1369 Lights

by Bryan Thomas

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06:34
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03:07
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06:27
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about

"1369 Lights" is soul rocker Bryan Thomas' fifth official CD release since his 1999 debut "Radio Plastic Jennifer." Its title takes inspiration from the novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Featuring the new band the Buggy Jive and recorded in a basement.

credits

released October 31, 2008

The Buggy Jive is: BT: lead vox, acoustic guitar; JENNIFER: electric guitar; CLEOPATRA JOANZ: bass; LADY MAC: snare, hi-hat, kick drum, tin can. All songs are by Bryan Thomas except "Sticky" by Bryan Thomas and Zoe Ferrari Thomas. "Lights" was inspired by the novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Photography and design by Jean-Luc for TheHiddenCity and WT3 Records. This album was recorded in a warm hole full of light somewhere in Delmar, NY. It was mastered by Larry DeVivo, Silvertone Mastering, Saratoga Springs, NY. It was produced by Dewitt Chyo Damseph for WT3 Records and Monopolated Light & Power. 1369 Lights copyright 2008 Radical Plastical Music and WT3 Records. All rights reserved.

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about

Bryan Thomas Albany

Nippertown’s Greg Haymes says Albany soul rocker BRYAN THOMAS's "writes smart, and he writes from the heart, balancing intellect, passion and politics.”

The Times Union named him“Best Male Singer-Songwriter” shortly after he released his acoustic hip-hop debut Radio Plastic Jennifer in 1999. The follow-up soul rock epic Ones and Zeros was Metroland Magazine’s “Album of the Year” in 2002.
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Track Name: Muse
Johnny Luke is spooked cuz good 'n plenty Jenny
don't come around here no more
He brings his camera to the open mic Wednesday night,
he wanna get inside her drawers
He's still using film and the kids are all laughing
but they're so easy to ignore
He peers inside the viewfinder
but she never comes through the door

Julia say she saw Jennifer
corner of Albany and Steuben
Jive icky bicky sticky sticky to the icky
if she's tricky turning tricks again
Jennifer swears she ain't been around town,
she's been traveling all over the world
You can take the girl out of Schenectady
but you can't get it out of the girl

Red and white blue neglige
and six-inch high heel shoes
If you see her, she's a runaway.
She's the muse.

Sweet delicious Jen, where the hell you been?
I just can't drink you off my mind.
It really hurts my head just thinking 'bout your legs,
Your behind is almost as fine as mine.
Jennifer I'm dying. Where have you been hidin'?
I really wanna be your man.
I know you really love me, more than just a junkie.
More than just a one night stand.

You're me. You're mine.

Jesus say he saw Jennifer
tryin' to wash sticky blood off her hands
Lady Mac knick knack paddy whack
same name try to blame it on her man
Lady Mac? That's whack! Othello is her fellow.
She's down with Desdemona, ya know.
But if she sees her man with a pillow in his hands
She'll take him out like Cleopatra Jones!

Red and white blue neglige
and six-inch high heel shoes
If you see her, she's a runaway.
She's the muse.
Neglige by Betsy Ross
and six-inch high heel shoes
If you see her, she's lost.
She's the muse.

She's the muse. Radiator tatoos.

We want our black music funky
But Uncle Tom is just a junky
Strung out in heaven's high...
Track Name: Lights
My hole is warm and full of light.
Yes it is full of light.
There's no brighter spot in all of New York than this hole of mine.

This does not exclude Broadway.
Or the view from the Empire State
These two spots are among the darkest in our so-called civilization... culture.

I have one-thousand three-hundred sixty-nine lights

There's only one radio
I plan to have five
Playing the same song at once to overcome the acoustical deadness

Pour me some sloe gin
Over vanilla ice cream
As Louis bends his military instrument into a beam of lyrical sound

I have one-thousand three-hundred sixty-nine lights

So I fight Light & Power with light

This is how the world moves.
No arrow. No spiral.
Prepare for the boomerang of history. Keep a steel helmet handy.

Immature poets imitate.
Mature poets steal.
I stole that from Eliot. I stole it just to prove him wrong.

I have one-thousand three-hundred sixty-nine lights

Truth is light.

