Utopian Flying Machines

by Brian Andrew Marek

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about

Disconcertingly shaky, held together by duct tape and dreams but somehow managing to occasionally achieve flight, these are my "utopian flying machines" - 14 diverse tracks banged out in my basement over the last seven months at no small expense to my brain cells (not that I'm complaining). Recorded on the same old school Tascam reel-to-reel four track that produced "The Vertigo Swirl", this lastest batch of songs and sounds finds me yet again looting and pillaging all my favorite genres for an eclectic pop/rock blend lyrically covering such topics as love, death, work, politics, ghosts, Walt Winston, conspiracy theories and, of course, peanut butter toast and tea. As is often the case, my ambitions outstripped the facilities at my disposal, resulting in a murky, low fidelity echo of the classic rock productions I love - hopefully these sonic imperfections are more interesting than offensive to the listener. So here it is, a distorted aural snapshot of myself in 2009, unwashed and naked (but making funny faces here and there), setting off in my psychedelic airship. Enjoy the flight.

credits

released August 17, 2009

Kate Marek played bass guitar on "Show Up on My Doorstep" and sang on "Believe Me", "Doin' tha Winston", "Dark Things", "Screamin' Lawdy" and "Peanut Butter Toast and Tea"
Shane Bert played tambourine and sang on "Screamin' Lawdy"
all other vocal and instrumental performances by Brian Andrew Marek

all compositions by Brian Andrew Marek except "Peanut Butter Toast and Tea" (Marek/Bert)

engineered and produced by Brian Andrew Marek in The Bargain Basement, January-July 2009

photography by Kate Marek in The Affordable Attic
cover art and title from a 19th century French chromolithograph "Les Utopies de la Navigation Aerienne au Siecle Dernier"

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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: Hundred Year Old House
why am I hearing music
why am I hearing conversations
why am I hearing music
in my hundred year old house

have I begun to lose it
have I had a hallucination
have I begun to lose it
in my hundred year old house

are we host to a ghost
sending us a message from the great beyond
poltergeists? Jesus Christ!
someone left the TV on

why am I hearing music
why am I hearing conversations
why am I hearing music
in my hundred year old house
Track Name: Believe Me
I'm not the new messiah, I'm not the chosen one
this ain't a holy man you're seeing
I'm awkward and self-conscious when showing anyone
the circumstances of my being, believe me

I mask the tears with laughter, the fact with fantasy
and add a chapter to your story
I wish that I could tell you things aren't how they seem
but this is me in all my glory, believe me

I'll lay it all on the line for you, friend
there are characters in every scene
winners and losers and wise men and fools
but I'm always somewhere in between

I'm not a football hero, I'm not a movie star
I've seen no profit from my dreaming
I'm equally unable to be as others are
to be a normal human being, believe me
Track Name: Doin' tha Winston
I was twenty-odd years old, feelin lonely’, feelin’ bored
And the drizzly afternoons just mocked my tears
But my head was turned around by a special kind of sound
That had found its way into my happy ears

Now I find my shoulders are a bit less tense
And assembly instructions make a bit more sense
And I ain’t gonna worry ‘bout the debts and rents and bills
‘cos I’m doin’ tha Winston, doin’ tha Winston
It’ll cure whatever makes you ill
Doin’ tha Winston, doin’ tha Winston
Do tha Winston ‘til you’ve had your fill

So I told my friend the news and he said he’d heard it too
Long ago but it was just like yesterday
For despite ensuing times he could still recall the rhymes
And the melodies that never die away

Now he finds his shoulders are a bit less tense
And assembly instructions make a bit more sense
And he ain’t gonna worry ‘bout the debts and rents and bills
‘cos he’s doin’ tha Winston, doin’ tha Winston
It’ll cure whatever makes you ill
Doin’ tha Winston, doin’ tha Winston
Do tha Winston ‘til you’ve had your fill

Now we find our shoulders are a bit less tense
And assembly instructions make a bit more sense
And we ain’t gonna worry ‘bout the debts and rents and bills
‘cos we’re doin’ tha Winston, doin’ tha Winston
It’ll cure whatever makes you ill
Doin’ tha Winston, doin’ tha Winston
Do tha Winston ‘til you’ve had your fill
Do tha Winston ‘til you’ve had your fill
Spread the word and soon the whole world will
Track Name: Just a Song (One Thirty Oh Nine)
Syd Barrett's on cassette
auto-reverse so he's forever
helping me to forget
all about ties and how they sever us
when the hope is gone
there is just a song
to pull me through

this shirt is getting rank
as are my Peter Pan green longjohns
rather be high than tanked
but Captain Morgan's like a long gone friend
when the hope is gone
there is just a song
to pull me through

I tried my hand at mending fences
with such disastrous consequences
as soon as I came to my senses
I wanted things back how they were

how could I raise a hand
overwhelmed by frustrated anger
how could I understand
I'm always last to know I'm dangerous
when the hope is gone
there is just a song
to pull me through
Track Name: Stop the Show
saw a film 'bout a world of wealth
and the coolest, latest stuff
where a man died of failing health
'cos he didn't earn enough - ENOUGH!

stop the show, I gotta go
the whole thing makes me sick
stop the show, I gotta go
it's cut me to the quick

saw a film 'bout a wicked king
who they said had stole the crown
spent eight years doing wicked things
and it brought his kingdom down,
down, down

still I hear the soundtrack everywhere
see the actors' faces that just stare
feel the apprehension in the air
smell the stink of people who don't care
Track Name: I Don't Wanna Go to Work Today
I don’t wanna go to work today
I just wanna stay at home and play
I just wanna sit and pet my dog
Write another dozen goofy songs
I wish that I could call in sick
But they would fire me p.d. quick

