Freestyle Lyrics / Credits

 

15 Minutes

What you gonna do with your 15 minutes of fame?
What you gonna do when you get your ups in the game?
I’m gonna eat a lot of fast food in my car
Conference call with my kids from afar
Devote my life to my job and never complain
15 minutes for me, 15 minutes for you
15 minutes

What you wanna do, now you popped up outta the blue?
What you gonna do while the sun is shining on you?
I’m gonna habitate a place where I feel like I’m dead
As advertising messages fill my head
Watch a lotta tube till my eyeballs shred, how bout you?
The sun is shining on me, the sun is shining on you
Sunset shining

Yes, I believe there’s a deeper grace
That waits for us ahead
But we could really bring this place
Alive before we’re dead

What you gonna see when you look back over the game?
What you gonna say when the portrait’s fixed in the frame?
I’ll say I tried not to walk lock-step with the times
Tried to get some truth in my rhymes
Mighta looked like a fool, but I’d do it again the same
The sun is shining on me, 15 minutes for me
15 minutes

Electric guitar: Dwayne McCobb

Apostles to the Hip

Let's walk around
On an unexplored side of town
Way over there
With the scent of exotic flowers in the air
Hipsters need the message too
Hipsters smart like me and you, so come on
And we are chic televangels
Through the streets of Los Angeles

Don't slack the pace
You better put a little jewelry in your face
We'll be a star
And we're gonna meet them all just where they are
Hipsters need the blessing too
Warped and torn like me and you, so come on
With precious peer adulation
I will make this nation mine

Long time the light is true
Long time till it breaks through
Let's celebrate our common sense
Let's flat abandon our pretense
Let's be a house on fire
Save what you can carry

Look out behind
Cause somebody's gonna make you tow the party line
It isn't cool
When a circumstance unmasks you for a fool
Hipsters need deception too
But mercy flows through me and you, so come on
And in the face of the trend
Let us extend a little clemency

Background vocals: Jim Earp, Janet Curci, Tom Petersen, Joe Mersch

Two Triple-O

A new millenium's coming
But not in Two Triple-O
So switch out of hype-receive
And tell Madison Ave where to go
It's a whole new age
The same one as before
Cause the world doesn't change
It's the people who brighten or darken its door

Sing O, every day is new
Sing O, it was made for you
Sing O for the little towns
Sing O for the greening downs
So God bless the sky and the book I read
The color of your eyes and the blue bedspread
This may all be as brief as the fleeting Spring
But I've been told it's a good thing

A new century's coming
They say we need a bridge to
But play your cards right friend
The new century will come to you
Cause in deuce aught double-zip
It's still the old recipe
For what makes up a life
Worth living for you and for me

The hidden glory seeping through
An honest heart to give its due

Sing O, every day is new
Sing O cause it was made for you
Sing O for the forward crawl
Sing O for the broken fall
So God bless the sky and the book I read
The color of your eyes and the blue bedspread
This may all be as brief as the fleeting Spring
But I've been told it's a good thing

Background vocals: Jim Earp, Janet Curci, Joe Mersch

Dr. Blues (Instrumental)

The Way We Love

Am I afraid to die,
Afraid to live, afraid to move
I’m gonna sit right here,
Right in this chair,
What does that prove
I’ve fallen for a lie I can’t decline
I’m not that kind

Who’s that girl of mine
Afraid to dance, afraid to feel
Sitting in that chair,
A void inside as cold as steel
Cold eyes to snare,
We got cold needs, to bind
I’m not that blind

This is the way we love
This is the way we love
This is the way we love, way we love
Way we love
This is the way we love
Cat and mouse and dove
Caresses with a boxing glove
The way we love, the way we love

Is there a last resort
A last retreat, a last reprieve
For such unbending souls
For craving hearts as cold as these
Too cold to bear, I
I become a lie
I’m not that guy

Harmony: Janet Curci

In Pete’s Country (Instrumental)

Dexter

Dexter got fired from his telemarketing job
For telling people not to waste time on the phone
And not to buy cheap trash
And not to waste their cash
And that the life they led was only theirs on loan
He was pretty far from being a contender
He was another sort of underdog defender

Dexter didn’t last too long
At the DJ gig he’d taken on
He ignored what the so called “people” want to hear
Who apparently longed to hear him play
The same five songs he’d played all day
And Dexter couldn’t see his way quite clear
He pushed it all too far in certain folks’ opinions
But he’s long beyond the reach of their dominions

He took a long journey from home
On a trip to the stars, very far
From all he had known
Every day so tempted to say that he was alone
But it’s OK, he’s alright
He gonna fire up a pilot light
It’s gonna be a happy sight
On the day Dexter gets home

A lot of folks were there to see
At Dexter’s last epiphany
At a demonstration caught between two sides
Cause he tried to sympathize
Where his comrades had to demonize
And slipped up big where two hard-lines collide
Angry people do not care for fine distinctions
He found the devil in the details was extinction

All Heaven Breaks Loose

What is the secret center
Around which art and sorrows turn
Irritation in the oyster makes the pearl
It gives me wings, but I chain this thing
And I clutch it till I learn
In my better moments to loose it on the world

I gotta give it up, let it go
It doesn’t really belong to me
Or if it does it’s no good to me till it’s yours
It’s not so strange, a law of exchange
A dance of reciprocity
So open up and take this party out of doors

The grass is always greener
On the other side of the lights
When that guy on stage goes to places I can’t go
But his own greener pastoral scene
It could be sitting right in your seat
And you could turn out to be the missing part of the show

