Poison Berries

by Orchestraville

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about

The final album from Orchestraville, originally scheduled for release in 2005. From the original press release:

Ohio's Orchestraville has always been on a quest for the classic pop song. Whether it was drawn from the new wave leanings of XTC, the songwriting of The Kinks' Ray Davies, or the concentrated musicianship of Luna, their goal is a catchy melody.

On their third release, "Poison Berries," Orchestraville has tossed aside the quirky rhythmic motifs of their previous work for a more conventional rock format. Primary songwriter Christopher Forbes has crafted personal and poetic lyrics and married them with melodies that are both classic and original. In the process they have held onto their British Invasion influences, taking cues from The Who and The Stones. In a way, this is really Orchestraville's debut CD.

The core of the band, guitarist and singer Forbes, bassist Dave Pascoe and drummer Keith Hanlon, have been playing together for more than ten years. The addition of former Curious Digit keyboardist and solo artist Parker Paul (Jagjaguwar Records) brought a touch of 60s rock to the band. Primarily playing organ, Paul channels The Animals' Alan Price, The Band's Garth Hudson and The Doors' Ray Manzareck. His sound has inspired the band to pursue more direct material, even incorporating swing and folk arrangements on the album.

Recorded in their living rooms and basements by Hanlon and Forbes, "Poison Berries" presents Orchestraville's newest songs with a relaxed, live feel. Rather than concentrating on details, they paint with a broader brushstroke, adding only what is needed to the performance.

credits

released 17 September 2010

Christopher Forbes - lead vocals, guitars, keyboards
Keith Hanlon - drums, vocals
Parker Paul - keyboards, vocals
Dave Pascoe - bass, vocals

Guests:
Amy Alwood - Electric Guitar on "You Wanna Be Like That"
Anthony Jacobs - Valve Trombone and Euphonium on "You Wanna Be Like That"

Recorded at Gidget Sound, Admiral Benbow and Frank Lloyd Wrong

Mixed by Keith Hanlon and Christopher Forbes
"Thank You, Mr. Washington" mixed by Neal Schmitt at Workbook Studio.

Digital Edition Mastered by Steve Hoffman

Cover design by Ron Hester
Cover photo by Keith Hanlon

Lyrics by Christopher Forbes
Music by Christopher Forbes, Keith Hanlon, Dave Pascoe and Parker Paul

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Track Name: Lift Me Up
When you call out my name, I do the same to you
and we go out
Honey, you only traded an ounce of assurance for
my pound of doubt

You lift me up, lift me up

Now, I couldn’t see too far in front of me with
my face on the floor
It takes a talented hand to lift the head of a man and
show him what it’s for

Say lift me up, lift me up

Now I can laugh about it
When it was clouded
I didn’t understand it at all
Lift me up

By the sound of that voice I’m not given the choice so
I just cave in
Sometimes I hit the jackpot and I like it a lot cause
we all love to win

You lift me up, lift me up

Now I can laugh about it
When it was clouded
I didn’t understand it at all
Lift me up
Track Name: The Bird Without Wings
You thought the sun would never wake up and rise
To shave the clouds right off the face of the sky
You picked me out and didn’t even know why

You fell like a bird without wings
And you became the toast of the town

Down in the basement I can lend you a hand
A dream of sleep and eating all that you can
You sat between me and the wheel of a van

You fell like a bird without wings
And you became the toast of the town

You thought the sun would never wake up and rise
To shave the clouds right off the face of the sky
You picked me out and didn’t even know why

You fell like a bird without wings
And you became the toast of the town

You fell like a bird without wings
To keep me from unraveling
You fell like a bird without wings
And you became the toast of the town
Track Name: Half & Half
Why did you smile? Why did you laugh?
A mickey was slipped in your half-empty glass

Although I try, I can’t understand
The carrier bird that eats from your hand

And the same goes for you
That’s why you love me too
We’re half-and-half
A perfect match

We both appease, and still we try
The one thing we agree on is we don’t know why

I just can’t read this strange resume
You’ve made a career out of passing the blame

And the same goes for me
That’s why I love you, see
We’re half-and-half
A perfect match

You swallowed your pride but choked and you died
Yeah, they say it’s not easy

And the same goes for you
That’s why you love me too
We’re half-and-half
A perfect match

You swallowed your pride but choked and you died
Yeah, they say it’s not easy
Track Name: Only A Song
Save me again I'm angry
Save me again I'm dull
or maybe it's just nostalgia
as a symptom of the Fall

Three cheers to Mr. Albert
With his hat brim filling mine
and sure fire cure of a spinning blur
with an apple for an eye

He said, “take this one and call me
in the morning next time.
If you're feeling blue we'll add Leonard too
and make sorrow seem sublime.”

Some sweet girl made me promise,
“this one's only yours and mine.”
But she knew deep down that record
sold a million, not one time

And it's only a song
but it made you belong
And a few small words
would run in herds
and take you to the place you want to be

So now I know how to travel
if my traffic starts to crawl
You can barely see the map
beneath the push pins in the wall

And it's only a song
but it made you belong
And a few small words
would run in herds
and take you to the place you want to be
Track Name: Phil Ochs' Flag
You turned The Lantern off because
your words of upstart would not stop
Without the fire nobody would see
that you were rolling up your left sleeve

So you put the photograph into a
bindle stick with a New York map
They took it when you were young -
when there was nothing to it

Now your fighting flag is a chin that wags
and another song
Don't you live to bury the very thing
that you're counting on

Stars twinkle in your eyes when they
project your name from a marquee sky
They heard your heart beating
But open ears are fleeting

Now your fighting drums are the clapping guns
of another song
Don't you live to bury the very thing
that you're counting on

So why would we get along and let you sing
the last of your protest songs?
When all the candles and the lights go out
It gives you something you can talk about
You found peace without a doubt
Track Name: You Wanna Be Like That
All of the crows feet tell a story
Let's float down the cracks in a sinking boat
Your mother went out in a blaze of glory
her cigarette fell on a sleeping coat

If she had a dream just like so many
Then nobody knew what it really was
And they never tried because they were busy
The answer to "why?" is always "because."

