A Lion in the Sun

by Brian Andrew Marek

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about

In the summer of 2005, the band I'd led for some six years was losing momentum, purpose and key members. I was feeling pretty burned out on that scene, so I eagerly accepted an invitation to play bass for a long-running alt-country band due to tour Europe - only to be summarily dismissed two months and two gigs into our stateside preparations. I was beginning to suspect that I, as the saying goes, "don't play well with others".

So I fired up the (already obsolete) ADAT machine, chose some songs both old and new, and began the joyously painstaking task of recording a solo album. A SOLO album, for I am fully to blame for every instrument and every voice heard upon this recording. A solo ALBUM, because this was conceived as such, not as a series of unrelated demos or experiments. To put it another way, this is probably the most ambitious project I've ever undertaken. Frankly, I wonder how I managed it!

But while the recording process went fairly briskly (aside from a panic over a damaged tape that nearly nixed "Ten Seventeen Oh Two"), mixing yet again infinitely delayed a promising project (another story for another time). A friend who worked in a commercial recording studio offered to mix the album for free during the studio's downtime, and while we managed to get a few tracks done, time dragged on with no progress, and after a while, he stopped returning my emails. (The original mix of "One More Kiss", by the way, did appear on a hurricane Katrina benefit compilation, "Upstream/Downstream".)

Fast forward to June of 2007. I'm sitting on these tapes, I've got a pair of ears and some decent equipment, why don't I just mix 'em myself and, uh, do something with 'em? Well, I mixed them, edited them, crossfaded them, and mostly enjoyed the result. I decided five of them needed remixing (KIDS: See if you can guess which ones!) but... well, life is full of distractions. I'm not a professional, y'know.

Now it's September of 2008. Somewhere along the line I realized that I'm no closer to having the money to press and release such a thing on my own, and I have no stomach for the notion of "pitching" (ugh) myself to a label. Also, the ADAT machine seems to have given up the ghost for good, so the mixes I have are most likely the only one's I'll ever have.

But I've grown to accept that it is what it is, and I'm proud of what I've done, whatever its faults. And I have the good fortune to live in the age of the music blog, so I can finally release (in the sense of letting something go) this music to the world and not keep it in the closet like so many skeletons. Please enjoy, and know that though I receive no monetary recompense, the right comment is more precious far than gold.

credits

released September 1, 2005

all songs written, arranged, performed, engineered, produced and mixed by Brian Andrew Marek

photography by Kate Mittendorf and Brian Andrew Marek
layout by Brian Andrew Marek

conceived and recorded in the summer of 2005
mixed, edited and crossfaded in July of 2007
split and packaged in September of 2008

special thanks to Jason Rook (for his assistance in recovering a section of "Ten Seventeen Oh Two" from oblivion and supervising some early mixes) and Kate Mittendorf (for her love, inspiration and belief)

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about

Brian Andrew Marek St Louis, Missouri

Brian Andrew Marek has been playing and singing his way in and out of a variety of bands (including Angus Tweed, Not Actual Size, Lemonade, Popcorn, Rocket Park, Bargain Basement and The Vertigo Swirl) for over 25 years and has, in recent years, carved out a low-key, low-fidelity niche with his Bargain Basement recording studio and Rubberstamp Records label. ... more

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Track Name: One More Kiss
there’s a car parked down your street
that never fails to make you dawdle
‘cos it brings to mind a girl
who drove that very make and model

though you know it isn’t hers
‘cos its production year is newer
you keep thinking of the girl
and wondering what happened to her

and you didn’t think you’d ever show a soft spot
and you didn’t think she’s someone you would miss
and you didn’t think you’d ever wish for one more kiss

there’s a sappy old time love song
playing on the oldies station
she had sung it in the rental car
while you were on vacation

though you’d heard that song your first time
many years before you’d met her
it’s become one more reminder
of the fact you can’t forget her

you’ve been picturing her smile
it’ll be a while ‘til you are free
you’ve been dreaming of her face
you just can’t erase her memory
Track Name: Bad
you’d like to think that you’re the victim of this game
you’d like to think that you’ve been had
you’d like to think that I’m a villain with no shame
you’d like to think that I’m all bad
but I’m only as bad as you want me to be
I’m only as bad as you want me to be

you’d like to think your happiness is in my hands
you’d like to think I made you sad
you’d like to think that my requests are all demands
you’d like to think that I’m all bad
but I’m only as bad as you want me to be
I’m only as bad as you want me to be

