The 918 UFN EP

by Acoustic Ross

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about

This one's chock full of great stuff. I had a trio of specialty tracks from late 2002 / early 2003 sitting around:

"Just the Thing" -- my entry for the duct tape club contest that I didn't win. May have had something to do with challenging myself to make it clearly be about duct tape without ever using the words 'duct' or 'tape.' Or possibly saying it smells like athlete's feet.

The "Brodsky Megamix" -- which I arranged and learned for a single performance at Adam Brodsky's 2003 CD release party; a song which itself spawned a mini-tour you can read about at acousticross.com.

"Talkin' Don't Pick on the Big Guy Blues" -- also written for a single performance, this time at a January 2003 Elvis Birthday Tribute show hosted by Tom Skinner. RIP Tom and Elvis. (This song actually ended up staying in the live set permanently.)

Then I wrote some other new stuff I liked a lot and decided not to wait until I had a full-length album ready. I should point out, however, that although this is an EP, the total running time including bonus tracks is only 7 minutes shorter than the last full-length CD. (You were expecting me to start doing things that made sense?)

Anyway, with the exception of the archival bonus track "Ceiling Light", these are all NEW recordings from late 2003 / early 2004 during stolen moments between bouts of roof work.

(Don't get me started about the roof.)


SCENE SELECTION:
swept down the plain
talkin' don't pick on the big guy blues
just the thing
mean-spirited chorus
bad night in boise
brodsky megamix

BONUS FEATURES:
talkin' don't pick on the big guy blues (with director's commentary)
just the thing (with director's commentary)
brodsky megamix (with director's commentary)

ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE:
ceiling light (December 1995)

Plus Hidden Bonus Features!

credits

released April 17, 2004

Acoustic Ross - everything again. Including "being amazed people thought that was my real license plate." Adam Brodsky wrote all the good stuff in the megamix, I just cuisinarted it.

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Acoustic Ross Tulsa, Oklahoma

Either Tulsa's funniest musician or its most musical comedian, Acoustic Ross has written & performed original AntiFolk/comedy music for 20+ years, releasing 5 albums, serving as house musician/MC in carnival sideshow, & playing nearly 400 shows in venues sizing from Cain's Ballroom to a school bus.

Check out www.acousticross.com/sounds.html for a handful of tracks not available here!
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Track Name: Swept Down The Plain (original version)
SWEPT DOWN THE PLAIN © 2004 Acoustic Ross

I came here from a land up north of the line
It looks like I might stick around this time
If you can get past my accent and this loud acoustic din
It’s a story about a guy not exactly fitting in

Where I grew up, we never had tornadoes,
but there was a basement in every house in town
Now I live in Oklahoma, where it’s the other way around
Well I don’t know which one is worse
But I do know ‘you all’ is two separate words

I’m a yankee, just a yankee
still a yankee, but I’m willing to learn

I’ve been kicking around this scene for six long years
All I found was cockfighting, Garth, and 3.2 beer
It could be worse – this could be Alabama
And I’m finally getting used to saying “Prague” and “Miami”

So it’s finally time to fish or get off the pot
I meet her at a show, she says ‘you’re cool’, I say ‘you’re hot’
And I see it’s time I stopped changing channels
I wanna be her knight in shining flannel

I’m a yankee, just a yankee
still a yankee, but I’m willing to learn

I’m a yankee, once a yankee
always a yankee, but I’m willing to learn

Just when I thought I should cut loose and head on back
She touched my chest and whispered, ‘where you been at?’
I might could git along just like a little doggie
But now I’m falling for this Okie from some town a little bit east from here

From a turnpike twisting through this native nation
I’m finally fixing to fix in on this fixation
Listening to that rockin’ Rogers radio station
Hey, is it me, or is “sooner” slang for premature ejaculation?

