Brendan & The Extenuating Circumstances (Back Issue Series)

by GrooveLily

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about

credits

released May 1, 1998

Produced by Brendan Milburn
Recorded by Gary Maurer at the Place
Vocals and a few overdubs recorded by Mike Caffrey at Monster Island and Daryl Kojak in his old apartment

piano, keys, vocals: Brendan Milburn
drums: Gene Lewin
bass: Victor Rice
violin & backup vocals: Valerie Vigoda

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about

GrooveLily Seattle, Washington

Bicoastal trio GrooveLily inhabits that contemporary space where creative musicians ignore the boundaries laid down by words like rock, folk, jazz and pop. The success of their first concert-musical, the critically-acclaimed holiday show STRIKING 12, has led them farther into the world of theatre, where they have carved out a unique niche as a rock band writing and performing shows. ... more

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Track Name: Love Song Without Metaphor
I haven't gone outside today
It feels so long since you've been away
The sun is bright, the sky is blue
And I'm all right, and I make do

The house is dark, the shades are drawn
I check for mail, I mow the lawn
I cannot sleep, I cannot dream
And it's enough to make me scream

I want you back and here with me
I don't care how, I'm too blind to see
I hurt so bad when you're away
I can't go through another day
Without you back and here with me

I wish that I could wish you well
But I can't pretend that life without you's not a living hell
I wouldn't waste a wish on that
I'd wish that wish to wish you back

I want you back, I want you back
I say it with no metaphor
I want you back, I want you back
And I repeat it more and more
I want you back, I want you back
I miss you more and more each day
I want you back, I want you back
I ain't got nothin' else to say

Well, there it is, I've said my piece
This song won't bring you back, but it may give me some release
I've got no more words in my pen
I might as well sing it again
Track Name: Making A Diamond
There you go again
You open your mouth and out comes a flock of birds
Filling the air
enchanting us all with the wit on the wings of your words
like the man
who could turn straw into gold
you’re making a diamond from pieces of coal.

There you go again
Pushing you pencil to places that I’ve never been
and taking me there
taking me off of the page and right into the scene
with a word
you can make any tale unfold
because you’re making a diamond from pieces of coal.

I want it
You make it sing
I covet
your pair of wings
Astounded
Although I try
I’m grounded
At least I get to watch you fly.

There you go again
you open your arms and you take me in your embrace
friendship so rare
telling me how much I mean from the look on your face
and you know
it is written on your soul
you always will be making a diamond from pieces of coal.
Track Name: The Balancing Act
I’m the clown with painted frown who prances for your pleasure
I’m the lion tamer taming quiet lion’s roar
I’m the chap with suit and cap who runs the three-ring circus
I’m the barker selling all my secrets at the door
and I stand so high
hear drums roll
telling me now to step out in the air

Every day I make believe before an empty grandstand
Every night I make believe I was not left behind
Everything was right ’til you ran off to join the circus
I remained inside a haunted big top in my mind
and now, looking down,
paralyzed,
I am stilled by my own little fear

Isn’t it crazy how we walk this tightrope wire
Juggling far too much and everything at once on the balancing act
Where is the safety net that I thought was over the fire
Isn’t it crazy
Nobody told me
This is the show…
Track Name: Everything You Got
You got the action figure set with the castle
You got your legos strewn all over the rug
You got electric train, you got the Tarzan and Jane
You got the miniature VW bug
You got the mini-golf course out at the mansion
You got a hundred-fifty G.I. Joes
You got the light brite on, you got the stretch armstrong
I sure wish I had me one of those

Well you taunt me with your toys,
Yeah, with everything that you bought
Yes I can’t help but envy your fine situation, baby
All I want is everything you got.

You got your daddy paying your way through college
You got no worries long as you behave
You walk on easy street with your easy feet
You gonna walk it all the way to your grave

Well you taunt me with your toys,
Yeah, with everything that you bought
Yes I can’t help but envy your fine situation, baby
All I want is everything you got.

You make me green with envy knowing you never had to work too hard
You make me lose the forest for the trees in your backyard
You never end what you begin, no, you let it all sit there and rot
And though your grass looks a whole lot greener,
When I mow my lawn, I give it everything I got

You got the television bigger than Elvis
You got the thousand dollar cellular phone
You got the chauffeur on call, you got the charity ball
But you never done a thing on your own

You got computer printer monitor modem
You got a catalog to service your needs
You got everything that success can bring
Without ever having to succeed

Well you taunt me with your toys,
You are everything that I’m not
And while I envy the bread you got lying around
And I covet the color you been painting the town
I pity the way that you bring yourself down
Because all you are is everything you got.
Track Name: Stupid Mouth Shut
Dan Messé of HEM wrote this song. Check out http://hemband.com/ for more information. They're sublime.
Track Name: Hey You Gorgeous Thing
Hey you gorgeous thing
You’re my gorgeous thing
And you know that every time I’m near you I say

“Hey you gorgeous thing,
You’re my gorgeous thing,
And it makes me want to jump for joy and laugh and sing.”

