alieNation

NYC Reggae Collective (2004)

alienation (album notes)


The CD is composed mostly of original songs by Louie Fleck that deal loosely and directly with the idea of alienation in the psychological sense and also with some science fiction ramifications! Of course, the music is heavily Reggae influenced, but it crosses over many stylistic boundaries and operates on several levels. Just like New York, there are numerous surprises lurking in every corner of this CD, but you have to hear it to understand!

Some of the best New York based musicians and performers are appearing on the CD such as: Original Smurph, Marcia Davis (Outro), Brian "Milo" Lowe (The MOT!VES, Shaka Milo), Ronnie Butler (Israel Vibrations, Eek, Meditations), Charmaine DaCosta (Wirl-A-Girl), Maggie Roche (The Roches), Simone Gordon (Outro), Kalvin Kristi, Keith Johnston (Lisa-Lisa & Cult Jam), Papa Linley, Bela Fleck (banjo), Pamelia Kurstin (theremin), Laury Webb (Meditations, Eek) Pam Fleming (trumpet), Dan Levine (trombone), Jenny Hill (sax), and many others.

For over 5 years, our weekly Reggae jam has brought together a diverse group of people who love to make Reggae music in all of it's permutations. Everyone who performs on this CD has been part of that experience. Now it's time for you to join us! Get a copy of this CD, you really don't want to miss this one, seen!



alieNation (2004)
NYC Reggae Collective

alienation

lyrics

FUTURE FEELING (L. Fleck)
I got a future feeling and the past can’t stop me now
I got a future feeling don’t ask me why, don’t ask me how
I got a future feeling third times a charm, and that’s for sure
I got a future feeling opportunities banging down the door

I used to worry, but, I’m not so worried now I did my share of crying, but, I got over it somehow
And so much anger, I am surprised I didn’t blow Into a million pieces, I had nowhere left to go

The worm had turned, I had been burned I thought I had reached the end of the line
Open your heart and be (quite) certain…. If you show me yours, I will show you mine

I got a future feeling all you have to do is look
I got a future feeling that phone is ringing off the hook
I got a future feeling would I take a message for you please?
I got a future feeling you’ll see the forest and the trees I don’t need no crystal ball, I can see it all. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MUSIC IS THE MESSAGE (L. Fleck, with additional lyrics by A. Bernard)
I fought my way back, it's too late 'cause I’m awake
It's no small comfort, that the eggshell didn't break
There’s danger all around, insecurity weighs me down
But there’s a place in town, on a road you need to take

How well you live your life, I can barely tell wrong from right
But, I know when I see the light, music is the message, music is the message
Out of sorts and out of place, if you really want to help, would you turn up the bass!
Drum and bass in your face, music is the message now.

Until you're on the track, this train ain't coming back You could dwell on what you lack, and end up with a throbbing pain
The station master sings… as to what the future brings, Don’t be concerned with such things, like you ever could explain!

This battle you can't win, to lose is no great sin As long as you let me in, there's faith and there's slow healing
There's a tune & there's a beat and a dance step to repeat And the moment is complete, when you get that feeling.

You try with all your might, I can barely tell wrong from right
But, I know when I see the light, music is the message, music is the message
What won't heal, you can erase, If U really want to help, turn up the bass!
Here is the time, now is the place! music is the message now.

The drum beat sweet, and the bass is so fine, Got to move your feet, and then your waistline
This one is fun, when it done, press rewind, Play it again, then see what you find
Here is the now, time and the place, This drum and bass, it set the pace
Rock to the beat, move your feet, dweet, it complete, music is the message now

On your radio, there’s a curse, this chorus needs a verse, Don’t wait, it might get worse, some seeds: they grow dark flowers
You don’t know what you’ll find, There’s a party in your mind The planets are aligned, show me your secret powers

