Tag Archives: Telegraph Recording Company

Confessions | Love Is A Rebellious Bird

Feels
2014 was a heavy year for me. I lost several friends in the last months of 2013 and early in 2014. David Kleiman, who became basically my godfather/college education, took me under his wing when I had no one and nothing but an existential crisis and a guitar when I showed up in New York City at 18 years old. There will be another piece of music released soon that will go into more detail about the ways he saved my soul, so I’ll save it to that, but suffice to say here that his loss was crushing. I also lost Lou Killen, Bob Webb and David Lamb within the year. Every one of them far too young. And it made me think very hard about the relationships I spend my time on now. How much more time should I have spent with these wonderful people when I still could versus how much time I spend on people that just don’t give a fuck and probably never will. I lost my producer the day after David’s funeral, he texted me to say “I think I quit”. I could barely read it through the tears and in the midst of everything that was already crushed and bleeding, it all came into focus. Stop wasting time on the people who can’t, won’t, and dare not. Stop wasting time. There isn’t enough of it to waste, it could all end so soon.

Playahs
So, the insane fireandbrimstone voice you’re in love with on this track is the great Robert Zeigler, my next door neighbor and a videographer/producer, Danny Motta on trumpet, Julio Amaro & Thor Jensen on acoustic guitars, and DLM on vocals, synth, bass, sequenced drums and percussion, piano, organ and mellotron.

Lyrical, Production & Music Notes
So much of this song comes from Bizet’s opera ‘Carmen’. The title, many of the lyrics, and the melody hook. I have no idea why Habanera is not a more popular piece of music, it’s brilliant.

I wanted to make references to tattoos belonging to two people very dear to me. One bird and one reptile, represented here as Eagle & Snake because I love Central American folklore and the legend of Quetzalcoatl and the very real differences between the typical religious “struggle between good & evil” with the more human (native) beliefs of “struggles between self vs. others” and “wisdom vs. nobility”. Societies that embrace polytheism in the form of natural gods have always been fascinating to me because they don’t lay the ultimate responsibility for the way things turn out on one g-d, but largely on themselves and their relationships to each aspect (g-d) of their lives- for example, if you are diligent about appeasing/honoring the needs of an agricultural g-d, your crops will flourish.  It’s a beautiful living metaphor for the sense of personal responsibility that has become my own sort of religion.
For Rob’s parts, one hot-ass summer afternoon, several Coors Lights and a translator app later, we had filled in the gaps of the story with some of the poetry of Habanera.
This is one of two very heavily latin-influenced pieces on the album, and the piano was an attempt of mine to channel my nearly-obscene love for Cuban music and in particular, this guy…

Love Is A Rebellious Bird

surely i tell you today,
you think you hold it fast, and it flees!
once you said i was an angel
how did i ever fall from grace
when the only thing between us
love is a rebellious bird that no one can tame
it’s useless to chase it if it won’t play the game
if i had been a better lover
if i had been a better friend
caught between the eagle and the snake
all i could give to you was bourbon
and a place to lay your head
there are nights i pray the lord my soul to take
and lights gone out too soon
but how much of our fate
will we give over to the moon?
And they were drunk, drunk on the venom
g-dless people, crushed beneath the heel of jesus chr
ist
jesus christ, jesus christ
there are nights i pray the lord my soul to take
and lights gone out too soon
but how much of our fate
will we give over to the moon?

 

EXCLUSIVE: “Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Head” Is Daphne Lee Martin’s Funky, Soulful New Single

elmoreGenre-bending is practically run of the mill these days, but have you ever heard an artist claim to run the gamut from “elements of hot jazz, indie folk, latin, opera, hip-hop, and cinematic pop”? Meet Daphne Lee Martin, the woman behind this ambitious catalogue of influences.

On her single “Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Head,” she sets out to show off her chops as a truly versatile lyricist and vocalist, even incorporating a rap verse by artist SuaveSki. Her sultry vocals blend jazz and soul, but the music is inflected with a funky, percussive groove.

The video juxtaposes shots of Martin performing with idyllic shots of nature and surreal glimpses of black and white film. Lyrically, the song stays true to the commitment of her latest effort to tackle the idea of storytelling in all of its facets: “fables, fairy tales, Bible stories, mythology, poetry, cautionary tales, traditional folk songs, and American popular culture of the 20th century.” She picks her title from a biblical tale, and weaves gospel elements throughout.

Her latest album, Fall On Your Sword, will be out on October 2nd. Catch her in New York City when she hits the CMJ Music Marathon in mid-October, or throughout the rest of the country on her fall tour.

