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ALL IMPORTANT ARTISTS

by J.W. Schuller

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    CD artwork and sloppily handwritten lyric booklet included (pdf).

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01:26
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03:32
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10.
01:59
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03:38
12.

credits

released 24 September 2013

All songs by J.W. Schuller except:
Track 6 co-written from the Great Beyond by Mark Eriksson
Track 12 by Leo Friedman and Beth Slater Whitson
Co-produced and engineered by Michael Wisti
Recorded on 2-inch tape, mixed & mastered at Albatross Studio, Mpls

J.W. Schuller: vocals, guitar, bass, percussion and other assorted noisemakers including but not limited to organ, a toy piano, a real piano, a kazoo, a Uniball pen, chimes, and the load-bearing support post in Wisti’s basement.

Michael Wisti: backing vocals on track 1; trumpet on tracks 1 and 3.

Michael Helm, Joe McKenna, Todd Nelson & Mark Tapper: Men’s chorus on tracks 6 and 10.

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about

J.W. Schuller Minneapolis, Minnesota

Used to play rock in bars. After a hiatus, started playing old folks’ homes. The experience inspired me to write this batch of songs about our all-too-brief time on earth. And play in bars again (ahh, the circle of life). Hope you enjoy these songs half as much as I enjoyed making them. Cheers. ... more

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Track Name: all important artists
all important artists have a defect in their heart or in their head
or so it’s said
paranoia or obsession, egomania, and feelings of dread
depressed in bed
van gogh’s absinthe and his missing ear
ernest shed his macho tears in beer
charlie parker shot his horse
and auden was so queer
you’ve gotta suffer, suffer, suffer for your art

all important art is hard it must be complicated to conceive
or perceive
no one wants to buy a canvas from a fat man living lavishly
or so it seems
michelangelo upon his back
basquiat in his cold water flat
nick drake never made a pound
‘til in his grave he sat
you’ve gotta suffer, suffer, suffer for your art

suffer, suffer, suffer, suffer, suffer, suffer, suffer, suffer
suffer, suffer, suffer, suffer, suffer for your art

all important artists must be very difficult to be around
or so it’s found
nice guys always finish last and perfect bastards always live it down
to take the crown
pollock and his infantile rants
frank lloyd wright couldn’t keep it in his pants
picasso was an a$$hole with an ego big as france
you’ve gotta suffer, suffer, suffer for your art
Track Name: sleep when we’re dead
mr. grim drops in every day
just to say he’s here to stay
but birds they still sing soft, sweet and free
almost like they call to you and me

when you were so young and green
like a fern in the ground curled up to spring
are you what you thought you would be?
and if so did you think that we’d be we?

but let’s not sit here marking time
like chalk on a rainy sidewalk washed up with the grime
there’s a great big world outside our heads
so let’s not miss a beat we can sleep when we’re dead

let’s go where the sky hugs the ground
we don’t need a map to get around
and chase the sun on down
‘til the night leads us on like a firefly

let’s not sit here marking time
like scratches on a prison wall we’ve built up in our minds
there’s a great big world outside our bed
so let’s not miss a thing we can sleep when we’re dead
Track Name: it’s hard to have a heart when all it does is bleed
I felt guilty, I wasn’t even catholic
I was dirty trying to get clean with spit
I was so down that I couldn’t climb up to sit
I was tired of people who don’t give a shhhh

it’s hard, it’s so hard
it’s hard to have a heart
it’s so hard to have a heart
when all it does is bleed

You were talking but I just couldn’t hear
I was listening to my pulse pound in my ears
you did surgery with a pair of garden shears
I was hoping for a little anesthesia, dear

it’s hard to have a heart that loves
it’s hard to hug with boxing gloves
it’s hard to have a heart in pain
it’s hard to break up on a train
it’s hard to have a heart that ticks
it’s hard to deal with all the pricks
it’s hard to have a heart that cares
it’s hard to get your heart repaired
Track Name: 8:04
the 8:04 number 135
is a whole different ride
with your headphones on
and your favorite song
drowning out the mourning
half awake halfway there
and completely in love
Track Name: camera directions for the end of a film about your life
the camera pans from left to right
the sidewalk soft with dappled light
you’re haloed by the morning sun
we follow you on down the street
with close-ups of your sneakered feet
we hear you hum a simple tune

