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Pushkin Street

by Raffi Joe

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about

Likened to Salvador Dali meets Frank Zappa meets The Beatles meets Dick Dale meets Tim Burton meets “I’ve never heard anything like that before”, Raffi Joe's fusion of music familiar and foreign reflects the baffling, beautiful, and bountiful textures that ignite life with magnificent mystery and draw from his travels to the world's most uplifting and demoralizing destinations. The melodies and lyrics of PUSHKIN STREET - named after Yerevan, Armenia's hub of progressive music - tell intimately absurd and absurdly intimate stories, demand justice for a fractured world, and sound like tunes one could dance or sing or drive or cook or swim or shower to.

credits

released 25 January 2013

Songwriter, Vocals, Guitars: Raffi Joe Wartanian
Drums: Mike Gambone
Bass: Julian Rosenberg
Keyboard: Jonathan Tippens
Engineering Consultation: Chris Bentley, Jake K. Leckie
Produced by Raffi Joe Wartanian with Chris Bentley
Recording, Mixing: Chris Bentley at The Bunker Recording Studio (The Bridge, Yellow Dubmarine); Cockeysville, Maryland (www.recordinbaltimore.com)
Mastering: Bill Wolf at Wolf Productions (Willie Nelson); Arlington, Virginia (www.wolfproductions.com)
Logo Illustration: Robert Petrossian
Graphic Design: Terry Breschi, Aramazt Kalayjian

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Track Name: Stumped
Said I can’t stand the way
That you smile at me
And I can’t stand the way
That you smile at me
‘Cause I know there’s something underneath
‘Cause I know there’s something I can’t see

On a stump in the middle of the city
I saw my sins
On a stump in the middle of the city
I saw my sins
And I got down on my knees to begin
To pray the ways of the wind

Said the leaves and the trees they tried it
And they know just how to be
Said the leaves and the trees they tried it
And they know just how to be
In centuries of longing for a home
In valleys of moonshine we are home

Said it’s never too late to start again
From the end of the beginning or the middle of the end
Said it’s never too late to start again
From the end of the beginning or the middle of the end
You just keep on rolling with the wind, my friend
You just keep on blowing with the wind, my friend

Said the fastest way into a lonely woman’s heart
Is to take it slow without a lot of talk
And the fastest way into a broken man’s soul
Is to say I’m sorry and I want you to know
That the forest is much larger than the trees
And the rivers run red for you and me

Said I love the way that the rivers never end
And I love the way that the ocean never bends
It means there’s something in the end
For all that’s without and within
Track Name: Gluten Free Blues
Buckwheat and potatoes
Like a shrimp in the street
Put it in my mouth
And it tastes of soggy feet

Hello, empty stomach,
Pleasure to meet you
Days are gonna be long
And I might have to eat ya!

Oh yeah little baby
Got the glutten-free blues
I used to eat me twinkies
Guess I'll just chomp on my shoes.

Love my lady
Like a nap in the road
Spoonful of soybean
Might just make me implode

Dusty potato
And a heap of Bumble Bars
Makes a two-course dinner
Feel like some achy-breaky SARS

Oh yeah little baby
Got the glutten-free blues
Dontcha wanna Shipshewanna?
Guess I'll just have to chomp on my shoes

Made some mistakes
On the way through Millard County
Put my cheeks in the air
And the rash was kinda lousy

Every baby's got a Bronson
Like a joey in the street
Who says I'll pass the glutten
For a slice of roast beef

Oh yeah little baby
I got the glutten free blues
From here on out
Guess I'll just have to nibble on my shoes.
Track Name: Millard County Jail
Back en Mexico
My name's José, no sé Joe
From Millard to Baker
Sugar cheeks are waiting to behold
Ninety-nine miles are a sugarplum
For dainty feet know how to gun
Twenty-one led to Fifty
I waved my hips then something hit me.

Down wind from Green River
Rest my fate with Robert Dekker
Diablo del Camino
Siempre en mi corazón
¿Dónde está Los pantalones?
¿Dónde está el dolor?
Dimples are salvation
For the men who lack inspiration.

Back en Mexico
My name’s Jose, no sé Joe
Like rivers of glory
Sacred sacrums are forever more
¿Donde esta mi Gepetto
A la greto con capeto?
Glory Hallelujah
We’re back for dear Roberto
Track Name: Ojas
Her eyes
Blacker than her eyes should be
Her voice
Quieter than her voice should be

I’ve seen my head
On a riverbed
With worms and germs that squirm and burn
Until they are fed
And I can’t wait
Seven lifetimes for you
I’ve give you six
Now what will you do

Her eyes
Blacker than her eyes should be
Her voice
Quieter than her voice should be

Why would you cry
If I laid down and died
From the force of your breath
Lunged into my chest?
Once you kissed me
Who would’ve guessed
That a kiss is amiss
When you do it like this
One moment it’s a smile
And the next it’s a hiss
Track Name: Pelican Sunset
Lend me a basket of your
Fine insulation
Tear down this prison and
Return us to elation
Way before
The moon has fallen,
Or
The dreams stop calling
Hold me in your arms tonight
We can call it pure or erudite.

Cry me a foggy ocean
Kissing oil sores
The greasy little pelican is
Waiting at the door
Then he froze
Behind the sunset
Before
We saw the carnage
Feathers keep me up at night
Tickling my ample apetite!

She asked for something sweet
But all I had was rabbit meat
That’s just how loves goes
So sit back, relax, and strike a pose

Last night I felt like cheese
That melted for three centuries
No salt, only spice
The time for love
Is too concise.

Your mother was an angel and
You played so patiently
I went into the garden for a
Taste of fantasy
Where I found
The bees were swarming
Or
Was it global warming?
In our bones the answer pipes
The things we left they came out right, alright!
Track Name: Abraham Lincoln Log
I got me a dog
Who’s name was Abraham Lincoln Log
He lives in a tree
He lives in a tree

I look into his eyes and
I feel my mama’s bones
Running away
To the Mediterray

One day we’re going
To the Eastern Mountain
On the shore
One day we’re going
To the Eastern Mountain
On high

Screamin’, dreamin’,
Everybody’s reelin’
Layers of life down
Into the shed
Say Chile,
Say chi chi chi le
Longest tongue in the
History of kisses
He’s my dog and
He don’t need no Misses
Alright? Alright.

One day we’re going
To the fallen country
On the shore
One day we’re going
To the fallen country
On high
One day we’re going
To the crumblin’ rainbow
On the shore
One day we’re going
To the crumblin’ rainbow
On high

Fear’s one sick disease that
Will leave you all alone
On your knees
On your bones
Step into a fire
To cool down with those logs
It happens in time
When you’re laughing in fog
One day we’re going
To the Eastern Mountain
On the shore
One day we’re going
To the Eastern Mountain
On high
Track Name: Dizzy In Dreams
When the wind comes through the valley
And shakes up all the trees
I think of goodbye’s
I think of goodbye’s

Wish that it was easy
To wave my hand and fade off
Into the night
Into the night

We are made for each other
Like the sun and moon and all the other stars
If the clouds moved out and I saw you no better
Then why is it fair to blame the weather, huh?

My mama told my grandmother
She thinks my daddy’s depressed
‘Cause he’s asleep
More than he’s awake

A third a day’s enough for some
But other’s can’t go
Without fifty percent
Dizzy in dreams
Who’s to say that one is better?
Eyes open or closed it might all be a dream
And one day when that dream is over
We’ll say goodbye and the rain will climb to the sun
For the time let us savor each other
‘Cause you never know when it will be too late­­

The sun came out and my pop woke up
Sometimes dreams and clouds
Are one in the same
They make us insane

Life outside my bedroom window
Is a lesson in patience, faith
Remorse, and love
Everyday
Who’s to say that one is better?
Eyes open or closed it might all be a dream
And one day when that dream is over
We’ll say goodbye and the rain will climb to the sun
For the time let us savor each other
‘Cause you never know when it will be too late­­
Track Name: Ohio
Said I never earned
The right to deserve
The ability inside of me
To write down these words
Born without a choice
Could’ve been deaf, dumb, or blind
Though we are all insane
To say that time
Is something real
Like a line or a wheel
On an Oldsmobile
That your grandfather sold
For a fishin’ reel

Grandpa said,
“The meaning of life
Is what gives your life meaning
And you just might
Have to close your eyes
To see what it is
For the deepest bliss
Is deep within.”

Madmoiselle
You’re looking mighty swell
And if you won’t go to Greenland
Then I’ll go straight to hell-
Oh operator, won’t you call me three weeks later?
That’s the way, the way, the way
The way, the way, the way

Madmoiselle
This is song is just for you
Goodbye me again
And I’ll just leave you a clue
Come the winter time
Babe I know that you’ll be mine
And that’s the way, the way, the way
The way, the way, the way

To some this nation
Is a gilded cage
And to some this country’s
A fire every day
And I can’t say
If it’s fair or it’s true
‘Cause when you’re in the middle
It’s a little of the two

We’re the grandchildren
Of a genocide
That happened everyday
Since nineteen forty-five
And even before
There was such a word
The Indians, Armenians, and Native Americans,
The upper class and lower half of vets who bore their broken backs
Wars never end
Neither do the sins
If you choose to engage
You never will win.
Track Name: Electronic Flirtation
Electronic flirtation
Is now a love philosophy
One day you will feel me breathe
And sneeze through your computer screen

How could love
Stand a chance
Against the zero’s and one’s?
What’s become
Of pure romance
Must we click and moan?

I am not the man you see
I am really a woman
My name is Joe or Jill or Fried Cucumber
Don’t you wanna know?

I was born when Gorbachov
Washed the splotch on his head
And the world began to reignite all the
Ties

Bits and bytes will reunite my
Love’s lost electricity
Fiber-optic pheromones shall
Bring us back to Truancy

How could I
Stand a chance
Against the zero’s and one’s?
What’s become
Of pure romance?

Electronic flirtation imprisons
Us until we’re free
Staring at a monitor
We will not feel all that we see.
Track Name: Bedouin
Cracked leaves are fallin’
in a pool of blood,
shattered man’s skull
bubblin’ in the mud
I’m reachin’ for your hand
but I’m gettin’ a visual

So you called me snide
though I never tried
you’re the last forgotten man
and you cant deny
you’re an urban Bedouin
in a concrete desert

You got a glass of water
in a hand with no thumb
and its getting hotter
and im gettin’ numb
wont you just help me

Brother I feel you under my feet
brother I feel your heart beating
brother I feel you under my feet
brother I feel your heart bleeding
hoyaté linya linya mahaté
hoyaté linya linya mahaté
hoyaté linya linya mahaté
hoyaté linya linya mahaté

"I’m an American
I have no future"
that’s what you told me
and you couldn’t be surer
you’d die for the flag
and yet you have no faith

You’re the moon man, understand?
band of no plans
used to be my hero
now your anything but grand
an eternal victim
of your own invention.
Track Name: Crowds In The Streets
Crowds In The Streets
There are crowds in the streets
I worked all day
And baby you prayed
For the crowds in the streets

There’s more to life than money
For every day is sweeter than honey
But ya gotta bleed to survive
And get sick to thrive
Do we want to call this our country?

Hundreds of thousands
Of millions of houses
That got sold on lies to prioritize
The predatory sale of iffy mortgages

The teachers in our schools
Yes they are paid like they’re fools
And the CEO’s
They can steal our toes
To pay for air conditioned pools

It’s time for imagination
And for the people to re-envision
The structure of the muck
That got us out of luck
And devise our deficit solution

Power to the people
Not the politicians or steeples
We know that we are one
And the fun’s just begun
Yes, we can be more than feeble.

Crowds in the streets
There are crowds in the streets
from Russia to spain and Portland, maine
there are the crowds in the street

Crowds in the streets
There are crowds in the streets
from Waikiki to Thessaloniki
there are the crowds in the street

Crowds in the streets
There are crowds in the streets
from Tuscon, Arizona to Barcelona
there are the crowds in the street

Crowds in the streets
There are crowds in the streets
I worked all day and baby you prayed
there are the crowds in the street

Crowds in the streets
There are crowds in the streets
from Waikiki to thessaloniki
there are the crowds in the street

Crowds in the streets
There are crowds in the streets
from Tuscon, Arizona to Barcelona
there are the crowds in the street

Crowds in the streets
There are crowds in the streets
I worked all day and baby you prayed
there are the crowds in the street