 

 

The Big Takeover Song premiere: “Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Head” by Daphne Lee Martin

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 1.14.09 PM

Daphne Lee Martin

9 September 2015

Fall On Your Sword is the fourth full-length album from Daphne Lee Martin, and the first to be produced by the songwriter herself. According to Martin, this collection of songs was written as a whole, “encompassing memories of fables, fairy tales, Bible stories, mythology, poetry, cautionary tales, traditional folk songs, and American popular culture of the 20th century.”

The result is rich, compelling, and funky, as this track, featuring rapper SuaveSki, ably demonstrates. Turn it up!

Fall On Your Sword comes out October 2, via The Telegraph Recording Company.

 

Confessions | I’d Take A Bullet For You

Feels
It’s hard to explain something so easy. Who doesn’t want to wake up next to someone who drives them wild? Sometimes at any cost. There’s a reason we are all fascinated by the story of Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow, we all kind of want to be them just a little bit. Go crazy, take what we want, and make love on the run.

Playahs
Matt Covey on drums, Isaac Young on wurlitzer and clarinet, Sue Menhart on spoken word, Craig Edwards on button accordion, Matt Potter on vocals, Anjanine Bonet on fiddle and vocals, Danny Motta on trumpet, Gary Buttery on Tuba, Jess Brey on flute, David Dorfman on baritone sax, Brad Bensko on bass, DLM on synths, percussion, vocals, flute, piano and acoustic guitar.

Chasing the Demo
This is the earliest demo of ‘I’d Take A Bullet For You’ from June 22, 2013, with only Daphne’s backing vocals and midi parts.

Lyrical, Production & Music Notes
So if you caught yourself singing Haiti to this, you’re spot on. This is definitely my brain on Arcade Fire.

But then, I really wanted to get the feeling of this absolutely beautiful tune from The Head & The Heart, and I really can’t tell you all how excited I am about sharing this song in the live show.

The reference to the “perfect drug”, of course is the second reference to Nine Inch Nails on the album. But this was mostly about the ‘criminally’ unjust lack of publicity Bonnie Parker’s epic poetry got in the wake of her dramatic demise.

The full poem was written in Kaufman Jail in 1932 .

The Story of Suicide Sal

We each of us have a good “alibi”
For being down here in the “joint”;
But few of them really are justified
If you get right down to the point.

You’ve heard of a woman’s “glory”
Being spent on a “downright cur,”
Still you can’t always judge the story
As true, being told by her.

As long as I’ve stayed on this “island,”
And heard “confidence tales” from each “gal,”
Only one seemed interesting and truthful —
The story of “Suicide Sal.”

Now “Sal” was a gal of rare beauty,
Though her features were coarse and tough;
She never once faltered from duty
To play on the “up and up.”

“Sal” told me this tale on the evening
Before she was turned out “free,”
And I’ll do my best to relate it
Just as she told it to me:

I was born on a ranch in Wyoming;
Not treated like Helen of Troy;
I was taught that “rods were rulers”
And “ranked” as a greasy cowboy.”

Then I left my old home for the city
To play in its mad dizzy whirl,
Not knowing how little of pity
It holds for a country girl.

There I fell for “the line” of a “henchman,”
A “professional killer” from “Chi”;
I couldn’t help loving him madly;
For him even now I would die.

One year we were desperately happy;
Our “ill gotten gains” we spent free;
I was taught the ways of the “underworld”;
Jack was just like a “god” to me.

I got on the “F.B.A.” payroll
To get the “inside lay” of the “job”;
The bank was “turning big money”!
It looked like a “cinch” for the “mob.”

Eighty grand without even a “rumble” —
Jack was last with the “loot” in the door,
When the “teller” dead-aimed a revolver
From where they forced him to lie on the floor.

I knew I had only a moment —
He would surely get Jack as he ran;
So I “staged” a “big fade out” beside him
And knocked the forty-five out of his hand.

They “rapped me down big” at the station,
And informed me that I’d get the blame
For the “dramatic stunt” pulled on the “teller”
Looked to them too much like a “game.”

The “police” called it a “frame-up,”
Said it was an “inside job,”
But I steadily denied any knowledge
Or dealings with “underworld mobs.”

The “gang” hired a couple of lawyers,
The best “fixers” in any man’s town,
But it takes more than lawyers and money
When Uncle Sam starts “shaking you down.”

I was charged as a “scion of gangland”
And tried for my wages of sin;
The “dirty dozen” found me guilty —
From five to fifty years in the pen.

I took the “rap” like good people,
And never one “squawk” did I make.
Jake “dropped himself” on the promise
That we make a “sensational break.”

Well, to shorten a sad lengthy story,
Five years have gone over my head
Without even so much as a letter–
At first I thought he was dead.