the camera drifts up to your face
your smile looks slightly out of place

we hear the sprinklers and the birds
they form a chorus without words
you’re walking slowly out of frame
an indie anthem leads your way
uplifting yet without cliché
you disappear in camera glare

the credits roll after you’re gone
we know you’re happy from now on
Track Name: work is the curse of the drinking class
work is the curse of the drinking class
work is the curse of the drinking class
work is the curse of the drinking class
and so say all of us

work is the curse of the drinking class
so drop your shovels and raise your glass
and tell your boss to kiss your ass
early in the morning
day is for sleeping and night for fun
so pour the bottle until the sun
rises upon your toils undone
‘til some other morning

all work and no play
makes for a dull day
all work and no play
bleeds all your days gray

work is the curse of the leisure class
so close your spreadsheets and raise your glass
and burn your ledgers to darkest ash
early in the morning
the years are spent in days and hours
the frost it turns to dust the flowers
so lay to waste the office towers
come this monday morning
Track Name: pull the shade
empty your head my dear, my darling
pour out all your dreams and schemes
pull the fears out of your pockets lint and all
we’ll pile them up into a great big ball
hang the good up on the wall
throw the rest out in the hall
step over it on our way out of town

empty your heart my storm, my sunshine
don’t hold back an ounce of feeling
pour it out like a baptist preacher sweat and all
quench me in the rites of love
rain down like a 100 year flood
wash away all of the mud
‘til we’re as clean as saints on a hospital floor

empty yourself my gin, my tonic
numb me to the cold and dull
smooth out my cracks and edges ‘til I’m drunk
roll me out like a brand new lawn
watch the night unfold the dawn
and hold me ‘til the sun is gone
to pull the shade down on our sweet days
Track Name: ready?
blow wind, blow (may you die down on down the road)

gonna hop up on my motorbike
gonna point the wheels to Paradise
gonna roll on like a pair of dice
gonna go until we’re good and gone
gonna chase the sun from dawn to dawn
and right before she gets on
my baby says “ready?” and I say “yeah”

flow stream, flow (never stay the same as you go)

gonna get our fill down at the well
gonna feel like heaven and look like hell
gonna kiss the night and never tell
gonna feel it right down in our bones
gonna throw until we’re overthrown
gonna go before we’re overblown
my baby says “ready?” and I say “yeah”

crow on, crow (‘til you have to caw at your ghost)

gonna wring our life out like a towel
gonna run with scissors down the hall
gonna love like Eve before the fall
gonna breathe the water and drink the land
gonna whole up for a big last stand
gonna play on like a Dixie band
when my baby says “ready?” I say “yeah”
Track Name: Zelda’s lament
a southern belle and northern ways
mix like bourbon with a valium haze
I was your prize you were my catch
‘til time proved you for a jealous wretch

but nothing or no one
means a thing except for you, dear

we lived it up we tore it down
from old manhattan to your one-horse town
we’d drift apart, we’d make amends
we lived like tourists with famous friends

but I could paint and I could dance
it got me this gig in the Highland San

but nothing or no one
means a thing except for you

you mined my words and drank the proof
you raided my diary and you stole my youth
now I’m buried under your prose
a fitting end, a flapper’s close
Track Name: if the river
if the river
if the river
if the river was
if the river
if the river
if the river was
river was
if the river was whiskey
if the river was whiskey
if the river was whiskey
all the fish would be dead
Track Name: streetlight
streetlight, streetlight
shining all night
think I’ll stay up with you
streetlight, streetlight
you won’t sleep tight
‘til the sun throws her blanket of blue

streetlight, streetlight
feel like we just might
burn out before your time
streetlight, streetlight
put your spotlight on
the rain and the snow and the crimes

make your sons shine and your daughters
like lovers and moths to you

streetlight, streetlight
think I just might stay awake
Track Name: let me call you sweetheart
I didn't write this one, so Google it.