Truth is light.
Track Name: Sticky
Baby I wanna kiss you
Baby I'll be right with you
As soon as I clean my hands
I'll make you a man

So sticky, my hands are so sticky.

To undo my unsexing
You must first undress me
Do not hide your face
Screw your courage to the sticking place

So sticky the place is so sticky

The Thane of Fife he had a wife
But I'm the wife who gave Mac the knife
Long live the king, the king is dead
Come to bed, to bed, to bed

Come to bed with me it's gettin' kinda sticky
Come to bed now for the sticky to the icky

My mama is gonna be proud
Picture me wearing a crown
Mama your sweet little, sweet little girl
Is gonna be the queen of the whole damn world

I'm the queen. I'm the queen.
Look at me mama, I'm the queen.
Look at me mama, my man is a man
One little spot of blood on my hands
I'm the queen.

The hurly-burly's done
The battle's lost and won.
Long live the king he's dead
But the seas have all gone red

So sticky the blood is so sticky

For want of my man to be the man
Can't get this spot out my pretty hand

All the per-fume in Arabia
Ain't got no hope of savin' ya
All the perfume in Babylon
Ain't gonna make this stink be gone
Track Name: Sam
They call me Uncle Sam Wilson'
I used to live down on Ferry Street
But now I spend all of my days
in a grave on the hill
And I look down on the town of today
and it's scaring me

The white girls from Troy are birthing black boys
With names like Dashawn and Malik and Leroy

I was born in 1776
That makes me 10 years more wise
beyond the birth of a nation
And ten years more surprised
by all the miscegenation
I was born in 1776

These days the white girls from Troy
are birthing black boys
With names like Dashawn
and Malik and Leroy
Fulfilling incentive for public assistance
They wait for black daddies to get out of prison

And a baby boy's wide eyes
absorb the tv light
He's watching R-rated movies
up way past his bedtime
In the next room his grandmama's
dropping her n-bombs
Each day he grows bigger and bigger

He's getting too big for Troy.

Maybe one day still he will rest on the hill
Looking down on the town on the souls left to save
On the souls of the damned as he rots in his grave
Like his Uncle Sam

They parade through the streets
on a Sunday in September
It's all in my name but
they do not remember
That the stars and the stripes
on the flag that they wave
Mean much more than they'd like
and I turn in my grave

The white girls from Troy are birthing black boys
With names like Dashawn and Malik and Leroy

I pray these white girls from Troy
will one day give a damn
Get back to birthing white boys.
Maybe even name 'em Sam
Track Name: Kick
It would be so perfect if she kicked his behind
I knew that y'all would change your minds
It would be so perfect if she kicked his behind

And I'm kicking myself
My red white and blue girl was just a tease
I should have known.

It would be so perfect if she kicked his behind

You tried to sell him in 0-4
but you was just selling yourself
As the true red and white and blue
and ebony and ivory kumbaya
You the auctioneer the overseer
I didn't have the scratch
to match the high bid

If you truly do not see no color
Why you always try to sell a brother - up until the
Talking head total hacks talking smack
with the fake facts
Made him more black
gave you a heart attack

Talking smack bout God and country
Every day it gets more ugly
Should I step outside the center or
Fight like hell to redefine it?
What should I say? What should I do?
Can any of y'all handle the truth?

Or is it just typical reaction typical distraction
Talk about so-called in the affirmative action
You scared of reparation retribution black revolution
While Dick and your boy George eat the Constitution
You fear a black golden rule
To make you fuss and cuss
If it do unto y'all what y'all been doin' to us
Back of the bus. Back of the bus.
Back of the bus. Doin' to y'all what y'all been
Doing to Afghanistan
Doing to Iraq Iran
Half full half a man
Half empty half-rican
No we cain't, yes we can
Kick the can American

Kick the can.

It would be so perfect if she kicked his behind
Excuse me while I lose my mind
It would be so perfect if she kicked his behind
Track Name: City
Your baby sister's chilling, MotherJudge is singing
Babylon and Revelation 17
Queen Odetta's Glory Hallelujah is
So serene...

But now you're in the city without me babe.
How you dig the city without me babe?

We could have taken in
a Broadway show as part of your visit
"Passing Strange," I know you'd dig it
It's your Daddy's life story - and yours
Before you've even lived it

But now you're in the city without me babe.
How you in the city without me babe?