How well you live your life, I can barely tell wrong from right
But, I know when I see the light, music is the message, music is the message
Before you blow a fuse, put on, put on your dancing shoes
You've got no time to lose, music is the message, music is the message
Can you break the daily grind? Can you leave the past behind?
The neighbors here, don’t mind, music is the message, music is the message.
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I DON’T THINK SO (L Fleck)
Time to tie up some loose ends, Clear away the mess surrounding me
It all comes down to the details, Details are all that I can see
I haven’t found any short cuts, Tried a little bit of give and take
After dinner comes dessert, I don’t want to make another mistake

Did you do what you said, what you said you would do?
When you said what you said, what I thought was true?
Did you say what you said. or mis-say what you meant
When the truth became better than the lies you’d invent?
I don’t think so, You can not do that…‘Cause it all comes around again & again, Yes it all comes around again–

Time to cut away the dead weight, I’ll be ready in a moment or two
My word is a very good promise, My word is good, what about you? I
won’t make any presumptions, Personality gets in the way
If you’re gonna start talking, Make damn sure you’ve got something to say

Walk in the shadow, walk in the light

Time to take out the garbage, Time to clean up the place where I live
I know that I will never forget, This is not the time to forgive
Go with the current in the sea below, Maybe one day I will find the cure
Deeper than deep where the wind don’t blow For now I’ve changed all the locks on the door.
There’s no making up and you don’t get a kiss, The tables have turned, I’ve been waiting for this
Sometimes you lose and sometimes I win, Now, you get to go where I have been
Cause it all comes around again & again, Yes it all comes around again.
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Better Than It Was (L. Fleck)
Better than it was, better than it was, better than it was
Better than it was, better than it was, a little bit better

In the morning, you can see a little sun Does it mean that the storms are finally done?
A little ray of hope for a brand new day Perhaps, some light is coming to guide us on our way
There are needs to be met, no time to pause, Do what you can, you can help out in the cause
It’s a cruel cold world, and options are few, Complain if you like or admire the view
A pebble in my shoe, what is that all about? And the thorn in your side, how can we take it out?

A little bit better, better than it was, better than it was,
Better than it was better than it was, better than it was, a little bit better

You may never get all you dream and wish But give a man a pole and you might teach him how to catch a fish
Push too hard and you might make a big mistake A good time for us now to take a little break
Eyes will fill and we have fears, but, there are reasons to dry those tears
In time we may come to untie the knot, be thankful now for what we've got

Better that it was, better than it was, a little bit better
Though our journey may not take us very far , As night falls surely you will know where you are
So take my hand and let us move along And take a chance and sing this little song…
What else can you do? Try to make it through…
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THINK (L. Fleck, with additional lyrics by A. Bernard)
Think fast, think fast, if you want to make it last
Think slow, think slow, if you want to watch it grow
Think hard, think hard, before you lay down your next card
Think true, think true, what is it that you need to do?

Think fast, think slow, think false, think true, Think up, think down, think me, think you
Think you, think me, think black, think white, Think strong, think weak, think wrong, right?
Think twice, think twice, before you fall, when you slip on the ice
Think up, think down and whatever it takes to come around
Think you, think me, speak up please, when you disagree
Think sky, sand and sea, think waves and clouds and eternity

Call the dance and sing the song if you want someone to sing along
You make decisions everyday, why should you care what others may say?
Think black, think white, day after day, dark into light
Think red, white and blue, ask not what your country can do
Think strong, think weak, when is it the best time to speak?
Think brave, long and true, and the thought will come to you
Think dim, think bright, what happens when you turn on the light?
Think dog, think cat, I bet you never thought you’d think about that
Think how, think why you might ever tell a lie
Think eye, think ear, and what it takes to make it clear

