Deep In Denial

by Men With Day Jobs

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about

A new album by quirky Sydney singer-songwriter trio Men With Day Jobs takes the theme of Denial by the scruff of the neck and gives it a gleeful musical shake.

Deep in Denial, the fourth album by these exuberant veterans, is their best yet - delivering a vividly varied grab-bag of the poignant, personal, political and plain puerile. And the Men career from one musical genre and tempo to another to ensure they hold our attention.

For some time, Sydney venues have been raving about this group. Says Wayne Richmond of Humph Hall: “Thoroughly entertaining... great songs, extremely competent playing, strong singing… kept the audience in stitches.” And Graham Healy of DinkiDi Acoustic agrees, saying at his venue the Men “… left us wanting more. A beautifully crafted performance.”

This is the first album in which founders, singer/pianist/multi-instrumentalist Rod Crundwell and singer/guitarist/chief lyricist Stafford Sanders – collaborators for almost fifty years and once sailor suited performers on Countdown – have been joined by singer/bassist Kim Constable, Rod’s longtime bandmate in classic rockers Ol’ 55 and On the Prowl.
As individuals the Men have played with too many big names to mention - and for too many years to admit to – with forays into radio satire and stage musicals.

Their razor-sharp climate satire Denial Tango has gone quietly viral on YouTube, and it’s joined here by hilarious takes on underachievement (Peaked Too Soon), linguistic laziness (Eloquence in F), ‘sixties nostalgia (How Does It Feel), the battle between adventure and comfort (Where the Wild Girl Runs) and the animal within (Goat People). A skilled parody of (or tribute to?) surf music, Beached, finds the Men at bleached harmonic best in a pun-drenched hymn to 32 Sydney beaches.

The many laughs are nicely balanced by two beautiful, haunting ballads - on the disappointments of ageing (Sally and the Circus) and the plight of the refugee (Life in Transit, inspired by the true story of the man who lived in Paris Airport for eighteen years).

And music itself is part of the Men’s inspiration – from their own experience of feeling out of place in a trad folk club (Songs of the Sea) and disastrously interrupted by PA announcements in clubs (God in the Ceiling) to an affectionate tribute to ethno-musicologists (Songcatcher) and a rousing call-and-response celebration of the life and musical attitude of legendary R&B producer Jerry Wexler (The Righteous Road) – featuring some catchy guest sax and soul backup vocals.

The album is bookended by pure, catchy optimism: from the opening Top o’ the Mornin’ (featuring “no-string banjo”) to the only cover - a wacky ukelele B-side from 1928 called Hum and Strum.

All in all, it’s a delight. And there’s no Denying that.

credits

released July 19, 2014

DEEP IN DENIAL: All songs written by K.Constable/R.Crundwell/S.Sanders © 2014 Men with Day Jobs
except Hum and strum (do-do-do, that’s what I do) B.Meyers/E.Schoebel 

Performed and produced by Men With Day Jobs

Guest vocals by Beck Fielding and Russell Neal on tracks 7 (Eloquence in F) and 13 (The Righteous Road)

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Track Name: Top o' the Mornin'
Running from circumstances beyond my control…
Walking on broken glass would cut me to my soul (sole)

The world on my shoulders weighing me down…
Dubious destination, if I don’t turn this life around
Then I wake up to the day, and all the clouds have blown away
It’s the top o’ the mornin’, hair on your chest,
slice o’ the action, with a pint o’ your best 

Puts the lead in your pencil, the spring in your step,
when you find the world’s gone magical
Thinking of all the troubles filling my plate…
Wondering where I’m going, pondering my fate…
Constant curiosity killing this cat…

Saddled with duties, never knowing where the party’s at
Now I’m coming out to play, and all the world can hear me say…
I say, Top o’ the mornin’ …
The world’s gone… gathering daisies, doubling bets,
spreading pies across the sky 

And why stop at pastries?
We’ll have whole meal… if I could just teach pigs to fly
They tell me I’m foolish, they call me naïve,
a dangerous lunatic, deluded and deceived
But that doesn’t faze me, I know they’re wrong 

I’ll just keep weaving these baskets, and singing my song
Let the dice fall where they may, there’s nothing more that I can say…
Only, Top o’ the mornin’…
Track Name: God In The Ceiling
On a typical night, at a typical club, in a typical talent quest

I was singing my heart out, working the crowd,
playing like a man possessed
With my eyes on the prize, I was holding all eyes,
building up to my best hook line….
Number 17, your Chicken Maryland is ready, please go to the bistro number 17, and collect your Chicken Maryland !
I just can’t shake the feeling there’s a God in the Ceiling,
a fiendish agenda of making it hot for me

