28 Days of Fun 3: Shuffled

by Alex Berkley

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03:23
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00:45
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02:00

about

Songs written and recorded every day in February 2015 as part of the Sugar City fun-a-day project.

Each song is inspired by a different song chosen at random by iTunes.
For more info, visit: alexhatesmusic.blogspot.com

credits

released 12 March 2015

All songs written, recorded, produced, mixed, and performed by Alex Berkley

Except:

Day 16, "It Was Cold," features Sonny Baker on handclaps and was recorded on a cell phone by Josh Gage

Day 20, "The Vacation's Over," features the poem "The Vacation" by Wendell Berry, and excerpts from the television series Snuff Box

Day 23, "Look Forward to the Moon," was written by Alex Berkley in 2003

Day 24, "The Dance Floor," includes an excerpted cover of "Spiderwebs" by No Doubt

Day 25, "Our Band," features Colin Cobb, recorded in 2001

Day 27, "To Leonard," features an excerpt from the film, "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"

Artwork by Jory Berkley

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about

Alex Berkley Buffalo, New York

Alex Berkley is a singer/songwriter rooted in Buffalo, NY who has been writing and performing for 13 years or so. Berkley's songs feature melodic poetic lyrics with a pinch of whimsy and wit. His debut album, Lists & Listlessness, has been called, "Awesome," by many of his close friends. Most recently, Berkley completed his third volume of fun-a-day songs in February 2015. ... more

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Track Name: Gold in the Avenue
I'm flippin' my fingers through
To find gold in the Avenue

Been driving an hour
In silence with you
And I'm hoping this song will
Hit home and ring true
When the artist and artwork
Come into my view
I wanted all three
But I'm gonna make-do
With two

I'm holding your fingers tight
Hear a song and stare at the dashboard lights

Been driving an hour
Under the moon
And I'm hoping this song will
Mean something to you
When the tollbooths and college
Come into my view
I wanted it all
But I'm gonna make-do
With a few
Track Name: Requiem for Inventory Mondays
Hey man let's finish up these drinks
And cross the vacated snowy street
Gonna sing this song I wrote last week
Listen to my friends sing

Hey man I'll pay for this next round
Type my name in, I'll be the fourth one down
Kev'll read a haiku he wrote downtown
Listen to my friends sing

I didn't know
This little glow on the West Side
Where did it go?
Covered head to toe with the insight
And in the dim red portrait of the startling barlight
Everybody shout out, “Play Soul Night!”

Hey man if it sounds good to you
Tonight I'm gonna do a cover or two
Some Taylor Swift or a Springsteen tune
Listen to my friends sing

Hey man I'm sitting here at the bar
You're making me move with your busted guitar
Where'd you rather be than where you already are?
Listen to my friends sing

I didn't know
This little glow on the West Side
Where did it go?
Covered head to toe with the insight
And in the dim red portrait of the startling barlight
Everybody shout out, “Play Soul Night!”

On the way home we'll stop for a bite
Get an order of mozzarella sticks and fries
Oh how I love these Monday nights
When I hear my friends sing
Track Name: Precious Cargo
Oh these early mornings
When the sun gets in our eyes
Oh and the taste of cold coffee
While the mountains start to rise

And the backseat cargo sleeps
Upon the winding road
And the fast food mocks you
When the weather keeps you slow
And the sign post says
100 miles left to go
And we drive through the town
That we used to call our home

Oh this song that's playing
Heard a thousand times before
Oh and the scarf you've been knitting
Tumbles to the cluttered floor

And the backseat cargo sleeps
Upon the winding road
And the fast food mocks you
When the weather keeps you slow
And the sign post says
100 miles left to go
And we drive through the town
That we used to call our home

And the backseat cargo yawns
And stretches out her toes
And the lives you left behind
Are piling up beneath the snow
And the sign post still says
100 miles left to go
And we drive through the town
That we used to call our home

And we close our eyes
And we fall asleep at home
Track Name: Song to Billy
I boarded the train and I slump in my seat
I look out my window while I'm heading east
To see my big brother who's going with me
To see Billy on Billy on

I try to remember the good times we had
From the back of the Bowery where the future looks sad
A middle-aged crowd for a middle-aged man
Carry on Billy on Billy on

Lie lie ditty lie to me lie Billy lie
Lie lie ditty lie to me lie Billy lie
You're trying your best but your meaning is gone
Carry on Billy on Billy on
Carry on Billy on Billy on