And I sing,
la la la. la la la. la la la la la la la.
la la la la la la la la.
la la la. la la la. la la la la la la la.
la la la la la la la

Hey you gorgeous thing
Come and play and swing
We can make believe that I’m your queen and you’re my king.

And we’ll sing
effervescent
cycling sideways
absolutely high
luminescent
walk on water
resolutely
crazy gorgeous

Thing is everything around you dancing in the waves
Tumbling in the sandwich of your love
Thing is my gazebo when it’s bouncing in my brain
Taking all my senses over

Hey you gorgeous, gorgeous thing.
Track Name: Jumpy Bean
I spend most every day selling myself
Calling people on the phone
I say “why won’t you put me in your magazine,”
They say, “well, why don’t you leave me alone?”

I spend most every day selling myself
Start to feel like a whore
And if I didn’t have my little brown friend, well
I couldn’t take any more

Save a little dollop for me
I’m as low as man can be
Girl, I got to let my mind run free
with my jumpy bean, little jumpy bean,
with my sweet little Columbian jumpy jumpy jumpy jumpy bean.

I spend most every day selling myself
Seeking something that I lack
And though you know I love my little brown friend
He’s a teeny little monkey on my back

Save a little dollop for me
It’s the only thing can cure my disease
Girl, now can’t you see I’m down on my knees
Gimme jumpy bean, gimme jumpy bean,
Gimme sweet little Columbian jumpy jumpy jumpy jumpy bean.
Track Name: Looking Forward/Looking Back
Looking Forward/Looking Back

In Gotham City, you're looking pretty,
I'm the obtrusive guy at your side
Another party, you're Laurel, I'm Hardy
You're flying and I am along for the ride

They're calling places, you're fixing your faces
And I'm in the green room, I'm hanging around
And then right after, you're lighter than laughter
And I got my jealousy dragging me down

Another night, I could be persuaded
With a look in your eye and a tug on my arm
Another day, you get accoladed,
And I get the feeling we'll both come to harm

And I fear what I might find
If I were to open up my mind

Yeah, I'm scared of the words that come out at the seams
I am hounded by nightmares while you're chasing dreams
And my vision is dim where it used to be clear
Looking forward to looking back on this year.

And while you're flying, I'm quietly dying,
You're over me, I'm going under again
You see me frowning, not waving but drowning,
I summon a smile, you go back to your friends

Another venue, and so you continue
And I keep the peace with my well-chosen lies
All things being equal, I'll wait for the sequel
Where everyone's happy and nobody dies



Another night, I could be persuaded
With a look in your eye and a tug on my hand
Another day, you are so elated
And I'm full of anger you don't understand

And I fear what I might find
If I were to open up my mind

Yeah, I'm scared of the words that come out at the seams
I am hounded by nightmares while you're chasing dreams
And my vision is dim where it used to be clear
Looking forward to looking back on this year,

BRIDGE:
Some day when we'll both look back and laugh at all the things we said
Some day when it all seems so ridiculous and strange instead
But right now I am living through it
I can't see another way to do it
I can't help feeling like I blew it
And I am looking forward to looking back.

Another game, olly-oxen free me
'cause I'm tired of playing and I wanna go home

Where I'll get my life on track

And I know that we'll make it through thick and through thin
And I know I'll get out more than I have put in
If I keep looking forward
Well, I am looking forward
I am looking forward
Yeah, I am looking forward to looking back.
Track Name: When Do I Get Mine
You know, I’m a man, who is true to his word,
who would never back out on a bargain
You know, you can do anything that you want,
and I’ll always be right by your side

You know that I’d never desert you
You know that I could never hurt you now.

You go, anywhere, any time, anyhow, any way,
with a strong sense of purpose.
I go, right along, tag along, wanna stand in your light,
wanna be by your side

But I feel as though something is lacking
My rose-colored glasses are cracking, and

Now that the party is over and done
Baby, I need you to tell me now,
When do I get mine?

You know, when you stand in the light, I am there
though I know that you’re taking advantage
You know, I agreed, gave away all I had,
just to be by your side

You do what you want and I let you
You’re making me sorry I met you, and

Now that the party is over and done
Baby, I need you to tell me now,
When do I get mine?

