Elvis Presley and Marlon Brando Scream Love and Peace into the Darkness

by Chris Michael

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about

Hi Everyone,

I have spent a lot of my life singing, writing, and recording songs, but this is my first full length work. I started working on this record about three years before it was finally finished. There were long periods where progress was not made, when other things took priority. There were a number of short bursts in which enormous progress was made very quickly. There was a lot of help from my friends.

In those three years I pieced together a lot of what one needs to independently record and produce an album like this. One microphone, an interface, a midi controller. A lot of software. Knowledge. Hopefully this means the next one comes a little easier and a little faster.

In the meantime, though, I really hope you enjoy this record. I'm proud of it, and I'm glad you've found it. Maybe tell other people about it too? Perhaps they would enjoy it as well. Thanks for your time and your ears and your brains. I really and truly appreciate it.

Best,

Chris

credits

released September 18, 2016

Matt Cranstoun: Drums/Percussion/Guitar/Radiator/Water Glasses/Vocals
E.W. Harris: Vocals
Ryan Morgan: Vocals
Chris Michael: Vocals/Bass/Guitars/Keys/Percussion/Sequencing

Recorded by Chris Michael, Matt Cranstoun, and E.W. Harris
Produced by Chris Michael and Matt Cranstoun
Written by Chris Michael
Photo/Design/Layout by Reese Muntean

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about

Chris Michael Brooklyn, New York

Chris Michael is a Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter, bass player and guitar eater.

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Track Name: Elvis/Brando
I was walking down the street, I saw Elvis Presley
He was playing his guitar, he was shaking his hips
He said this is the thing I love most in the world but I
Love it all the same when I do it for tips
I love it all the same when I do it for tips

We talked about the the pros and cons of fortune and fame
Of faking your death and changing your name
He said his one desire after living this way
is to be a better man than he was yesterday
To be a better man than he was yesterday

I was walking down the street, I saw Marlon Brando
He was staring into the distance, looking cool and mean
He said I was brought here to inhabit other people
To tell their stories with my body on the screen
To tell their stories with my body on the screen

We talked about the pros and cons of living forever
In a place where the temporal and timeless come together
He said his one desire after living this way
Is to be a better man than he was yesterday
To be a better a better man than he was yesterday

But as we scream into the darkness
As we project our burning image into the night
As we dance upon this imperfect stage
As we struggle for meaning and try to do what's right

There's just one thing we need to know
As our days go burning by

And that's despite the cover of darkness
And the walls we build around us
We're all bound together by this
Burning desire

I was walking down the street, I didn't see a soul
So I stared into the distance and tried to shake my hips
And I thought deeply about the world all around me
And these were the first words to find my lips
These were the first words to find my lips

I'll never get what I need from fortune or fame
Or living forever, or changing my name
My only desire after living this way
Is to be a better man than I was yesterday
To be a better man than I was yesterday
Track Name: Fire in the Attic
I know you had a better way
Just settle down, it's gonna be okay
There's more than one path to a better day
It's coming soon, it's on its way

I know you had a lot to do
You had things to say, business to get down to
Sometimes it's work just getting through
Sometimes it's hard to try to talk to you

There's a fire in the attic
It's been burning all night long
We could run away or we could put it out
But we have to choose before very long
You're just talking static
And I'm almost always gone
And we could run away or we could put it out
But we have to choose before very long

In the afternoon I saw a tree
He was hanging out, he was living free
It might sound strange but it spoke to me
It said the quiet life, man that's the way to be

I turned my head and I looked at you
You were bouncing round like a kangaroo
I had to hold my tongue 'till I turned blue
It's a bad scene, but what you gonna do?

There's a fire in the attic
It's been burning all night long
We could run away or we could put it out
But we have to choose before very long
You're just talking static
And I'm almost always gone
And we could run away or we could put it out
But we have to choose before very long

There's gonna come a moment
Through the smoke and through the flames
When you're holding on with your fingernails
To the edge of a window pane

And with your arms fully extended
There's still twenty-five feet below
And you have to choose if you're holding on
Or if it's time for letting go

There's a fire in the attic
It's been burning all night long
We could run away or we could put it out
But we have to choose before very long
You're just talking static
And I'm almost always gone
And we could run away or we could put it out
But we have to choose before very long
Track Name: God's Own Lover
We were hungry, skinny too
If I had three I'd give you two
Doing anything I could for you
Sleeping on the ground

