Roger Manning (RM3)

by Roger Manning

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about

roger records 009

Released on Moll (Moll 10) in Germany 1995 and on Shanachie (Shanachie 5718) in the US 1997. This online version is the Shanachie version with track 12 coming from the Moll version.

Related press archive and other info: rogerm.net/press/mollpress.html

This recording was made by Joe Folk on Ken's 4-track cassette at Sasha Forty's place in Billyburg and on the Broome Closet 4-track in Manhattan September 1994. Shanachie version edited with Richard Joseph. Moll version edited with Joe Lambert.

The Soho Valley Boys:
Ken Greenboy - drums
Laura Elmina - bass, word
Conrad Cooper - bass
Amy - voice
Sasha - fiddle

Artwork and design by FLY
(peops.org)

Dedicated to MOM who gave me the machine on which this was made. Special thanks to Moll, Laure and EVERYone

All songs by Roger Manning
Art Because it's Made in Soho Pubishing, ASCAP

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released January 1, 1995

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about

Roger Manning New York, New York

The first Roger Manning album was released by California punk recording label SST (Black Flag, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.). I toured the US and occasionally bits of Europe for over 10 years performing wordy-solo-rock accompanied by bass-heavy amplified 'acoustic' guitar. There's been a bit of re-emergence since 2007 and the current album release in December 2014. ... more

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Track Name: The Driving Blues
gazing at freezing rocky mountain stars
listening to coyotes and
calling out the names of people i died for
pathetic but true
poetic too

so dark there's sparks coming off the flat pick
singing myself to sleep in the back seat
a lot of water gone under
you're on another planet by now
things could be worse
and they used to be
when i was a broken stepping stone
to your self-esteem
i should just be glad i got away
it's what i really wanted anyway

i called out, you proved untrue
now the happy couple dances on my grave
you know more than you understand
you could of changed my mind
i was always changing yours

in old notebooks - the river just before the rocks
in old pictures - the canoe just before the falls
coyote bites off his leg to get out of the trap
pathetic but true
poetic too
i know you're glad i got away
it's what you really wanted anyway

driving day and night
screaming at the radio
antique store heart - full of costly memories
a lot of water gone under...

gazing at freezing rocky mountain stars
singing myself to sleep in the car
now the bottle's empty
may i never be a wretch again
poetic but true
prophetic too
looks like despite myself i get away
it's what i really needed anyway
Track Name: The Pearly Blues #6 (Explanation Blues)
it's a song
you gotta play the fucker not let it smother like
so many sad beginner guitars deserted in dusty closets by
unrequited lifers across this fat nation

i've got a pile of guitars, but no vcr
i want to be a movie
a good one
the kind you want to see over and over again

the book store shelves heave with sex
the isles are strafed with intriguing women
(i don't notice the men so much)
poet girl is who i fancy i'd like to be
beautiful girl is who i fancy i am
either way i'm not searching for my mother
(i think i'm looking for my grandmother)
am i "chasing you to get the rib back?"
who knows,
but maybe someday
i'll tell someone everything

i like your company, i love your body
i like you liking me,
and being the best again for a little while
sure you could break my heart,
but first you gotta climb the death mountain,
swim the burning ocean, cross the lonesome valley
and still there's no guarantee

angels who've ridden shotgun through the worst of my shit
will tell you it's not worth it
but they all quit
so no-one can know for sure, can they?
water from the rusty pipe comes clean eventually
and maybe someday
i'll tell someone everything

she ain't afraid
she knows everything is temporary
(me, i never learned this)
she calls me a "major coquette"
when i reel 'em in, toss 'em back, piss 'em off
sure i care, but so what? i've died a million times myself
and besides, what attracts people usually turns 'em off
in the end, so i'm putting music first
it won't desert me like that
i won't shave and you won't forget that it hurts to hold me
don't worry, i won't do anything to you that i wouldn't
do to myself
expectations fouled you up but you think having feelings
is the problem
i guess that's why you party the way you do
and your heart seems so young
i see the fly of truth hovering for your windshield face
i'm not sure if i should say anything
but maybe someday
i'll tell someone everything

tonight life is the black sky
way out over the empty ocean
i circled 146 hundred hundred miles
then did it again in the other direction just to be here
last spring "thin white rope,"
throwing seeds into barren soil
when the big red flowers didn't come out
i knew i was in for it

naked on the kitchen floor,
if god forgives them who forgive themselves
then i gotta lotta work to do
in a sad world where you can't win having never lost
it seems you can turn anything into story
and maybe someday
i'll tell someone
everything

