"An Awkward Time with The Debutante Hour" (March 2012)

1. DOO-WOP GIRL
I’m going to outer space on Saturday
On Saturday I’ll be in space
I'm not sure! (She's not sure.)
I’m not sure about when I will get back to earth

Ill be sure, I’ll be sure                                  
I’ll be sure to make it back to be your doo-wop-girl

Doo wop girl, your doo-wop girl
I’ll be sure to make it back to be your doo wop girl
To sing

Doo wop…

My heart goes mambo jambo in the Congo
In the Congo mambo jambo
Came here to get away, get away
And all I can do is think about you every day
And I’m not sure how long I’ll stay
Heart goes mambo jambo in the Congo and it sounds this way

Doo wop…

And you can get at me by telepathy
Telepathy is how you get at me
I’m also taking messages cosmically
And I’ll hit you back astrologically
Astrologically, cosmically
Telepathy is how you get at me…

Well I’m in town and you’re around
She's around and you're in town
I’m ready to go, but you’ve changed the show
You don’t need me as your doo-wop lady anymore
Anymore, anymore
You don’t need as your doo-wop lady, any more

To sing…

2. PARKING
Hydrant, too small (too small, too small)
Driveway, alley (driveway alley, driveway alley)
Too small, too small (too small, too small)
Wrong side; I need a Tuesday/Friday 

Hydrant, walkway
If Pennsylvania had moved up.
Funeral home, church, bad block—you’ll get broken into
Do you think I can fit there.

Do you think I can fit there?...
I think I see something… 

No, it’s a
Hydrant, too small (too small, too small)
Driveway, alley (driveway alley, driveway alley)
Too small, too small (too small, too small)
Wrong side; I need a Tuesday/Friday. 

Hydrant, walkway|
If Pennsylvania had moved up.
Funeral home, church, bad block—you’ll get broken into
Do you think I can.. 

How many gods must I appease today.
How many gods did I offend.
In the city, there seem so many more than in the midwest.
They say you just have to want it without wanting it, but
That takes more cool than I’ve got—I wasn’t born with a lot.
So now I’m stuck wanting the things that I want and wondering
Do you think I’ll fit?

3. MILESTONE
I hit a landmark
it was an ugly wreck
in a small town 
I lay my head down down
on the pavement
in that small town

I hit a milestone
but no one noticed
in that small town 
I blew out candles
and then an eyelash
in that small town 

Milestones they come and go and you don’t know need to tell me so
this one I destroyed I confess
cause I saw that it was coming but I couldn’t stop from making a mess

It always seems that there will be light at the end of the tunnel
but the end always snakes off in the dark
and the light that shines off on the horizon
is just another pair of headlights, coming on strong 

Do you ever get angry at the weather
in this big town 
Just kick a cloud’s ass
that’s what my friend says
in this big town

Just show no mercy
no sign of  weakness
in this big town 
I get so tired,
I lay my head down
in this big town

Milestones they come and go and you don’t know need to tell me so
this one I destroyed I confess
cause I saw that it was coming but I couldn’t stop from making a mess

4. PLEASE COME HOME
I can’t treat you any different from how it’s always been.
I don’t know how to make anything better; I never did.
And I wonder how my life would have been if the cards were shuffled just one more minute,
But that never happened; now it feels wrong, without you in it.

Please come home.

You can hate me as much as you used to.
You can blame me for anything you want.
What I wouldn’t give to walk into a room and find you in it.

Please come home.

I can’t say, I’ll ever understand you.
I’ll most likely always get you wrong.
What I wouldn’t give to sit next to you with all those problems you never let anyone solve.

Please come home. 

5. SEXY SISTER
This is a story about my sister
How she surprised us all
Quiet melancholic and awkward
When she was small
She wore flannel shirts and umbros
Sambas and dickies
But magic things can happen
Thanks to puberty

Cuz she’s my sexy sister
My super sexy sister
You can see her in men’s magazines
Cuz she’s my sexy sister
She takes all the sexy pictures
Sister can you save some sexy for me

Some like big butts and they cant lie
Other brothers cant deny
Her physique is pretty flashy
Have you seen her in her panties
Black lingerie page forty five

Cuz she’s my sexy sister
My super sexy sister
You can see her in men’s magazines
Cuz she’s my sexy sister
She takes all the sexy pictures
Sister can you save some sexy for me

It’s an awkward sensation
Sexy sister pics across the nation
Are those really her breasts
Or did they photoshop her chest

Pho-to-shop

Cuz she’s my sexy sister
My super sexy sister
You can see her in men’s magazines
Cuz she’s my sexy sister
She takes all the sexy pictures
Sister can you save some sexy for me

Seeeeeeexy  Siiiiiister
You can see her in men’s magazines
Well Imma take my own sexy pictures
Just like my sister And photo-shop the shit outta me.