I’m a yankee, just a yankee
still a yankee, but I’m willing to learn

I’m a yankee, once a yankee
always a yankee, but I’m willing to learn

I’m a yankee, born a yankee
gonna die a yankee, but I’m willing to learn
Track Name: Talkin' Don't Pick on the Big Guy Blues
TALKIN’ DON’T PICK ON THE BIG GUY BLUES © 2004 Acoustic Ross

Well since my baby left me I’ve found a new place to dwell
It’s down at the end of lonely street in a house with my old buddy L
L. Ron Presley, that is (no relation)

So when Tom asked me to play this show, I thought “sounds like fun,
but I don’t know any Elvis songs, guess I’ll have to write my own”
So I asked L. Ron to help me out, he said “I don’t know what the fuss is all about,
they call him The King, but I never saw no crown”
He said “all I remember’s the way he died, out on that highway doing 95
With his wife, Jayne Mansfield, at his side”
I said “Ron, you might be thinking of someone else…”

So I called my Mom to see if she might have some thoughts regarding E
I said “Mom, the show’s only seven days away”
She said “oh, I remember Elvis, yup, that ‘Candle in the Wind’ song really sucked
But that boy was the Liberace of his day”
I said “Mom, hang on, that’s Elton John, you’re starting to sound a lot like Ron,
Doesn’t anyone remember ‘Blue Suede Shoes?’”
She said “what’s Marlin Perkins have to do with this?”
I said “could you put Dad on the phone?”

I asked this guy I knew from work, frankly he’s usually kind of a jerk,
But he really knows his music so I figured what the hey
He said “make sure you mention Lisa Marie’s ex-husbands, now she’s up to three,
But that middle one Jacko, he’s weird enough for eight”
I said “the music’s what I’m interested in”
He said “what, you mean ‘Beat It’ or ‘Billie Jean?’”
I knew I shouldn’t have come to him in the first place
(frankly, I was starting to get a little bit discouraged)

I went up to that big old record store
The one that’s on the second floor of that bookstore where they also sell overpriced coffee
There was just one clerk there who looked kinda hip
I said “take me to where Elvis lives”
She said “you looking for later stuff or early?”
I’m thinking finally, progress! “Early please!”
She says “that’s my favorite too” and leads me to a rack and hands me a CD
On the cover he’s got the slicked-back hair, guitar and... glasses also there
She says “his song ‘Veronica’ really means a lot to me”
Elvis Costello. I really shoulda seen that coming. (You should have too.)

I was starting to get a little tense
Three days away and still on the fence about which way I want this song to go
That’s when Woody G appeared to me, he said “talking blues, boy, gotta be”
And I knew right then, you don’t tell Woody no
He said “stick to the hits, skip the scandal
A little respect – this ain’t Tony Randall, it’s the undisputed King of Rock ‘n’ Roll
Save all the jokes about his weight, and the drugs, and the craziness
For Brian Wilson’s birthday.”

Woody said “say what you want about the Vegas trip, this guy had a hundred top 40 hits
I think he’s entitled to a little eccentricity
Yeah, and managers come and pharmacists go, and pretenders to the throne you know
But Elvis never dangled a baby off a balcony” (Woody’s got a point there)

So if you’re lonesome tonight, need a hunk of love
Return to sender and rise above black velvet paintings and rhinestones all around
Yeah, forget Graceland, forget the flicks, Ed Sullivan shooting from the hip
The thin one, the fat one – just remember the sound
Cause that’s the Elvis who’s never gonna leave the building.
Track Name: Just The Thing
JUST THE THING © 2004 Acoustic Ross

This old guitar has seen better days
I broke half the strings trying to play ‘Purple Haze’
It’s kinda hard to play acoustic guitar up behind your back
But these low ceilings made it easy to put a crack in the neck

So I swung it around like Cobain or Townshend on stage
Smashed it down on the floor like Loudon on a drunken rampage
Next morning I saw the debris, I felt regret and I snapped
But I thought, hey, I’ve got just the thing for that

It’s stringy, sticky, and it smells like athlete’s feet
The only thing in my toolbox, what else would I need?
Got a roll in every room and one around my wrist
It’s the only standing order on my shopping list
It keeps the world together and it doesn’t suck
Primer color like an elephant, but it’s made by ducks
Can’t get enough of the gray stuff

This old house has been through a lot
Eighty years old and now everything is going to pot
The leaks in the ceiling have now also ruined the floor
And the crickets and the spiders ran my dog right out the door

The outlets are shorted, my computer’s developed a glitch
I’ve got birds in the belfry and the yard really stinks from the ditch
The window’s still broken where the burglar he break the latch
But I’m pretty certain I’ve got just the thing for that

If makes me feel much better in uncertain times like this
It binds us all together, keeps us safe from terrorists

