Music For Minorities

 

Music For MinoritiesEXITMUSIC 1007
Written, arranged and produced by
Mikel Rouse
EXITMUSIC RECORDINGS

Music For Minorities represents a quiet departure from the direction and performance of larger multimedia works. Another chance to be solo on the road again; a guitar, a harmonica, a video deck. The piece is a reflection of my time spent in the Delta as a composer in residence through the Meet The Composer New Residencies program. It’s also a kind of video memoir of my film and theatrical works, life in New York, and friends old and new. A recorded soundscape of percussion and multiple guitars are the accompaniment to a live performance that incorporates stories, interviews and songs with synchronized video. Interviews from numerous personalities in both Louisiana and New York are combined as I underscore (musically, that is) their reflections. This assemblage is a modest integration of film, music and performance, offering another approach to story telling in the media age.

As abstract images and sound combine with the various stories and insights of the subjects interviewed, an illustration of memory is created. Seemingly unrelated video images merge with the images of the storytellers to create a common thread: the views of the Silent Minority. The soundtrack to this “live film” is Music For Minorities, a collection of songs that express my continuing interest in using complex structures within the framework of vernacular music. The LA Times said: Music for Minorities is deceptively simple and straightforward Americana. You take from it as much or as little as you want. No one can really say what it is to be an American these days. But this is a meaningful piece of the puzzle.

1. That’s My Universe
2. Those Days Long Gone
3. Candy Cane
4. Where Are Those Girls
5. I Know Something’s Wrong
6. Rubber Feet
7. Smokers Express
8. Guide To Angels
9. Johnny Dollar
10. Love’s Gun
11. A President Up My Sleeve
12. Passing Phase
13. Change For My Baby
14. How Was Your House

(Scroll down for lyrics)

Lyrics © 2004 Mikel Rouse
All rights reserved
Published by Club Soda Music (ASCAP)
Used by permission

THAT’S MY UNIVERSE

You caught me in the middle
Of making History
An interrupted angel
Guided by TV

I made my own religion
I made up my own verse
I gave myself permission
And that’s my universe

Lay off my inspiration
Make room for what you lack
Go out and make a living
And get my money back

I made my own religion
I made up my own verse
I gave myself permission
And that’s my universe

You think you got my number
Registered at birth
An interrupted angel
For all that it is worth

I made my own religion
I made up my own verse
I gave myself permission
And that’s my universe

THOSE DAYS LONG GONE

Maybe caught dyin’ is better alone
Maybe I’m crazy for tryin’ to keep it my own
And when I didn’t need money to hold up my head
Maybe I’m crazy denying I’m better off dead

Those days long gone
Those days long gone

What if tomorrow is not very far?
And I continue to borrow from memory’s bar
When all the mixers and martyrs have gone to my head
And I refuse to remember the last thing she said

Those days long gone
Those days long gone

Maybe caught dyin’ is better alone
When you’ve got no one to bother and no one to phone
When all the mixers and martyrs have gone to my head
Maybe I’m crazy denying I’m better off dead

Those days long gone
Those days long gone

CANDY CANE

You say why? I’ll tell you
You say why? I’ll tell you
You say why? I’ll tell you
You say why? I’ll tell you

Take a look, take a look at my candy cane
Take a look at my candy cane
Take a look at my candy cane
Take a look at my candy

WHERE ARE THOSE GIRLS

Don’t worry ‘bout the good life
That’s already been taken
Don’t worry ‘bout your bad dreams
Those bad dreams will awaken
The photos you’ll remember

And where are those girls?
They’re safe in your mind
That goes for the one
That left you behind
And where are those girls?
Those two of a kind

Don’t worry “bout your problems
“Cause all of them are taken
Don’t worry ‘bout the next thing
The heart that you’ll be breakin’
The photos you’ll remember

And where are those girls?
They’re safe in your mind
That goes for the one
That left you behind
And where are those girls?
Those two of a kind

I KNOW SOMETHING’S WRONG

What is the reason, why can’t I even
Get under someone’s door?
Better than beaten, somthin’ is eatin’
Me right down to the core

I know something is wrong
I know something is wrong
I know something is wrong with me

‘Cause it was easy aimin’ to please me
Everyone got to try
Now I’m in trouble here in this bubble
Living’s the reason why

I know something is wrong
I know something is wrong
I know something is wrong with me

Everyone scramble, everyone gamble
Everyone try to score
Better than beaten, somethin’ is eatin’
Me right down to the core

I know
I know

RUBBER FEET

Baby got a new pair of shoes, she got rubber feet
Baby orthopedic when she singin’ the blues
She got rubber feet

Catch her with a belly of love, she got rubber feet
Catch in a bottle with the light from above
She got rubber feet

Rubber feet rubber feet rubber feet
She got rubber feet
Rubber feet rubber feet rubber feet rubber feet
She got rubber feet

Caleb on a natural high, he got rubber feet
Caleb on a mountain and he’s ready to fly
He got rubber feet

Preacher got a market to please, he got rubber feet
Preach is a reason for the social disease
He got rubber feet

Rubber feet rubber feet rubber feet
He got rubber feet
Rubber feet rubber feet rubber feet rubber feet
He got rubber feet

Everybody down on your knees, you got rubber feet
Everybody cookin’ at a hundred degrees
You got rubber feet