6. EVERYBODY THINKS I’M A SPY (but I’m not)
Everybody thinks I’m a spy, but I’m not
They think that every word I say is a lie, but it’s not
The pen with which I write down some notes is just a pen that I bought - not a mic
There is no camera taping you from my hat, not during the day not during the night 

Oh, the humanity
I’m not a spy, just a curious guest from a foreign country 
If your housecat isn’t sitting at home, he isn’t with me, held for questioning
If the kitchen isn’t just so, it wasn’t my fault, I just needed some salt
Didn’t mean to spill my wine on the floor, it wasn't to distract you from anything more
There is no camera taping you from my hat, I just like this hat and it’s cold
That’s what hats are made for

Oh, the humanity
it's not a pose
I'm really a student of ethnomusicology...

7. ILLUSIONS (M.Bovary’s)
Money is for spending
why bother pretending
your body’s not for feeling.
give it something good.

Bon bons are for eating
As long as he is treating.
Satisfaction is too fleeting
to do what you should.

I’ve got illusions.
I’m gonna lose them (use them)
That’s what they’re there for.

So the way out of naivete’s not always respectable.
I’ve got to be here all flesh and blood and three-dimensional.
I found the way out my mama’s belly without pretention (just like you….)
So gimme gimme gimme gimme the best of these dimensions.

Wild oats are for sowing.
Secrets are for knowing.
Just climb into a cab, and tell the man to drive. 

Life is for the living.
Rules are for the breaking.
Your heart will do the same no matter how you try.

I’ve got illusions...

8. M.BOVARY
I want so many things.
I want you to adore me.
I believed in everything
the storybooks told me.

I don’t understand why people are born
Only to want what will never be yours.

I want so many things.
Other girls have them.
How do you get from A to B.
How does anything happen.

I’ve never been good at being happy.
I’d learn how if I could, but I just keep on wanting everything.

Can you blame me? 

9. LIMA
Forecast for rain, in Lima on their wedding day
Don’t be sorry for rain in Lima on their wedding day

Because the rain felt like kisses
Everyone gets kisses
The rain felt like kisses in Lima 

Juan met a Maria in Lima on their wedding day

And to them the rain felt like kisses
Everyone gets kisses
The rain felt like kisses in Lima

She used her eyes made him think that she’s his prize; I do
They both arrived alone neither wanted to come and be reminded of their solitude which they ran from
In spite of their wishes they felt rain and kisses

And to them the rain felt like kisses
Everyone gets kisses
The rain felt like kisses in Lima

10. A BOOK YOU’LL NEVER READ
I wouldn’t call it a labor of love
I wouldn’t say that I loved you very much
I didn’t know when I got to that place
That seven years is a long time to waste

I wouldn’t say that I ever really cared
I wouldn’t swear by the words that we shared
I didn’t know when I started down this road
That these last 7 years would leave me oh so cold

It took Phoenician architects seven years / to build a temple for King Solomon
And Michelangelo possessed by God or greed took seven years to paint the Sistine Chapel (“it was actually five”) 

7 Wonders of the World, 7 boys for 7 girls,
7 angels to condemn our deadly sins,
7 steps to fully grieve, 7 Delphic prophecies
and in 7 years I wrote a book you’ll never read

Oh—A Book You’ll Never Read

 

"The Birth and Death of Meaning" (March 2011)

1.YOUR WORLDVIEW GETS ME DOWN
People are trying to get and break and destroy you,
People are going to get whatever they want.
Hurricanes blow through in torrents drunk, shipwrecked as sailors,
No place is safe for a con man and his debutante.

Your wine stained old curtain got lost in a sudden tornado,
Your cabaret girls and their wigs hopped a train to LA.
The auctioneer sold the menagerie off for mere pebbles,
There was nothing to do but to get on your knees and pray.

Lord, I can’t help it, I feel so unnecessary.
Lord, I’m redundant and worry that one day I’ll drown.
Well I’m not the lord and you didn’t ask my opinion,
but I gotta say honey your worldview gets me down.

La la la Stringbean it was a joke, the ox and his yoke, we were all damned.
Tra la la Stringbean you were a villain I was a damsel it was a scam.