And you wanna be like that someday
You wanna be like that

I woke up today and I was grateful
But only because I said I was
If you need some lies I've got a state full
I'll donate a couple to the cause

How come you're a rock and we've just had it?
You became an M.D. in the 7th grade
But you stand amazed we don't know you're static
'cause all you wanted to be was a dairymaid

The powers that be took the century off
To tend to themselves and the mess they've made
So one finished all of his eight ball comics
And the other learned how to can marmalade

Dishwashers in hell never see a clean plate
We can't finish the job like we hoped or thought
It's like slapping the hand of a death row inmate
Or clipping the wings of an albatross
Track Name: Today is Yesterday
You could set aside an hour or two
To do the things she asked you to
A flood of leisure has left you blind
So you can’t seem to find the time

And do you really want to brave the snow
To raise you sails to blow and go
Across the room to fetch a pen
To write it down, to do it when…

Today today today today today
Is yesterday, yesterday

Inspirations on a waterfall
Over the edge where they dissolve
Into a mist and reascend
Over the edge and back again

And once a week you’re in the early line
To have a drink with Father Time
But in the morning you awake
And toss your cocktail in the face of today…

Today today today today
Is yesterday, yesterday
Track Name: I Take It Back
Hey babe, what’s it gonna be?
You’ve got to shake the devils hand if
you want to love me

Now I feel funny and a little bit low
But I’m takin’ off my shirt so I can
feel tomorrows glow

I’d take it back
I’d take it back
My enemy crept up on me by
Slippin’ through the crack
And I’d take it back… yes I would if I could

That’s what I get when I trod along
The next time I’m a decoy rabbit
Running from the dogs

Yeah that’s how you do it – try to distract
Find somethin’ new to bet on before you
Run another track

I’d take it back
I’d take it back
My enemy crept up on me by
Slippin’ through the crack
I’d take it back
I’d take it back
My enemy crept up on me by
Slippin’ through the crack
And I’d take it back…
yes I would if I could
yes I would if I could
Track Name: The Tracks of an Animal
I guess you shouldn’t try to get caught up in the moment
Of course, by nature, moments never stay
But if you have arrived, you will have to try to clear your name to remain here.

Your fortune tried to phone but you were already gone
A smoke screen wafting all around your head
And nobody was impressed when they lost a shoe in the mess you left behind… too unkind

It’s not that a jury would have put you away
In fact, they RSVP’d to your party today
But you will have to be the one to clean up
The tracks of an animal

A promise is a law. Your heart was crossed with a paw
And you may stick a needle in your eye
So get this off your chest and hope to God that the
best is good enough – or bust

Cause someday they may not want to try anymore
To follow your footsteps just to knock down your door
And you will have to be the one to clean up
The tracks of an animal
Track Name: Poison Berries
There’s a scratch on each one of your bended knees
Must be bad, if good things always come in threes
You ate a piece of chemical bread
and bad habits were born in the bed

You said “bite your tongue, secrets aren’t so hard to hide”
We began when conscience knots were pulled, untied
It’s not so very hard to believe
Just clean and press the clothes of a sheep

You know who to call
when poison berries fall to the ground

Hidden barracks – a home to house what we believe
But we’re locked out if moderation is the key
The soldiers may be healthy and stiff
But the army’s marching over the cliff

You know who to call
when poison berries fall to the ground

You said “bite your tongue, secrets aren’t so hard to hide”
We began when conscience knots were pulled, untied
It’s not so very hard to believe
Just clean and press the clothes of a sheep

You know who to call
when poison berries fall
Track Name: Thank You, Mr. Washington
We’re gathered here to unite and do a goosestep for our guy
Just fill this basket with dollar bills and then I’ll tell you why

We’re gonna reach out and spread the word – give credit where it’s due
See, George, us old ladies forget a lot, but we’ll never forget you

It’s a new revolution not a twinkle in our eyes
What better way just to pass the day until we finally die?

So word spread by the pencil leads and through mouths of every style
I heard the truth through the missing tooth of a
cross-eyed half-breed’s smile

And he said
Thank you Mr. Washington

Even the petty resistance slowly started to believe
They fell apart like the dying bark of a fallen cherry tree

And now the view from the monument is George from sea to sea
And the cries up in Spokane Lincoln are heard in Abe D.C.

And they say
Thank you Mr. Washington
Track Name: I Could Stay Here All Night Long
There’s a fence I walk along
it separates the weak from strong
and I won’t be afraid
I won’t be afraid

When I see contentment dressed
In the guise of tiny steps
I won’t be afraid
I won’t be afraid

I could stay here all night long

No one could ever gauge
What it takes to make the change
But I won’t be afraid
I won’t be afraid

And when the wait is through
I’ll be melting over you
and we can stay here all night long

And when I don’t see a shooting star
I may want to leave and run
But I will stay here all night long,
I will stay here all night long