It’s a two-way street
Both parties must comply to gain admission
The arrangement so neat
The party is over and I’m stuck in the role of submission

Now that the party is over
Now that the party is over
Now that the party is over and done
Baby, I need you to tell me now,
When do I get mine?
Track Name: Take Away My Dreams
Train, take me home
Shoes, find my childhood road
I'm coming for some comfort
I'm coming to unload
My dreams.

Why all these emotions?
Never got to use them
God gave me talents
Never got to choose them

Why was I told the sky's the limit
But never given wings?
Who writes the songs no one sings?

I'm returning to the place
To where I won't be not good enough,
Not right enough,
For what is in my very heart
I'm losing the race
So why did I start?

So, God, just take them
Take away my dreams
Take away my dreams
They promised me things that I'll never see
Drew me away from what I could be
So just sweep up the magic
Lead me to my door
Relieve me of my dreams
Let me wander no more

Train, take me home
Shoes, find my childhood road
Take me where my future
Will be only what it seems
Home, make my home my home
And take away...
Track Name: I Was Doing All Right
Ira Gershwin wrote this lyric, and his estate would prefer that we don't reprint it here. Which is a shame. It's a lovely lyric.
Track Name: Try Again
Emily embroiders, Walter works with weights
Peter plays piano while Milo meditates
Fido fetches frisbee, Stanley studies stars
Frankie takes a photo while Brenda takes the bar
Randall is a runner, Debbie likes to draw
They got El Dorado and they got Shangri-la
Everybody’s doing everything they can
A purpose and a passion, keep it going, try again

Dear sir or madam, to whom it may concern
I listened to your demo and then I watched it burn
Gave it thirty seconds, threw it down the hatch
File under “firewood,” game, set, and match
You’re not what we are looking for, you’ll never be
I won’t give you a reason, it wasn’t up to me
Record label lemming, catch me if you can
Come on back and see me if you decide to try again

And it’s hard when you see
Someone else live your dream
But I know there’s room for us all
So I’ll get up after I fall
And try again

Sitting in the bleachers, dreaming of the day
Bottom of the ninth, and you make your double play
Momma told you good things come to those who wait
But nothin’ happens if you don’t step up to the plate
You’re still in the bleachers, light beer in your cup
You’ll never drop the ball if you never pick it up
But if you do not play you are never gonna win
Gotta try it once, if you fail, you gotta try again
Track Name: The Odometer Song
Driving country I never seen
Spend all my money on gasoline
Never thinking of where I been
Sun go up and come down again
Come the night I go straight on through
Long enough, strong enough, counting down the miles ’til I get to you

Highway night, I don’t see no star
Only white lines shooting under my car
A.M. radio just broke down
And there ain’t nobody for miles around
Only got one thing to do
That’s see the road, be the road, counting down the miles ’til I get to you

Since you left me, nothing works right anymore
Steam is rising from the hood
Air conditioning is dripping on the floor
I try to shift my gear down, but it don’t shift so good
Power lock is broken, I can’t open the door
The engine is barely alive
Girl, I don’t know how I can make you make it run like it did before
But I got to get to you now,
And I got a long, long, long, long, long, long,
long, long, long long way to drive.

Sun come up on a brand new day
And the road sign tell me I’m miles away
Say a pray for my poor old car
If it will get me to where you are
I forget where I’m driving to
long enough, strong enough,
see the road, be the road,
turn the wheels, burn the wheels,
counting down the miles ’til I get to you.
Track Name: Thief In An Empty House - Bonus Track
why would you come round again in the middle of the night
the world is full of other men to satisfy your appetite
but here you come at half past two, come knocking on my door
you're searching and if I know you, you don't know what you're searching for
the door swings shut it sounds like doom
you're standing in my living room

did you come in here to steal my heart
you're a thief in an empty house
you cannot steal, you cannot start
you're a thief in an empty house
by night you come sneaking, the cupboard is bare
the floorboards are creaking, there's nobody there
you are wasting your time at the scene of the crime now
you're a thief in an empty house

what hunger pulled you from your bed and across the sleeping town
forgetting all that I had said expecting me to calm you down
your lowered eyes, your restless hands, I've seen it all before
you need a friend who understands, and I know you hope for something more
you say my name, you touch my cheek
I pray that I am not too weak

did you come in here to steal my heart
you're a thief in an empty house
you cannot steal, you cannot start
you're a thief in an empty house
by night you come sneaking, the cupboard is bare
the floorboards are creaking, there's nobody there
you are wasting your time at the scene of the crime now

I've nothing left to sacrifice
why can't you set me free
you cannot steal a treasure twice
why can't you let me be
my heart is missing from my chest
the wound is slow to heal
there is no thunder in my breast
because there's nothing left to steal