You locked the door one two three four click clock click clack times,
Certain the god of the sea was conspiring to flood out all the bad ones.
All signs were pointing to hell and then straight to the devil,
Weeks passed on the couch, we read Sartre when we wanted some fun.

Then one Sunday morning I ran for the next locomotive,
My favorite stockings got left in the frenzied despair.
But the one little token of you I could not forsake, dear,
Was the lock I had cut of your cherry red clown colored hair.

You always sang
Lord….

I’ve made a new friend and he’s world worn and cautious as I am.
He’s hopeful to boot it’s an easier premise to take.
He’s no evil villain but more than a little vaudevillian,
When we laugh at the meaning of things there’s not too much at stake.

Lord…

2. DEVIL SONG
I want to meet the devil. I'd say, just be yourself.
I don't want a caricature or a replica, not anyone else.
I want to meet the devil, I'd say, don't be vague.
I don't want to hear what people say you ought to be or any of your favorite cliches.
I want to meet the devil. I've got a feeling, we're much the same -
parents who never understood us, said they loved us, then wished we would change.

They say you're on TV in anything that amuses me.
They say you're my nieghbor's wife, anyone who bleed without a knife.
You're there when I'm feeling good; youre the cause of me feeling bad.
You're in every mean conversations that people have.

You're in the dad who never got the cadillac he wanted.
You're in the mom who was too panicked to have any fun.
You're in the kid who only learned how to kill a marriage and any foolish notion of unconditional love.

You're in the part that believes you're bad, so you've got to do something to make you good,
so you read the Bible on the train; it's clear cut and understood.
And you might yell on the train about Jesus no matter if it's rude.
You're in the faces of the passengers who'd kill you if they could.

You're in my coffee, my toothpaste, my hand sanitizer my underwear,
my inappropriate inner thoughts, my embarrassing outer despair,
the jealousy I try and hide that my friends can sense but are too nice to say.
Every bit of smallness I know is dumb but feel anyway.

Where is the devil? Where else is the Devil?

3.  MIRACLE BIRTH
The virgin of a carpenter was visited in the night,
By an angel who told her that a baby was in sight.
She had it in a manger and the wise men came with myrrh,
And the angel chorus sang about the miracle birth.

Miracle birth of the lamb of God,
There was no hanky-panky but no one felt odd,
Because the misery of life became the miracle of birth,
And true or not disciples spread it all around the earth.

Origin stories when the planets collide,
And the chaos and the curse of the miracle birth.
And then the existential quandary and the moral quagmire,
Honey, I’m just glad you were born.

I’m just glad you were born,
So I don’t have to be here alone.

A white elephant came to Queen Maya with a lotus,
To tell her she was pregnant which I guess she hadn’t noticed.
So she told it to her husband but her husband didn’t mind,
‘Cause everybody knew the baby coming was divine.

And the villagers rejoiced when the baby sprang forth,
And he took seven steps towards the lotuses in the north.
The wise men wrote it down and they put it in a book,
The story of the Buddha and his miracle birth.

Origin stories…

Zeus woke up with a horrible migraine,
Like someone with a sword was hacking right into his brain.
By noon it got so bad ow thud thud thud,
That he asked Hephaestus to crack his skill.

And out she sprang, a warrior full grown.
Athena, Minerva, a goddess was born.
Once in mortal fear Zeus had swallowed up her mom,

But now everything was cool and everybody got along.

Origin stories…

4.   GALAX
They drove on down to the mountains,
to see what they could find.
The snow don’t come in winter any more,
so they pitched a tent among the neon signs.

The tent was on the border
of some big mart parking lot.
They hid out under cover,
and in the bright old lights they saw each other.

They reached that little town,
drank some Appalachian wine.
The moon sat still, cast a honeysuckle spell,
love can’t always be the wiser.

Galax, I was hoping you might be a train
Galax, I was hoping you might take me away.

She loved him for a season,
to see what she could find.
Forty church bells rang for them,
but she couldn’t stay, she strayed off at times.

She walked on down to the river,
to see what she could find.
The water hadn’t frozen yet,
so she stepped right in, and toed the tide.

He found her there in the moonlight,
on the starriest night in the sky.
The mountains crept upon them,
and they knew they’d used their given time.

Galax…

The water it was calling
out an ancient river song.
They obeyed, stripped their clothes to wade,
got lost down the river with the tide.

In the nightlife on the blue ridge,
where the taillights look like arrows,
two young kids broke a honeysuckle spell to see
love can’t make the river wiser.