------------

note:
"angel" as meant here, is a person who becomes your
best friend just when you needed one. frequently, they are
someone who desires you sexually. in any case they often become
a major catalyst in you life
Track Name: The Bohemia Blues
she likes me, i guess i'm lucky
but it keeps me off the street
and then i'm broke
but, what would i do if
i had the world at my feet?
i dunno, guess i'd take a walk

the cops let me go
i guess i'm lucky
i was flexing one of the weaker muscles of free speech
it may be "the law"
but that don't make it right
ask jesus christ if you pray to him tonight

years ago musicians would eat
by singing for nickels
beneath dripping tenement sheets
now, they say it ain't ever been better, and that may be
but it ain't enough, no, not for me

the junky didn't shoot
i guess i'm lucky
he had his thumb on the hammer
we surrendered money
that zombie takes in more than we do
then he wastes it all away, the bloody fool
still we got east side fun
from tompkins square to rivington
sunday-go-to-meeting at "bohemia central"

she likes me, i guess i'm lucky
i've got sweet in my sheets, roses on my pillow
her husband's got his green card
but i'm with his wife
so at least there'll be love
on the wedding night
yeah, we got east side fun
from tompkins square to rivington
oh yeah...
Track Name: The East 5th Street Blues #5
6am
me and bobby
avenue B
three part harmony
"bury me
beneath the willow"
up to her sleeping window
angel-sister-mother, it's your brother-father-lover

ah man, i done my best friend
bare shoulders proved too much
one missing may evening
a missing long time ago
for the the angel-sister-mother, brother-father-lover

down in the willow garden my true love and i did sit
beneath her magic sage and oil
quilts and candles window
a horny long time ago

...on me deep she sat
arching her pretty back
that i'd rubbed in her bath
before pressing her to her bed
on and on
a steamy long time ago...
angel-sister-mother, brother-father-lover

she sat in her full bloom garden window
thinking of "blue eyes, lips, the scent of soft sweet skin
and how long it had been"
and waiting for me to return

now bury this beneath the willow
that grows up to the empty window
if everything was a long time ago
and if it's not too soon to be too late
for the angel-sister-mother, brother-father-lover
Track Name: The War Museum Blues
look out, look out, look out, look out
look out when you're up against people
who ain't got much more to lose

big pow-wow, little big horn
look out, watch your back
when you back people who ain't got much more to lose into a corner

the calvary blundered
despite TONS of arrogance
they were way out numbered
ran like hell
died on a hill
clutching money in their hands

ma ma ma ma ma ma montana
the cops sure got their ass kicked here!

big horn, little man
little man, big stick
dead uniform in the glory battlefield loser museum
jingo-junkie visitors gotta comment on how small the man was
sure is a glorious place alright...

how dare the indigenous insist they know best on how they should exist!
send in cops
clear the way for greed
but watch your back when you're up against people
with nothing much left to lose!

ma ma ma ma ma ma montana
the cops sure got their ass kicked here!

the cops work for whoever pays them
the economic elite pays them
with your money
and * aren't we all too ready for neglect, prison, and
police action against a population that we've been
conned into perceiving as disloyal to our interest?

you don't believe that hype do you - that
custer's calvary died in glory?
just a bunch of cops who fucked up

government wiping out culture for profit
got held up for a couple of days
in the furry little big horn hills of

ma ma ma ma ma ma montana
the cops sure got their ass kicked!

++++++++++++
* paraphrased from an early 90s article in Downtown
Magazine ( by Bill Weinberg i believe)
Track Name: The Driving Blues #2
bullshit come at me like a tidal wave
i could lay down and drown
or jump on top and surf away

riding them troubles like a wave to the next chapter
can't see nothing but grey
but the sun is up there somewhere
motion feels good
find the freak i always wanted to be
driving without headlights through texas moonlight

riding them troubles like a wave
i do love this road
and the feeling i live for

all night talking romance with alice
one word followed another - stampede
some nights
are too cool for sleep
listening to julianna, midnight across alabama
"the lights" in spanish moss rest-stop
this just might be "the best time of my life"

i sure get a lot from music and certain people i know
i do love this road and the feeling i live for

beauty is so sexy
i want someone who blows me away - the feeling i live for
someone who can look at me like that
that's who i want
sit in some cafe and trade stories
walk each other off the plank into a sea of honesty
she kills me and she knows it
the ultimate attention is to be understood

ride that feeling like a wave
i do love this road...