Baby sister's digging music here in Washington Park
New York City never sleeps but it sho gets dark
To do the right thang in this summer of Sam
Grab a cap and mic and follow me if you can

Times Square lights are so pretty at night
But I'm telling you the city is dark inside
Cuz in the Seven-0 the Five-0
done "broke a man down"
And a man with a wallet is taking 41 rounds
And the colored orphans and the mob they fled
And the Stonewall Girls are beat upside their heads
And the Triangle Shirt girls fall thud dead
And 3000 souls all fall thud dead
And two tall towers fall thud dead

And on a pile of ashes in a hole downtown
The megaphone man drags Liberty down

I hope you dig the city without me, babe.
I hope you dig the city without me, babe.
I hope you dig the city without me, babe.

I know you'll dig the city without me, babe.
Track Name: MotherJudge
There's a party going on at Tess'
Every Wednesday night
Of the "Best of" hers is The Bestest
Mother Judge's Open Mic

If you need a drummer I betchya Candlen can
You could have Mitch on guitar and Albie on bass
And Sten will add some flava on mandolin
They gonna wreck the place

Or Mr. Brodeur can be your one-man power trio
He plays guitar, bass and drums at the same time
He's in twenty-nine bands so yours will make an even three-oh
But his review may call you out for your lame rhymes

There's a party going on at Tess'
Every Wednesday night
Of the "Best of" hers is The Bestest
Mother Judge's Open Mic

In the back of the room there is chatter
That Rosanne will show or even Powhida
But when Mother takes the mic nothing else matters
It's all about: Sweet Caroline

And Mother Judge's Open Mic is like open arms...

Yes she welcomes you with open arms tonight
But when she opens her mouth she don't need the mic
A voice loud and proud like her beauty mark
It's calling past the bar, out the door of the Lark
They hear it across the street in the Lionheart
It's giving Moses the chills up in Washington Park
Down Madison past the old Palais digs
Steamrolling past Eliot and Silda's crib
The voice of heaven, the song of God's daughter
Over 787 to the Hudson waters
And the Hudson's love takes it all the way down
To New York City Manhattan Town
This voice so pretty it lifts like magic
Over New York City where they wish they had it.

Where did our scene go?
Where can we sing our songs?
I think Annine knows.
She says: "Mother Judge has had it all along."

But will it be worth it?
Will it be as good as I remember it?
It's making me nervous...

And I know that the antidote to my suburban loneliness is just a few miles down Delaware to her society of urban holinesss - where Mr. Bob Buckley knows every song written since 1965 - where Mr. Troy Pohl is going electric tonight - where Ms. Abdou is up on the TV screen coming in live from the other side of the world via satellite - where Mr. Sevayega rolls in to rock at 1 o'clock a.m. he's on C.P. time.

But for this here crazy hair four-eyes brace-face big black behind havin' semi-retired from the music so-called business thirty-somethin' somethin' pushin' forty union webmaster by day husband and daddy by night chilling cold chilling free to be put in a cage livin' in the acoustic soul rock 'n roll capital of the world - a.k.a Delmar... it's just a 14-minute drive -

- To the party going on at Tess'
Every Wednesday night
Of the "Best of" hers is The Bestest
Mother Judge's Open Mic
Track Name: Lights (Acoustical Deadness Mix)
My hole is warm and full of light.
Yes it is full of light.
There's no brighter spot in all of New York than this hole of mine.

This does not exclude Broadway.
Or the view from the Empire State
These two spots are among the darkest in our so-called civilization... culture.

I have one-thousand three-hundred sixty-nine lights

There's only one radio
I plan to have five
Playing the same song at once to overcome the acoustical deadness

Pour me some sloe gin
Over vanilla ice cream
As Louis bends his military instrument into a beam of lyrical sound

I have one-thousand three-hundred sixty-nine lights

So I fight Light & Power with light

This is how the world moves.
No arrow. No spiral.
Prepare for the boomerang of history.
Keep a steel helmet handy.

Immature poets imitate.
Mature poets steal.
I stole that from Eliot.
I stole it just to prove him wrong.

I have one-thousand three-hundred sixty-nine lights

Truth is light.

Truth is light