All my senses are reeling, when that God in the Ceiling
comes blaring into my life, controlling my destiny
So I went to the bar, where I started to talk with a very attractive girl
We were hitting it off, I was seeing my chance -
my heart in a hopeful whirl
I was well down the road, twixt the Raffle and the Ode, building up to my best hook line….
Would the owner of vehicle registration number MDJ457
please go to the parking area immediately and move your car -

you are blocking the courtesy bus !
I just can’t shake the feeling…
No style or wit, can’t rap for shit, can’t sing, can’t play
Just a nasal squeak, no mike technique - but turned up full,
always gets the final say…
Owner of vehicle JFK456, you have left your lights on,
you won’t be going anywhere tonight… etc

The club is closing in five minutes, duty manager to the office please,
the club is closing… etc
Ah, SHUT UP! I just can’t shake the feeling…
Number 17, your Chicken Maryland is… burnt!
Track Name: Songcatcher
From somewhere in the other world, he comes
with magic box held tight -
hears the life blood flowing, the rhythm of the rowing

In spinning cylinders of precious stone, the unsung
heroes tell their tales - the loving and the leaving,
labours of their true believing
He's a songcatcher, he’ll capture every note you sing,
carry them away to other lands
He's a songcatcher,
drawing dreams into his box, saving every spirit in your song,
till there’s a place they can belong
Against the grain of mighty commerce , their stars reduced to sell
- he holds a humble station of culture cut from constellation
He's a songcatcher, he’ll capture every note you sing,
carry them away to other times
He's a songcatcher,
drawing dreams into his box, saving every spirit in your song,
till there’s a time they can belong
I dreamed I found a marketplace - a one-stringed cosmos,
nature-tuned - where every human fable was shared around the table
And we’re all songcatchers, we’ll capture every note we sing,
carry them away in hearts and minds 

We’re all songcatchers, drinking up each other’s lives,
sharing every spirit in each song
Till there’s a place we can belong, a place we all belong
Track Name: Sally and the Circus
I’ve been reeling about this new plan you’ve made
You’ve been feeling trapped by the path we’ve laid 

So now you’re heading off alone
I know it’s been a long hard climb,
I’ve been a touchy beast at times
But Sally, please don’t run away to join the circus -
why must we all fall down when the Big Top comes to town?

Sally, please don’t run away to join the circus -
I know you must be free, but where the hell does that leave me?
We’ve been slaving all our grown lives for this time,
scrimping and saving and keeping the kids in line 

And now they’ve spread their wings and flown…
With family duties off our hands, we’re free at last!
So I don’t understand… 

Sally, why must you run away to join the circus?
Why should our swansong sound when they send in the clowns?

Sally, please don’t run away to join the circus -
I know you must be free, but where the hell does that leave me?
I have always seen me as a part of us, husband and his wife
Now I’m facing a reduced existence as just a sideshow,
sad old sideshow in your life
Sally, please don’t run away to join the circus…
And we could start a whole new song, if you’d let me tag along
Track Name: Peaked Too Soon
They sit down for a coffee, the parents have been fed…
He starts to talk about his work, his Dad just shakes his head

“You had a poem in the high school paper, won a race at age fifteen -
but too much more than that we haven’t seen…
“Because you peaked too soon, son, you peaked too soon -
there were signs of youthful promise, but no fame and less fortune

The seeds of high achievement were sown
but the final flower failed to bloom
- and son, you peaked too soon”
It’s been a heady night of romance, it’s the early hours of morn…
They lie back on his satin sheets, to greet the coming dawn

He turns to her, says “Wow” and “Great”, “Fantastic, don’t you say?”
A pause, she shrugs and slowly turns away…
And says “You peaked too soon, man, you peaked too soon -
we were heading for the heavens,
but the cow jumped under the moon
It was alright for a weeknight,
and I hate to burst your big Don Juan balloon -
but man, you just peaked too soon”
At the ending of his story, the mourners join in prayer…
They gaze down at the gravestone, and you know what’s written there...
It says “He peaked too soon, yes, he peaked too soon -
there were signs of youthful promise, but no fame and less fortune
He peaked too soon, yes, he peaked too soon -
there were early hints of greatness, but ol’ Elvis left the room

He was a rising star in April, but a big black hole by June -
he peaked, he peaked too soon”
Track Name: Beached
I remember my Clovelly surfer girl, her hair in a cute Curl Curl -
walkin’ on the Sans Souci held my hand in our Freshwater world

A child of the surfing Era, no Warriewood I have at all -
but oh Dee Why did she Palm me off for a Newport of call?
Coogee, the Shelly shores I’ve reached… but despite each Manly
Bondi forge, I’m feelin’ like a Whale: Beached 

Wattamolla, oh Wattamolla,
Tamarama, oh Tamarama, Turrimetta, oh Turrimetta
No matter where I Wanda, I’ve Narrabeen able to find the girl
I met in the Maianbar, with such an un-Steyned mind

From Bronte to Bilgola and Queenscliff, Mona Vale to Cronulla –
no joy… I still Avalon way to travel - so let go of my Collaroy
Coogee… Bar-bar-bar, Mal-Malabar, Mar-mar-mar, Maroubra … Coogee… Wattamolla… Parramatta, oh Parra…

- Hang on, Parramatta? There’s no beach in Parramatta!
- Yeah, he’s just… Bungan it on!
- Sorry fellas, must have been that Long Reefer. 