Not every smile belongs to a friend, Not every road comes to an end
Not every target comes into sight, Not every course you choose can be right
Think of what you need and can’t do without, Think of what you don’t care to think about
Think about time, think about space, Think about the things you’d rather not face
Think of what you felt and thought today, Think of all the things you didn’t get to say
Think about the forces that brought you here, Think until you think your thoughts are clear.
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SHE MIGHT SAY YES (ASK HER TO DANCE) (L. Fleck)
She's got love, love, love and now she's alone Nothing's ever hurt so deep that I've ever known
So when you gonna make a move, it really comes down on you
Just pull her right into view and give her a home
'Cause I think you're a friend and I've really got to set you straight
Don't dawdle when it comes to her, don't you hesitate
You can't stand too long on a ridge, 'Cause the time that you lose is all the time that it takes

Go ahead and ask her to dance, go ahead and ask her to dance,
Go ahead and ask her to dance, she might say yes…

Once she tried to catch your eye, but, you were asleep
If you don't want her to say goodbye, you'd better learn this new beat
Would you show me how it goes?
It's been here a long time since love ever got this near
If there's love in the air, let her know while the coast is clear!

Go ahead and ask her to dance, go ahead and ask her to dance,
Go ahead and ask her to dance, she might say yes
She might say yes, she might say no, she might say "Come and rock your lover easy and slow"
She might say no, she might say yes, She might open up her heart & confess
About the love between a man and a woman, Not the love between a boy and a girl
About how love, it makes me uneasy, But, there's not enough in my world.
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I DON’T BELIEVE YOU (L. Fleck)
Lead Vocals: Original Smurph (Norman Murphy) Background Vocals: Simone Gordon and Smurph
Cello: Paul Brantley Bass, Guitar, Drum Programming & Keys: LF Trumpet: Pam Fleming Trombone: Dan Levine
I don’t believe you, I don’t believe you I don’t know why, I got to leave you
When I catch you in a lie, Do you need to see me cry? Why don’t you say goodbye?
As you weave your tale, So I’ll be misled Well that’s another book, I wish that I had read
Now the earth is flat, Then the sky is green How can a friend of mine, Turn out to be so mean?
Star you say that shines, In the sky for me I look and look some more, But, I have yet to see
Soon you’re coming home, Then you’ve gone about And you have made my bed, A place to do without
Always on my mind, As I sweep the floor I hear the key go in, And you unlock the door
Do I dare to ask? Maybe I should go? One day you’ll wonder why…One day you’ll need to know…
I don’t believe you.
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UFO (L. Fleck)
Toddler in his P.J.’s vanished… few days ago
I simply can’t believe that boy got lost in the snow
His footprints stopped right there and left no trace
Something stinks ‘round here and me thinks it comes from outer space
They’ve been keeping tabs on us, since who the Hell knows when
They don’t have antennas, they look like ordinary men
One day I saw them in that blue glowing light
But they’re pretty damn smart and they keep well out of sight

It may be a secret, but it won’t be for long, Documented sightings now in almost every state
No need to insult me or insist that I’m wrong We better do something before it’s too late

I was taking some wood from out back of the shed
When I though I heard a cel phone, so of course I turned my head
It was a round gray disc, it weren’t no truck or no plane
Just because I take a drink or two, it don’t mean that I’m insane
The government is acting like they don’t care… Like they really don’t know what’s goin’ on up there
But those bureaucrats keepin’ files on “kooks” like me Saying I’m a threat to the national security,
But that’s ridiculous, I’m just trying to help!
I snuck up on that mother ship when those bastards wasn’t around
All those lights and buttons and that damn annoying sound
Doctor Dentons layin’ on the floor, saw all I needed to see
I wasn’t gonna stay in there and let them get inside of me

We got to take a stand We got to make a defense We got to move quickly We got to spare no expense
We got to get some weapons if we want to stay free I’m sayin’ that you got to take me seriously.
Here they come, no stopping them now.
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NUCLEAR WAR (Rich N Famous, L. Fleck and B. Lowe)
I told my mommy to tell my dad it’s OK
To have a nuclear war next week on Saturday
Cause all the kids on my block are comin’ to my nuclear war

