Where do we go from here?

by mike skliar

supported by
/
  • Streaming + Download

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

      name your price

     

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
03:13
6.
7.
8.
9.
02:48
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.

about

Written in February 2018 here in New York City, as part of "February Album Writing Month" an online songwriting challenge where about 1500 of us from around the world challenge each other to write 14 songs each in a 28-day month.

Two songs, 'Revolution? Revelation!' and 'Thoughts and Prayers' are a bit 'NSFW' (not safe for work) due to a few words that may be a little off-color but seemed appropriate at the time given the subject matter for both songs.

As in previous albums, it's a mix of the personal and political, social observations and individual musings, on life, love, age, grumpiness, gun control, history, childhood, immigration, looking in the mirror, jam sessions with messiahs and legends, loneliness and joy, and smartphones.

There's a bit of a musical-whiplash of styles on this one, from the rap/hip hop meets funk of 'Revolution? Revelation!' to the cabaret-style of 'Connection' to the jazz of 'Rebuttal to State of the Union' and the straight-up rock of 'Thoughts and prayers' and rockabilly of 'Not getting any younger, to some folk-rock, country, & more.

There are two writing collaborations on this as well, "Jesus Simon and Garfunkel" in which Steven Wesley Guiles wrote the music , and "Connection" in which Nancy Rost wrote the music as well as the bridge lyric. (I wrote the rest of the lyric in "Connection" and the lyrics in "Jesus Simon and Garfunkel"). Nancy plays piano on "Connection" and I play the other stuff on all the other tracks.

Hope you like!!!

credits

released March 25, 2018

Mike Skliar- vocals, acoustic, electric and baritone guitars, bass, harmonica, mandolin, percussion & drum programming

Nancy Rost- piano on 'Connection"

All songs written by Mike Skliar, except:

'Jesus, Simon & Garfunkel"- Skliar/Guiles (lyrics by Mike Skliar, music by Steven Wesley Guiles)

'Connection"- Skliar/Rost (Mike Skliar-verse lyrics, Nancy Rost- all music, and lyrics for the bridge)

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

mike skliar New York, New York

contact / help

Contact mike skliar

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: Revolution? Revelation! (nsfw)
Here I am tapping on your earbuds,
not quite a rap but map of the new flood
The blood of the nation is stuck in frustration
We came so far and now this desecration

We held these truths to be self-evident
The trust of the country’s embodied in the President
And now its a clown with fascist leanings
No wonder me and all of my friends are screaming

we grew up on ‘we the people’ and ‘we shall overcome’
we knew that the fight for the rights of everyone
would not be resolved and all solved in one lifespan
but the shit that’s going down, all I can say is goddamn

theres no language that’s got enough salt to convey it
forget about whose fault, we got to keep on saying it
this ......... in the oval office
at the rate he’s going , he’s going to off us

he’ll kill everything that’s got some humanity
a long time ago we passed insanity
while Fox news cheers it, like fucking sean Hannity
theres no language strong enough, not even profanity
they actually believe they’re cloaked in Christianity
but Jesus would be puking from the lies and the vanity

I’m Jewish but I’d still love Christ to come back
Confront that narcissistic orange-skin maniac
Give him a taste of how he treats the working class
Thru the eye of a needle let his fat ass try to pass

Here I am tapping on your earbuds,
not quite a rap but map of the new flood
The blood of the nation is stuck in frustration
We came so far and now this desecration

Nation! We got work to do, voting booths to go to,
campaigns to get thru, let me give a preview
its not gonna come just out of the blue
if we want to see change we got to be the change
channel that outrage, don’t just rearrange

try to stay sane, keep working for the prize
and the big surprise
when American democracy overcomes lies

it’s happened before, it can happen again
all the girls and the boys and the women and the men
and those who identify otherwise, still our friends!

Join me, join you, join every group you see
Like the grass in the grass roots democracy
Light up, light big, fire up the big rig
Twenty years of schoolin’ its time to fight the bigwigs

And here we are tapping on your earbuds,
not quite a rap but a map of the new flood
The blood of the nation is stuck in frustration
Its more then a revolution, it’s a revelation!

Here we come a million people strong
new founding fathers and mothers who know its wrong
for the blood of the nation to be stuck in frustration
lets have a revolution, lets have a revelation!