and every time we meet
it ends the same
you take all that I have
I only take the blame

you’d like to think that you’re the victim of this game
you’d like to think that you’ve been had
you’d like to think that I’m a villain with no shame
you’d like to think that I’m all bad
but I’m only as bad as you want me to be
I’m only as bad as you want me to be
Track Name: You'd Have to Love Me to Hate Me That Much
I've read what you wrote and I've heard what you said
and I'm told you've been calling me names
so why do grown women like you always end up
resorting to little girl games
you're telling your friends what to think about me
just in case they can't really decide
you star as the victim with me as the villain
in stories with only one side

you'd have to love me to hate me that much
you know it's only a crutch
tell me you're sick at the thought of my touch
you'd have to love me to hate me that much

I've read what you wrote and I've heard what you said
and I'm sorry I caused so much pain
but why do grown women like you always end up
becoming a little insane
if you search my eyes for the roots of a rift
you will always find what you expect
if you try to trick me or push me or test me
you'll always prove what you suspect

you'd have to love me to hate me that much
you know it's only a crutch
tell me that I'm just an old such-and-such
you'd have to love me to hate me that much

you'd have to love me to hate me that much
you know it's only a crutch
tell me I didn't come through in the clutch
you'd have to love me to hate me that much
Track Name: Laughing Boy
beware the laughing boy
whose heart is cold as ice
beware the laughing boy
the living plot device
you know there's something tragic
underneath that grinning greasepaint mask
so don't even ask

beware the laughing boy
who fell out of the groove
beware the laughing boy
the sovereign of remove
you know there's something tragic
underneath the blinding spotlight glare
that he can't repair

he's always on
he's always gone
he's always somewhere you can't reach him
he's just a tool
he's just a fool
he thinks there's nothing you can teach him

beware the laughing boy
who disappears in smoke
beware the laughing boy
punch line to his own joke
you know there's something tragic
underneath that rapid fire jive
how does he survive
Track Name: If You're of the Mind
if you're of the mind that life is but a dance
if you don't know the moves then you don't stand a chance
and if you're of the mind that life is but a joke
you'd better hope they laugh when you go up in smoke

but I can't shake the feeling that when all is said and done
there's something fundamentally good, pure and right about this life

if you're of the mind that life is just to die
you'd better not expect an explanation why
and if you're of the mind that life is far too short
then reach the other side and send me a report

but I can't shake the feeling that when all is said and done
there's something fundamentally good, pure and right about this life

if you're of the mind that life is but a dance
if you don't know the moves then you don't stand a chance
and if you're of the mind that life is but a joke
you'd better hope they laugh when you go up in smoke
if you're of the mind
if you're of the mind
if you're of the mind
if you're of the mind
Track Name: Poison Pen
once again burned by a friend
this freeway has become a dead end
faith was blind, no papers signed
got no recourse, my counsel resigned
just said to put it out of my mind

but it’s okay
‘cos I will never have to see you again
and since that day
you’re just a blot of ink
that fuels my poison pen

hide your eyes, wear your disguise
regular Joe, plain spoken but wise
in your wake, promises break
how does it feel to know you’re a fake
my trust in you was my first mistake

I hope one day you’ll learn the meaning of regret
‘cos I cannot forgive what I cannot forget

how about easing my doubt
try to explain why you sold me out
something died deep down inside
when it occurred to me that you’d lied
saying you’d always be on my side
Track Name: Bloodless Love
there ain’t no use
when every crime has an excuse
I don’t need your bloodless love
I kill the time
I lose myself in bitter rhyme
I don’t need your bloodless love

you’ve gone and done a very wicked thing
you’ve turned my heaven into hell
you’ve sucked the juice and pulp and spit the seeds
and offered me an empty shell

the waiver’s signed
you’re out of sight, not out of mind
I don’t need your bloodless love
I can’t forget
a thousand feelings of regret
I don’t need your bloodless love

why must we speak when there is nothing left to talk about
what benefit exists in calling you a friend
why must you tell me that you love me after walking out
why am I, some months later, waiting for the end

is this my fate
a weak alternative to hate
I don’t need your bloodless love
I’ll stick with spite
don’t want you thinking you were right
I don’t need your bloodless love
Track Name: All Alone
had the world upon a string
until that string was cut
must’ve reaped something I’d sown
but I just don’t know what
I’m all alone, yeah yeah yeah