Galax…

5. SUNDAY IN THE TRAILER
David Bowie is an alien
Pho and his brother too
Mike's half alien and half machine
Kate Bush  - it's a toss up
Bjork - it's pretty obvious
 
You took the post card off the wall where you had hung things up instead of TV and wondered if people still paint like that ever. 1912.
Girls fishing.
 
In a black dress.  In a white dress.  We guess at what it means,
You write a message you'll mail to me later.
I wonder about Joanie
and her alcoholic boyfriend. What do women like that do?  Getting older, didn't live her life like the others.  I wonder for Joanie, but secretly I wonder for me.
 
You said I was elegant as you pressed my shoulders
I thought of the claws of my feet
I tried to hide them, but you found them eventually.
 
If I were air
If I were thoughts that didn't dare
To materialize into flesh
What would I have to kiss you with? 

6.  WATCH CARRIE EAT
You’ll not only know what she ate,
you can see her appreciate
her company and her cuisine
From rugula to linguin-
e. She’ll either find things extreme-
ly to her liking, or she’ll or she’ll
She’ll let you know.

Watch Carrie eat…

She can’t help it if she’s that way.
It’s in her DNA
like the picture of Deborah Kerr
she kept in her wallet. How far
has Carry come since the days when she was six
when she only ate… yeah, she only ate lamb…….. only lamb chop.

Watch Carrie eat...

7.  ORGANIZING MY PLANNER FOR NEXT WEEK
I'm organizing my planner for next week; someplace for the mess in my head.
I don't care to be enlightened; give me some new tricks for living instead.
Can you plan surprises, like hope or skirting inevitable dread.

The dread that killed your father, and all your mother's regrets. Regrets.
That you swore would never get to you because you're different from them….

Hah ah aha ha ha haa
Hah ah aha ha ha haa

And you fight hard not be an asshole like the kind you know is in your head.
And then you fight hard not to fight like all the gurus said. And then
you're right back at it again…

I don't want to be afraid of any of my greed or my ugliness.
Let none of it surprise me, and I don't want to go around having
conversations and
shaking people’s hands, while everyone's uncomfortable because
of all the bile I think
I'm so good at choking back
But it might happen anyway in which case I'll have to learn
Forgiveness and start all over again.

Learn for forgiveness and start all over again..
Learn forgiveness and start all over again…
Hah ah aha ha ha haa
Hah ah aha ha ha haa 

8.  FOR MYSELF
Never wanted the moon for myself,
I couldn’t pull it down.
Where would I keep it?
How could I sleep at night with all that glow around?

Never wanted the sea for myself,
I couldn’t swim it.
And all those dead and dying fish
I’d be responsible for -
I couldn’t stomach it. I couldn’t stomach it.

Never wanted the sky for myself,
I couldn’t hold it.
All those clouds would start to shift
And I’d find myself adrift -
I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t live like that.

But I want you
For myself.
I want you for myself.

9. SOMETIMES I WONDER ABOUT THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE
As cruel as Heliogabalus
He’ll light the fire to hear us scream
He won’t explain doodleysquat to us
But wants telegraphic messages on everything.
It’s not anything they teach you in church.
Sometimes I wonder about the creator of the universe.

Prostitutes surrender
To their pimps like
They’re surrendering to Jesus
While beautifying their insides
With bad chemicals causing suicide, theft, murder, insanity or worse.
Sometimes I wonder about the creator of the Universe.

Production is breaking
The earth before it can recharge.
And the things that we’re making
are lousy by and large --
washday products, cat food and pop.
Sometimes I wonder when will it all stop

Destructive testing to see
how much we can take.
He ignores our protesting and he
Sets out to make us break.
He’s slightly insane and a little perverse.
Sometimes I wonder about the creator of the universe.

Someplace where you’d need
A rubber vagina for lonesomeness
Ain’t any place to be
But there doesn’t seem much choice for us.
It’s not very fair and a little absurd
Sometimes I wonder about the creator of the universe.

I don’t know what it means
all this suffering collectively.
We could be all machines
Set to love defectively.
There ain’t no good answer; that’s just how it works.
Sometimes I wonder about the creator of the universe.

10.  ZOMBIES ARE ZEN
Except for that insatiable appetite in them
They need you alive, they need you alive just to make you dead.
See, they’re in it for the process,
not the wins or the losses
which makes them pretty zen.

They’re not easy.
It’s not their fault, it’s you and me.
It can mess with your head.
Are they alive or are they dead?
They’re that annoying in between,
the embodiment of extremes,
but in some ways just like us except for that insatiable appetite

for brains and guts….
it’s nothing personal,
Brains and guts
Brains and guts...

