more from
Unlimited Media Limited

Picture Him Happy

by Ben Sidran

/
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $9.99 USD  or more

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Digipak + limited edition postcard with original album artwork.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Picture Him Happy via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days

      $12 USD or more 

     

1.
College 03:00
College, college, that’s the place that I went wrong Knowledge, knowledge, I thought I’d find it in my song Standing on the corner and trying to score Just shoeing up some horses and here comes Henry Ford College, college, that’s the place that I went wrong College, college, that’s the place that I went wrong Knowledge, knowledge, I thought I’d find it in my song I wish I had bothered to open a book I wish I could remember all the shit that I took Back in college, college, that’s the place that I went wrong College, college, that’s the place that I went wrong Knowledge, knowledge, I thought I’d find it in my song Laying in the weeds smoking up the grass Talking real hip, checking out her ass College, college, that’s the place that I went wrong
2.
3.
A man and a rock and a real steep hill Sun so hot even the shadows can kill He keeps right on pushing try to get to the top But the forces of nature try make a man drop He’s down on his knees in a world full of pain But time after time, he gets back up again You got the picture You got to picture him happy The sun is the truth and there’s no place to hide The rock is time passing and time will abide The hill is the shape of all things to come The man he’s just suffering in the heat and the sun Tryin' to find some meaning in a world that don’t care But the rock won’t talk and the hill don’t share You got the picture You got to picture him happy Picture him happy It aint what you do it’s the way that you do it It aint where you go its the way that you go through it Desperate times call for desperate actions Desperate minds need desperate distractions The sun is so hot that you can’t breath the air It’s an eye for an eye and everything is fair Try to find a reason in a world where there’s none There’s just this rock and this hill and this god awful sun Now there’s change for a dollar and change for a dime You wanna change your world you gotta change your mind (2X) But when he gets near the top there’s a terrible thrill He sees another man and another rock going up another hill You got the picture You got to picture him happy
4.
I might be wrong but it sure seems to me The past ain’t what it was And the future ain’t what it used to be Everywhere I go I hear people say Man, you should have been here yesterday You should have been here before the fall Now it’s the price of everything and The value of nothing at all I might be wrong but I think those days are gone The past aint what it was And the future won’t be here long We are all just the sons of the Dharma Bums Wading in the water of the infinite flow And every time you look You find another dead guy in your address book (2 X: Every time you turn the page another actor leaves the stage) Where have all the good ones gone Why did they leave us here to carry on I might be wrong but everywhere I go Them that knows don’t talk And them that talks don’t know If silence is the answer What could the question be? I may be wrong But that’s how it seems to me
5.
We’re riding in a car through the streets of New Orleans It’s pouring down rain, the roads are nothing but streams He’s looking out the window and he turns to me and says, “Welcome to the quagmire son” and then he shakes his head And says something at the time I didn’t really understand Cause it came right out of nowhere and the man is so offhand, But any time he wants to he can cut you like a knife. He said, “It all comes down to someone’s money versus someone else’s life.” In a bar in Soho, it’s winter, and it’s dark We’re eating some spaghetti at this jazz club by the park He’s laughing about a time way back in the past At this little joint in Tippo where folks would stop for gas Put a nickel in the juke box and make some music play Have a cold co-cola hear what T-Bone had to say And then he asked me, “Man, you ever hear about the bo-hog grind?” I said, “No,” He said, “Me neither, man, but that’s what I’m trying to find.” He said, “I don’t worry about a thing because nothing’s gonna be alright” He said, “I might be nobody this morning but I was somebody last night” He said, “I’m not talking ‘cause it just don’t pay” He said, “Just trying to swing a little in my way.” We’re in a recording studio in Manhattan, Paul Motian’s at the drums We’re taking a slow five when up this story comes About Brew Moore fell down the steps at Tivoli and dies. He’s kind of laughing but he got that sad look in his eyes And he says, “You know that man was never on the cover of a magazine, and he just inherited a million bucks and this was his parting scene.” There was a moment of silence in respect for man’s fate And then he said, “if I ever write my book I’m gonna call it ... too much too late..” SOLO BRIDGE: He said: “If you live, your time will come” “Your mind is on vacation but your mouth is working overtime” “I don’t have no trouble living, it’s just dyin’ that bothers me” “Everybody’s cryin’ mercy but they don’t know the meaning of the word VAMP OUT “Foolkiller coming; think he’s got his eye on me and you.”.” “Look here, whatcha think you’re gonna be doin’ next year?” “Ever since the world ended, I don’t get out as much.” “Money ain’t the answer cause it can’t buy cancer.” “That grey haired geezer you think you see – that ain’t me” “I’m just a lucky so and so.” “Just mixing up the boogie and the do – si – do” “Thank god for self love”
