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about

October 2010
Artist of the Month - Rick Berlin’s Paper Airplane (October 16 on HI-N-DRY) is somehow both sandpaper gritty and soothing as rain - and if I said nothing more about it, that might be enough. Textured and rolling, the self-effacing songwriter urges us to rumble along with him on his witty telling through significant memories and clever stories. Where Berlin ends and the song begins isn't always clear (just listen) and much of that is how artfully he uses voice and character to populate the lyrics of his songs. In each example, Berlin half-speaks and then half-sings above percussion, piano, guitar and brass. The piano keys sound like stairs and we can almost hear the wooden stools the musicians sat on as they are dragged along dusty floors. Berlin's telling is more lucid, more punctuated, more dark, more fun, than anything you could have been expecting. It's unpredictable and just brilliant.

Especially recommended for fans of: Tom Waits, T Bone Burnett, Warren Zevon and Roger Waters...

- Ryan's Smashing Life

credits

released 19 April 2010
cast:

piano JANE MANGINI
guitars KEVIN BARRY/DUKE LEVINE
bass ANDREW MAZZONE (RICHARD GATES track 8)
drums ANDY PLAISTED
harp DENNIS BRENNAN
backup vox DENNIS BRENNAN/RICHARD GATES
bar vox THE BRENDAN BEHAN RATS
tuba JOBY WILSON
trombone JOE STEWART
toy piano BERLIN

produced by RICK BERLIN/DENNIS BRENNAN/JOE STEWART
recorded/engineered by JOE STEWART
@ HI-N-DRY/HUMMELVISION
mixed @ HUMMELVISION
mastered by IAN KENNEDY
@ NEW ALLIANCE EAST MASTERING

photography ADAM WELLS
design NICK KENT

all songs by RICK BERLIN
(copyright symbol) LOBSTERLAND MUSIC ASCAP

details/lyrics/videos www.rickberlin.com

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all rights reserved

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about

Rick Berlin (now playing w/ THE NICKEL & DIME BAND) Jamaica Plain

A giant on the Boston music scene. His colorful songwriting + strong stage presence have influenced countless other artists since the early 1970s. He continues to make music w/ intelligence + integrity, building an international reputation around his knotty, singular piano playing, straight-from-the-heart singing and a style of character-based songwriting that's drawn comparisons to Waits + Cohen ... more

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Contact Rick Berlin (now playing w/ THE NICKEL & DIME BAND)

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Track Name: IF I WASN'T SUCH A BUM
if i wasn't such a bum

if i wasn't such a bum
i'd have better friends than you
+ a better job than this one
+ a car that's brand new if i wasn't such a bum

i'd have a hit song on the radio
+ a pretty bank account
+ a dirty dog t show off
+ a kid t pick his shit up if i wasn't such a bum

i'd have a condo in the city
+ a swimming pool physique
part in a tarantino movie
+ my picture on th' cover o' newsweek if i wasn't such a bum

i'd have an article in the new yorker
go out t dinner out every night
i'd have hot guys on my hot arms
i'd have the best drugs i'd be outa sight if i wasn't such a bum

i'd get a face lift when i need it
helicopter on the lawn
i'd have off shore clientelle
+ th' keys to the the animal farm if i wasn't such a bum

if i wasn't such a...
+ whistles
Track Name: DRIVIN' GRANDPA HOME
DRIVIN' GRANDPA HOME

when she was 10
she learned t drive
a great big shiny red...impala
she take her grandpa home
drunk from his favorite bar
in his great big shiny red...impala

tell me grandpa
how will i turn out
will i be as tough as you
cool lines around my mouth?
well grandpa he wouldn't answer
he too far in his cups
starin' out th' window
he turn the radio up
talk about th' girl from jersey city
she kinda cute but she kinda shitty

she was so short
th' windshield like a glacier
but she went t bed much later then her sister
grandpa smelled real funny
like vinegar n money
she liked it when he'd called her...honey

she had so much fun
listenin' t him singin'
she felt like she's a grown up
dancin' in the kitchen
talk about th' girl from jersey city
she kinda cute but she kinda shitty (STEP ON IT! C'MON N STEP ON TH' DAMN THING!)