Hey hey Billy Corgan I wrote you a song
From the little lake shore town where I am from
Where we run short on words but the winters are long
Carry on Billy on Billy on

Lie lie ditty lie to me lie Billy lie
Lie lie ditty lie to me lie Billy lie
Your head is still shaved but the timing's all wrong
Carry on Billy on Billy on
Carry on Billy on Billy on
Track Name: A Simpsons Gag
Do you have any
Idea where we are?
We've been driving blindly
Through the suburbs in the dark

If I keep you up ahead in my sight
Well I know we're gonna make it before closing time alright
And I know that I could beat the truth in a fistfight
If I keep my eyes peeled to your shrinking tail lights

Well I've pissed away my patience
With too many stops and starts
But I came to my conclusions
Drinking beer and shooting darts
And I've wallowed in my sorrow
Carried on a restless mess
And I've missed the point completely
In my lists and listlessness

No one's keeping count
But I always knew my score
Yeah, my name is singled out up on
The lecture hall blackboard
It never came too easy
But it isn't quite a drag
My whole life could be summed up
In a single Simpsons gag

And I hope my parents wouldn't be too mad
When their professor friends tell them I'd been sneaking in their class
And acting like an adolescent wise ass
No I can't will myself to forget about that
No I can't make myself forget that
Track Name: The Edinboro Greyhound Bus Stop
(Instrumental)
Track Name: Ghost in the Paint
Walls all chipped up and
A one note stereo
Brush and finish up one
With a million more to go

And I see your drained face
A ghost in the paint

Well the brush strokes and the colors seem to rectify my sting
When the empty paint cans pile up and clutter everything
Yeah and every time I roll around and try to get to sleep
Will you be in my dream?

But you won't be there for me, my love
No you won't be there for me
You won't be there for me, my love
No you won't be there for me

Summer's holding on
For dear life in a crumbling home
Swirl the paint around and around and around and
Disappear into my headphones

And I see your blank face
A ghost in the paint

Well the brush strokes and the colors seem to rectify my sting
When the empty paint cans pile up and clutter everything
Yeah and every time I roll around to try to get to sleep
Will you be in my dream?

But you won't be there for me, my love
No you won't be there for me
You won't be there for me, my love
No you won't be there for me

You won't be there for me, my love
You won't be there for me
You won't be there for me, my love
You won't be there for me

You won't be there for me, my love
You won't be there for me
You won't be there for me, my love
You won't be there for me

You won't be there for me, my love
You won't be there for me
You won't be there for me, my love
You won't be there for me
Track Name: The Morning Mitch Hedberg Died
I was awalkin' with a friend by the riverside
Carrying our guitars the morning that Mitch Hedberg died
And I smiled as a joke tumbled through my mind
But my friend was sick with silence while he wondered why

Harken back to Junior year
I couldn't figure why we're here
And no meaning would appear
From the unknown

In the summer I awoke
To anyeurism weeks and strokes
And to perfectly good folks
All left alone

But now I don't really need to know

Maybe my age and perception has benumbed me
Cause I don't spend too much time thinking on philosophy
Instead I write this stale confusing poetry
But a death like Robin Williams gets me wondering

Harken back to '94
Send my Grandpa to the nursing home
He isn't making sense no more
With the virus grown

And thinkin' back on how I used to believe
Nothin' here meant anything
Well I've learned and now I see
That I'm not alone

And now I don't really need to know

And now I don't really need to know
Track Name: Welcome to Jamestown!
Summer's too hot
Gonna drive the van around
With the music turned up
And the windows rolled down
The karaoke kids
On the road to lost and found
We end up in a park
Eating pizza crust in Jamestown

Don't think
Anywhere's good enough
Don't think
Anywhere's good

A maple makes the shade
While we're chewing on fried dough
And some unkindly stares
Mean it's time for us to go
And we're on our way home
We've learned to drive real slow
Cause the cops are like vultures
When their circlin' this road

Don't think
Anything's good enough
Don't think
Anything's good

Don't think
Anywhere's good enough
Don't think
Anywhere's good
Track Name: Smoke in the Attic
Ok
That'll just about do it for me
Been staring all night
At the skyscraper lights
And listening to Kid A repeatedly