6.
Shaboogie 03:25
7.
Faking It 02:49
Everybody here is just faking Everybody here is a fraud Everybody knows they’re mistaken And everybody's praying that They won't get caught Just like me and like you Everybody's faking it too Everybody here is just lyin’ No one here is telling the truth Everybody’s out here denying Trying to make you think They got the proof Just like me and like you Everybody’s fakin’ it too Don't be afraid if you feel like fake I got some good news for you Take a look and you'll see just like you and like me Everybody's faking it Everybody's faking it Everybody’s out here just acting Everybody’s wearing disguise People are busy distracting Hoping you don't notice that it's all improvised Just like me and like you Everybody’s faking it too Everybody out here is posing Everybody’s using a front Nobody out here’s disclosing Somebody somewhere is baring the brunt Just like me and like you Everybody’s faking it -- like me and like you Ain’t no mistaking it -- like me and like you Godforsaking it -- like me and like you We’re all give and taking it -- like me and like you, record breaking it Everybody’s faking it too
8.
When you’re dying on the platform from the heat and the smoke And the skinny girl from Teaneck thinks it’s all some kinda joke Waiting on the “G” train and the AC is broke But thank god for the F train (x2) Some people ride to work some people ride to war Some people got no idea what they’re riding for Some people get on board just because they shut the door But thank god for the F train (x2) It might be raining on the surface, coming down in sheets Forget the car service, nothing’s moving on the streets You gotta get to mid town and there’s no service on your phone? Well get yourself a ticket and join the underground There’s a drummer down in Chelsea trying to get to union hall There’s a real estate broker trying to make that conference call There’s a guy sellin’ umbrellas before the prices fall They all thank god for the F train (x2) There’s a politician out hustling up some votes There’s a statistician counting up some goats Me, I’m wondering what those girls are hiding in their coats And here comes the river, you think this baby floats? You can thank old Ronald Reagan for screwing up the skies And you can thank the boys at NORML for tryin’ to decriminalize And you can thank that place in Redhook for those fine key-lime pies But thank god for the F train (x2)
9.
He got one shoe off got the other shoe ready to drop He’s gonna rip the place up if you don’t let him cop You got to feed the beast and the beast never stop. He’s just another old bull peepin’ in a new china shop Now he’s up on the stage got himself in a rage so what’s new This ain’t his first rodeo, this ain’t his final review You got to feed the beast and the beast never stop He’s just another old bull peepin’ in a new china shop Another rich kid with nothing to lose A silver spoon gangster with the million dollar blues A finger on the trigger, a match to the fuse When the beast wants to eat, then the beast gets to choose If self-love was criminal he’d lead the life of crime It ain’t nothing subliminal – he is what’s on his mind You got to feed the beast and the beast never stop He’s just another old bull peepin’ in a new china shop
10.
Big Brother 03:54
Just let me give you some good advice Don’t get caught in the same trap twice Every little thing you do Big brother is watching you Don’t put your business on the telephone Don’t go out and get too well known It could be your Waterloo Big brother is watching you Don’t tell people that you having fun Easy, walk don’t run Careful who you’re talking to Big brother is watching you Don’t say nothing bad about a CEO When the money whistles do-si-do I only tell you ‘cause it’s true Big brother is watching you
11.
Who Are You 03:58
I’m the voice in your head Can you hear me? You hear me You still aint dead I am the voice in your ear can you hear me? You know me Nothing to fear When you got to decide I’m the one who will choose When you’re losing your mind I’m the mind that you lose (Now) tell me if you have a clue Who am I talking to? Who are you? Who are you? I am the voice in your mind Can you hear me? You keep searching for me But I’m so hard to find I am the voice in your dream Can you hear me? Try to remember I’m not what I seem My words are like birds On a telephone wire Spread ‘em on out, Watch ‘em dance your desire But tell me if you have a clue Who am I talking to? Who are you? Who are you? Who am I talking to? (Who Are You p. 2) Do I know right from wrong, Do I know all the words to your Favorite song? When you’re out on the town When you’re running it down When you howl at the moon Who do you think is calling that tune? Who am I talking to? Who Are You Who Are You SOLO I’m your deepest desire Your unspoken fear When you’re lighting the fire My hand is near This landscape is littered With your little answers Like the discarded skirts Of old hula dancers So tell me if you have a clue Who am I talking to? Who are you? Who are you?
12.
Was 03:17
When I become was And we become were Will there be any sign or a trace Of the lovely contour of your face? And will there be someone around With essentially my kind of sound When am turns to was And now is back when Will someone have moments like this Moments of unspoken bliss And will there be heroes and saints Or just a dark new age of complaints When I become was And we become were Will there be any Susans or Ralphs Looking at old photographs And wondering aloud to a friend What was it like to be then