i want someone who blows me away
but it's timing as much as anything
musical chairs, the one sitting there
when the music breaks is it
driving with out headlights through desert moonlight
one dream follows another - stampede
i sure get a lot from certain people i meet

it'll all come at you like a tidal wave
you can either lay down and drown
or jump on top and surf away

ride them troubles like a wave
i do love this road and the feeling i live for
Track Name: The Driving Blues #3 (Pearly Blues #7)
why's this jet coming straight at me?
gonna land on my head
looks that way alright
...ah man, it's just an extra big bright venus
teasing the sunrise,
seems like venus is always in my face these days
man, i gotta pull over

it was the last they were to see of each other
don't always know when you're saying goodbye
but at least he found the meaning of happiness
which is appreciating what you have
it's as simple as that.

...this picture wouldn't be as disturbing
if i wasn't in it
but why strap myself to that bed of nails?

don't know your heart till it breaks
don't lose what you give away first
for once it's gonna end at my convenience
cross that bridge just before i burn it
but first i'm gonna pull over for little while

yeah, venus in my face
i never gave any worse than i'll get
everyone's just looking for someone
to blow off the rest of the world with
but all the friction keeps
the glue from setting

perfect
what you wouldn't change (as if you could)
walking
shoes
are new on me
and it seems like venus is always in my face these days
man, i gotta pull over
Track Name: The Rearview Mirror Blues
on the mirror
a silver chain
visions of milk and honey, visions of where it used to hang
yeah, you can break my heart
but you can't put me in my place
i guess you know that by now
i could carry this torch forever
but looks like it's gonna bet blown out

yeah, i'm the friend you thought you wanted to make
but i could know you better
i've never even seen you cry
i'd like to open you up like a can of soup
i guess you know that by now

what am i doing, drinking my baby's poison?
going crazy with all the henna-headed hipsters
it's all neal cassidy's fault
and i could carry this torch forever

waiting for you in the floor by your door
back against the wall
a piano plays "lover man, where can you be?" down the hall
i'm here
waiting for you!

on the mirror
a silver chain
visions of milk and honey, visions of where it used to hang
yeah, you can break my heart
but you can't put me in my place
i guess you know that by now
and i could carry this torch forever
but looks like you're gonna blow it out
Track Name: The Pearly Blues #8
she wrote a pen dry in 2 days
the good stuff'll get people listening to themselves

bucketful up the the old well
fresh as it ever was
"can't step in the same creek twice" but it's always wet
can only sort-of take credit
mostly a happy accident
don't know for sure but, then no one's really supposed to

flashlight spotlight
crumbling basement
full house, crank the mouse
it don't get any better

monologue, dialogue, tri-alogue, smile-alogue,
waxing sarcastic
"cannery row" doc "loved the truth, but it wasn't a generally
shared love, and could be and dangerous mistress"
no, not everyone's driven to "live the question"
maybe it's time to pick up an oar and walk inland
it's a long hike to who you really were all along,
to get born again
nothing really better to do anyways

flashlight spotlight
crumbling basement
full house, crank the mouse,
people listening to themselves
it don't get any better

go ahead, ignore everyone's encouragement
to quit
go ahead and write you're pen dry
nothing really better to do anyways

the diamond in her head
is the song in your heart
all you have is all you've done, better get started
Track Name: The Hitchhiker Blues #5 (Midnight Blues)
cafe scum dis the smiling bum
he says, "don't get mad, go find some good people"
flavor of the month sit and pay to talk the night away
meanwhile we're over in the park waiting for midnight

tasteful prison, roots of discontent
in L.A., main is a one-way street
in ny, we're in the park
waiting for midnight

our country feels very small
our city feels very small
our loisaida feels very small....
about as big as emma's* old bench loaded with friends
who know what time it is
meanwhile, millions trade in life for "law and order"
and end their day at midnight

most everyone's either selling lies or buying them
or maybe you're dangerous because you've got your own head
NO SALE
if that's true, then we love you
we're in the park waiting for midnight