deep down in her heart
she learned was freedom was
in a great big shiny red...impala

when she got older
it took a lot t reach her
hurt too much by life
call me a bitch, baby. but my granpappy he tol' me where it's at
talk about th' girl from jersey city
she kinda cute but she kinda shitty
Track Name: REAL SLOW (for TOWNES)
REAL SLOW (for Townes)

somethin happened, i can't explain it
see a ghost came callin' on me last night
show me how t live maybe
how t write
w/ a pitchfork
+ a gun
+ a tear down the face
of a dyin sun

he was so close he was far away
a practical smile on a practical face
pissin' on everything
patchin' it up w/ his kid
in the mornin'
w/ a bottle
like a friend
+ a look
like a real dead end

he was ugly
he was handsome
had electric shock
n he moved like he talked
like he sang
like he walked
real slow

he showed me what i'd
never done
+ never would
til my own kingdom come

somethin happened, i can't explain it
see a ghost came callin' on me last night
show me how t live maybe
how t write
w/ a pitchfork
+ a gun
+ a tear down the face
of a dyin sun
Track Name: HARD 2 BE LIKED
hard t be liked

well it's hard t be liked
it's easier t give
when someone come on t you
they can't see for shit
who you are, how you think
what you feel...well it's over for you in a blink oh

bobby wave his gypsy wand
make idiots disappear
who his heart broke open for
was never completely clear

boy you sing like something matters
+ you hurt just like me im sure
you face is beautiful
yr soul in tatters
baby i'll take yr cure

ah ah ah
cover my eyes with both yr hands
can i feel you up can i join yr band

i run away from you
i cannot take yr love
yr knife cut me up in all the wrong places
n you can not fill my empty cup
Track Name: I WISH I COULD TALK WITH MY DAD
I WISH I COULD TALK WITH MY DAD

i wish
that i could talk with my dad
most of the time
he seems so distant
n sad

i know it's hard t know him
but i got this idea in my head
we jes standin on rock somewhere
w/ th night as cold as death

well he looks at my face
like it's the first time
he could see himself in me
a broken smile
move across his eyes
he's both proud
n sorry ooo

i wish
that i could talk with my dad
crack a joke r do somethin' cool
that could really make him laugh

i know i know him better
then he'll ever know his son
but there's times im sure
no one else in my life
knows better the race i've run

we won't get it right
my dad n me
'til we both forgive the past
mistakes were made
to show us how
the good stands w/ the bad

i wish that i could talk with my dad
most of the time he seems so bitter n sad
Track Name: MY FRIEND
my friend

im glad
you are my friend
we were good at the beginning
have we ever reached the end?

you know me better
than anyone else
a flashlight in a dark place
when it look like everything's goin'
t Hell

a simple look
across a room
is all it takes
for Heaven's sakes

i was
attracted
you remember that?
won yr heart from desire
but that all
fades to black

i know you better
than anyone else
a light bulb
on a back porch
naked as Hell

a simple look...
across a room
is all it takes
for Heaven's sakes

i don't have yr picture
+ i don't see you much
but that don't matter
does it babe
we were never in
a rush
Track Name: PBR
PBR

sit in the corner
drinkin' my beer
passin' the time
happy i'm here

one day rises
+ another one falls
the kid by the window
is scratchin' his balls

hey ha-ho ha-ha!

a clink of the glass
a nod to th' gallows
the poet is drunk
he's pukin'
in the shadows

this ain't a bad life
in the dank n the dark
by makin' yr move
yr losin' at darts

hey ha-ho ha-ha!

here's t the gin
here's t the the stars
all you sexy bitches
n yr pbr's

here's t the gin
here's t the the bar
all you sexy bastards
n yr stupid pbr's

hey ha-ho ha-ha!
Track Name: BERMUDA TRIANGLE
the bermuda triangle

i was in a fight, a dirty fight
a miss understanding, in the heat of the night
i thought he liked me, but i had it wrong
he said i was weak, when i shoulda been strong

i was drowning in a bermuda triangle
made of cement + weeds + grass
+ there's a rubber there + it was wet
next to a cigarette, it touched my shoe

+ the wind tore my dress
+ th bugs licked my skin
+ a car pulled up t th light
if i had a gun i woulda done it right

see the driver in that car
was th muthafkr who messed me up
+ he was starin straight ahead
like i was invisible, as good as dead