11.  4TH DIMENSION
You can run until you’re out of breath.
You can jump until your face turns red.
My head hurts trying to know which way to go.

It’s a simple movement in
a direction I’ve never been.
That’s where I want to go.

I want to see insides.
Show them to me.
I want to see insides of everything.

I‘m not the king of pointland,
so why try for that kind of bliss.
I’m configured to miss
The point which is all is connectedness.
But I’m not a king, or even a point, so the point is moot.
My desire to aspire is acute.

What if the movement is no movement at all.
What if the trick is to be still until there’s nowhere to go.

Then we could see insides.
Show them to me.
We could see insides of everything.
I want to see....
I want to see insides of everything. 

12.  CROAK HISS & SPUTTER
I’ve been myself for as long as I can remember.
The sweet mess of us reminds me of that from time to time.
The faster this train sped, babe, the slower we climbed.
I’d sure love it though, if maybe, someday, you’d be mine.

Somedays It gets hard To talk To you
Somedays it gets hard To talk At all

The highway haybales stretched for days and days,
dinosaurs in tourist towns were made of papier mache.
The camera caught us looking bad so we didn’t stay
I see it now, the photos of the furrows, the bridges and the boroughs, don’t get changed.

The old man’s stone stew had tons of food to eat, or so we heard.
Wax dripped off the cylinders, frogs chirped like birds.
The archive dust got windexed off by archive nerds,
but still we turned, we croak hiss & sputtered into words (things we said, there they were)

Somedays It gets hard to explain what I mean To you
Somedays It gets hard to explain anything At all

Sailor talk and sea salt don’t always fit in.
The stories we got told as little kids don’t make metaphors for everything,
and spools of time like fishing line don’t always get reeled in
but still we turn, we croak hiss and sputter into words

Somedays It gets hard to explain what I mean To you
Somedays It gets hard to explain anything At all

I’ve been myself for as long as I can remember.
The sweet mess of us reminds me of that from time to time.
The faster this train sped, the slower we climbed.
I’d sure love it though, if maybe, someday, you’d be mine 

13.  SCHEHEREZADE
Scheherazade, you’re such a pistol.
You’re skipping the qualifying rounds and going straight for the big test.
You’ve got some balls, Scheherazade.
You must be bored, Scheherazade.
You’re young, and you don’t even know to be afraid yet.

Keep talking. Keep talking.
You’ve got that golden tongue.
Keep talking, keep talking, tell us another one.

It’s a father’s job to tell you you’re going to suck.
To tell you to stay home. You’re going to fuck things up.
He’s got to keep you safe until the boredom makes you run
So safe until even a possible beheading looks like fun

He gave no choice to you, what were you supposed to do.
Twiddle your thumbs and act like now’s not the time to be dumb.
He gave no choice to you, what were you supposed to do.
It’s a every daughter’s job to say, no dad, that’s enough.

Keep talking. Keep talking.
You’ve got that golden tongue.
Keep talking, keep talking, tell us another one.

 

14.  BE YOURSELF
When contentment looks nice on other people
Was it sweat or smarts or genetics, I wonder
I’ve wanted to be old ladies and anyone
who seemed to have it in their cellular structure
I think must have been born with some too
But I lost it somehow. I ignored or forgot it
when I was13 and thought I’d be skinnier and popular without it.

No one told me then nor I wouldn’t listen
that all that time with yourself could be more fun
If you didn’t keep wanting to be someone
Someone else…

Now, you have to be yourself, god knows, no one else is going to do it
Who’s going to see the things you saw and think the thoughts you thought or wring the regrets you’ve wrought.
Who’s going to wade through that doom with all the copious coping mechanisms handed down to you, if you don’t, who’ll do it?
It’s your special combination of doubts and you finding your own way out and remembering your own way in to who you’ve always been
You’ve got to be yourself god knows, no one else is gonna do it; you just wake up, don’t give yourself too much hell, that’s all there is to it

So even if they assume you’re an Alyssa Milano, and you know you’re more like Jennifer Jason Leigh,
don’t let it affect what you do tomorrow, because there’s only one you you can be (except for that other several dozen)
You've got to be yourself. God knows.

 

We're slipping in a special set at the Slipper Room in NYC, October 3, 8 PM! Get your tickets here! (Use password "awkward" for discounted tickets! $7 instead of $10...) 

And did you ever see our new video for Doo Wop Girl? Made by the incomparable Deb Magocsi, Amy Pearl and Thomas Bayne. Enjoy!