about

PICTURE HIM HAPPY is a response to the saying that our music is made by and for people who have chosen to feel good in spite of conditions: you often can’t affect what happens but you can determine how you respond to it. It’s a record that’s right on time.

The central image is that of Sisyphus, the mythical man doomed to push the same rock up the same hill for eternity. French philosopher Albert Camus suggested that given the similarity between the life of Sisyphus and our lives today, the only reasonable response is to try to imagine him happy – hence the title of this project. We live in hard, frustrating times – perhaps we always have – and now more than ever, we need to turn to the music to make this hill we climb bearable.

With logic like that, we give you ANOTHER OLD BULL, a song about Trump and all the other little trumps out there. The antidote to their cynicism and self regard is found in the prescient music of the late Mose Allison, whose personal wisdom and wise words are recounted in TOO MUCH TOO LATE as well as in one of the first songs he wrote, BIG BROTHER, and one of his last, WAS. Mose was a shining light of reason in a world of dark dissemblance.
The song I COULD BE WRONG recounts what we’ve lost and the song EVERYBODY’S FAKING IT explains how we lost it. And for levity, there’s a love song to the New York subway that brings the hipsters in and out of Brooklyn, THANK GOD FOR THE F TRAIN, and a jaundiced look back at our communal COLLEGE experience.

All together, twelve songs, recorded in a hot three days in a Park Slope studio with Will Lee on bass, Will Bernard on guitar, John Ellis on saxophone, Leo Sidran on drums and the inimitable Moses Patrou and Trixie Waterbed.

If music is not only a reflection of our lives but a way to understand it, this album, once again, establishes Ben Sidran—in the words of DownBeat magazine—as “the voice of his generation”.

credits

released January 17, 2017

Ben Sidran: Wurlitzer, voice
Leo Sidran: drums, backing vocal
Will Lee: bass, backing vocal
Will Bernard: guitar
John Ellis: saxophone
Moses Patrou: percussion
Trixie Waterbed: backing vocal

Recorded by Leo Sidran & Tomek Miernowski at Electric Poodle Studio, Brooklyn

Mixed by Leo Sidran
Mastered by UE Nastasi at Sterling Sound

license

all rights reserved

tags