(c) M. Skliar 2018
Track Name: Jesus, Simon & Garfunkel
So at the "February Album Writing Month' website, I was looking at my friend Steven Wesley Guiles' page, and under influences, he wrote: 'Jesus, Simon and Garfunkel, Elliot Smith, Wilco ... etc. I thought 'aha, there's a band-that-never-was in there, and wrote this lyric. Sent it to SWG who wrote great open-tuning themed music and recorded a great version himself. This is 'my version' and I played the guitar part a bit differently then he did. All in all, a fun time, and if Paul or Art is listening, ... sorry, it was just meant in fun!

Jesus, Simon and Garfunkel, decided to form a supergroup
Simon had the talent, Garfunkel could sing, and Jesus turned wine into soup
Who’d get top billing? Well Simon had the ego, and Jesus, he didn’t really care
Simon asked Jesus for a miracle, he said could you get me back my hair

Jesus said I don’t do parlor tricks, I’m more concerned with the starving masses
Meanwhile Garfunkel with his perfectionism, ‘this record’s coming slower than molasses’
Rick Rubin was producing, he had experience with messiahs, well at least with Johnny Cash
But the best night of recording was when Neil Young came over with his stash

Neil brought Willie, and Willie brought Dylan, and Dylan brought a two-foot fountain pen
Dylan and Jesus said ‘oh yeah we know each other, from that record ‘slow train’ way back when
And Willie had that guitar with the hole in the top and Paul Simon tried to figure what it meant
And Jesus left early, it was in his contract, some clause about being heaven-sent

lyric - M. Skliar
music- Steven Wesley Guiles
Track Name: Thoughts and prayers (nsfw)
Take your thoughts and take your prayers and shove ‘em where the sun don’t shine
Don’t tell me empty words with kids’ bodies lying in boxes of pine
Your right to have an AK-47 is some bullshit pulled out of your ass
Just like my right to go to your NRA meeting and pull out some mustard gas

Gun control is sane, gun control will help
Just ask them in the UK or Australia
‘Cause all of your thoughts and all of your prayers
Just end up a recipe for failure

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results
Gun lobby’s paying politicians to pretend they’re not members of some gun loving cult
So take your thoughts and prayers and go f... yourself along with your horse and the NRA
And when the next election comes, look out your time is done, time to send you on your way

Gun control is sane, gun control will help
Just ask them in the UK or Australia
‘Cause all of your thoughts and all of your prayers
Just end up a recipe for failure

(spoken) Gun control for idiots, if you can shoot ten kids in ten seconds, f.u., you don’t need , you don’t get to have it, too friggin’ bad, get over it, stop whining, shut up!

Take your thoughts and take your prayers and shove ‘em where the sun don’t shine
Don’t tell me empty words with kids’ bodies lying in boxes of pine
Gun control! Let’s do it!

written after yet one more school shooting...

(c) M. Skliar 2018
Track Name: Goodbye Lincoln Plaza
At 62nd and Broadway, you had to take the escalator
A subterranean film buff palace, a different kind of movie theater
For 36 years not following trends
Sad that all good things have to end
Goodbye Lincoln Plaza, goodbye

Films from so many countries, unusual and challenging points of view
The bold visions of old masters, or a new director’s electric breakthrough
I used to joke I could walk inside
Say ‘give me the next show of whatever’ and be satisfied
Goodbye Lincoln Plaza goodbye

first film I saw there ‘My dinner with Andre’, the last ‘in the land of the pomegranate’
There were other theaters bigger, more comfortable,
but for my money this was the best on the planet
36 years it delivered the goods
A bright shining spot in the neighborhood
Goodbye Lincoln Plaza Goodbye
(c) M. Skliar 2018

This song was written for and about the Lincoln Plaza movie theater, which just recently closed after about 35 years...
Track Name: Connection
Everyone is searching to make a connection
On our own road finding that intersection
It could be a collision it could be a kiss
A beautiful vision or a near miss
Everyone is searching to make a connection

Everyone is scared to finally make a connection
Finding someone who sees all your imperfections
Could be some trauma from when you were young
A long-suppressed drama from when you got stung
Everyone is scared to finally make a connection

But nobody knows where their path will lead
It’s a sacred maze, it’s a mystery
It’s a lightning flash, it’s a tiny seed
That blooms into what everybody needs

Everyone is thinking they make the selection
That fiction in our heads we will find perfection
Sometimes life is chance, sometimes its planned
just get up and dance, or sing with the band
everyone is thinking it’s them that makes the selection
everyone is scared and searching to make a connection



I wrote the lyric for the verses, and Nancy Rost wrote the music. Nancy also wrote the music and lyrics for the bridge section (but nobody knows...), and plays the piano heard on the recording.
Track Name: Rebuttal to State of the Union address
'Beautiful clean coal' is only a thing like unicorns are a thing
Immigrants commit less crimes per person then those born in the US
you don’t have to stand for the national anthem, that’s what makes America great
The Iran nuclear deal is actually a success

