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Track 10 – “I Walked With A Zombie” (Roky Erickson and The Aliens cover)

October 20, 2017

Blankets and Covers - Volume One

“Blankets and Covers: Volume One” – Track 10 – “I Walked With A Zombie” (Roky Erickson and The Aliens cover) (recorded January 12th 2011 at “Bayside” Keyport, NJ )

Track 10 is the final track of this album. It’s a duet with a pretty cool chick that I know.

I walked with a zombie
I walked with a zombie
I walked with a zombie last night

I walked with a zombie
I walked with a zombie
I walked with a zombie last night

I walked with a zombie
I walked with a zombie
I walked with a zombie last night

I walked with a zombie (he walked with a zombie)
I walked with a zombie (he walked with a zombie)
I walked with a zombie last night

*I sang with a Tracy (he sang with a Tracy)
*I sang with Tracy (he sang with a Tracy)
*I sang with a Tracy tonight

*Lyric change

Track 9 – “To Ramona” (Bob Dylan cover)

October 19, 2017

Blankets and Covers - Volume One

“Blankets and Covers: Volume One” – Track 9 – “To Ramona” (Bob Dylan cover) (recorded October 27th 2010 at “Bayside” Keyport, NJ )

Track 9 is another Bob Dylan cover. What can I say? Bob Dylan covers and open mics go together like clouds and the rain. “To Ramona” was originally released by Bob Dylan on his fourth album, 1964’s “Another Side of Bob Dylan”.

Ramona
Come closer
Shut softly your watery eyes
The pangs of your sadness
Shall pass as your senses will rise
The flowers of the city
Though breathlike
Get deathlike at times
And there’s no use in tryin’
T’ deal with the dyin’
Though I cannot explain that in lines

Your cracked country lips
I still wish to kiss
As to be by the strength of your skin
Your magnetic movements
Still capture the minutes I’m in
But it grieves my heart, love
To see you tryin’ to be a part of
A world that just don’t exist
It’s all just a dream, babe
A vacuum, a scheme, babe
That sucks you into feelin’ like this

I can see that your head
Has been twisted and fed
 With worthless foam from the mouth
I can tell you are torn
Between stayin’ and returnin’
On back to the South
You’ve been fooled into thinking
That the finishin’ end is at hand
Yet there’s no one to beat you
No one t’ defeat you
’Cept the thoughts of yourself feeling bad

I’ve heard you say many times
That you’re better ’n no one
And no one is better ’n you
If you really believe that
You know you got
Nothing to win and nothing to lose
From fixtures and forces and friends
Your sorrow does stem
They hype you and type you
Making you feel
That you got to be just like them

I’d forever talk to you
But soon my words
Would turn into a meaningless ring
For deep in my heart, love
I know there is no help I can bring
Everything passes
Everything changes
Just do what you think you should do
And someday maybe
Who knows, baby
I’ll come and be cryin’ to you

 

Track 8 – “Dirty Old Town” (Ewan MacColl cover)

October 18, 2017
“Blankets and Covers: Volume One” – Track 8 – “Dirty Old Town” (Ewan MacColl cover) (recorded November 10th 2010 at “Bayside” Keyport, NJ )

 

Well if it isn’t bad enough that this is a covers album, this track is a cover of a cover. However, if you listen to one song on this album I would recommend this one.

 

It’s a simple love song I first heard on “Rum, Sodomy, and The Lash”, “The Pogues” second album released in 1985.

This recording occurred in real time immediately after the previous two tracks, so Joe Walsh of “The Believers in Things” also appears on drums on this track.

 

I really enjoy this track because a harmonica player from the crowd joined along too. If I remember correctly his name is Mike P. I remember talking to him afterwards and him telling me of the other long running open mic in Keyport, NJ at “Espresso Joe’s” that still runs on Wednesday nights. I also remember him warning me to get there early for the sign up around six o’clock because the sheet tends to fill up quick and the later you get there the later you will go on.

I met my love by the gas works wall
Dreamed a dream by the old canal
I kissed my girl by the factory wall
Dirty old town
Dirty old town
 
Clouds are drifting across the moon
Cats are prowling on their beat
Spring’s a girl from the streets at night
Dirty old town
Dirty old town
 
I heard a siren from the docks
Saw a train set the night on fire
I smelled the spring on the smoky wind
Dirty old town
Dirty old town
 
 
I’m going to make a big sharp axe
Shining steel tempered by the fire
I’ll chop you down like an old dead tree
Dirty old town
Dirty old town
I met my love by the gas works wall
Dreamed a dream by the old canal
I kissed my girl *Tracy Leigh
Dirty old town
Dirty old town
Dirty old town
Dirty old town
*Original lyric is “by the factory wall”

Track 7 – “Cold Cold Ground” (Tom Waits cover)

October 17, 2017

Blankets and Covers - Volume One

“Blankets and Covers: Volume One” – Track 7 – “Cold Cold Ground” (Tom Waits cover) (recorded November 10th 2010 at “Bayside” Keyport, NJ )

*with Joe Walsh of “The Believers in Things” on drums

“Cold Cold Ground” is a track off of Tom Waits’ 1987 album “Frank’s Wild Years”. It’s the last album in his so 1980’s so-called “Junkyard Trilogy”, all masterpieces.