When suddenly you cling to me I stand as still as stone
you could I think that I was free, when you have taken all I own
I know the skin beneath your clothes, and the bones beneath your skin
I never have been one of those who fight in wars they cannot win
I'm full of hope, I'm full of dread
I let you lead me to the bed

did you come in here to steal my heart
you're a thief in an empty house
you cannot steal, you cannot start
you're a thief in an empty house
by night you come sneaking, the cupboard is bare
the floorboards are creaking, there's nobody there
you are wasting your time at the scene of the crime now
you're a thief in an empty house
Track Name: Home Fires Burning - Bonus Track
she out among all the stars
she Barbarella in impermeable spacesuit
she passing Venus and Mars
he think about her on his crowded a.m. commute

This is Houston.
Do you read me?
Are you out there?
Do you need me?
Standard orbit,
or extended?
I will be waiting 'til this is ended

I got the home fires burning for you
No matter how far you may roam
I got the home fires burning for you
gonna be hot, gonna be hot when you get home.

she want to be astronaut
she want a rocket ship to fly over land and sea
she like adventure a lot
he like adventure novels read with a cup of herbal tea

You're the fly girl
to the masses.
Are you my girl?
Are you NASA's?
Where you off to?
When you landing?
Got your transmission, but no understanding

I got the home fires burning for you
I got the searchlights all over town
I got the home fires burning for you
guide you in, guide you down,

It's all right, it's all right for me to be your secret weapon
'cause I know that you know I'm not a stone for you to step on
It's all right
I had jealousy eating away at me from the inside
but I know you now, and you know me now
and I love you baby
and I wanna see you ride this ride
Track Name: You Take Control (1991 demo) - Bonus Track
Well I've been wondering what you want me to do
with the things you left behind.
And I no longer understand what's with you
and the workings of your mind.

You took off in such a hurry that day
and my house is full of crazy things that you have thrown away.
Without words, with that look, you react, take your bags and take control.

And lately people seem to flock to your side
in search of your guiding light
and with your simple facts, you help them decide
it's either black or white.

You got the cleanest reputation in town
and people put their trust in you, you cannot let them down
underneath, deep inside, you are weak with your struggle for control.

And when I see you now you're pouring water on your fire
quenching love and passion and boxing up your soul
and this desire for control is now controlling your desire
pretty soon you won't have anything at all
except your control

And when life gets rough some people will hide
and some people stand and take the heat
although it may cost them pride
and then some sacrifice everything to remain
in control.
And you take control.
Track Name: A Little While (1992 home demo) - Bonus Track
Well summer comes and then it's gone
and you'd be wise to find romance before too long.
Another taste of something sweet,
and you can rest assured that everything will be discreet
unless you put your heart where your libido's s'posed to be.

She arrived and she was leaving.
You said "please stay the night," she wondered if you were deceiving.
And you embraced and went to bed.
And as she kissed you you heard music in your head.
She pulled you down and turned you round and whispered in your ear:

"I don't wanna fall in love with you tonight.
I don't wanna give my heart to you tonight.
I only wanna lose myself in someone else's arms for a little while."

First she came, now she's going.
She's picking up her things and you can see her smile glowing,
and now she's walking out the door,
and now you realize you'll miss her all the more.
There's something wrong with what you're feeling deep inside your heart.

And now you've got this brand-new heartache in your soul
and you've got something you can dream about.
You crossed the bridge and now you pay the toll.
Were you better off without?

As you wrap your arms around yourself,
remember what she said. She said:
"I don't wanna fall in love with you tonight.
I don't wanna give my heart to you tonight.
I only wanna lose myself in someone else's arms for a little while."
Track Name: Velvet Prison (1992 home demo) - Bonus Track
Well the walls are padded and the air is sweet
and the bed is soft and inviting,
and the jukebox here plays my favorite songs
and the nightlife can be exciting.

And if I need someone you're always there,
And you have made my life your own.

And there's lots of candy and there's lots of toys,
we play all my favorite games.
There's a secretary keeping track of my life,
she remembers numbers and names.

But if I want to leave you close the door,
and you convince me I should stay

in the velvet prison that you built for me,
in this happy world of make-believe,
in the velvet prison, in your silken dreams,
you can make me forget I'd ever want to break free.

I already got one mother, got a few good friends,
I got you controlling my life.
We been using each other to our own wicked ends,
and I feel you twisting the knife

in the velvet prison that you built for me,
in this happy world of make-believe,
in the velvet prison, in your silken dreams,
you can make me forget I'd ever want to break free.