I don’t wanna go to work today
I just wanna live in disarray
Act according to a whim or hunch
Eat whatever I would like for lunch
I’d like to call in a bomb threat
But Gitmo’s what I’d probably get

I don’t wanna go to work today
If I thought that it would help, I’d pray
For a blizzard on the first of June
But I don’t think it’ll happen soon
I’d like to say my truck just died
But they’d just tell me, “get a ride”
Track Name: Dark Things
I can't stop, can't stop messing around
with dark things, dark things under the ground
the dark things that I wish I'd never found, yeah
I can't stop, can't stop seeking the facts
of dark things, dark things, secrets and pacts
the dark things and the men who do dark acts, yeah

but you, you're the calming breeze
putting me at ease
when the dark things get me down
you're the guiding light
shining through the night
when the dark things get me...

I can't stop, can't stop thinking about
the dark things, dark things I wanna shout
the dark things to which I've become devout, yeah
I can't stop, can't stop hoping for hope
when dark things, dark things tighten the rope
the dark things and the things I do to cope, yeah

dark things are wrestling in my soul
dark things are wrestling for control
Track Name: Well, Winona
Winona says she's true to me, but how can I be sure
you couldn't call her simple and you couldn't call her pure
she's got a checkered history, she's got two roving eyes
she's got the brains and beauty and she's got a way with guys

well Winona, goes to show ya
I think I know ya well enough by now, Winona
well Winona, goes to show ya
I think I know ya well enough by now, Winona

Winona says she's true to me, but I've heard that before
from every nymphomaniac and every girl next door
so when she starts accusing me of sleeping 'round and such
I'm thinking that the lady maybe doth protest too much

well Winona, goes to show ya
I think I know ya well enough by now, Winona
well Winona, goes to show ya
I think I know ya well enough by now, Winona

Winona says she's true to me, so cancel all I've said
I haven't got a solitary worry in my head
I only told you 'cos it seemed a good way to begin
I only told you so you'd know how strong my faith has been
Track Name: That Scar You Left
ain't many gonna see that scar you left upon me
not metaphorically - I mean it literally
a surgical incision
that left me living with your decision
ain't many gonna see that scar you left upon me

ain't many gonna see that scar you left upon me
for all eternity but not for posterity
you robbed me of creation
and put me back into circulation
ain't many gonna see that scar you left upon me

ain't many gonna see that scar you left upon me
one more indignity, stamping me indelibly
a show of faith, forever
only for the ties that bind to sever
ain't many gonna see that scar you left upon me
Track Name: Screamin' Lawdy
there's an angry man on the TV set
screamin' lawdy, lawdy, lawdy, better not forget
that this world is hard and this world is cruel
screamin' lawdy, lawdy, lawdy, don'tcha play the fool

when the white hats come, knockin' at your door
screamin' lawdy, lawdy, lawdy, it's a time of war
well ya can't go north and ya can't go south
screamin' lawdy, lawdy, lawdy, better shut your mouth

there's an angry man on the TV screen
screamin' lawdy, lawdy, lawdy, lookin' tough and mean
he might be a priest or the President
screamin' lawdy, lawdy, lawdy, he can just get bent
Track Name: Stay Off the Grass, Son
We were headed back from Abalam
Singin’ that Black Betty, bam-a-lam
Thought a rest stop might just be the digs
For gentlemen to tighten up their wigs
So the driver, little Zeke, picked us out a park bench seat
But he stayed off the grass, son

Suddenly, Zeke started freaking out
Thought he was the one who’d gone without
Seems some guy was standing over there,
a janitor who didn’t seem to care
Someone said, man, what’s the gripe
He really doesn’t look the type
To stay off the grass, son

We just went about our thing and then
We prepared to hit the road again
Here’s the punchline you’ve been waiting for
While walking out the rest stop restroom door
Same old janitor walked past, he said his first and said his last
He said, stay off the grass, son
Track Name: Show Up on My Doorstep
show up on my doorstep
tell me that you faked your death
I would keep your secret
to my own last dying breath
I just want you here
so I don’t have to know you’re really gone

show up on my doorstep
tell me that it’s all a joke
idle speculation
by somebody who misspoke
I just want you here
so I don’t have to know you’re really gone

I want to deny
but then again maybe it’s true
I don’t want to cry
but then again maybe I do

show up on my doorstep
tell me you’re alive and well
say you’re not the reason
for the tolling of the bell
I just want you here
so I don’t have to know you’re really gone
Track Name: Peanut Butter Toast and Tea
peanut butter toast and tea
darling, won't you dine with me
oh, the visions we will see
eating peanut butter toast and tea
eating peanut butter toast and tea

peanut butter toast and tea
hide and seek means follow me
to a cabin by the sea
for some peanut butter toast and tea
for some peanut butter toast and tea

see what you've done
you've got me on the run
when we had just begun to begin

peanut butter toast and tea
I'll be you and you'll be me
feeling happy, feeling free
eating peanut butter toast and tea
eating peanut butter toast and tea
Track Name: At War with a Woman
when you're at war with a woman
none of your strategies make any sense
when you're at war with a woman
you can't attack and you've got no defense
and nothing you say or you do's
gonna save you this time
and you stand accused in the Hague
of a thousand war crimes

when you're at war with a woman
every foot gained means a mile of retreat
when you're at war with a woman
lay down your arms and admit your defeat
but there'll be no break in the battle
beneath your white flag
and you start to wonder
if you're going home in a bag