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credits

released June 14, 1997

Rick Berlin LIVE@JACQUES (GarageDog) 1997. Recorded + mixed by Dan Cantor (w/ help from Jeff Berkowitz) over 5 consecutive Monday nights at Jacques Cabaret (the oldest drag bar in the country). Placed mikes over the pool table, in the main room, near the dressing room door. Who played: Tyson Montgomery Leonard (electric violin), Chris Mehl (harp), Jonah Sachs (cello), Dan Cantor (harp), Chet Cahill (accordion), Marnie Given (violin), Charles Isenberg (mc).

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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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Track Name: After 2
AFTER 2
Anybody got a cigarette I can borrow? You don't know where I can get a beer at this hour, do ya? I'm sorry t' bother you, but do you know where there's a party or something? I just thought, you know, it's so nice down by the river. Nah, that's OK. Wasn't anything.

You can find us after 2
When the night is black & blue
We are drunk & we are high
& we all have wild eyes

I see 2 profiles lit up
in a flash the match light glows
Their love so hot in the bushes
& in the purple shadows
I see 5 stories up
A fat man leaning out a window
His son lay down in an alley
his shirt is off, he's shooting up

It's 2 o'clock in the morning , it's a excellent time...
It's a beautiful night out, isn't it?

CHORUS

An allnight pizza place
a neon sign on every face
Looking for love, for a quick one
it's in our eyes - the whole human race
A Mercedez-Benz like a boombox
throbbing through the night
Bulletproof glass on the windshield
the passenger is out of sight

It's 2 o'clock in the morning, it's a excellent time...
You look just like someone I know.

CHORUS

A 24 hour store a punk kid
hanging out to dry
A Muscleboy reads a dirty magazine
pulls his shirt up, an old man cries
A redhot girl walking down the street
Got no money for a cab
Staggers like a drunken sailor
Holds her cigarette like a man

It's 2 o'clock in the morning,
It's a excellent time...
Track Name: Fuckd
FUCKD

I ain’t seen so much pain
in my friend’s face before
his head was really hangin’
when he walked out the door

I tried to give him answers
I tried to talk him through
but you know those kinda words
they never do

I wanna make you laugh again, my friend
But my jokes, they do not amuse
I wanna take the darkness from your heart
don’t want you blue
but all that I can say is I love you

hold on friend
hold on boy
hold on friend
hold on my baby boy

I know how it goes
I’ve been that road before
when you lose someone close to you
it’s like you lost a war

you just can’t stop crying
& you cannot sleep at night
you loved so much you lost yourself
you’ve had enough of life

I wanna make you laugh again, my friend
But my jokes, they do not amuse
I wanna take the darkness from your heart
don’t want you blue
but all that I can say is I love you
& my love it just ain’t enough for you

hold on friend
hold on boy
hold on friend
hold on my baby boy
Track Name: City Is Empty
CITY IS EMPTY

The city is empty
the bars are closed
the streets are deserted
I’m wearing your clothes
The shirt that you left me
is a bit too small
I could see your body through it
a boy grown tall
I reach inside to touch you
my knuckles on your skin
but you’re not here to feel it
+ it’s only me that I am with

Oh Jeffery
what am I supposed to do?
Be strong or fall apart
Go out + find someone new?

The streets are deserted
the bars are closed
the city is empty
I’m wearing your clothes

My friends say that
I’m in love with love
& that marriage is a sin
But I never hurt one single boy
then again, maybe I did

Oh the streets are deserted
the bars are closed
the city is empty
I’m wearing your clothes
the shirt that you left me
is a bit too small
I could see your body through it
a boy grown tall

They say that home is where your are
well tonight I’m homeless + blue
We knew this town like the back of our hand
and now I’m lost without you

Oh the streets are deserted, the bars are closed
the city is empty,I’m wearing your clothes
the shirt that you left me is a bit too small
I could see your body through it, a boy grown tall
I reach inside to touch you, my knuckles on yr skin,
but yr not here to feel it + it’s only me that I am with
Track Name: Martha Graham At The Midway Cafe
MARTHA GRAHAM OF THE MIDWAY CAFE

She’s Martha Graham
of the Midway Cafe
wears her hair up tight
in a bun
Her lisptick goes out over the edge
but she’s not just some old broad

She’s Martha Graham
of the Midway Cafe
and nothing’s gonna get in her way.
She’s a FIRE BIRD!

