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Recess

by Mikel Rouse

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1.
Dolls & Dreams You can’t go out, you can’t be free A million times I’ve tried to see And when you’re sure you’ll never win Come back some day and try again Dolls & dreams Dolls & dreams You need a minute, right? Thinkin’ about it all the way here, right? I could be suitable Saving up time for a disco nap Picket my poverty I was on the right side of the law Try to keep up with me I was something better than you saw Dolls and dreamology try to keep the rubber from the road See what you wanna see: savings for consumers’ lock ‘n load Dreams were inside of me now I’m on a shortlist for the end Everyone oughta be trying to roll over what they lend You can’t go out, you can’t be free A million times I’ve tried to see And when you’re sure you’ll never win Come back some day and try again Dolls & dreams Dolls & dreams
2.
Cutting Class Taking a stand at the mini bar Taking a stand at the mini bar Cutting class, cutting class Cutting class alone Promises breaking the bank-promises filling the tank Promises left you alone-promises threw you a bone Alone alone alone alone alone If only-if only alone Alone alone alone alone If only there were two of you One for me and one for you If only there were two of you One for me and one for you If only-if only alone All these people will be All these people will be your enemy All these people will be All these people will be your enemy Being old is like being young but not as young today And misery loves company especially when they pay The world walks by indifferently The years are thrown away Being young is like being old but not as old today I wanted to save the world Now I just wanna save the world from me Promises alone cutting class If only there were two of you One for me and one for you If only-if only alone Breaking the bank, filling the tank Left you alone-threw you a bone Being old is like being young but not as young today And misery loves company especially when they pay The world walks by indifferently The years are thrown away Being young is like being old but not as old today I wanted to save the world Now I just wanna save the world from me
3.
What You Want If that’s what you need to do then do it I’m not gonna sit here and you know and and beg you and plead with you. Unbelievable! You’re talkin’. I’m telling you how I feel. So hear what I’m going through. You haven’t been talkin’ yet you’ve done nothing but like gone crazy went in circles. Crazy and simple you know what I’m talking about my job. What’s going on with your job? What’s goin’ on with your job they cut you like one hour a week? What’s goin’ on Oh My God What’s goin’ on Oh My God Are you sure? Very sure? Pressure point One two three four five six seven eight nine OK? You don’t hurt anymore Better. Why? You don’t hurt anymore Why? Better you don’t hurt anymore Mommy, mommy. Think back. I can see that you’re in charge. Oh I’m very much in charge. I’m very much in charge except in my own life. You can deal with this. I have no choice. I fire my assistant and I fire people that don’t even work for me. I’m very much out of control. I’m so out of control I pay my therapist. My own therapist won’t even take my calls. He won’t even help me anymore. Oh My God. Have a lovely day. They all have names MySpace profiles. That they maintain themselves. You are very talented-you are very talented. You’re never goin’ back-keep goin’ back You’re never goin’ back-keep goin’ back You are very talented I don’t know what you want from me I don’t know what you want from me You may be feeling better You may be feeling better You may be feeling better but your risk never goes away You may be feeling better but your risk never goes away
4.
Plug Nickel 03:49
Plug Nickel I’m not sorry I don’t wonder anymore Got no answers and bad credit like before I don’t get it-House and Senate-it won’t fly Take this mortgage take this money by and by Over easy out of ideas out of steam Continental, JP Morgan: the cream team I’m a lucky guy. Here’s the reason why: this plug nickel life Most people charmed by their thoughtful ignorance Politicians camping online on the fence Single payer city mayor out of steam Bonwit Teller-preppie princess-Field & Stream America under focus PBS Super cable and Anderson Vanderbilt I’m a lucky guy. Here’s the reason why: this plug nickel life Almost forty-almost fifty-fifty two Take a morning or a lifetime just to do All this packing-point of order-no return Better living entry-level crash and burn I got buried in arrangements like before I took tickets out of ideas by the score I’m not bitter I’m just tired of the fight Drink to forget drink to regret drink all night! I’m a lucky guy. I don’t even try. I will live and die never knowing why Time to say goodbye to this plug nickel life
5.
Designing Women I like the bread. The bread likes you. Look at that. Budweiser and what you say? I’m so happy to see you. Thank you. Look at that. You’re so fun. What runs around in my head In a suit, in a suit on the green board. That the only thing that they know is what they see on TV or the Internet. And it’s like advertising and you have some hack leg come along. Some hack leg. Designing women that never listen Nutcracker action people And here’s a lesson: what’s more is less than Nutcracker action people Designing women that keep on giving Misapprehension, misappropriation, even misuse They’re on a mission in every kitchen Misapprehension, misappropriation, even misuse Designing women that never listen Designing women to love So my computer crashes when I crash it. When I crash it and I’ll shake and bake it. Would you like a Medicare For All flyer? Being in control of your own destiny so to speak. I wanna fuckin’ build my own goddamn documentary and say it the way I wanna say it. Working history books that I got. What runs around in my head In a suit, in a suit on the green board. The insurance companies are scrambling around trying to figure out all the scenarios. Misapprehension, misappropriation, even misuse. Nutcracker action people. I like the bread. The bread likes you. And it’s like advertising and you have some hack leg come along. Some hack leg. I’m so happy to see you. I’m so happy to see you. You’re so fun-you’re so fun. Budweiser and what you say? I’m so happy to see you. You’re so fun. And I’ll shake and bake it. Designing women that never listen That never crawl out of bed And here’s a lesson: what’s more is less than Less than waking up dead Designing women that keep on giving And give a bad name to luck They’re on a mission in every kitchen In every nip and tuck Designing women that never listen Designing women to love Because it was too expensive for them to provide it
6.
Everything 07:00