Track Name: Eloquence In F
Language warning!
One, two, three… fuck!
I bought the fuckin' thing last fuckin' Tuesday,
The fuckin' last one wouldn't fuckin' go I plugged the fucker in the fuckin' socket
I said "Fuck me dead, the fucker’s fucked!
Ah, wouldn't ya fuckin' know!"
I said “Fuck ya, the fuckin’ fucker’s fucked!
The fuckin' fucker's good an’ fuckin' fucked!

Fuckin’ more than fuckin' rooted, fuckin’ not just fuckin' stuck
- fuck no, the fuckin' fucker's fuckin' fucked ! “
I took the fuckin’ thing back fuckin’ quick smart -
I said “This fuckin’ thing won’t fuckin’ work”

He said “Fuck man, what the fuck did ya do to tha motherfucka?”
I said “Fuckin’ nothin’ – don’t be fuckin’ rude, ya fuckin’ jerk!”
I said “Fuck ya, the fuckin’ fucker's fucked!
The fuckin' fucker's dead-set fuckin' fucked!
Fuckin’ worse than fuckin' shit, not fuckin’ worth a fuckin' buck - fuck no,
the fuckin' fucker's fuckin' fucked !” Fuckin’ solo! (Fuck!)
So I chucked the fucker in the fuckin’ dustbin, fucked off
to the fuckin’ tip in me fuckin’ truck 
I was about to fuckin’ tip the
fucker over, when a fuckin’ bloke said…
“Excuse me, you’re not planning to discard that rather delightful objet d’art in the vicinity of this establishment, are you?” 
Well, fuck, what could I say? I mean, what could I fuckin’ say? I said… “Fuck ya…”
Track Name: Songs Of The Sea
Down at the old folks’ café, singing my songs for free
- a corny cornucopia crept up all round me
Terribly
trapped in a time warp, taken aback to see bearded men
in land-locked suburbia, singing songs of the sea
I played the young pretender, kept my clean-shaven cool –
I’m not a Working Class Hero, not a nostalgic fool

Determined to stay original, decided what I should be -
o bearded, braided brontosaurus, singing songs of the sea -
Yo Heave Ho (don’t wanna go…) oh no
So I escaped unbearded, holding my hard head high -
too much oldie-worldie stuff for this New Age Guy 

But I felt the ocean rising, deep in the heart of me -
and all at once found myself singing those songs of the sea …
Yo heave ho!
Track Name: Goat People
Full moon on a leafy garden, sleep broken by an eerie sound…
Not so much as a Beg Your Pardon, crazy bleating is all around

Peep out, what’s that, half-seen cavorting in the dark -
got to be the…
Goat People, hairy scary, Goat People, they butt and bite,
Goat People, horny scrawny, they gonna get you in the night
Unkempt, uncouth, unruly, goatee beard and a cloven hoof…
Part-hippie/bikie/schoolie, drinkin’ alco-pot on your roof

Cringe back, lock doors, block ears, but you can’t keep it out,
hearin’ those Goat People…
Outrage in the council meeting, knee-jerkin’ on the tabloid page… Politicians in late-night bleating, all Nanny State righteous rage

But there’s no way you’ll stamp it out
- when the moon is full, we all turn into Goat People… BAAAAA!

Track Name: Denial Tango
They say the planet’s warming, but I’m convinced it’s not
- last Tuesday it was rather cool, today it’s not so hot

And if it’s getting hotter, I’m sure it’s not by much
- and prob’ly due to sunspots, volcanoes or some such

Or maybe it’s the Chinese, they make more smoke than us
- I know there’s many more of them - so let them catch the bus!

But one thing I am quite sure of: no need to make a fuss
– fire up those smoky chimneys, and sing…
Denial, I’m in denial - don’t talk to me of independent study,
or scientific trial
I’m in denial, deep in denial -
and as the waters rise around me
I’ll just hold my breath and say it isn’t so
I call myself a sceptic, and I believe it’s so -
I’m sceptical of anything I just don’t want to know 

Don’t give me CSIRO, or IPCC - I want some wacky
Viscount with a classical degree
He says it was much hotter,
X million years ago - I know that killed the dinosaurs,
but they were rather slow
It’s just a lot of scientists,
who think they’re in the know -
but I know I know better, let’s sing…
Denial, I’m in denial - when I see those eco-nazis,
I’ll raise my arm and shout “Sieg Heil!”
I’m in denial, deep in denial
- and as the waters rise around me I’ll just hold my breath
and say it isn’t so
The fires are not raging, no floods deluge the land,
those cyclones and tornadoes are just flashes in the pan 

The animals are doing fine, no species dying out,
and half the bloody planet isn’t choking in drought

The ice is not receding from either polar cap -
I go with Tony Abbott: it’s just a load of crap !