Around the one minute and fifteen second mark Joe Walsh of “The Believers in Things” joins in on his drums spontaneously having never played the song with me before. It says a lot about what a great drummer Joe is because he is able to listen and feel out the perfect parts to add.

If you listen very carefully around the two minute and forty five second mark you can hear the previous people on the list discussing their other bandmate’s drunken meltdown which is Track 6. Bandmate #1 says, “He fucking destroyed, fucking destroyed that microphone,” and Bandmate #2 responds, “Did he?”

Around the three minute and twenty-seven second mark is the real gem, which you really have to listen for, but it’s there. After the Tom Waits’ line, “Beware of my temper and the dog that it’s found/Break all the windows in the cold cold ground,” which is eerily spot on for the feeling in the room at the time, you can hear the previous two guys talking again and Bandmate #3 who had the meltdown chimes in gleefully. Conversation transcript:

Bandmate #1:  I don’t have a good feeling about tonight…

Bandmate #2: What?

Bandmate #1: I don’t have a good feeling about tonight.

Bandmate #2: So what don’t you have a good fucking feeling about, man?

Bandmate #3 (original meltdowner): It did feel good, man.

Crestfallen sidekick in an old cafe
Never slept with a dream before it had to go away
There’s a bell in the tower, Uncle Ray bought a round
Don’t worry ’bout the army in the cold, cold ground

Cold, cold ground
Cold, cold ground
Cold, cold ground

Now don’t be a cry baby when there’s wood in the shed
There’s a bird in the chimney and a stone in my *head
When the road’s washed out, we pass the bottle around
And wait in the arms of the cold, cold ground

The cold, cold ground
The cold, cold ground
The cold, cold ground

There’s a ribbon in the willow and a tire swing rope
Oh, and a briar patch of berries takin’ over the slope
The cat’ll sleep in the mailbox and we’ll never go to town
Till we bury every dream in the cold, cold ground

In the cold, cold ground
The cold, cold ground
In the cold, cold ground
In the cold, cold ground

Give me a Winchester rifle and a whole box of shells
Blow the roof off the goat barn, let it roll down the hill
The piano is firewood, Times Square is a dream
I find we’ll lay down together in the cold, cold ground

The cold, cold ground
The cold, cold ground
In the cold, cold ground

We’ll call the cops on **The Believers in Things, bring a Bible and a rope
And a whole box of Rebel and a big bar of soap
Make a pile of truck tires and burn ’em all down
Bring a dollar with you, baby, in the cold, cold ground

In the cold, cold ground
In the cold, cold ground
In the cold, cold ground

Take a weathervane rooster, throw rocks at his head
Stop talking to the neighbors until we all go dead
Beware of my temper and the dog that it’s found
Break all the windows in the cold, cold ground

In the cold, cold ground
In the cold, cold ground
In the cold, cold ground
In the cold, cold ground

*Supposed to be “bed”

**Original lyric is “The Breedloves”

Track 6 – “You Telling Me To Calm Down Now?!?” (Verve Pipe cover)

October 16, 2017

Blankets and Covers - Volume One

“Blankets and Covers: Volume One” – Track 6 – “You Telling Me To Calm Down Now?!?” (Verve Pipe cover) (recorded November 10th 2010 at “Bayside” Keyport, NJ )

Track 6 isn’t really a “Verve Pipe” cover nor is it music. It is a drunken rant of an open micer throwing instruments around. Sometimes drunk people can say some pretty funny things and the “Verve Pipe” joke comes from something he says in his drunken rant to his bandmates. He says, “Relax? You guys ain’t rock, man. Do you guys want to do “Verve Pipe” or what? You guys are pussies, man.”

The inspiration for the title of the track comes from his quote, “Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?!? I’ve been beating the shit out of this since fuckin’, since fuckin’ 1987 man, telling me, you telling me to calm down now?!?”

My favorite tracks on this album are tracks 6, 7, 8 because they all occurred in real time one after the other starting with this track. My friend’s band “The Believers in Things” were on the list to play next after the guy who had the meltdown. The host was asking for them to come up, but the bass player was outside smoking a cigarette or something so I volunteered to come up and play in the mean time to get out of this awkward situation. You can hear me say, “Can I play something?” The open micer, he is actually a really nice guy, but was just having a rough night, responds, “You better man. You better man because they can’t handle me.”