Every bridge down's a lesson learned
Let's light it up and watch it burn
But when you've got no place left to turn
It's time to settle down
Well, It's time to settle down

I'm thinking on the time
We used to hold on to each other
Like God's Own Lover
Like there was nothing left to discover
Like we were the only thing that could keep us afloat

Now I'm sinking, I'm going down
I can't swim, I'm bound to drown

Wearing clothes from the lost and found
Rambling loose from town to town
Head on the floor listening to the ground
Sitting in this leaky raft they sold me for a boat

Waiting on the lifeline
Just outside the knick of time
Waiting on the dying breath of hope
Waiting on the dying breath of hope

Lights come up it's time to go
Let's load it up and hit the road
If there's one thing lord that I know
It's when to head for the door

But this life's longer than I thought it'd be
It's a whole new game now, don't you see?
Just keep on rising up beautiful, wild, and free
And stronger than before
We're stronger than before

I'm thinking on the time
We used to hold on to each other
Like God's Own Lover
Like there was nothing left to discover
Like we were the only thing that could keep us afloat

Now I'm sinking, I'm going down
I can't swim, I'm bound to drown

Wearing clothes from the lost and found
Rambling loose from town to town
Head on the floor listening to the ground
Listening to that lonesome sound
Of a train running Coney Island bound
Sitting in this leaky raft they sold me for a boat

Waiting on the lifeline
Just outside the knick of time
Waiting on the dying breath of hope
Waiting on the dying breath of hope
Waiting on the dying breath of hope.
Track Name: Master Vein
Out all night what you gonna get?
I was out all night, I amassed debt
I amassed a debt, that I can't pay

Ooh, to the Master Vein

Lost a woman on a losing bet
I looked in the mirror and I looked upset
I looked upset, in the early day

Ooh, to the Master Vein

The way we waste it must be a sin
It soaks us through and then it's lost again
I'm running through my life like I'm chasing a train
Running out of blood from the Master Vein

Fold it over and start again
I'm just a loser who wants to win
I want to win, so I can't stay

Ooh, with the Master Vein

Short time left before I go
But I ain't told no one, so no one knows
No one knows, that I'm on my way

Ooh but the Master Vein

The way we waste it must be a sin
It soaks us through and then it's lost again
I'm running through my life like I'm chasing a train
Running out of blood from the Master Vein

Out all night what you gonna get?
I was out all night, I amassed debt
I amassed a debt, that I can't pay

Ooh, to the Master Vein
Track Name: E.I.N.
I'm gonna shoot myself
Out of a cannon I made myself
Out of all of the things I found
Just lying around the bottom of the deep blue sea

And then I'll go up in style
Baby hang out a while
Just float through the ether in the greatest of ease
Don't you worry 'bout me
I've got everything I need
Everything I need

This old world's hell bent
On tearing itself apart
It don't take no genius, no, to see
That sticking around ain't all that smart

So darling come with me
And I think you're gonna see
That I've got a better plan
So, just take my hand and I'll have
Everything I need
Everything I need

I want to tell y'all 'bout it
I want to tell y'all about everthing I need
I got those, I got those

I got those remarkably compact rocket powered shoes
I got that solar rechargeable technology too
I got my woman, I got my guitar
I got all the whisk(e)y I can drink out of this
Magic bottomless fruit jar
I got everything I need
Everything I need

So

I'm gonna shoot myself
Out of a cannon I made myself
Out of all of the things I found
Just lying around the bottom of the deep blue sea

And then I'll go up in style
Baby hang out a while
Just float through the ether in the greatest of ease
Don't you worry 'bout me
I've got everything I need
Everything I need

With you on my arm baby I've got
Everything I need
Track Name: Can it Wait?
I dreamed I was on the road and I was driving
Listening to Matt Singer and Paul Simon
The weather was great, the list of possibilities extensive
The sky was clear, the sun was out, I just got paid
I was free

But everything else is just so expensive

My eyes are closed tight
Shut to the light
And baby can it wait?
Baby can it wait?
For just a little bit later in the day

I dreamed music played from the sky
No one was around, it was just you and I
There was Rascals in the morning
Gershwin and Mahler afternoons
Dinner time was Sam Cooke, and Otis Redding,
And Bobby Bland

It was commercial-free, no filler, just the tunes

My eyes are closed tight
Shut to the light
And baby can it wait?
Baby can it wait?
For just a little bit later in the day