You gotta rip it up, let it go
It can’t really be tamed, you see
Or if it can it’s no fun to see till it roars
It’s not so strange, a law of exchange
A dance of reciprocity
So open up and take this party out of doors

So blown away by the things I see
So blown away cause the gift’s for me

You gotta give it up, let it go
And unwrap it for all to see
Light up a lamp not available in stores
Turn up the juice, all Heaven breaks loose
In that luminosity
So open up and take this party out of doors

Beneath the Moon

In the heart of the darkness
There's a holy light
When you say what the truth is
And you hold on tight
I came home yesterday to a land besieged
And a homecoming clean out of reach

And I went to the mountains
And I went to the beach
To the bones of the desert
Where the vultures preach
To the land of the living
And its ports of call

But I could not find you there Lord Lord
I could not find you
I could not find you there
Couldn't find you there at all
When Orion rides the western sky
I hear his brothers call
But underneath the moon,
I couldn't find you there at all

In the heart of a nation
There's a deep divide
Full of deep convictions
Swimming with the tide
I came home yesterday to land so blue
With an imagination like a wrecking crew
Imagination like a wrecking crew

And I went to the mountains
And I went to the beach
To the bones of the desert
Where the vultures preach
To the land of the living
And its ports of call

But I could not shake you there Lord, Lord
I could not shake you
I could not shake you there, Lord
No matter where I crawl
And here beneath the western sky
Where dreamers dream too small
We hide beneath the moon
But we'll never shake you there at all

Harmony: Janet Curci

Curved Space

Jesus drove out the money changers
Dante put the Pope in Hell
These days sometimes I get so tired
Like I got no more indulgences to sell

And when I think of the road we're walking
I take a look around and shake my head
I wake up sometimes from sleep to find things
A-shakin' back at me instead

The instrument is poorly tempered
And always drifting off the mark
How will we find the straight right angles
In all this curved space,
In all this curved space of the heart?

Sometimes it's black that's in the white space
And dragon scales sprout on the knight
And we may wander in a grey place
But some of us are moving to the light

The instrument is poorly tempered, etc.

Harmony: Janet Curci

Si Bhig Si Mhor (Instrumental)

The Sage in Bloom (Instrumental)

Stranger

A pack of bloodhounds howling behind
And blood on the moon, late at night
I come rappin’ hard at your door
And you turn on the front room light
I ain’t from around these parts
I spell trouble for you
They’re gonna hunt me down like a wolf
Maybe they’ll hunt you down too

But you got the hounded look of a foreigner
And you got the driving wind in your eyes

I was a stranger
But when I knocked you let me in
I was a lonely man
Underneath my lonely skin
You got the power to see what you see in me
You can see an ancient refugee
Out on the run again

Alarm bells ring in the night
They’re ringing for you if you’re a friend of mine
You spend a lifetime running from them
Who feel me running behind
This world is upside down and that’s a
Revelation to none
We’re gonna win this war if not the battle
When the failing night is done

But you got the hounded look of a warrior
And you got the driving wind in your eyes

Out on the run again
In a dream that repeats
I’m avoiding the streets
I will wake tomorrow

Bass: Scott Parrish / Harmony: Janet Curci

Benediction

Go with the spring of joy upon your feet
Go where the truths of joyful spirits meet
Go in the glow of a dark and swollen sun
To a brighter golden one

Leave behind a husk of dried out skin
Leave to find that life can now begin
Out of time, and words are left unsaid
I sing them now instead

Let this be a benediction
The one I couldn’t speak before
We live our lives of contradiction
And fly away through a sudden open door

Now let the One who keeps and calls us here
Be the one you seek as you draw near
And looking down, if looking down is done
Hear this from your son

Let this be a benediction
The one I couldn’t speak before
We live our lives of contradiction
And fly away through a sudden open door

 

Credits

 Produced by Joe Mersch at Hope Recording, Escondido, CA.

 

Mastered by Bryan Shaw at Digital Brothers, Costa Mesa, CA.

 

All compositions ©2001 Joe Mersch, all rights reserved; except "Si Bhig, Si Mhor" by Turloch O'Carolan (public domain).

 

Sounds and voices by Joe Mersch except where noted.  Thanks to Janet Curci, Jim Earp, Dwayne McCobb, Scott Parrish, and Tom Petersen for singing and playing.

 

Initial versions of "Si Bhig, Si Mhor" and "Dr. Blues" recorded by Steve Lester at New Moon Records, Joshua Tree, CA.

 

The main guitars used on this recording: 1983 Martin D-28 and 1993 Lowden O-25c.  The tunings are standard, DADGAD, and standard/drop-D.

 

"Benediction" is for my Dad, Clarence Joseph Mersch, who died in March 1975.

 

"All Heaven Breaks Loose" is dedicated to the people of Susanville, CA, especially Dan Smith and Doug Sheehy, and to fellow Susanville travellers Jim Earp, John Katchur, Dave Howard, D.R. Auten, and Dani Carroll.

 

Special thanks to Janet Curci and Jim Earp for patience above and beyond, and to all my friends in the San Diego acoustic scene.

 

Art and design by Chuck Schiele at whatusee.com.  Photography by Chris Nodland and Rob Agne.

 

Hey Ya Ya.

News

 

"Secret Career 87-93" released 8/1/17.

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Videos:  Walk This Burden Down, Mama Just Wants to Barrelhouse All Night Long, The Way We Love, On 78 East

 

Songs:  The Way We Love, One Two Three, This Train

 

Images:  to the People/Places Gallery

 

Lyrics/Credits:  Secret Career 87-93

 

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