“Chain Migration” never meant ‘bring in criminals’, that’s fearmongering
Tax cuts give money overwhelmingly to the top one percent
The stock market tripled from 2008 to 2016
Yeah, that was under Obama, the last president

The dreamers have been vetted and they’re not a threat
They’re an asset representing the best of this nation
Only your craziest most xenophobic sycophants think that
An actual Wall will solve the problem of immigration

Hidden in the State of the Union address was a proposal to give Cabinet Secretaries
Authority to fire Federal workers who “undermine public trust”
So that means get rid of the Justice Department or the FBI,
The checks and balances we all agree are just

Couple this with a denigration of the free press as fake news
A hallmark of fascism soon to arrive (if we’re not careful)
It’s a full-time job that all of us have now
To keep this democracy alive

No wonder the folks in Norway want to stay there
They’ve got health care, no school shootings & less guns
I guess you can tell from the tone of this
This state of the union address for me is just no fun

With every tweet and every two-bit putdown,
He’s revealing his complete lack of humanity
No state of the union speech can hide that
And he can’t hide from that Russia insanity

When it’s Muller time, and the chickens come home to roost
Call it chicken Kiev with pierogis on the side
There’s few certainties in life but here’s one
When he opens his mouth, you know he’s lied

We’ll make American great again when the Constitution does its job
That is if we vote a new Congress in
So don’t sit this one out, vote Democratic in 2018
And let some long-lost healing begin
Let the healing begin.

(c) M. Skliar 2018
Track Name: Not getting any younger...
There he goes shuffling down the street
He’s not getting any younger
Only three blocks and he’s looking beat
Not getting any younger

He murmurs to those kids ‘kids get off my lawn’
But he lives in an apartment
He imagines asking God ‘how did I get so old’
God said that’s not my department

Every year his hair gets more grey
He’s not getting any younger
Age is not just a number it’s a new ache every day
He’s not getting any younger

The days seem so slow but it all went so fast
It’s a strange unreality
Stranger then that is when this old guy looks in the mirror
Staring back is……. Me

There I go shuffling down the street
I’m not getting any younger
Only a few blocks and I’m feeling beat
I’m not getting any younger

Not getting any younger
We’re not getting any younger…

(c) M. Skliar 2018
Track Name: One little song
One little song in three quarter time
For a time when we’re all feeling scared
One little thought, for one crazy time
A time without compare
One little thing to keep in mind
If you don’t mind, even if you do
We’ll make it out of this dark hole,
If we don’t, we’re really screwed

One little thought that you must think
Just think of the last thousand years
A thousand bad things, in a thousand bad ways
That caused a million sad tears
Somehow we made it, made it this far
Tho we’re far from heaven’s neighborhood
The arc of the moral universe is long
But it bends , slowly bends , towards good

(c) M. Skliar
Track Name: Stay grumpy
Woke up and the sun was shining
Rolling meadow and the buzz of a bee
Some would say it’s a fine day
But its all in the way that you see

Dissatisfied and horrified
And all that is implied
You’re inside on the far side of glad
Stay grumpy, life’s bumpy
Oatmeal is lumpy
You’re frumpy and jumpy and sad

Some people see the glass as half full
And they are as happy as clams
Some people see the glass is missing a drop
Consult their bomb shelter diagrams

Dissatisfied and horrified
And all that is implied
You’re inside on the far side of glad
Stay grumpy, life’s bumpy
Oatmeal is lumpy
You’re frumpy and jumpy and sad

We wouldn’t have it any other way
Who needs some polyanna chirping
Better a depressed canary in a coal mine
Who knows where the danger is lurking

Now there was no mushroom cloud up above
And a meteor was not headed for the planet
This circus is gonna keep going
Look out for that pomegranate

Dissatisfied and horrified
And all that is implied
You’re inside on the far side of glad
Stay grumpy, life’s bumpy
Oatmeal is lumpy
You’re frumpy and jumpy and sad

(c) M. Skliar
Track Name: Where do we go from here?
Its more surreal by the hour
Where do we go from here?
Progress seems out of our power
As we’re filled with more and more fear
Its like the whole country needs a shower
From the horror of this last year
Its more surreal by the hour
Where do we go from here?