Everything Look at the size of this guy. Hail Caesar! No headlines. Hail Caesar! No breadlines. What’s wrong with Caesar? What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong in this world you hang on to? Everything Don’t even ask. I’m gonna hate it. Oh, don’t even ask ‘cause I’m not even asking myself. Everything sit down. Sit down. Sit down. Then she got spooked. Yes, and mom got up to face them. She said something to them but they were, um, let’s say black and ghetto. Hail Caesar! No headlines. Hail Caesar! No breadlines. So you could imagine you shouldn’t be yellin’ and screamin’. Everything sit down. Sit down. Sit down. The reality that we’re alone, the reality is sinking in. What’s wrong with Peter? What’s wrong with Pam? What’s wrong with fairytales on demand? Everything Tolerance is the word we just don’t need it. Years ago I could handle that.
7.
Family Dollar I’m updating Apps on my phone. Is it itchin’? Liquid skin. Artificial skin. Eat my advertisement and don’t think twice Love through music and love through vice Bright as nothing and nothing nights Shooting down the dead satellites I don’t know what it’s called but I’ve heard it that referred to as liquid skin and artificial skin and I don’t know… The maintenance of success Shooting down the dead satellites Early on we had a bad tick problem but then it got cool and I think that helped alleviate it and then it got so dry. That helped. So I don’t know. See early on dad would go out and you know be out in the yard mowing or weed eating or whatever and he’d come in and he’d say, “Is that a tic on me”? And I’d pull I don’t know how many of those little seed tics off of him. Well, you know I trapped one. Took him off to the river. What’s Apps? An application. Oh. Then they came back and then one day they just disappeared. Don’t get comfortable. I quit putting out hummingbird feed for one thing. They have them in Kansas City too is all I’m saying. I don’t worry about it ‘cause I don’t get into it anyway. Dad’s got nine. Everything’s modern in Kansas City. We got enough money to have a good time. What’s his is mine and what’s mine is mine. I said, “Well, when I see you, you can retrieve it”. Maybe it’s choice and maybe it’s fine. Are you homeless? Maybe it’s the choice of phrases in time. The Arkansas line they had thousands of utility poles down. Maybe it’s socialized baseball. What is that thing? This is the birthplace of rock ‘n roll music. It is the only the most important room in all of rock ‘n roll history. Sun Studio. This is where all these guys got their start. I said I read the book and I can’t figure it out. Normally, used to, I could read the book and do anything like that. I’m trying to figure out it’s all symbols, you know. And I said I hadn’t figured it out. Well the book is… it’s the same book. Michael’s milk cow done died Michael‘s milk cow done died Love is all you see loving family Family dollar He said we’ll have them set the clock and I said no he said well why I said well this is January and the time’s gonna change in March. So I just adjust it in my mind and that’s it.
8.
Coward 09:40
Coward Why do we drink? Everyone’s a coward until they get around to it They get inside of it I don’t wanna be you do you wanna be you do you? Did you ever want to? Cattle in the morning on their way to the wrong system It’s either me or them Simple when you crunch it The numbers have their own logic their reason to exist Everyone’s a number so baby watch them tumble down And make a terror town Unlimited matter I’m showing off my Mick Jagger He’s still around you know Maybe when we’re older the world will turn its cheek again Forgetting where it’s been Do the baked potato and everyone will never know What took so long to grow And everyone’s a coward until they get around to it They see outside of it Everybody’s waiting around Waiting around. Why do we drink?
9.
Is That Money Is that money look at that Is that money remember that remember that There she goes there she goes Is that money there she goes Is that money look at that that’s a man right there Is that money remember that it’s all part of the act Throw that money out the window there she goes I diagnosed myself by watching machines work I’m on a rendezvous with nothing left to lose The weather’s never right it’s unpredictable There is no rule we wanna believe that there’s a plan There is no plan and it never stops There she goes there she goes Is that money there she goes Is that money look at that that’s a man right there Is that money remember that it’s all part of the act Throw that money out the window there she goes They spread it all over the fucking highway
10.
Failure 04:33
Failure You make me talk about failure Making believe I am through Catching a light from a trailer You make believe that the problem is me and not you You disappear in the morning You may have already gone Left planet earth without warning Ending’s the very beginning when life gets too long On your own if it’s done life gets lonely for you for me I wake up every morning Cheating death most of the time I skipped the rope and the warning Everyone’s different and everyone’s standing in line All the time never mind life gets lonely for you for me As long as it’s gone adding on no more failure for you for me Everyone sticks to the center Maybe it’s where they belong Exiting where they would enter Ending’s the very beginning when life gets too long Everyday brings a new failure Drifters and sidecars abound Walking the walk about failure Maybe success is reserved for the last one around Lost and found underground life gets lonely for you for me As long as it’s gone adding on no more failure for you for me On your own if it’s done life gets lonely for you for me As long as it’s gone adding on no more failure for you for me
11.
Empty Nest 04:29
Empty Nest The world I looked into the world We end up where we started we end up where we start We end up where we started we end Here come that database again When did that become your best friend? How’s that trickle down for you tonight This new version of market-lite? Will we monetize everything? We just monetized everything Trickle down to your empty nest Trickle down to your emptiness Sunrise again sunrise again I looked into the world sunrise again Autumn in New York that you can’t afford Cheering strangers she’s really coming on to you
12.
Courage 05:31
Courage Courage wake up brittle as a crutch Nothing no free lunch Capitals gain capitols touch I settle now my finder’s fee remarkable for me Forgetting god flakes around Returns the subject line god flakes Courage wake up brittle as a crutch Courage wake up nothing no free lunch Capitals gain capitols touch And I miss you so much Courage just woke up brittle as a crutch nothing no free lunch Call the cavalry every century one or two agree Sitting on her hands courage when she lands look at all the fans Naked and afraid courage just got laid something someone said I swear it’s only fair Forgetting god flakes around Returns the subject line god flakes Courage wake up I swear I settle now my finder’s fee Remarkable for me Brittle as a crutch forgetting Returns the subject line: capitols gain Capitals touch