Let’s have a nuclear war, I want a nuclear war
You need a nuclear war, We need a nuclear war

I told my teacher, I’ve got enough on my mind
I don’t need her advice, I’m getting along just fine
Don’t wanna go steady, I don’t want nothin’ but my nuclear war

Let’s have a nuclear war, I want a nuclear war
You need a nuclear war, We need a nuclear war

What am I do, what am I try, dem tell me lie, But this here pressure, you know I apply
And if you catch the ad lib and if you catch the slip The thing that may just make you want to catch your grip
Nation after nation, Babylon ya burn down Well I don’t think the people a go take that fe fun
See my Mom and over nine months I come Well this here Rastaman come fe burn down Babylon (oh,, oh, oh)

If all the people who live here under the sun
Would have a nukular war it would be so much fun
Then everybody could come together as one in a nuclear war

Let’s have a nuclear war, I want a nuclear war You need a nuclear war, We need a nuclear war
You want a nuclear war, You get a nuclear war.
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OPEN ROAD (B. Lowe & L. Fleck)
Smoking Mary, dancing Mary, loving Mary, she’s so sweet
She make me want it like candy, gal, check for me, wantee, wantee
A different world and galaxy, a different you and me
There is plenty that the eyes don’t see
Away from their spaces, in all places

And I’ll be taking off on the open road, once again
And I’ll be taking off on the open road, oh yeah

They come to us so afraid to trust, The god and gods we lust towards
Warning signs are everywhere, Land mines want to tear a love like this,
so rare In a moment of weakness, your caress it captured me
An old soul calling out, calling out, but eventually

I’ll be taking off on the open road, once again
And I’ll be taking off on the open road, oh yeah

I carry a piece of you, it passes through some place in this heart
Why should I have to wait, have to stop, when it feels so good to start
The night is still and falling, distant trumpets are calling, don’t you know?
These burdens I must be hauling, no more stalling, its time to go.

So I’ll be taking off on the open road, once again
And I’ll be taking off on the open road, oh my friend
So I’ll be taking off on the open road, once again
So I’ll be taking off on the open road, yes my friend.
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I’M NOT YOUR DONKEY ANYMORE (L. Fleck)
I got a new job, it's much better than before, I got a new job, in fact, it pays a whole lot more
I got a new job, & my boss he treats me swell, I got a new job, so I guess that you can go to hell
I never planned to fail, Now I know the score
You can not pull my tail, I'm not your donkey anymore (3X)

I've got a new home, the architecture is unique, I got a new home, and the roof… it doesn't leak
I got a new home, even though I never finished school, I got a new home with a driveway and a pool
The saddles off my back, it’s a relief, for sure So you can carry your own pack, I'm not your donkey anymore

I got a new girl, and she looks out for me, I got a new girl, she keeps me company
I got a new girl, I've got to confess, I got a new girl, she looks good in a dress
That problem with my brain, now that I've found the cure
Maybe you should take the train, I'm not your donkey anymore

I'll show you, then you'll see, no more donkey rides for free It is true,
I can do, no more donkey rides, for you Here I go, singing low, no more donkey rides, oh no
Anyway, can you say, no more donkey rides today.
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HARD TO FIND (L. Fleck)
You were very hard to find, how could I know, I must've been blind
To think (that) I could hold you for more than a moment
I don't know how to pretend, I don't think I can be your friend
Not as long as I'm wrapped around your finger
Don't tell me what's brought this about, I see you now… from the side that is out
And I don't have time to linger

Once you came into view, I felt something new Do you really have to go?
Don't you turn and run away, there's more that I need to say I lose at love and you won't know…

You were very hard to find, I couldn't get you off of my mind
Don't you think were getting any older?
In every face that I see, are your eyes looking through me
And from behind looking over my shoulder
Sometimes a fool would think he's so smart, when it comes to affairs of the heart
Oh, what a price to pay for wisdom!
So many nights and now alone, I wish I could call you, bring you back home
And now I can't get you out of my system…