I dreamed I was a lion and you were a hunter
Everywhere was heavy rain and thunder
We shared a shelter, for what seemed like forever
Then I looked at you, you looked at me, the storm let up
And the sun shone through

And we walked off, hand in paw, together

My eyes are closed tight
Shut to the light
And baby can it wait?
Baby can it wait?
For just a little bit later in the day
Track Name: Love
We've got so much of it
We've got it in spades
We've got an indoor pool of it
We've got a machine that makes waves

On Mondays we swim in it
On Tuesdays we bathe
On odd weeks we hold diving contests three times a day

We've got
So much
Love

Can't even fit your arms 'round it

Love

When it snows, we can sled down it

Love

In a moment of impact
In the compression of space
Whether you're living on cold facts
Or surviving on faith

There's one thing that overcomes
Every difference in taste
You can spread it around
But when you need it
There's enough in one place

We've got
So much
Love

Just like water in the ocean y'all

Love

Hold your breath, it's gonna swallow us all

Just one last thing
For you my friends
It might sound familiar
But let it sink in

We're all just sisters and brothers
Ooh in the end
So even though I said before I'm gonna say it over again

We've got
So much
Love

Ain't no need to fight about it

Love

To the windows, we'll go shout it

Love

Tell me something that I need to know
I'm in the middle of it, I need you too
Tell me something, that I need to know
Track Name: Spark
I said, "Everybody's got to have a dream"
She said, "Dream?"
She spat it out, stomped it down
Said, "I don't think that I should hang around
Any man who believes in dreams."

I said, "What you got against dreams?"
And she said nothing.
I said "What you got against dreams?"
And she said, "I don't like lies or false things,
and what else is a dream?"

She said, "Like there sure are a lot of insurance salesman in my neighborhood. Is that what they dreamed they were going to be? Insurance salesmen in my neighborhood? When they were little boys, were they lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, late in the evening, dreaming about being insurance salesmen in my neighborhood? What a dream!"

I said, "I'll tell you about a dream. A dream is a real, a true, an honest thing. We're all out here cast about, like waves in the sea, we're trying to figure it out. But we're lost. Like children in the darkness. We are lost and we're afraid, trying to find our way, like children in the darkness. But then, in the dark, in the distance, you behold a Spark. And you watch it as it glows. And you hold it in your arms and it explodes. It explodes and lights the night up like the day. And takes my fear away. And I am not afraid. I am not afraid when I see my Spark. I am not afraid! And you see what I mean is that: They call this Spark a dream."
Track Name: Peace
I was lying in bed when I got the notion
I got to get my body to the Atlantic Ocean
I don't need no towel or suntan lotion
Just the sand and the water and the constant motion

I put on my shoes and took to the street
I had to put some sidewalk under these feet
And I set off in the morning heat
Until I got to the place where land and water meet

I took it all in as I lugged around
All the things that I'd been, people I'd found
And the knowledge that after a lifetime of making sound
I'm bound to end up quiet, deep underground

But in this life of mine I can't seem to find no

Peace

We struggle every day just to watch it slip away

From the water in my hair, to the salt on my tongue
From the dirt in my eye, to the smoke in my lungs
We're all built from scraps that we're found among
Just little bits and pieces of what we'll become

When the sun sets down I'm light like a balloon
Full of air, and whisk(e)y, and evening cartoons
And I rise up to meet the summer moon
Until I float just like the chorus of another pop tune

But in this life of mine I can't seem to find no

Peace

We struggle every day just to watch it slip away

I was lying in bed when I got the notion
I got to get my body to the Atlantic Ocean
I don't need no towel or suntan lotion
Just the sand and the water and the constant motion
Track Name: The Last Lines
It's February
The very heaviest middle of the night
We've been waiting on the spring
We've been waiting on the morning light
To reveal itself like a mystery

Lately my friend
He says his throat's been feeling tight
It's a struggle for him to sing
Hell, just breathing, that's a fight
Under the weight of this pathology

We've been sitting for days
Just hoping the snow will melt
But this ain't no labyrinth maze
It's more a conveyor belt

Built in ignorance of need
Just random lengths
And abusive speeds

And maybe it's all decided
Like this ticking time-bomb gene
Making that cancer in your throat

And if it's all been decided
I still think that you should sing
From the top of the opening
To the very last lines that you wrote