The band is hot and the drummer’s cute
and that girl with the pink hair
is dancing like a 60’s TV tornado...ssssssssh!
Her tits are flyin’
and her fingernails are perfect
but she withers like a worm
when Martha lunges across the floor

CHORUS: PETRUSHKA!

Her leg points up & her head falls back
her slip slides off, the crowd gets soft
her partner’s in a sweat & his ass is clenched
he looks like he’s in pain, her expression does not change

CHORUS: L’APRES MIDI D’UN FAUN!

I like the way she winks
her make’s up hard like that
I like the way she buys me a drink
She’s not old and she’s not young
Got her whole career behind her
but she’s sexy cuz she doesn’t care

CHORUS: She loves STRAVINSKI!

She’s short but she is tough
she’s got great extention
she’s got her Modern Contractions to do
(hey, she invented this)
She’s with a younger man
who is drunk and showing off
but no one looks at him
when Martha moves across

CHORUS: ‘THE ARTIST IS NEVER SATISFIED, MY DEAR.’
Track Name: May I Have This Dance?
May I THIS DANCE?

You are so good looking that I think you might be sad
& so smart with words that I think you could be lost
& so good at kissing that I think you might be
missing someone
& so calm in the storm
so cool
You might be way off course

You know so many people that I think you don't know anyone
& you laugh so hard that I think you're gonna cry
You have so many plans, but you get nothing done
& when you tell the Truth it's
just another lie
You don't know the reason why

Cuz all I ever do is look for anything that's wrong
But I love you, baby you can hear it in every song
take a chance with me
try this dance with me,
the night is young,
the night is young,
May I have this dance?
the night is young...

You pretend to know the answers, but you don't have a clue
Your room is clean, but your life's a total wreck
Your body's tight & your clothes are hip
but you don't make love
with anyone,
unless you're drunk,
& now you’re feeling less & less

Cuz all I ever do is look for anything that's wrong
But I love you, baby you can hear it in every song
take a chance with me
try this dance with me,
the night is young,
the night is young,
May I have this dance?
Track Name: Xmas Eve
CHRISTMAS EVE

Oh I remember when I was 17
the cops picked me up for vagrancy
& I got busted for drinking underage,
& stealing cars, & obscenity
& my old man came down to the station
he didn't say a word
he looked like he was proud of me
he smelled of gin
was I just like him?
I thought
I love you, Dad
but I can't say
these words to you would not exactly make my day
I love you
but I'm still a kid
confused to say the least about the
way we live

The snow was falling down while you were drying out so far away & outa town
& it was Christmas Eve with all the colored lights
Cracked up the car that night & there was something I had to tell you
something I've never said but the nurse said you couldn't take the call
you were too sick
my voice got thick
I thought
I love you, Dad
don't you die on me
see I hate it when
you have control over me
I love you,
can you hear me now?
I know we fought a lot but of your life I am
proud

& then I fell asleep & I had a dream that you came to me, you came to me
& you held out your hands & you smiled a lot
you said the fight was over it was time to stop & you must carry on in your own way
Carry on & seize the day feel free to love it's the only way
& that call you made
oh by the way

I love you too
you know I do
tho I never was much good at saying words to you
I love you my son
I always have
now you don't have to worry boy
about your Dad
Track Name: Miracle
MIRACLE
(for Eddy & Rich)

When I watch you cross the street you make me smile
When I see you out there in the Big World the crowds go wild
Now I feel like a dinosaur raging on a battlefield
I fall down on my knees ask for a Miracle
starting now

Last night at the party
I lost control
Seem like everybody knew
what I had not been told

There’s a Panic in Needle Park
The Monster arrives in the dark
& the floodgates opened for the first time in years
There's a big sad moon out there
our faces are covered with tears
but all I have to do is

watch you fall asleep & you make me smile
when I see you dancing in the Big World the crowds go wild
Now I feel like a madman screaming there's a fire not a false alarm
I fall down on my knees
ask for a Miracle
starting now

See nobody, even me, knows how much I love you
I mean where are the Scales of Love to measure this?