I could use a real friend
who’ll stay through thick and thin
I just have acquaintances
that line up as I win
I’m all alone, yeah yeah yeah

but then again, it’s nothing new
‘cos I’ve been lonely my life through

gotta keep on moving and I
gotta stay on track
I don’t know what lies ahead
just know I can’t turn back
I’m all alone, yeah yeah yeah
Track Name: Sleeping in the Sunshine
I see a little bit of me in you
a little bit of you in me
I see a little bit of me in you
I hope that you’ll agree
woah, sleeping in the sunshine

I’ve been thinking ‘bout you every day
and dreaming ‘bout you every night
I’ve been thinking ‘bout you every day
I hope that that’s alright
woah, sleeping in the sunshine

I’d like to spend a little time with you
so spend a little time with me
I’d like to spend a little time with you
I hope that you’ll be free
woah, sleeping in the sunshine
Track Name: Wish I Wasn't Lying
if a friend is someone that is guaranteed to stay
what should I call all those people who have turned away
wish I wasn't lying when I said I didn't care
wish I didn't have to be aware

even written down the accusations seem to shout
could I be the monster that I've read so much about
wish I wasn't lying when I said I don't believe
wish someone would grant me a reprieve

but my stiff upper lip is just about to slip
they've hit me where I live and something's got to give

loyalties can redefine the meaning of a word
strangers tend to fall in with whichever side they've heard
wish I wasn't lying when I said it's no big deal
wish sometimes I didn't have to feel
Track Name: Blood on the Tiles
I wouldn't want to wear the shoes
you wore the day I lit your fuse
and turned your reasons to remains
I wouldn't want to wear the shirt
you wore as you discovered hurt
how could I bear to see the stains

my sickly smiles won't save the day
blood on the tiles will never wash away

you didn't make it very far
the day you crashed your mother's car
I drove six blocks to take you home
I parked the car and walked inside
and fell asleep with you beside
but woke up terribly alone

and this apartment's far too small
I cannot find a place to hide
I could've sworn I saw your ghost
but they tell me you haven't died

and so I find you in this place
reflecting on a life's mistakes
because there's nothing else to do
this has to be some kind of test
'cos when I look at all the rest
I see they're not at all like you
Track Name: When You Sweat
when you sweat
your sweet pheromones speak to me
when you sweat
I’m a slave to your chemistry
you don’t smell like a product, no
you don’t smell like a product, no
you don’t smell like nobody but you

when you sweat
your musk simply intoxicates
when you sweat
all my powers rejuvenate
you don’t smell like a product, no
you don’t smell like a product, no
you don’t smell like nobody but you

it only confirms what I’d always known
there’s proof of our love in bouquet alone

when you sweat
how I feel has no precedent
when you sweat
there’s no time to be hesitant
you don’t smell like a product, no
you don’t smell like a product, no
you don’t smell like nobody but you
Track Name: Ten Seventeen Oh Two
ten seventeen oh two at 8 am
I was a little too awake
I’d banged my head against her wall again
but her foundation wouldn’t break
an ashtray buried under cigarettes
tomato sauce encrusted bowl
no more sweet music on my stereo
no more sweet music in my soul

the darkness will destroy you if you let it
and I’m just glad that I lived to regret it
so “sorry” if I ain’t already said it
there’ll be no repeat performance

ten seventeen oh two at 9 am
the world was just a bit too grey
so many ears I could have spoken to
but I had nothing left to say
a lone bare bulb that strained to cut the gloom
a bottle of my baby’s wine
sat waiting for a glimpse of something good
sat waiting for some kind of sign

the darkness will destroy you if you let it
and I’m just glad that I lived to regret it
so “sorry” if I ain’t already said it
there’ll be no repeat performance

ten seventeen oh two at 10 am
I was a little too alive
drove off to buy myself a remedy
a cure I hoped not to survive
cold sheets, cold blanket and a freezing bed
blinds drawn to keep the morning out
deliver me from all my failures, Lord
deliver me from all my doubt

the darkness will destroy you if you let it
and I’m just glad that I lived to regret it
so “sorry” if I ain’t already said it
there’ll be no repeat performance
Track Name: Little Darling
little darling, trust in fate to treat you like a friend
little darling, this is the beginning, not the end
I’m certain me and you
are going to see this through
the way we always do

little darling, you think that your head’s going to explode
little darling, this is just a rough spot in the road
I don’t doubt you and I
might share a little cry
but somehow we’ll get by

you told me that you’d never known such love before
but you ain’t seen nothing ‘til you’ve seen it grow
you told me that you’d never known such love before
so you’d have to be a fool to let it go