And you called me today
When the smoke in the attic was driving me insane
We did three or four rum shots in two separate states
And I climbed up the stairs
While my roommate's band played

Ok
That'll just about do it for me
Not picking up for you
I can't stay out till 2
Yeah tonight I'm just going to sleep

Tonight I'll be lame
And I'll make myself stay
And I'll lie wide awake
While the sound of the bass
And the drums in the basement
All make the house shake
And the TV hums, bitter
About all my mistakes

Well tonight
I'll
Sleep.
Track Name: The Magazine Rack
I might be a little uninspired today
I had a stressful day at work and I'm getting home late
But I'm greeted at the door by your beautiful face
And Cabernet
And I'm starting to feel okay

Well our college days are over but we'll relive our past
By proxy through our friends still going through their music school class
We'll drink the kids under the table while we're talking too fast
About bluegrass
And I'm starting to feel like an ass

I lost you in the mall so I traced your steps back
To the bookstore where I found you at the magazine rack
Made a pit stop at the food court where we tried to high-jack
A road snack
And I'm starting to feel back on track

I might be a little uninspired today
I had a stressful day at work and I'm getting home late
But I'm greeted at the door by your beautiful face
And Cabernet
And I'm starting to feel okay

And I'm starting to feel okay
Track Name: Midnight in Allentown
(Instrumental)
Track Name: Backseat Driver
I was in the backseat as we
Crossed the Ohio
Legs cramped by the backpacks pilin'
Up on the bumpy road

Tired of the books I brought
I read them all before
Searching for salvation through
The clutter on the floor

Oh my lord
I found my reward

I was in the basement thinkin'
How my life had changed
Once you've got it figured all out
You're on to a new stage

New people who surround you
New confusion and new pain
You know that you can take it
While they take everything away

Take my name
But I'll fight to stay the same

I was in the backseat chucklin'
At an inside joke
Stretchin' out my legs and
Calling my brother on the phone

How many trips just like this
Have been taken on this road?
How many times have I been
In the backseat all alone?
And where is time agoin'
While we're carrying its load?
Can we just keep on going
Till we're old and overgrown?

Well I know
I'm on my home
Track Name: 2/14/2009
I remember, as you screw off the cork
The year when you went to school in New York
And I took the bus out to see you of course
On Valentine's day and I stayed in your dorm

Made dinner that night with some veggies you bought
And it tasted so good; oh, we both ate a lot
And we uncorked the bottle of pinot I'd brought
And we lay in your bed and we watched Chocolat

Some nights it felt like we never would
Get to live together in the same neighborhood
But we made it through that; now life is so good
I'm gonna love you more than I ever thought I could

I remember now, as I walk through the door
And see blankets and pillows covering the floor
How lucky I am; to be loved and adored
To be laying beside you in our blanket fort

I love you, Kayleigh
I love you, Kayleigh
I'll tell you frankly
Come stay with me at home

I love you, Kayleigh
I love you, Kayleigh
I'll tell you frankly
Come stay with me at home

I love you, Kayleigh
I love you, Kayleigh
I'll tell you frankly
Come stay with me at home

I love you, Kayleigh
My one and only
I'll tell you frankly
Come stay with me at home
Track Name: My New Home
My new home
Has a boulder in the backyard
Hockey kids are skating backwards
And there's mountains on the postcards

My new home
Has a business-friendly Main Street
Wide-eyed tourists and their families
Who would move here in a heartbeat

If they could
Make a living in this paradise of wood
If the winters didn't last through May and June
If their jobs didn't need them back so soon

Yeah, my new home
Is pretty good.
Track Name: It Was Cold (Live at Nietzsche's)
It was cold
And it was late
And I was too tired
To stay awake

Come and see my band play!
Come and see my band play!
Come and see my band play!
Today!
Track Name: Chasing Pennies
Late July
And it's darkening outside
While the bulbs dangle lightly from a string
Look in my
Empty glass and shake the ice
While I listen to your mesmerized voice sing

Don't give up
There's a moment in your rut
When you wake up and you suck up
What you need
Float along
Find the motive in the song
When you write your words down wrong
Say what you mean
To me
Chasing pennies in a stream

That was strange
Could've sworn I heard you playin'
In the basement with a banjo and a bass
Passin' out
On the cushions on the couch
I'm trailing off: I can't remember what to say