& I'll never run away from you, my friend, no way
& I know that you are protecting yourself from loss
But if you can't trust me, baby
let me get this one point across
all I have to do is

think about you + you make me smile
& when I see you dreaming in the Big World the crowd goes wild
There's a giant white flag in neighborhood calling for a Victory
We fall down on our knees
ask for a Miracle
starting now
Track Name: Dangerous Man
DANGEROUS MAN

I'm a dangerous man
with a dangerous plan for you
I'll get you drunk
by a swimming pool
I'll watch you take your clothes off
the moonlight on your body is

so beautiful
& your amazing face
& the fear in your eyes
as you realize
my weird expression
my broken smile
brings tears to your eyes
your restless eyes
you can never hide your heart from a

dangerous man
with a dangerous plan for you
We'll take a hit of acid
& we'll lay back on the roof
& we'll smoke a 2nd hand cigarette
the match stick like a roman candle

my heart explodes
when I get the mail
& there's a letter from you
You must know what you do
when you sign your name
with "love" before it
you bring tears to my eyes
my restless eyes
you can never hide yr heart from a

dangerous man
with a dangerous plan for you
we'll steal a car
baby we won't get far
but we'll see a lot of the country
& we'll count the stars

Diana says
don't you hurry love
cuz it'a always there
& forever young

when yr a dangerous man
with a dangerous plan for you
Track Name: Candles
CANDLES

I remember my friend's name was Tommy Supplee
He was a beautiful boy/athelete at Episcopal Academy
When he was 14 years old when he was stung by a bee
I hated God that night for taking Tommy
from me.

I was scared my friend so young had died
But Tommy lit a candle forever
in my heart that night.

Weastie was a Main Line beatnik painter
She was my best friend's Mom, the first lady I saw naked
& she burned down her house just to redecorate the interior
Inhaled carbon monoxide - because she thought she was
inferior.

I could not understand why she took her life
But Weastie lit a candle forever
in my heart that night

Well we all know that love breaks us open
& we know loss tears us apart
& we all know Life's value's not in money or things
but in those feelings
that tell you the Truth from the start

How many candles are burning?
How many candles do you light
in how many hearts?

And I'm not sure where I'm going
And I don't know exactly who I've been

But I know that when my time is over
The laughter the tears the stories & the sparks
I know I'll see all of your beautiful faces
shining & fearless
to light up
the dark

How many candles are burning?
How many candles did I light
in how many hearts?
How many hearts?
How many hearts?
Track Name: I Like Straight Guys
I LIKE STRAIGHT GUYS

I like
straight guys

I like they way they bond
with their beer goggles on
I like they way they pass a joint the
pressure of their fingertips on mine

I like
straight guys

They talk about their girlfriends
who always dump on them
they say they never felt this way before
around another man

I like
straight guys

it’s a really fine line sometimes
when you get too close
but you’re only asking for trouble
for a punch in the nose
now I swear I’m stuck in this DMZ
where the boys I like only partially like me oh

I like
straight guys
Track Name: Bird Inside A Ribcage
BIRD INSIDE A RIBCAGE

My friend called up the other day
his voice real tired + far away
long spaces in between the lines
he was thinking hard of suicide
makes me smile his tragedy
insane so close to sanity
he’s frail + dark, misunderstood
+ can’t get out of bed
he’s really smart + nice to me
he’ll be OK, there are these drugs -
a Paxyl Epipheny

like a sparkler in the dark
like a child’s hand in your hand
like a bird inside a ribcage
like an old man alone in a park
he’s got the biggest bravest heart