about

Recorded between October 2008 and November 2009, Recess is a lyrical reflection on the state of the world economy and the “reset” taking place before our eyes and ears. Inspired by Rouse’s work with Merce Cunningham and iPods (Rouse completed a score for Cunningham, International Cloud Atlas, that incorporated iPods set to shuffle so that each audience member had a unique version of the score) Rouse has collected field recordings and then orchestrated those sounds with multiple voices and instruments. The field recordings reflect every imaginable sound, from a couples’ quarrel in a NYC park to cicadas in his native Missouri. Recordings of random conversations are vocally doubled and harmonized to enhance and heighten their meaning. While most people use mobile music players to “tune out” their environment, Recess takes the mobile device to a truly collaborative level. The experience of listening to Recess on an mp3 player or iPod while walking though a city environment is a new kind of mobile listening experience. WARNING: Extreme caution should be used while listening to this music in a public environment or while driving.

credits

released December 7, 2010

Written, Arranged and Produced by Mikel Rouse
Recorded and mixed October 2008 -
November 2009 at CENTER OF THE EARTH, NYC.
Mastered at CENTER OF THE EARTH, NYC.
Field recordings from New York City, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi and Toronto, Ontario. Design and photography by M+R NYC.

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Mikel Rouse New York, New York

Mikel Rouse is a New York-based composer, director, performer and recording artist hailed as “a composer many believe to be the best of his generation.” (NY Times 2002) His works include 25 records, 7 films (including Funding and Music For Minorities), and a trilogy of media operas: Failing Kansas, Dennis Cleveland and The End Of Cinematics. ... more

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