People put your hands in the air, you got rubber feet
Make a peace sign like you just don’t care
You got rubber feet

Rubber feet rubber feet rubber feet
You got rubber feet

SMOKERS EXPRESS

Lawyers and healers and rats for all time
Chain smoking under the stars
Lying in wait in the back of your mind
Making their way out of bars

Glad handing, back slapping all through the night
Smokers express and the left to go right
It could be anyone

Buyers and sellers collecting their fee
Wagering time from their lives
Portraits of horrible weak in the knee
Stuck with their left over wives

Glad handing, back slapping all through the night
Smokers express and the left to go right
It could be anyone

GUIDE TO ANGELS

Never believe what you hear unless you hear it from me
And baby I likes what I see
Hollywood set me free and give me just a little relief
But now the picture’s following me

Hit the road, this is you ticket home
This is your guide to angels asleep on the lawn
This is your guide to angels, the bus leaves at dawn

If it were up to me I wouldn’t even follow the beat
Remembering the moment we meet
Never believe what you hear unless you hear it from me
And now the picture’s setting me free

Hit the road, this is you ticket home
This is your guide to angels asleep on the lawn
This is your guide to angels, the bus leaves at dawn
This is your guide to angels, blink and they’re gone

If it were up to me I wouldn’t even know the route
Hollywood set me free, guide to the angels with the loot

JOHNNY DOLLAR

Your deal with the devil is wholesale

Born inside of America, calculator free
Giddy up to the market place, market it to me

Get the runaround, make a money sound
Maybe part the sea
God without a vote, sittin’ on his boat
Noah wannabe

Where’s old Johnny Dollar now?
Bound to be a sacred cow
Where’s old Johnny?
Where’s old Johnny Dollar now?

Is it just for the money man, is it for the fee?
Is it just for the bed and board, tell me that’s the key

Get the runaround, make a money sound
Maybe part the sea
God without a vote, sittin’ on his boat
Noah wannabe

Where’s old Johnny Dollar now?
Bound to be a sacred cow
Where’s old Johnny slip and slidy?
Where’s old Johnny torn and tidy?
Where’s old Johnny high and mighty?
Where’s old Johnny?
Where’s old Johnny Dollar now?
Is it just for the money or just for you?

LOVE’S GUN

As seen on TV when the markets agree
Is a right and a wrong so we all get along
And a tip from love’s gun and your forgotten son’s thinkin’
Here’s my best side, take this free ride

Here comes love’s gun, radio run forgotten son
Here comes love’s gun, radio run forgotten son

As seen from above when the market’s in love
Is a shift to the right so we’re all up tonight
And a tip from love’s gun and your forgotten son’s thinkin’
Here’s the flipside of a landslide

Here comes love’s gun, radio run forgotten son
Here comes love’s gun, radio run forgotten son
Your only forgotten son on the radio
Heard on the radio: only forgotten son

A PRESIDENT UP MY SLEEVE

You’d never believe a president up my sleeve
Materialize: a leader before your eyes
And second to none, this party for having fun
Democracy wise and freedom for every size

And even in times of political nursery rhymes
This effort to dream is easier than it seems

A special reprieve: a president up my sleeve
A special reprieve: a president up my sleeve

You’d better believe a president up my sleeve
Who goes it alone with every nation known
And taking a bride, a woman of genocide
A widow to war that’s selling from door to door

And even in times of political nursery rhymes
This effort to dream is easier than it seems

A special reprieve: a president up my sleeve
A special reprieve: a president up my sleeve
President up my sleeve presidential reprieve
President up my sleeve presidential reprieve

PASSING PHASE

I bet you wonder how I knew
That plans go upside down for you
And time stands still before your feet
As surely as the seasons meet

And life is just a passing phase
Through all your nights
And life is just a passing phase
Through all your nights and all your days

I’ll take you partner, rain or shine
I’ll hold your heart and you’ll hold mine
And there we’ll stand, our lives complete
As surely as the seasons meet

And life is just a passing phase
Through all your nights
And life is just a passing phase
Through all your nights and all your days

CHANGE FOR MY BABY

I don’t know nothin’ and something else
But the world keeps moving all by itself
And I’d probably save her if I only could

Change for my baby make me feel so good
Change for my baby make me knock on wood

Loose change in my pocket, change in my hand
A man made mountain on borrowed land
And I even got photos of where I stood

Change for my baby make me feel so good
Change for my baby make me knock on wood

The luckless in love with no place to go
They got money and movies and kids in tow
And they’re probably shopping, and well they should

Change for my baby make me feel so good
Change for my baby make me knock on wood

Well I guarantee nothing, I know what’s right
I got priority seating on the earth tonight
And I even got sanctions in the neighborhood

Change for my baby make me feel so good
Change for my baby make me knock on wood

HOW WAS YOUR HOUSE

This is over, this is done
This was low cal fun
You were dreamin’, I was dreamed
Well that’s how it seemed

You were happy, I was blue
But if not for you I’d take steroids, I’d take mace
Just to see your face

How was your house and how was my house?
The hours of life that were free
There’s heaven on earth ‘cause I’ve seen it in you
And I even caught glimpses in me

This is over, I was dreamed
We were double teamed
You were happy, I was blue
But if not for you