The Backroom

by Mark Hart

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1.
June in July 03:56
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
2.
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
3.
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
4.
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...
5.
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
6.
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)
7.
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
8.
Conquered 03:32
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
9.
Me 2 Go 02:35
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
10.
Alky Summer 04:29
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
11.
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

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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