SONG DESCRIPTIONS / LISTEN

TRANSMISSION ROOM 804 (Instrumental) My studio on the top corner of the former East Berlin Radio Broadcasting Center was Transmission Room 804. From here I stared out over the city, heard, received and transmitted.

TOP OF THE WORLD Inspired by the political writings of Arundhati Roy. I imagined my wife, our life and the sudden apocalyptic end of everything I knew. The door bell rings: it’s Ms Roy. She makes haste and proceeds to lay out the real deal: the need to confront truths outside oneself, the need to examine, down to the very genome, that which corrupts. The song steadily increases in tempo until the climax where it resumes it’s original tempo, reflecting the manic nature then resolution of the subject matter.

 BRAWL IN PARADISE This Gogolesque, satiric, paranoid fantasy starts with a tranquil domestic scene: I am quietly reading the newspaper in the garden though, it seems, my cat is up to something demented. I ignore it, continue reading the paper. My head reeling and frightened by the bloodthirsty headlines, I look up to see that my cat is now driving an army tank, chewing on a fat cigar with a parrot on her shoulder and heading straight for me. I knew this day would come.

LOWEST OF THE LOW Reading Orwell’s “Down and Out in Paris and London” it occurred to me that too many artists tend to romanticize poverty. At the same time the opposite is also true: fame and riches have hidden costs. This is a tongue and cheek cautionary song of maintaining a healthy detachment from any such fantasies of success or romantic notions of the starving artist.

ALIEN IN WAITING (Instrumental) An alien creature, thousands of years old, was, at one time, enthusiastic and eager to share with earthlings all that it’s culture had to offer. However, in crucial moments, this creature, this alien man, was continually ignored. After 2000 years of this he’d had enough. He changed back to his original form and crawled to a remote part of the amazon, dedicating the rest of his time on Earth to transmitting rescue signals out to the Universe. A major nod to Werner Herzog for this.

THE RIVER I was imagining the ancient stories told by the rivers themselves. From the banks of the Ganges, the Nile, the Amazon, the Danube, the Thames, the Mississippi. Inspired by Tony Gatlif, Jean Renoir, Laurie Lee and Mark Twain.

THREE MERRY BOYS Three Orphaned African boys, protect each other from gangsters and rebel groups recruiting child soldiers; They keep HepC and AIDS at bay by resisting the call of infected choir girls, their voices, tempting, echoing from the Church; together they conquer illiteracy and poverty. Having survived to manhood, they share their poetry with the world.

JUST A SHADOWThis is my military tattoo. A tribute to the many young men and women who fight and die in wars. The sacrificial class.

BELLS Bells, from east to west, ringing from monuments or mountain tops, sound a call to prayer, a call for alarm, a call to arms; signify a time to work, to eat, to celebrate. My own internal bell, the bells of my conscience, of my ancestry resound in the following song.

COOK THE OCEAN More and more we see the Oceans catch fire as one major oil spill after another ignites. Neptune is loosing ground. Corporate alchemists, magically escape any accountability and so long as the grass on our lawns is synthetic green, all is right with the world.

WHAT A PARTY (Instrumental) A time capsule of sorts. A sonic attempt at imagining and explaining my fragmented mind, my life on Earth. An artifact to be shot into space.

DEAR ELIZAA portrait of a friend of mine in Brooklyn. In her former life she would hustle tricks up and down the city; visit friends and Johns in Hells Kitchen, getting high on whatever she could along the way and then head back to Brooklyn. At night she would hit the clubs and Navy Yards. It was a high time for my friend the ex hooker. She rolled through it all with pride, no remorse. I wanted to tell the story as she told it. This meant my voice was not the one and so, I brought in the talented Manhattanite Saudia Young and backed up the chorus. You might notice that I ”feminized” my name for the title in order to maintain the privacy of my friend.