Do we accept the things we can’t change?
Or change the things we can’t accept
Can reality be so rearranged
By leaders who are so inept?
And will it all go up in flames
If too many of us have slept?
Do we accept the things we can’t change?
Or change the things we can’t accept

History is looking at us, its no longer business as usual
The wheels have come off the bus, to deny that is delusional

Its so easy to get cynical
And give up on this fight
And not to get rabbinical
But we are all our own point of light
Humanity to reach that pinnacle
Must be concerned with human rights
Its so easy to get cynical
And give up on the fight

© 2018 M. Skliar
Track Name: Drinking with Past Presidents
Washington Jefferson Lincoln and Roosevelt at McSorley’s having a beer
Teddy adjusting his glasses, says I can’t believe what I’m reading here
Looking at a twitter feed filled with profanity
“A president wrote this’? ‘this is insanity’
Before George asks ‘what the hell’s a twitter feed’
Jefferson’s on his knees
Says help this country oh lord please

The other presidents at nearby tables they looked downright dazed
Nixon said ‘He can’t be worse then me’, Reagan said ‘let me count the ways’
Franklin Pierce said ‘I became a Confederate’
How could anybody be more unfit
Lincoln turned pale like he’d just been shot
Saying “Jehosephat and Great Scott!”
is this trump guy the best you’ve got?

Madison said ‘damn, is this my fault? For writing the constitution
With that paragraph about the electoral college, I thought it’d lead to less confusion
The electors are supposed to stop this 'mishegoss'
Ask Hamilton, you’ll find him off with Betsy Ross
George W Bush just sat there happy
Sayin I don’t want to sound too sappy
But now I’m looking just as good as my pappy!

JFK and LBJ were not feeling OK, they were just not looking well
FDR said if I could use my legs I’d kick trump straight to Hell
All of the speeches that we all made
Undone like someone farted in the second grade
Even Calvin Coolidge started to cry
And Calvin Coolidge never cried
That’s right Calvin Coolidge never cried

I raised my glass and I said hey guys, what the hell do we do
Impeachment doesn’t always work so well, Bill and Andrew I’m looking at you
They said we understand all of your objections
but you have to wait around until the next election
till then make the best of it change Congress in 2018
this is the saddest stuff that we’ve ever seen
the whole thing’s quite obscene

(c) M. Skliar 2018

inspired by a New Yorker magazine cover in which some of the past presidents were holding their heads in disgust looking at the tv showing the current president of the US.
Track Name: Why is the world so...?
Starts with a dab of self-justifying
A little white exercise in lying
Soon you’re denying two plus two
Deceptions start to stick like glue

Why is the world so damn dirty? Why?

Compromise down that slippery slope
Hang yourself with just enough rope
Deal with the devil for a little extra jack
What you’ve lost you can’t get back

Why is the world so damn dirty? Why?

Thought you and I were incorruptible
over our own eyes we pulled that wool
murmured 'my bad' on that Facebook feed
seduced by slowly rising greed

Why is the world so damn dirty? Why am I? Why are we all? Why?

© 2018 M. Skliar
Track Name: Never saw it coming (smartphone blues)
When you came
None of us could see it coming
It felt the same
Nothing felt strange

But you cast
You cast a spell on everyone
It happened fast
Then everything changed

Now we carry you around
In the air and on the ground
And all our sights and sounds
Come from you

We check you every second
Your little beeping beckons
You rule us all I reckon
I can’t recall life before you

You’re the king
None of us could predict
You’re everything
Without you we feel so sick

(spoken interlude...)


(c) M. Skliar 2018

This song was part of a February Album Writing Month 'skirmish' where someone gives a title and you have an hour to write and record something to that title or theme. The title given was 'never saw it coming' and I went with a little social observation about how smartphones have changed our lives for better or worse...
Track Name: My back pages
My back pages are never gonna be a bestseller
Its like watching a boat with a very slow propeller
Although the lead character, he’s an OK feller
My back pages are never gonna be a bestseller

My back pages is typical of my generation
No selfies, and very few illustrations
So long ago now its probably outside the statute of limitations
My back pages is typical of my generation

My back pages is a relic from a different time
Home movies were silent, like looking at pantomime
You want to make a phone call carry yourself a dime
My back pages is a relic from a different time

My back pages slightly wild but not too crazy
I’d tell you the story but I’m getting a little lazy
And anyway, my memory is probably hazy
My back pages slightly wild but not too crazy

(c) M. Skliar

No, this isn't the bob dylan song of the same title, but I was thinking of using some of the song title on that album (another side of bob dylan) for a project. This one kind of wrote itself, and I play it on a somewhat worse-for-wear nylon string 1929 Martin guitar that was a hand-me-down and was my first guitar.

mike skliar recommends:

If you like mike skliar, you may also like: