All songs by Blitz (SOCAN), except Monkey Blues (lyrics Blitz, music by Blitz, Mark Watts, and Dave MacKinnon). All arrangements by the Ugly Bug Band.
Monkeyshines was produced by Blitz and Dave MacKinnon. It was mainly composed in Blitz's old garage on Croft St., rehearsed in the dark and low-ceilinged basement of Blitz's next apartment on Huron St., and then recorded in Dave's garage on Clinton, a.k.a. the wonderful Junkshop studio. Then we took it to Greenpail Studio, on Dawes Road way out in east Toronto, where Tim Branton mastered it.
The Ugly Bug Band is:
Joan Rusza - singin'
Michael Rosenthal - drummin'
Dave MacKinnon - lead guitarin'
Blitz - rhythm guitarin' and bassin'
But we had lots of help on this from our friends too - their contributions will be noted for each individual song.
She said, "I've never known anybody, and I'd really like to."
She said, "I've never told anybody what I'd really like to."
She said, "Don't you be a stranger," - well, I could never stray too far
Because the world outside is only half the size
Of what we have in our garage
Pain-free, and nearly normal, I stand before you
I go to work for money, but I come home for you
We lie beneath the skylight, and we wish upon a star
That the world outside could be half the size
Of what we have in our garage
How Can You Hide This?
No words, on account of it bein' an instrumental. Lead guitar by Blitz.
Last Impressions Count
I don't know you very well, but I don't think I ever want to get to know you better
If it's the Spirit that you sell, then faced with no alternative I think I'll take the letter
You brought me down so low I nearly got the bends
What I need to know about friendship I can learn from my friends
It's too simple to be true, all the stuff I learned from you
You set this dog a-howling at a forged paper moon
You won me at first sight, yeah you knew just what to do
But last impressions count and I am not impressed with you
I joined the congregation, but you weren't a pastor, just another New Age prophet
You talk about the alienation - soapbox sociology, come on man, get off it
A cloud this vague never had a lining at all
There's nothing there to catch you if you should fall
Had a vision of the afterlife and heaven was a castle
Hell was a convention center full of New Age assholes.....
(Lead guitar by Blitz)
I work by night at the museum
I drink my coffee and do my rounds
And though I know the place is empty
I swear that sometimes I hear sounds
Sometimes I turn off my flashlight
And walk around just in my socks
I want to be sure not to disturb them
I want to hear the paintings talk
"Picasso's dead, my love, he's buried in the ground
They left us hanging on the wall
Picasso's dead, my love, but we're still hanging 'round
I know that someday we will fall."
Just canvas, paint and so much sadness
More than any frame could hold
Caught in still life at the museum
While Picasso's dead and cold
I swear I've seen things in the paintings
Pain no other eye could catch
Tonight I won't need my flashlight
Tonight I'm gonna use a match
(xylophone by Dave)
Mort de la Commune
Baritione guitars by Blitz. Dedicated to the memory of the Paris Commune, the second of France's three great revolutionary uprisings, who stormed the Bastille and prefigured the later revolutionary aesthetics of the Dadaists and the Situationist International.
The Pirate Song
Who is the woman who waits by the shore?
A pirate's young bride is she
Her husband has gone and he'll come back no more
So she waits and she watches the sea
she waits and she watches the sea
To some he was death and a sharp bloody sword
And now they have taken his life
They thought they killed one, but they killed two or more
For what of his son and his wife?
what of his son and his wife?
A farmer's a man who draws wealth from the ground
A pirate draws wealth from the sea
But all men must labour somehow the world round
And no man has ever been free
no man has ever been free?
There's no time for peace in this world, I'm afraid
Whatever you want you must earn
The waves and her husband both set out one day
But only the waves returned
only the waves returned
(Ron Hawkins: lead vocals. Mark Watts: rhythm guitar. Wendy Banks: trumpet. Blitz: accordion.)
The Greatest Jewish Cowboy of them all
Everybody's heard of the great cowboys, all of the Protestant faith
But there were Buddhists, and Catholics too, founding the Western states
Ned held tight to his star of David when he heard the coyotes call
And none of his flock did he let stray, he was the greatest Jewish cowboy of them all
In his saddle he rode tall (x3)
He was the greatest Jewish cowboy of them all
He loved the great outside (x3)
It was the only place he could find some peace of mind
He came from the old world (x3)
But he'd left his home, he was tortured by the memory of a girl
Many women sought his hand (x3)
But he'd lost his heart forever in a foreign land
One day, we all must die (x3)
But he met his end with a rabbi at his side
(This song was inspired by a scene in Daniel Pinkwater's book Yobgorble, Mystery Monster of Lake Ontario. Mark Watts: lead vox and lead guitar, except that fucked up break in the middle which Blitz played. Wendy Banks: trumpet. Blitz: voiceover.)
Call It By Name
It's just another autumn night (x2)
Autumn leaves and the moon so bright
You could fall in love with that light
It's just another autumn night
There's a carpet of leaves on the ground (x2)
Your steps get lost and they lose their sound
And you know that they will never be found
There's a carpet of leaves on the ground
Some will rise and some will fall (x2)
But no-one will come that hasn't been called
And some will not be named at all
While some will rise and others fall
There's a love that's never heard its name (x2)
Autumn leaves and the sound of the rain
There's a love that's never heard its name
We don't call it by name
(This song was inspired by reading an account of gay sex in High Park. I don't exactly know why. Nor do I know exactly what the song means. That's the way it goes sometimes. Mark Watts: lead guitar and vocals. Wendy Banks: trumpet.)
Lunchtimes of our Lives
For good or bad the morning of our life has passed us by
There's a busy afternoon, stretching all the way to night
The vines have covered our back porch in green and leafy shade
It's time for lunch, the table's full of good things that we've made, Wendy
We've gotta stop putting things off, cuz nothing lasts forever
Just another lesson learned, but better late than never
Better late than never, Wendy
A life full of regrets, well that's the biggest thing I fear
I've had a few, but nonetheless, they've all led me to here
And the world looks so inviting, sipping coffee in the shade
I've never really been a morning person anyway, Wendy
(Dedicated to my wonderful wife Wendy Banks, and to the back porch of our place on Croft St. Blitz: lead guitar.)
It's A Bad One
You answer to the description I've got - you might be our man
It could be you, it could be another - just tell us what you can
We've been looking hard for explanations, answers, facts and lies
And I spotted you in this old train station - it's something about your eyes
Sit right down and think it over, tell us what you knew
You look tired, a bit hung over, maybe homesick too
Did you pass the test, did you somehow wash your sins away?
And what happened next? I'm sure you could tell us all about that day
What name did you bear on the Judgement Day (It's a bad one when no-one survives)
Did you run to the rocks, did they hide you away (It's a bad one when no-one survives)
When the moon went black, the mountains crumbled, and rivers ceased to flow
How did it feel, to be a man, and to reap just what you'd sowed?
Did you feel surprised, as years of lies burned up or washed away?
We've been tantalized by the end of time, you could tell us about that day....
(This song is part of the Ugly Bug Band's never-finished rock opera Code Blue. I realize that the lyrics make no sense out of context - in the opera, they're sung by a group of angels who have found the only human survivor of the Day of Judgement and want to find out what it was like, because God forbade them to watch as he destroyed the Earth and humanity. Blitz: lead guitars. Dave MacKinnon: evil feedback.)
Little Black Car
I'm a little black car with a light on top
I'm a taxi, take you for a ride
I'm a genuine lover and I hope you will discover
That you always will be satisfied
And I'll gladly hand over my day in the sun
I'm a depth-charge, a miner who digs just for fun
Got a road map in my back pocket, got $11 or so
I'm heading to the highway, gonna hitch a ride
To Montreal, don't you want to go?
And I'm tired of trying to be #1
Never claimed to be something, and nothing's more fun
(Mark Watts: lead guitar and vocals. Blitz: Accordion.)
I'd rather be a monkey, baby, than be treated this way by you
Cuz everyone loves a monkey, baby, and they love everyone too
They're just like little people, but with tails and fangs and fur
They live their lives in the monkey house and sleep upon the floor
A monkey's got no cares at all, he's happy as can be
He flings his shit upon the wall, well that's the life for me
If your woman gives you trouble, if your man just gives you grief
Get on down to the monkey house and get you some relief
I'd rather be a monkey, baby, than be treated like this by you
Cuz everyone loves a monkey, baby, just like I love you
(Mark Watts: Vocals and rhythm guitar. Blitz: lead guitar and backing vocals. Dave MacKinnon: hideously distorted lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals.)
Grandpa's Revolutionary Vigour
Melody lead guitar by Blitz, harmony one by Dave.
Sans Temps Mort
A campfire at night, happy earnest faces gathered around it, all singing:
Bottoms up for still waters
Skipping stones that just want to fall
Bottoms up for still waters
Buzz me around like a fly on the wall
I can't believe we made it after all
[Suddenly, we're in an old, decrepit church in a bad part of town. An unshaven, unsteady bum wanders in. Hesitantly accompanying himself with the organ, he sings:]
I ain't never said nothing
Never had nothing to say
I ain't never done nothing
I'm waiting till that day
The wind will blow all my blues away
[He fades from view, and we are back at the happy campfire.]
(Blitz: Lead guitars, vocals, right hand of organ. Dave: Left hand of organ. Brian Poirier, Joan, Ron Hawkins, Dave: happy campfire singers.)
In The Garden
Heart's ease, then silence, we're watching the dog days go by
Everything we'd ever dreamed before, seeing it from corners of eyes
Slow breeze in summer, a heart that could beat just like mine
Taking things, they're falling off the shelves
Pick them up and see what we find
In the end we know nothing
In the end we have nothing to say
In the end we'll keep nothing
Never again to be passing this way
In the garden as the night comes down
(Dave: Loops and such.)