my babe
In the paper
Start a family on TV
Read my news
In the future
Lose my soul symbolically

Doctor marries dolphin girl
People go Whoa
Infant opens discotheque
People go Whoa
Hazel eyes are baby blue
People go Whoa
Everything you hear is true
People don’t know
Track Name: Not Givin’ Up
In the dark saloon
Where songs are never sung
Underneath the moonlight
A goddess pours me one
Sweeter than an angel
Hotter than the sun

Terra cotta eyes
Echo on the floor
Everyone is laughing
And headed for the door
Dreams of headless horsemen
I know I’ve seen before

CHORUS:
This time I’m not givin’ up
I’m not givin’ up no, no
You might think that I’ve had enough
I’m not givin’ up no, no
I admit things are pretty tough
But I’m not givin’ up
No, no

Tales of sacrifice
And unrequited love
The juggler gets so dizzy
It comes to push and shove
Below the creatures panic
There are angry gods above

(CHORUS)
Track Name: Oh! Lulabelle
Oh Lulabelle, why would you ever want to stray?
Oh can’t you tell that you’ve really got it made?
Sleep through the morning, lost in your dreams
Chasing so many things
Lie in the sun waiting for friends
Run when the doorbell rings

Oh Lulabelle, why would you ever run away?
If not for you I’d never make it through the day
When we go walking you make me so proud
Everybody knows your name
You’re such a beauty you cause quite a stir
Chuck E’s in love again

Oh if you ever meet her
You’ll know how to treat her
Her love is a powerful thing
Though I can’t live without her
There’s something about her
That I just don’t understand
Oh Lulabelle
La la la la la la la la
Track Name: Conquered
Like climbing a mountain
Or licking your plate
You’re destined to rule
Or be ruled by your fate

You’re under hypnosis
Or over the hill
Or ducking whatever
Your good lies couldn’t kill

Lost in a swirl of half-chopped-off dreams
And fantasies I couldn’t touch
Of whiskey and women and money and fame
And fashion and talent and such

You conquer your fears
You conquer your fears
You conquer your fears
Conquer your fears

I quit talking issues
And fondling fools
And playing my game
By the other guy’s rules

Yeah, I’m finally grabbing
My life by the head
And plunging it into
The waters of dread

Smacked to the mat by heavyweight dreams
And fantasies I couldn’t touch
Of whiskey and women and money and fame
And fashion and talent and such

I conquered my fears
I conquered my fears
I conquered my fears
Conquered my fears

I filled my brain with places and names
And fantasies I couldn’t touch
Of whiskey and women and money and fame
I conquered my fears
I conquered my fears
I conquered my fears
Conquered my fears
Track Name: Me 2 Go
I should have got the message
When you built a 6-foot wall
Across our bedroom, made of
Fractured parts of babydolls

And set my hiking boots on fire
And spray-painted my skis
As I prayed for salvation
In the hallway on my knees

Then you dosed my gecko
With a psychedelic stew
He’s got this blank expression
He could only get from you

My truck is in the bathtub
Well, the front half of it is
The back’s in chunks around the yard
My rear end’s in the breeze

These times, in time
Will fall into perspective
For now it’s just enough
To know the parts we know
For now it’s far too loud
To be reflective
For now it’s just enough
To know it’s time for me to go

The mailman came and called the cops
Who placed a call to SWAT
Who broke down our front gate
Of iron that was wrought

I’m wrought, myself, and riven
As I contemplate the end
I’m leaving my piano here
Please treat it like a friend

These times, in time
Will fall into perspective
For now it’s just enough
To know the parts we know
For now it’s far too loud
To be reflective
For now it’s just enough
To know it’s time for me to go

I hope someday to look at these proceedings
As through a lens that softens the harshest blows
But now, now my money’s on retreating
It’s time for me to go

These times, in time
Will fall into perspective
For now it’s just enough
To know the parts we know
For now it’s far too loud
Hard to be reflective
Now it’s just enough
To know it’s time for me to go
Track Name: Alky Summer
We camp behind the villa in bikinis in the night
A runaway vacation but still it isn’t quite
And then you hit the bottle
And then you hit your stride
For a long hot alky summer

Twisted when the sun came up we ate and then you drank
For eighty mornings in a row and wound up in the tank
With no one left to bother
When you took off with the twins
For that sudden alky summer

Such an up-and-comer
Italian Alky Summer
Such an up-and-comer
Italian Alky Summer
It was bright until December
And I really can’t remember
And you

Days wore down the brothers found you waving in the shade
Atomizing equal parts of rum and lemonade
‘Til all the major journals
Discovered what you’d made
Of a single alky summer

Such an up-and-comer
Italian Alky Summer
Such an up-and-comer
Italian Alky Summer
It was bright until December
And I really can’t remember
Track Name: When the Morning Comes
Never know how I feel
When I find a love that’s real
With every hand I’m dealt I lose

Now the tide is turning fast
And if I’m ever gonna last
I’ll take this offer
I can’t refuse

See where I’m standing
When the morning comes
See if I’m standing
When the morning comes

Couldn’t take it any more
Then you were there at my door
Stay with me until the dawn

Another day is almost here
With every thing that I fear
Give me the will
The will to carry on

See where I’m standing
When the morning comes
I’ll see where I’m goin
When the morning comes

See where I’m standing
When the morning comes
I’ll see if I’m standing
When the morning comes