I watch him walk across the street
with every hair in place
you see there’s only just a few
combed in like so + he’s lost weight
I turn my head to kiss hello
I didn’t mean to do it
you never sure he took a week away
from work you know
I play the ruse, I talk a lot
I tell a joke, it’s not funny
he turns away, he’s gotta go
his eyes are really something

CHORUS

I just got home from Europe
there’s a message on the phone
I don’t unpack I’m on a plane again
to Philly
you see my Mom she had these tests
the outlook is not good
they call her up she’s short of breath
+ shaking with the news
you can read her feelings on her face
her kids areall around her
she shrugs it off, but she’s crying now
that’s it, she says, it’s Cancer
Track Name: Policeboy In Prague
POLICEBOY IN PRAGUE

I can not speak a word
I’m lost & it’s cold outside
This cool cafe in Prague
I see a face that sank 10,000 ships

I’m tired & confused & I feel alone
Spend a lot of time thinking of my friends back home
But this angel here in his starched white shirt
and a police badge from behind the Iron Curtain drinking beer

He lights a cigarette
On fire as his eyes look down
He’s writing in a book
How does love work in this Kafka town?

Got a face like River Phoenix in the middle of a road
got a watercolor moustache, dirty hair like gold
I wanna ask a question, wanna take him out back
Wanna read what he is writing with old Mahler on the old soundtrack

I hear a violin
playing in the dark
pulling on my heart
in this strange town I am in
I dream about this boy
+ how he must have been
laying in my arms
like a violin
Track Name: Be Yourself
BE YOURSELF (THAT'S WHAT MY MAMA SAID)

You just gotta be yourself
That's what my Mama said
You just gotta be yourself
That's what everybody wants

When I was 7 years old, my Mama was lying in bed upstairs, & she had a cold or something & I'd brought her up some breakfast on a tray
& I looked at my feet & I said, Mama, I don't know about Lisa or Janie, they're younger than me.
But I saw the presents under the tree & the handwriting on the cards was yours, Mama
& I don't believe in Santa Claus nomore
& as the snow fell down outside a window,
she looked at me & she said...

CHORUS

When I was 11 years old I was invited to go to this party & I knew that I would have to dance with a girl for the first time? boy was I scared
& I remember she was wearing a sunflower print dress & red flats & she took me outside under the trees & taught me the boxstep there in the shade & the sun poured down like gold that day
& when she dropped me off she touched my chin
looked into my eyes & said...

CHORUS

When I was 21 years old I was driving home from Moosup CT on my Kawasaki 650,
& my heart was broken,
you see I'd just been fired from my 2nd job as a teacher in a small town school, something about a scandal, getting too close to the kids I guess ("...it isn't very pretty what a town without pity can do")
& my Daddy was bullshit "how can I explain this to my friends?" he asked & my Mama said
"you know...I'd rather have a fag for a son then a drunk for a husband"
& she looked at me with those level eyes
her big green eyes & said
Ricky....

CHORUS

Last year, around Easter, I was driving across Long Island with her. & she turned and looked at me with the greatest expectation
Do you notice anything? she asked. Notice what? I said. Do you notice anything new about me? & I shook my head.
& she looked at me like I was an idiot or something & she said:
It's my eyebrows. I had my eyebrows...dyed.
I've never had eyebrows & I thought I should
I guess she wanted me to say...
Track Name: Where R U?
WHERE R U?

I woke up
late last night
in the middle of a dream
I had been with this amazing person
who's face I'd never seen
I was so pissed off
when I woke up
it was not nice
cuz every touch
& every look
felt just exactly right

Where are you?
Why have you left me
alone as my day begins?
As I lay me down to sleep
can I be with you again?

We don't use words
it's not important
to analyze
or keep a scorecard
We never know
when our time is up
a vague transition
like growing up
Give me please a miracle
some way to cross the line
between the sleep and waking worlds
so I can have you all the time

CHORUS

I used to want
to stay out all night
but now I'd rather sleep
I'm so exhausted
missing you
who's face I never meet
I do not appreciate
this stupid world
it's all mixed up
I look in the mirror
& I want to cry
the truth is now
I realize
I miss you
I miss you

CHORUS, I miss you