+++++++++++
* Emma Goldman
Track Name: The Hitchhiker Blues #4
false prophet radio says,
"god is writing on the walls of your heart"
watch the cops haul her away
while the religious right rushes in to scrub it off

false prophet radio says,
"god and communism will never happen together"
they don't see the light
where there's no profit
that's right...

everyone's dying to carry a torch
but look at the shit they get handed
it's got people looking up
instead of looking in
and taking their dreams more seriously
fascists in the name of god
the religious right is wrong
driven to ruin by fear and guilt
fear is the root of all bullshit
that's right...

jesus is alright
but these hate preaching fake "christians"
are a bunch of fucking pigs!
afraid to get laid
afraid of gays
"pro-family"
profanity!

if they want to offer wisdom i'll listen
but when they try to control the law, fuck 'em
guilt is cheap, get your fear out of my face
we think for ourselves around here
ain't that right?!

hypocrisy radio says, "god is writing on the walls of your heart"
believe what you will, then find the guts
to enjoy people for their differences
ain't no keeping the truth
from eventually blowing down your door
fascists in the name of god,
your religious right is wrong...
Track Name: The Projection Blues
when we couldn't hold any tighter
she put me inside her
soft strong deep dizzy fever
it's the closest i'll ever get to being her

you all are so much cooler
letting go enough to want someone in you
come come, forget who's who
that's the closest i'll ever come
to being you
wanna do who you wanna be
oh oh yeah

i liked you best as a poet
secret manipulative sex letter in the chicago night
it made me hot when you'd spill your guts
i could come to your voice
wanna do you
oh oh yeah

i don't want anyone who's never poor
don't want anyone who's never had their heart broke
don't want to be anyone's problem
if you ain't best friends, than what's the point?

i laugh just like you now
so when she laughs like me i sort-of have you back
soft strong deep dizzy fever
looking for me inside her
wanna do who you wanna be
oh oh yeah
oh oh yeah
Track Name: The Ios Blues #2 (E. 5th St Blues #2 )
she don't wanna be a honeydog no more
she don't want to be my angel-whore no more
singing in trucks for frenchmen
sleeping in the wild on the cool cool ground

she don't like that i think of you
but what the fuck am i supposed to do?
forget your thighs and beautiful eyes just like that?
no way!
you know - i love her
and I miss you ...
less and less

but she seen me daydream remembering you
in black tights and ragged dress
smiling in the long hall way to your bed
cat hairs on my black coat might of given us away to the world
but it really didn't matter did it?

i carried your purple rock in my fist
till it disappeared in the blue sunrise of ios
in the lonesome dawn, she was beautiful calm, still asleep
i lay awake listening to music and watching her sweet lips
and trying to love her despite her bitterness
and missing you
less and less

a time to forget
naked in the sun
sex on a boulder by the blue blue aegean
being thankful for being thankful
and walking on eggshells

...singing hitchhiker harmonies in france
sleeping in the wild on the cool cool grass
she didn't like that i'd think of you
but what the hell could anybody do?
these days i try to love her as much as my fears allow
and miss you less and less
- try to love her despite her bitterness
and miss you...
Track Name: The Hitchhiker Blues #3 (Pearly Blues #4)
for Guy D and FAIR

fresh morning papers crackle with news based on a true story
i find the truth in the street, spray-painted at my feet
rebel talk left on the sidewalk, stickers on ads
non-vanity graffiti
it really helped to keep me going

they've gotten you to dig your own grave
don't mean you gotta lay in it
with that long weary wait for nothing
i'm somewhat of an escape artist myself
though, "sometimes god burns your bridges for you"
gravity sure is a drag, but it gives me direction
really gets me thinking

scary dream police-light in my face
turns into the rising sun before he could pull his gun
i reserve the right to be different,
i reserve the right to not ingest,
no vice is gonna take me where ruby slippers can't
and stupid white culture makes me feel suicidal and isolated
from nothing
really gets me spinning

fresh morning papers crackle with news based on a true story
it's a compliment to the people
that they feel they have to lie so hard
i find the truth in the street spray-painted at my feet
encouraging the converted and tugging on sleepy sleeves
if can really get you thinking
it can really get you spinning
it can really help to keep you going