This round-the-world disaster is an evil greenie trap -
‘cause everybody knows the world is flat !
Denial, I’m in denial… And as the waters rise around me
I’ll just hold my breath and say it isn’t so…
oh no
As the waters rise around me I’ll just hold my breath
and say it isn’t so… don’t wanna know !

As the waters rise around me I’ll just hold my breath
and say “Blub blub blub blub” !
Track Name: How Does It Feel (to be Inside Your Head)
I’d like to tell you, but it might bring you down

About the groovy zone you’ve never known, in your tidy town

I’d like to show you, but it might freak you out,
there’s a world where life is beautiful - cool vibes all about
How does it feel to be inside your head - no pink baboons
playing in your bed

The sky is just blue, no rainbows rave with you -
how does it feel to be there?
I’d like to be you, but it might blow my mind,
to be a short-haired drone in a business suit,
with no place to unwind
How does it feel to be inside your head? (How does it feel)
No pink baboons playing in your bed (How does it… oooh)
T
he sky is just blue, no rainbows rave with you
- how does it feel, how does it feel… ba ba bada dah…
I was lookin’ for a new sensation, so I got happy with the girl next door Now they’ll never drag me back to the straight life anymore…
I’d like to free you, but it might get you high,
to find a magic place in a cosmic space, where baby, you can fly! 

How does it feel to be inside your head? … How does it feel?
Come on and sing … 

Track Name: Life In Transit
Don’t remember where I flew from, or the reason for my flight…
I just recall the turbulence of a dark and desperate night
I am homeless
(no way back)- all bridges burned (no way back)
I have missed all my connections, my papers have expired,
I have no reservation, I am grounded and so tired 
I am stateless
(no way on)- no lesson learned (no way on)
A life in transit, an endless wait, unclaimed baggage,
unwanted freight
It’s a terminal condition, no destination home,
I am free as a flightless bird, all alone
Arrivals and departures flash across the screen…
I wait for the announcement in the limbo land between

I am timeless (no way out)- no refuge earned (no way out)
A life in transit… I am free as a flightless bird,
on my own… I am free as a flightless bird, all alone
Track Name: Where The Wild Girl Runs
I am a man of comfort, within my comfort zone
- so safe and so contented, my castle is my home

With my book and tea and slippers, and my old mates
on the phone
And everything in place where it should be,
and everything in place where it should be
But when the wild girl runs with the north wind in her hair,
to the wires and drums, she’ll be off to god knows where 

And when the moment comes, she knows I will be there –
I must go where the wild girl runs
I am a man of leisure, there’s so much not to do -
I love my simple pleasures, some prog-rock and a brew

My idea of adventure is a brand new Doctor Who (whee-oo!)
I love to feel the grass grow under me,
I love to feel the grass grow under me
But when the wild girl runs with the fire in her eyes,
from the blazing suns of a thousand distant skies

When she turns her head, she will see with no surprise,
I have come where the wild girl runs
From a hundred misty mountains to a thousand stormy seas,
I will hug my crossword to my chest and go - say the word, I’ll go!
I will follow her wherever the dice of fate are thrown -
wherever she may wander, she will never be alone

And if the wild girl needs to have adventures on her own,
she knows I will be here when she comes home,
I will wait with bated slippers till she’s home
And when the wild girl runs with tomorrow in her hands,
to the spires and slums of those far-flung foreign lands

In the flesh or spirit, I know she understands -
I am there where the wild girl runs… where she runs!
Track Name: Hum and strum (do-do-do, that’s what I do)
I hum, and strum, on my little ukulele when I’m blue

Do-do-do, that’s what I do, that’s what I do
I sing, and swing, on my little ukulele when I’m blue, do-do-do,
that’s what I do

It’s easy in the parlour, when I’m all alone -
there is only one thing makes me feel at home (What’s that?)
I hum and strum…
Now what’s the use of feelin’ blue?
That’s the last thing you should do, get yourself a little old friend
like I’ve got (He’s got)
What’s the use of mopin’ round,
when there’s not a soul around, get yourself a little
old friend like I’ve got (Yes sir!)

When Old Man Blues comes creepin’ round at night (Don’t scare me), there’s one thing that always treats me right (What’s that?)
I hum a little while and strum a little while,
on my little ukulele when I’m blue, do-do-do,
that’s what I do
I sing a little while and swing a little while,
on my little ukulele when I’m blue, do-do-do, that’s what I do…