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'Stray-in-Place Song Cycle'
Gene Pritsker & Erik T. Johnson

6 songs by Gene Pritsker
with the poetry of Erik T. Johnson


 

 



1. Hinges  - Gene Pritsker, words: Erik T. Johnson
Stefanie Egger - voice
Gene Pritsker - guitars
Clemens Rofner - electric bass
Simon Springer  - drums
   mixed by Gene Pritsker

POEM

You're in your place near-by
And I'm in mine nearby too.
But there is no near-by any longer, is there?


Everyone's gone on a far journey
Each to their private North Poles
Be-cause of the air we breathe
The birds sign execution orders
with black-dipped lines of wings

I miss you. No words are trite
When you can't speak them face to face.
One day you'll find me
You know where I live
And I don't answer the door for just anyone
But the hinges will fall off
When I spy you through the peep-hole    




2. Winter's Heart Attack  - Gene Pritsker, words: Erik T. Johnson
Sophie Dunér - voice
Gene Pritsker - guitars
Clemens Rofner - doble bass
Francesco Coppola Bove  - drums
   mixed by 216 Pro-Studio Lake

 

POEM
Spring is winter's heart attack
Grass blades thumb their noses
When we cast eyes down-ward
At green green life
The bumble bee's full of joy

Jostles our shoulders
As if to say
Ha ha, that's what I think
Of what's happened to you
You're just a season
With preexisting conditions

You people of the winter
I agree the sparrow soars
Spring is surely here



3. The Masks  - Gene Pritsker, words: Erik T. Johnson
Berzan Önen - voice
Gene Pritsker - guitars
Clemens Rofner - electric bass
Simon Springer - drums
   mixed by Philipp Bernhardt

POEM

Can you see the masks?
White, blue and white
Can you see the gloves?
Clear, blue and white

A mockery of surgeons crosses empty streets
This strange Halloween parade works backwards:
tries to keep new ghosts at bay

Have you ever seen two masks lock tongues?
A glove read love lines to their wondrous ends?

What happened to the faces?
Why do we put six feet between us--
far as a grave's bed from the disinfected air

(I wonder if that's a coincidence)
I wonder if we're already dead, just awaiting

An official seal to make it real.
I'll take off my mask

White, blue and white
I'm tossing my gloves

Clear, blue and white
I'm no bullshit surgeon

I'm no Trick or Tricker
I'm alive

You can even watch me live
I don't mind if you see me love

I'll die one day like you
When?

No mask, no glove can tell
Only the naked mouth can guess
Preferably after a kiss.


 


4. Drinking Song  - Gene Pritsker, words: Erik T. Johnson
Yelena Dudochkin - voice
Gene Pritsker - guitars
Clemens Rofner - doble bass
Philipp Bernhardt - drums
   mixed  by Gene Pritsker

POEM
This is a drinking song
If I'm going to stay-in-place
Then Lord I'll stray-in-place

You don't need to fly
Just because you have wings
But you can flap, you can glide
Around the room
Until your life goes spinning down

You hit your head,
You drink some more
That's what I call winning

They won't let me stray outside
My blankets are my only warmth
There's a light somewhere ahead
But it's red
Won't let me go

This is a drinking song
But just because I'm drunk
If I'm going to stay-in-place
Lord let me stray-in-place

 

POEM

5. Revenge  - Gene Pritsker, words: Erik T. Johnson
Stefanie Egger - voice
Gene Pritsker - guitars
Clemens Rofner - electric bass
Philipp Bernhardt - drums
   mixed by 216 Pro-Studio Lake

I'm not planning to die.
Any more than I'm planning to live.
I can't afford big dreams.
Plans are for Generals and bank takeovers

No, I'm after realities:
My ear can hear your voice
My breath can blow through plastic holes.
I can realistically ask how you holdin’ up.
If you need anything.
Do ya miss me?

I don't know how true your answers will be.
But they are answers just the same-
You give them to me:
Counterfeit or legal tender I don't care,
Either gives me something to warm my hand,
A jingling exchange that dreams me to think
You think I'm worth it.

When the plague clears
The tender heart will rise and rule.
The Dictionaries will drop the word Legal.
The Thesaurus will lose the word Love

The lovers who survive the purge
Will burn the books that despise their bodies
Force their fiery eyes to watch them fuck

That's called revenge
But you won't be able to look it up
They removed it along with Faith.

 

6. No Illness  - Gene Pritsker, words: Erik T. Johnson
Stefanie Schlesinger  - voice
Gene Pritsker - guitars
Clemens Rofner - doble bass
Philipp Bernhardt - drums
   mixed  by Gene Pritsker

POEM

There's no illness in sleep
No staying in place
Health chases me through nightmare
Nobody and nothing keeps away
The heart turns, it doesn't beat
Spinning like a cut stem in the wind
Like a dancer at an ecstatic ball
Touch is not a miracle
Until light and vision returns
The bed creaks
Back from the dreaming death
I rise
Through the window
I watch the empty street
So full of news and current events
One story told 8 million times a day
Wait for sleep again
For never dying
For coughing and kissing
The timeless events
From which one always recovers
Where the news hides its tail.       

INFO
 

COMPOSERS CONCORDANCE RECORDS

COMCON0069         Release: 2/4/2022     Bar Code: 9504512544270

'Stray-in-Place Song Cycle' is an album of six eclectic songs by Gene Pritsker, based on the poetry of Erik T. Johnson and inspired by the lockdown of 2021. Three of the songs are rock-influenced and the others have jazzier roots. All are performed by world-class musicians.

A variety of singers add their unique styles to six pieces, giving the recording an extra-eclectic flavor. They are: Stefanie Egger (Austria); Sophie Dunér (Sweden); Berzan Önen (Turkey); Yelena Dudochkin (USA); and Stefanie Schlesinger (Germany).

Everything on this album was recorded remotely during the height of the pandemic shutdown, including all of Gene Pritsker’s guitars (New York City); Clemens Rofner’s bass (Vienna), and the drums of Simon Springer (Austria); Francesco Coppola Bove (Italy); and Philipp Bernhardt (Germany).

All songs mastered by Sheldon Steiger
Recorded remotely at Noizepunk Studios NYC, and various studios in Austria, Germany, Turkey  and Italy.
Art by Erik T. Johnson
 

INFO