Don't look up
There's a spider in your truck
And you swerve and now you're stuck
In the creek
Just your luck
To be on course and get lost
To be perfect and fuck up
Before you leave
Oh, leave
Chasing pennies in a dream
Track Name: Welcome to Toronto!
Duck into the Burger King
Freezing cold and shivering
Stand in line pretending
But we aren't really ordering

The frigid wind is still and now
We're wandering out of China Town
Are there any decent bars around?
Watch hockey in the mall underground

Wake up in the hotel room
Lie there watching cable news
Waiting for your eyes to move
Rise and scout the neighborhood

Breakfast from a waffle mix
Tim Horton's for the morning fix
In line with anxious college kids
Rolling up their coffee lids

I know I've made note of where I've been
But I don't remember where I'm wanderin'
White flag in a settled city
All alone in an empty win

We're walking and foot traffic's slow
Step in for a Molson though
Check the clock, it's time to go
Got tickets to the indie show

We wander through the hipster crowd
Eat nachos while we wait around
This little bar gets pretty loud
When you get up on stage, looking down

I know I've made note of where I've been
But I don't remember where I'm wanderin'
White flag in a settled city
All alone in an empty win
Track Name: Wings & Billy Madison
I'll let you down
All my chips are on the table
I'll hold my breath
We're forever young and able
I'm in the burbs
Watching Tommy Boy on cable
A hand rockin' the cradle

Take me back to the bus station where I arrived
How I'd string up my guitar and watch the winters die
I'd make the world stop spinning if I really tried
A backstabber, just killing time

I'll break my back
Lifting concrete blocks above my head
I'll be my death
Flipping photos in a fire bed
I'll switch the channel
Watching Wings and Billy Madison
Until the Moon comes out again

Take me back to the blackout of 2003
The panicked North East wondering what was happening
While you were scared Al Qaeda'd caused a system breach
We drove my mom's car to the beach

I let you down...

I'll let you down
All my chips are on the table
I'll hold my breath
We're forever young and able
I'm in the burbs
Watching Tommy Boy on cable
A hand rockin' the cradle
Track Name: The Vacation's Over
Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.
He went flying down the river in his boat
with his video camera to his eye, making
a moving picture of the moving river
upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly
toward the end of his vacation. He showed
his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,
preserving it forever: the river, the trees,
the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat
behind which he stood with his camera
preserving his vacation even as he was having it
so that after he had had it he would still
have it. It would be there. With a flick
of a switch, there it would be. But he
would not be in it. He would never be in it.
Track Name: Out of the Fire and Into the Sun
The suitcase is packed and the baggage is stowed
We're kissing goodbye all the places we've known
The cities shrink down and the hours are slowed
We're out of the tundra and on to the road

The ski bums and tourists are losing their steam
The clouds have been crashing like thy're out of caffeine
The rust belt will shine on a bird's nest downstream
We're out of the nightmare and into the dream

A deer on the highway is losing its hunt
The kids in the backseat are losing their lunch
A poor sense of humor, a fish in the mud
We're out of the ocean and into the flood

A cold cup of coffee is fueling my run
The ghosts of the stars are colliding above
You're resting in peace but I'll stick to my guns
We're out of the fire and into the Sun

We're out of the fire and into the Sun
Track Name: I Disagree With Your Lyrics
(Instrumental)
Track Name: Look Forward to the Moon
Summer on a dirty porch
Lemon Brisk and rude retorts
She's been
Sleepin'
Tired of her grumpy snores
Accidents with apple cores
Drenched in
The blisterin'

Sun
We've been spending
Our time avoiding
Look forward to the Moon
Look forward to the Moon

Lots of time spent in the lake
Pretty girls left out to bake
Dreamin'
Season
Driving fast and far from here
Just to prove that we don't care
Leavin'
The steamin'

Sun
We've been spending
Our time avoiding
Look forward to the Moon
Look forward to the Moon

Feel hungry just because
Feel hungry just because
We've got nothing else to feel
We've got nothing else to feel

Feel hungry just because
What it is feeds what it does
And we've got nothing else to feel
And we know nothing else is real

Now we've run into a wall
No one's perfect after all
Reachin'
A reason
Time moves on, I hope you stay
I wanna see you every day
We'll be
Feelin'

The Sun
We've been spending
Our time avoiding
Look forward to the Moon
Look forward to the Moon
Look forward to the Moon
Look forward to the Moon
Track Name: The Dance Floor
Words aren't easy coming out
Sitting at the keyboard for an hour at your mother's house
Surrounded by my best friends and family I could easily shout
My life changed the moment I first saw you, there can be no doubt

Well we made the groomsmen cry
And we beat the looming rain
Now we're under a pink sky
And the music's playing

And we storm the dance floor then
And the whole house comes to life
You woke up my girlfriend
You're gonna go to bed my wife

And now we raise a glass
And the dads spill drinks
And the whole floor shakes
Under stomping feet
And the rare collision
Of widespread friends
If we hold our wine
Will the night not end?