But not long ago I discovered
From a gal in the joint named Lyle,
That Jack and his “moll” had “got over”
And were living in true “gangster style.”

If he had returned to me sometime,
Though he hadn’t a cent to give,
I’d forget all this hell that he’s caused me,
And love him as long as I live.

But there’s no chance of his ever coming,
For he and his moll have no fears
But that I will die in this prison,
Or “flatten” this fifty years.

Tomorrow I’ll be on the “outside”
And I’ll “drop myself” on it today;
I’ll “bump ’em” if they give me the “hotsquat”
On this island out here in the bay…

The iron doors swung wide next morning
For a gruesome woman of waste,
Who at last had a chance to “fix it,”
Murder showed in her cynical face.

Not long ago I read in the paper
That a gal on the East Side got “hot,”
And when the smoke finally retreated
Two of gangdom were found “on the spot.”

It related the colorful story
of a “jilted gangster gal.”
Two days later, a “sub-gun” ended
The story of “Suicide Sal.”
— Bonnie Parker

I’d Take A Bullet For You

wake up, I’ve had the craziest dream, we hatched the craziest scheme
and sure enough you’re here asleep beside me
the perfect drug run through both of our bloods
i’m such a sucker for a happy ending

wake up and make love to me

you are silk and cotton, i am burlap and wool
but you laugh at all my gallows humor
with all the trappings of a fallen angel
the way i look at you starts wildfire rumors

wake up and make love to me

 

Confessions | Little Birds


This began as the saddest little waltz in all the world. So sad that it took a very long time to find its way into the real repertoire, but sat along the sidelines and watched all the other songs having fun. It was still mourning the loss of something that had taken away its innocence. It was the moment of admitting that music is entirely who I am, no longer who I am trying to be. Accepting the sacrifices that would inevitably come. The sacrifice of a stable income, the constant need to produce art that stirs and inspires others, the putting of my Self on display, the opening of my being to others- for real and for good. This song was my way of explaining to someone who had been very cruel to me that I was no longer going to lay across a bed in a room listening to the world outside the window, that I should be allowed to be- as I allowed him to be.

At the end of the day, it really is just me answering Ramona. There is “no one to beat you, no one to defeat you ‘cept the thoughts of yourself feeling bad”. As easy as it is to give yourself over to it and float in the oblivion of itisntmyfaultitsjustthisway, the sadness becomes just as frustrating and suffocating as the striving ever was. So you straighten your back and begin again. And there’s nothing sad about that.

Little Birds

You are light as a bird with your hollow bones
B
ringing me branches to build me a nest
Ribbons of silk and colorful yarns, a beautiful cradle to keep me safe and warm
A kiss on the forehead all fear to disarm is the only paradise I’ll ever know

I will lay across your bed & listen to the rain on the panes as you sing of Ramona
Your shoulders hang heavy over the keys
Till the ash finally drops as you lift to the 3
The soft gray smudge on the middle C is the only trouble heavy on my mind

When that golden dawn of yours breaks across this sky
& the dark that overwhelmed us gathers us into the light
Past the nights we wrestled terror & the nights we slept in peace
Will you look down into my face, let me fall from grace
& realize we’re both just little birds in flight

Laughing Place

photoWash the canvas all in gold, as the floor of heaven
To bleed through every color overlaid
So shines a good deed in a naughty world
How far that little candle throws his beams!

Please, Mister, please don’t throw me into that briar patch
Lord knows I might never find my way back

I don’t believe in heroes, greater glory dims the less
Secrets have a way of corroding their containers

So you stole fire from the gods, this precious gift
Some use for right and some for wrong

You can use the master’s tools to unmake the master’s house
But where will you run when the final judgment comes?

O Sinnerman, where you gonna run to?

 

CT Music Awards Nomination for Best Singer Songwriter

Print

It is with the warmest heart and deepest thanks to all of you that I invite you to celebrate this year’s CT Music Awards, for which I’ve been nominated Best Singer Songwriter. The ceremony will take place on September 17th at The Bushnell Theater in Hartford. Don’t forget to visit CT.com to get tickets and more info on the other nominees and the ceremony, as well of lots of other great info on CT happenings. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for your votes and your support!

August 1st! Cafe Nine with Amy LaVere & Sean Spellman

Hey all! The next show will be an acoustic one with Jim Carpenter (locodare.com) backing me up on guitar as well as the wonderful songwriters Sean Spellman (Quietlifeband.com) and Amy LaVere! Tickets are only $8 and the links below will get you more info! Cafe Nine, New Haven.

Facebook Event Invite! | Get tickets: http://ticketf.ly/ZItanX | http://www.amylavere.com/

AmyLaVereFlyer