LOOK AT ME, YOU FILTHY BASTARD, LOOK AT ME YOU PIECE OF SHIT

he hit the gas n drove straight thru
that big ol' light, real innocent n cool
+ it was sad, it was pathetic
+ my heart turned black n blue

LOOK AT ME, YOU FILTHY BASTARD, YOU PIECE OF SHIT
Track Name: WALKIN' IN THE HOOD
WALKIN IN THE HOOD - for JP

it's nice - walkin on the sidewalk
nice - walkin t yr house
it's nice - when it's rainin' in the neighborhood
it's nice - drivin' in yr car
you shout - hey what's new? dude?

somehow
it seem like you know everyone
+ yr the queen of the city block
but it's just you...

ridin' on yr bike
nice - gettin' rice outa food wall
nice - still drinkin when th sun comes up
hey, it's nice - lightin up' a cigarette
you shout - who's gonna help ya move
yr piano?

this ain't mr rogers
hey, it's just all yr friends
where a smile's more important
than what yr t-shirt says
+ a wave can getcha hammered before last call . ..ooo

small town America
it's almost a city
where you're not just a face in the crowd
+ people know you by yr hot tattoos
+ the secrets you keep
+ yr boomerang ... clothes

it's nice - walking on the sidewalk
nice - walking t yr house
it's nice - walkin' with yr dog
nice- walkin' w/ th' hurt you carry
checkin out th pretty girls
...n boys
Track Name: SEAN PENN ON CHARLIE ROSE
I SAW SEAN PENN ON CHARLIE ROSE

i saw sean penn on charlie rose
his face all twitchy + cool, real cool
+ charlie said
ya got somethin' in yr head
let's have it
+ sean looked hip + grim + said
suicide suicide

yr kidding, yr rich, yr somebody, yr famous

what could make a person do that?
is it somethin' yd ever try?
a war or a woman or a lie
a war or a woman or a lie

i saw sean penn on charlie rose
+ somethin' i swear was in his coffee
in his eyes, his eyes
+ charlie said d'j you ever laugh
+ sean scratched his head
life is hard, real hard

yr kidding, yr rich, yr somebody, yr famous

10 old ladies on the north shore from here
never got anyone t hold them near
i hope they ok today i hope they free

depression is black but the blues come from heart break
no booze no drugs no shrink can open that window
+ let the smoke out + let air in
Track Name: THE KISS
the kiss

i never felt
anything
like your
kiss
felt like i was
14
doin' somethin'
dangerous
oh baby

my mouth
is yr mouth
it tastes like
blood
simple things
r hard t get
yr lucky when
they happen

i never felt...

we just
disappear here
on a back porch
in starlight
my heart
is yr heart
melting
away

up on the roof
sky looks so pretty
makin pictures w/ caulk
like picasso
+ th rain clouds come
+ wash it all away
a perfect ending
but my heart gets in the way

yr mouth is yr mouth
my heart is yrs
i never felt...
Track Name: REAR VIEW MIRROR
rear view mirror

i fell in love
in my rear view mirror
boy in a pickup
truck
eyes blazing

right behind my car
my mama's car
does he know im lookin'
r is he blinded
by the sun

shoulders like picasso's
harlequin kid
smile so serious
serious + honest + true
true blue

scotch tape my heart
throw it out the window
future less than zero
pedal to the floor
green light
Track Name: PAPER AIRPLANE
paper airplane

he lives so far away from the city
n he dream awake all night + he write
the craziest songs, jackie gleason songs

n he fold a paper airplane
tight across the seam + on the wing
he whispers something strange n dark
a haiku from a beat up heart

n he let it fly from his rooftop
n he let it fly from his fingertips - out
into the air - for anyone he hopes is there

you find him in the fog, walkin' the streets alone
weightless eyelids, heavy head...

madness in the suburbs is like a cherry bomb
it look kinda silly but it blows up
everything - fakery + lies win the day + his nightmare
it jes' won't go away

n the xmas light stars come crashin' down
+ he shivers n he wonders why no one's around
explosion makes no sound

ya find him in the fog, walkin' the streets alone
weightless eyelids, heavy head...

s o s - 2 tin cans + a clothesline
the sharks r swimming but they can't see
the paper airplane it flies so close to me