This old heart has seen better days
since we went our proverbial separate ways
I can still feel the spot where you tore those ventricles out
You were the light of my life even after we burned out

I almost never think of you at all anymore
Only when I’m at home or at work or when I’m outdoors
You left a hole in my life but I’m keeping it under my hat
Cause I’m reasonably certain I’ve got just the thing for that

It’s stringy, sticky, and it smells like athlete’s feet
The only thing in my toolbox, what else would I need?
Got a roll in every room and one around my wrist
It’s the only standing order on my shopping list
It keeps the world together and it doesn’t suck
Primer color like an elephant, but it’s made by ducks
Can’t get enough of the gray stuff
Track Name: Mean-Spirited Chorus
MEAN SPIRITED CHORUS © 2004 Acoustic Ross

Don’t wanna be your bullpen boyfriend
Don’t wanna be your backup plan
In case of emergency you can break the glass;
In case you’re lonely you can kiss my ass.
Track Name: Bad Night In Boise
BAD NIGHT IN BOISE © 2004 Acoustic Ross

I thought it might be nice to see you when I went on tour
Haven’t seen your face since you moved away last year
It was just gonna be a night on your couch
But now I’m feeling meaner than Osama the Grouch
Crashing with my ex, get me outta here

Well your new guy’s kinda balding and he looks overfed
But that chubby little twerp’s the one who’s in there sharing your bed
Well by morning we’ll see if I can survive
It’s torture but this song I’m writing’s keeping me alive
Crashing with my ex, can’t get it outta my head

I’m crashing with my ex and I don’t know why
Can’t catch any Z’s, no matter how I try
If I stay any longer gonna go insane
But it’s 8 more hours till I can catch a train
Crashing with my ex, I think I’m gonna die

Well I’m glad you and what’s-his-name came to the show
And thanks for the ride but I really wasn’t ready to go
Now it’s probably just my own imagination
But as I lay here I think I hear fornication
Crashing with my ex, but I’m ready to blow

So tonight I’m back to being an outsider
But I can’t shake the thought of that little punk inside her
Room

Now it’s not like I still want you to be my girl
There’s a beautiful girl out west, and she’s my whole world
So don’t take this as me just feeling jealous
But can’t you go one damn night without your new fella
Crashing with my ex, I think I’m gonna hurl

I’m crashing with my ex, and I don’t know why
Can’t catch one single Z but I could use a good cry
Well the couch is too short and there’s a crick in my neck
And my walkman isn’t covering the sound of all the sex
Crashing with my ex, I think I’m gonna die

Well I’m playing her town again next year
But I’ll be damned if I’m sleeping here
Crashing with my ex
Crashing with my ex
Crashing with my ex
And this is goodbye.
Track Name: Brodsky Megamix
Adam Brodsky wrote the lyrics. You can probably figure them all out OK. I tweaked like three lines and wrote the very last bit for the one and only performance:

Thank you for listening, my name was Ross
I drove up from Tulsa, half the country I crossed
The songs are all Adam’s, yeah he’s still the boss
And the housekeeper on that show “Benson” was Kraus.
Track Name: Ceiling Light (archival footage from 1995)
CEILING LIGHT © 2004 Acoustic Ross

Don’t want to be famous, no publicity
Don’t want to be Superman, just wanna be me
Don’t want any trophies or carpets of red
Don’t want 15 minutes of sun overhead
Don’t want fancy clothing, lifestyles of the rich
Don’t want to make a big dent, just a little niche
Don’t want lots of money or a people’s award
Just making you happy is my only reward

Don’t want to be a spotlight or a favorite Sun
Don’t wanna be star bright, I just wanna have fun
Wish that I maybe, I wish that I might
Just wanna be a small fluorescent ceiling light

Don’t want the attention of the big interview
Don’t want to be anywhere if I’m not with you
Don’t want my name in lights, just simplicity
Don’t want to be nothing if I can’t be me
Don’t want a big seller or a million a week
Don’t need the attention that some people seek
Don’t want to be featured in a fan magazine
Don’t want to dress up if it’s not Halloween

Don’t want to be a spotlight or a favorite Sun
Don’t wanna be star bright, I just wanna have fun
Wish that I maybe, I wish that I might
Just wanna be a small fluorescent ceiling light