You were very hard to find I may be hurt, but, I don't despair, It's only pain, there's a way to repair
Just call it love that you won’t know
You were very hard to find.
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I CAN’T REMEMBER, I CAN’T FORGET (L. Fleck)
So close to touch like a distant star, You do seem familiar, whoever you are
A constant reminder of what I can’t recall, I’m not sure what happened at all
I drift, I fade, I become awake, You can not give what I won’t take
When the mist clears and the fog has come, You can’t escape what I’m running from

Flames that are cold, ice that is hot, Lies that seem right, truth that is not
I was so happy, I was so upset, I can’t remember, I can’t forget,
I can’t remember, I can’t forget

In all this darkness is a blinding light, I close my eyes and you come into sight
While I’m not ready for this kind of emotion, To you I give everlasting devotion
Sometime soon, maybe yesterday, I need you to stay, no, you must go away
Always on my mind, though we’ve never met, Sweet words of love that sound like a threat

Flames that are cold, ice that is hot, Lies that seem right, truth that is not
There is no image on this T.V. set, I can’t remember, I can’t forget
I can’t remember, I can’t forget, I can’t remember…

All I ever found that I wanted to do, was find a way to find a way to find you
All you reveal is hidden and then, All you reveal is hidden again
And must I say for whatever it’s worth, Nirvana might be right here on earth
I open a door and it is a wall, I get to that place where I’m nothing at all
Only to vanish without a trace, And appear in every place

Flames that are cold, ice that is hot, Lies that seem right, truth that is not
I win the prize, but I lose the bet, I can’t remember, I can’t forget
I can’t remember, I can’t forget, I can’t remember, I …
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LONG DRIVE HOME (L. Fleck and B. Lowe)
You could say the party’s over, When the guests begin to stink
Sure to be some fine hell tomorrow, Someone’s had too much to drink
When did it start to end? Some wounds are hard to mend
I fear it won’t be long, my dear… Until somebody cries
If I get your hat and goat, Will you make your goodbyes?

There’s still that long drive home until we say goodnight
There’s still that long drive home for us to make it right

I turn on the radio, You say “put it on the news”
Tell the truth, I prefer some music, Why should the driver choose?
Not all in love is fair... When did you cease to care?
So we tumble down the highway, The tank is full with gas
All I see ahead is darkness, Someone wants to pass

There’s still that long drive home until we say goodnight
There’s still that long drive home for us to make it right
I call you a bastard, You call me a bitch
I could let you off right here, Yonder there’s a ditch
Should we go on like this? We never seem to learn
There’s oncoming lights ahead, I could take a turn

There’s still that long drive home until we say goodnight There’s still that long drive home until we say goodnight
There’s still that long drive home, make sure the seatbelt’s tight. There’s still that long drive home until we say goodnight.
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STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (L. Fleck)
The whole thing started as a crush, But soon I found it hard when you were not there
You were always in a rush, Always on your way off to somewhere
Could it be we’ve grown apart? I remember waiting on the platform
Now I don’t know what to do with my heart, It seems like the calm before a rough storm

So are we strangers, strangers, strangers on a train? I can’t find the right words to say to you
We’ve become strangers, strangers on a train For a moment, there I really thought I knew you,
Strangers on a train

Is it so hard to explain? There’s a secret, somewhere, lurking in a shadow
I see clouds, will there be rain? Lost in thought and staring out the window
Is there no hope here for repair? What now is the path of least resistance?
Don’t you know that I still care, After we have traveled all this distance

I’ve made my share of mistakes, I was not aware that we had reached a destination
Why must you apply the brakes? Is someone waiting for you at the next station?
Were getting closer to the end, And the train rolls round the bend
Sad to lose you for a friend, Why must you apply the brakes?