“The Believers in Things” drummer Joe Walsh had his drums all set up to play so about a minute and fifteen seconds into the song on track 7, the Tom Waits song “Cold Cold Ground”, he joins in. At the end of the song I incorrectly say that the album it came from, “Frank’s Wild Years”, was released in 1988 when in fact it was released in 1987. It is a shame considering the rant included that great line about, “beating the shit out of these since fuckin’, since fuckin’ 1987 man”.

Immediately after on track 8 is “Dirty Old Town” in which I spread more misinformation. I said the song was by “The Pogues”, which is where I first heard it, when it is actually a song by Ewan MacColl which “The Pogues” covered. Joe Walsh stayed on drums for this, but also a harmonica player from the crowd came out of nowhere and played along. It is moments like these that make playing live and open mics special.

My hope for this project is for people to seek out the original versions of these songs if they do not know them and also to inspire people to seek out their local open mics if they are playing music privately and would like to play publicly. You generally get to play a minimum of three songs per night and listen to a bunch of people who love and are inspired by playing music. It’s a good time, drunken meltdowns and all.

Track 5 – “Mountains of the Moon/TVQ” (Grateful Dead cover/original instrumental)

October 13, 2017

Blankets and Covers - Volume One

“Blankets and Covers: Volume One” – Track 5 – “Mountains of the Moon/TVQ” (Grateful Dead cover/original instrumental) (recorded October 6th 2010 at “Bayside” Keyport, NJ )

“Mountains of the Moon” was originally released on “Aoxomoxoa”, the 1969 “Grateful Dead” album. The lyrics were written by the ever grateful Robert Hunter. The studio version is really pretty and is highlighted by what I think is a harpsichord. The recording I’m presenting here segues into an original instrumental composition in it’s early stages called, “TVQ”. Probably not the best idea to play my mournful version in a crowded bar, but if it’s in your heart you got to let it out. People clapped at the end in support anyway, plus love hearing my older brother Chris shout, “KFC!”

Cold mountain water, the jade merchant’s daughter
Mountains of the moon, Electra, bough and bend to me
Hi-ho, the carrion crow, folderol-de-riddle
Hi-ho, the carrion crow, bough and bend to me

Hey, Tom Banjo
Hey, a laurel
More than laurel you may know
More than laurel you may sow
Hey, the laurel, hey, the city in the rain

Twenty degrees of solitude, twenty degrees in all 
All the dancing kings and wives assembled in the hall
Lost is the long and lonely time, fairy Sybil flying 
All along the, all along the mountains of the moon

Hey, Tom Banjo
It’s time to matter
The earth will see you through this time
The earth will see you through this time
Down by the water, the marsh king’s daughter, did you know
Clothed in tatters, always will be, *Tracy where did you go?

Mountains of the moon, Electra, mountains of the moon
All along the, all along the mountains of the moon
Heigh ho, the carrion crow, folderol-de-riddle
Heigh ho, the carrion crow, bough and bend to me
Bend to me

*Lyric change, original is “Tom”

 

Track 4 – “There is a War” (Leonard Cohen cover)

October 12, 2017

Blankets and Covers - Volume One

“Blankets and Covers: Volume One” – Track 4 – “There is a War” (Leonard Cohen cover) (recorded November 17th 2010 at “Bayside” Keyport, NJ )

“There is a War” is a song off Leonard Cohen’s 1974 album, “New Skin for the Old Ceremony”. Like the title of the album, the content of the song rings true although the names have changed. I met a friend when I went to Rutgers University by the name of Tim Turzo. He lived off campus and I would go to what he called his, “little slice of heaven”, which was a cabin of sorts on a farm in North Brunswick, NJ. I loved going there and looking through his record collection and listening to the music he put on. This is one of those songs Tim turned me on to that just blew me away. In a way, this is a tribute to him just as much as Leonard Cohen.

There is a war between the rich and poor,

A war between the man and the woman.

There is a war between the ones who say there is a war

And the ones who say there isn’t.

Why don’t you come on back to the war, that’s right, get in it,

Why don’t you come on back to the war, it’s just beginning.

 

Well I live with a woman and a child,

The situation makes me kind of nervous.

Yes, I rise up from her arms, she says “I guess you call this love”

I call it service.

 

Why don’t you come on back to the war, don’t be a tourist,

Why don’t you come on back to the war, before it hurts us,

Why don’t you come on back to the war, let’s all get nervous.

 

You cannot stand the man I’ve become,

You much prefer the gentleman I was before.

I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control,

I didn’t even know there was a war.

 

Why don’t you come on back to the war, don’t be embarrassed,

Why don’t you come on back to the war, we can still get married.

 

There is a war between the rich and poor,

There is a war between the man and the woman.

There is a war between the left and right,

There is a war between the black and white,

There is a war between the odd and the even.

 

Why don’t you come on back to the war, pick up your tiny burden,

Why don’t you come on back to the war, let’s all get even,

Why don’t you come on back to the war, can’t you hear me speaking?