And we hold our breath
And the song begins:

Sorry I'm not home right now I'm walking into spiderwebs so leave a message and I'll call you back
A likely story but leave a message and I'll call you back

So many faces looking out
Too many people that I love to even count
Surrounded by our best friends and family in your lovely gown
I promise I will always love you, there can be no doubt

Well we made the groomsmen cry
And we beat the looming rain
Now we're under a pink sky
And the music's playing

And we storm the dance floor then
And the whole house comes to life
You woke up my girlfriend
You're gonna go to bed my bride

And now we raise a glass
And you make your speech
And I shake so many hands
And my cousin gets my grandma to her feet
Oh and the songs we love
And the endless drinks
If we all jump up and down
Will we make this dance floor sink?

And now everybody sing:

Sorry I'm not home right now I'm walking into spiderwebs so leave a message and I'll call you back
A likely story but leave a message and I'll call you back
And it's all your fault I screen my phone calls
No matter who calls I gotta screen my phone calls

I'm walking into spiderwebs so leave a message and I'll call you back
I'm walking into spiderwebs so leave a message and I'll call you back
Track Name: Our Band
“Are we ready to rock?”
“No.”
“Why not?”

Oh tie the mic up to the ceiling
By the Klingon Bird of Prey
The amps are turned up loud
But no one knows what words to say
Let's write a whole god damn album today

Here's a couple drum sticks
And the keys could use some gain
Everybody's here
But no one knows what chords to play
Let's write a whole god damn album today
Let's write a whole god damn album today

And now the train whistle's blowin'
And the sound's carried through the wind
And the neighbors shut their windows
And some hippie chick's sneakin in

She's sittin' on your parents' couch
And we're all a bit freaked out
She says, “I heard you so I came and knocked
I guess your parents left the front door unlocked.”

So tie the mic up to the ceiling
Hit record and let it roll
Sing whatever song you think
Is passing through your soul
Let's take a bite out of rock and roll
Let's take a bite out of rock and roll

Let's write a whole god damn album today
Let's write a whole god damn album today

“That's what I think of you and your mother”
Track Name: The Record Store
Oh the record store
Has shuttered her doors
I've got nowhere to go anymore

We would drive with our friends
With songs stuck in our heads
But it's true: All good things do end

I'd be flipping through
For something I knew
And I'd see
The one that I need

One melody
On a mix tape for me
In a few
I'll make one for you

But the record store
Has shuttered her doors
I can't listen to my friends no more
No, I can't listen to my friends no more
Track Name: To Leonard
When I went to work today
I was thinking 'bout how we first met
A roadtrip out to Burlington
Some vegetarian restaurant

Then my phone rang
A text message from Colin and my brother saying
“Did you know Leonard Nimoy passed away?”
And now I don't feel much like writing songs today

Spent my afternoon with kids
Who wouldn't know the difference between
Mr. Spock and Adam
And who couldn't say what logic means

And in my memory
I'm grateful for everything he did for me
How many times I'd watch him on the screen
How he made me tear up at the end of Star Trek III

And now this song is over and
I think I'll have a drink for you
I'll spend my night remembering
And chokin' up with Star Trek II
Track Name: Shuffled
Even when my hair gets a little bit ruffled
And the sound gets a little bit muffled
I'm always gonna be shuffled

Even when the bus is stuck at the station
And we're living through automation
I'm always gonna be waitin'

Even when the drugstores double the cost
And the population's double crossed
I'm always gonna feel lost

Even when the last of the gas is guzzled
And the last of the press is muzzled
I'm always gonna be puzzled

Even when my hair gets a little bit ruffled
And the sound gets a little bit muffled
I'm always gonna be shuffled

I'm always gonna be shuffled